Planning a vacation to another country is especially daunting because of the weather. I’m considering traveling to Spain in the winter, and I thought I would share my findings. Hopefully, it will help others better understand the weather in this beautiful country.
Does it snow in Spain? Yes, it snows in parts of Spain. More specifically, it snows more often in the mountains, which makes Spain a great skiing destination during the winter. Temperatures here go as low as 27 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spain has several different climate zones, which makes the weather diverse. This also means there is a variety of things to do in each region! Below is some more helpful information for planning a vacation to Spain.
Weather In Spain By Region
There are four distinct regions of Spain. They vary drastically in humidity, temperature, and other weather. Here’s a breakdown for you.
The Atlantic coast borders the Atlantic Ocean and is located at the northernmost part of Spain. It is home to cities like Bilbao and San Sebastian. Wintertime temperatures range from 46 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Though this region is known for its hundreds of beaches, year-round mild temperatures make this a wonderful place to travel during any season.
Guest-friendly villages like Capileria and Bubiòn can be found in the mountainous region of Spain. Temperatures are lower here than in other regions of the country (ranging from 27-45 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter), and there is more precipitation, leaving a lush and beautiful landscape in the spring. Snowfall during the winter makes this the ideal region for cozy getaways.
The Mediterranean coast, located on the east coast and southern portion of Spain, has a wide range of temperatures—41 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit to be specific. Barcelona and Valencia are cities you can find here. It gets especially hot and humid during the summer, but if you enjoy milder temperatures, the Mediterranean coast is a great location for wintertime vacations.
The landlocked portions of Spain, also known as the interior, are home to cities like Merida and Madrid. It has the most extreme summertime temperatures (topping nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit). During the winter, temperatures range from 34 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes a great winter destination if you don’t mind milder temperatures as well.
What Should I Pack To Go To Spain in the Winter?
Here are the things you should pack when you travel to Spain. These are great items to bring for your wintertime visit, broken down by the climate zone you will visit.
Atlantic Coast And Mediterranean Coast
With the temperature in mind, pack the following for your trip:
- Long Pants: Jeans and other casual pants will keep you comfortable in the mild temperatures.
- Casual shirts: Casual shirts are wonderful for most activities (especially on the Mediterranean Coast).
- Long sleeve shirts/Light sweaters: Long sleeve shirts or light sweaters are a great option to stay warm. They are also useful for layering if need be.
- Sweatshirt: A sweatshirt with a hood will keep you warm and help block out sea breezes. You can take it off if you’d like as well, and a sweatshirt is great for layering.
- Comfortable footwear: Be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes you can wear with socks—this will keep you from getting blisters because chances are you will do a lot of walking during your trip.
- Cold weather accessories: If you chill easily, bring lightweight gloves or a cap just in case (especially along the Atlantic coast).
- Bathing suit: If you decide to swim in a hotel or visit a thermal spa in Spain, a bathing suit will come in handy.
These items will keep you warm and comfortable to ensure you can sight-see and get the most out of your trip to Spain.
As mentioned, the temperatures are cold in the mountains during the winter at just 27-45 degrees. Pack the items below in your suitcase to be sure you have what you need to stay warm and comfortable:
- Long pants: Long pants are a must in these temperatures. If you visit an area where it snows often, a pair of water-resistant snow pants will also be useful.
- Sweaters: Sweaters are good for layering. A lightweight sweater as your bottom layer will ensure warmth.
- Warm jacket with a hood: A coat with a hood will be one of the most important garments you bring. It will keep your torso and ears warm—and possibly keep out snow.
- Comfortable boots: Make sure to bring comfortable boots on your trip. These will not only keep you warm but also dry.
- Cold weather accessories: Gloves, hats, scarves, and warm socks are all great items to bring on a trip to the mountains. Socks will also help prevent blisters.
- Bathing suit: The mountains, like many regions of Spain, have hot springs or thermal spas as well. Bring a swimsuit if this kind of activity interests you.
These items are all necessities to bring on a trip to the mountains of Spain. If you need winter sports equipment (if your resort doesn’t offer rentals), be sure to pack that as well.
With temperatures spanning nearly 30 degrees (34-63 degrees Fahrenheit), the interior portion of Spain requires a little more in your suitcase than other regions. Pack accordingly, and you shouldn’t have any issues.
- Long pants: Long casual pants will be a great option regardless of the weather.
- Sweaters: A lightweight and heavier sweater will be good options to pack. A variety is a good idea because of the large range of temperatures.
- Sweatshirt or light jacket: Pack a sweatshirt or light jacket. Make sure whatever you bring has a hood for extra warmth if need be.
- Warm jacket: This will come in handy if you’re out during the evening because the temperature drops at night.
- Comfortable footwear: Regardless of your choice in footwear (boots and/or walking shoes), make sure they are comfortable to get the most out of your trip.
- Cold weather accessories: As in the mountains, bring the entire gambit of cold weather accessories (hats, gloves, and scarves). Make sure you bring thick socks as well.
- Bathing suit: A swimsuit will be great to have in case your hotel has an indoor pool, or you visit hot springs during your visit to Spain.
All of these things will be great to keep you warm or cool down as needed. Your suitcase will be packed tight, but it will be worth it.
What Benefits Are There To Visiting Spain In The Winter?
There are a lot of benefits to visiting Spain in the winter.
First off, it’s not tourist season—it’s off season—so your vacation will cost a lot less (for airfare, hotel, activities, and even food costs). This budget-friendly season is your best bet if you want to travel but can’t afford to during the height of the tourist season.
You will get a unique view of the country during the winter from the weather and landscape to the locals as well. The locals are less stressed, and if you visit close to Christmas, you will notice they really have a great love of wintertime holidays—and holiday spirit. New Year’s Eve is also a huge celebration.
An escape from everyday life during the winter might be the best travel decision you ever make. It will be the perfect time to recharge and either head into the new year or start the new year on the right foot.
What Can I Do In Spain In The Winter?
There are countless activities to do in Spain in the winter. You won’t be disappointed. Here are a few ideas.
Thermal spas and baths are very popular in Europe, and Spain is no exception. There is a lot to choose from throughout the entire country, including five from this article about Spanish spas. Some even boast mud baths with restorative health properties.
Winter sports are popular in the snowy mountains of Spain. There are plenty of options for resorts as well. They boast a variety of skiing options as well as snowboarding. Don’t forget to cozy up at night with a warm drink!
Nightlife in cities like Madrid is particularly exciting. Even during the winter, when nights are long and cold. There are plenty of clubs to choose from including hotspots like Sala El Sol, where salsa music plays from dusk till dawn. If you’re looking for something more low-key, there are also craft beer tastings at locations like Fàbrica Maravillas in Madrid.
Holiday celebrations are also a great part of visiting Spain during the winter. In larger cities, light shows for Christmas are common. Fireworks and light shows for New Year’s Eve are also popular. There are many places to shop as well.
Wine and dine in style. Spain boasts great food popular for the winter season as well. One example is a small plate of churros with a thick mug of decadent hot chocolate. Other options include these 13 ideas from this article, such as Spanish omelets and warm fish stew.
With the right items in your suitcase and a few ideas for activities, you will be sure to enjoy your winter vacation in Spain.