When is the Best Time to Visit Spain?
Depending on the region, spring & fall (all of Spain), or in the summer (only the coastal regions and the north). Andalusia can also be visited in the winter.
Spain by the Seasons
Spain four distinct seasons, but due to its size, the country has various climates. The meseta and Ebro basin have a continental climate (scorching summers, cold/dry winters). The Pyrenees bear the brunt of the cold north and northwestern winds, resulting in moderate temperatures and heavy rainfall to the northern and northwestern coasts, and therefore green landscapes. The Mediterranean coast has the most pleasant climate of Spain, getting hotter as you go south.
Spring (April to June): Spring begins as early as March (in Andalusia) and the entire peninsula – except for the mountain regions – begins to bloom by mid-April. For walkers and cyclists, May is a perfect time to travel, as the weather is warm but not too hot. The summer season kicks off in June and temperatures go up quickly by mid-June.
Summer (July to Sept): July and August are hot and the beaches are crowded: probably months you wish to avoid. Temperatures can get unpleasant, even unbearable anywhere inland. Spaniards leave the city for the coast and the mountains. September, on the other hand, is one of the best months for travel in Spain: pleasant temperatures, al fresco dining.
Fall (Sept to Nov): During late-September, the entire month of October, and going into November, the days still radiate with late-summer warmth, especially in the south of Spain. The beaches are much quieter now. October is the wettest month of the year for most of Spain, but still very doable.
Winter (Dec to March): Al fresco living has come to an end anywhere in Spain. The coastal resort towns are deserted and shut. Andalusia is the best region to visit.
Wondering What to Pack on Your Spain Vacation?
Packing for adventure vacations can be tricky. On the one hand, you want to make sure you’re prepared, but on the other, you don’t want to be toting around more supplies than you need. But fear not – we have you well on your way to being prepared for your Spain vacation.
1. Pack for the Weather.
Spain experiences distinct seasons – cold winters, pleasantly warm spring and fall seasons, and hot, sunny summers. Even so, the weather in Spain can vary – this means that you have to always be equipped with a diverse set of clothing options. The best way to do this is to plan on layers: a base layer, insulating mid layers, and an additional shell. Learn more about layering for adventure travel.
2. Pack for Activity.
If you’re booking an adventure vacation with us, you’ll know exactly what types of activity your trip will include. Use your itinerary to inform your packing decisions – On this trip, for cycling, bring padded shorts and sporting shoes; for hiking, bring proper hiking boots and thick socks; for kayaking and boating, bring a bathing suit.
3. Pack Sensible Footwear.
Regardless of the amount of activity planned for your Spain vacation, never underestimate the importance of solid footwear. Running sneakers, hiking boots and proper socks (including extras!), and river shoes or sandals are a staple on almost any adventure vacation. It’s all about comfort.
4. Pack Skin Protection.
Nothing ruins a vacation experience like painful or irritated skin. We always provide the proper aid should you get a blister. We recommend bringing sunscreen as well as lotion for the dry climate. The dry air can take a toll on skin that is not used to the climate.
5. Additional Items for Your Trip.
If there’s room in your bag, it never hurts to have a few additional items to make your adventure that much more enjoyable. These items include: a camera, a backpack, binoculars, sunglasses, and a hat and cycling gloves.
Travel Tips for Visiting Spain
An old tourism promotion campaign claimed “Spain is different”. With its plethora of colorful fiestas and never-tiring nightlife, its spectrum of scenery and its unique, well-preserved architectural and artistic heritage, Spain provides a great variety of fun and fascination that few European countries can match.
No matter what time of year you choose to explore Spain and all of its treasures, keep these travel tips in mind to ensure you have the best vacation possible!
You can find some attractive and reasonably priced handicrafts such as pottery, colorful rugs, embroidery, leather goods, basket work, and gold & silver jewelry.
The best festivals take place from April to September and include the Semana Santa (Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday) with parades of holy images (Sevilla, Córdoba, Toledo), Fiestas de San Isidro (Madrid’s major fiesta with bullfights, parades and concerts), Sanfermines (Pamplona with the running of the bulls), La Tomatina (crazy tomato-throwing festival in Buol), Festes de la Merc (week-long party in Barcelona).
When visiting churches, cathedrals and other religious sites, dress modestly (covered shoulders and thighs), please be quiet, and never forget to turn off your cell phone.
4. In the restaurant.
Eating and drinking is a national pastime in Spain. Spanish cooking is typically Mediterranean in its use of olive oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes and peppers. It is the Arabic influences which sets it apart in Europe through spices like saffron and cumin as well as honezed pastries. Lunch is eaten between 1:30 and 4 pm and is usually the main meal of the day. Dinner may be eaten as late as 10 or 11 pm. Many restaurants don’t open before 8:30 or 9 pm. Tapas are a great alternative for those wanting to eat earlier. The law requires menu prices to include service charge. Tipping is a matter of personal choice and 5% is usually plenty. The value added tax (IVA) is 10% and is not always included in the quoted prices at restaurants and hotels.
Spain – with all of its many, distinct regions – offers incredible adventure and sightseeing opportunities outside of our itineraries and our Adventure Travel Consultants would be happy to help you add on more days of activities or travel.