The best time of year to visit Spain depends on where you want to go and the seasonal weather in that area. Spain is diverse and offers a wide range of sights, activities and attractions across the country. But because it’s so large and the terrain is varied, the weather in Spain can differ significantly from North to South and from the Balearic to Canary Islands.
The majority of crowds will choose to visit Spain during the hot and sunny summer months. As the days are long, seas are warm and families can enjoy time together during school holidays. However, Spain is beautiful during other seasons and offers a lush spring, balmy autumn and bright winter.
Let us help you decide the best time of year to visit Spain by looking at where to go during each season. You can then pick a location and time of year that suits you and your holiday needs.
Spain’s seasons and the best time to visit
While perfect holiday weather can never be guaranteed and we live in a time where freak weather situations occur. It’s always a good idea to do a little research and learn what kind of weather is expected. For example, Seville during August is far too hot for most people, Madrid in December can be very cold and San Sebastian in April is pretty wet.
The 4 seasons in Spain and the rest of Europe are defined by Northern Hemisphere Meteorological seasons:
- Spring is from 1st March to 31st May
- Summer is from 1st June to 31st August
- Autumn is from 1st September to 31st November
- Winter is from 1st December to 31st February
As expected, most people head to Spain in summer but we encourage you to think about other times of year to visit Spain. Not only is it likely to be cheaper and less crowded you will be helping to combat over tourism.
*RELATED article: The ultimate Spain travel experience bucket list
Spain during Spring
As the most visited city in Spain, Barcelona becomes very busy during summer. Visit Barcelona during spring to enjoy the city with fewer crowds. Queues for main tourist attractions will be shorter and you can still enjoy a walk on the beach or sitting in an open plaza with a coffee. Blossom trees bloom early in Spain so the streets and city parks are filled with pretty pink and white flowers.
Visit the Costa Brava
In peak summer the Costa Brava is full of holiday makers and day trips from Barcelona. But in spring it is relatively quiet. The waters are a little cooler but almost having the beach to yourselves will make up for that. Dip a toe in the cool waters or hike along the coastal paths to see amazing views of the rocky coves and turquoise water.
Visit the Balearic Islands
Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca in particular are currently very sought-after summer holiday locations. While the winter time can be a quite cold in the Balearics, head there during Spring to enjoy the tranquillity. You get to see a different side to the party islands during this season as big clubs don’t open until June. Or you can visit the historic old towns and sightsee in peace.
*RELATED article: A quick guide to the different regions of Spain
Spain during Summer
Visit Northern Spain
Northern Spain is known for its lush green landscape. This goes hand in hand with rain and the North is the wettest part of Spain. However, during the summer months, you can enjoy lesser known gorgeous beaches and villages in Northern Spain with little rain. At this time of year most Spanish cities and beaches can exceed 40°c but across Northern Spain they rarely reach 25°c. Which is much more comfortable and you will likely find a hidden gem you’ve never heard of.
Spain during Autumn
Autumn is a great time to visit Madrid as it provides comfortable temperatures and long sunny days. Whereas weather in other seasons can be very extreme in Madrid. At this time of year you will also find queues for art galleries shorter and finding tables in restaurants much easier.
Summer heat can be unbearable in Seville so it’s wise to visit during Autumn when temperatures drop 10 degrees or so. Spring in Seville is also nice weather but the Easter Semana Santa festivities and April Feria means lots of crowds and high accommodation prices.
Visit wine regions
Spain has many top wine regions in which to learn about and sample local wines. Grape harvest in Spain is during September and October. So, autumn is when there are lots of fun events and fiestas in the wine regions.
Spain during Winter
Visit the Canary Islands
Winter is the perfect time to visit the Canary Islands. As the Southernmost location in Spain, all the islands are warm and sunny. Rain may hit the North end of the islands due to the tropical terrain but Southern beaches and towns are as open and inviting as during summer months.
Visit the Costa del Sol
Another great winter sun spot is the Costa del Sol. The stretch of coastline along Andalusia is still basking in sunshine at this time of year. Finding the perfect space in the beach couldn’t be easier. But even if a few cloudy days occur you can always chill in a chiringuito.
Visit ski resorts
Snow isn’t what you first imagine when you think of Spain but there are some amazing ski resorts in the North and South of Spain. Spain’s ski season starts in Winter (usually in December) and ends in Spring (around April). There might not be snow on the ground level but there is plenty up in the mountains. With access to a range of slopes for all levels and lots of fun winter snow activities.
*RELATED article: 8 Surprising Sights to See in Spain
I hope this guide to the best time to visit Spain by season has been helpful. If you are not restricted to traveling at a specific time of year, this info should help you choose the best season in which to visit Spain.
Other Seeking the Spanish Sun travel guides you might enjoy…