After the scorching heat of summer and the mild temperatures of autumn, winter in Andalucía always takes me by surprise. In fact, I’m writing this while wearing my fleecy onesie that makes me look like a giant teddy bear and hugging a hot water bottle!
Don’t let that put you off considering a low season break in Andalucía though. Winter is still a great time to visit and here’s why.
Despite the cold it’s still sunny
I know I said it was cold but, despite the drop in temperatures, Andalucía still gets around 5 or 6 hours of sunshine each day during the winter months, and daytime temperatures where I live on the Costa del Sol generally range from 11°c to 18°c.
In fact, it’s quite often warmer outside than inside during winter in Andalucía – something I wish I’d known before I moved here as I wouldn’t have been so quick to leave most of my winter wardrobe behind.
Yes, it does rain in Spain but, on the whole, rainfall is much lower compared to the UK and there tend to be fewer rainy days overall.
January 2021 has obviously been an exception to the rule with the heaviest snowfalls in Madrid for 50 years and, if you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ll have seen the floods we had in Sotogrande recently.
The festive season in Andalucía, and across Spain, lasts until Three Kings’ Day on January 6th and even the smallest towns and villages are beautifully decorated with trees and light displays.
Malaga is generally recognised as having the best light display on the Costa del Sol and, while we couldn’t get there in 2020 due to lockdown restrictions, we’ll definitely be back there next Christmas for more sights like these.
It’s hard to imagine but, a short drive from the beaches of the Costa Tropical, are the ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada.
Pradollano is only 30 kms from Granada and the ski slopes generally open in November until as late as May some years. Even if you can’t, or don’t want to, ski a trip to the mountains is still worthwhile if only to take a cable car to the highest point to enjoy the views and kick back with a drink.
It’s heaven for hikers
It might not be warm enough to sit on the beach but, just like during the autumn months, winter in Andalucía is ideal for long beach walks or hikes in the hills.
Winter rainfall means that the valleys are lush and green and, from late January, they come alive with stunning displays of almond blossom reminding us that spring is just around the corner.
If hill walking isn’t your thing there are coastal walks to enjoy, whether that’s along the long stretches of beach on the Costa del Sol or Costa de la Luz, or on the Senda Litoral which, once fully complete will run the length of the Costa del Sol from Manilva to Nerja – a distance of between 160 to 180 kms long.
Winter is the quiet season
A winter city break is one of the best times to enjoy some of Andalucía’s landmarks and attractions. Without the crowds it’s a joy to take your time wandering around the backstreets of usually busy towns and cities and, of course, winter in Andalucía offers value for money.
Travelling anywhere in the low season means better deals on flights, accommodation, and car hire and generally means that restaurants and bars are quieter too, so you won’t have to jostle for your place at the bar or make reservations too far in advance (if at all).
It might not be possible to travel now but, once things are back to normal, a winter break in Andalucía is definitely one to consider.