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5 Best/Warmest Places in Mainland Spain in Winter ~ A Hot December Guide

Last updated on April 13, 2021

As temperatures in the UK drop and the cold weather sets in, the thought of getting some winter sun in mainland Spain is simply too tempting to resist for us Hispanophiles. Fortunately, you don’t have to go far to enjoy warmer temperatures, stunning scenery and scrumptious tapas/vino – just a two-and-a-half-hour flight from the UK, mainland Spain offers everything you could dream of for your sunny winter break.

From the Mediterranean metropolises of Barcelona and Valencia to the southern seducers of Seville and Marbella, here are the best and hottest places to visit in Spain during winter – even in the depths of December!

1. Barcelona ~ The Ultimate Mediterranean Metropolis\

Colserolla Mountains Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from

If you’re jetting off for a weekend break than a short spell in Barcelona could the perfect choice. With beautiful average winter temperatures ranging between 8 and 18 °C, sun all year-round and hardly any rain, you’ll be amazed by just how warm it can feel in Barcelona – even during the depths of winter.

Walk the sun-kissed beaches, visit La Sagrada Familia, explore the bustling tapas bars and wine bars, and treat yourself to a little luxury living at some of the finest hotels in Europe.

In many ways I think winter is the perfect time to visit Barcelona – not least because you can get stuck into all the quirky Catalan Christmas traditions!

Tip: See all my Barcelona posts here, as well as my advice on where to stay in Barcelona here.

2. Seville ~ The Heart and Soul of Southern Spain

Things to do and see in Seville - by Ben Holbrook from

The skin searing heat of the summer is typically too much for Brits (and even Spaniards) visiting Seville, but touring the Andalusian capital in winter can prove just the ticket for those in search of a little winter warmth.

Located in southern Spain, the region of Andalusia receives a seriously solid amount of winter sunshine, but without the oppressive heat (I’m talking highs of 40°C!) that’s ever-present during the summer months.

What’s more, the famous Seville orange trees are in blossom throughout December, while temperatures remain mercifully low enough to be able to grab a table outside a local taverna and enjoy some traditional Andalusian cuisine. And you’ll still find plenty of flamenco performers in the streets! I’d also highly recommend renting a car and driving to the nearby coastal town of Chipiona, which is at its best out of the peak summer season.

I’ll be frank, there’s never a bad time to visit Seville, but I think visiting in winter sure does make a lot of sense. Christ, what I wouldn’t do for a long weekend there right now…

Tip: See my full guide to Seville – my favourite city in Spain – here.

3. Valencia ~ A Sizzling Winter Mediterranean Marvel 

Valencia's Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences)

With temperatures typically reaching (and exceeding!) 16ºC by noon, winters in the beach-front city of Valencia are beautifully bright and sunny.

Indulge in a spot of post-Christmas shopping in Spain and tour the famous tapas bars of the old town for a sun-filled winter well spent.

From the Oceanografic aquarium (the largest in Europe) to the famous City of Sciences, there are endless attractions to enjoy in Valencia, and more than a few local delights to sample along the way!

Tip: See all my guides to Valencia here.

4. Marbella ~ An Andalusian Arcadia in Southern Spain

Pinillo Beach Marbella

As one of the most popular destinations in Spain, visiting Marbella in the wintertime is a great idea if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy a little winter sun.

While some of the smaller bars shut down for winter, the vast majority of businesses and resorts remain open all year-round, so you can still enjoy everything Marbella has to offer.

From long walks along the spectacular beaches to al fresco dining, you won’t regret taking a winter sojourn to the sunny, cobbled streets of Marbella.

Tip: See more of my posts about Marbella here.

5. Malaga ~ The Warmest Winter Destination in Spain

Marbella, Spain in Winter

Yep, I’ve saved the best (or at least the warmest) till last…

Known for being one of the hottest destinations in mainland Spain during winter, the sunny seaside city of Malaga is undeniably one of the best places to holiday during winter in Spain.

With average high temperatures of around 17° C, even in the coldest months of December and January are a pleasure to pass in this sun-struck corner of Spain.

Tip: See more of my posts about Marbella here.

Tips for Planning Your Winter Break in Spain

Preparing for your sun-kissed winter holiday in Spain will help you build the anticipation and lift you through the worst of Britain’s wet and windy winter days.

This year, more than ever, with Covid-19 looking large on our horizons, you’ll want to ensure you book and prepare for your winter holiday in Spain well in advance.

With a coronavirus fit to fly test, for example, you can ensure there are no last-minute issues that could put your trip in jeopardy.

Similarly, double-check that your passport is up to date and that your travel insurance is valid for full peace of mind.

Once you’ve got your travel essentials ready, all you’ll need to do is pack your bags and start planning your itinerary for the most amazing winter break in Spain ever!

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