The weather can be wet and quite dull one day, and then the next it will be pleasant and lovely and all you want to do is sit in one of the many outdoor cafés sipping Latte Marciano. A word of warning though: March tends to be the wettest month in Andalusia, and the rain has a very different quality to what you would experience in the British Isles, for example.
The country which is normally so dry is not well-prepared for wet weather, and we have seen water puddles the size of the Indian Ocean in the middle of the road. Having said that, spring is generally the best season to visit Andalusia’s many beautiful cities such as Granada, Córdoba, and Seville.
The cooler, wetter winter months now add some color and greenery to the otherwise rather dry and barren countryside which is lovely to see. If you love to swim, then spring is not your preferred season in Andalusia, unless your hotel offers a heated outdoor pool.
Otherwise, water temperatures will be chilly, and it takes many weeks for the sea to heat up before it is really enjoyable to get back in there. This is due to the fact that all other European countries will enjoy their school holidays, but also that you have a 99% weather guarantee.
The climate in Andalusia is basically that of long, dry and hot summers and mild winters. But head inland and you experience scorching heat with temperatures easily reaching 40 degrees and more.
Autumn is a great time for a road trip to explore the beautiful white villages of Andalusia. For example, the average temperature in October is still a pleasant 20 degrees with plenty of blue skies and sunshine.
Andalusia in autumn offers the best of both worlds: it is pleasant enough to relax in the sun, yet you can also explore the countryside and the white villages and the ancient cities and not suffer from heat exhaustion. In Granada, check out the views of the Alhambra with the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the background. Many people will not consider winter a good season to travel to Andalusia which I find is a big mistake.
There is a wide range of outdoor activities that you can pursue in Andalusia, and now is the best time for it: hiking and cycling, golfing and horse riding, and much, much more. Of course, city trips are also a great way to learn more about the culture of Andalusia, minus the usual queues at attractions like the Alhambra and the Alcázar in Seville.
No matter the season, most restaurants, attractions and sights are open all year round in Andalusia, even in the depths of winter. However, if you love the heat and the sunshine, and the craziness that unfolds when many people go on vacation together, then summer will be your best choice.
At lunchtime, it's 72 °F in average and, in April, 7 days of rain are expected. In average, on the morning it is 63 °F and it rains about 17% of the time in October.
The temperature rises to 67 °F and you can expect to have 2.1in of rainfall/month during this period. In the charts below, you can see the following seasonal norms for the city of Andalusia: the minimum and maximum outdoor temperature, the risk and amount of monthly rainfall, daily average sunshine, sea temperature, and relative humidity for each month of the year.
Andalusia appears on the map below with a blue icon. The other cities or locations in Spain appear on the map with a black icon.
Sites and sights off the main tourist trails Landscape in the Azalea natural park The western half of Andalusia is an area of hills and mountains, that tails away to the low-lying land of the Guadalquivir basin, and the flat coastal plains of the province of Huelva towards the Portuguese border.
Compared too much of Spain, southwestern Andalusia is relatively green, catching the rain that comes in on the southwest winds off the Atlantic. The limestone hills of the Sierra de Grazalema are home to a fine natural heritage area or park, famous for its birds and other wildlife.
Lying in central Andalusia, at the edge of the plain, and at the point where the old route between Córdoba and Malaga crosses the route between Seville and Granada, Antique is, as its name implies, a very old city; indeed, it was an old city even in Roman times, and it was the Romans who gave it the name that has become Antique today. With its whitewashed buildings, it is a typical Andalusian country town, lying at the foot of a hilltop fortified with an impressive Moorish Alcázar, or fortress.
On the outskirts of the town is the Dolmen de Menga, the largest Bronze- age burial mound in Europe. And ten minutes drive south of Antique lies the El Tor cal natural heritage area, with its hiking trails, a chaos of limestone rocks sculpted over the ages by wind, dust and rain into the most unusual shapes and forms.
Until Michele Obama visited in 2010, along with cohorts of press men, Ronda was a relatively well-kept secret, a popular excursion for residents and holidaymakers living on the Costa del Sol 50 miles to the south. Footpaths round the edge of the town offer magnificent views out over the hills and valleys to the north and to the south.
The most southerly city in Europe, Tariff stands guard over the entrance to the Straits of Gibraltar, and is located less than 15 miles from the African coast. On account of the wind, the beaches to the west of Tariff in particular offer excellent opportunities for windsurfing, and the town is particularly cool compared to others nearby.
The “King's path” clings precariously to the side of a steep and narrow gorge, up to 100 meters above the river below. The 3 kilometer pathway was constructed at the start of the 20th century as a means of access for workers and to bring in materials for a hydroelectric project in the gorge.
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In the north, along the coast bordering the Atlantic Ocean (see La Corona, Gijón, Santander, Bilbao), winter is mild and humid: rainfall is frequent and sunshine is relatively rare. The coasts of Galicia and Asturias, more exposed to the westerly winds, are often windy, but sometimes this can happen in Cannabis and in the Basque Country too.
This is due to the fact that the Mediterranean coasts of Spain, exposed as they are to the east and the south, are relatively sheltered from the Atlantic weather fronts. While in the Costa Brave (see Floret de Mar) and in Barcelona the average temperature in January is about 8/9 °C (46/48 °F), continuing to the south it becomes milder, and already in Valencia it exceeds 10 °C (50 °F).
East of Valencia, the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Fermented) have a Mediterranean climate, but they are also quite windy. While the easternmost island, Menorca, is the windiest because of the cool wind blowing at times from southern France, Ibiza and Fermented, located more to the south, are milder and more sheltered.
To the south of the Valencian Community, where the coast is exposed to the south-east, annual rainfall drops below 400 mm (15.5 in) per year. On the coast of Andalusia, continuing westwards, the climate is still Mediterranean (see Málaga), but on the southern tip, where Gibraltar and Tariff are found, it is cooler and windier in summer, and rainier in winter.
In south-western Spain, we find another portion of the coast facing the Atlantic Ocean, the Costa de la Luz. The interior of Spain (see Valladolid, León, Pamplona, Madrid, Salamanca, Zaragoza), is largely occupied by a plateau, called Peseta, which has an average altitude of 700/800 meters (2,300/2,600 feet) and has colder winters.
In the plateau, the summer days are often scorching, with highs well above 30 °C (86 °F), but thanks to the altitude, nights are pretty cool, and on the other hand, moisture is low, so the heat is more bearable. In the plateau, precipitation is not abundant (though it is quite frequent in winter) because the bulk of the moisture coming from the ocean falls as rain on the Atlantic slopes.
In inland areas, especially in the south, in summer the sky is normally clear, and even in winter there are many sunny days. In addition, at the same altitude the Pyrenees in the north are certainly colder than the Sierra Nevada, but the latter is higher (Mount Mullen reaches nearly 3,500 meters or 11,500 ft), so, even though it is located at a southern latitude, usually it has enough snow for skiing (at high altitudes).
It is possible to combine a morning's skiing with an afternoon on the coast in order to enjoy the balmy air of the nearby Costa Tropical (Motrin is about an hour and a half drive away). There is also a mountainous range that crosses the Peseta, called Central System, which is divided into various chains.
The one closest to the capital is the Sierra de Guadarrama, whose highest peak is Penalty (2,428 meters or 7,966 feet), where you can ski in winter. Here are the average temperatures of Puerto de Navacerrada, located at 1,858 meters (6,095 ft) above sea level.
Further to the east, in the northern parts of Navarre, Aragon and Catalonia, we find the chain of the Pyrenees. The highest peak, Pic ode Aneto, 3,404 meters (11,168 feet) high, is located in Aragon.
On the north coast (see Bilbao), the sea temperature is still very cool, even though it is a bit higher in summer. On the Costa del Sol (see Malaga), the sea is not as warm as in the rest of the Mediterranean because of the infiltration of Atlantic waters.
The sea in the small portion of the south-west overlooking the Atlantic Ocean (Costa de la Luz, see Cádiz) is even cooler. Here, the ocean temperature reaches only 21 °C (70 °F) in August and September, even though the weather is hot and sunny.
For a beach holiday, as we mentioned, the Northern Atlantic coast has a cool and fairly rainy summer. Moreover, the ocean temperature is quite cool even in this period, so the Mediterranean coast is preferable, and the best months are July and August.
For those wishing to visit cities and go on excursions, summer is a great season on the Atlantic side (north and north-west), where you can find cool or mild weather, very different from the rest of Spain. The rest of Spain, during summer, is hot, especially in July and August, and the heat can be difficult to bear, at least for those who don't like it.
This applies especially to the Southern inland areas (see Seville, Córdoba), which are literally on fire, almost an outpost of Africa in Europe. In general, however, the best seasons to visit the southern and central parts of Spain are spring and autumn.
In Madrid and Barcelona, for example, May, June and September are the best months (though in September, especially in Barcelona, the first autumn rains occur); in Seville, which is characterized by a particularly long and hot summer, the best months are May, October and April, when the maximum temperature can already exceed 25 °C (77 °F) with some ease. However, even though ski runs in the Sierra Nevada are located at very high altitudes, above 3,000 meters (10,000 ft), they are not always covered with snow, as we saw some years ago, when the World Ski Championships were postponed to the next year because of lack of snow.
In winter, for Madrid and the plateau, pack warm clothes such as a sweater, a down jacket, and a raincoat or umbrella. For the Northern Atlantic coast and Barcelona, bring warm clothes like a sweater, a jacket, a raincoat or umbrella.
In the summer, for the Northern Atlantic coast, bring light clothing such T-shirts, but also a jacket, a sweatshirt or sweater and a raincoat or umbrella. For Madrid and the plateau, you will also need light clothing as well as a sun hat, a sweatshirt for cool evenings and possibly an umbrella.
For Barcelona, the Balearic Islands and the South it is wise to pack light clothes, a sun hat, and a sweatshirt for the evening in June and September (but also in July and August in the Costa de la Luz and in Tariff).