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Climate and Weather

Spain - Climate and Weather

Spain is a large country and as a result has a total of 3 climatic zones. The continental zone spans much of mainland Spain, extending across to the border of Portugal. On average the summers in this zone are warm and clear and winters are chilly and windy. The mediterranean zone spans the Andalusian Plain in the south and runs along the east coast finishing next to the Pyrenees mountains in the north east. The zone also includes the Balearic Islands. The Canary Islands are often grouped within the mediterranean climate though they experience their own sub tropical climate which sees consistently warm weather all year round. The mediterranean climate sees the lowest precipitation and both warmer winters and the hottest summers in Spain. In spring these areas also experience dry and hot dusty winds from North Africa. The final climatic zone is the maritime zone (also known as the oceanic zone) which is located from the northwestern region along Galicia to the Pyrenees. This climatic zone sees warm and dry but not hot summers and mild winters. The northwest coast experiences high humidity and winds.

In terms of regional weather, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country in the north enjoy mild winters and warm summers. In Bilbao the average temperature in winter for January is 10oC and in and summer in August is 23oC. Generally, July and August are the warmest months and the weather is at its best from June to September with April seeing the most rainfall. The east of Spain sees warm winters and scorching summers. Valencia sees the average temperature for winter in January at 9oC and in summer during august in Alicante it hits 26oC. Rainfall peaks during september and october. The south of Spain has mild weather throughout the year and hot summers and mild winters. Beach weather spans from May until October in the enjoyable mediterranean climate. Benidorm sees temperatures in summer during July and August of 25oC similar to other areas near the coast. In the west, Badajoz sees mild and enjoyable weather conditions with summer months hitting 25oC and winters averaging out at 13oC-14oC. Málaga’s average winter temperature in January is 13oC and in summer can reach 31oC on average.

Spring sees relative amounts of rainfall so a mixture of lightweight waterproofs, covered footwear and jumpers for chilly evenings should be in your wardrobe as well as a few bits of summer clothing for sunny days. Summer experiences the driest and hottest months so light, summer clothing such as t shirts and shorts plus sunglasses and hats are necessary for keeping cool and protecting yourself from the sun if out and about. Autumn calls for lightweight clothing along with some waterproof layers incase the rain catches you off guard in a sudden shower. Whilst temperatures are pleasant there might be a slight chill in the evenings so a few jumpers and closed shoes can help. Winter sees an increase in rain as temperatures drop so waterproof jackets, covered shoes, jumpers trousers should be packed.

In the country's capital, Madrid, the lowest average temperature throughout the year occurs in January (1‎°C) and the highest in August (33‎°C).

The typical monthly rainfall in Madrid remains fairly constant throughout the year, with a low of 10mm in July & August, and a high of 50mm in April, November and December.

For more information on monthly weather data in various areas, check holiday-weather.com.

Annual hours of sunlight in Madrid amount to 2910. In terms of daylight hours, the Spain sees the sun 66.4% of the time. The hours of sunlight are the shortest in December with an average of 4h 19mins per day and the longest day on average is in July at 12h 29mins. Humidity isn’t a huge problem in Spain. It can make hot summers in cities feel stuffy and in coastal regions older houses may suffer with damp conditions. The Spanish way of opening windows and shutters windows allows for ventilation and free air flow which alleviates the problem and fans and air con in summer aiding the problem too.

Many foreigners move to Spain each year and millions holiday there every summer. It is generally a safe country to live in but it is prone to some weather and environmental risks. is prone to forest fires, earthquakes, flash floods and strong winds. Southern Spain often has earthquakes but these do not exceed more than 5.0 on the Richter scale and there are very rarely earthquakes that cause fatalities (2 in the history of the country) or injuries. Forest fires often break out in the dry and drought ridden forests in Spain. Wildfires have been in the news recently with 2,000 holidaymakers being evacuated from areas near Benidorm in September 2016 due to the Javea wildfire. It is thought this was started deliberately. There are many evacuation procedures in place and the emergency services are well trained in alerting those in areas local to fires, so whilst fires do occur they are not generally of danger to the public. Spain experiences flash floods in mountainous areas, river beds and dried up river streams when heavy rain has fallen. Lives have been claimed in the past when a campsite was flooded in 1996 so precautions should be taken when out in nature or near a stream or river and it begins to rain. Always check the forecast before you go into known flood, wildfire or landslide areas.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.