Photo illustration: thehammockhombre.com
Spain is a large country and therefore the weather can vary greatly depending on which region you head for and when. Barcelona, being in the north of the country has cooler winters but also doesn’t get quite so hot in July, August and September. I mean, it still gets interminably hot during this period, but you are more likely to live through the experience than if you were in, say, Seville, whose temperatures are akin to that of Hell on a hot day.
When you should start travelling
As a general guide, unless your plan is to do nothing other than lie basting in a variety of suntan oils for extended periods of time and drinking cold beer on the beach – a pastime I’m not in any way knocking – then the best times to visit Barcelona are Spring and Autumn when not only are the temperatures more manageable but you will have to share space with substantially less tourists. Let’s face it, even though we are tourists ourselves, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we want to hang out with other people doing the same. Spain puts up with well over thirty million tourists every year and most of those thirty million arrive during June, July, August and September. So the more sensible option is Spring and Autumn.
Choosing the right time
August is a very bad time to visit Spain’s coasts as this is the hottest month of the year and also the month when Spaniards declare Barcelona unliveable and themselves head for the beaches. Cities during August are often quiet and many shops will close down for part of or in most cases the entire month.
From the end of September through to November days Barcelona can still experience what would be considered hot days in cooler countries. Once the sun comes out it is still quite normal to find people unclad on the beaches.
Christmas in Barcelona can be very pleasant, generally mild, often sunny and the entire doesn’t completely close down, like they do in the UK and other parts of Europe. This is also a great time to head to Barcelona. It very rarely snows but when it does, expect high spirits from the locals.
So depending on what you are after, a suntan akin to 40 degree burns or sitting on the terraces during Christmas enjoying a hot chocolate, every season has its advantages and disadvantages.
The average temperatures in Barcelona are as follows:
January max – 13ºC
March max – 16ºC
May max – 21ºC
July max – 28ºC
September max – 25ºC
November max – 16ºC