The best time to go to Spain 🇪🇸

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Although Spain can be visited all year round, on this text we are going to talk about the best time to go to Spain.

Climate conditions change greatly throughout the year, and they also change from one region of Spain to another. Spain is not a large country when compared to the US or Australia. But you will be surprised to know how conditions can change from one part of the country to another.

On this text we want to help you with your choice with tips and information: each period of the year offers opportunities and drawbacks for a road trip. And we want to be sincere with you: the fact that Spain is open all year round doesn’t mean the 12 months of the year are equally suited for a road trip.


SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Seasons are clearly defined in most of Spain, even more so in the regions of the interior of the country. The Canary Islands are a completely different matter, and we’ll deal with them later.

Spain in winter

best time to go to spain: winter
WINTER: it doesn’t happen every day… but…

Winter in Spain, between December and March, is the coldest period of the year. It is not unusual for temperatures to drop below 0ºC (32º F). The highest mountains are covered with snow, and it is the period of the year when ski resorts open their doors to the public.

When a cold wave hits the country, there might be road closures due to the presence of ice and snow on the surface. These road closures are not restricted to mountain regions, they are common in the interior of the country too.

Another outstanding feature of the winter period is that the number of hours of daylight is quite small, compared to other periods of the year. You can expect sunset at around 6 pm in winter.

While we don’t think winter is a bad period of the year for urban tourism in Spain, it is definitely not top of the list when it comes to planning a road trip.

Winter is a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you intend to visit a ski resort or a snow destination.
  • … avoiding mass tourism is a priority – it is the period of the year with less tourists in Spain, even more so outside the main cities. If you plan on visiting nature destinations, including National Parks, you will have the privilege of doing so on your own.
  • … you want to stretch your budget to the maximum. It is low season all throughout Spain. This is particularly the case for cities like Barcelona or Madrid, with the lowest accommodation prices of the year.
  • … you want the opportunity to see a Spain completely different from the traditional postcards.

Winter is not a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you want to make the most of your daytime. As it gets dark at around 6 pm, you won’t be able to cover as much as you would do in other periods of the year.
  • … stable and firm weather is your thing.
  • warm weather is your thing. Temperatures inland tend to verge on the freezing point for most of the winter nights.
  • … you want to avoid any risks associated with winter driving.
  • … you intend to visit the Balearic Islands – it is not the right time of the year for that specific destination.

Spain in spring

best time to go to spain: spring
SPRING: lovely colours everywhere.

Spring in Spain, between April and June, is a period of transition from the harshness of winter to the sun-drenched days of the summer. A cold wave might make the temperatures drop, but the extreme temperatures of winter are gone.

Days grow longer, and in May and June, in particular, the number of hours of daylight is quite spectacular, with the sunset at around 9:30 pm.

Spring is a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you want to make the most of your daytime. As the season approaches June, daylight hours increase considerably.
  • … you are after pleasant weather. Neither too cold nor too hot.
  • … you want to avoid the tourist crowds that visit Spain during the summer. Tourism arrivals slowly increase, but it’s still nowhere as crowded as during July and August.
  • .. you want to stretch your budget. While the lowest season of the year is gone, prices are still much more friendly than during the height of the summer months.
  • … you plan on visiting nature destinations, including National Parks. They look so lovely during the period!

Spring is not a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you intend to visit the Balearic Islands – it is still too cold to be able to enjoy the beaches.

Spain in summer

best time to go to spain: sunny summer
SUMMER: it doesn’t get much nicer that this.

Summer in Spain, between July and September, is the hottest period of the year, with dry weather and plenty of sun on the sky.

Days continue to be quite long during the period, allowing for an excellent enjoyment of your time.

Summer is a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you are after hot and sunny weather.
  • … you want to make the most of your daytime.
  • … you want to visit the Balearic Islands, it’s the right time of the year if you intend to enjoy the beach.

Summer is not a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you want to avoid the crowds. It’s high season in Spain, which translates in hundreds of thousands of tourists along the coastline. You will find the most expensive prices of the year too.
  • … extreme heat in specific regions of the interior of Spain (Andaluzia comes to mind) might make for a very uncomfortable experience.

Spain in autumn / fall

best time to go to spain: the colours of fall
AUTUMN / FALL: a sight to be seen.

Autumn in Spain, between October and December, is a period of transition from the sun-drenched days of the summer to the harshness of winter.

Days grow shorter, and in November and December, in particular, the number of hours of daylight hours is quite small, with the sunset at around 5:30 pm.

Autumn is a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you are after pleasant weather.
  • … you want to avoid the tourist crowds that visit Spain during the summer.
  • … you want to visit nature destinations. It is a beautiful time of the year in the forests and the mountains of Spain.

Autumn is not a good choice for a road trip in Spain if…

  • … you want to make the most of your day. In November and December the number of daylight hours is quite small.

NOT THE BEST TIME TO GO TO SPAIN: HIGH SEASON

EASTER IN SPAIN: strong emotions, huge crowds, high prices.

We all know that high season means high prices and hordes of tourists. Probably no the best time to go to Spain. Let’s have a look at the main critical periods of the year in Spain, tourism-wise:

  • Semana Santa (Easter Week). There is a long list of cities in Spain where the celebration of Easter is a huge thing. Even in cities where such tradition doesn’t exist (like Barcelona or Madrid), many tourists make the most of the long bank holiday.
  • July. School is over and July is the first month of holidays for Spaniards – and half of Europe too. You can expect crowds and full prices everywhere.
  • August. For decades, Spaniards took their holidays in August. It is still very much the case, and along with July, August is the most expensive period of the year accommodation wise.
  • December Bank Holiday. Two important bank holidays, on 6 December and 8 December, end up forming the most important extended bank holiday of the year. Expect high prices and absurd crowds in the main cities.
  • “fiestas”. Local festivities are such an important part of Spanish culture! While fascinating to watch, they usually imply crowds and high prices. The fiestas calendar is far too complex to detail here, but it is always a good idea to check accommodation prices in the places you plan to visit to avoid any surprises.

GOING TO THE CANARY ISLANDS?

LANZAROTE: open all year round.

It is not by chance that the Canary Islands are known as the Islas Afortunadas (Lucky Islands). Due to their latitude, they enjoy a sub-tropical climate where low temperatures are unheard of.

If you are planning a road trip on the Canary Islands, choose whichever month of the year suits your calendar (and budget) best!

THE PERFECT MONTH TO GO TO SPAIN

JUNE: the fields of Castilla at its very best.

We opened this text stating that Spain can be visited all year round.

But if you want to know our personal opinion about the best time to go to Spain, there is one fantastic month to tour Spain, the month of June. For several reasons:

  • extremely long hours of daylight. In mid-June, you can expect total darkness after 11pm.
  • the temperatures are just wonderful, a bit on the warm side, but safe from the summer heat.
  • you can enjoy the beach.
  • for road trippers, the sight of the fields full of flowers is wonderful.
  • while prices tend to go up as the month advances, they are nowhere as expensive as in July or August.

If you can’t make it to Spain in June, consider May, September or October as worthy alternatives.

Travelling to Portugal?

If you’d like to know when is the best time of the year to visit Portugal, have a look at the text The best time to go to Portugal.

28 thoughts on “The best time to go to Spain 🇪🇸”

  1. Hi Tony,

    We are 2 families with young kids planning to visit Spain in this May (2023). We plan to arrive at Barcelona and depart from Madrid. Planning for a trip of 2 weeks. Want to see the real beauty of the country by road (not focussing much on the cities). Can you suggest us the best road trip possible during this time? I understand Spain is a vast country and not possible to cover all of it in 2 weeks time, but, whatever is possible and the best parts.

    Thanks for your videos and blogs. These are very helpful.

    Gracias !!

    Nilesh…. (From India).

    Reply
    • Hi Nilesh, we intend to create a consultancy service to help with requests like yours, but so far it is at a planning stage. Hope it will be ready sometime during 2023. In the meantime, we hope you can make the most of the tips with share in our videos. Best wishes for 2023!

      Reply
  2. Hello, Tony
    My name is Bogdan, I’m from Romania and since I discovered your vlogs, I’ve fallen in love with Spain. I don’t know if I will have time to visit everything that I have proposed (a few vacations), but I will definitely try to do it! I start in October with Seville and Cordoba – one week, then we’ll see again next year.
    Thanks for the work you do!

    Reply
      • Hello, Tony. Again, Bogdan sends you all the best!
        As I told you above, in October I planned a trip to Seville and Cordoba. And I did it! It was the best vacation I’ve ever had. Mostly thanks to you, TONY.
        I said above that I fell in love with Spain….only that I did it from your vlogs, now I’ve seen everything live and my desire to return is maximum!
        Next year I want to go to Madrid, Toledo, Aranjuez, Excorial…
        Once again, I congratulate you and thank you for the work you do!!!!!

        Reply
  3. Hi Tony, we’ll be visiting Madrid for few days around Christmas. I understand that many restaurants and tapa bars will be closing early on Dec 24. Would the fast food establishments such as MacDonald’s be open for dinner on December 24 (and would the fast food be open on Dec 25)? Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Felix, there should be plenty of restaurants and fast food parlors opened both on the evening on the 24 Dec and during Christmas Day too.

      Reply
  4. Hola Tony,

    My husband, Felix, and I are in the initial planning stages for our trip to Spain. Particularly Seville and the town of Osuna. My husbands last name is Osuna and he has deep roots there. Looking forward to viewing all your videos and asking questions. Thank you again.

    Reply
  5. Hi Tony,
    We are planning on going to Madrid and Spain December 25-Jan 05. Would you suggest doing Madrid or Spain first or vice versa? Are most things open during theses times?

    Reply
    • Hi Han, the order in your itinerary depends on many factors, but theoretically Madrid could be equally done at the beginning or at the end. Most things will close on 1 January. Outside Madrid, shops will close on Sundays and bank holidays.

      Reply
  6. Hi Tony & Cecilia, we are planning a +/- 30-day trip to southern Spain between mid Jan and mid Feb to escape winter in Boston. We have been watching many of your YouTube videos and find them very helpful. Our itinerary is as follows: Barcelona 6 nights, Valencia 4 nights, Seville 4 nights, Cadiz 2 nights, Malaga 3 nights, Cordoba 2 nights, Granada 4 nights and we depart from Madrid after 3 nights. We plan to use the train between cities except possibly for the Cadiz – Malaga leg where we may rent a car. Are there any changes that you would suggest? Other than the Barcelona stay we could make changes.

    Reply
    • Hi Rich, your itinerary sounds quite reasonable but for the Madrid part, which feels on the short side of things. You could take one day from Valencia and one from Málaga and transfer them to Madrid. Otherwise, it looks great. All the best.

      Reply
  7. Thanks for the prompt response.

    We recognized that more time in Madrid is needed, but thought we would circle back there when we go to northern Spain on a future trip.

    I was also thinking of reducing Granada by a night (from 4 to 3) and adding a night to Cadiz (from 2 to 3). Does that seem reasonable?

    Reply
    • Rich, it doesn’t make sense to allocate the same amount of time to the city of Granada as to the city of Cádiz. Granada has far more content.

      Reply
      • thanks. After watching the videos on Cadiz (yours and others) we became very concerned that we had not allocated enough time but we will take your advice.

        We are sorting through our lodging options. Would it be ok if we bounced some of the hotels we are considering off you before we finalize our bookings?

        Reply
  8. Hi Tony, I come across your Youtube Channel & delighted to find it.

    I have about 4 weeks holiday to spend & now I’ve decided to Spain & Portugal – around March and April 2024. But I am a bit overwhelming with the choice of destinations/attractions.

    Would you kind enough to suggest or sequence the itinerary for us so we don’t backtracking I can land in Barcelona or Madrid.

    We don’t mind to drive on the rent car if that is easy to cover the trip to Portugal or Andalucía cost and time efficiently

    Barcelona, Valencia (Las Fallas), Madrid, Salamanca, Porto, Lisbon, the south to Seville or smaller cities for Semana Santa , Cadiz, Rhonda, Granada, Cordoba, Toledo back to Madrid

    Let me know if you can assist or discuss on different venue, also use your guide apps

    Kind Regards
    John

    Reply
    • Hi John, be very welcome to the site and YouTube channel. We intend to create a consultancy service to help with queries like yours, but so far it is at a planning stage. But we’ll leave you with a couple of useful tips. This video on how many days to dedicate to the most important Spanish cities should be of help. If you are planning to visit Andalusia during Easter you should have booked your accommodation quite a while ago, it’s the highest season of the year in the region. All the best.

      Reply
  9. Thank You for your reply and video, saw the accommodations options in Andalusia – there are still some available but the rate are high, may consider small town or other regions, Cheers.

    Reply
  10. Hi Tony,
    I’ve been watching all your Spain & Portugal videos. They are very helpful and have lots of tips. We are coming to Spain & Portugal this summer (this is the only time is possible due to the school). We are landing in Madrid June 22nd in the morning and spending there until June 25th. We are planning to rent a car and do a road trip through Spain & Portugal.
    I have a favor to ask your opinion about our itinerary, not sure if we should start with Andalusia or not because of the heat. I know you always suggest to stay more for each city; however, unfortunately, we don’t have that much time.
    Should we start first with south due to hot weather as Toledo, Cordoba, Granada, Gibraltar, Seville, Lisbon, Porto, Salamanca, Madrid (leave the car), Valencia (train), & end Barcelona ( we have a plane ticket from Barcelona).
    Or this is our initial plan:
    Madrid June 22 – 25
    Toledo 25
    Stay in Salamanca on June 25th
    Porto June 26
    Lisbon June 27 – 30
    Sintra ( not sure if we should include this place due to so many tourist queues to the palace and road congestion)
    Seville July 1st
    Gibraltar July 2nd
    Cordoba July 3-4
    Granada July 5
    Valencia July 6
    Barcelona July 7-10
    I would appreciate if you could give your opinion and recommendation about the itinerary. We are aware we may not see everything in each city we plan to visit but we don’t know when we can have this opportunity again.
    Thanks a lot,
    Jane

    Reply
    • Hi Jane, we intend to create a consultancy service to help with queries like yours, but so far it is at a planning stage. But looking at the time you intend to dedicate to quite a number of cities, the question is why? There are many places in Spain you won’t be visiting during your trip so, why not dedicate the time they deserve to the ones you are going to visit? If you go to Seville one day, how you will decide which must-see places you are not going to see? Your present itinerary looks like a mad rush we try to discourage people from doing. All the best.

      Reply

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