Spain in August is a land of extremes. While many inland cities become virtual ghost towns as their inhabitants flee for the coast, said coastal areas are packed to the brims as Spaniards and visitors alike seek respite along the sunny shores.
If warm, sunny weather is your thing, you're in luck—you'll find it everywhere throughout Spain in August, though the extremity of the heat and the sun's rays can vary depending on where in the country you are. And if you're still not convinced, consider the vibrant summer festivals and events that take place all over Spain during the course of the month. This guide will help you start planning by laying out exactly what to expect weather-wise, the coolest events to keep on your radar, and what to pack in order to help your trip go smoothly.
Spain Weather in August
The weather you experience in Spain in August will depend largely on where in the country you are. Down south in Andalusia, extreme heat and little to no precipitation are the norm, with temperatures in inland cities such as Seville and Córdoba often reaching well past 100 degrees. Coastal areas such as Málaga and Cádiz are much more bearable, with much more comfortable temperatures in the 80s.
Heading into the heart of Spain, Madrid is quite sweltering as well, with an average temperature of 90 degrees and high humidity to go with it. The further north you head, the more tolerable things get. Barcelona is warm and dry with temperatures in the high 80s, and the Atlantic coast doesn't get much hotter than the high 70s, though the infamous rain that often plagues this region is still a possibility throughout the summer.
And if you've come to Spain solely for the beaches, you're in luck—swimming conditions throughout the country are excellent all month long.
What to Pack
Warm, sunny weather (especially the further south you go) mean that you'll want to be as comfortable as possible when visiting Spain in August. Locals don't really wear clothes such as flip-flops and athletic shorts unless they're at the beach—instead, light, breezy clothing made with breathable fabric is key. Sunglasses and sunscreen are crucial for protecting you from the sun's rays, and a reusable water bottle will also prove useful if you plan on spending much of your time walking around outside.
August Events in Spain
Throughout the country, you'll find plenty going on despite the heat. Summer is one of the most happening times to be in Spain, so join the locals and enjoy the festivities.
- Madrid August Festivals: Three of the Spanish capital's most emblematic neighborhoods throw colorful street parties one after the other, bringing life to the city even as many other local residents leave Madrid in August.
- Semana Grande: Bilbao and San Sebastián both celebrate this Basque festival, which includes concerts, a fireworks competition, and traditional sporting events.
- Festa Major de Gràcia: Barcelona's idyllic Gràcia neighborhood celebrates its biggest party of the year in mid-August, complete with extravagant street decorations and plenty of delicious local bites.
- Malaga Fair: Flamenco, fireworks and plenty of wine transform the Costa del Sol capital into Andalusia's most happening destination at this vibrant summer party.
- Tomatina tomato fight: The tiny town of Buñol in the region of Valencia plays host to the world's largest food fight, in which tens of thousands of revelers pelt each other with tomatoes.
August Travel Tips
- As we mentioned earlier, many inland cities tend to clear out during the summer months as people head to the coast for vacation. If you're visiting somewhere like Madrid, keep in mind that many small, locally owned businesses such as shops and restaurants will be closed for a few weeks in August to allow the owners and employees a chance to enjoy some time off.
- At the same time, August is tourist high season for much of the country. If iconic attractions such as Barcelona's Sagrada Familia or Seville's Alcázar are on your bucket list, consider buying your tickets online in advance in order to skip the lines (which may involve waiting outside in the hot sun).
- Heading for the beach? Consider spending the day at a less crowded alternative to the main urban beach in the area—it's much more relaxing, and you won't have to deal with throngs of tourists. For example, while Málaga's La Malagueta Beach draws thousands of visitors from around Spain and the world, many malagueños themselves head to the suburb of Pedregalejo (an easy bus ride from the city center), a charming traditional fishermen's village that's home to quiet, picturesque beaches and some of the best seafood on the Mediterranean.
To learn more about whether or not visiting Spain in August is right for you, check out our complete guide to the best time to visit Spain.