Best time to go to the Spanish Pyrenees

Photographers might prefer spring when the meadows and foothills are draped in wildflowers, or the mellow light of autumn.
The best time to go to the Spanish Pyrenees depends very much on what you want to do while you’re there. Walkers might want to stick with the summer, when trails and accommodations are at their busiest, but there is the least chance of unexpected turns in the weather. Many people are put off by walking in the mountains during winter, which is understandable as you’re exposed to some harsh conditions. But the Spanish Pyrenees are absolutely beautiful under a dusting of snow and deep blue skies, and so quiet you can hear a vulture shuffling on its branch from a mile away.

Spanish pyrenees Weather Chart

 
MIN °C
MAX °C
RAIN (mm)
JAN
-1
6
30
FEB
-1
7
30
MAR
0
10
30
APR
2
11
55
MAY
6
16
55
JUN
9
20
35
JUL
11
23
20
AUG
11
24
30
SEP
9
20
50
OCT
6
15
60
NOV
2
9
50
DEC
-1
7
45

Spanish Pyrenees, month-by-month

The ribboned mountains are exceptionally beautiful under the white stuff of course, and the frosty scenery is ideal for winter walking and snowshoeing between February and March . South facing, the Spanish Pyrenees typically enjoy a sunnier climate than the French side, but the only thing you can say with any certainty about mountain weather is that it’s changeable, so packing for all eventualities is advisable. Most Spanish Pyrenees vacations take place in the summer, with August the busiest month of the year. June , July and September are also usually very warm. The weather remains unpredictable, but in the summer you can be reasonably sure you’ll avoid snow. Sporadic thunderstorms do occur though, especially in the late afternoons and evenings, so raingear is a must. The Spanish Pyrenees rank among the best places in Europe for white water rafting, and the water levels are at their highest in April and May , as the snows melt. Spring is also glorious for most other activity vacations here, especially photography, although higher reaches may still be closed off due to snow in the early part of the season. October and November can be very chilly, particularly in the shade and at higher altitudes. But decent weather is still likely, most attractions are open and there are fewer crowds. Autumn can be wet, and by mid-November there is likely to already be significant snowfall in the higher regions. Beginning in late December or early January , all the way through to April , the Spanish Pyrenees become a popular winter sports destination, especially for skiing and snowboarding. But in February and March there is also the opportunity for winter hiking and snowshoeing, in areas such as Aragon. In the foothills, and toward the Mediterranean end of the Pyrenees, the weather is usually a lot milder.

Our top Spanish Pyrenees Vacation

Cooking and walking vacation, Spanish Pyrenees

Cooking and walking vacation, Spanish Pyrenees

A gastronomical experience in the Spanish Pyrenees

From 1295 8 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2019: 31 Mar, 5 May, 8 Sep, 6 Oct
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Spanish Pyrenees or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Our top Spanish Pyrenees activities

Things to do in the Spanish Pyrenees…

This mountainous realm is flawless terrain for hiking, whether that’s over steep ridges, or through the meandering foothills. Most walking vacation itineraries are centre based, allowing for greater flexibility when choosing routes suitable for the forecast weather conditions. Self guided trips are perfectly possible, with abundant well marked trails, but most are led by experienced local guides, who are able to really bring the history, geology and culture of the region to life. There is ample potential for mixing more energetic pursuits with cultural activities in the Spanish Pyrenees. You might try wine tasting in the Somontano region, take part in language lessons with a teacher fluent not just in Spanish but the traditions and musical heritage of the area, learn how to make tapas in a local bodega, or take out your camera to explore medieval villages, Roman bridges, historic churches and hermitages. A multi activity vacation in the Spanish Pyrenees might see you canyoning and abseiling down rocky cliffs, kayaking, mountain biking or horseback riding. In short, these mountains have all the ingredients of a classic, unforgettable adventure, and one which is especially ideal for families with kids aged eight and up.

Things not  to do in the Spanish Pyrenees …

Take the weather for granted. Even in midsummer the weather can be difficult to predict with any accuracy. Heavy thunderstorms frequently punctuate vacations in July and August, while in the winter your hire car will need snow chains if you’re heading into the mountains. Rather than be caught out, pack for any eventuality with layered clothing, waterproofs and also a hat and sunglasses. Leave the kids at home. The Spanish Pyrenees are a fantastic destination for active families wanting to spend some quality time together. Teenagers will forget their devices by the end of the first day, and some trips can be geared to children as young as eight. Typically on small group family vacations, you’ll be sharing accommodation and activities with one or two other families so there will also be plenty of opportunities to make new friends. Arrive out of shape. You don’t need to be super fit for a trip like this, but you will want to be in reasonably good health to get the most from it, and to tackle what can often be quite steep mountainous terrain. Long days full of strenuous activities will see you sleeping well every night though.

Tips from our vacation reviews

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Spanish Pyrenees walking vacation tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation – and the space inside your suitcase.
apart from photography I learnt so much about the history of the pyrenees, wildlife and general things
– Marie-Louise Garratt
“The mix of activities we did worked really well, not just the cooking and walking but also the wine tasting, the olive oil co-operative, evening visits to a local historical town, and more. The walking for me was a bit special as we had a very high return for our efforts with respect to views, and great info from our enthusiastic guides and great company in amazing weather! If you go at this time of year, be adaptable with respect to temperature as you will need sun cream and shorts in the sun, but layers in the evening and shade. In the bottom of steep valleys such as Odessa, you will be in the shade for some of the time and it will be chilly when you are.” – Mike Smith on a cooking and walking vacation

“This is definitely one of the best vacations I have been on, such a wonderful mix of things, and it will definitely push you to your limits, well at least for me it did! I learnt a lot about photography which was why I attended in the first place, but apart from photography I learnt so much about the history of the pyrenees, wildlife and general things.” – Marie-Louise Garratt on a photography vacation

“Make sure you are in good walking condition to get the best out of your vacation - this is mountain walking - and bring your binoculars.” – Judy Miles on a guided walking vacation

This was a brilliant vacation for us and our three daughters aged 13, 10 and 10. The level of challenge and adventure was just right for us.
– Deborah Crewe
“Go with the flow! Do everything but at a level you feel comfortable with variations galore to meet individual needs. Bring walking boots not shoes unless you are happy to have wet feet all day!” – Evelyn Vickery on a Spanish Pyrenees activity vacation

“Every day was different. The one that stands out was the trip to St Juan de Plan, a small village up in the mountains with fascinating local museums, idyllic scenery and an excellent restaurant. Activities were varied, well planned and very well organised. The accommodation was excellent and the food interesting and varied. Our hosts looked after us extremely well in every way. A reasonable fluency in Spanish is essential. ” – Patricia Thompson on a Learn Spanish and walking vacation

“Go with an open mind and embrace all the activities. Stick to the provided kit list as you'll definitely need everything they suggest! Hiking boots and river shoes are a must. I also found having a water bladder extremely useful over a water bottle.I wouldn't join this retreat if you are an avid yoga enthusiast. Yoga is once each morning which was perfect for me being a beginner but if you want more than that then this isn't for you. This retreat is more rounded with the hiking, nutrition and meditation as well.” – Hannah Mitchell on a yoga, meditation and wellness retreat

“This was a brilliant vacation for us and our three daughters aged 13, 10 and 10. The level of challenge and adventure was just right for us. (We are all fit and healthy but not massively sporty.) Check that your week does not coincide with the local fiesta which is very loud.” – Deborah Crewe on a family activity vacation

Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: ikeofspain] [When to go: Arttikusbcn] [Do/Don't: Juanedc] [Tip 1: Juanedc] [Tip 2: Juanedc]
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