When to go to the Basque Country: climate, best time and tips month by month

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The Basque Country is one autonomous community of the far north of Spain. They border to the south-east with Navarre, to the south with La Rioja, to the south-west with Castile and León and with Cantabria to the west, while to the north-east they touch the French region of Aquitaine. The strenuously desired and consolidated autonomy over the decades has made the Basque Country one of the most interesting areas of Spain for wealth of traditions still well alive, in addition to one wilderness, beaches overlooking therushing ocean, high mountains, fragrant vineyards, art and good food.

Climatically speaking, the Basque Country is Spain "you don't expect". It is difficult to find a hot sun; indeed, not infrequently wind and rain are often the masters.
So here is all the info on when to go to the Basque Country: climate, best time and advice month by month!


  1. Climate, Average Temperatures and Precipitation
  2. When to go to the Basque Country: the cheapest period
  3. Basque Country in Spring
  4. Basque Country in Summer
  5. Basque Country in Autumn
  6. Basque Country in Winter
  7. User questions and comments

Climate, Average Temperatures and Precipitation

  • Best time: summer, from June to the first half of September. Less rainy and sunnier period. For the Ebro valley, the intermediate seasons are better: May is perfect, from mid-September to mid-October it offers wonderful autumnal scenarios
  • Period to avoid: late autumn and winter due to abundant rainfall and scarce hours of sunshine

The Basque Country (Euskadi in Basque, or País Vasco in Spanish) has a cool and humid climate on the coast, due to the influence of the Atlantic Ocean; more cold in the innermost areas and as the altitude increases, and a little more continental and arid in the southern area.

The wind occurs on the coast with some frequency. Not by chance the beaches are mostly frequented by surfers. Rare, but not impossible, the fact that the wind, due to the föhn effect, causes sudden increases in temperature (20 ° in winter, 30 ° in spring and autumn, 35 ° in summer).

Rainfall is quite abundant especially in the north the region, where they generally exceed 1.000 millimeters per year; in the central part it drops below 800 mm, and in the extreme south even below 500 mm. The least rainy season remains summer.
Finally, the amount of sunshine is never very good. In July and August there are 6/7 hours of sunshine per day in Bilbao and San Sebastian; in the other seasons, especially in late autumn and winter it is much worse, and the sky is often cloudy. The Ebro Valley in the south remains sunnier of the region.

When to go to the Basque Country: the cheapest period

Due to climatic adversities, the cheapest period is late autumn and mid-winter. Prices, for obvious reasons, are quite high in spring and summer.

The final choice is purely personal; a lot also depends on the purpose of the trip. Taking the Camino de Santiago in the middle of winter is not really recommended: the advantage-disadvantage ratio between a cheap flight and a strenuous adventure in the cold and under water must be considered!

Basque Country in Spring

Cool, cloudy and rainy. The wind and humidity, an almost constant presence, make the sensation of cold worse. If the wind blows from the south, sudden increases in temperature can occur.

Spring is the perfect climate for cultural visits to the various cities, towns and characteristic villages. The temperature is pleasant for walking while, to find shelter from rain and wind, there are magnificent churches and interesting museums, first of all, the famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao which houses works by important artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
But that's not all. Also in the capital is the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum; in Gernika Lumo there is the Museo de la Paz de Guernica, while in Donostias the interesting San Telmo Museoa and the Eureka are worth a stop! if you are traveling with children. On one of the sporadic, but not impossible, days without rain, it is pleasant to take a boat ride in the bay, to relax and admire the scenery of San Sebastian from the sea.
Spring is finally the season of the Camino de Santiago, because many prefer rain to excessive heat.

Basque Country in Summer

Pleasantly warm during the day with cool nights. Torrid heat is rare; it exceeds 30 ° only for a few days a month and, even in these cases, the nights remain cool. Summer is there drier season even if some perturbation, which brings the thermometer to 20 °, is not to be excluded.

The summer season is full of parties and events; the most important is the Semana Grande in San Sebastian. The second week of August, with games, music, shows, gastronomy and much more!
In June, a Vitoria-Gasteiz, a fixed appointment with the feria de las Nationes, a great festival of nations that hosts 50 musical performances, theater, art, culture and gastronomy from the 5 continents.
In the last 10 days of July, the Portugalete and Basque Country International Folklore Festival takes place, organized by the cultural society and the Basque folk group Elai Alai.
At the end of August the highly anticipated Aste Nagusia, the Bilbao Semana Grande, is celebrated in Bilbao. Over 300 events with concerts, shows, theater, activities for children, spectacular fireworks, food stands.

Basque Country in Autumn

Cool and very rainy, especially in October and November; in September the temperature is still pleasant. Fog is very frequent. As in spring, autumn weather conditions can be used to make cultural visits and museum stops.

There are also quite important events. In mid-September, a San Sebastian, the Euskal Jaiak takes place, an interesting review of Basque culture and traditions, during which the streets are filled with dancers, txistu and flute players. In the city, exhibitions, sporting events, outdoor concerts, traditional dance companies, local artisans etc ...
Also in autumn, with a date to be defined each year, a Donostia-San Sebastian, the Musical Fortnight of San Sebastián takes place which lasts a full month. The event, one of the oldest in Europe, includes various styles: opera, classical ballet, early music and symphonic concerts. The main venue for the event is the modern Kursaal Auditorium, but some concerts are held in ancient churches and historic buildings such as the Basilica of Santa Maria and the Miramar Palace.

Basque Country in Winter

Generally speaking, winter is cool and rainy (January average 9th). Atlantic perturbations pass regularly, bringing rain and cloudy skies. Sometimes, the cold air from the northeast can bring cold spells in which it can even snow, and night frosts can occur, usually light.

The highlight of the winter is the Tamborrada held in San Sebastian on January 20. Every year, thousands of people gather in San Sebastián to celebrate the feast of San Sebastian, the patron saint of the city, with the parade of drums called the Tamborrada. The event begins at midnight with a flag-raising ceremony followed by celebratory drum beats and special events for 24 hours. Just before Christmas, on December 21st, also in San Sebastian, the San Tommaso fair takes place, one of the most awaited by the locals as it recalls the ancient market in which the farmers and breeders of the province approached the capital to pay taxes and exhibit the main products.

How to dress: what to pack

  • In winter: warm clothes, scarf and hat to shelter from the wind. Comfortable shoes. K-way and / or umbrella
  • In summer: comfortable, light and breathable clothes; sweatshirt and sweater; light scarf or foulard to shelter from the wind. Comfortable shoes. Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Beach equipment for seaside life
  • In autumn and spring: spring / autumn clothes, sweatshirts and sweaters, scarf or heavy foulard to shelter from the wind. Comfortable shoes. K-way, windproof and / or umbrella

Haven't booked your trip yet? Discover our offers!

  • starting from € 76,00 -
  • the main cities to stop in are Bilbao, San Sebastian, Vicoria-Gasteiz, Logroño. Hotel and b & b starting from € 54,00 per room -
  • Return flight + 5 days / 4 nights from € 199,00 per person -
  • Bilbao & Basque Country: 7-Day Guided Tour from Bilbao Basque Country: Tour from Bilbao Bilbao: Guggenheim Guided Tour with Skip-the-Line Entry

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