Spain is a dreamy destination with beauty at every turn. Famous for its picturesque beaches, mouthwatering cuisine, rich culture, and lively cities, there’s something for every kind of traveler. While there’s never a bad time to explore this vibrant country, certain times of year are better than others—especially when it comes to specific regions and activities. If you’re planning the ultimate Spanish getaway and you’re not sure where to start, then look no further! Keep reading to find out the best time to visit Spain.
If you’re contemplating a trip during the summer months of June, July, or August, consider visiting Spain in June. Early summer is an ideal time to journey through most of the country, as the weather has yet to reach extreme temperatures and tourists haven’t completely taken over. There’s an exciting variety of activities and events taking place, and music lovers will find an assortment of live festivals taking advantage of the pleasantly warm weather. However, the remaining summer months is when it gets a bit tricky. Spain in July and August sees scorching temperatures and an abundance of tourists. This is not the time for traveling on a budget—these are the peak months, and you’re unlikely to find any deals. It’s best to avoid Costa resorts and Andalusia, which see both tourists from around the world and Spaniards escaping the city heat.
The heat can get so bad in central and southern Spain that you’ll want to avoid spending time outdoors. Northern Spain is the exception, specifically along the Atlantic Coast. Here you’ll find milder temperatures and plenty of sunshine; unfortunately, you’ll also find plenty of tourists. If you don’t mind the hustle and bustle, then this is the best time to visit the region. It’s also important to note that Spain in August sees the temporary closure of many businesses, as the locals choose this month to take a vacation themselves. In fact, all throughout the summer in Andalusia, many businesses are only open in the morning, choosing not to reopen after the afternoon siesta. Highlights of the summer include Pamplona’s San Fermín festival with the Running of the Bulls in July and Buñol’s quirky La Tomatina festival in August.
The fall (September to November) is considered one of the best times to visit Spain, no matter where you go or what you plan to do. Temperatures are cooling down after an intense summer, and tourists are flocking back to their daily lives. The mild temperatures make it perfect beach weather down in southern Spain, as well as an ideal climate to explore the popular cities of Madrid and Barcelona. Since the country is less crowded, now is the time to hit all of the top tourist destinations, from historical landmarks to impressive museums. For all the foodies, fall brings the ripest produce, mushroom foraging excursions, Pujerra’s chestnut festival, and the year’s wine harvest. Spain in October is particularly recommended, with many considering this month the best time to vacation. The one exception is northern Spain, which sees heavy rainfall from October through November. But for the rest of the country, Spain in September through November has budget-friendly deals, smaller crowds, and pleasant temperatures.
In the winter, prices are dropping and the remaining tourists are leaving. Although most people don’t associate wintertime with a trip to Spain, it can be a surprisingly good time to visit—depending on your itinerary. If you’re planning to spend some time in Madrid and want to avoid the crowds, consider heading to Spain in December, when the coldest of the weather is still to come. During January and February, temperatures in Madrid hover just above freezing, and snow is a real possibility.
For all the skiers out there, Sierra Nevada, Formigal, and Baqueira-Beret offer exhilarating slopes. The coastal towns of southern Spain are still popular, with temperatures in the 60s. However, it’s best to skip the north, as the weather is cold and damp. Visiting Spain in January and February guarantees you’ll find some good deals, but some businesses close for the off-season, leaving you with less variety of options. The winter is one of the yummiest seasons; indulge in hearty, warming cuisine, especially around Christmastime. This holiday is the perfect way to experience local culture and traditions. Another important holiday is on January 6th, in celebration of the Three Wise Men.
Aside from the fall, spring is considered the best time to travel Spain. This is a period of reasonable prices and enviable weather. Like early summer, the spring is a busy time for music festivals and other outdoor events. Visit Spain in March and marvel at the last of the almond blossoms blooming down in Andalusia, or head to Seville in April as the sweet smell of orange blossoms fill the air. Spain in May provides the finest beach weather and is considered the best month to visit the country (along with October). Ideal for nature lover’s, the warming weather provides an idyllic backdrop for outdoor activities, such as hiking, cycling, and horseback riding. One highlight of the season is Semana Santa, or Holy Week. The week leading up to Easter is jam-packed with joyous celebrations, and it’s truly a sight to behold; Seville in particular has an extravagant festival. Do keep in mind that this is an extremely popular attraction, and visiting during Holy Week means high prices, lots of tourists, and the need to plan far in advance.