When we think about Spain as a destination, either for a holiday or a place to set up a new life I’m sure we all have the same image. The travel magazines tell us that clear sunny days can be expected for more than 300 days a year. So does it matter what part of Spain you head to? The answer is a definite, yes, if the weather is one of your priorities.
Basically you can split the country into three, the north, the middle (or inland) and the south. The north tends to be cooler and sees more rain therefore it is a lot greener. The south enjoys hot summers, about 30 degrees, and pleasant winters with temperatures around 18 degrees.
What may surprise a lot of people is the variation once you travel inland. When we arrived in Granada it was the middle of January and we were dressed in shorts and T shirts, ready to go house hunting. During the day the sun was shining which made it quite warm. As dusk arrived the temperature began to drop…rapidly. We returned to the house where we were renting a room and changed into something warmer. The temperature continued to go down.
When it reached minus 5 the lack of heating and gaps in the window frame forced us to take refuge in our bed. My teeth chattered as I asked Heather “We are in Sssspppainnn, Aren’t we?” We put this down to freak weather. A month later whilst looking out of the window at the 8 inches of snow covering our new patio furniture we conceded that this must be the norm for winter. I took a photograph and sent it to Jon Mitchell at Calendar News. He used it that night as a backdrop whilst giving his weather forecast. I’m sure I saw a smirk on his face.
Eventually winter rolled into spring and spring into summer. The temperature went higher…and higher….and higher.. It was now 45 degrees, dropping to just 30 degrees on a night. When you opened the outside door it was like walking into an oven. How we longed for those cold winter nights. Apparently this is why ‘Siestas’ were invented, can you imagine working in that heat. I still smile each August when watching the UK news and health warnings are given out because the weather is expected to reach 25 degrees. Since moving to Spain I seem to spend all my time drinking. No, not alcohol! Hot drinks in the winter to keep warm and cold ones in the summer to keep hydrated.
Please don’t let me put anybody off visiting inland Spain in the winter time. For all you skiers out there I can strongly recommend the Sierra Nevada Ski Resort, just outside the city of Granada. Great snow, good all level runs, and no queues. Where else in the world can you ski in the morning, then drive an hour down the road and spend the afternoon sunbathing on the beach?