Spain is a fabulous country to visit all year round, but depending on your vacation preferences, the seasons vary greatly. As a beach destination, Spain is best in the summer months, though in the south, you can get splendid beach days even in September and October - without the crowds.
But Spain also offers an incredible hiking scene during the cooler months and a whole lot of fun festivities with unique parades and floats filling the streets, especially in winter and spring. There is no secret that Spain has a lot of culture to be uncovered. Here are the best times of the year to experience the different sides of the country.
Spain is mostly seen as a summer destination, and accommodation prices increase drastically between June and August. Particularly in August, it can be hard to find accommodation as most Spanish take their holiday then. If you plan to travel in August, make sure you book months in advance to secure a good deal.
Generally, to get the best prices during the summer, book at least six months in advance. In summer, you should also stick to the coastal destinations, as inland destinations like Seville, Cordoba, and Madrid easily see temperatures up to 45-50 Degrees Celcius.
Hiking in the north and the southern 3000-meter peaks
Swimming in the lakes
Beach days without the crowds (in the south!)
Chasing fall colors
Olive oil tasting (usually harvested over winter and spring)
Experiencing Easter Celebrations
The weather and seasons in Spain vary a lot depending on where you go in the country. In the north, you can get snowy winters and temperatures below zero. There are ski resorts in northern Spain and one in the Sierra Nevada at 3000 meters of altitude.
In contrast, in the south, you can get temperatures up to 20 degrees Celcius in the daytime and easily spend your days in shorts and t-shirt while covering up in the evenings when the temperatures drop.
Usually, during the winter months, you can experience heavy rains in periods of a few days to a couple of weeks straight. This might turn into torrential rains with heavy wind and flooded streets. In the summer, the south sees hardly any rain at all, while the north might get some days of refreshing rain throughout.
The Spaniards are famous for their love for “Fiestas” and where there is a reason to celebrate something, they will do it full on. Some fiestas are local to single villages or cities while others are national, celebrated all over the country.
At any time of the year, you can find some kind of celebration going on somewhere in the country. Do not be surprised if you unexpectedly come across a golden float of a virgin carried around town.
Here are a few of the most important celebrations, so that you can time your visit for what attracts you the most.
When: 6th of January
What: Both the evening of the 5th and the morning of the 6th of January you can witness floats of fairytale figures and the Three Kings carried around the streets, music, dance, and candy are thrown at the spectators. Celebration of the Three Kings bringing gifts to the Baby Jesus.
When: February/March (one week, dates change from year to year)
Where: National, most noteworthy is the oldest carnival in Spain in Cadiz, Andalucia
What: Humorous, colorful, and filled with music and dance, processions around the streets with dressed-up people.
When: Easter Week
What: Large processions filling the streets with music and “nazarenos” from each brotherhood wearing religious dresses with pointy hats covering everything but their eyes. Large floats are carried around the streets telling the tale from the Bible leading up to Christ’s crucifixion.
When: 2 weeks after Easter, the fiesta lasts a week
Where: Seville, Andalucia
What: The city’s fair, famous for its large area with street names and numbers, giant fairground for children, locals partying all night in their Flamenco dresses dancing the Sevillanas.
When: 2 first weeks in May
Where: Every city and town in the Cordoba Province, Andalucia
What: A display of the prettiest patios decorated with colourful flowers, sculptures, and fountains in each city and town, including several prizes for the best patios.
When: The week of Corpus Christi (5 days between the end of May and the end of June)
Where: Berga, Cataluña
What: The streets fill with people dressed up as mythical figures dancing around the streets to the sound of a drum.
When: 23rd of June
Where: Celebrated on the beach around the country, especially worth experiencing in Alicante.
What: A spectacle of fireworks, colours, and music, this festival is dedicated to fire, and this is the only time you will see bonfires on the beaches.
When: 29th of June
Where: Haro, La Rioja
What: Translated to Wine Battle, this festival includes throwing wine at each other in the morning after mass. Later the party moves to Plaza de La Paz.
When: Last Wednesday in August
Where: Buñol, Valencia
What: People fill the streets throwing tomatoes at each other. The fiesta dates back to 1945 when some kids had a tomato battle.
Planning a trip to Spain? Read our Spain travel guides
Last Updated 20 November 2023