On this page you will find general information on when you should visit Spain is, but note that this is also the most popular time for everyone else too. For some this is an attraction as they want to be with lots of other tourists, while others can't think of anything worse than a crowded beach.
The important things to consider when deciding when to visit Spain are the weather and the events that are going on.
Visiting Spain in Summer
Advantages of Visiting Spain in Summer
- The weather is warm.
- Some tours only operate in the summer.
Disadvantages of Visiting Spain in Summer
- The weather is too hot in many places.
- Many cities are deserted in summer.
- There are tourists everywhere.
July and August are the busiest periods for international travelers, so if you want to go somewhere where you won't hear too much English, the Costa Brava at this time of year is not the place to be. In many ways, this isn't the best time to come to Spain, especially to internal cities like Madrid and Seville, as the Spanish evacuate these cities in the unbearably hot months and escape to the cooler coast.
It can be tempting for some to visit Spain at the hottest time of year so they can guarantee they get a tan. But you may regret this when you see just how hot it can get.
June and September are more comfortable times to get bronzed (and don't rule out May and October).
If this is the only time of year you can travel but you don't like the idea of such intense heat, consider visiting the north of Spain instead. Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela are much cooler than cities to the south.
Visiting Spain in Winter
Advantages of Visiting Spain in Winter
- Less crowds
- Not so hot in the south
- More events going on
- Easier to book hotels at the last minute, allowing you to have a freer itinerary
Disadvantages of Visiting Spain in Winter
- Bad weather in the north
- No beath weather in the south
If you like to city hop at your own pace, without having to book your accommodation months in advance, than travel in winter, especially if you're on a tight budget.
Other Popular Holidays in Spain
Easter (Semana Santa) is another popular time to travel in Spain, especially for the Spanish themselves, as is the week between Christmas and New Year. You might find it difficult to get accommodation during these times, so book in advance.
Spanish Public Holidays and 'Puentes'
Spain has a number of local festivals and finding accommodation can be difficult at these times. Of course, if you are in town specifically to see the event, then you have no choice, but if you aren't, avoid Valencia during Las Fallas and Tomatina (March and late August), Seville for Semana Santa (Easter) and their April fair and Pamplona during the bull run.
Many events are packed with festivities and are an essential time to visit, but others are more private affairs and you may find that nothing much is happening on these days.
Spain has national public holidays and regional ones. Take particular note of holidays that fall on a Thursday or Tuesday. The Spanish tend to take the Monday or Friday between this holiday and the weekend off work (this is called a 'puente' or 'bridge'). You may find a lot of things closed for all four of these days.
Find out more about Spanish Public Holidays.
January & February
- Why Visit Spain in January/February?
January begins with Three Kings Day celebrations on the 6th, followed by a number of interesting celebrations in the Balearic Islands. The San Sebastian festival in the city of the same name, with its Tamborrada drumming, is the biggest event of the month.
Cold in the north (Basque Country and Cantabria) and in central areas like Madrid and Salamanca, wet in the north-west (Galicia and Asturias) but reasonably mild on the south coast. The Costa del Sol should see quite a bit of sun, but it won't be warm enough to sunbathe. If you're lucky, you might get enough sun in Madrid to be able to sup your wine on an outdoor terraza, but you'll probably still need a jacket.
March & April
- Why Visit Spain in March/April?
Las Fallas, one of the biggest events in Spain, takes place in March in Valencia.
Then comes Semana Santa, the drawn-out Spanish version of Easter that lasts a week to ten days in the lead up to Easter Sunday. Almost immediately afterwards comes the Feria de Sevilla, Seville's festival of bullfighting, flamenco and more.
You might get some warm weather in Andalusia, you might not, but it's worth packing sunblock and something to keep the chill out, just in case. The whole country is slowly warming up, but the weather could be quite changeable wherever you are. April should see some quite warm weather in Andalusia and sunbathing might be possible, but nothing is guaranteed at this time of year.
May & June
- Why Visit Spain in May/June?
There are a number of local festivals in Spain in May: the Festival de San Isidro in Madrid and the Feria de Patios and Feria de las Cruces in Cordoba and the horse festival in Jerez being the main ones.
Hot in the south and warm in much of the rest of the country, though Madrid can remain changeable throughout May and the north and north-west can still expect some cool days. June is much more reliable, with glorious sunshine and warm weather in most of the country.
July & August
- Why Visit Spain in July/August?
The Pamplona Running of the Bulls at the San Fermin Festival kicks off the month (though there are a number of other bull runs around this time too). There is also horse racing at Sanlucar this month.
August sees the Feria de Malaga, perhaps Andalusia's biggest summer festival. The month ends with the Tomatina Tomato Fight.
Hot, hot, hot! Central locations like Seville and Madrid are ghost towns as the locals migrate to the coast to cool off in the sea.
September & October
- Why Visit Spain in September & October?
Plenty going on in Catalonia in September, with the Festa de Santa Tecla in Tarragona and the Festa de la Mercé in Barcelona.
In October, catch the Bienal de Flamenco, Spain's biggest flamenco festival, every two years (2008, 2010, etc) as well as a whole host of film festivals.
The weather gets steadily cooler during September and October. It can still be quite warm in September (and far more bearable than in August) but the later you get the more unreliable the weather is likely to be. Weather-wise, this is one of the best time to visit central cities such as Madrid and Salamanca.
November & December
- Why Visit Spain in November/December?
Matters wind down in November as the country gets ready for Christmas, though jazz fans will enjoy the events in Madrid and Granada this month. There's also a number of film festivals going on too.
December is dominated by Christmas and the many events associated with it. Read about Christmas Calendar of Events in Spain
This is when fall turns to winter and the weather will change accordingly. Sunny and chilly in the south; just chilly in the rest of the country. You might see some snow in December, but this is more likely in January or February.