Spain is a country that lives and breathes the good life – from the timeless villages and cities to the Mediterranean coast. But, when is the best time to go?
Spain is as diverse as they come, and its culture is just as captivating as its landscapes. From some of the finest food and wine in the world, to fiestas (parties) and flamenco, Spain is famous for its passionate people, vibrant energy and extraordinary creativity. The seasons of Spain are distinct, too; due to its varied landscapes and sheer size, conditions can fluctuate around the country.
Spring is often touted as one of the best times to experience Spain. Not only is the weather sunny and warm between March and June, but it's also fiesta season. Even the smallest, rural towns come to life with celebrations like Semana Santa (Spanish Easter), and Seville’s April Fair. Andalucia hosts many of the largest festivals and experiences idyllic conditions; both Seville and Granada average 22 degrees celsius in the middle of Spring. Valencia, on the south-eastern coast, is a few degrees cooler and enjoys its annual orange blossom during this time.
The capital Madrid averages around 18 degrees celsius in Spring, while Catalonian Barcelona hovers around 19 degrees – perfect for exploring the colourful streets and amazing architecture.
Summer is peak season in Spain. The beaches are at their most popular, and afternoon siestas (naps) can stretch for hours. But when the midday heat recedes, get ready to wine and dine your way through the balmy night. Attractions in many cities are crowded in summer, with visitors enjoying the Spanish sun, so pack plenty of water and sun protection.
Seville, in Spain’s interior, is one of the warmest places to be in summer. With an average temperature of 35 degrees celsius in July, mornings and evenings are the best times to explore. Granada is a little cooler, being in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, and stays around 27 degrees during this time – beautiful for a day discovering the Alhambra. Further north, Madrid averages around 32 degrees and Barcelona 30 degrees, the latter assisted by its coastal location. Temperatures in Valencia are typically in the high twenties.
Come autumn, both the crowds and the temperatures start to simmer down. Spain’s grape harvest begins in autumn and in many regions, this is celebrated in true Spanish style – with a fiesta! In Seville, the Alcazar and picturesque Plaza de Espana are a pleasure to explore, with temperatures around 26 degrees celsius – and likewise in Granada.
Those visiting Madrid in the autumn should stop at Retiro Park, where the trees are awash with orange and red leaves. Pleasant temperatures in the late teens are perfect for picnics. Head to Barcelona to tour Gaudi’s architectural gems in comfortable 22-degree temperatures, or south to Valencia where the mercury drops to 24 degrees.
Spain’s stereotypes don’t generally include snow, but head to the southern Sierra Nevada and you'll find plenty of it in winter. December to March is considered the off-season, so if you want to miss the crowds and you don't mind packing a coat, winter is a great time to travel. Although temperatures dip, the Andalucia region gets plenty of sunshine at this time of year. Seville seems to barely know what 'cold' is, averaging 16 degrees celsius, while in Granada, people are still dining al fresco in 21 degrees.
Madrileños (people from Madrid) drink their sangria indoors in winter, as the capital averages around 10 degrees celsius. Barcelona is slightly warmer, at 13 degrees, while Valencia stays mild at 16 degrees.
Spain is truly a feast for all senses and most people who visit never want to leave.
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