Abstract: Spain is a great country to visit, but many people wait until the summer. Here, we tell you why spring is a great time to spend time in Spain, and why you should make it your escape from the cold this year.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, then like me, you’re probably pretty cold by now. The winter has gone on for a while, temperatures have just dropped even further, and of course there is still February to come. You certainly won’t be alone if you’re already thinking about Spring, and planning your first holiday. There are always so many great places to choose from when trying to decide where to go, here’s why we think Spain should be right at the top of your list.
An Early Spring
First thing you’ll no doubt be thinking about is some sunshine, as it would be nice to be able to walk around outside without half a dozen layers on. Fortunately, in Spain, spring starts early. Even in winter you generally get lots of sunny days—some parts of Spain get around 320 days of sun a year! Normally around March, the weather starts to heat up too. Most people won’t be having a dip in the sea before April, at any rate. But it does get pleasant early on—great weather for a stroll around a beautiful city, and great weather for a nice glass of vermouth in a plaza. Many say that spring is the best time for weather in Spain, as the scorching hot summers aren’t quite everyone’s cup of tea.
Taking Advantage of Discounts
Spain is a really popular tourist destination all year round, but does understandably quieten down in winter. Spring is a nice balance- everything is open, and the bars and restaurants are a little more lively, but it’s not too crowded. Things are also a little cheaper, as some places inflate their prices a little in the summer, when there are so many people. In spring though, prices of flights and accommodation are normally a bit lower. Whether you’re looking for a hotel, or renting an apartment, you should find your budget stretches a little further.
A lot happens in Spain in the spring. The country is a fairly Catholic one, so they take Easter pretty seriously. In fact, here they celebrate Semana Santa (holy week), so there is a whole week to enjoy. It is celebrated all over the country, but the capital, Madrid, is a particularly good place to experience it, and the best is Andalusía. The region in the south of Spain includes Malaga, Granada, and Seville, and the celebrations there are huge. There are massive processions and everyone comes out into the street to take part in the festivities.
Easter is also the most popular time to take on the Camino de Santiago—the famous pilgrimage that starts in France, crosses the north of Spain, and ends up in Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, the region to the north of Portugal. You don’t need to do the whole thing; many just take on a part of the camino. Everyone who does, whether religious or not, speaks of a fantastic atmosphere and camaraderie, and of course you get so see some spectacular countryside.
Another great occasion in the spring is Las Fallas, which takes place in Valencia in mid-March. It comes from an old carpenters’ tradition of burning the wooden supports for their winter lights to celebrate the arrival of spring. Nowadays, it encompasses processions, fireworks, and huge bonfires where they burn effigies. These are beautifully made, with a heavy dose of satire.
Ok, this probably isn’t what you had in mind when I mentioned escaping the cold for your spring vacations. Hear me out though. Some families are divided at this time of year, when someone wants to seek out warmer climates, while someone else wants to make the most of the last days of winter. Fortunately, during March in Spain, you can do both. The Pyrenees to the north, and the Sierra Nevada in the south, both still have some snow in March, so anyone not ready for a stroll on the beach can head up to the mountains to see out the winter. Also, if there’s one time you don’t mind it being cold, it’s when you get all your ski gear on in the snow with the sun shining.
I bet you are. Spain is a great country to visit at any time of year, but if you’ve never been in spring, why not give it a try this year? Get that flight booked, and you can start counting down the days!
Image Credits: Daniel Corneschi