If you’re wondering where to go in mainland Spain for a winter getaway, chances are you’ll be seeking sunshine and sangria. Luckily the people, passion and climate make this Iberian nation a fiery, hot country year-round. Visiting in the milder, quieter months are ideal to avoid the summer crowds while catching winter sun in Spain. Pack your optimism and a pair of shorts or a sundress and explore these winter destinations in Spain.
With 300 days of sunshine every year, Valencia’s Mediterranean climate is the ideal place for a winter escape in Spain. With mild temperatures and winter highs around 16º C during the day, it’s the perfect weather to explore the city on foot. Embrace the city’s spirit of innovation at the City of Arts and Sciences, a large-scale urban recreation centre for culture and science. If you plan to visit in March things start heating up, so pack a t-shirt, sunglasses and sun cream.
From a charming plaza you can admire snow-topped peaks poking out above the famous Alhambra Palace. Indeed, this southern Spanish city is closer to the equator but surrounded by some of Spain’s highest mountains and best ski fields. Through winter the weather is cooler, but the sun is almost always shining. Even on the cooler days you can find clear sky and a patch of winter sun to bake in before exploring Spain’s great Moorish architecture marvel.
The Spanish capital is anything but sleepy in winter. Wander through Buen Retiro Park seeking winter sun, shop up a storm on Gran Vía or stop to people-watch with a steaming cup of coffee and churros con chocolate. While cooler than the southern cities, Madrid mixes winter sun with festive feelings at its Christmas Markets, and if the weather is too chilly choose to explore the Prado and other museums.
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Debating where to go? The former capital dates back to Roman times and here you’ll find plenty of sunshine in Spain for a winter getaway. Wander the narrow ancient streets and witness the age-old inlaid-steel craft in this small but magical Spanish city that has been influenced over the centuries by strong Islamic, Christian and Jewish traditions.
One of the best places to visit in Spain in winter, Córdoba was once a Moorish settlement and the influence left behind makes it a worthy stop. With centuries of history, the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba is a fascinating masterpiece to get lost in. Just outside the iconic and mega-sized ancient place of worship is a beautiful square where a hundred or so orange trees are heavy with plump fruit during the cooler months.
If you’re wondering where to go in Spain for a winter getaway, the Andalusian capital should be top of your list. Like it’s neighbour Córdoba, the streets of Seville are filled with beautiful orange trees that come to life over winter. If you’re curious about religious holidays and celebrations like Christmas, it’s also a brilliant time to visit. On January 6 each year the city celebrates with a festive Three Kings parade that spends the entire day crawling through the city.
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Málaga is the capital of the Costa del Sol, which literally translates to Coast of the Sun. Yes, winter temperatures are mild but when the winter sun is shining this southern city in Spain feels nothing like the rest of Europe. While Málaga is most famously a beach destination, in winter you can turn your attention to the architecture including the Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga from the early 1500s.
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Still wondering where to go in Spain for your winter getaway? Let us know if these destinations hit the spot for winter sun in Spain in the comments below…