Adapting to the climate in Spain

Hello everyone,

Adjusting to new climatic conditions is key in any expatriation process. Moving to Spain is no exception.

What are the climate characteristics of Spain?

How does the local weather impact your daily life, mood or health?

What are the pros and cons of the climate in Spain?

Share you advice and help people adapt quickly to their new weather environment.

Thanks in advance,


One of the strange things is that it's the winters that are the problem not the heat of summer.

I live in inland Alicante, away from the coast. The coast is much milder than the interior, for instance between Alicante City and our house in Pinoso there is often a winter difference of some six degrees, simply because of the altitude

A lot of us inland dwellers have older, often detached, houses in the countryside. They have no insulation, no curtains, no carpets, no central heating. They are built with summer in mind with lots of tiles and marble. In winter they are perishing. It's easy enough to pour heat into them from log burners, gas heaters or electric heaters but the warmth flies out under the badly fitting doors, around the windows etc. To some extent the same is true of newer flats on the coast. Again insulation tends to be pretty basic and although the ambient temperature outside is very pleasant it is much chillier inside.

One other thing, The weather tends to be more extreme. Thunderstorms, hailstorms and high winds are common. When it rains towns are suddenly flooded. It doesn't happen often but it's not a rare phenomena either.

It's 33ªC today though - sunny with blue skies. No complaints there.

I guess you wouldn't move to Spain unless you like hot weather.  However, July and August can be extremely hot and if you are new here, it can be a struggle. 

My advice is to watch what the locals do.  They are up and about early in the morning, walking their dogs at 7.00 and getting all their shopping done by 13:00. 

Take your time; don't rush.  Keep hydrated, stop regularly for coffee or a cool drink and choose a café or bar with a shaded patio.  If you are using your car, park it in the shade or use windscreen reflectors.

Consider taking a break or siesta from 15:00 to 17:00 and eat later that you normally would.  When the temperature is in the 30's and the humidity is high, you won't feel like eating.

It depends where in Spain you relocate to?
E.g. we live in Cordoba in the foothills of the Sierra Morena.
This area is one of the hottest in Spain and from June onwards the temperature can be up to 45 degs. With minimal rainfall.
This means life can be expensive if the a/c is left running. From mid morning it can be difficult to carry out physical work and regular hydration is a must.
Luckily I am retired and can run my day to suit the temp. The nights can also be hot and sleep difficult if there is no a/c.
At other times of the year a lovely temperate climate can be enjoyed..
I love it and the mountains supply clean air and often dramatic storms.
Perhaps this is why most expats prefer the Costa del Sol - there are few here in Cordoba.
Do your research before coming and ....Always look on the bright side of life.

Since we had spent most of our life living by the temperate coast in Australia, we were unaccustomed to the climate of the inland mountain area of Granada. We were particularly surprised by the thermal lag effect - ie. the vast differences between day and night temperatures as well as the extremes of the seasons. It took us a while to adapt to it and even still the cold of winter and the heat of summer were sometimes a challenge for us to cope with, particularly as many of the houses are very old and not properly insulated for the cold. In addition, my husband developed an allergy to the olive and cypress trees which caused him some discomfort.
Overall though life in Spain was so fabulous we took the climate in our stride and had an incredible time living there.

My husband calls it "the ghost town that was Valencia" in August. Many people go away, stores close, especially the last two weeks. Definitely schedule appointments and run errands early in the day.
We're trying a cruise of the British isles 8/3-15. Luckily we live in a communidad with a pool and some shade.

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