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Cala Trebalúger, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. Author Gabriel Vidal Álvarez. No Copyright
Cala Trebalúger, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. Author Gabriel Vidal Álvarez

Spain climate: when to go to Spain

The climate of Spain is generally divided into three different types of climate: Continental climate in the central regions, Mediterranean climate in the south and Oceanic climate in the north-west.

Besides these three main climates, Spain has a climate of Alpine character on the highest peaks of the Pyrenees, while the climate in the Murcia region is a semi-arid climate, the Canary Islands enjoy a mild sub​​-tropical and semi-arid climate.

SPAIN OCEANIC CLIMATE

The oceanic climate is characteristic of northern Spain, often called “Green Spain”, the area affected by this kind of weather lies to the west of the Pyrenees up to the coast of Galicia. The climate of this area is characterized by relatively mild winters and hot but not muggy summers, the rains are abundant and distributed throughout the year.

Map of climatic zones in Spain

Map of climatic zones in Spain

The north and the north-west of the country, particularly along the Atlantic coast benefits from the influence of the Gulf Stream and through this has a mild climate and high humidity. In fact, the depressions coming from the ocean causing frequent rain, dense fog along the coast and often cloudy days, autumn is the wettest season, while the summer it is usually sunny but temperatures are cooler than in the rest of Spain.

Temperatures vary little between between day and night and also on a seasonal basis. The distance from the ocean reduces the intensity of rainfall that gradually decreases moving towards the east.

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA (260 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 3,7 11,1  259  16
February 4,2 12,1  223  14
March 4,8 14,2  145  13
April 5,8 15,4  141  14
May 8,1 17,7  147  14
June 10,7 21,3  82  8
July 12,8 24,1  39  5
August 12,9 24,3  57  5
September 11,7 22,3  127  9
October 9,1 17,7  194  13
November 6,4 13,9  200  14
December 5,0 11,8  281  16
YEAR 7,9 17,2  1886  141
VIGO (2 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 5,0 11,6  255  15
February 5,8 12,9  219  13
March 6,6 15,1  145  11
April 7,7 16,1  148  13
May 9,9 18,2  141  13
June 12,6 22,0  73  7
July 14,6 24,3  43  5
August 14,6 24,2  40  5
September 13,6 22,4  113  8
October 10,8 18,5  215  13
November 7,9 14,7  228  13
December 6,2 12,3  298  15
YEAR 9,6 17,7  1909  130

SPAIN CONTINENTAL CLIMATE

This type of climate affects most of the Iberian Peninsula, influencing the Meseta Central and the basin of the river Ebro.

Toledo, Spain. Author and Copyright Marco Ramerini

Toledo, Spain. Author Marco Ramerini

The climate of these areas is characterized by important differences in both temperature between day and night and between the different seasons, and erratic and poor rainfall, with annual averages between 300 mm and 600 mm.

The northern Meseta and the Ebro River Basin have two rainy seasons, the one relatively more intense between April and June and then the second between October and November. The southern Meseta zone has two rainy seasons, but inverted, in fact the wettest period is autumn, while another shorter rainy season occurs in March.

The Spanish Meseta and Central Highlands are located in a continental climate, which causes a type of climate with strong seasonal variations in temperature, the summers are hot and winters very cold. Also spring and autumn can be rainy. In the mountains during winter snows in abundance. Summer temperatures undergo major variations between day and night going from 30-40°C of the day to 10°C of the night.

MADRID (667 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 2,7 9,8 33  6
February 3,7 12,0 35  5
March 6,2 16,3 25  4
April 7,7 18,2 45  7
May 11,3 22,2 51  8
June 16,1 28,2 21  3
July 19,0 32,1 12  2
August 18,8 31,3 10  2
September 15,4 26,4 22  3
October 10,7 19,4 60  7
November 6,3 13,5 58  7
December 3,6 10,0 51  7
YEAR 10,1 19,9 421  60

Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain. Author GanMed64. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution

Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain. Author GanMed64

SPAIN MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE

The area of Spain with Mediterranean climate extends along the coast south of the Pyrenees to Andalusia. The Mediterranean area enjoys mild winters, long dry summers, rainy autumns and wonderful springs, usually a breeze from the sea mitigates the summer heat, while the extreme southern regions are interested in summer by warm winds coming from northern Africa. Average winter temperatures along the coast are around 10-13°C, while in the inner regions of Andalusia are a few degrees lower. In summer, average temperatures are around 22-27°C along the coast and 29-31°C in inland areas.

BARCELONA (12 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 8,8 14,8 43,7  7,0
February 9,3 15,6 31,4  5,0
March 10,9 17,4 33,0  6,2
April 12,5 19,1 47,7  7,9
May 16,1 22,5 47,4  7,5
June 19,8 26,1 32,5  5,5
July 22,7 28,6 25,1  3,1
August 23,1 29,0 40,8  5,8
September 20,0 26,0 81,9  8,0
October 16,5 22,5 96,5  9,0
November 11,9 17,9 45,1  6,6
December 9,5 15,1 46,8  7,0
YEAR 15,1 21,2 571,9  78,6

COSTA BRAVA
Month Sea Water Temperature °C
January 14
February 13
March 14
April 14
May 17
June 21
July 24
August 26
September 24
October 21
November 17
December 15
VALENCIA  (15 metres)
Month Average low (°C) Average high (°C) Precip. (mm) Precip. days
January 7,1 16,4 37  4,4
February 7,8 17,1 36  3,9
March 9,6 19,3 33  3,6
April 11,5 20,8 38  4,8
May 14,6 23,4 39  4,3
June 18,6 27,1 22  2,6
July 21,5 29,7 8  1,1
August 21,9 30,2 20  2,4
September 19,1 27,9 70  5,0
October 15,2 24,3 77  5,0
November 10,8 19,8 47  4,3
December 8,1 17,0 48  4,8
YEAR 13,8 22,8 475  46,3

WHEN TO GO TO SPAIN

Spring and autumn are without doubt the best times to travel in Spain. Spring is the ideal season to visit the central regions of Castile, Andalusia, the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands. Summer is the best time to visit the northern regions, especially the Cantabrian coast, Galicia and the Camino de Santiago. Autumn is probably the best time of year to visit the entire country, the climate is excellent, with sunny days and blue skies. During the winter the mountains both north and south offer excellent opportunities for winter sports.

Climate of Andalusia.

Climate of the Balearic Islands.

Climate of the Canary Islands.

Climate of Madrid.

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