Summer in Europe is synonymous with blooming sunflower fields, and while driving through Portugal on a road trip, I was determined to find them. Sunflowers seemed to be a common decor theme I noticed while traveling in Portugal, with the living room walls of our Airbnb adorned with sunflower paintings, and a cafe where we enjoyed breakfast displaying bouquets of fresh cut sunflowers at the entrance and between tables. As common as they were, it was difficult to find any information on sunflower fields online, so I’ve written the below guide to help other travelers find them.
Where to find sunflowers in Portugal
We luckily found fields of sunflowers along highway N258-1, just south of Cuba, Portugal. The highway connects the towns of Cuba and São Matias in the Beja District, Alentejo Region of Portugal. The fields were huge and lined the highway on both sides, and there were several access roads to turn into where we could park and take photos at the edge of the field safely and without blocking traffic.
The highway is best reached by car. The drive is about 2 hours from Lisbon, or 2 hours from Lagos.
The best time of year to see sunflowers in Portugal
We visited the fields in mid-July 2019, and at that time there were many fields in full bloom. We also saw fields that had yet to bloom, as well as fields that had already bloomed and were dying. I would safely assume that the season is at least a full month long, and if you are driving from Lisbon to the Algarve or vice versa during any late summer months, it is worth the detour of driving through Beja District to see if the sunflowers are in bloom!
Tips for visiting the sunflower fields
Only drive on roads or dedicated access roads.
Turn into an access road and park away from the highway to avoid blocking traffic.
Do not pick the sunflowers, lay on them, or trample them.
Respect the farm and the farmers.
Wear closed-toe shoes.
Be careful of bugs, spiders, mice, and snakes! The fields are full of them and if they weren’t then I’d say to be careful of pesticide application :(
Where is your favorite summer-time sunflower field? Let me know in the comments!