Best Time To Visit Spain

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Spain is an incredibly varied country when it comes to seasons. Due to its size, the country can experience heavy snow in its northern mountainous regions while the coastal areas of the south bask in sunshine and warmth. The country’s climate is so diverse that it is among the 10 most climatically diverse countries globally. Spain is unique in Europe as it features alpine, sub-arctic, tropical, and desert climates in different regions. Although, most of Spain sees a Mediterranean climate with warm to hot summers and cooler winters. Because of this diversity, there is no particular best time to visit Spain.

Each region offers something different throughout the year. If you love the sun, head to Spain in the summer, and you will find beach resorts in the south bustling with tourists while smaller towns host festivals on their beaches. If music is your thing, a weekend away in Valencia or Barcelona in July will lead you to Benicassim, Spain’s most famous music festival, where beach camping is encouraged. Make the most of Spain’s Catholic heritage in winter and explore its Christmas markets in cooler temperatures. If your stay takes you to Spain in early January, celebrate Three Kings Day with locals.

Spain’s culture is, like its climate, incredibly diverse. Each region has festivals and celebrations that seem unusual and even strange to other regions. This cultural diversity opens up each corner of the country. So regardless of when you feel is the best time to visit Spain, each season has something unique and exciting for everyone.

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Best Time To Visit Spain

Spain in Summer

best time to visit spain 2022 rows of thatched umbrellas and lounges by the sea
The most popular season for a beach vacation in Spain is in summer but the best time to visit Spain if you want to flop on the beach at Marbella is in September and October, after the peak summer season.

Spain’s busiest tourist season is summer, as many Europeans are on summer vacation during July and August.

The country’s golden sandy beaches fill with families seeking a relaxing break, friends blowing off steam after college exams and couples simply seeking some sun.

Daylight in summer sees highs of 15 hours a day, with warm temperatures from dawn till dusk.

The temperature in some regions of Spain will get extremely high during the summer months, and locals will take a siesta.

Many stores and restaurants close when the sun is hottest and highest during this siesta time.

Public transport runs well during summer to cater to the tourism surge, with many buses featuring air conditioning.

If you’re visiting a city during this time, keep in mind the metro systems get quite warm, so carrying water is advised.

Many of Spain’s most famous festivals are held during summer, including Tomatina, the tomato throwing festival.

  • June (Daylight hours: 15 hours on average, Average Low is 13.3°C (55.9°F), Average High is 26.75°C (80.2°F).
  • July (Daylight hours: 15 hours on average, Average Low is 15.93°C (60.6°F), Average High is 30.43°C (86.8°F).
  • August (Daylight hours: 14 hours on average, Average Low is 16.07°C (60.9°F), Average High is 30.03°C (86.1°F).

Five Things To Do In Spain In Summer

1- Festival de Granada, Granada (June and July)
best time to visit malaga spain rear view of young tourist woman in white sun hat
The most popular time to visit Spain is during the summer vacation when you can walk around and feel the sun’s warm rays.

Festival de Granada runs for 28 days, from 13 June to 10 July each year.

Across the city, there are numerous events held, from those that last only one day to those that run daily.

For example, in 2022, a month-long workshop on photography across the city encapsulates the music, dance and the city on film.

Regular concert performances from orchestras across Spain are also held during the festival at various venues across the city.

2- Kite Surfing in Tarifa (June)
best time to visit spain palomas island in tarifa
One of the best times to visit Spain for surfing is in summer and Tarifa in Andalusia is a great spot. Picturer here is the lighthouse on Palomas Island.

June is the perfect time for water sports enthusiasts, or simply those wanting to learn, to visit Tarifa.

Tarifa is famous for its windy climate and has even been named the kitesurfing capital of Europe.

Head to Playa de Los Lances for the biggest waves and spend time on Tarifa’s most famous beach.

This spot is perfect for all levels of kite surfers, thanks to its restricted waters during summer and surf schools.

Another perfect spot is Playa de Valdevaqueros, a vast unspoilt stretch of sand with dunes that serves as a kite surfing location all year round.

3- San Fermin in Pamploma (July)
spain best time to visit
The best time to visit Spain to see a famous festival is during the Running of the Bulls in July.

San Fermin is one of the most famous fiestas in Spain and is recognised worldwide.

The fiesta opens on 6 July and runs till 14 July each year.

The festival is famous for The Running of the Bulls however the fiesta is much more than this one event.

It’s held in the streets of Pamplona, creating a bustling and unique atmosphere.

During the fiesta, many locals will dress in white with red scarves, a tradition that has lasted generations.

It is traditional to wear the scarf around your neck during the festival and around the wrist or waists as the rocket is fired to signify the close of the festival.

4- Festival Internacional de Benicàssim In Valencia And Barcelona (July)
best time to visit barcelona, spain Tibidabo
Any time of year to visit Spain is good if you aim to see Barcelona’s amazing architecture. Pictured here is the Tibidabo church in Barcelona with Christ statue overlooking the city.

The town of Benicàssim lies between the cities of Valencia and Barcelona.

The festival is annual and features an eclectic mix of rock, pop and electronica music with short film festivals, fashion shows and art exhibitions.

Festivities begin each year on the second Tuesday in July, with the first musical performances starting on the Thursday.

The festival primarily runs through the night, with many stages opening at 5 pm and the last artists departing at 8 am.

5- La Tomatina In Buñol (August)

Another of Spain’s famous summer festivals is La Tomatina, the tomato throwing festival held annually in the Valencian town of Buñol.

The festival has been running since 1945 on the last Wednesday in August.

The act of throwing tomatoes lasts for around an hour, with the town littered with tomato debris following the fight.

It’s one of the messiest festivals in Spain, but is certainly one of the most enjoyable, despite its short length.

Top tips
best time to visit spain alhambra
The best time to visit Spain’s Alhambra in Granada is first-thing in the morning to beat the crowd.
  • Book your hotel well in advance because hotel rooms book up fast in areas like Pamplona that see a surge in tourism around its festival.
  • Take advantage of bars, restaurants and stores closing during siesta hours and head indoors to cool off. Many locals will use this time to catch up with family over a long lunch, have coffee with friends or take a nap.

Spain in Autumn

best time to visit spain girona
Autumn is one of the best times to visit Spain for comfortable temperatures and sunshine in Girona.

As the weather begins to cool down, autumn is the perfect time to visit Spain.

Seasonal specialities, including the harvest of chestnuts and mushrooms, bring exciting flavours to local dishes, and many festivals celebrate the harvest of grapes.

The temperatures dip in autumn, but the days are mild and welcoming even at their coolest.

Visiting Spain in autumn is an excellent opportunity to escape the crowds and to enjoy Spain from a more local point of view.

Daylight hours average between 10 and 12 depending on the month, allowing plenty of light for exploring.

Public transport in Spain runs well year-round, and autumn is no exception.

So, make the most of the cooler temperatures and quieter streets and plan a multi-city break using Spain’s AVE rail network?

  • September (Daylight hours: 12 hours on average, Average Low is 13.09°C (55.6°F), Average High is 25.86°C (78.5°F).
  • October (Daylight hours: 11 hours on average, Average Low is 9.44°C (49°F), Average High is 20.22°C (68.4°F).
  • November (Daylight hours: 10 hours on average, Average Low is 5.17°C (41.3°F), Average High is 14.33°C (57.87°F) .

Five Things to do in Spain in Autumn

1- San Mateo Festival In La Rioja (September)
best time to visit spain vineyard in the La Rioja
If you’re a wine connoisseur, the best time to visit Spain is during the San Mateo Festival in the La Rioja at harvest time.

San Mateo Festival is celebrated at the start of autumn to thank Mother Nature for the grape harvest.

The harvested are used to make the local La Rioja wines.

Locals fill the city’s streets, and music, dancing, local delicacies, and the wine flows freely during the festival.

One of the San Mateo Festival traditions is squeezing the grapes, where people climb inside large barrels and stomp the grapes with their feet.

2- Week Of Architecture In Madrid (October)
best time to visit spain madrid colourful buildings and street lamp in Madrid
The best time to visit Spain if you’re planning on walking around to admire architecture is during Madrid’s Week of Architecture in October.

Organised by the Official Architects Association Foundation, the Week of Architecture takes place for seven days during October annually.

This celebration of architecture hosts numerous activities held by local architecture firms to celebrate some of the most incredible buildings in the city.

Events include guided tours of famous buildings and walking tours around the city to take in some of its sights, courses, exhibitions and lectures.

Children’s workshops are also held during architecture week to encourage younger visitors to become excited by the design of the buildings.

3- Wander Through Gorbeia Natural Park In Basque Country
best time to visit spain 2021 forest of trees covered in moss
One of the best times to visit Spain if you’re planning on exploring the Basque is in autumn as the temperatures are perfect for hiking and walking around. Pictured here is Gorbeia Natural Park.

To truly experience the change in season, head to Gorbeia Natural Park.

The park surrounds Mount Gorbeia in northern Spain and is filled with thick forests, breathtaking clearings and gently flowing streams.

Head to the park’s Otzarreta forest to see a carpet of crunchy orange leaves that have fallen from the trees during this season.

4- Feast On Chestnuts In Pujerra

Autumn is truly chestnut season in Spain, but nowhere loves them more than the hamlet of Pujerra.

The town is so famous for its chestnuts that it hosts a festival dedicated to them each year.

This small area of Malaga even has a museum dedicated to chestnuts.

During the festival of chestnuts, locals create more than 50 dishes featuring chestnuts as a key ingredient that are available to try.

Exhibitions are also put up to show the history and heritage surrounding chestnut farming.

Wherever you are in Spain during the autumn, street vendors serving hot chestnuts are never far away.

5- Fiesta Nacional de España

Fiesta Nacional de España celebrates Spain’s national day, held annually on 12 October and celebrated in mainland Spain and Spanish-speaking countries worldwide.

National Day commemorates the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus for Spain on 12 October 1492.

During the festival, banks and stores are closed, however many local celebrations are held.

There’s an Armed Forces parade with a flyby from the Spanish Airforce Patrulla Águila, or Eagle Patrol, to close the celebrations in Madrid.

Top tips
best time to visit spain montseny in autumn
Autumn is one of the best times to visit Spain for stunning mountain landscapes, such as in Montseny.
  • While the weather is still warm during autumn, the temperature dips during the evenings in northern and coastal areas, so packing a light jacket or coat is advised.
  • If there are any very touristy attractions on your itinerary, autumn is the best time to see them as the crowds have generally dispersed.

Spain in Winter

best time to visit marbella spain Winter landscape with snow
The winter landscape with snow on the mountains of Serra do Xures natural park in Galicia shows that the best time to visit Spain to see Narnia-like landscapes is in winter.

Following autumn’s footsteps, winter too is a quieter season with fewer tourists visiting Spain due to a dip in temperatures.

The average low in Spain in winter is 1.81°C (35.2°F), and highs reach 12.15°C (53.9°F), making it chilly but still pleasant with a coat.

The temperatures will, of course, vary across the country due to its varied climate.

In northern Spain and areas at higher sea levels, expect some wintery showers and potentially settling snowfall.

Coastal cities such as Barcelona and Valencia will stay cool but benefit from warmer breezes from the Mediterranean.

Winter is a magical time in Spain as this traditionally Catholic country gears up for its largest winter festival, Three Kings Day.

Many markets sell local gifts and souvenirs and traditional festive foods during December.

Winter is also far cheaper for flights and hotels, making it the perfect time to explore Spain at a more affordable budget and quieter pace.

  • December (Daylight hours: 9 hours on average, Average Low is 2.66°C (36.9°F), Average High is 11.11°C (52°F).
  • January (Daylight hours: 10 hours on average, Average Low is 1.81°C (35.2°F), Average High is 10.67°C (51.2°F).
  • February (Daylight hours 11 hours on average, Average Low is 2.21°C (36°F), Average High is 12.15°C (53.9°F).

Five Things to do in Spain in Winter

1- Skiing In Sierra Nevada (January)
best time to visit spain weather wise
Avid skiers and snowboarders will of course find that the best time to visit Spain is during winter. Pictured here is Masella ski resort in Girona.

Sierra Nevada is one of the best ski resorts in Europe and, surprisingly, is only a 55-minute drive from the warm sandy beaches of the Costa Tropical.

The Sierra Nevada skiing season lasts from November to early May, making January the ideal time to head up the slopes.

Snow regularly falls during the season, particularly in the January to April period.

The resort has recently installed state-of-the-art ski lifts to access various slopes offering different levels of challenge and courses; there are also hotels, bars and restaurants.

2- Carnival (February and March)
best time to visit spain logrono la rioja procession of people with green hoods bearing the cross
Holy Week’s religious procession in Logroño, La Rioja, in April.

Carnival is one of few countrywide fiestas in Spain, so it doesn’t matter where you go, you’re likely to find a party.

Carnival typically falls in February or March, with the exact date varying year on year.

The festival is famous for its humour, traditional costumes and outlandish and ornate accessories.

Each region has a different take on Carnival and brings its own unique culture to this fun-filled festival.

In Cadiz, the carnival has been declared an event of International Tourist Interest and is filled with comparsas, songs with irony and humour.

Performers ride through the city on floats or follow behind, playing instruments and dancing.

Meanwhile, the Galicia Carnival has the longest program in Spain, featuring parades of floats and masked characters named pantallas who wear belts adorned with bells.

The pantallas ensure that people are dressed up for the event and even hand out masks.

3- Travel The Caminos de Pasión
best time to visit spain granada snow on the sidewalls
Granada in winter is a magical time to visit Spain’s Andalusia.

Caminos de Pasión, or Roads of Passion, is an incredible driving route through Andalusia.

During the summer, when the temperatures can become unbearably high in this region, it’s almost impossible to enjoy this route.

In winter, however, when Andalusia experiences milder temperatures, hop in a hire car and explore this magical stretch of tarmac and the stunning towns and villages dotted by its sides.

Head to Alcalá la Real in Jaén to see one of the most beautiful castles in the region.

To marvel at whitewashed houses and streets packed with brightly coloured flowers, visit Priego de Córdoba.

4- Play Golf On Costa Del Sol
best time to visit spain arenales del sol alicante silhouette of person walking on the beach at sunrise
Winter is the best time to visit Spain to enjoy a stunning sunrise on the beach in Arenales del Sol, Alicante, in southern Spain.

Spain has challenging and beautiful golf courses, with many located in Andalusia and the Costa Del Sol.

This southern region of Spain offers mild temperatures and sunny days despite the season.

Thanks to the cooler temperatures, these golf courses have become more accessible and pleasant to play on.

In summer, golf resorts in Spain are often costly, with tourists booking them out quickly.

However, in winter, these resorts are often filled with like-minded golfers taking advantage of the temperature and cheaper accommodation costs, even in more luxurious rooms.

5- Hike The Camino de Invierno
best time of the year to visit spain historic building on a blue-sky day
The best time of the year to visit Spain’s beautiful historic buildings such as Mosteiro de San Martino Pinario in Santiago de Compostela is May or June and September if you’re planning to walk the Camino de Santiago.

Hiking in winter, particularly on the Camino de Invierno, or Winter Camino, is a perfect activity for fans of the outdoors.

This route is aptly named Camino de Invierno as it is meant to be hiked exclusively during winter.

The route is a pilgrimage route of Camino de Santiago and begins in Ponferrada, finishing in Santiago de Compostela.

It spans 263 km (163 miles), with regular rest stops, hostels, and restaurants.

As this is an exclusive winter route, there are fewer tourists and the temperatures are a little more pleasant once you have begun the hike.

Top tips
  • Temperatures in winter do fluctuate in Spain, so ensure you have packed appropriately for the weather in the region you are travelling to.
  • If travelling during the Three Kings Day period, pack enough cash to get you through your holiday as the banks will be closed.

Spain in Spring

best time to visit spain navarre olite castle with cherry blossom trees
Spring is a lovely time to visit Navarre, which is home to Olite Castle.

Temperatures begin to warm up across Spain in Spring, with highs reaching 21.7°C (71.7°F) in May.

While some areas, particularly in the north of the country, take longer to warm up, expect long summery days in Spain’s southern regions.

Daylight in spring is between 12 and 14 hours, offering plenty of light to explore and get involved.

Transport again is reliable, thanks to each city’s bus and metro networks.

Many local festivals are held in Spain’s regions in spring, each celebrating and showcasing their culture and heritage.

For nature lovers, head to the countryside to marvel at the blossoms on cherry and almond trees and the natural geraniums that fill the National Parks.

  • March (Daylight hours: 12 hours on average, Average Low is 4.27°C (39.7°F), Average High is 15.34°C (59.6°F).
  • April (Daylight hours: 13 hours on average, Average Low is 6.2°C (43.2°F), Average High is 17.55°C (63.7°F) .
  • May (Daylight hours: 14 hours on average, Average Low is 9.54°C (49.2°F), Average High is 21.7°C (71.7°F) .

Five Things To Do In Spain in Spring

1- Las Fallas In Valencia (March)
best time to visit valencia spain
Another good time to visit Spain is during the Falles (Las Fallas) festival, an internationally known fire celebration in Valencia and a celebration in praise of Saint Joseph.

Running from 1 to 19 March each year, Las Fallas de Valencia combines traditional Valencian art and culture with satire in this beautiful coastal city.

The festival’s origins date back to the carpenters’ traditions of burning pieces of wood that they used to prop their lights up during the winter.

Old belongings and rags were added to these bonfires, creating an unusual human-like structure.

This traditional end of season bonfire has been transformed into the ninots seen all over the city today.

Many temporary art exhibitions are displayed across the city during this festival, with many created by local artists.

2- Festival de Jerez in Jerez (March)

best time to visit spain jerez de la frontera
If you’re keen on attending festivals one of the best times to visit Spain is during the Jerez de la Frontera fair.

Festival de Jerez is truly a festival of passion as the festival celebrates the town’s history through flamenco.

Jerez is the birthplace of flamenco, however within the region, flamenco is also very popular in Cadiz and Seville.

The festival spans two weeks and has run annually for more than 20 years.

The festival features flamenco dance and music, art installations and an opportunity for artistic visionaries to bring flamenco to the 21st century.

Locations across the city open their doors to celebrate the festival, however be sure to stop by a peńas, a traditional bar where flamenco has been performed for decades.

3- Festimad in Madrid (April)

Festimad is another of Spain’s music festivals celebrating pop, rock and electronica in the capital city since 1995 and has seen the likes of Beck, Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead grace its stage.

The festival is the longest-running in Madrid and aims to showcase new music from the independent scene across the city and entice people to the festival with popular bands and artists.

4- Feria de Abril in Seville (April and May)

Seville’s Feria is the fair of all fairs, and it takes over the city completely for a week.

Feria de Abril is truly an expression of the city’s individuality, quirks and charm.

The actual fair is a small temporary town built in the city filled with stalls, rides, food stands and thousands of lights.

The festivities often spill out beyond the walls of the fair, with celebrations carried out into the streets and even to the football stadiums during match day.

Feria de Abril begins with the night of alumbrao, where all of the fairground lights are turned on.

It is traditional to eat pescaíto frito, or fried fish, during the opening night.

The fair concludes with a fireworks show over the Guadalquivir River.

5- Madrid Open in Madrid (May)

Tennis fans should look no further than the Madrid Open.

Held in May, this joint men’s and women’s professional tennis tournament is a prominent event on the world tennis tour.

The Madrid Open is held on red clay surfaces, offering a different level of challenge to players used to hard courts or grass.

Tickets are available for the event, but it is advisable to book well in advance, particularly for the bigger games.

Top tips
best time to visit seville, spain road in the village of Spain with blue skies in spring.
A beautiful time of year to visit Spain is in spring, when the flowers are blooming and the sky is blue.
  • As with any trip, pack a camera as the natural beauty of Spain starts to open up during spring. With bluer skies earlier on, the cities become even more magical too.
  • Book hotel accommodation in advance, particularly if visiting in late spring, as hotels will start to fill up quickly.

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sarah holmes travel writer
Sarah Holmes is a travel and fashion writer living in the heart of England. From family adventures in numerous parts of the UK and Europe to exploring cities as an adult, Sarah has a wide knowledge of the best areas, sights and local tips that the UK and the neighbouring continent can offer. Sarah grew up in the North East of England, with incredible sights and landmarks only a short drive away. Her favourite places to visit include Seaham Beach, the Lake District and Alnwick Castle. Sarah has written for a range of fashion and travel blogs and print publications.