Does it snow in Malaga, Spain?

Malaga, Spain cityscape at the Cathedral, City Hall and Alcazaba citadel of Malaga.

Does it snow in Malaga? Not really!

Malaga’s eye-catching skyline with palm-lined boulevards and sun-kissed beaches doesn’t typically scream “winter wonderland.” 

While Malaga might not be your go-to destination for skiing or snowboarding, its mild winters and beautiful coast make it a fantastic choice for a winter escape. 

In this guide, we’ll explore what winter’s really like in Malaga, if it’s ever snowed in the city and where you might find some snow if you’re feeling a tad adventurous. 

Does It snow in Malaga?

Snow in Malaga? 

It’s almost like spotting a palm tree in the Arctic! 

The coastal city enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and the words “snow” and “Malaga” rarely end up in the same sentence.

Snow in Malaga is an exceptionally rare event. In fact, it was only recorded once in the 20th century!

While the surrounding mountains might have a dusting of white now and then, especially in January and February, and it does snow in other places in Spain in winter, the city itself stays pretty much snow-free. 

Why doesn’t it snow in Malaga?


So, why doesn’t it snow in Malaga?

Well, it’s all down to a few factors that get together and decide to keep the snowflakes at bay!

First and foremost, Malaga’s Mediterranean climate plays the main role. 

With its mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers, the Mediterranean climate sees average temperatures in the winter months rarely dipping below 10°C (50°F), with the sea keeping the cold away.

Geographically speaking, Malaga’s position right on the coast ensures that the sea’s moderating influence keeps temperatures from plunging into sub-freezing figures. 

The nearby Sierra de las Nieves and other mountain ranges shield the city from the cold northern winds. 

Warm African winds also sometimes breeze into Malaga, further keeping the snow at bay.

Has It ever snowed in Malaga?

All that being said, it has snowed in Malaga once or twice. 

  • 2nd February 1954: This date is firmly etched in local memory as the day it snowed in Malaga! It melted quickly, but it’s still spoken about to this day. 
  • 25th January 2023: It didn’t actually snow in Malaga on this day, but it did elsewhere on the Costa del Sol, and temperatures in the city were a chilly 4.7°C – more like a British winter. I was in Malaga a few weeks earlier this same January, and it was balmy – more like 20°C, so this cold snap was very unusual. 

Where does it snow near Malaga?

ski resort of Sierra Nevada in Andalucia,Spain

While snowfall is virtually unheard of in Malaga, you actually don’t need to venture too far at all to see some of the white stuff! Here’s where you can find snow near Malaga: 

Sierra Nevada Mountains

The Sierra Nevada Mountains are home to Europe’s southernmost ski resort. 

They’re only a 2-hour drive (around 100 miles / 160 km) away, and they’re the place to be for winter sports. 

With peaks over 11,000 feet (3,300 meters) and snow from November to April, you can ski, snowboard, or just enjoy the view. 

Their proximity to Malalga means you could technically ski and snowboard in the same day!


Famous for its historical bridges and looming cliffs, Ronda’s just 60 miles (around 96 km) from Malaga, (a 1.5-hour drive). 

Snow’s not common here, but it’s much more likely to happen than in Malaga. 

Tips for winter in Malaga 

City of Malaga in Spain

Winter in Malaga’s a real treat. 

Unlike some parts of Europe, Malaga doesn’t hibernate when the temperatures drop. 

Here’s how to make the most of your winter holiday in this sun-kissed Spanish city:

Embrace the mild winter weather

So, as we’ve established, snow in Malaga is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of event. 

In winter, expect daytime temperatures around 16°C to 18°C (60°F to 65°F), which means you can comfortably explore without bundling up. 

Take a stroll along the famous Malagueta Beach, or enjoy some al fresco dining without the summer crowds!

Enjoy local festivals and events

Winter is festival time in Malaga! Stroll around the Christmas markets, or see the Christmas lights on Calle Larios. 

Pack right

While it’s warmer than most of the continent, evenings and the odd cloudy day can be a bit chilly – so pack a light jacket and maybe a raincoat.

Stay updated with local weather

Keep an eye on the local weather, especially if you’re planning a trip to the snowy nearby regions. It can change dramatically once you’re out of the city!

You can stay updated on Spanish weather on the A E Met website.

Check out my full winter in Malaga travel guide for more information about the city in the cooler months.

Malaga in the snow… or not!

So while snow is very, very unlikely in Malaga, that’s not why you come to this Southern Spanish city, right? 

Malaga’s one of my favourite winter destinations for when I want a slice of sunshine in February, January or December; so while it doesn’t really snow, there’s a whole host of reasons to visit!

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