Bolonia beach (Tarifa, Cadiz)

Spain in summer


Between approximately 21 June and 21 September, the temperatures rise and the long days are prefect for sightseeing. You are sure to have heard about Spain’s incredible beaches. It’s true: we have many hours of sunshine, some of the best beaches in the world and seaside towns complete with brightly coloured houses. However, in this selection of what’s on offer we also want to inspire you with incredible inland destinations and let you know that summer is a time for fiestas, music festivals and unforgettable nights out. Here are some of Spain’s best summer options:

Some of the best beaches in the world

One ocean - the Atlantic - and two seas - the Cantabrian and the Mediterranean. Spain's almost 8,000 kilometres of coastline have a lot to offer. Visiting the lighthouses in Galicia, diving on the Costa Brava, sailing the turquoise waters of the Balearic Islands and enjoying coves like Turqueta and Caló des Moro, watching the sunset over bays like the one in San Sebastián, taking in the atmosphere on the Costa del Sol or lying on volcanic beaches in the Canary Islands. Over 600 exceptional beaches await you, as year after year, Spain retains its position as global leader in Blue Flag beaches.

Cala Turqueta cove in Menorca

Fishing villages

The intense blue of the sea, the smell of salt, bustling fish markets and ports, local cuisine... Seaside life in its purest form. In northern Spain, the coastal towns of Baiona, Ribadesella, Llanes, San Vicente de la Barquera, Santoña and Laredo will delight you.And Spain is full of charming coastal villages, such as Muxía and its cliffs, Cudillero and its amphitheatre of coloured houses, Bermeo and its visitor centre to find out more about the region’s exciting whaling history, Cadaqués and its museum dedicated to Dalí...

View of Cudillero (Asturias)

Nature tourism

Mountain landscapes are perfect for escaping the high temperatures. The summits of the Pyrenees or the Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain are some of the most visited mountain areas. For multiadventure sports, why not try rafting on the Gállego river, and then go on to visit Lanuza. Taking a dip in natural pools in inland regions like Extremadura, or boat trips through landscapes such as the Arribes del Duero, will also refresh you.

Rafting on the river Gállego

Welcome festival goers!

Our stages welcome some of the best groups on the national and international music scene every summer. The line-ups get better every year at well-known festivals like Madrid’s Nights at the Botanical Gardens, Nights at the Babel River, Luce Benicàssim, Sonorama and Starlite. 

The Chemical Brothers. Sónar 2015

Special evenings in cities

In summer, we all love to enjoy cool evenings outdoors in the city. Some unique events are organised: the Córdoba Guitar Festival, the Classical Theatre Festival in Mérida in a Roman theatre with 2,000 years of history behind it, evening guided tours to monuments such as the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the performances of the Veranos de la Villa summer festival in Madrid or the Grec in Barcelona, mystery tours around cities such as Toledo…

Mérida Classical Theatre Festival

Meteor showers

One of the midsummer events is to go and see the Perseids meteor showers (“lágrimas de San Lorenzo”, or the tears of Saint Lawrence) in mid-August. Summer is an amazing time for stargazing, and Spain has some of the best places in the world to see the stars. The best example? The island of La Palma, which has been declared the first Starlight Reserve in the world and features star-themed country house lodges, organises star gazing sessions with specialist instructors and allows you to visit the impressive facilities at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory. You will also find other incredible regions for stargazing in Spain, such as Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura.

Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in La Palma

Theme parks that stay open later

Various zoos and aquariums in Spain, such as the Zoo Aquarium in Madrid or the Oceanogràfic in Valencia, also stay open later in the evening in summer to see different species under the light of the moon. The evening opening hours also extend to water parks, such as Siam Park - one of the best in the world - and to amusement parks and theme parks, such as PortAventura World (on the Costa Daurada), Terra Mítica (in Benidorm), Warner Park Madrid and Isla Mágica (in Seville).

Madrid Zoo Aquarium

Summer dishes

Of course, we have to mention the different Spanish dishes that refresh us on the hottest days. Gazpacho and salmorejo, both based on tomato, are the most famous cold soups, but there are others, such as ajoblanco. More ideas for dishes to order in summer? Salpicon de marisco is a cold seafood salad, pipirrana combines chopped raw onion, tomato, green pepper and cucumber, and esqueixada is chilled roasted vegetables with salt cod. Many bars and restaurants offer outdoor dining on their terraces in the evening. And in recent years it has become usual for the cities’ most famous hotels to open their roof terraces, so that visitors can enjoy a drink with magnificent views.

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