Spain in winter: best things to do and places to visit!

Beach of Puerto Banus with the mountains of Sierra Blanca at background, Marbella, Costa del Sol, Malaga province, Spain

Are you ready to visit Spain in winter?

The South European country is one of the best warm-weather destinations to visit on the continent, its lower-latitude position meaning the coastline bathes in gentle sunlight throughout the cooler months.

But the mountains are a different story. Head to the Sierra Nevada above Granada and Seville, or to the Pyrenees on the French border, where snow-covered mountains tumble from the peaks into ski slopes.

In fact, Spain’s one of the most diverse places to visit in Europe throughout the winter; in just a few hours, you can journey from t-shirt sunshine to snowsports centres!

I’ve visited Spain countless times, many in the winter, so I thought I’d put together this article to showcase what a fantastic destination it is in December, January and February!

From Malaga to Madrid, Valencia to Val d’Aran, here are the best places to visit in Spain for a winter escape. 

What is Spain like in winter?

Ronda, Spain at Puente Nuevo Bridge.

Spain swelters in the summer months, but in the off-season southern cities sparkle under the winter sun.

From October onwards, temperatures cool and tourist crowds thin out; but depending on where exactly you go, the thermometer will never dip down too low!

There are also numerous festivals and events during Spain’s winter season.

Three Kings Day is celebrated each January; with parades and festivities across the country and officially marking the end of the festive period.

Spanish food’s gloriously hearty, and when the weather’s that little bit cooler, it’s even more delicious!

Hearty stews, roasted meats, and winter-specific delicacies such as turron (a traditional Christmas nougat) become staple offerings in Spanish households and restaurants.

There’s nothing quite like tucking into a warming bowl of ‘Fabada Asturiana’ (a rich bean stew) or sipping on a mug of ‘chocolate con churros’ in the cooler winter weather!

But head up to Spain’s ski resorts, and they burst in an explosion of activity.

From the snow-dusted peaks of the Sierra Nevada in the south to the Pyrenean ski haven of Baqueira-Beret in the north, Spanish slopes aren’t the Alps but there’s plenty for any avid skier to soar down here!

With cooler weather, winter’s an excellent time for a city break in Spain.

Enjoy Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia or Seville’s Alcazar with much thinner crowds, and it’s much less likely that you’ll spend hours queuing outside of Spain’s best museums like Madrid’s Prado or Bilbao’s Guggenheim.

What’s the weather like in Spain in winter?

Gardens of La Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Spanish winter weather is as varied as the country’s geography.

Spain experiences mild to cool winters, with the season running from late November to the beginning of March (but it has many of the warmest March destinations in Europe).

In the northern/ central coastal regions – think Barcelona and Valencia on the Mediterranean or Bilbao in the Bay of Biscay – temperatures range from around 8°C to 15°C.

It can be rainy, particularly in the northern regions, so don’t forget your parka!

Andalusia has a milder climate – daytime temperatures generally average around 15°C-20°C in lower-lying areas.

Sunny days throughout winter are common – perfect for hiking and travelling around towns and cities!

Head inland and you might experience colder temperatures that can drop to around 5°C during the day and below freezing at night.

I went to Madrid in February and while it was certainly warmer than home in the UK, snowfall is possible here!

And of course, the higher up in the mountains you go; Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees turn into winter sports destinations.

Head even further south, to the Spanish Canary Islands – and you’ll think summer’s still here!

Well, not Spanish summer, but Northern European summer!

Warm winters are common in the Canaries, with daytime temperatures in Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura averaging around 20°C-22°C.

They’re the ideal European destinations for a ‘winter sun’ break with plenty of outdoor activities!

Things to do in Spain in winter

The best things to do in Spain in winter include skiing in the Sierra Nevada and the Pyrenees, exploring the best hiking trails, walking around charming historic cities, taking in the winter sun on the Spanish islands and – of course – all the delicious Spanish food!


Pradollano area, Sierra Nevada National Park, Granada, Andalusia, Spain.

Did you know that, while Spain’s an excellent winter sun destination, there are also plenty of skiing opportunities here?

Head to the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia or the Pyrenees in the northeast for skiing and snowboarding!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skier, there are plenty of options for skiing in Spain; combine it with some of Spain’s warmer destinations for a varied trip.


Cala d'Hort beach. Cala d'Hort in summer is extremely popular, beach have a fantastic view of the mysterious island of Es Vedra. Ibiza Island, Balearic Islands. Spain

Explore Spain’s diverse landscapes through hiking in Spain.

Trails weave through national parks like Picos de Europa, Sierra de Grazalema, or Caldera de Taburiente.

A winter getaway in Spain lends perfect weather for hiking!

Exploring Cities

street in old town of frigiliana spain

When the summer crowds depart, you’ll be able to wander through the historic streets of Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, or Valencia.

Discover landmarks, beautiful architecture, and its many museums.

Marvel at Gaudi’s masterpieces, delve into history at the Royal Palace or immerse yourself in the vibrant local markets.

Take a leisurely walk through charming neighbourhoods and stop in small roadside restaurants to indulge in the culinary delights of Spain’s renowned gastronomy.

Winter sun on the islands

Escape the winter chill and soak up the sun on Spain’s beautiful islands.

Head to the Canary Islands, such as Tenerife, Lanzarote, or Gran Canaria, where you’ll find mild temperatures – the perfect climate to relax on golden beaches!

While the water’s a little chilly around the Canaries in the winter, sea swimming is much warmer than in the northern part of the continent.

The Spanish Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza) are cooler, but still bask in winter sunshine on warmer days.

Festivals and cultural events

Bright blue skies in the background with the Alcazaba and the king in the foreground.

Spain buzzes with festivals throughout the year and the winter, these celebrations feel more local!

Experience the Three Kings Day processions, where elaborately dressed kings parade through the streets, distributing sweets to children.

Attend lively carnival celebrations in Cadiz, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, or Sitges, known for their colourful costumes, music, and dance.

Explore Christmas markets, witness traditional Flamenco performances, or indulge in the gastronomic delights of seasonal specialities.

Thermal spa retreats

Pamper yourself in one of Spain’s thermal spas – perfect for winter’s cooler weather!

From the famous hot springs of La Garriga near Barcelona to the luxurious Hammam al Andalus spas in Andalucia.

I also went to the fantastic Termas Baronía de Les in the Pyrenees (close to the French border), where I soaked in the warm hot tub waters while soaking in the views of the snowy mountains!

Gastronomic delights

This image captures shows tradition and delicious fresh churros along side hot chocolate at a cafe in Spain.

Winter food in Spain – it’s hearty and warming!

Sample traditional winter dishes like cocido madrileño or fabada asturiana.

Warm up with a cup of thick hot chocolate accompanied by churros or indulge in the exquisite flavours of seasonal treats like turron and marzipan.

Explore local markets to discover regional specialities and try the finest Spanish wines and cheeses.

Spanish food is underrated, and winter’s the perfect time to savour it all!

Places to visit in Spain in winter

There are plenty of places to visit in Spain in winter, including Andalusian cities Granada, Seville and Malaga, the beaches of the Costa del Sol, ski slopes in the Sierra Nevada and Pyrenees and Spanish islands like the Balearics and Canaries.

1. Malaga

City of Malaga in Spain

Want to swap the chilblains for churros? Head to Málaga in winter!

Ensconced on the south coast of Andalusia, the warmest region of continental Europe, Málaga offers a toasty escape from the frosty climes up north.

Here, 10°C is the low bar (snow is unheard of) with many winter days basking in a balmy 20°C!

But Málaga is no mere sun-soaked idyll.

A launching pad to the famed Costa del Sol, the city itself is often unjustly eclipsed by its glitzy coastal neighbours like Marbella and Puerto Banus.

Málaga boasts a rich blend of history, culture, and adventure.

The Alcazaba, an 11th-century palace fortress, is a must-see.

Towering over the city, this testament to Málaga’s Moorish legacy fuses Roman and Moorish architecture.

Swap the palace walls for a stroll in the bustling city market Mercado Central de Atarazanas, a sensory banquet of sights, smells, and tastes.

Or immerse yourself in art at the Picasso Museum!

As the sun dips low, the city’s culinary delights come to the fore; goat milk cheeses and local wines will get your mouth watering.

Bars are dotted through the city centre, and the warmer climate makes al fresco dining and drinking completely possible.

Average High Temperature17°C/ 63°F
Average Low Temperature8°C/ 46°F
Days of Rainfall6
How to Get ThereMalaga boasts a large international airport with connections from major cities in Europe. Alternatively, easily accessible rail and bus routes link Malaga to Spain’s vibrant cities.
Best Things to Do in DecemberDiscover the city’s age-old heart, marvel at the masterpieces in the Picasso Museum, and get swept up in the festive cheer amid the twinkling lights of Calle Larios.
Hotel RecommendationOur pick is the Hotel Barcelo Malaga. Conveniently situated next to the train station, it flaunts trendy rooms, a top-notch breakfast spread, and a slide for a playful descent from the first floor – an unforgettable highlight of our last December stay! Click here for more information and book.
Unique Travel TipGet an insider’s view of the city’s food and drink scene with a curated tour. Check out our personally tested tour here.

2. Marbella

Marbella, Spain - December 21  2014: View of Plaza Altamirano, a pedestrian zone with bars and restaurants in the heart of the old town. The tower of the historic Greater Church of the Encarnacion is in the background.

Fancy a wintery beach break?

Look no further than the coastal town of Marbella.

Just a stone’s throw from Málaga, cold weather is a distant dream in Marbella.

It’s a radiant retreat where the temperatures nudge 20°C, even in the thick of winter!

The town’s internationally renowned for its sun-kissed beaches and celebrity-studded boulevards, but Marbella has so much more to offer.

Sure, it’s got the racquet clubs and golf courses – but there’s a side to Marbella that often flies under the tourist radar.

Venture into the city’s historic heart, Casco Antiguo, and you’ll stumble upon the Ermita de Santiago chapel and the Iglesia de la Encarnación church.

Are you an art lover? Marbella’s plethora of art galleries and museums stand ready to quench your cultural thirst.

These spaces, some among the finest on the Costa del Sol, offer glimpses into the vibrant culture of the city.

Or if an idyllic seaside stroll is your idea of a perfect winter afternoon, head to the famous Paseo Maritimo promenade.

Unfurling along the Mediterranean Sea, this promenade offers marine views, a laidback atmosphere, and the odd celebrity sighting, if you’re lucky!

And then there are the beaches.

Guadalmina Beach and Nueva Andalucía Beach are the most famous.

Off-season, when the crowds have thinned and the beauty of the natural landscape truly shines through, these beaches are arguably at their best.

Average High Temperature17°C/ 63°F
Average Low Temperature8°C/ 46°F
Days of Rainfall6
How to Get ThereMarbella is just an hour’s drive away from Málaga’s international airport. Plus, well-connected bus routes link it to other Spanish cities.
Best Things to Do in DecemberDelve into the historical district of Casco Antiguo, indulge in a round of golf at renowned clubs like Los Naranjos, or take a leisurely stroll along the Paseo Maritimo promenade.
Hotel RecommendationEl Fuerte Marbella is a standout choice. Nestled near the beach and just a short walk from Old Town, it boasts comfortable rooms, excellent service, and sumptuous breakfast offerings. Click here to reserve your spot.
Unique Travel TipConsider a yacht charter for a day. Winter is off-peak season, so you might be able to snag a bargain to sail the Mediterranean in style.

3. Seville

Spain Square or Plaza de Espana in Seville in the sunny summer day, Andalusia, Spain. Flower beds, bridges and channel in the foreground

Winter in Seville might be cooler – with temperatures teetering between a brisk 6°C (43°F) and a milder 16°C (60°F) – but there’s still a good chance of some gentle sunshine, and the quieter months are perfect for exploring the city streets and attractions like the Seville Cathedral.

A walking tour around this city is like flipping through a grand, oversized art history book, with each page unfurling an array of monuments, from the grandeur of El Catedral de Sevilla to the elegance of fabulous villas and palaces, and the intricate detail of terraced buildings lining the streets.

As you navigate the narrow, cobbled lanes, discover the traditional azulejo tiles that adorn traditional buildings.

Don’t miss the magnificent Alcazar palace complex.

Here, Moorish minarets stand tall next to Gothic gates, while Romanesque arches frame Mudejar mosaics.

Seville’s gastronomic scene is also a delight in the cooler months.

Warm up with a steaming bowl of Carrillada, a traditional stew made from pork cheeks, or indulge in a slice of Tarta de Almendra, an almond tart that’s a local favourite.

Average high temperature16°C / 60°F
Average low temperature6°C / 43°F
Days of rainfall8
How to get thereSeville’s a breeze to reach with an international airport and comprehensive bus and train connections linking it with the rest of Spain.
Best things to do in DecemberVisit the Plaza de España, explore Seville Cathedral and don’t miss the Alcazar!
Hotel recommendationHotel Alfonso XIII, a palatial delight that combines Moorish, Andalusian, and Castilian styles in the heart of the city, ideal for exploring all that Seville has to offer. Click here to read more about it.
Unique travel tipSeville’s in prime position for day trips in Andalusia, including Ronda, Córdoba and Granada.

4. Granada

Ancient arabic fortress of Alhambra, Granada, Spain.

Andalusia’s Granada is known for sun-dappled squares with snowy mountain peaks in the background.

Victor Hugo once said “there is no city more beautiful than Granada” – and for good reason.

Granada’s unique charm lies in its compelling blend of diverse cultures; it was Moorish, and it also has Romano Gypsy heritage.

Positioned at the foot of the Sierra Nevada, Granada not only offers a bit of winter sunshine – but you can head out to the mountains on a day trip from the city!

Granada’s crown jewel? It’s undoubtedly the Alhambra.

Second only to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia in popularity, don’t miss this palace and fortress complex.

Ornate carvings, tranquil courtyards, and colourful tiles decorate the Alhambra’s walls and tell tales of Granada’s Moorish past, with omnipresent striking views of the city spread out below.

Granada’s winter weather can be crisp and sometimes rainy, with temperatures seldom rising above 15°C during the day.

Another top recommendation in this historical city is to head to the Mirador de San Nicolás and see the city sprawl, fringed with mountains and capped by the Alhambra.

Once you’ve soaked up the city’s historic sights, warm up with a traditional Andalusian meal.

Savour a bowl of Puchero Andaluz, a hearty winter stew, or hop around the many tapas bars – as is Spanish tradition, in Granada you get free tapas with most drink purchases! 

Don’t forget to catch a traditional Flamenco performance too!

Granada is, after all, famous for its vibrant Flamenco scene, especially in the historic Albaicín district.

And in the wintertime, these fiery performances add an extra layer of warmth to the city’s atmosphere!

Average High Temperature14°C / 57°F
Average Low Temperature2°C / 36°F
Days of Rainfall7
How to Get ThereGranada is accessible through its own airport, which connects to many major cities. Alternatively, direct trains and buses are available from Madrid, Seville and other Spanish cities.
Best Things to Do in DecemberVisit the Alhambra palace, explore the Sierra Nevada mountains, and enjoy the view from Mirador de San Nicolás.
Hotel RecommendationHospes Palacio de los Patos, a 19th-century palace turned luxury hotel, offers an unforgettable stay. Its fusion of classic and modern design, along with its central location, makes it a top choice. Click here to book.
Unique Travel TipEnjoy a traditional Flamenco show in the Albaicín district. The vibrant performances, often in intimate settings, offer a unique cultural experience.

5. Barcelona

View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain

Catalonia’s dazzling capital and probably the most popular city in Spain, Barcelona buzzes with life even in the chillier winter months.

Architectural aficionados will be drawn to the iconic basilica of the Sagrada Familia, one of Spain’s most famous landmarks (despite the fact that it’s still being built!).

Take a meander through the royal Gothic Quarter, where the magnificent Cathedral of St. Eulalia stands.

Then there’s Barcelona’s vibrant culinary scene, best experienced in bustling food markets like La Boqueria; a paradise for food lovers, offering crispy patatas bravas,

While the city’s gorgeous beaches – Barceloneta Beach, Llevant Beach, and Mar Bella Beach – might be too brisk for a dip in winter, you can, of course, still take a stroll along the shores!

Barcelona’s many parks, including the stunning Park Guell, another Gaudí masterpiece, are calm and relaxed in winter.

I visited on a winter trip to Barcelona and loved that I didn’t have to jostle with tourists at the famous viewpoint over the city. Plus, the weather was still bright and sunny!

As day turns to night, the city proves it’s somewhat nocturnal.

Whether it’s sampling tapas at a cosy tavern, catching a flamenco show in a traditional tablao, or sipping cocktails at a chic rooftop bar, Barcelona’s a city that never seems to sleep.

Average high temperature15°C / 59°F
Average low temperature8°C / 46°F
Days of rainfall6
How to get thereBarcelona is one of the main transport hubs in Spain with an international airport and excellent rail and road links.
Best things to do in DecemberVisit the iconic Sagrada Familia, explore the Gothic Quarter, and indulge in Spanish delicacies at La Boqueria market.
Hotel recommendationHotel Arts Barcelona is a luxury hotel offering stunning views of the city and sea, conveniently located close to Barceloneta Beach. Click here to book.
Unique travel tipInstead of the crowded tourist spots, try exploring the lesser-known neighbourhoods like Gràcia for a more authentic Barcelona experience.

6. Madrid 

Madrid, Spain cityscape at Calle de Alcala and Gran Via.

Winter in Madrid may be a touch cooler, with average day temperatures hovering around 10°C, but don’t let that deter you.

It’ll likely be warmer than home – at least, that’s what I found on my February trip to Madrid a few years back – and, being the capital, it’s brimming with things to do.

At the heart of Madrid lies Gran Via, which pulsates with life day and night.

Amid the grand architectural facades, you’ll find a tantalizing array of restaurants and bars.

A short stroll from Gran Via, you’ll encounter the majestic Plaza Mayor, the main square in Madrid’s old town.

Festive vibes are strong here in December, as the square transforms into a Christmas Market, filled with ornate stalls selling everything from handicrafts to seasonal delicacies.

Here, the aroma of churros, a traditional Spanish treat, wafts through the air, drawing you towards the local cafes where you can dip these sugary delights into a cup of thick, hot chocolate – a quintessential Madrid winter experience.

For those seeking an unusual winter thrill, Madrid offers indoor skiing at the Xanadu Shopping and Entertainment Centre.

Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a novice, there’s a slope for you!

Average high Temperature10°C / 50°F
Average low temperature3°C / 37°F
Days of rainfall8
How to get thereMadrid is well connected by air, with the Madrid-Barajas Airport serving as a major hub for numerous airlines. It’s also accessible by high-speed trains and well-maintained roadways.
Best things to do in DecemberStroll down Gran Via, enjoy churros and hot chocolate at Plaza Mayor, and try indoor skiing at Xanadu.
Hotel recommendationThe Westin Palace, situated in the heart of the city, offers luxurious accommodations with close proximity to Madrid’s top attractions. Click here to reserve.
Unique travel tipDon’t miss a visit to the local restaurants like Lhardy for a true taste of Madrid’s culinary scene. Try the famous Madrid stew, Cocido Madrileño, a hearty dish perfect for winter.

7. Sierra Nevada 

Pradollano, Sierra Nevada, Spain

Just above Granada in Andalucia, Sierra Nevada is Europe’s southernmost ski district.

Blessed with a gentle climate and an abundance of clear, sunny days – but still plenty of snow – here you’ll marvel at brilliant blue skies as you swish down perfectly groomed slopes.

Whether you’re an expert skier or a beginner, Sierra Nevada offers variety of ski schools and a network of cable cars to ferry you to the very top of the mountain!

Sierra Nevada’s impressive network – with 120 ski trails – caters to all difficulty levels, cumulatively stretching for over a hundred kilometres.

Among them, the Pista del Águila stands out with a 6-kilometre-long descent.

Also, don’t miss exploring the region of Las Alpujarras. This picturesque region, with beautiful valleys and unique Berber architecture.

There’s also the spa town of Lanjarón, famed for its healing waters, which draws visitors from all over the world.

Also, visit the high-altitude village of Trevélez, renowned for its delicious, open-air cured hams ripened in the cool Alpujarras breezes.

Average high temperature6°C / 43°F
Average low temperature-1°C / 30°F
Days of rainfall10
How to get thereThe easiest way to reach the Sierra Nevada is by car or bus from Granada, which is approximately 33 km away. Granada has good transport connections, including an airport that receives domestic and international flights.
Best things to do in DecemberEnjoy skiing or snowboarding on well-groomed slopes, hike or bike in the mountains, explore the Las Alpujarras region and its unique Berber architecture.
Hotel recommendationThe Meliá Sol y Nieve hotel offers a prime location with direct access to the ski slopes and comprehensive services including a heated pool and spa. Click here to read more.
Unique travel tipHigh altitude can increase the risk of dehydration. Carry a water bottle and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated!

8. Val D’Aran

ENG: Aran Valley in winter. In the foreground, the village of Unha. In the background, Aneto peak with the Maladeta range (Aran Valley, Pyrenees, Catalonia, Spain) 
ESP: Valle de Arán en invierno. En primer término, el pueblo de Unha (Valle de Arán, Pirineos, Cataluña, España)
FR: Vallée d'Aran en hivern. Au premier plan, le village de Unha Le pic Aneto en arrière-plan (Vallée d'Aran, Pyrénées, Catalogne, Espange)
CAT: Val d'Aran a l'hivern. En primer terme, el poble d'Unha. (Val d'Aran, Catalunya)

Hidden in the spectacular peaks of the Pyrenees, Val d’Arán is Spain’s other prime skiing area.

The largest ski resort in Spain, Baqueira Beret, calls this valley home, with skiers taking to the slopes from early December.

I visited Val d’Aran on a winter trip a few years ago, where we learned about Aranese, the local dialect which is similar to Catalan (we met people here who could speak five languages: Spanish, Catalan, Aranese, French and English!).

We also visited Les for its spa, and learned about Pyrenees cheese in Vielha at Hormatges Tarrau!

You’ll also notice houses with sloped, slate roofs here, unlike the rest of Spain; as you feel the brisk alpine chill, you might feel like you’re in Switzerland!

Average high temperature7°C / 45°F
Average low temperature-1°C / 30°F
Days of rainfall8
How to get thereVal d’Arán can be accessed through Toulouse Blagnac airport, which is around two hours by car. Alternatively, the nearest train station is in Montrejeau, approximately an hour’s drive away.
Best things to do in DecemberSki or snowboard at the Baqueira Beret resort, explore the beautiful local architecture, try local culinary delicacies, and enjoy family-friendly hiking trails.
Hotel recommendationHotel AC Baqueira Ski Resort, Autograph Collection, is a great option for its close proximity to the slopes, modern amenities, and a relaxing spa. Click here to read more.
Unique travel tipIf you plan to drive yourself, check road conditions, closures, and weather advisories. Carry necessary equipment like snow chains, and drive cautiously in challenging conditions.

9. Mallorca

Cathedral La Seu at sunet time, Palma de Mallorca islands, Spain

Mallorca’s the largest island in the Balearic archipelago, and while it’s not scorching all winter long, the weather’s generally mild enough to enjoy beach walks and al fresco dining!

Palma’s the capital city, most famous for its grand cathedral with glittering stained glass windows.

It’s quite laidback compared to other Spanish cities, and in the winter its cobblestone pedestrian streets can be all but deserted.

The Palma to Soller train is a nostalgic ride in a heritage vehicle which trundles through the countryside and ends up in the beautiful town of Soller.

You can also take a tram to Port de Soller, a laidback coastal village on the north of the island.

Many businesses do close during the winter months in Mallorca – but those that stay open tend to cater to locals – so you’re likely to have a much more authentic experience!

Average high temperature15°C / 59°F
Average low temperature8°C / 46°F
Days of rainfall7
How to get thereMallorca is easily accessible via Palma de Mallorca Airport, which has numerous international flights. Alternatively, there are also ferry services connecting the island with the mainland.
Best things to do in winterTake the Palma to Soller train, explore the enchanting city of Palma and go wine tasting at Vins Nadal Winery.
Hotel recommendationFor a stay filled with luxury and comfort, the Castillo Hotel Son Vida is a great choice. It offers stunning views of Palma Bay and is surrounded by beautiful gardens. Click here to reserve.
Unique travel tipMake sure to check the opening times of restaurants, shops, and attractions before you visit, as many places may close for the winter season.


Aerial view of Sant Antoni de Portmany, Ibiza islands, Spain

Ibiza: it’s a party capital, right?

Well, visit during the off-season, and you probably won’t be going to all-night parties at Pacha, but you’ll find that the island moves at a different pace.

Even in winter, Ibiza’s weather remains pleasantly mild, with January being the coldest month when temperatures hover around 12°C during the day.

It’s pretty warm in November and March, but you still don’t get the huge tourist crowds.

Unbeknownst to many, Ibiza’s cultural heart, Dalt Vila, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Wander through the narrow streets of this old town, which leads out to Catedral de Santa María

Ibiza Castle, with magnificent views from the top, and the Archaeological Museum are also not to be missed.

Visit the traditional markets such as Mercat Vell, which has operated in the same location since 1873. Here, you can buy locally grown produce, traditional handicrafts, and unique souvenirs.

Take advantage of the less crowded season by exploring Ibiza’s famed beaches like Cala Llonga and Playa d’en Bossa.

For a dose of nature, head to Ses Salines Natural Park.

This protected area, stretching between southern Ibiza and northern Formentera, is home to diverse ecosystems, bird species, and spectacular salt pans that date back to Phoenician times.

And while the nightclubs may be hibernating, Ibiza’s gastronomy certainly isn’t.

You’ll find an array of restaurants serving delicious local fare, including ‘bullit de peix’ – a traditional fish stew. Can Berri Vell, located in a 17th-century farmhouse, is one such spot serving delightful local and Mediterranean dishes.

Finally, make sure to stop by Sant Antoni de Portmany on the west coast for an unforgettable winter sunset. Ibiza’s are legendary, and the quieter season means unobstructed views of this beautiful spectacle.

Average high temperature16°C / 61°F
Average low temperature9°C / 48°F
Days of rainfall7
How to get thereEnjoy the tranquillity of the beaches, capture the stunning landscapes through your camera lens, and indulge in world-class spa experiences.
Best things to do in DecemberEnjoy the tranquillity of the beaches, capture the stunning landscapes through your camera lens and indulge in world-class spa experiences.
Hotel recommendationHotel Mirador de Dalt Vila offers a boutique luxury experience in the heart of Ibiza’s old town. This historic property combines elegance and comfort. Click here for more information.
Unique travel tipTo fully explore the island, consider renting a car or scooter. This will give you the freedom to visit different beaches, towns, and attractions at your own pace.


Young female traveler with bacpack standing on the stone and looking forward in Teide park on Tenerife island

Is this the ultimate European winter destination?

Tenerife is the largest island in the Canaries, basks in its subtropical location – just off the north coast of Africa – to offer year-round warm tempertures.

In December, the mercury can reach up to 26°C, while in January and February can still reach to 20°C.

“We’re an island of eternal Spring”, my tour guide told me when I visited Tenerife at the end of winter. “We’re popular in the winter with British and German tourists, and in the summer, locals from mainland Spain come here because it’s cooler!”

Tenerife’s one of the only places in Europe that offers boat tours year-round.

The channel between Tenerife and La Gomera is rich with marine life, so it’s frequented by whales and dolphins who swim here to feed.

Siam Park is the largest water park in Europe and stays open year-round.

Another highlight is the Teide National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site that’s home to the highest mountain in Spain, Pico del Teide (Mount Teide). 

Go hiking, stargazing or just take the funicular to the top of the mountain to enjoy this ethereal landscape – it looks like you’re walking on Mars!

If you’re visiting Tenerife in winter, pack layers – it can get chilly at the top of Teide, even if it’s warm down by the beaches!

Average high temperature22°C / 72°F
Average low temperature15°C / 59°F
Days of rainfall5
How to get thereTenerife is served by two airports; most tourists fly into Tenerife South Airport. Ferries are also available from the Spanish mainland and neighbouring islands.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the island’s natural wonders like Teide National Park, enjoy water sports at Playa de las Americas, or seek adventure in Europe’s largest water park, Siam Park.
Hotel recommendationHotel Botanico is a luxury hotel offering exquisite service, fine dining, and a renowned spa. Click here to read more about it.
Unique travel tipTenerife is home to excellent stargazing conditions, thanks to its clear skies and minimal light pollution. Consider joining a stargazing tour or finding a secluded spot to marvel at the night sky.


Central square with old church Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Teguise village on the sunset on lanzarote island

Volcanic landscapes, mild temperatures and plenty to see and do – head to Lanzarote if you want a summer-style vacation in Spain in the winter!

With daytime temperatures ranging from 21°C to 25°C and plenty of sunshine, it’s no surprise that tourists flock to Lanzarote throughout the cooler season.

Venture into Timanfaya National Park, known as Las Montañas del Fuego, to see a stark landscape of black earth and massive craters. Also, don’t miss the mysterious Cueva de Los Vesdes!

Views abound from places like Mirador Caldera, Mirador de Guinate, or Mirador de El Risco de Famara in Parque El Bosquecillo.

Also, don’t miss the sandy beaches – like Playa Blanca and Papagayo. It might be too chilly to swim in the sea, but that odesn’t mean you can’t have a day at the beach!

To toast a successful holiday, Lanzarote also boasts excellent local wines, which you can sample at one of the island’s traditional wineries.

Average High Temperature (Winter)21°C (70°F)
Average Low Temperature (Winter)15°C (59°F)
Days of Rainfall (Winter)4 days (on average)
How to Get ThereFly to Lanzarote Airport (ACE) from major European cities or take a ferry from other Canary Islands.
Best Things to Do in WinterExplore Timanfaya National Park and witness its unique volcanic landscape, visit Jameos del Agua, a stunning underground cave formed by volcanic activity and relax on the beautiful beaches of Playa Blanca and Papagayo
Discover the works of César Manrique, a renowned local artist and architect
Hotel RecommendationPrincesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort – a luxurious beachfront resort offering excellent amenities, multiple swimming pools, and a spa for ultimate relaxation. Click here to read more about it.
Unique Travel TipEnjoy local cuisine, including fresh seafood dishes and the famous Canarian wrinkly potatoes with mojo sauce. Also, consider visiting the wine region of La Geria to taste unique volcanic wines.

Gran Canaria

Landscape with Maspalomas town and golden sand dunes at sunrise, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain

Sun-soaked even in the depths of winter, Gran Canaria’s southern beaches are a year-round paradise.

On this Canary Island, temperatures throughout winter reach 22°C during the day.

Beaches include Playa del Inglés, Meloneras, and Amadores in the south, or Guayedra and El Juncal in the north.

Among these, Playa del Inglés stands out, with its expansive stretch of golden sands forming part of the Dunas de Maspalomas.

In the island’s capital, Las Palmas, visit the iconic Columbus House or head to Playa de las Canteras, one of the best urban beaches in Europe.

Holiday World Maspalomas, the largest amusement park on the island,stays open throughout the winter season and offers a range of attractions, from thrilling rides to entertainment options like bowling, an escape room, and karaoke.

Gran Canaria has also recently emerged as a sought-after wellness and health destination.

Several state-of-the-art facilities offer a variety of treatments catering to health-focused travellers.

These include revitalising spa treatments, rejuvenating yoga retreats, and various holistic therapies.

Gran Canaria in winter’s definitely one to add to your list!

Average high temperature22°C / 72°F
Average low temperature15°C / 59°F
Days of rainfall2
How to get thereGran Canaria Airport, also known as Las Palmas Airport, is one of the largest airports in Spain and has flights from many international locations.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the historic city of Las Palmas, relax at Playa de las Canteras, walk across the Dunas de Maspalomas, or enjoy the largest amusement park in Gran Canaria, Holiday World Maspalomas.
Hotel recommendationLopesan Baobab Resort is a stunning hotel offering exceptional service and amenities with unique African-themed architecture. Click here to read more about it.
Unique travel tipWhile tap water is technically safe for drinking, it doesn’t rain much in the Canary Islands and the taste might not be quite what you’re used to!

FAQs about visiting Spain in winter

PALMA, MAJORCA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 9, 2017: Christmas lights on Passeig del Born

Is it worth visiting Spain in winter?

Absolultey! With mild temperatures (apart from in the mountains) fewer crowds, and unique winter festivities and cultural events, Spain’s one of the best winter destinations going.

Whether you want to ski, enjoy the sunshine or bask in South European culture, Spain delivers.

What is the warmest part of Spain in winter?

The southern regions of Spain, particularly Andalusia has the warmest temperatures in winter.

If you’re counting islands, the Canaries are the warmest – you might have weather for a beach day here, even in the middle of January!

Is Spain very cold in winter?

Spain’s winter temperatures vary across regions.

While some areas in the north and central parts of the country can experience colder temperatures (especially in the mountains!), overall, Spain has a relatively mild winter climate.

Coastal regions and southern areas tend to be warmer, so if you want sunshine, head south!

Is Spain or Portugal warmer in winter?

Generally, southern parts of Spain, such as Andalusia and the Canary Islands, are warmer than Portugal in winter.

However, both countries have mild winter climates – I had a wonderful sunny city break in Lisbon a few years ago – making them fantastic for some winter sunshine!

Is Spain cheap in December?

December in Spain can be cheap – as long as you avoid the Christmas/ New Year period.

December is considered the off-peak season, and you can often find lower prices for accommodations, flights, and attractions compared to the summer months.

However, January and February are even cheaper – so if you’re not visiting for Christmas reasons, I’d recommend saving your trip for after the new year.

Where in Spain is good in winter?

Many regions in Spain are worth visiting in winter!

Coastal destinations like Malaga, Valencia, and the Canary Islands offer mild temperatures and a range of activities.

Cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville have cultural attractions, while mountainous regions such as the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada offer opportunities for skiing and winter sports.

How cold is Spain at Christmas?

Temperatures in Spain at Christmas can vary depending on the region.

In general, coastal areas and southern parts of the country experience milder temperatures, ranging from around 10°C to 15°C – or even 15°C in the warmest parts – during the day.

Inland and northern regions can be cooler, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 10°C or lower at altitude.

Are you ready to visit Spain in winter?

Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona, Spain

With beautiful beaches boasting high average temperatures and enchanting cities lined with cobbled streets, Spain in winter is a delight. 

Head to this European country on your winter holidays, and enjoy sun, snow – and everything in between! 

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