From riotous fiestas and sizzling cuisine to world-class museums and cutting-edge art galleries, there's a reason why Spain endures as one of the world's most popular destinations. Like the country's famous tapas, Spain itself is a tempting smorgasbord of bustling cities, scenic countryside and sunny islands, which visitors can nibble away at on repeat trips or consume in one giant feast. Either way, it is one appetizing nation. Despite its myriad attractions, most come to Spain for sun, sand and self-indulgence, flocking to the likes of the Costa del Sol and Costa Brava, whiling away days on beaches and nights in clubs. An early pioneer of package holidays, Spain's leading resorts have long been geared up for the mass market – from the Balearics to the Canary Islands – but it's not all sprawling hotel complexes; quaint shing villages, bijou retreats and secluded beaches abound if you’re looking to veer o the tourist trail. Spain is much more than holidays in the sun, though. Away from the beach there's an extraordinary variety of things to do; from climbing snow-capped peaks in the Pyrénées to hiking the ancient pilgrimage route of St James's Way; from diving in the protected Medes Islands to stargazing in Tenerife. Alternatively, you could drop in on one of the country's many festivals (think Running of the Bulls, La Tomatina and the Baby Jumping Festival) which are madder than a box of frogs. And then there are the cities; Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Seville, Valencia, the list goes on. Each one of these vibrant metropolises has their own distinct flavor; the Dali architecture and sweeping beaches of Barcelona seem a long way from the wide boulevards and soaring skyscrapers of Madrid (though the Catalans may wish it was further). But for all their disparities, these cities are bound by Spain's remarkable history and enviable cultural feats, which are proudly displayed in the country's museums, galleries and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Suffice to say, its popularity shows no sign of waning.
Weather, Climate and Geography
What type of clothing should I pack?
In Spain, people dress differently according to the season, the place they are going to, and the circumstances. In the coast, because of the mild climate, it is usually not necessary to pack warm clothes; while in the interior, you should dress according to the season. In the interior of Spain, temperatures vary greatly from one season to the next, with very cold winters, and hot summers. Spanish people don't dress up too much to go out, although of course, it depends on where you are going.
What is the weather like in Spain?
Spain, one of the warmest countries in Europe:
Spain has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures. Here you can enjoy more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. It is no surprise, then, that this is one of the warmest parts of Europe.
When talking of weather, special mention should be made of the Canary Islands. Their special location, facing the coast of Africa, gives them a benign climate with mild temperatures (22ºC year-round average on the coasts), with only small temperature differences between day and night, whatever the season.
Nevertheless, variety is the main characteristic of the climate here, due to Spain’s immense geographical diversity.
So that if you travel to the north, to the Cantabrian coast, you will find a mild climate with high rainfall. Winters are mild and in summer temperatures rarely exceed 25ºC.
However, in the higher parts of the country, the climate is harsher, and it is common to see snow from the beginning of winter to the end of spring. This is the case of the Pyrenees, the mountains of Sierra Nevada, the Central and Iberian ranges, and the Cantabrian Mountains, amongst others.
What is the geography in Spain?
Spain covers an area of 505,955 square kilometers, which places it amongst the fifty largest countries in the world.
The largest part of the territory is located in the Iberian Peninsula, the remainder, approximately 12,500 square kilometers (4,800 Sq. miles), are islands, -Balearics and the Canary Islands- plus 32 square kilometers (12.5 square miles) that are accounted for by the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, situated on the coast of Africa. The situation of the Iberian Peninsula in the extreme south west of Europe and only 14 kilometers (9 miles) away from the African continent, endows Spain with a great strategic value: projecting into the Mediterranean on one side and acting as an intersection on the path to Africa and America on the other. The fact that a large part of Spain is peninsular also explains the length of its coastline, which runs along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. As a result of its position, between 36 and 43 degrees North latitude, the climate ranges from the mild oceanic climate in the North, to the continental Mediterranean in the center and the Mediterranean in the East and South, factors which combine to create a wet Spain in the North and mountainous areas, green Spain with luxuriant forests and a dry Spain in the Mediterranean.
From June to August on the coastal areas, casual beach wear such as flip ops, vests, loose fitting clothing and shorts will suffice. It can get unbearably hot in the city, so be prepared to brave the weather with plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen. In between high and low season (April-May; October-November) the climate can be unpredictable in certain parts of the country, be sure to pack your umbrella, raincoat and a light jacket for the night.
Passport and Visas
There are no visa requirements for US, UK, EU, Australian and Canadian citizens. All visitors (Except for EU citizens) must have a valid passport.
Note: Please visit the country’s embassy/consulate website for most updated visa and passport requirements.