Travel Ninja

November in Spain: Perfect Weather and Hidden Gems

When I traveled to Spain last November, I was struck by the mild temperatures at the start of the month, reminiscent of a late burst of St. Martin’s summer. The unseasonal summer heat made it feel as if visitors were getting a bonus season. The shoulder season meant prices had fallen off a cliff in a good way, making it an affordable time to enjoy the autumnal landscapes.

The fall leaves adorned the scenery with reds, golds, and browns, and the prices were at their lowest. I found myself wandering through deciduous forests and olive groves, enjoying the striking contrasts of greens and browns. Even the cities were beautiful, with leafy avenues bathed in soft, golden light.

In the north, the contrasts of colors were more pronounced, but the rain was unavoidable. The south, however, with its muted fall display, remained warmer with fewer rainy days and chilly nights. I was pleasantly surprised to find the water temperatures in Andalusia at their hottest of the year, making swimming appealing. As a hiker, the cooler temperatures in November made for comfortable midday hikes in the Pyrenees, where medieval villages appeared particularly atmospheric. The season also brought a host of festivals and local events.

During my visit to Spain in November, the weather turned cooler, and the event calendar was not as packed as in the summer months. While I couldn’t join the running with the bulls in Pamplona, the larger cities hosted unique jazz, film, and arts festivals. I enjoyed tasting orujo, grappa, and newly vintaged wines. November in Spain offered an array of activities for all tastes.

The weather was milder than in many other European cities, with rain being common in some parts of the country, while the south was sunnier. As it was the low season, there were fewer tourist crowds and more affordable prices. Booking a trip in November allowed me to experience the festivals and celebrations with ease.

Spain Weather In November

Beach Vacation

Having traveled extensively across Spain in November, I can attest that the weather varies greatly, offering something for everyone. From warm winter sunshine to cozy city cafes, the average temperatures in popular Spanish cities like Barcelona (62°F / 52°F), Girona (62°F / 42°F), Ibiza (66°F / 53°F), Bilbao (62°F / 46°F), Madrid (59°F / 43°F), and Córdoba (66°F / 46°F) provide a range of experiences.

The capital can be chilly, so it’s wise to pack accordingly. Despite being one of the driest cities, Madrid can still see rain in November. Barcelona enjoys cool yet sunny days, though overcast periods are not uncommon, making swimming and sunbathing less appealing. For those seeking winter sunshine, Andalusia in the southernmost region of Spain is ideal for sunbathing, although the weather varies and Seville, the hottest city, cools down with potential rain and heavy showers.

November in Spain: Perfect Weather and Hidden Gems

Malaga remains warm and sunny, despite being its wettest month. The sea is too cold for swimming in this period. In the Basque Country and other regions in the North, November brings unpredictable rain and cold weather, though you might catch some warm, sunny weather on the coast like in San Sebastian. Galicia in northwest Spain is the wettest region, so expect it to be wet and cold. The varied climate across Spain ensures a unique experience wherever you choose to go.

Weather in Spain in November – Rainfall and Temperatures

JANFEBMARAPRMAYJUNJULAUGSEPOCTNOVDEC
Avg Daily (°C)101216172229333329211511
Avg Nightly (°C)1245813161614942
Avg Daily (°F)505461637284919184705952
Avg Nightly (°F)343639414655616157483936
Avg Rainfall (mm)404030504030101020405050

Weather

Traveling through Spain in November reveals the country’s great climate variability, making it a unique experience for every traveler. In Northern Spain, including Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, and the Basque Country, the weather tends to be chilly and rainy, requiring a raincoat to avoid a «happy mistake.» However, Andalusia and other Southern regions often start with cool early mornings that warm to pleasant temperatures by mid morning, allowing you to ditch that sweater by midday.

The weather in November can be warm, dry, or cold and wet, with the countrywide average temperature around 60°F by day and 45°F at night, though this varies by region. In the Basque Country, the average daytime temperature is 55ºF (13ºC) with frequent rain. Madrid sees an average temperature of 53ºF (12ºC) during the day, with nighttime temperatures often dipping below 40ºF, and typically experiences 6-8 days of rain in November.

November in Spain: Perfect Weather and Hidden Gems

Barcelona and Catalonia enjoy daytime temperatures that are 5-10 degrees warmer than Madrid, and the evenings remain warm enough to avoid shivering during a post-dinner stroll. On the Valencian coast, including Andalusia, the average daily temperature is about 62ºF, with nights dropping to the high 40s, and daily ranges between 47 – 67ºF (8-19ºC). Early November in Andalusia might even see a rare break above 80ºF, with sunny and clear days and only about 3 days of rain throughout the month, so packing a bathing suit and an umbrella is advisable.

What To Pack

Traveling through Spain in November requires some thoughtful packing due to the varied weather conditions. As someone who has navigated the European cities during late fall, I can attest to the importance of comfortable footwear for all the walking you’ll be doing. The weather can be wet and unpredictable, so boots are essential. When traveling through the various climates of the country, it’s wise to pack layers.

November in Spain: Perfect Weather and Hidden Gems

Cozy items like flannel shirts, knit sweaters, and sturdy pants such as jeans will keep you warm. Don’t forget winter accessories like a chunky scarf and a knit hat. While a heavy winter coat might not be necessary, a lightweight down jacket or a warm vest will be perfect for November in Spain. If you’re visiting Galicia, remember to expect rain and pack accordingly with an umbrella, raincoat, and waterproof shoes.

Events

November in Spain is a vibrant time filled with a variety of events and gastronomic festivals. The Gijón International Film Festival, held in the northern city of Gijón, is an important and well-respected event that showcases film productions in competition and showings alongside cultural activities like exhibitions, concerts, and book presentations.

In the southern province of Córdoba, the village of Baena hosts the Olive & olive oil celebration, known as Las Jornadas del Olivar y el Aceite festival, with tasting sessions, activities, and workshops celebrating their chief product, locally produced olive oil, considered among the best in the world. The All Saint’s Fair in Cocentaina, Region of Valencia, a 600-year-old agricultural fair, takes place in the first week of November and includes cultural activities such as horseback riding, medieval dress and armor displays, and choral competitions.

Events in spain

The Humanitarians Festival in Asturias on November 11 celebrates with a religious festival featuring a Catholic mass, traditional Asturian bagpipes, an auction of blessed bread, and a feast of fabada. Madrid Jazz Festival, running from November 2-27, gathers Spain’s best Jazz musicians and international artists for performances throughout the city. Meanwhile, Madrid Horse Week, from November 24-26, offers equestrian competitions in showjumping, vaulting, and reining, along with exhibitions and activities for kids.

Gijón International Film Festival: Showcasing film productions with cultural activities.
Olive & Olive Oil Celebration: Tasting sessions and workshops in Baena, Córdoba.
All Saint’s Fair: Agricultural fair with medieval displays in Cocentaina.
Humanitarians Festival: Religious celebration with traditional bagpipes in Asturias.
Madrid Jazz Festival: Jazz performances featuring top musicians and artists.
Madrid Horse Week: Equestrian sports and family-friendly activities.

Where To Visit In November

November is one of my favorite months to visit Spain, offering a unique charm in various regions during autumn. The Pyrenees in Catalunya and Aragon are stunning with their fall colors, and there’s usually no snowfall yet to impede activities. The coastline between Barcelona and Alicante remains warm and sunny, while Madrid, the capital, takes on a rarefied air with fewer crowds.

Seville and Granada, especially the Alhambra, are perfect for a fall visit, although the Northern coast can be rainier and colder, which some visitors might not enjoy. The weather in Girona is perfect for exploring the Catalunya region, including the cosmopolitan vibe of Barcelona and the charming towns of Costa Brava. The picturesque houses along the Onyà River in Girona, often compared to Firenze’s Ponte Vecchio, alongside the medieval and Renaissance architecture, adorned with gorgeous fall leaves, create a beautiful scene.

November in Spain: Perfect Weather and Hidden Gems

Madrid’s Retiro Park explodes with color, making strolling through the graceful avenues an exceptional experience, with nearby Toledo being equally beautiful. The Catalan and Aragonese Pyrenees offer charming villages like Bellver de Cerdanya and Ainsa, displaying the beauty of the Pyrenees with breathtaking fall landscapes in shades of brown, yellow, and red. Salamanca, a Unesco’s World Heritage city, is worth visiting for its baroque architecture and leafy banks of the meandering Tormes River, offering fantastic photo opportunities.

The coast of Levante, including Valencia and Alicante, remains sunny, perfect for promenades and even an occasional swim, while cyclists enjoy the excellent stretches of road and ideal biking weather. Andalusia in November, like in September and October, provides comfortable sightseeing with few crowds, low prices, and ideal conditions for outdoor activities.

Pyrenees: Stunning fall colors, charming villages, no snowfall.
Barcelona and Alicante: Warm and sunny coastline.
Madrid: Rarefied air, fewer crowds, Retiro Park in vibrant color.
Seville and Granada: Perfect fall visit spots, including the Alhambra.
Girona: Picturesque houses, medieval and Renaissance architecture.
Catalan and Aragonese Pyrenees: Bellver de Cerdanya and Ainsa showcasing fall landscapes.
Salamanca: Baroque architecture, leafy banks of the Tormes River.
Levante Coast: Sunny weather, promenades, and cycling routes.
Andalusia: Comfortable sightseeing, few crowds, low prices, outdoor activities.

What To Do In November

Exploring Spain in November offers a plethora of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. With mild temperatures and dry weather across much of the country, particularly in the North like the Basque Country, Galicia, and Asturias, it’s a prime time for hiking and mountain-biking through deciduous forests at their peak.

Mountain villages in the Pyrenees showcase picture-perfect landscapes, making it one of the best times of the year to visit these charming villages and savor their Romanesque churches and savory cuisine. For a more leisurely experience, train trips on high-speed and regular train connections allow travelers to enjoy the bucolic fall landscapes without the tourist crowds.

November in Spain: Perfect Weather and Hidden Gems

November also brings the chance to eat calçotada, a traditional Catalan dish of green onions grilled over a hot fire, originating from the town of Valls in Catalonia. These calçots, typically enjoyed in the winter months, are peeled, dipped in Romesco sauce, and eaten in a casual, nostalgic way that recalls childhood memories. The whole experience often includes grilled Catalan sausage or lamb, making it a culinary highlight you’ll want to repeat.

Hiking and Mountain-Biking: Mild temperatures, dry weather, deciduous forests.
Mountain Villages: Pyrenees, Romanesque churches, savory cuisine.
Train Trips: High-speed and regular connections, bucolic landscapes.
Calçotada: Green onions, Romesco sauce, grilled sausage, lamb, Valls.

November Travel Tips

For those planning a beach vacation, Tenerife is an excellent choice in November. With summer tourists having gone home, you can enjoy the warm weather and find accommodations much cheaper than in other seasons. According to Trivago, hotel room rates in Seville are 23 percent cheaper in November compared to October.

Birdwatchers should head to southern Spain, where millions of birds are migrating south. Doñana National Park and the Strait of Gibraltar are great areas for bird-watching. Additionally, you can savor roasted chestnuts and foil-wrapped sweet potatoes, which are traditional fall foods found on almost every street corner in Barcelona.

Beach Vacation: Tenerife, warm weather, fewer tourists.
Cheaper Accommodations: Hotel room rates in Seville 23 percent cheaper.
Birdwatching: Southern Spain, Doñana National Park, Strait of Gibraltar.
Traditional Fall Foods: Roasted chestnuts, foil-wrapped sweet potatoes in Barcelona.

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