What are the best Spanish cities to visit in winter?

Now that the winter solstice has passed and the Christmas holidays threaten to end, it is time to start planning the next getaway. Spain is a country so rich in landscapes and nature that even in the middle of winter you can enjoy its beautiful cities and corners. Do you prefer sea, mountain or city? We recommend some of the best Spanish places to visit in winter.

1. Madrid

The capital of Spain suffers cold winters, but the weather is not usually unpleasant. In exchange for a bit of cold, you can visit its main tourist attractions without hassles or big crowds. Stroll through El Retiro Park, go to the Prado Museum, enjoy a calamari sandwich in the Plaza Mayor or delight yourself with the charms of the Puerta del Sol without hundreds of tourists around.



2. Canary Islands

If you like the heat and good weather, the Canary Islands are your destination. Here it hardly rains for a few days a year, and the temperature in winter does not usually fall below 16 degrees. In this destination you can always enjoy its unspoilt beaches, sunbathe on a terrace and, of course, give yourself a good plate of fresh fish. The winter months are not usually the most normal to travel, so you’ll be calmer in the most popular islands, such as Gran Canaria or Tenerife.


3. Vielha

This is a Catalan town that seems taken from a winter postcard. Wooden and stone houses are framed in a mountainous landscape where you can enjoy the hiking trails. And also the mountain sports: the ski station of Baqueira Beret is very close.



4. Ávila

The winters in Ávila are especially raw and cold. Wrap up well warm, because contemplating this beautiful city covered in snow will take your breath away. From the lower area you can enjoy white meadows to slide on the snow with the impressive walls in the background. This wall was inscribed in 1985 in the list of World Heritage of UNESCO. In addition, you can see its impressive Gothic cathedral without too many tourists. It was originally designed as a temple and fortress, its apse being one of the cubes of the city wall. And to end your visit, nothing like a good ‘chuletón of Ávila’ to get warm.



5. Granada

This Andalusian city is full of contrasts. Thanks to its tropical climate combined with the cold temperatures of the mountain, on the same day you can ski, bathe on the beach and visit the Alhambra. If you have energy for everything. And all without having to suffer the high summer temperatures of this region and the hordes of tourists who wish to visit the Nasrid tourist points.


6. Gijón

Asturias is one of the most beautiful corners of Spain during any of its seasons. However, during the winter you can contemplate its impressive snow-capped mountains and stroll along its beautiful nature trails. Also, on these dates you can enjoy a good cider in Gijón without crowds of tourists. And also buy in its modern shops, visit its sophisticated restaurants and surf on its beaches, as you could usually catch the best waves during the winter.



7. Segovia

This beautiful city is always worthy of admiration. But when the first snows fall on its famous aqueduct the stamp leaves anyone breathless. And after a visit to its historic Alcazar, you can always warm up in a traditional restaurant by eating its typical roast suckling pig accompanied by a good plate of chips.



8. Soria

This province of Castilla y León has very cold winters. No doubt. But if you are one of those who enjoy good traditional cuisine and nature, you can not miss its small and cozy red stone villages, its snowy mountains and the breathtaking panoramic views that can be seen from the Cañon del Río Lobos Natural Park .


9. Ayllón

This medieval town, located on the border between Segovia and Soria, has been cataloged on numerous occasions as one of the most beautiful in Spain. Imagine its snowy historical center with a mountainous backdrop. Visit its cobbled streets and delight in the aromas of the wood from the chimneys of its houses. It is tiny, so it is ideal for a getaway of a day or a weekend in the middle of winter.



10. Combarro

It is a fishing village located in Pontevedra. Tourism to the north of the peninsula increases during the summer months. Therefore, if you want to visit the Rías Bajas and the small town of Combarro, you can enjoy more of its traditional ‘horreos’ next to the coast during the winter season. A historic place with a lot of tradition.


11. Santiago de Compostela

People who travel the Camino de Santiago usually do it during the spring or summer. If you are more interested in seeing its wonderful Romanesque-style cathedral and strolling through its stone streets, there are fewer tourists in winter. And its splendid old town is just as beautiful in a sunny day as in a rainy day. But yes, wrap up well warm, it’s very cold.


12. Toledo

This city of Castilla-La Mancha is ideal for all those who enjoy historical and  cultural tourism. It has museums and tourist points with activities for the whole family. The bad thing is that it is always full of tourists, although there is less in winter. Wrap up well and get ready to climb its steep slopes of cobblestone streets. Do not worry, its historical center and its landscapes are worth it.



13. Valencia

This city is known mainly for its wonderful beaches and the famous Fallas. However, it is full of corners of unparalleled architectural beauty. Its historic center of white stone buildings is a real delight. In addition, in winter you can visit its medieval wall and its City of Arts and Sciences without crushes and the burdens of the Fallas. And, to top it all off, try a warm paella in any of its many traditional restaurants.



14. Hondarribia

This colorful town of the Basque Country seems to be taken from a story by Charles Perrault. In winter you can walk through its colorful streets without stress, enjoying its maritime aroma and its cuisine, based on fresh fish and seafood. It has many historical gems, such as the church of Santa María. Do not miss the Plaza de Armas or the castle of Emperor Carlos V.


15. Valmaseda

Another town in the Basque Country. Surrounded by mountains and framed by a mighty river, it is a municipality in the region of Las Encartaciones, in Vizcaya. It possesses incredible historical landscapes that date back to the 12th century, with medieval and railway reminiscences. Its cultural heritage is extensive and, although it is worth visiting Valmaseda at any time of the year, winter gives it that natural charm typical of mountain villages.


From next week you will find in Spain Life Exclusive a detailed guide of each one of these cities and towns. We will recommend the best places to visit, restaurants, traditional festivals, events and other popular customs. Stay with us!


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