Spain is one of Europe’s most popular destinations with something for everyone. It has beaches, vibrant cities, mountains and more. Furthermore, tasty cuisine and rich traditions add more excitement. But, when is the best time to travel to Spain?
The best time to travel to Spain depends on your preferences. Consider if there a certain festival you want to enjoy. Is beach bumming a priority? Do you want to spend long days in nature? Maybe you want to save costs or avoid crowds. While there is no wrong time to visit Spain, certain periods may be better.
While Spain doesn’t have a specific tourist visa, travelers visiting will need a Schengen Visa, which allows you to spend up to 90 days. Keep in mind that this 90-day period is continuous when you’re choosing the best time to visit Spain. If you don’t need a Schengen Visa you’ll need to complete a European Travel Information and Authorization System Check instead.
Weather in Spain
Spain has a Mediterranean climate. It has dry, hot and sunny summers and cold, wet winters. Spring and fall typically have pleasant temperatures and moderate conditions.
Temperatures vary between the northern and southern parts of the country. The south generally experiences warmer temperatures. This usually means hotter summers and milder winders.
Summertime highs can soar up to 90+ degrees Fahrenheit (32+ degrees Celsius). Winter rarely sees temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius).
Spanish Weather Month by Month
- January and February are typically cool and wet. There may be snow in some parts of Spain.
- March and April can be unpredictable when it comes to the weather. Pack your bathing suit, a sweater, sunscreen, and an umbrella!
- By May the temperatures have warmed up and there’s plenty of sunshine. However, Northern Spain may still experience a few cooler days.
- June, July, and August are prime beach weather. This is usually the best time to visit Spain’s coastal areas. Some people may, however, find the hot temperatures too much. Cities are deserted in favor of the coast.
- September has pleasantly warm temperatures, ideal for both sunbathing and sightseeing.
- It may be too cool to want to take a dip in October, but you can still look forward to some warm days. Fall colors decorate the trees and you’ll likely need a jacket for evening strolls.
- November and December are chilly to cold. There’s more rainfall at this time too, and skies are often overcast in northern Spain.
Overall, spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) are the best times to travel to Spain for moderate weather. It’s neither too hot nor too cold. Sightseeing is more pleasant during these periods. Also, you can enjoy exploring Spain’s gorgeous scenery in comfort.
Summer is the best time to visit Spain’s beaches. Winter is naturally the ideal time to visit Spain for people looking forward to snow sports.
Best Time to Travel to Spain to Beat the Crowds
The peak tourist season in Spain is during the summer. July and August are busy in coastal areas and it can be hard to find accommodation. The cities, however, can be incredibly quiet. If you can tolerate high temperatures summer is a great time to dodge city crowds. Keep in mind, however, that a lot of places shut down in the hotter months.
Winter (with the exception of Christmas and New Year) is generally the quietest time to explore Spain.
Spring and fall have reasonable numbers of tourists; places are unlikely to feel like ghost towns but they won’t be overly crowded either.
The Cheapest Time to Visit Spain
The better deals on accommodation, flights, transport within Spain and activities can be found during the low season. Fewer visitors mean that places are often prepared to offer much more competitive deals to entice customers.
The shoulder seasons of spring and fall are usually cheaper times to visit Spain than during the summer. So, if your travel budget is your main concern, this is the best time to visit Spain. Try and avoid major holidays and festivals for the lowest rates. Also, keep in mind that prices are often inflated during school holidays.
No matter when you visit Spain, booking accommodation and making travel plans as far in advance as possible can often yield better deals. And don’t forget to book your Barcelona airport transfers in advance of arriving!
When to Travel to Spain for Fun Festivals
Plan your trip to Spain to coincide with festivals for more diversity. There are cool music festivals and events almost all year round. Some are celebrated nationwide and others have a more regional focus.
Plan ahead to avoid accommodations and tickets being sold out or having to pay top prices.
Here’s when to travel to Spain for some of the best festivals:
The first major Spanish festival of the year is Dia De Los Reyes. It is also known as Three Kings Day and is when Spaniards celebrate Christmas. It is on January 6th each year. It’s largely a fun family affair, with gifts and games. There are also colorful street parades in many towns and cities. Expect ornate floats, elaborate costumes and much merriment.
Later in the month, the San Sebastian Festival features large bonfires, music and dancing. San Sebastian’s drumming demonstrations are especially hypnotic.
Madrid’s CutreCon Film Festival falls at the end of January.
February is an awesome time to visit Spain for pre-Lent carnival festivities. Sitges Carnival, near Barcelona, is one of the nation’s main gay events. There’s extravagance and decadence galore!
Arizkun hosts an unusual festival in early February. People dress up in sheepskin-like jackets to leap across roaring bonfires! The festival’s roots seek to deter evil spirits.
Valencia’s Las Fallas Festival runs from the last week of February to mid-March. It involves making gigantic puppets. There are firework displays each evening. The puppets are eventually burned on The Night of Fire.
People celebrate Semana Santa/Holy Week across Spain in March. There are serene religious processions through the streets. Seville is one of the best places to witness striking holy celebrations for Easter. This is the best time to travel to Spain to join in with religious activities.
Seville hosts its spring fair in April and Barcelona honors its patron saint. Love fills the air, because St. George’s Day is like Valentine’s Day.
Madrid’s biggest festival takes place in mid-May: Fiesta de San Isidro. People wear traditional outfits, savor traditional food and attend diverse concerts and shows.
Early June sees an unusual festival in Castrillo de Murcia: El Colacho. People jump across babies to protect them from bad luck!
Cool down in Granada at the water fights of the Water and Ham Festival. See ancient Pagan rituals at the Night of San Juan in Valencia. Sample tasty wines at Haro Wine Festival.
July hosts one of Spain’s most famous festivals: San Fermin. Pamplona bursts into life while the Running of the Bulls is a highlight. Fireworks and street food fill the evenings. This is the best time to travel to Spain for a vibrant celebration.
In As Neves, the Near Death Festival is eerily bizarre. People who experienced near-death are put in coffins for a street parade!
An August highlight is Tomatina, which is in Bunol. It is essentially a gigantic tomato fight! Furthermore, celebrate Semana Grande (Bilbao) or Major de Gracia (Catalonia).
Wine-lovers can enjoy La Rioja’s grape harvest while film buffs can enjoy San Sebastian’s movie festival. Barcelona celebrates its saint day at the end of the month. Fiesta De La Merce features fireworks, dancing and food.
The 12th of October is El Dia de la Hispanidad. It remembers Columbus landing in the Americas. There’s a large military procession in Madrid, along with patriotic celebrations.
Calling all jazz enthusiasts! This is the best time to travel to Spain because of several fun festivals. There are festivals in Madrid, Barcelona and Granada. Furthermore, there are several film festivals. Jerez’s Sherry Week and All Saints’ Day are in November too.
Spaniards celebrate Christmas with gusto. There are many processions, concerts, and religious services. The Christmas Markets are lively too.
Don’t be alarmed if somebody pulls a practical joke on the 28th. Dia de los Santos Inocentes is akin to April Fools’ Day.
Overall, the best time to travel to Spain is in spring and fall. However, there are great reasons to book a trip at any time of year.