The best time to visit Spain
Fiestas happen all year long and every village has its own celebration – whether it’s flamenco or tomato tossing – so time your trip to see one.
Spring and summer (March-September) are the best times to visit Spain, when active adventures swap the oven-like southern coasts for the mountains and lakes of Andalucia, Catalonia and the Picos de Europa. Spring (March-May) is the best time of year to visit Spain for those who’d like to miss the peak summer crowds. There’s still plenty of sunshine, but emptier beaches and cities. Barcelona is especially lovely at this time of year. The Canary Islands are the place for winter sunshine between November and January. Parts of Andalucia and the southern Pyrenees are blissful in winter too – you can often showshoe mountain slopes and sunbathe on a beach in the same day.
Best time to visit Spain, month by month guide
January in Spain
February in Spain
February is great for a luxury fitness retreat in Spain
March in Spain
April in Spain
April is great for pairing Spanish lessons with hiking in the Picos de Europa
May in Spain
June in Spain
Being a deeply Catholic area, Andalucia has a lot of pageantry going on at Easter. Each village also has its own feria throughout the year.
– Paul Fellows, from our partner Walk Andalucia
July in Spain
July and August are great for an Altiplano de Granada activity holiday
August in Spain
September in Spain
October in Spain
November in Spain
November is great for tracking Iberian lynx
December in Spain
Picos de Europa Weather Chart
Our Spain Holidays
If you'd like to chat about Spain or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.
Best times to visit Spain for festivals & events
Spring and early summer is one of the best seasons for festivals and ferias – from Easter’s Semana Santa to local flamenco fairs and the incredible castellers human towers of Catalonia. Ask our holiday partners about what’s going on – and try and catch a fiesta or two. Another daily event is siesta time, with takes place from 2pm to 5pm every day, particularly down south, and many shops close on Saturday afternoons, reopening on Monday.
Three Kings Day & Epiphany (5-6 January)The Three Wise Men – known locally as Los Reyes Magos – visit on the night of 5 January, with processions across the country featuring dances, floats and sweet-throwing. Children wake up on 6 January – the Epiphany – to find their shoes filled with presents. Traditionally, this day was more important than Christmas, so you will still find this is a public holiday and many places will close. Cosy up – and leave your shoes out...
Sitges Carnival (February or March)Sitges Carnival is a week-long fiesta that greets a quarter of a million people, finishing on Ash Wednesday – the first day of Lent, when an effigy is carried down to the beach for a bonfire to symbolise the end of feasting and the beginning of fasting. This is a particularly LGBTQ+-friendly carnival, with drag queen shows, fireworks, free al fresco concerts and near-daily parades.
Semana Santa (March or April)During Semana Santa (Holy Week), elaborate floats containing holy figures are paraded through towns across Spain. Some weigh over a ton; those carrying them train throughout the year. Seville has the most famous displays – but these result in horrendous crowds and its main attractions being closed off. Choose a smaller town with more intimate celebrations. People enjoy the processions for the spectacle as much as for the religious aspect.
Andalucia bird migration (May & September-October)“The best part about going to southern Andalucia is sitting down to watch the bird migration,” says Andrew Appleyard, from our partner Exodus. “All the birds get up into the thermals above Africa or above Spain, then they just glide the seven miles across the Strait of Gibraltar in May on the inbound, and September to October on the outbound. You’ll see all the big birds of prey going up, then they just glide all the way across and land on the beach on the other side. It’s quite beautiful.”
Semana Grande (mid-August)It feels like everyone in Northern Spain is out on the streets on Semana Grande, the biggest festival in the Basque Country. This is an appreciation of all things Basque, dedicated to Our Lady of Begoña (or simply Amatxu – Mother – in Basque). Bilbao offers street parades and 24/7 partying, or you can retreat to a smaller town like San Sebastian for more manageable celebrations, including ball games of Basque pelota.
Jerez wine festival (September)Wine festivals spring up all over Spain between June and November, with dates shifting depending on the climate and type of grape. Jerez Wine Festival includes a week that celebrates the famous local sherry with a mix of tastings and flamenco dancing.
All Saints Day (1 November)All Saints Day (Todos Los Santos) is a public holiday in Spain, giving people the chance to travel home to their families and process to relatives’ graves to decorate them with flowers. Then, they feast. Some places such as Cadiz close down the town centre for street markets with stalls piled high with roasted chestnuts, almond cakes and sugary doughnuts.
Our travellers also ask…
When is the best time to visit northern Spain?Summer is the best time to visit northern Spain – so between June and September. The temperatures start to catch up with the south around then, bringing warm days and clear skies ideal for hiking and cycling. Winters can be wet and windy in northern Spain, thanks to the oceanic climate complete with sea fogs.
What is the best month to go to Spain?June can often be the best month to visit Spain. The weather is reliable wherever you go – not too hot in the south and not too cold in the north, and with lots of sunshine. The Mediterranean is particularly pleasant as sea temperatures warm to a lovely 21°C. Plus, the crowds of peak season have yet to arrive.
When is the best time to visit Barcelona?We think the best time to go to Barcelona is spring (late March-June), before the city gets too crowded. Mild temperatures and sunshine make for a comfortable climate for exploring. Just watch out for April, when many businesses close for Easter.
When is the best time to visit Spain’s beaches?June and September offer amazing beach weather in southern Spain while avoiding red-hot temperatures. The Canary Islands are beach ready from February to October. Even in winter, there are moments of hot sunshine in southern Spain; Christmas Day barbecues aren’t unheard of.
What is the cheapest time to go to Spain?You’ll find the cheapest flight and accommodation prices in Spain off-season – so November to March. This is winter, so the weather is more unpredictable, however you’ll experience many places in peace and quiet and there’s still plenty of sunshine in the Canary Islands and Balearics.
What are the hottest months in Spain?July and August are the hottest months in Spain. Temperatures hover at around 26°C in Madrid, creeping a few degrees higher as you go south to Andalucia and the Balearics. Maximum highs often edge over 30°C around Granada (and can even hit 40°C occasionally) – some of the hottest temperatures in Spain.
What is the rainy season in Spain?Rainfall varies dramatically all over Spain, but winter is certainly the rainiest season, especially in the north-west. November often sees the most rainfall, which starts falling as snow in the Pyrenees and Alps.
More about Spain
Our Spain travel guide includes everything from a brief history of Spain to food, shopping & people to help you travel like a local on your Spain holiday.
Check out our interactive highlights map detailing our favourite places to visit in Spain as well as information on travel times between larger cities such as Barcelona and Madrid.
Our top activities in Spain take you off, or on, the beaten track and range from cycling and languages to a trek on the Camino de Santiago.
Areas like the Altiplano de Granada and Sierra de Castril mountains will make you forget days by the pool, offering everything from hiking and biking to canyoning.
Unlock the secrets of Spain as you walk the country’s mountainous interior and wonderfully wild coastlines, discovering an authentic slice of Spanish life, with not a parasol in sight.
Catalonia packs a world of landscapes into one region, from 3,000m snow-capped Pyrenean peaks, to the warm turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.
Rich with influences from Moorish, Roman, Greek, Phoenician and Byzantine civilisations, Andalucía is one of the most diverse and fascinating regions of Spain.
You’ll have a wild and wonderful walking holiday in the Picos de Europa, where small group and tailor made trips get your adrenalin pumping against the most bucolic of backdrops.
Yoga holidays in Spain rejuvenate the senses with a combination of Pilates, language lessons and guided meditation adding to the joys of year round warmth and sensational Spanish cuisine.
Leave the tourist trails on two wheels and see a side of the country far removed from the costas and the big smoke.
Winter holidays in Spain don’t necessarily mean sun-seeking along the coast. Instead, look upwards, to the mountainous magnificence of the Sierra Nevada and the Spanish Pyrenees.
Our best small ship cruising holidays in Spain unlock the shared European-North African heritage of the Iberian Peninsula, as well as providing safe passage to the ports of Portugal, Morocco and beyond.
The countryside is a wonder, with mountains, desert scrubland and forests to explore. Meanwhile, big city life in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia delivers world-class art, music and diverse and delicious cuisine.
From the sites of spaghetti westerns to whitewater rafting, we know what to do with little ones so all you have to do is pack and go.
We value tips from our friends in Spain really highly so read on for recommendations from the experts and from travellers who have been there.
Travel right in Spain and you’ll quickly discover why the brain drain, dolphinaria, bull fighting and corruption in the construction industry are all worth researching.
Find all of our Spain guides in one place, from guides to Andalucia, Valencia or the Canary Islands to advice on activity holidays including walking and cycling.