What sea is in the Algarve?

So, what sea is in the Algarve? Although technically the Algarve is only touched by the Atlantic Ocean, it is exposed to a mix of water from two different Oceans: The Atlantic Ocean, coming from the South, and the Mediterranean Ocean coming from the East.

If we want to be precise, the two Oceans actually meet at the Gibraltar Strait, where the sea is narrowed by the European and the African continents. Because the two Oceans have different water temperatures and salinity (salt density), this “encounter” ends up looking something like this:

Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans meet at Gibraltar Strait
The Ocean water temperature in the Algarve is usually between 12ºC in Winter and 25ºC during Summer, peaking at its highest between August and September.

Algarve Sea Temperatures Averages

Nevertheless, even with all the odds in its favor the warm Algarve waters can sometimes be colder than usual. The “culprit” of these lower temperatures, is a weather phenomenon typical of the Portuguese coast, which experts call upwelling. Due to the winds, the warm water in the surface is diverted, causing the upwelling of deep and colder ocean waters.

But those are exceptions that make the rule. The south coast, bordering the Algarve — destination of most Portuguese in the summer months — is usually privileged with warm temperatures, gradually increasing from West to East. It looks something like this:

Algarve Sea Temperatures between Atlantic and Mediterranean Oceans

So, if you’re reading this and still wondering where you should go for your vacations, the Algarve has some of the best and warmer beaches one could ask for.