Winter is a phenomenal time to travel to Spain. While summer vacation or spring break may be some of the most popular times to head out on a trip, there are loads of reasons to plan a winter vacation to Spain instead. Especially if your schedule allows it. With less rain and milder temperatures than other parts of Europe (and the U.S.), and all the best parts of winter still at your fingertips, you truly get the best of many worlds. Head to Spain in winter and you’ll also avoid heavy tourism and have more opportunities to experience the country as a local—from winter food traditions to cultural festivals and more. Discover all the reasons why you should travel to Spain in winter.

Avoid the Crowds

small village in spain The busiest seasons for travel in Spain are undeniably spring and summer (think summer vacation and spring break). So when winter comes around, things tend to quiet down. And after the holidays, folks tend to travel even less. Come January, you’ll find calmer streets, emptier museums, and shorter lines. It’s also easier to get a reservation at those coveted restaurants you’ve been eyeing, or ensure availability of the top private guides and tours. In other words, the country is yours for the taking!

Get Better Hotel Rates

rooftop pool from hotel in barcelonaLess travelers means more availability in hotels, so you’ll really have your pick of the absolute best accommodations and rooms. And that also means way better rates! Plan a trip in June versus January and you’ll notice quite the difference in your daily rate. It’s the perfect time to upgrade to a better room or even stay in a more luxurious accommodation than you normally would. You’re on vacation, go ahead and splurge!

Find Cheaper Flights

plane flying overhead to SpainJanuary and February are some of the cheapest times to fly around the world, Spain included. As things slow down after the holidays, you’ll find lower rates, better flight patterns, and less chaos in airports. Flying becomes a far more relaxing experience around this time. And if you’re saving money on the flight it offers you the financial flexibility to allow yourself other travel expenses like nicer accommodations, private tours, unique excursions, or that extra glass of wine at dinner!

Enjoy Milder Weather

winter in canary islands While many areas of Spain experience chilly temperatures and even snow in the winter, they tend to be much milder than the north of the United States or other areas of Europe. The best part is you’ll still get to enjoy the best of the season, as most regions in the peninsula still experiences four full pleasant seasons. In the mountainous areas like the Sierra Nevada outside Granada or up in the Pyrenees mountains in northeastern Spain, you can even hit the slopes and enjoy a delightful ski vacation. And at a much more affordable price than so many other ski resorts around Europe.

In small towns around the Spanish countryside you can cozy up by the fire and enjoy seasonal gastronomy you would otherwise miss— Spain has some of the most warming, rich stews around and they vary from one area of the country to another.

If sunshine is what you’re after, you’ll find it. In the south of Spain, temperatures are extremely mild in winter and the sun is practically always shining. And if you’re looking to totally escape the winter, head to the Canary Islands. These islands experience the same perfect temperature year round (think 75ºF in January). A true eternal summer!

Experience Unique Local Festivals

woman in carnival in spainWe truly believe Spain has some of the most unique and exciting festivals in Europe, many of which are only known and celebrated by locals. King’s Day (or Epiphany), for example, is on January 6th and begins the night of January 5th with a vibrant parade through the city with festive floats. The whole country comes out to celebrate and see the parade, where the three kings toss candy and small toys out to kids and adults alike.

This is just the beginning of winter festivals. In San Sebastián in the Basque Country, January 20th brings the Tamborrada festival, celebrating the patron saint Sebastián. Rain or shine, the whole city gathers along with thousands of drummers in folkloric dress to dance and party in the streets for 24 hours straight. Come February, many areas around the country like Cádiz and Santa Cruz de Tenerife celebrate Carnival with some serious fervor. It’s essentially like a happier halloween (no scary zombies or witches), with costumes, parades, floats, music, comedy, and all day parties in the streets.

Take Advantage of January Shopping Sales

hats in spain Right after King’s Day begins the season of rebajas in Spain, or a full month or more of incredible sales. It’s the perfect time to shop and pick up great deals on Spanish clothing, souvenirs, gourmet snacks, and gifts to take home to friends and family.

Ready to travel to Spain in winter? Reach out to us and we’ll design a truly unforgettable itinerary.