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When is the best time to visit Spain?

Travel advisory

The info on this page is based on historical averages and might not reflect current conditions. Check with local authorities for the latest travel advice.

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The best time to visit Spain is from March to May and September to October. From March to May, temperatures rise slowly from 54º to 63ºF, while through September and early October they vary between 63º and 70ºF, meaning days at the beach aren’t uncomfortably hot.

Sunshine isn’t the only reason for visiting Spain during these months. In the spring, all kinds of festivals and celebrations begin taking place – from Las Fallas in Valencia to Feria de Abril in Seville. In the fall, the Fiestas de Pilar extend over 3 days in Zaragoza, the regional capital of Aragon, while in the southern region of Andalucia, the Bienal de Flamenco alternates yearly between Seville and Malaga. September is also when Barcelona celebrates La Mercè—its largest street party of the year—and movie buffs are well taken care of too, thanks to the film festivals in Sitges and San Sebastián.

Elsewhere, nature lovers can observe the cherry blossoms of Valle del Jerte between mid-March and the beginning of May, as well as the grape harvest of La Rioja in September. Spring is also a popular time for religious events like Romería de la Virgen de la Cabeza near Jaén, as well as Semana Santa throughout the entire Andalucia region.

Monthly weather and travel tips for Spain

The first month of the year is a quiet one in Spain, so it’s ideal for those who dislike crowds and don’t mind colder weather. Temperatures can creep up to 61ºF in the warmest southern regions and drop below freezing in high-altitude areas like the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada. However, the chilly weather brings plenty of snow to these mountain ranges, where the ski resorts are in full swing by January. Unless you’re off to The Canaries, you’ll definitely need your warmest winter coat.

There’s also a few festive events going on in January, including Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) on January 6 – Spain’s version of Christmas Day. The night before involves hundreds of people parading through the streets on large nativity-themed floats, guided by three wise men (often three lucky local council members) who lead an extraordinary candy-throwing frenzy. January is also a great time to take advantage of cheap flights and slashed prices during the post-Christmas sales, known locally as “las rebajas.”

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Though it’s often the coldest month of the year in Spain, February isn’t short on reasons to visit – especially if you’re a festival-goer. Down in the city of Cádiz in Andalucia, the thrilling “Carnaval” involves two weeks of costumed processions, drawing thousands of revelers from across the country. The only party with a higher headcount is the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria carnival that’s held in Las Palmas with a different rainbow-colored theme each year.

However, it’s not all loud and flamboyant fiestas. Madrid hosts one of Europe’s biggest celebrations of contemporary art during the Feria Internacional de Arte Contempoáneao, while in the western region of Extremadura, birdwatchers gather to celebrate the arrival of many different species in Monfragüe National Park. There’s also a medieval-themed festival in the high-altitude town of Teruel in Aragon. But bundle up if you go, because temperatures here can drop lower than anywhere else in Spain during this chilly time of year.

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With the arrival of spring, things start to warm up with each passing day until suddenly summer doesn’t seem so far away. In central and southern Spain, you can probably get away with wearing just a t-shirt in the afternoon as long as there’s no wind or clouds. You’ll want to keep it under a sweater if you’re visiting anywhere north of Madrid. Rainfall can be heavy and unpredictable all over Spain, so be sure to pack a raincoat.

March is also when two of Spain’s best-known cultural events take place. Down in Andalucia, The Festival de Jerez will already be underway in Jerez, showcasing the nation’s most talented flamenco performers in the birthplace and heartland of Spain’s most famous musical genre. But the main event has to be Valencia’s Las Fallas – an amazing festival of relentless drinking and dancing, incredible (and very loud) firework displays, live music, and satirical humor. It all culminates in a mass ritual burning of giant papier-mache effigies (known locally as “ninots”) in the streets – a spectacle you won’t want to miss.

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In April, spring is in full swing, and on certain coastlines you can steal a few hours of sunbathing on the beach. With wildflowers in full bloom, it’s also a great time of year for exploring parks and more rural areas like the Valle del Jerte in northern Extremadura. Just bear in mind that the skies can open at any moment, so it’s definitely worth packing a raincoat.

Many people venture out to watch the candlelit Semana Santa parades that take place in cities across Andalucia and Castille-Leon. Dressed in multicolored hooded robes, the “brotherhoods” leading the parades each carry two statue-mounted floats from their church to the city’s cathedral and back again. Later in the month, Seville’s Feria de Abril sees locals donning their best flamenco dresses, riding on horseback, and dancing late into the night. Elsewhere, foodies are drawn to festivals like Mercat de Ram in the Catalan town of Vic, and the Feria del Queso (more cheese than you’ve ever seen) in the town of Trujillo, Extremadura.

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By May, the Spanish countryside is blanketed in bright wildflowers and daytime temperatures begin to rise and stay above 68ºF. In coastal regions like Andalucia and Catalonia, that means the start of beach season – a great time to enjoy some sea and sand before the busier summer months, whereas inland destinations like Granada and Seville offer warm and sunny spring breaks.

Party season is also well underway in May. Take Madrid’s Fiesta de San Isidro for example – a week of near non-stop processions, bullfights, and live music honoring the Spanish capital’s patron saint. Besides that, you’ve got the Fiesta de los Patios de Córdoba (a rare chance to see Córdoba’s flower-strewn courtyards opened up), WOMAD music festival in Cáceres, and the legendary opening parties on the island of IbizaSpain’s undisputed clubbing capital. Pack your camera along with clothes suitable for warm and wet weather.

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It’s the perfect time to be in Spain pretty much anywhere you are. Temperatures across the central and southern regions will be heating up, while the great green north will be much warmer and great for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking. Leading from the French Pyrenees to Spain’s west coast, the Camino de Santiago walking trail is well-known and gets crowded in June. However, there are many other trails starting at various points around Spain that take walkers through a range of stunning landscapes on their way to the finish line in Santiago de Compostela.

June is also a great time to visit Spain because of all the different festivals going on. Corpus Christi celebrations take place in Toledo and many other towns, while Barcelona hosts two of the biggest rock, pop, and dance music festivals of the year with Sonar and Primavera Sound. This all comes before a spectacular finale on June 23, Noche de San Juan, when seaside towns across Spain light up with beach bonfires and fantastic firework displays.

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There’s no denying that July is the busiest month for most destinations in Spain, which has its ups and downs depending on how you look at it. Going out at night, for example, you’ll have a wide choice of lively bars and restaurants. However, you might struggle to find an authentic Spanish atmosphere in the more tourist-friendly resorts of the Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca.

Needless to say, temperatures reach scorching highs by July, so you’ll need to pack plenty of sunscreen. It can be easy to forget the intensity of the heat when enjoying yourself at festivals like Festival Internacional de Benicàssim near Valencia, or the Festival de la Guitarra de Córdoba – a celebration of guitar music like flamenco, rock, blues, and beyond. And that’s not all. Pamplona’s world-famous San Fermín (running of the bulls) takes place over a week, while the Día de Santiago (Feast of St. James) is celebrated spectacularly in Santiago de Compostela on July 25.

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In August, Spain’s beach resorts fill up with as many locals as tourists who are all determined to escape the searing heat (often +95°F) of inland cities like Seville, Córdoba, and Madrid. Even coastal destinations like Barcelona, Málaga, and Valencia can get too hot and humid to enjoy, which is why many take the chance to explore Spain’s cooler northwestern Atlantic coast. Here temperatures range from the sixties to the low eighties, and the sea breeze eases the heat on exceptionally hot days.

If the cooler weather isn’t tempting enough for you, then maybe the food will be. The region of Galicia is renown for its seafood—in particular, octopus—which is prominently featured on any tapas menu and even has its own dedicated festival (the Festa do Pulpo) held on the second Sunday of August in the small town of Carballiño. Down the road in Cambados, the 5-day Festa do Albariño celebrates Galicia's favorite fruity white wine, while the Fiesta de la Sidra Natural takes place in the neighboring and cider-loving region of Asturias during the fourth week of the month.

That said, you could choose to cool off in a very different way by joining in the tomato-throwing antics of La Tomatina held every August in the Valencian town of Buñol.

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September brings a welcome break from the sizzling summer temperatures, which means places like Madrid and Seville are no longer too hot to handle. The coolest days in the northern regions tend to hover around the 63ºF, whereas the hottest days along the south coast can still get above 86ºF, so sunscreen is still an essential item to bring along.

This transitioning period is a great time to explore just about anywhere in Spain, and there’s plenty of festivals going on too. One not to miss is the Fiesta de San Mateo, held in the wine-making region of La Rioja during the third week of September in honor of the grape harvest. The regional capital, Logroño, is full of festivities, including the chance to crush grapes with your feet and (of course) plenty of world-class wine. Other events that may tempt you include San Sebastián’s two-week-long film festival, Barcelona’s epic Festes de la Mercè, and the Bienal de Flamenco – the most prestigious of flamenco festivals held alternately in Seville and Málaga.

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Though summer may still seem a not-too-distant memory, it’s not long before the winter chill starts to bite in October. The telltale signs are numerous, from thick coats and long leather boots to the light-orange leaves cloaking the city squares. Towards the end of the month, temperatures average around the mid-50s in most parts of Spain, although you could probably sneak in a late beach trip to Mallorca or one of the other Balearic Islands where it’s about 20 degrees warmer.

However, the best way to experience autumn in Spain is to embrace the changing temperatures, whether that’s ambling through the glorious Andalusian countryside or surfing the high-rolling waters off the Atlantic coast (in which case, you’d better bring a wetsuit). To get off the beaten path, you could head to the Navarre region’s vibrant Irati Forest on the northeastern border with France, or keep the party going at Zaragoza’s Fiestas del Pilar. Spain’s National Day also occurs on October 12 and is celebrated all over the country.

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With winter on the horizon, temperatures across Spain are cool and crisp during November, so it’s an ideal time to visit for those who prefer to avoid the heat. The deep autumn colors and bright blue skies create an entirely new natural environment that’s a joy to explore, especially in the rural areas of Andalucia. However, bear in mind that high-altitude areas in the north will be much colder and can even get snow towards the end of the month.

After a full summer calendar of festivals and fiestas, November is when things generally start to settle down. That said, the first day of the month is All Saints’ Day – a national holiday for remembering the dead and enjoying seasonal food. A few days later, sherry lovers celebrate their favorite drink in Jerez for International Sherry Week, while the locals of Potes—a small village near Santander—honor their traditional drink at the Festival de Orujo. You can also attend international jazz festivals in Granada and Madrid, where scheduled events last the entire month.

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December’s chilly temperatures are redeemed by an array of Christmas markets up and down the country, from Bilbao and Barcelona to Madrid and Seville. They are treasure troves of traditional crafts, nativity scenes, and artisanal products like turrón and manchego cheese. Christmas Day itself is celebrated as a national holiday, though the major celebrations are reserved for January. New Year’s Eve is a much bigger party, when Spaniards attempt to eat 12 grapes (one for each chime) at the stroke of midnight.

On a regional level, there are fewer events than in other months, but Málaga’s spectacular Christmas lights have become something of an attraction, especially on the night they’re turned on along Calle Larios. Just down the road, the town of Torrox draws thousands to its annual Migas Festival – a celebration of “migas,” the region’s most traditional dish. For those who would rather spend winter on a beach, look no further than the subtropical Canary Islands where temperatures remain comfortably between 63º and 74º throughout the entire month.

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Weather and temperature in Spain

When you think “Spain,” a scene of bright blue skies, white-sand beaches, and radiant sunshine probably springs to mind. That would be an accurate representation of the country in many areas, but Spain can actually be broken down into five climatic regions. First there’s the cool and humid climate of the Atlantic coast, home to cities like Santander and San Sebastián. Then you’ve got the vast dry areas of central Spain, including Madrid, Valladolid, and Zaragoza. Meanwhile, Mediterranean destinations like Barcelona, Valencia, and Alicante are mild and sunny in the spring and fall, while the mountainous landscapes of the Pyrenees and the Sierras can get very cold. Finally, southern Andalusian cities like Malaga and Almeria are much warmer during these times of the year – not to mention the Canary Islands, which are closer to Africa than mainland Spain and so experience tropical temperatures even in the winter.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Madrid High 52°F 52°F 61°F 65°F 75°F 85°F 93°F 91°F 81°F 70°F 59°F 54°F
Low 34°F 34°F 40°F 46°F 51°F 60°F 66°F 66°F 59°F 52°F 42°F 35°F
Rainfall 12 days 11 days 12 days 12 days 12 days 9 days 6 days 6 days 9 days 12 days 12 days 13 days
Barcelona High 57°F 56°F 62°F 65°F 71°F 79°F 84°F 84°F 78°F 73°F 64°F 58°F
Low 41°F 40°F 47°F 51°F 57°F 65°F 70°F 70°F 65°F 58°F 49°F 42°F
Rainfall 12 days 11 days 12 days 12 days 12 days 9 days 6 days 6 days 9 days 12 days 12 days 13 days
Seville High 61°F 61°F 68°F 72°F 83°F 88°F 93°F 94°F 85°F 78°F 67°F 63°F
Low 43°F 41°F 48°F 53°F 58°F 64°F 68°F 69°F 65°F 60°F 51°F 45°F
Rainfall 12 days 11 days 12 days 12 days 12 days 9 days 6 days 6 days 9 days 12 days 12 days 13 days
Málaga High 61°F 60°F 65°F 69°F 76°F 82°F 87°F 88°F 82°F 75°F 66°F 62°F
Low 45°F 44°F 49°F 54°F 58°F 64°F 69°F 72°F 67°F 60°F 52°F 46°F
Rainfall 12 days 11 days 12 days 12 days 12 days 9 days 6 days 6 days 9 days 12 days 12 days 13 days
Valencia High 63°F 61°F 66°F 70°F 76°F 83°F 87°F 87°F 82°F 78°F 68°F 63°F
Low 43°F 43°F 48°F 53°F 59°F 66°F 72°F 73°F 67°F 60°F 51°F 44°F
Rainfall 12 days 11 days 12 days 12 days 12 days 9 days 6 days 6 days 9 days 12 days 12 days 13 days
Granada High 57°F 56°F 64°F 69°F 79°F 86°F 94°F 94°F 83°F 76°F 64°F 59°F
Low 36°F 36°F 42°F 48°F 53°F 60°F 65°F 66°F 59°F 53°F 44°F 37°F
Rainfall 12 days 11 days 12 days 12 days 12 days 9 days 6 days 6 days 9 days 12 days 12 days 13 days

Weather data provided by Forecast.io

Cost of stay in Spain

Want to travel smart? Here you can check out the average cost of accommodations per night in Spain.

    0 49 98 147 196
  • $130 Jan
  • $146 Feb
  • $151 Mar
  • $163 Apr
  • $165 May
  • $172 Jun
  • $188 Jul
  • $191 Aug
  • $169 Sep
  • $163 Oct
  • $143 Nov
  • $155 Dec
    0 49 98 147 196
  • $98 Jan
  • $112 Feb
  • $122 Mar
  • $125 Apr
  • $126 May
  • $132 Jun
  • $157 Jul
  • $164 Aug
  • $123 Sep
  • $121 Oct
  • $105 Nov
  • $126 Dec
    0 49 98 147 196
  • $33 Jan
  • $38 Feb
  • $42 Mar
  • $47 Apr
  • $47 May
  • $49 Jun
  • $52 Jul
  • $51 Aug
  • $45 Sep
  • $45 Oct
  • $39 Nov
  • $45 Dec
    0 49 98 147 196
  • $119 Jan
  • $134 Feb
  • $148 Mar
  • $145 Apr
  • $157 May
  • $179 Jun
  • $208 Jul
  • $212 Aug
  • $163 Sep
  • $149 Oct
  • $129 Nov
  • $163 Dec
    0 49 98 147 196
  • $76 Jan
  • $86 Feb
  • $93 Mar
  • $97 Apr
  • $102 May
  • $104 Jun
  • $112 Jul
  • $115 Aug
  • $102 Sep
  • $98 Oct
  • $83 Nov
  • $89 Dec

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