When you think of summer, what comes to mind? We think of heat, big days, pleasant evenings with friends and holidays. There are more sunny days and it even feels like we have more energy to do things, to grab our suitcase and go explore and get to know the best that Portugal has to offer.
What is summer?
According to physics, a summer solstice, in the northern hemisphere, where Portugal is located, is when the sun reaches its highest latitude relative to the equator. This is reflected in the number of daylight hours. The day the Sun reaches this point, is the day that marks the beginning of summer, the longest day of the year, therefore it is the day where we have more daylight hours. Although it is not always on the same day, the summer solstice happens between June 20th and 22nd every year.
How do the fauna and flora in Portugal react?
There is always something happening under our noses and over our heads. In summer, the flora, in general, is already in the final stages of reproduction. This means that at this time they are passing from flower to fruit and/or seed. During the summer they have to prepare for propagation.
The fauna is where we can find the most changes in behaviour.
All groups react differently. If in spring they fly over our heads at full speed, in summer we have to get up very early to see them full of energy. They also feel the heat and reserve themselves for these temperature peaks. Their activity tends to decrease as the temperature rises throughout the day. In summer the breeding season is over and the young birds are already flying on their own. It is also time to prepare for the great migration.
Amphibians and reptiles need to hide from the heat. Amphibians, if they have water, are most likely doing their metamorphosis. The warming of the water tells them it’s time to change. Adults must be buried and only come out at night to feed, but the nights must not be too hot either.
Reptiles also hide during the day and only come out when night falls and temperatures drop. One of the places where we see more snakes, for example, are the roads. The tarmac stays warm on cool nights, and so the perfect conditions for these creatures are met. And that is also why so many snakes and other reptiles are found killed on the roads.
Mammals, of all classes, are the most prepared for the different seasons. The possibility of temperature regulation is fundamental. Even so, in summer, they also like the nights best.
Who are the animals that most like summer?
Insects! These are the true lovers of summer and heat! This is the time when we see more insects flying, in the flowers, dragonflies in the waterways, more butterflies… This is the group that is most active in summer.
Nature does not stop!
What is summer like in Portugal?
For many, this is the most awaited time of the year! Perhaps because it has become a time of holidays, of good times, sunny days that elevate well-being… a handful of good things.
In Portugal, summer is not the same everywhere. Speaking only of mainland Portugal, the differences are so many… in the inland and mountainous areas, the temperatures are higher and the climate is drier, you can only do well in the shade. On the coast, the temperatures are not so high, although they are high, the climate is more humid and people’s favourite places are beaches.
But can’t you do something more than being in the shade or on the beach?
Of course you can!
There are many rivers, streams, lakes and ponds waiting for you, but not for a tan. River beaches are an option, of course, but discovering these spots through a water walk or through SUP, is different, refreshing and energizing! You can also get to know Portugal through the lens of your camera in the company of our photographic and nature-loving guides. If, on the other hand, you prefer to be less in nature, there are cool museums and parks full of information waiting for you.
Portugal is great any time of the year!
Come rain or shine, there is always someone with a smile to greet you.