Spain is a large country that is in a unique position in the world map – located in the Iberian Peninsula it is bordered to the north by France and the Bay of Biscay, the south by Gibraltar and Africa at its narrowest point by southwest, and to the east by the Mediterranean Sea. It also has a varied topography, with southern coastlines and mountain ranges on Mainland Spain. As such, climate also varies according to geographic location in the country.
Generally however, Spain has a temperate climate throughout most of the year with a generous amount of sunshine. In terms of rainfall, the Cantabrian Mountains actually determine the difference between the north and the south. “Dry Spain,” or very scant volume of precipitation throughout the year is to the south of the mountains – this area would include places such as Murcia, Malaga, Sevilla, Granada, Cadiz, Cordoba among others. On the other hand, “Rainy Spain” lies to the north where rainfall occurs more frequently and in more substantial amount. The areas with this type of climate are the Basque county, Asturias and Galicias.
Another way to divide Spain according to climatic conditions is through the following classifications:
Mediterranean weather is experienced mostly on the east coast of Spain, in the Balearic Islands, as well as in the Guadalquivir valley. Here the summers are hot with temperatures reaching lows of 30s and sunshine averages about 12-13 hours every day. Evenings are also warm, with temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius.
The good thing however is that the sea breezes from the Mediterranean makes even the hottest summer day bearable. The winter on the other hand is mild and cool in these areas. Much of the rainfall happens during late autumn and earl spring.
Semi-arid weather characterizes the climate in the region of Murcia and also the southeast point of Andalusia which is the nearest to Africa. The areas are hot and dry with temperatures climbing up to the 40s especially during the summer and winters are very mild. Rainfall is pretty scant, occurring mostly in spring and autumn.
To the north and northwest of Spain is maritime or oceanic climate characterized by warm summers and cool (not cold) winters. There are no marked drops or peaks in the temperature even when the seasons change. There is also abundant rainfall and happens fairly all throughout the year. The skies are almost always cloudy in the areas with this type of climate.
Going further to the Pyrenees which borders France and Spain and the Sierra Nevada, locals experience an alpine climate, characterized by temperatures that do not go beyond 10 degrees Celsius and becomes colder as one goes higher up the mountain range. There is heavy amount of snow instead of rainfall and heavy gusts of winds. And the Canary Islands experience a sub-tropical climate where temperatures tend to be mild and stable at around 18 to 24 degrees Celsius.
The best time to go to Spain would be around early spring to autumn when the temperatures are between 21 degrees to 28 degrees Celsius and there is still plenty of hours of sunshine to enjoy.