Travel Ninja

Spain in September: Warm Days, Cool Nights

When I think back to my trip to Spain in September, I remember the delightful transition from summer to fall. The weather was still warm, and the country felt less crowded. This is the perfect time for sightseeing, road-tripping, and enjoying lazy beach days. Nature lovers will find the shoulder season ideal despite it being a bit complicated with the academic school year in Europe just starting, which means European tourists are still around in early September. However, by mid-September, the crowds begin to thin, and prices drop as family travelers pack up and return home.

Whether you are planning to enjoy swimming in the south or take advantage of the perfect hiking weather in the north, Spain in September has it all. Traveling during this time is a positive experience due to the many local festivals and holidays on the calendar. With the high summer temperatures beginning to abate, it is the ideal shoulder-season holiday for sunbathing, museum-hopping, and indulging in the eating and drinking culture that makes Spain a gastronomic marvel. My time in Spain during September was an unforgettable journey through a beautiful nation transitioning into the calm and cooler days of fall.

Weather

When I traveled to Spain last September, I was struck by how the weather varies significantly across this big country. In southern Spain, particularly Andalusia, the days were still hot both day and night, making it perfect for swimming and sunbathing. In contrast, the Costa Brava, Basque Country, Cantabria, and Galicia in the north began to cool off, offering warm days and chilly evenings. The temperature ranges were impressive; northern Spain saw lows around 60°F and highs up to 80°F, while the south experienced a hotter range from 70-90°F.

Despite a typical September having only a few rainy days, I packed a raincoat just in case, although the skies were mostly clear and sunny. The countrywide temperatures were generally warm, averaging between 77-82°F during the day and dropping to 68-72°F at night. The capital, Madrid, began to cool off from the brutal August heat with average highs of 79°F. Meanwhile, Barcelona was slower to cool, maintaining highs around 26°C.

Spain in September

The southern Andalusia region was still notably hot, reaching up to 31°C. For those seeking enjoyable beach holidays, destinations like Ibiza, the Canary Islands, and the Costa del Sol offered warm water and delightful sunbathing conditions, truly making September an ideal month to explore the diverse regions and their different weather patterns.

Events

  • Spain is famous for its lively festivals throughout the year, and September is no exception.
  • La Tomatina, one of the most famous September events, takes place in Buñol, near Valencia. This battle of tomato throwing attracts thousands of visitors, creating a charming and raucous spectacle.
  • La Mercè, an important festivity on the calendar of the city of Barcelona, celebrates the patron saint, the Virgin of Mercy, with enjoyable parties lasting 5 days in mid-to-late September. Expect cultural events, parades, processions, human tower building, dance performances, fireworks, and art exhibitions for a fun time.
  • The San Sebastian Film Festival, one of Europe’s important cinematic events, occurs in the last week of September. Though prices in the city can be extreme and it gets busier, it’s wise to book in advance for a good deal on accommodation and enjoy people watching in this cosmopolitan Basque city.
  • Rioja Wine Harvest in La Rioja, a small region in the Basque Country and one of Spain’s major producers of wine, is highly appreciated worldwide. The mid-September wine harvest turns the area into a festival mode with the Fiesta de San Mateo or Festival of Saint Matthew in Logroño, offering a gorgeous fall and a special treat.
  • The Fiestas de Santa Tecla in the Catalonian city of Tarragona honor the patron saint with Santa Tecla’s fiesta. Though Tarragona has only 130,000 residents, less than 1/10th the size of Barcelona, the party lasts 10 days starting around September 14th. It’s easy to reach via public transit from Barcelona, making it perfect for a day trip to enjoy the show.
  • La Mercé in Catalonia is a three-day celebration marking the biggest party in remembrance of the Patron Saint of Barcelona, the Virgin Mary, who supposedly cured a plague in the 17th century. The event gathers hundreds of thousands of revelers enjoying fireworks, concerts, parades, processions, drinking, dancing, and eating.
  • The Festa de Santa Tecla showcases Catalan culture in Tarragona for over a week from the middle to the end of the month. Initially a religious holiday, it has grown into a major street party with festivities, live music, and gastronomic events.
  • The San Sebastián International Film Festival, held in late September, is one of the premier celebrations of cinema since 1953.

Crowds & Costs

Traveling to Spain during the shoulder seasons like September is a savvy choice for avoiding the intense crowds and enjoying significantly lower prices. I remember my last trip during this time; the crowds were noticeably thinner, making for a more relaxed experience. Trans-Atlantic flights were a steal, costing hundreds of dollars less compared to the high-season summer months. Not only did I save on airfare, but hotels were also around 20% lower than during the high season. This combination of savings and fewer tourists made my journey through Spain in September both economical and enjoyable.

Where To Visit In September

Spain in September is lovely everywhere, especially during early September when high season still lingers in southern Spain. However, to avoid crowds, the shoulder season in the North during the second half of the month is ideal. Various regions offer pleasant weather, making it perfect for swimming in Barcelona on the Costa Brava, hiking in the Pyrenees, and urban exploring in Catalunya.

The Balearic Islands, including Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera, are a beach lover’s paradise. Mallorca has high peaks and rugged mountains for hikers and cyclists, while Menorca is calm and sleepier, ideal for beach lounging. Ibiza is famous for partiers and nightlife enthusiasts, and Formentera offers crystal clear waters perfect for families. Even though early September is high season here, by mid September, you can enjoy these spots without crowds.

Spain in September

The Basque Country in northern Spain, a semi-independent region in the mountainous northeast, experiences cooler temperatures and little rain. This makes it excellent for hiking, biking, and walking the famous Camino de Santiago trek. Rioja wine country in the north is renowned for its major wine-producing areas, with vineyards, olive groves, and rolling hills. Though less visited, it comes alive during the wine harvest or vendimia in mid-September.

Madrid can be insufferably hot in July and August, but by mid-September, it offers lower prices and pleasant strolling weather through the Spanish capital’s neighborhoods and museums. The Costa del Sol, a popular destination with beautiful beaches and warm weather, sees fewer cruise ships and package holidays ending. This makes it perfect for golfers, hikers, cyclists, and road trippers. Beaches in Marbella remain inviting with warm water.

Spain in September

San Sebastián offers mild temps and a picturesque waterfront along San Sebastián Bay, known for its pintxos culture in cafés and restaurants. Bilbao boasts the Guggenheim Museum, an architectural marvel by Frank Gehry, featuring contemporary art and modern art exhibitions. Valencia, a coastal city located three hours south of Barcelona, features the City of Arts and Sciences complex—an interactive science museum, open-air oceanographic park, opera house, and cultural center, with pseudo-futuristic structures connected by bodies of water.

What To Do In September

  • Outdoor Activities are plentiful in September. Enjoy hiking, biking, and rock climbing in the northern Pyrenees, or go camping in the Sierra Nevada mountains. For those who love water sports, try kayaking, rafting, and windsurfing in Andalusia, making it a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Wine tasting in La Rioja during the grape harvest season is a must. Spain offers prestigious, vaunted elixirs rivaling those of Italy and France. Wine touring these regions is a delicious experience, especially in pleasant weather.
  • Road trips are ideal with long days and sunny skies. With ample availability of accommodations, you have the freedom to change plans without worrying about sleeping in the car.
  • Festivals and fiestas fill the calendars with local events, providing a taste of authentic culture. In northern Spain, the Camino de Santiago offers a famous walk with cooler temperatures, little threat of rain, and open hostel beds.
  • Road trips down the Costa del Sol are complemented by food tours in the Basque country, waterfront promenades, and visits to world-class museums. For nature and adventure, head to Tarifa in the south of Andalusia, where the offshore winds create perfect conditions for kitesurfing. You can also go whale-watching to see sperm whales on their migratory route.
  • Mid-September in Catalonia is known for its epic festivals and can’t-miss celebrations that highlight the region’s vibrant culture.

Weather In Barcelona In September: A Belter Of A Month

In Barcelona, the weather in September offers a hot start with temperatures warming up to an average high of 26°C (79°F). The midday sun keeps it pleasantly warm, perfect for families and summer tourists who extend their stay from August. The days transition into fall, maintaining a dry climate with occasional showers towards the end of the month. The average temperature remains around 20°C (68°F), dipping slightly at night.

Spain in September

The sea temperature stays inviting for a swim at around 21°C (71.5°F), ideal for trips to nearby beaches like Badalona. September also marks the celebration of Fiesta de la Mercè, one of the best cultural events featuring some of the best free things to do. Don’t miss an early-season match of FC Barcelona at their home ground, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

  • Highs: 26°C (79°F)
  • Lows: 20°C (68°F)
  • Precipitation: 40 mm rainfall over nine days
  • Sea temperature: 21°C (71.5°F)

Northern Spain: Rainy Days And Endless Wine

In northern Spain, the weather in September is marked by its coolest and most temperate oceanic climate, with autumn bringing in more precipitation. The average temperature ranges from 12°C (53.5°F) to 26.5°C (80°F), providing both warm and damp conditions. Rainfall can be significant, especially towards the end of September, with Bilbao receiving about 76 mm, San Sebastián around 110 mm, and Santiago de Compostela up to 125 mm of rain.

Spain in September

Despite the moody moments of rain and shades of green landscapes, the northern wine regions such as Rioja, Galicia, Catalonia, and Ribera del Duero come alive during the harvest season. The air temperatures are ideal for exploring hiking routes like the Camino de Santiago. Even the Atlantic sea temperature remains relatively swimmable at 20°C (68°F), making it perfect for various outdoor activities.

  • Lows: 12°C (53.5°F)
  • Highs: 26.5°C (80°F)
  • Bilbao rainfall: 76 mm
  • San Sebastián rainfall: 110 mm
  • Santiago de Compostela rainfall: 125 mm
  • Sea temperature: 20°C (68°F)

Málaga and the Costa del Sol: Warm Welcome to Fall

In September, Málaga and the Costa del Sol offer some of the best beach towns in Spain for a warm welcome to fall. With temperatures easing off from the sweltering August, the average temperature remains pleasantly warm during the daytime at 28°C (82°F) and cool in the evenings at 18°C (64.5°F). The sea temperature stays inviting for a swim at 24°C (75°F).

Spain in September

Unlike the summer crowds, this month sees fewer tourists, making it an ideal time for sailing trips, hiking, and exploring historic sites without feeling squashed. There is virtually no rain except for sporadic showers totaling around 20 mm, ensuring that the best Costa del Sol beaches remain perfect for sunbathing. Don’t miss a day trip to Mollina for the annual Grape Harvest Festival, known as the Fiesta de la Vendimia, for a cultural experience amidst the sand and surf.

  • High: 28°C (82°F)
  • Evenings: 18°C (64.5°F)
  • Sea temperature: 24°C (75°F)
  • Rain: 20 mm

Valencia: Fall Sunshine and Scattered Showers

In Valencia, September brings some of the best weather in Spain with pleasant daytime temperatures. The average temperature hovers around 28°C (82°F) during the day and drops to 18°C (64.5°F) at night, making it comfortable enough for just a light layer. As the month progresses, rainfall becomes more probable, totaling around 45 mm, but it usually only affects a couple of days and does not hinder your plans.

Spain in September

The sea temperature remains inviting at 24-25°C (75-77°F), perfect for a dip after exploring Valencia’s tapas bars or enjoying a food tour. You can also engage in various activities like visiting a museum, strolling through a park, or relaxing on the beach under the warm sun.

  • Highs: 28°C (82°F)
  • Lows: 18°C (64.5°F)
  • Rainfall: 45 mm
  • Sea temperature: 24-25°C (75-77°F)

Madrid: Beautiful Weather for a First-time Visit

In Madrid, the weather in September is similar to Barcelona, starting the month with hotter highs before cooling slightly. It’s one of the best times of year to visit the Spanish capital as the weather settles by the middle of the month, bringing a sense of normalcy to the city. The average temperature is a comfortable 22°C (71.5°F), with warm evenings making it ideal for exploring.

Spain in September

Despite a little precipitation of around 20 mm, the mild autumn weather is perfect for roaming through the wonderful Madrid neighborhoods like La Latina and Lavapiés, known for their vibrant street art. Day trips around the region also offer a broader perspective of the area’s charm.

  • Mean temperature: 22°C (71.5°F)
  • Precipitation: 20 mm

Alicante: Awesome Weather in Spain in September

In Alicante, the weather in September feels like an extension of summer with balmy conditions perfect for vacationing. Located in southeastern Spain, this time of year is ideal for end-of-season beach holidays with great deals available in the charming Costa Blanca beach towns. The average temperature hovers around 24°C (75°F), with highs reaching up to 29°C (84°F).

Spain in September

The sea temperature is also inviting, ranging from 24/26°C (75/79°F), making it perfect for swimming. Despite being a bit wetter than its southerly neighbors, with rainfall between 20-40 mm, the region offers plenty of activities. From hiring a car to explore the Valencian Community to visiting the twinkling pink and emerald salt lakes of Torrevieja, there’s much to enjoy under the soft sun.

  • Average temperature: 24°C (75°F)
  • Highs: 29°C (84°F)
  • Rainfall: 20-40 mm
  • Sea temperature: 24/26°C (75/79°F)

Almería: Sunny and Dry Spain Weather in September

Almería is a fantastic choice for a fall destination in Spain due to its consistently sunny and dry weather. This city experiences an average temperature of 25°C (77°F), with highs reaching 29°C (84°F), making it ideal for outdoor activities. Evenings remain warm with a sea breeze to cool off.

Spain in September

With almost no precipitation, usually just one day of rain totaling about 10 mm, September is perfect for exploring. The sea temperature is also pleasant, ranging from 22/24°C (71.5/75°F), ideal for a sailing trip or visiting the Cabo de Gata sea caves. For adventure seekers, a day trip to the Tabernas Desert offers a taste of the Wild West amidst the dunes.

  • Average temperature: 25°C (77°F)
  • Highs: 29°C (84°F)
  • Precipitation: 10 mm
  • Sea temperature: 22/24°C (71.5/75°F)

Seville: Shimmering Autumnal Skies

While July and August are the worst times to visit landlocked cities in Spain due to the unbearably hot weather, Seville in September offers a more comfortable experience. The average temperature ranges from lows of 18°C (64.5°F) to highs of 32°C (89.5°F), making it one of the hotter parts of the country but still manageable. The quieter streets are perfect for immersing yourself in the local culture and enjoying day trips around Andalucia.

Spain in September

Although it remains mostly dry with only the odd shower amounting to 19 mm of precipitation, September is ideal for experiencing the Bienal de Flamenco Festival, held biennially in even-numbered years like 2024 and 2026, showcasing nightly Flamenco performances. This month is also great for exploring outdoor attractions in Seville.

  • Lows: 18°C (64.5°F)
  • Highs: 32°C (89.5°F)
  • Precipitation: 19 mm

Weather in Ibiza in September: A Change in Tempo

In Ibiza, the hottest and busiest months are July and August, but September in the Balearic Islands offers glorious weather with warm, sunny days and very little rain. As the island experiences a seasonal wind-down, it becomes a wonderful time for a relaxing holiday with a partner, friends, or even alone. The average temperature ranges from highs of 29°C (84°F) at the start of the month to 25°C (77°F) towards the end.

Spain in September

Precipitation is minimal, with only 20-30 mm of rain, and the sea temperature remains inviting between 24-26°C (75-79°F). As the prices drop and deals on Ibiza hotels become more affordable compared to the expensive summer months, it’s the perfect excuse to spend a week by the poolside or at the beach.

  • Highs: 29°C (84°F)
  • End of the month: 25°C (77°F)
  • Precipitation: 20-30 mm
  • Sea temperature: 24-26°C (75-79°F)

Canary Islands: Summer’s Not Over Yet

The Canary Islands offer mild, stable weather throughout the year, making them a perfect destination for early fall when temperatures are just a few degrees cooler than in summer. September brings a reduction in crowds across the popular islands of Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, and Lanzarote, creating a calmer atmosphere. As the warmest place in Spain during the winter, the Canary Islands in September are quieter with fine fall conditions compared to the mainland.

Spain in September

The average temperature during the day is around 27ºC (80ºF), dropping to 21°C (70°F) in the evenings, with minimal precipitation of about 10 mm. The sea temperature remains pleasant for swimming, ranging from 24/25°C (75/77°F), making it ideal for various activities such as grape picking during the wine harvest, surfing, scuba diving, and volcano trekking on the emptier islands.

  • Day temperature: 27ºC (80ºF)
  • Evenings: 21°C (70°F)
  • Precipitation: 10 mm
  • Sea temperature: 24/25°C (75/77°F)

What Else Is Happening In Spain In September?

Spain in September is not just about pleasant weather, it’s also a hub of vibrant festivals that can add excitement to your travel plans. One highlight is the Fiesta de la Mercè in Barcelona, a religious festival held to honor Our Lady of Mercy, featuring huge parades, spectacular fire shows, and the breathtaking human towers that can reach up to 10 people high. In the green north, the Rioja Wine Harvest Festival takes wine celebrations to the next level, especially during the San Mateo Festival in Logroño with its annual parades, music, and delicious food activities. For something truly unique, head to the Ibiza Burlesque Festival in the middle of the month, a one-of-a-kind festival with DJs, dancers, and epic costumes.

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