Winter in Spain

Old Feb 20th, 2014, 01:41 PM
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Winter in Spain

My husband and I are thinking of spending 3-4 weeks in Spain and Portugal next January and February. While we certainly don't expect the temps to be hot, we are just looking for relative warmth (40's and 50's). We are very frequent and independent European travelers, though we've not been to Spain. So our thought is to spend enough time to visit the big cities, and interesting smaller towns as well. We like to rent apartments, though we will probably stay in hotels as well, given how much traveling we will do there. We will use public transit and probably rent a car as well.

Before we start seriously booking and planning, feel free to tell us if it's crazy to go to Spain and Portugal in winter. We'd love to hear other Fodorites' advice and experience, especially with regard to weather, and of course any ideas for itineraries, places not to miss, etc. are welcome.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 01:44 PM
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You should no issue at all in experiencing those temperatures in Andalucia. Northern Spain is a different matter.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 02:10 PM
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We spent seven weeks in Nerja last winter, arriving the middle of January. The weather was pleasant; we wore jackets but there were people on the beach.....temperatures are relative.

Carnival took place while we were there and it was a lot of fun to watch.

We plan to return next January. (We also spend every spring in Nerja.)

I'm sure you will enjoy your time in Andalucia and Portugal.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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Definitely stay somewhere in the south if you want to be assured of warmish weather. We spent October in Nerja so it was actually more like Los Angeles weather at the that time. I think Seville would be great that time of year-it was probably of favorite of the large cities.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 06:28 PM
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Anywhere but southern Spain/Portugal=miserable! Expect cold/rain/damp/snow/?
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 07:39 PM
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So, chapla, where do you suggest? Our winter in Nerja was not miserable nor did we experience cold, rain, damp or snow. My friends there say this has been yet another pleasant winter so far.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 09:03 PM
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We are presently in Conil de la Frontera near Cadiz enjoying a week's break from the UK and its weather! Temperatures are around 15 C during the day. There are sunny spells and heavy showers at times but we have had those in May and even when visiting in August .
This is the second time we have visited in February and we love it. Temperatures are great for site seeing and crowds are nearly nonexistent. In the cities most things are open and it is only in the seaside resorts where being off season makes a difference. The only downside is that there is a lot of maintenance taking place so some areas of monuments may be closed and there may be building work near where you stay.
Accommodation and car hire are very reasonable at this time. We are paying about €40 a night for a very good apartment while car hire (before extra insurance and fuel) is about €50 a week. I think it would be easy to tour without pre-booking if you wanted to do so.
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Old Feb 20th, 2014, 11:43 PM
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Weather is totally unpredictable.
However there has recently been damaged caused by the rain in Andalusia.
http://www.canalsur.es/el-temporal-s...ia/363534.html
"....but there is still wind warnings and coastal phenomena in the easternmost part of the community. Monday count also does damage. Coratadas roads in the Sierra de Grazalema, wind gusts up to 94 mph in Málaga. In Jaén have registered a hundred incidents and rainfall up to 55 liters per square meter in some areas. In Granada the left temporal blowing snow in many parts of the province....."
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 01:02 AM
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The Málaga region (where Nerja is) has got about the warmest winter climate in Europe. January is normally the coldest month with average highs at about 60F, five hours sun/day and frequent rainfall. http://www.worldweatheronline.com/Ma...alucia/ES.aspx
http://www.weather-and-climate.com/a...e,Malaga,Spain
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 04:36 AM
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Sorry, I mean only southern Spain/Portugal is pleasant during the winter! The rest is just miserable!
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 04:39 AM
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I'm sorry I misunderstood, chapla.

Yes, weather has been weird in a lot of places this year.
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 06:03 AM
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Don't forget that there is also the Costa Tropical in Granada Province. There are some beautiful beaches around Almuñecar. And on a sunny days the temperature is great for visiting places like the Alhambra and village hopping in La Alpujarra. These places are less crowded at this time of year.

As has been mentioned by others in this thread there are no guarantees with the weather. The winter has been pretty mild but Spanish famously won't bet on the weather before the 10th of June hence the famous saying "Hasta el 40 de mayo no te quites el sayo - Don’t take your raincoat off until May 40th!"
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Old Feb 21st, 2014, 06:40 AM
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Stay along the south coast. The Algarve is very pleasant though rain can be a pain it is at least warm rain, we rode the Ecovia do Litoral in late november in shorts and T shirts with no problems except the day are short. Similar with Spain. Madrid can be very cold (note altitude) while Biscay coast can be miserable.
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