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When is the Best Time to Visit Andalusia?

by Silke Elzner

Having lived on the Costa del Sol, Andalusia, for a little bit more than a year, I have experienced all four seasons in the deep south of Spain.

Yes, the climate allows for four seasons in Spain, including Andalusia, even though they are much less distinct than in other parts of Europe. No wonder that many people from Northern Europe choose to retire there.

Andalusia can be visited all year round, but it is good to know that there are advantages and disadvantages to each season. It all depends on what you want to do when on vacation.

The following article will give you all the positives and negatives per season so that you can decide if the south of Spain is a suitable destination for when you are planning to travel. I want to go beyond the facts and figures of weather services and give you insights and true experiences to help you with your planning process!

Close-up of a blooming almond tree in Spain
Almond trees are in full bloom in spring. They come in shades of pink and white and smell heavenly.

Andalusia in Spring

Spring season in Andalusia comes around quite suddenly and starts around March. 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 caf├ęs sipping Latte Macchiato.

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. When it rains, it pours, and it can be pretty miserable. 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, Cordoba, and Seville. In particular landlocked cities in Andalusia tend to be unbearable in summer and are choked with tourists. Many popular ferias and festivals take place in spring, like the Feria de Abril in Seville, Los Patios in Cordoba in May, and Corpus Christi in Granada.

Also, spring is great for hiking and active outdoor experiences. The cooler, wetter winter months now add some colour and greenery to the otherwise rather dry and barren countryside which is lovely to see. Also, fragrant almond trees are in full bloom.

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.

Views from the Tavira Tower
Views of Cadiz from the Tavira Tower. The Costa de la Luz is particularly beautiful in summer.

Andalusia in Summer

Summer is, of course, the season that sees the biggest influx of visitors. 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. So if you are after sunshine and hot temperatures, summer is your best bet.

Some people wonder how hot temperatures can get in Andalusia in summer. Rest assured, if you are staying near the coast like on the Costa del Sol or the Costa de la Luz, you will be fine. But head inland and you experience scorching heat with temperatures easily reaching 40 degrees and more.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Seville was 47 degrees in August 1946. This is why I do not recommend you visit cities like Seville in summer.

Summer is great for beach holidays though. The water will be much warmer than, say, in April, and you can swim in the sea and in your hotel pool with no worries at all. At night, temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees, which may cause issues when sleeping, so you may want to find air-conditioned accommodation for a good night’s sleep.

With so many people travelling to the region, summer is also the time when prices will be at an all-time high. Hotel rooms and rental cars are now in high demand and thus very pricey, just like everywhere else around the Mediterranean.

The houses of Casares look like stacked sugar cubes
Autumn is a great time for a road trip to explore the beautiful white villages of Andalusia.

Andalusia in Autumn

Autumn is my favourite season in Andalusia. The weather is still warm and sunny, but most tourists have already left and the pace is much calmer than in summer. For example, the average temperature in October is still a pleasant 20 degrees with plenty of blue skies and sunshine.

While the nights are getting cooler, it is still possible to swim if you are not too sensitive to cooler temperatures. So if you are after a beach holiday in autumn, Andalusia is your place.

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 my view, the best month to visit Andalusia is September.

Andalusia in Winter

Views of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada
City trips can be very enjoyable in Andalusia, in particular in winter. 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. Andalusia in winter is lovely. It is the perfect time to get active and to enjoy the cities as well as the countryside. It may be a bit cooler than in spring or autumn, but you will still have many days with blue skies with a minimum of six hours of sunshine per day.

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 Alcazar in Seville. Plus, the orange trees in the streets are heavy with fragrant fruit.

No matter the season, most restaurants, attractions and sights are open all year round in Andalusia, even in the depths of winter.

Plus, if you haven’t heard yet: You can also go skiing in Andalusia. The Sierra Nevada, just outside of Granada, offers some great slopes for skiing and snowboarding. It is, after all, the second highest mountain range in Europe after the Alps. Skiing in the morning and a cocktail on the beach in the evening? In Andalusia, this can be easily done!

The New Bridge of Ronda is just one of the many things you can do in this pretty city. The views from the top are spectacular.

The best time to visit Andalusia

As you can see, there are many good reasons to bypass summer in Southern Spain to experience this part of Spain in the cooler months. 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.

For current weather conditions, forecasts and averages, I recommend you visit Holiday-Weather.com.

No matter when you plan your trip, have a fantastic time!

Looking for more inside tips on Andalusia? Check out my other articles!

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