The Best Time of Year to Visit Spain

The thrill of the Pamplona bull run!

For most people, the mere thought of going to Spain, whatever the time of year, is a reason to be excited. But if you really want to get the most out of your trip, spend some time before you book to think about what it is you’re looking for in a vacation. Are you a heat-loving sun-worshipper? Do you enjoy local culture and festivals? Or do you want to experience the thrill of skiing down some of the finest slopes in the world? Here are just a few things to consider when planning your next Spanish getaway!

The Climate Counts

Even those of us who love the heat may find the summer months in some parts of Spain hard to take! With its Mediterranean climate, the southern parts of the country including Malaga, Cadiz and the city of Seville get extremely hot in the summer months, reaching up to 93˚F in July and August. While this makes it the perfect time to lie on a beach and work on your tan, it can make other activities uncomfortable which is why spring and fall are both great seasons to vacation in the south. Despite being further north, cities along the northeast coast including Barcelona and those that make up the Costa Brava, can also heat up in the summer and the coastal areas in particular can get quite humid. It’s also wise to bear in mind that if you’re visiting the central part of the country such as Madrid in peak summer, there isn’t even the option of cooling off by jumping in the ocean! For this reason alone, planning a visit during the cooler months is a much better option.

Festival Fun

Spain is known for its festivals and no one knows how to throw a good party like the Spaniards! If your idea of the perfect vacation is immersing yourself in the local culture then you’ll definitely want your trip to coincide with one of Spain’s fabulous festivals. Probably the most famous of all the country’s events is the annual Running of the Bulls, part of the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona which takes place in early July. Being in northern Spain, you may not experience such stifling temperatures as the south but the town will, of course, be packed with tourists – and those daring enough to attempt the run! Just as crazy, but certainly not as dangerous, is the fun Tomatina Tomato fight which happens in Buñol, just outside of Valencia. Occurring in August this festival attracts a younger crowd, often fuelled with plenty of Spanish wine, so if you prefer something a little more adult-oriented there are always plenty of flamenco and folk music festivals happening in all parts of the country. From Granada’s International Festival of Music and Dance in June and July and the Guitar Festival of Córdoba to the highly respected Bienal de Flamenco, which takes place every two years in Seville during September, the Spanish people are always ready to celebrate with a mix of dance and music unique to their culture.

The Wonders of Winter


Christmas in Spain – a most magical time of year

With so many beautiful, sunny and warm locales in Spain, it can be easy to forget that the country is also home to the most breathtaking mountains, many of which come alive in the winter months. If strapping on skis is more your style than sunning yourself on a beach, a visit to Spain during the winter months is essential. With its proximity to so many world class ski slopes, including those at Sierra Nevada, located just outside Granada in the south, to Baqueira Beret high in the Catalonian Pyrenees, anyone visiting Spain with a desire to hit the slopes will be spoiled for choice! Another good reason to visit Spain during the winter months is the abundance of celebrations surrounding Christmas and the new year. Religious celebrations and festive events start early in December, officially on December 8th, Immaculate Conception Day and last right through the new year and the Epiphany on January 6th. This special time of year is perfect for visiting one of the many Christmas markets, the largest and most well-known being in Barcelona and even trying your luck at ‘El Gordo’, the huge Spanish annual national lottery that has taken place on December 22nd since 1812, where the winning numbers are charmingly sung by school children.

Whatever time of year you decide to visit Spain, you can always count on a warm welcome, great food and a culturally-rich experience that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Photo Credits:  Free Images/ Visual Hunt