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Best Time to Visit Spain – A Guide to Spain’s Seasons and Regions (2024)

best time to visit spain
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Spain is one of the most affordable and culturally-rich destinations in Western Europe. From seafood paella on the coast to traditional tortillas in the heart of central Spain, there’s no shortage of incredible food. Spain boasts spectacular sights like historic architecture, rugged mountains, idyllic beaches, and volcanic islands. So why not indulge in some of the best cuisine and natural wonders Europe has to offer and take a trip to the country that prioritizes siestas (afternoon naps) – vamos!

The best time to visit Spain will depend on which season you plan to travel and what you want to do. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the different areas of Spain and the best times to visit!

The Best Time to Visit Spain

  • 1. Southern Spain

    If you’re looking for a friendly and sunny place, southern Spain is one of the best choices for year-round travel. The regions Andalucia and Murcia make up southern Spain. You’ll find everything from white-washed pueblos to popular beach towns like Almeria and Malaga along the coast. Sevilla is one of southern Spain’s most-loved cities, known for flamenco shows, friendly locals, and stunning Moorish architecture.

    Besides the year-round sunny weather and vibrant locals, the south of Spain is among the most affordable areas to visit. In towns like Granada, they still practice the tradition of a free tapa with your beer!

    Best Time of Year to Visit Southern Spain – Fall/Spring

    October is one of the best months to visit southern Spain for its mild, walk-friendly weather while still warm enough to swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Temperatures average from 60℉ in the evenings to 80℉ at the hottest point of the day. If you can’t make it in October, try for November or springtime. The fall and spring seasons let you enjoy the best of the south without fainting from the heat in summer or getting too chilly in winter!

    If you can’t plan your trip around the fall or spring, don’t fret. There is still plenty to do throughout the year. Below you’ll find some of the best local events and activities in the south.

    Events and Activities in Southern Spain

    Carnival – February in Andalucia brings the annual mega party known as Carnival. The best place to celebrate Carnival in the south is Cadiz. It’s one of the most flamboyant festivals in all of Spain. Parades, music, and costumes fill Cadiz’s streets for ten days, usually beginning the weekend before Ash Wednesday.

    Flamenco Show – Any time of year is a good time to see a flamenco show in Andalucia, where this style of song and dance first originated. The moving performances are passionate and rooted in the country’s Moorish history.

    Costa del Sol – Beach lovers visiting from May to September will find relief from the heat by swimming along Costa del Sol. About a dozen small towns make up Costa del Sol, with some of the most lively being Marbella and Malaga. The best way to explore Costa del Sol is by renting a car with friends and cruising from town to town and beach to beach!

    Southern Spain
  • 2. Northern Spain

    Northern Spain covers the regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Pais Vasco, Navarra, La Rioja, Aragon, Catalonia, and parts of Castilla y Leon. The north is home to the smallest and most independent regions of Spain. Several have their own dialects, like Catalan in Catalonia, Basque in Pais Vasco, and Gallego in Galicia. Because of their distinct dialects (trust me, they don’t sound much like traditional Spanish!), most regions along the coast of northern Spain are not the best place to learn Spanish if you’re going to immerse in the language. However, inland cities like Burgos and Salamanca are excellent options!

    Northern Spain has some of the most stunning scenery in the country. From rolling hills in villages like Zumaia to barely-touched coves in Galicia, northern Spain is often overlooked compared to big cities like Barcelona. If connecting with nature is one of your goals while visiting Spain, the north should be one of your top choices!

    Best Time of Year to Visit Northern Spain – Summer/Fall

    Northern Spain has gloomy weather most of the year. The rainy winter and spring are long but help the beautiful greenery thrive year-round. Summer and early fall are the best times of the year to visit for the most sunshine and warm weather. Keep in mind that much of northern Spain’s warm weather averages from 50℉ to 77℉, so bring layers for the evenings!

    If you have your heart set on Catalonia, the region home to Barcelona and coastal towns like Sitges and Figueres, you can extend the best-time-to-visit window from late spring to mid-fall. Weather in Catalonia tends to be more Mediterranean and less rainy than the rest of the north.

    Events and Activities in Northern Spain

    Semana Santa – Historic cities in Castilla and Leon, like Burgos and Avila, host some of the most traditional Semana Santa processions. They are the perfect cities to visit if you want to immerse yourself in the cultural and religious aspects of Semana Santa. Processions take place for 10 days in the evenings leading up to Easter Sunday.

    Camino de Santiago – Mild summer weather in northern Spain makes it the best time of year to embark on the Camino de Santiago. The complete route starts in Jean-Pied-de-Port, France, and ends about 30 days later in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. What makes it a challenge? The pilgrimage is done entirely on foot! Hundreds of thousands of travelers make the journey each year.

    Vineyards – La Rioja is the biggest and most renowned wine region in Spain. You can spend a day on the outskirts of the capital, Logroño, taking tours of local vineyards and setting up wine tastings.

    Northern Spain
  • 3. Central Spain

    Central Spain may not have as many coastal towns as other parts of the country, but its historic villages and buzzing cities like Madrid and Valencia make it a great area to explore if you’re a first-time visitor.

    The regions in central Spain include Extremadura, Castilla – La Mancha, Madrid, and Comunidad Valenciana. Touring central Spain offers a mix of tradition, city life, and access to the southeast coast through Comunidad Valenciana. If you’re looking for variety, central Spain has it!

    Best Time of Year to Visit Central Spain – Fall/Spring

    Summers in the heart of Spain are hot and dry. If you’re planning a trip from June to August, make time to visit the beaches in Valencia and Alicante to escape the dry heat. The best time of the year to explore popular destinations like Salamanca and Segovia on foot are the fall and spring when it’s cool and comfortable. Winter in central Spain is chilly, but the holidays bring bright lights and a festive feel to Madrid.

    Events and Activities in Central Spain

    Las Fallas – Valencia hosts Las Fallas every March. Las Fallas is a celebration of Saint Joseph, and it’s famous for the eccentric way it’s celebrated. The five-day event is complete with fireworks and setting giant parade floats on fire. There’s no other festival in Spain quite like this one!

    La Tomatina – The world’s biggest food fight takes place every August in the small town of Buñol, Comunidad Valenciana. This massive tomato fight is a one-day event bringing in 20,000+ visitors a year. Why tomatoes? They’re good for your skin and are easier to clean up en masse than you’d think!

    Acueducto de Segovia – The Old Town of Segovia and its ancient aqueduct are official UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The aqueduct is one of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Spain, and the massive structure leads you into the charming cobblestone streets of Segovia. Segovia is a short train ride from Madrid and makes for the perfect day trip!

    Central Spain
  • 4. Islands in Spain

    The Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands are equally different and stunning. The luxurious Balearic Islands sit along the east coast of Barcelona in the turquoise Mediterranean waters. Ibiza and Mallorca have built a reputation as party destinations, but their smaller neighbors, Formentera and Menorca, have some of the most pristine beaches in the country.

    Tucked in the southwest corner of Spain near Africa are the Canary Islands. Volcanoes, black-sand beaches, and weather make the Canary Islands appealing if you’re looking for a warm-weather destination that doesn’t get too hot or cold. All of the Canary Islands sit in the Atlantic Ocean, where whale and dolphin watching are popular activities.

    Best Time of Year to Visit Islands in Spain

    The Canary Islands have year-round warm weather, rarely dropping below 55℉ at its coldest. Thanks to its weather and scenery, it’s the best destination in Spain for a winter getaway. Planning a trip to the Canary Islands outside of winter? You can still do all the same activities with slightly warmer weather in any other season of the year!

    The Balearic Islands have a distinct summer and winter season. Winters are cold and humid, so it’s not the best time of year to swim in the Mediterranean. Early spring and late fall are a toss-up across the Balearics. You may get lucky and visit during a warm week or be limited to the islands’ charming villages; not the worst thing! May to June and September to October are some of the best months for the Balearics if you want to enjoy the beaches to the fullest without the overwhelming crowds that come in July and August.

    Events and Activities on Islands in Spain

    Festival of Sant Joan – The festival of Sant Joan is one of the most popular annual events in Mallorca and Menorca, Balearic Islands. If you can book far in advance, Menorca’s festival is worth planning for. All-black Menorcan horses storm the streets with partygoers in celebration of the patron Saint John. Mallorca is the bigger island of the two, so there are still plenty of festivities there also.

    Carnival – You’ll find the biggest Carnival celebration in Spain (and the second biggest in the world!) in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The festivities last about a month, from January to February. Santa Cruz is the hub for Carnival in the Canary Islands, and to immerse like a local, you’ll need to join both the daytime and nighttime parties!

    Mount Teide – Visit one of the few active volcanoes in Spain on the island of Tenerife. The Teide National Park leads you up winding roads to the volcano summit, where you can take the cable car up to more than 3,500 feet high. The views make you wonder if you are still in Spain, or if you’re on another planet!

    Islands in Spain


By now, you’ve seen there are plenty of destinations worth visiting in Spain throughout the year. The best time of year to visit Spain depends on the weather, activities, and cultural events you want to experience.

From idyllic islands to sprawling cities and hilltop villages, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Spain. If you need more tips for traveling to Spain, check out our Spain packing list. Buen Viaje!

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