Understanding the Weather in Spain

Dear Kara,

When you think of Spain do you picture sunny coastal towns and year-round enjoyable weather? I know I certainly did and I thus pictured being about to hit the beach in my swimsuit and eat out in the streets any month of the year. Many people have this conception of Spain and, I hate to let you down, but this isn’t always the case.

As we’ve talked about before, it can get really cold in Spain, especially up north or in mountainous regions like Granada. You may not (typically) see snow on the ground but the temperatures can drop below zero at night and the houses are often built to keep cold air, not warm air, inside which can result in some shockingly cold winter nights.

In addition to the details mentioned in the article linked above, this video clip provides more information on understanding and dealing with the weather here in Spain. Check it out to learn about what you’ll want to know to thrive in Spain’s ever-changing climate!

In this video, I go into the misconceptions about always-sunny-Spain and provide tips on how you can deal with the REAL weather, touching on topics like:

  • what the weather is like in different regions

  • what the weather is like in Granada (where the Sincerely, Spain girls call home)

  • how the weather changes from season-to-season

  • how the weather changes within one individual day

  • top tips on how to understand and deal with the Spanish weather

While I felt the need to explain how Spain is NOT always warm and sunny in the video, I also want to add that the reason the stereotypical image of sunny days drinking sangria and enjoying tapas outdoors exists is because there is, of course, some truth to it. While you’re not going to be able to comfortably sit outside at night in the winter in most regions of Spain, the summer season does last longer in this part of the world than in the countries we personally come from. This means that it’s not unusual to consider all of the months from May through October to be ‘summer’ and therefore eat-outside-weather.

Additionally, the fact that the temperature tends to fluctuate a lot throughout the day, especially in the south of Spain, means that while it’s definitely a winter climate at night, at midday in the sunshine you can enjoy outdoor seating―perhaps with a coat but perhaps not, depending on where you are. This leads to a more vibrant going out and eating outside culture year-round. It also leads to more families taking advantage of this and having their kids out with them until (what we would consider) the wee hours of the night.

Whether you’ve ever thought much about it or not, weather has a huge impact on our culture because of the ways it shapes what we do, where we gather, and how often we’re able to be out and about taking in nature or simply the local open-air eateries. For me, the fact that people in Spain are able to take advantage of the outdoors more throughout the year is one of my favorite things about the atmosphere here.

What about you, do you like eating outdoors? Had you ever considered how important the weather is to culture and can you think of other examples of this as well? Please share your thoughts below!


Sincerely,
Spain