Ask any expat from the UK, Germany or the Scandinavian countries why they decided to move to Spain, and you can be sure the weather is very near the top of their reasons list, if not the number one motive (I came because of the weather, and also due to the bargain prices in Javea and Denia at the time of my purchase in 2014). However, due to its global positioning and the size of the country, Spain's climate is extremely varied.
From Santander on the northern coast, down to Marbella on the Costa del Sol, the country mostly enjoys a very comfortable climate. But Spain can be split into four climactic segments: the Mediterranean, continental Mediterranean, subtropical and oceanic.
If you live in Spain and speak with friends the UK, they are always envious as they think of Spain as a country with perfect all year-round weather. However, once you move here, you know this is not the case as Spain gets more than its fair share of unbelievably heavy-duty storms and high winds. But in terms of temperatures, we can say it is an ideal location, as depending on location, average daily highs are around 10 to 18°C Fahrenheit in winter, 18 to 25°C in spring, 25°C and above in summer, and autumn sees temperatures similar to Spring. Spring
Spring is when beach season begins in Spain. From as early as March, you can sunbathe very comfortably on the Costa del Sol without the too intense sun beating down on you. Further north on the Costa Brava for example, beach weather doesnt usually start until the end of April or beginning of May. However, spring in Spain can also be quite unpredictable with heavy rain and showers, as numerous holiday makers have found out to their annoyance!
During the summer months, only tourists endure large inland cities like Madrid and Sevilla, as temperatures can be unbearable and frequently exceed 35°C. However, on the coasts, weather during the summer may be hot, but the sea breeze makes it manageable. Northern Spanish towns such as Bilbao and Gijón enjoy more rainfall in summer, and cooler, although still very pleasant temperatures compared to the central and southern areas of the country.
Note: When moving to Spain, you should bear in mind that if you also need to work at a physical job, working in higher temperatures than you are accustomed to can be very taxing in summer! Even the Spanish suffer when working in July and August, and they are used to it. In this situation it quickly becomes apparent why the siesta is not such a bad idea after all.
Often around the end of August, Spain experiences extremely heavy storms which needless to say, for various reasons when they arrive are very welcome. These usually only last a day or two, and once over, the temperatures drop several degrees, and wont return to previous highs until the following year.
The autumn months are anticipated with pleasure by locals in Spain, as they mark a return to comfortable temperatures that although still allow for beach days do not drain your energy or purse due to air con bills. However, cooler, crisper air is definitely noticeable, and the nights may be quite cool in the more northern regions. The sun is also less powerful during the day.
With the exception of Andalusia, winter can be surprisingly cold in parts of Spain. Cities with high altitudes, most notably Madrid, can be exceedingly cold and snowfall is not an unusual occurrence, as in most mountainous regions. The Costas are somewhat warmer than the capital, but can also be quite wet, experiencing as much as around 10 days of rain a month. However, having said that, when compared to the UK where 20 to 30 days is common, it is clear why so many people in northern Europe consider Spain to have an ideal climate.
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