Best time to visit Andalucia

temperature & rainfall

Click on a location: Seville | Granada | Almeria
Yes, it is possible for it to be too hot... With temps often well above 40°C, summer (Jun-Aug) isn't the best time to visit Andalucia for anything bar sightseeing in shady historic interiors or watery fun on the coast. Spring and autumn are great – pleasantly warm for activities, quiet beaches, lovely natural colours, especially Feb-Apr floral blooms. Bird migrations in autumn and spring are brilliant for twitchers. The soaring Sierra Nevada range from arid to snowy, depending on season and altitude. The rugged Almeria desert is a great midwinter (or Christmas) getaway – generally sunny, dry and warm by day.

When to visit Andalucia & when not to


Parts of western Andalucia, near Seville and Cordoba, are known as the “sartén” – the frying pan. From late June to early September, it can be well over 40°C for days or even weeks at a time, with temperatures rarely dropping below 30°C at night. As well as the unpleasantness – and the dangers – this is not the best time to visit as many attractions, restaurants, shops and bars are closed, particularly in late July and the whole of August when the Andalucians shut up shop to head to their beach houses.

Every city, town and tiny village has its own fiestas and celebrations. In bigger towns, major festivals like the Semanta Santa (Easter) or Seville's flamenco-themed April Fair (Feria de Sevilla) mean lodging may be booked months in advance, restaurants may be full, entire streets may be closed for a week or more – and even major attractions may close. Speak to your hosts and find out when the local festival is – and decide whether you want to join in or avoid.

Siesta is very much a living tradition in sweltering Andalucia. Shops shut at 2pm and won’t reopen until 5pm – some even stay closed from 1pm-6pm. In the summer months, shops may not reopen after lunch – or simply shut down completely.

April, May, late September and October usually have pleasant temperatures and cooler nights - though there is a chance of rainstorms. These are great months to travel to Andalucia if you want to combine activity with beach, and get a bit of out of season sun.

March is also a great out of season month to visit Andalucia; cool but sunny, with few crowds - and the sweet smelling orange blossom - azahar - just starting to open towards the end of the month.

Andalucia is one of the best places in mainland Europe for winter rays. November, December, January and February can still see daytime temperatures in the 20s - but do bring warm layers as buildings often lack heating, and are really built to withstand the intense heat, not to keep out the cold. Temperatures should be pleasant for walking and cycling, plus the sun sets far later than in the UK, so you'll have a couple of extra hours to complete your route.

Chrismas in Andalucia is a delight - festive lights, nativity scenes, sweet treats - plus cosy cabins or cave houses with roaring fireplaces. Christmas itself is now widely marked across the region, but the traditional celebration of the arrival of the Three Kings - los Reyes Magos - takes place on 6th January, with street parades including dancing 'bedouins' and the throwing of sweets on the night of the 5th. With palm trees and camels, it's a quirky Moorish take on Christmas in Andalucia!

What happens when in Andalucia

Our recommendations

Paul Fellows, from our supplier Walk Andalucia shares his best time to visit Andalucia – especially the south:

“For walking in Andalucia, we’d recommend coming between September and May, as it’s too hot between June and August. December and January are the coldest months, but worst case scenario you’ll be down to 7-8°C. But if the sun is out during the day, it can get up to 20 or 25°C!”

Andrew Appleyard, from our supplier Exodus, shares his best time to visit Andalucia for bird lovers:

“The best part about going to southern Andalucia is watching the bird migration. All the birds get up into the thermals above Africa or above Spain, then they just glide the seven miles across the Strait of Gibraltar in May on the inbound, and September to October on the outbound. You’ll see all the big birds of prey going up, then they just glide all the way across and land on the beach on the other side. It’s beautiful.”

Festivals & events in Andalucia

Our cultural pick from the Andalucia calendar

Did you know about...?

Feria de Abril – Seville (April)

Spring brings not only the scent of orange blossom to Seville but also a wonderful week of carriage parades, fine costumes and joyful carousing in a 24/7 whirl of colour. An amusement park dubbed Calle de Inferno (Hell Street) springs up along with casetas (giant tents) where drink and tapas are accompanied by non-stop flamenco music and dancing.
Photo credits: [Malaga - topbox: Toprural] [Walking: Fresco Tours] [Helpdesk: Phillip Capper] [Festival: peribanyez]
Written by Norman Miller
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