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Rain or Shine? What to Expect in Spain
For many, the reason they come to Spain is because of the weather. Northern Europeans flock to Spain to lie on Spain's famous beaches with supposedly guaranteed sun all day, every day. Spain's weather isn't as simple as that. One of the biggest myths about Spain is that the weather is always good.
It is true that in the summer it will usually be sunny, especially in the south but in most of the rest of the country too. However, as the picture above shows, there is never any guarantee! It's also worth noting that July and August can be too hot in some cities.
Useful Information on Weather in Spain
- Average Monthly Temperatures
- Average Number of Days of Rain
Weather in Spain by Month and Season
For convenience, the Spanish seasons are split into equal three-month chunks, when in reality they are not so evenly divided. For more specific advice, click on the relevant month below each season.
- Winter Weather in Spain Changeable conditions. Usually dry, except perhaps in the north-west, often sunny but likely to be chilly too. One of the more pleasant European countries to be in during winter, but don't expect sunbathing weather.
- Spring Weather in Spain The off-season is a good time to visit Spain. In the south of the country, you should be able to get out your bikini, particularly as we approach summer.
- Summer Weather in Spain Hot weather all round!
- Fall Weather in Spain Summer often lingers in Spain longer than in other countries, with the opportunity for a late trip to the beach possible until October.
Weather in Spain by Region
- Weather in Madrid, Barcelona & Valencia Check out what Spain's biggest cities have in store for you
- Weather in Andalusia Spain's warmest region
- Weather in the Rest of Spain Check out the weather in Spain's lesser-traveled regions.
See also: 19 Best Regions in Spain: from Worst to BestContinue to 2 of 10 below.
02 of 10
Winter Weather in Spain
Unless you're in Andalusia, the year starts cold in Spain. Hardest hit are the high altitude central cities like Madrid, Toledo and Salamanca or, more precisely, the countryside around these cities (cities usually protect themselves a little with their own warmth). In Madrid it is not uncommon to get a mini 'heatwave' (of sorts) in January or February when you can at least sit on an outside terraza drinking coffee without the need of a coat!
- December Weather in Spain
- Festivals in December in Spain
- January Weather in Spain
- January Weather in Madrid
- January Weather in Barcelona
- February Weather in Spain
- Festivals in February in Spain
To the north and south of these regions things are a little warmer. Andalusia will still be reasonably warm and sunny while the north coast will be warmed slightly by the Atlantic. Galicia (in the north-west) is extremely wet – expect up to 20 days a month of rain during the winter in these parts.
As you can see from the picture, Spain does get snow. The likelihood of snow depends largely on where you are in the country. Spain's mountainous regions are the most likely regions for snow (which is lucky for the ski resorts!). Andalusia has little (apart from in the Sierra Nevada mountains) and Madrid and Salamanca are usually too dry (which means beautiful blue skies even when it is freezing! The north coast, on the whole, is too warm – you get more rain here than snow. However, when snow does hit this region, as it did in January 2006, expect it in huge quantities (several feet).
Useful Links for Spain in the Winter
Continue to 3 of 10 below.
- Skiing in Spain
- Christmas in Spain
03 of 10
Spring Weather in Spain
Time for the beach! Temperatures in spring (and autumn) will be warm enough to get a tan, but cool enough not to burn (so much!) and this is a very popular time to go to the beach. Easter falls in the spring, which is one of the most popular times for the Spanish to travel.
- March Weather in Spain
- Festivals in March in Spain
- April Weather in Spain
- Festivals in April in Spain
- May Weather in Spain
The only problem is that the weather isn't quite so dependable at this time. The Spanish have an expression: “hasta el cuarenta de mayo no te quites el sayo” (until the 40th May – i.e. June 10 – don't take off your coat). This is especially the case in Madrid. Though there will have been warm spells since March (maybe even January), you can't guarantee good weather until June. Even on the Costa del Sol you might get a few days of your holiday washed out (it's unlikely, but certainly not impossible). The last thing you want when you've spent a fortune on your holiday is to spend it staring at the rain you're so familiar with from home!
Useful Links for Spain in the Spring
Continue to 4 of 10 below.
- Semana Santa (Easter) in Spain
04 of 10
Summer Weather in Spain
A kind of a centrifugal effect hits Spain in the summer, with all of the inhabitants of the central cities gravitating towards the coast.
This is because Spain's internal cities get unbearably hot in the summer (in particular Madrid and Seville), with temperatures regularly reaching 45ºC (113ºF). With the Spanish away, the tourists come and play, but with few locals around (especially in August) a lot of places will be closed. Don't worry, the really touristy places will be open (museums, art galleries, etc) but that café your guide raves about will no doubt be closed for the summer. (A bar that is closed for the summer and not just for a siesta will say 'Cerrado por vacaciones' – keep a look out for that sign so you don't waste your time checking back again and again!)
- June Weather in Spain
- Festivals in June in Spain
- July Weather in Spain
- Festivals in July in Spain
- August Weather in Spain
- Festivals in August in Spain
Spain's coasts are the most popular places in the summer. Touristy areas such as the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca will be full of northern Europeans while some of the more out-of-the-way beaches in Galicia, Oviedo, and parts of the Costa Blanca will be full of Spaniards (those Madrileños and Sevillanos who are escaping the heat of their own cities!)
Useful Links for Spain in the Summer
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
- Spain's Best Beaches
- Nudist Beaches & Resorts in Spain
05 of 10
Fall Weather in Spain
As the Spanish go back to work and Europe's youths go back to their countries nicely bronzed (read: salmon pink), Spain is returning to the kinds of temperatures that don't leave you feeling like you're trapped in a baker's oven.
While you may think of September as 'fall' or 'Autumn', September is still very much summer in Spain, albeit not as painfully hot as in August.
The beach is still a possibility at this time of year, especially on the Costa del Sol, but also the Costa Blanca and Barcelona too, at least in September.
September Weather in Spain
- September Weather in Spain – Overview
- Madrid Weather in September
- Barcelona Weather in September
October Weather in Spain
- October Weather in Spain – Overview
- Madrid Weather in October
- Barcelona Weather in October
November Weather in Spain
- November Weather in Spain – Overview
- Madrid Weather in November
- Barcelona Weather in November
Events in Spain in Fall
Continue to 6 of 10 below.
- Festivals in September in Spain
- Festivals in October in Spain
- Festivals in November in Spain
06 of 10
Average Monthly Temperatures in Spain
This is a table to show the average monthly temperatures in Spain. The number to the left of the '/' shows the average minimum temperature for that city in that month, while the number to the right shows the average maximum.Continue to 7 of 10 below.
07 of 10
Numbers of Rainy Days per Month in Spain
A table to show the average number of rainy days per month in Spain. The slightest shower counts as a rainy day, so this doesn't mean storms every day. Having said that, it does rain a lot in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia!Continue to 8 of 10 below.
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Weather in Madrid, Barcelona & Valencia
Despite being in the north of Spain, Barcelona isn't a million miles from the French Riviera and so enjoys good weather for much of the year. From July to September, Barcelona enjoys quite hot weather, with average temperatures in excess of 20ºC (68ºF). Note that this includes nighttime temperatures – in the daytime, temperatures can reach 30ºC (86ºF). September and October are typically Barcelona's wettest months.
- How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Barcelona
- Weather now in Barcelona
Madrid is the highest capital city in Europe and its altitude gives it quite unpredictable weather conditions for much of the year. I spent the whole of 2004 in Madrid – up until mid-May I saw glorious sunshine in February and torrential rain in May, although 2005 was far more reasonable. The average temperatures shoot up after May, with July and August being incredibly hot. Many Spaniards leave the city for a couple of months during this time, which can leave the city feeling like a ghost town (albeit inhabited by large quantities of tourists).
- How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Madrid
- Weather now in Madrid
Valencia provides good access to the Costa Blanca, a popular tourist area, and with good reason. The weather isn't as hot as on the Costa del Sol, but is still very pleasant throughout the summer. However, if it is winter sun you are after, Valencia isn't your best bet.
Continue to 9 of 10 below.
- Valencia Guide
- Weather now in Valencia
09 of 10
Weather in Andalusia
Malaga has classic Mediterranean weather – hot, but not too hot, virtually all year round. A little cooler than Seville, thanks to the sea breeze, Malaga probably has the best weather of any city in Spain.
- How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Malaga
- Weather now in Malaga
Seville is the only place I know of in Spain where people have said it was actually too hot to enjoy the city properly. As with Madrid, the locals are all smart enough to get out during the intense heat of July and August, leaving the city to hordes of tourists and little else. If temperatures in excess of 40ºC (100ºF) are normal to you (that'll be people from Phoenix then!) then come to Seville in August – if not, keep away.
Weather now in Seville
It is a rare treat to be able to go to the beach in the morning and skiing in the afternoon, but that is indeed what you can do in Granada. Despite being so far south, weather in Granada in the winter can get quite cold (as low as -15ºC or 5ºF) as the nearby Sierra Nevada mountains bring low temperatures into the city, at least at night – day times can still be quite pleasant. Skiing is possible until early May, with the temperatures in the city of Granada at this time pleasantly warm. You can usually expect constant sunshine throughout the summer, although as the picture above shows, you might occasionally need an umbrella even in August.
Weather now in GranadaContinue to 10 of 10 below.
10 of 10
Weather in the Rest of Spain
Galicia & Asturias
The cities of Santiago de Compostela and A Coruña in Galicia and Oviedo in Asturias are the greenest parts of Spain – and for green, you need rain. Good for ducks and good for those who don't like the extreme cold – the damp weather and proximity to the coast means it rarely gets as cold as Salamanca & Burgos, despite being further north. Nor does it ever get too hot, either. During the year, the average monthly temperature in Oviedo varies between 8ºC and 18ºC (46ºF and 64ºF).
Weather now in Oviedo
The north coast of Spain should be popular with Brits – like with the UK, the Atlantic brings this region some quite grim weather at times. However, this doesn't necessarily mean cold – average temperatures in winter are a couple of degrees higher than in Madrid in Granada. In the summer the weather is warm but nowhere near the temperatures of the south.
- How to Plan the Perfect Trip to San Sebastian and Bilbao
- Weather now in Bilbao
The coldest region in Spain, you're as far north as you can get before the warming effect of the sea comes into force. In nearby Burgos the average winter temperature is just 2ºC (35ºF). Summer temperatures are warm and pleasant, but this is not a place to go to get a tan.
Weather now in Salamanca