madrid covered in snow

Does It Snow in Spain?

Spain is often associated with sun, heat, beautiful beaches and summer holidays. However, Spain has a diverse climate and different types of landscapes too.

It isn’t sunny and warm everywhere in Spain. For example, the north of Spain’s weather is characterised by rain, clouds and even snow. However, you’ll be impressed that even in the warmest regions, you can find snow in the wintertime.

So, does it snow in Spain? Yes, it does. In this blog, you’re going to discover the best places to see snow in Spain, when to visit these places and a few tips to make the most of your winter holiday.

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Climate in Spain

Spain has one of the most diverse climates in Europe. There are more than 10 different types of climate, and that number doesn’t even include the Canary Islands.

However, the different climates can be grouped into 5 types according to the area: hot-summer Mediterranean climate, semiarid climate, warm-summer continental climate, warm-summer Mediterranean climate and oceanic climate.

The oceanic climate is characteristic in many northern Spain areas, more specifically from the Pyrenees to Asturias, and this is why rain is abundant and there are more chances of snowfall. Whereas the semiarid climate in places like Almeria, Murcia and Alicante makes it very difficult to snow.

When does it snow in Spain?

madrid covered in snow

Snowfall in Spain often happens any time from December to the beginning of April, and January is the coldest and snowiest month.

Beautiful places to see snow in Spain

If you’re wondering “where does it snow in Spain?”, these are 8 places where you’ll be able to enjoy the snow in winter and early spring.

Comarca del Sobrarbe (Huesca)

a view of sobrarbe spain

Sobrarbe located in Huesca, in the region of Aragon, in the north of Spain, is an excellent place to see snow.

Here you can find pretty villages and medieval churches as well as Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, the second oldest national park in Spain which has breathtaking landscapes.

The National Park is nestled in the Aragonese Pyrenees and is known for its scenic hiking trails. However, if you visit it during winter, you’ll be able to experience snowfall. There’s nothing more magical than walking in its snowy forest paths.

If you have time, I also recommend visiting Aínsa, a picturesque medieval village that is worth adding to your itinerary. If you’re lucky, you’ll see this village covered in snow.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Rascafría (Madrid)

1 hour and 20 minute drive from Madrid, Rascafría is an amazing day trip to see the snow.

There are many scenic hiking trails around this area and Cascada del Purgatorio waterfall is one of the highlights of Rascafría.

Head to Valdesquí to enjoy the snow to its best. In this ski resort, you can hire ski equipment and take lessons whether you’re a beginner or you have some experience skiing.

The other two places to see the snow near Rascafria are Puerto de Cotos and Navafría which are both great for snowboarding.

Rascafría isn’t very known by tourists, so a peaceful day in the snow is guaranteed.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Sierra Nevada (Granada)

Panoramic view of Sierra Nevada with green forest.

Sierra Nevada, located 50 minutes from Granada, is one of the best ski resorts in Europe. In this mountain range, you’ll find the Mulhacén peak, the highest point on Spain’s mainland which is 3,479 metres (11,414 ft) above sea level.

The best times to visit Sierra Nevada are February and March because the snowfall is bigger during these months. The weather conditions are also perfect for skiing and snowboarding.

It’s a great snow destination for couples and families. There are luxurious hotels like El Lodge that offer the ultimate romantic experience and have fantastic facilities like an indoor swimming pool and sauna.

Whilst families have plenty of activities to do with children, like visiting the Mirlo Blanco park that has many snow activities and attractions.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Sierra de las Nieves (Malaga)

Nestled between Ronda and Costa del Sol, Sierra de las Nieves is a beautiful natural park in the province of Malaga. It’s incredible to find such a diverse landscape in this part of Spain – you can enjoy the amazing coastline and mountains at the same time.

This natural park is named Sierra de las Nieves because the snow covers its mountain peaks in the winter, and therefore, this is the ideal time to visit it and see the snow.

However, exploring Sierra de las Nieves during other seasons is also worth it. You’ll come across beautiful flora and fauna which are absent in winter.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Sierra de Gredos (Avila)

sierra de gredos landscape

Sierra de Gredos is one of the best places to see snow in Spain. This mountain range consists of several mountain peaks that reach 2,300 metres above sea level.

There isn’t a ski resort in Sierra de Gredos, so you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in nature in a peaceful atmosphere since many travellers don’t know about the mountain range.

Another great thing about visiting these beautiful mountains is the fact that is only a 2 hour drive from Madrid, so if you’re visiting Spain’s capital, and you’d love to see snow, add Sierra de Gredos to your itinerary.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Parque Natural de Somiedo (Asturias)

Situated in the Cantabrian mountains part of Asturias, this Somiedo Natural Park has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the north of Spain.

The highlight of the park is its natural monument called Conjunto Lacustre de Somiedo, a series of impressive lakes surrounded by high mountains.

It’s a fantastic place to visit for nature lovers all year round, but if you want to see the snow, head to Somiedo from December to March.

This place looks like is straight off a winter wonderland postcard.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Valdezcaray (La Rioja)

If you’re visiting La Rioja in winter, you want to check out the ski resort of Valdezcaray. It’s an excellent place to visit for a day or spend a weekend.

The ski resort is open from December to April as this is the best time to ski and snowboard in the area. It isn’t as popular as Sierra Nevada in Granada, so this is the perfect alternative for those looking for a quieter and less crowded ski station.

Apart from enjoying the snow at the ski resort, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit the town of Valdezcaray which has top-rated restaurants offering delicious pintxos and wine.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Valle de Arán (Lleida)

aneto mountains

Located in the Spanish Pyrenees, this valley is one of the most beautiful places to see the snow in Spain.

The valley consists of lush green meadows, high mountains, and small waterfalls among other incredible natural features.

In Valle de Arán, you’ll also find one of the best ski resorts in Spain, Baqueira Beret, where you can practice different types of skiing, including the popular cross-country skiing, take a snow driving circuit or a lesson.

📍 Check out the exact location here.

Skiing in Spain

The ski season in Spain starts at the beginning of November and ends at the end of April.

Sierra Nevada is the best ski resort in Spain, but there are other ski resorts that are worth visiting too. For example, Baquiera Beret and Valdezcaray.

One of the best things about skiing in Spain is that isn’t as expensive as in other European countries like France and Switzerland. However, the affordable prices don’t compromise the quality of the ski courses you can find in the country.

All the ski resorts in Spain are family-friendly and offer many activities to do with children, but you can also enjoy a romantic getaway and find activities for couples.

Snow packing list

mountains covered in snow

Now that you have enough information about snow in Spain, where to go to see the snow, and you’ve decided to head to one of the snow destinations in Spain, you just need the pack appropriately for the weather.

This short packing list will help you pack the essentials you need for your trip:

  • Waterproof coat
  • Jacket and fleeces
  • Base layers
  • Jumpers
  • Leggings/trousers
  • Snow boots
  • Comfortable winter shoes
  • Snow socks
  • Winter accessories (gloves, scarves, beanies)

Ski packing list

  • Ski jacket
  • Neck Gaiter
  • Ski boots
  • Ski socks
  • Goggles

📌 TIP: Although you can hire ski equipment and clothing at many ski resorts, you may want to consider bringing your own to avoid the queues and maximise your time having fun in the snow.

What other activities can you do in Spain in winter?

If you aren’t into snow activities, there are many other things to do in Spain in winter – from going on scenic hiking trails and sightseeing to relaxing at the Arabic baths.

Winter in Spain is great because it is mild in comparison to other European countries. The weather allows you to enjoy many different activities.

If you’d love to go on a road trip around Spain, winter is a fantastic time to do so. You won’t experience extreme warm temperatures, you’ll find fewer crowds and cheaper accommodation and flights too.

Looking for a relaxing experience? Spain has good spa and wellness centres as well as Arabic baths to unwind and disconnect from the daily routine.

No matter which Spanish destination you choose to visit in winter, you’ll find an activity for you.

In addition to this, if you’re staying in a big city for longer than a weekend, you may want to check out day trips and excursions. There are many beautiful hidden gems in Spain for you to uncover, and they aren’t very far from big cities.

📌 Check out great activities, excursions and tours with Get Your Guide.

Conclusion: does it snow in Spain?

Yes, it snows in Spain, but it mostly snows inland, in the mountainside and its surroundings.

It’s almost impossible to see snow in certain locations like Majorca, the Canary Islands and cities like Malaga, Almeria or Murcia.

If you have any questions about visiting Spain in winter, you can always reach me via email or Instagram. I’m happy to help you plan your trip to my home country.

Safe adventures!


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Things to do before visiting Spain

Frequently asked questions about seeing snow in Spain

What months does it snow in Spain?

It snows in certain parts of Spain, mainly in national parks and inland, from December to the end of March or the beginning of April.

Does it snow in Madrid?

Madrid isn’t a city where you often see snowfall, it is rare, however, it isn’t impossible either. Winters in Madrid are dry and cold, but climate change has made the city experience snow in winter 2021 and extreme heat conditions in the summer months.

Does it snow in Barcelona?

It’s rare to see snow in Barcelona, nevertheless, it can happen. In that case, late December and January are likely the months in which you would see snowfall in Barcelona. However, you can see the snow in other Catalonian destinations like Vall D’Aran or Camprodon.

Does it snow in Valencia?

Valencia enjoys mild temperatures in the winter months, so it isn’t a common place where you’ll see snow. However, if you travel outside the city, you can find some inland destinations where you may be able to see the snow. For example, the medieval town of Morella and Barracas.

Other travel guides to plan your trip to Spain

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