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Spain is a winter paradise as much as it is a summer getaway. Traveling to Spain in January means that you have most of its highlights for yourself, making this an ideal time to avoid the touristy bunch. Furthermore, this Mediterranean country has a mild temperature during January without much rain, making it suitable for beach activities, city tours, and hiking. For winter sports enthusiasts, Spain is a haven in January, when the country’s northern slopes are covered with snow.
- Christine Penn
Winter in Spain is warmer than those most European countries. Average temperatures in mainland Spain during this season range from 10°C to 16°C during the day with little chance of rain. Malaga has one of the warmest weather in mainland Spain, at around 16°C, while the Canary Islands, located 1,600 km from the country’s mainland, witness highs of 20°C.
A trip to Madrid, located in the country’s central plateau, can be a bit chilly, with temperatures dipping down to as low as 3°C, while the highs can breach the 10°C mark. Unexpected rainfalls in the northern parts of the country, however, cause mercury to dip below the freezing point.
Weather in Spain in January - Rainfall and Temperatures
|Avg Daily (°C)||10||12||16||17||22||29||33||33||29||21||15||11|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||1||2||4||5||8||13||16||16||14||9||4||2|
|Avg Daily (°F)||50||54||61||63||72||85||92||92||85||70||59||52|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||34||36||40||41||47||56||61||61||58||49||40||36|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||40||40||30||50||40||30||10||10||20||40||50||50|
|Avg Daily (°C)||11||10||12|
|Avg Nightly (°C)||2||1||2|
|Avg Daily (°F)||52||50||54|
|Avg Nightly (°F)||36||34||36|
|Avg Rainfall (mm)||50||40||40|
Do not let the winter chills put you off your Spain holiday plans. There are still tons of things to do and fantastic destinations to visit during this time of year. Below are some of the top reasons to visit Spain in January.
- Fewer crowds: January is not a popular month among tourists because of the cold weather. However, booking a trip to Spain in January does have its fair share of advantages. As opposed to the busy summer months, you can avoid long queues at attractions during this month.
- Lower prices: Lower season translates into lower prices. Since January is a low season, you are sure to get cheaper rates. Hotels and restaurants offer their services at a discount during winter, particularly after Christmas, and the prices of airline tickets are low.
- A different perspective: If you have visited Spain in the summer already, you will find Spain in January to be a totally different experience. Discover Spanish cities in a new light sans crowds and unbearable summer heat.
- There are numerous festivals: Spain is a festive country and winter is no excuse to not party. Be part of the colorful Three Kings parade as well as the noisy Tamborrada drumming parade during your stay in Spain in January.
- Discover Barcelona’s medley of architecture: One of the best things to do in Spain is to take in Barcelona's unique art and architecture. The city is overrun by crowds in the summer months, making it difficult to enjoy the impressive landmarks of this Catalan capital. But in January, you will not have to fight with visitors to get a good shot of Sagrada Família and can even walk around Park Güell in peace.
- Go skiing in Granada: One of the coldest parts of southern Spain is the mountainous city of Granada, with an average daytime temperature of 7°C. As it is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, snow is abundant, making it an excellent spot for skiing.
- Experience Spanish culture in San Sebastian: San Sebastian in January may be cold and gray, but the city is alive as ever. If you do not have many days to spend in Spain, a weekend trip to this city is perfect. Enjoy pintxos (a tapas-style cuisine) in its historic center and ensure you are here on the 20th for the traditional Fiesta de San Sebastián.
- Reconnect with nature in the Canary Islands: With temperatures reaching as high as 20°C in January, there is no reason to spend your whole vacation indoors in the Canary Islands. While it may not be the perfect weather to lay down on the beaches of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, January is an ideal time to discover the great outdoors. Hike in Teide National Park and explore the volcanic terrain of Lanzarote.
- Go museum-hopping in Madrid: Spain’s capital is relatively quiet during January as temperatures drop to a single digit. However, this should not concern you if you are on a mission to tick off the city’s cultural icons. Madrid has tons of museums to discover, including the Prado Museum, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and the Reina Sofia.
- Wander through the historic streets of Seville: The Andalusian city of Seville scorches in the summer sun, making sightseeing uncomfortable. However, mild weather and a lack of crowds make January the ideal time to explore this historic city. Spend your days walking around the city’s cathedral, see the Real Alcazar and enjoy tapas and a flamenco show after sunset.
Spain has a warm climate, making the country ideal for traveling even in cold winter months. offers a range of activities during this time of year, be it skiing in northern regions, museum-hopping in cities, or simply relaxing on white-sand beaches. Check out our comprehensive guide to learn more about the best time to visit Spain. Get in touch with our local travel experts for a customized trip to Spain.