When is the best time to visit Spain?
Generally speaking, May, June, and September are the best months to visit Spain. During these months, it’s comfortably warm and relatively dry in most regions in the country compared to other periods.
The best travel time also depends on your personal preferences and travel style. Therefore, we suggest the best time to go to Spain based on the activities you’re planning to do.
Best time for city trips
Spain has plenty of exciting cities with stunning architecture, history, and cultural highlights. City trips can be made year-round, but to avoid most of the tourist crowds, it’s advisable to explore the cities in April, May, September, or October. This way you’ll escape the summer heat most cities experience, and the chilly weather during the winter months.
Best time for skiing and snowboarding
Spain has several high mountain ranges, such as the Pyrenees in the north and the peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the south. Most of the snow here falls from December and February, which obviously makes it the best time of the year for winter sports. Moreover, ski lifts and ski slopes open during this period.
Best time to avoid the crowds
Traveling anytime outside the summer months enables you to avoid most of the tourist masses. For city trips, the period from November to March is excellent if you want to have the sights all for yourself.
Best time for hiking
Spain has numerous areas to hike, from the mountainous interior of the mainland to the bizarre volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands. The spring and summer months might just be the right time to tie your hiking shoes and hit the trails in Spain. Especially on higher altitudes, the weather will never be as hot as it is along the coastlines and in the cities. Also, during the winter months, the snow might block the way in certain places, which makes tramping impossible.
Best time for sunbathing
The country has a coastline of almost 5000 kilometers and plentiful popular beach resorts, such as Malaga in the south and Benidorm in the east. During the summer months, Spain is one of the sunniest countries in Europe, and getting a tan is guaranteed from June to September.
Best time for birdwatching
The Iberian Peninsula is a prime location for bird lovers, as many species of migratory birds find their way to here. Andalucia is hands down the best region for birding, and the winter is considered to be the most interesting season as the temperatures are mild and many species gather. When you come here between October and March, you can see the impressive cranes, ibis, and black storks.
Best time to book your accommodation
Booking your hotel a few months in advance, generally gives you the best deals. Also, keep an eye out for last-minute bargains. During the winter months, most hotels have vacancies and might offer exceptional deals when booked only days in advance.
Best Time to Visit Spain: Travel Seasons
High season (June to September)
Due to the many sun hours, festivals, vibrant nightlife, and extended opening hours, tourists tend to mainly visit Spain during the summer months. Especially Barcelona, Madrid, Mediterranean coastal resorts, and southern cities such as Sevilla and Granada receive many tourists from June to September. Look for accommodations, tours, and rental cars several months in advance, as Spain is a beloved travel destination among Europeans.
Low season (November to March)
For most parts of the country, the winter is low season. Sunseekers and city trippers combined make up for the majority of Spain’s tourism flow, and they simply prefer to visit the country when the sunshine is warm and the days long. Attractions are less crowded during the winter, the lines are shorter, and the beaches will be more empty.
Shoulder season (April, May, October)
Spring and autumn are far less popular times to visit Spain, but actually, they’re great seasons to travel. Tourist numbers are low, temperatures are pleasant, and spectacular events such as Semana Santa take place during Spring. Hotels are widely available, and many touristic places have their bars and restaurants open.
Best Time to Visit Spain: Weather by Region
Spain measures over 500.000 square kilometers and has a variety of landscapes, which results in different weather types across the country. Here you find an overview of the climate per region.
Northern Spain (Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Basque, La Rioja, Navarre)
With the cooling effect of the Atlantic Ocean, the north doesn’t have the hot summers you’ll experience in central and southern Spain. Even in Summer, the weather is unpredictable, and rain can appear at any time. But the temperatures are excellent, ranging from 20 to 30 degrees Celcius from June to September. The winters here are generally quite cold, grey and wet. Spring and autumn are a great alternative as tourist numbers drop, but keep in mind that these seasons can be quite wet.
Western Spain (Castile and León, Extremadura)
The climate here is somewhat more extreme; the summers can be quite hot, while in winter, the higher elevated areas can receive snowfall. Spring and autumn are excellent seasons to travel to this region. This part of Spain is relatively dry during the year, so rain will likely not spoil your trip.
Southern Spain (Andalusia, Murcia)
Known as the hottest and driest region in Spain, Andalusia can get scorching hot in Summer. It’s recommended not to travel here in July and August when temperatures of 40 to 45 degrees are no exception. Winter might be the best season, as temperatures are mild (still around 20 degrees), and fewer visitors flock in places like Seville and the Alhambra complex in Granada.
Eastern Spain (Valencia, Aragon, Catalonia)
Along the Mediterranean coast, the climate is temperate, with mild winters and warm summers with a daily average of 30 degrees. The peak season stretches from June to September, when families from Europe and elsewhere look for the beaches. For beach lovers, April and May are great months, as it is warm, dry, and non-touristy.
The northeastern part (Pyrenees) is much cooler and consistently receives snowfall during winter. This area is a suitable destination year-round, depending on if you’re into winter sports or hiking.
Central Spain (Castilla-La Mancha, Madrid)
Much like the west of Spain, the elevated center of the country has hot summers and chilly winters. Summer is regarded to be the high season and most popular travel time, but April and September have 7 to 8 daily sunshine hours on average as well.
Canary Islands (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Palma, La Gomera, El Hierro, and La Graciosa)
Being an archipelago closer to Morocco than to mainland Spain, the Canary Islands have a different climate. Temperatures are pleasant during the whole year, from 20 degrees in the winter months to 30 degrees during summer. October to December is the wettest period, but don’t expect downpours in this remote part of Spain.
Balearic Islands (Majorca/Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera)
The popular Balearic Islands lie off eastern Spain, and enjoy their own Mediterranean climate, with mild winters, and hot, sunny summers. Due to its location in the middle of the Mediterranean, the maximum temperatures are not as excessive as in some areas of central or southern Spain. The annual rainfall varies across the islands, and is much higher in the mountainous regions.
Best Time to Visit Spain: Events and Festivals
The best time to visit Spain does not exclusively depend on weather conditions. If you wish to dig deeper into the Spanish culture and to plan your holidays around special celebrations, we have selected some legendary traditional festivals for you to enjoy.
Check out all family-friendly events in Spain on highly curated event page: Best Family Events in Spain.
La Tamborrada (January)
Annually, the city of San Sebastian explodes with sounds during the famous La Tamborrada. Citizens gather in the center, where the song of the town will be sung, and after that, drum bands march through the streets for 24 hours. La Tamborrada is a real spectacle, but bringing earplugs is highly recommended.
Las Fallas (March)
Valencia hosts one of Spain’s most vibrant and fun festivals. During Las Fallas, you’ll see parades with beautiful sculptures made out of paper. For most people, the ending of the festival is the most fun; all sculptures are burned in massive bonfires across the city.
Semana Santa (April)
During the Holy Week before Easter, the streets in Spanish cities are filled with processions that depict the story of the crucifixion and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Imagine colorful costumes, music, and endless parades. Many people claim that Andalusia is the epicenter of spectacular Semana Santa celebrations, and in particular, cities like Seville and Toledo.
Tomatina Festival (August)
What started as a market brawl with fruits and vegetables thrown has now become a festival that draws an international crowd. Every year, thousands of people throw tomatoes at each other in the streets of Buñol, making it the largest food fight festival in the world.
Fires de Sant Narcis (October)
Held in the city of Girona, this spectacular festival is a joy to be part of. During the festivities, human towers are built in the heart of the town, colossal papier-mache figures are shown, and you can see dance performances in the streets.
Helpful websites to plan your trip to Spain
Here are our top resources for your travel planning, and inspiration for the best time to visit Spain.
Find your accommodation: Booking.com
Booking.com has thousands of accommodations, from spacious villas on the Canary Islands to cozy hotel rooms in Barcelona. You’ll be able to find a place you like, no matter what budget you’re traveling on.
Check out our detailed guide with lots of tips and recommendations on how to book the best hotel for the best price.
Find the cheapest flights: Skyscanner
Skyscanner is helpful when you’re looking for the cheapest flights to Spain. You get a handy overview of prices of flights to all cities in Spain, and you can activate alerts that warn you when prices go up or down on a specific route you’ve selected.
You might also sign up with Scott’s Cheap Flights, which sends you special deals via email.
Find the most fun tours: GetYourGuide
From historical walks to food tours, GetYourGuide has you covered when it comes to local experiences.
Find out about the weather: Accuweather
Follow the updates on the weather forecast in your destination, anywhere in Spain.