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Weather in Spain in May: A Guide to Spain’s Regions

Weather in Spain in May: A Guide to Spain’s Regions

Spain in May is one of the last months before the tourists ascend in hoards and that still allows you to be able to enjoy warm, sunny weather.

The weather is warmer across the entire country and as summer approaches, festivals around Spain begin in real earnest. May in Spain is a fantastic time to visit the country and get to know some of the cultures of each region.

From the historic streets of Barcelona to the sun-soaked beaches of the Costa del Sol, each region has something different to offer.

Whether you want to get to know Roman history in places like Zaragoza or Valencia, you want to explore the warmer beaches of the Costa Blanca, or you’re looking to spend a few days in Seville to see Flamenco, late spring is a fantastic time of year to visit Spain.

Join along on an exploration of Spain’s diverse regions, where May offers a perfect blend of pleasant temperatures, minimal rainfall, and nearly perfect beach weather.

A Quick Overview of May in Spain

May in Spain is the perfect time to visit if you want to enjoy summer weather and activities without the crowds. Average temperatures rise, creating a comfortable climate in almost the entire country, but especially in the southern and coastal regions.

Minimal precipitation allows for easy exploration of Spain’s diverse terrains. The sea temperatures begin to rise which means the arrival of beach-friendly weather along the coasts.

  • Average Temperature: May offers balmy temperatures across Spain, with daytime highs ranging from 20°C to 26°C (68°F to 79°F). These conditions promise an ideal experience for tons of different outdoor activities, from exploring historic landmarks to al fresco dining.
  • Precipitation: Minimal rainfall characterizes May, with most regions experiencing around 20 mm to 60 mm of precipitation on average.
  • Sea Temperature: The sea temperature starts to rise during May, reaching approximately 18°C to 20°C (64°F to 68°F).

Barcelona: Catalonia’s May Marvel

Barcelona in May is such a great time of year to visit. The city is always a good idea, even in January, but in May it is perfection. You can expect blue skies, beach-ready temperatures, and perfectly cool evenings for outdoor Barcelona tapas tours.

The historic landmarks, including La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell, are wonderful to explore this time of year, but busy as always. There are tons of great things to do in Barcelona to enjoy the outdoors (and usually free).

  • Average Temperature: Pleasant temperatures, reaching around 23°C (73°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: Minimal rainfall, with around 46 mm on average.
  • Sea Temperature: The Mediterranean Sea offers a refreshing experience, with temperatures around 18°C (65°F).
  • Activities: May in Barcelona calls for more than the usual tourist haunts. Attend an intimate flamenco performance at Tablao Flamenco Cordobes or explore the El Raval neighborhood, known for its vibrant street art and hidden galleries. Head to Gràcia, where local markets like Mercat de la Llibertat offer a taste of authentic Catalan life. Embrace the spirit of May in Spain by wandering through the charming streets of El Born, discovering tucked-away cafes and boutique stores.
woman sitting on the beach in spain in may with blue skies above and a wide brimmed hat on her head.

Enjoying the beaches in Spain in May is easy, especially if you head south to the Costa del Sol or even in Valencia!

Northern Spain: Green Meadows and Coastal Serenity

May in Northern Spain offers a picturesque landscape for those exploring the region. Average temperatures rise to comfortable levels, making it the perfect time of year to do the Camino del Norte hike or to explore other hiking opportunities in this region of Spain.

Minimal precipitation sustains the region’s lush beauty and the Atlantic waters are just about warm enough to swim in. May in Northern Spain invites travelers to immerse themselves in the local way of life, from savoring pintxos in San Sebastián to discovering the coastal charm of Santander.

  • Average Temperature: Comfortable temperatures, reaching around 19°C (66°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: Less rainfall than earlier in the year, with approximately 79 mm on average over 12 days.
  • Sea Temperature: The Atlantic waters offer a refreshing experience, with temperatures around 15°C (59°F).
  • Activities: In Northern Spain, May is the perfect time to get off the beaten path. That’s easy to do in this region of Spain. Start in Bilbao and head in either direction along the coastline or out into the mountains and you will be rewarded with incredible views, insanely delicious food, and unique culture. Get into the scenic landscapes of the Picos de Europa. Immerse yourself in the local culture of San Sebastián by attending intimate poetry readings or exploring the city’s lesser-known pintxos bars.

Málaga and the Costa del Sol: Sun-Kissed Andalusian Days

May in Málaga and the Costa del Sol is a sun-soaked affair, with average temperatures creating an idyllic environment for beachgoers. The sun is shining every single day, making it the perfect time to visit before schools get out and families fill the beaches.

The Mediterranean Sea in this region is a wonderful temperature (at least I think so!) at this time of year. But don’t take my word for it, you’ll find me swimming in it most times of the year!

In May, you should look at exploring the charming towns of Nerja and Ronda, hiking the Caminito del Rey (a great day trip from Málaga), and indulging in beachfront chiringuitos.

  • Average Temperature: Sunny days see average temperatures reaching around 22°C (71°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: Scant rainfall, with approximately 50 mm on average scattered across 8 days.
  • Sea Temperature: The Mediterranean Sea becomes inviting, with temperatures around 18°C (64°F).
  • Activities: Beyond the sun-soaked beaches, May in Málaga offers unique experiences. Explore the local culinary scene at Mercado Atarazanas, where fresh produce and seafood abound. Head to the charming town of Mijas for a serene escape, strolling through its cobbled streets and enjoying traditional Andalusian cuisine in hidden courtyards.
man and woman in front of the sagrada familia in barcelona

Enjoy touring around Barcelona in shorts and a tshirt in May.

Valencia: Paella Perfected Under May Skies

Valencia in May welcomes visitors with delightful temperatures and a vibrant atmosphere. The city’s iconic City of Arts and Sciences shines under the warm sun. Head here for a trip out on a paddle boat or take a bike ride through Turia Park.

May in Spain’s third largest city is an ideal time to visit. The weather is warm enough to enjoy all of the best beaches in Valencia, but not too hot for exploring the different Valencia day trips like hiking in Buñol or climbing up to the Xativa Castle.

  • Average Temperature: Enjoyable temperatures, reaching around 24°C (75°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: You have a 60% chance of perfect blue-sky days with around 3 mm of rain on average.
  • Sea Temperature: The sea becomes pleasant, with temperatures around 21°C (68°F).
  • Activities: May in Valencia is a great time to get out and enjoy all of the different things to do in Valencia without melting. You wouldn’t dream of exploring the park at midday in August, but in May it’s positively pleasant.  Or head to the Albufera Natural Park for a peaceful boat ride, exploring the diverse flora and fauna that flourish in May.

Madrid: Blossoming Gardens and Cultural Reverie

May transforms Madrid into a city buzzing with energy. The rising temperatures create an ideal setting for exploring the historic Madrid neighborhoods of Lavapiés and Malasaña.

The city’s parks, including the expansive Retiro Park, are the perfect places to head for relaxing strolls in the sun. May in Madrid means when the weather is clear and sunny, you can be out and about, but when that spring rain arrives, you can still head inside to enjoy some of the best museums in Spain (the Prado and Reina Sofía are my top picks!).

  • Average Temperature: Pleasant temperatures, reaching around 22°C (72°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: There is only a 12% chance of rain in May in Madrid with approximately 11 mm on average.
  • Activities: Beyond the traditional sights, May in Madrid is a great time of year to enjoy simply wandering the streets of this historic city. Explore the literary quarter of Las Letras, where bookshops and cafes pay homage to Spain’s literary luminaries. Go on a bike tour through Madrid with a knowledgeable guide. Attend a zarzuela performance, a traditional Spanish operatic form, at Teatro de la Zarzuela.
spanish plaza with people walking through the center and colorful buildings in the background.

Seville in May is a great time of year to explore the city without melting from the summer heat!

Alicante: Coastal Bliss in May Sunshine

Alicante in May welcomes you with a gentle warmth and a flourishing landscape. The average temperatures create comfortable conditions for exploring the Santa Bárbara Castle and the historic Old Town. It’s also fantastic for getting out and enjoying all of the best beaches in Alicante.

Minimal precipitation ensures that Costa Blanca’s golden beaches shine under the sun. May invites you to discover the region’s culinary delights at Mercado Central, hike in the Montgó Natural Park, and embrace the coastal allure of the Mediterranean.

  • Average Temperature: Enjoyable temperatures, reaching around 24°C (75°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: Expect only 3 rainy days with approximately 32 mm on average.
  • Sea Temperature: The Mediterranean Sea becomes inviting, with temperatures around 21°C (68°F).
  • Activities: There are tons of great things to do in Alicante including heading to the central market, climbing up to the Santa Bárbara Castle at sunset, visiting the El Barrio district, or heading to a traditional Flamenco guitar workshop, allowing you to connect with the region’s passionate musical heritage beyond the coastline. There are also plenty of fantastic day trips from Alicante to enjoy.

Almeria: Desert Blooms in May Sunshine

May in Almeria brings warmth to one of Spain’s sunniest spots. The pleasant temperatures create an inviting atmosphere for exploring the unique landscapes of the Tabernas Desert, Cabo de Gata, and the Sierra de Alhamilla. Minimal precipitation sustains the region’s cinematic charm, while the Mediterranean waters offer a cool respite.

May is a great time for birdwatching at Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park. The beaches aren’t too busy yet, but it’s warm enough to kayak along the coastline and enjoy some of the most wonderful hotels and beaches in all of Spain. The restaurants in Cabo de Gata are also some of my personal favorites. Don’t miss out on trying some of the seafood from around here while you’re visiting.

  • Average Temperature: Pleasant temperatures, reaching around 21°C (68°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: Brief rainfall, with approximately 14 mm on average.
  • Sea Temperature: The Mediterranean Sea becomes refreshing, with temperatures around 20°C (67°F).
  • Activities: May in Almeria is such a fantastic time of year to visit this coastal city. Explore the Alcazaba of Almeria and enjoy some of the country’s best seafood. Casa Puga is a must-visit for traditional local seafood tapas.
woman sitting on a tiled bench in barcelona spain in May.

Park Guell in Barcelona is a great place to explore any time of year, but it’s a little bit more relaxing in May before the the summer tourists arrive.

Seville: Flamenco Flourishes in May’s Warm Embrace

May is just about the latest you want to visit Seville before the summer heat hits.  June until late August are a sweltering sweaty mess, unless that’s something that interests you, then by all means enjoy the 40-degree Celsius / 100+ degree Fahrenheit temperatures of summer!

The average temperatures rise to create a comfortable setting for exploring iconic landmarks like the Alcazar and the Seville Cathedral.

The city’s lively streets, particularly in the historic Triana district, become a stage for flamenco performances. You’ll also find plenty of live music to enjoy at Plaza de España. Enjoy a boat ride on the Guadalquivir River, partake in the city’s vibrant nightlife, and savor the rich flavors of Seville cuisine.

  • Average Temperature: Warm temperatures, reaching around 26°C (79°F) during the day. Although I did visit once in late May and it was already reaching into the low 30s C / mid-80s F.
  • Precipitation: Scattered showers, with approximately 41 mm on average.
  • Activities: There are so many great things to do in Seville in May. Attend intimate flamenco shows at venues like Tablao El Arenal or Casa de la Guitarra. Take a segway tour through the city or climb up to the top of the Giralda Tower to enjoy some of the best views back over the city.

Ibiza: May’s Beats in the Balearics

Ibiza in May is a fantastic place to be. With the temperatures reaching beachgoing temperatures, you can enjoy the great beach clubs in Ibiza or head out to explore all of the different Ibiza towns that make this island a gem of the Balearic Archipelago.

Head out on a coastal hike along the cliffs of Es Vedrà, dine at a farm-to-table restaurant, and immerse yourself in the island’s early-season parties. The Mediterranean waters, while still refreshing, are the perfect place to cool off after a sweaty hike or jog along the beach.

  • Average Temperature: Pleasant temperatures, reaching around 22°C (72°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: Highly unlikely, with approximately 1 mm on average, you are almost guaranteed perfect weather.
  • Sea Temperature: The temperatures of the Mediterranean Sea hover around 21°C (69°F).
  • Activities: Ibiza in May is an ideal time to visit if you want some relaxing beach time, don’t mind cooler evenings, and want to get out and explore some of the off-the-beaten-path spots on the island. It’s quieter and more laid back in May than even just a few weeks later when the summer season begins in June. This is the best time of year to go on coastal hikes or head inland to explore cute villages.
man and woman leaning out of the side of a building with lush gardens behind them.

Wandering the gardens at the Alcazar in Seville is wonderful in spring.

Canary Islands: May’s Tranquil Tides and Volcanic Vibes

May in the Canary Islands is absolutely wonderful if you like paradise. This is my ideal temperature for enjoying the beach for hours at a time without overheating. It’s warm enough for swimming and reading on a beach chair all day long, but not so hot that you need to keep jumping in the water to cool down.

May is also a great time of year to visit the Canary islands for local festivals, quieter beaches, and great hiking through the volcanic terrains of the islands.

  • Average Temperature: Comfortable temperatures, reaching around 24°C (75°F) during the day.
  • Precipitation: Limited rainfall, with approximately 11 mm on average. Pack your sunglasses and sunscreen, this is almost guaranteed sunshine for your holiday.
  • Sea Temperature: The Atlantic waters offer a refreshing experience, with temperatures around 21°C (71°F).
  • Activities: Summer has truly arrived in the Canary Islands in May. Attend the Day of Canary Islands which is a celebratory day all over the islands that takes place on May 30th every year.  Explore unique beaches like Playa de las Teresitas in Tenerife, known for its golden sands and turquoise waters. Head out on water adventures such as snorkeling and kayaking to discover the vibrant marine life. Hike through the volcanic terrains of islands like Lanzarote, where Timanfaya National Park offers otherworldly landscapes.
plaza españa in Seville.

Plaza España is one of my favorite places in all of Spain and is magical to visit at any time of year, but especially in May and early June when the sun is setting later in the day.

What Else Is Happening in Spain in April?

As May in Spain brings warmth and color to every region, the country comes alive with vibrant festivities and cultural celebrations. From grand festivals to local traditions, May offers a ton of events that capture the essence of Spanish heritage and the joys of spring.

  • Las Cruces de Mayo: A cross adorned with flowers takes center stage in plazas and streets across Spain. In Granada, the festival is particularly elaborate, featuring competitions for the most beautifully decorated crosses and lively processions.
  • Fiesta de San Isidro in Madrid: Honoring Madrid’s patron saint, this festival brings the city to life with processions, traditional dances, and musical performances. The Pradera de San Isidro Park becomes a hub of activity, with locals enjoying picnics and outdoor festivities.
  • Cordoba Patio Festival: Cordoba’s historic courtyards, or patios, burst into bloom during May. The city hosts a vibrant competition where residents open their private patios to the public, showcasing stunning floral displays and traditional Andalusian architecture.
  • Jerez Horse Fair: Renowned for its equestrian traditions, Jerez de la Frontera hosts a spectacular fair featuring horse parades, flamenco performances, and traditional sherry tastings. The fairgrounds transform into a lively spectacle of Spanish horsemanship and cultural revelry.
  • Camino de Cruces in Gran Canaria: A unique religious procession, Camino de Cruces involves participants walking barefoot carrying crosses to the Cruz de Tejeda. Pilgrims express their devotion, and the event is followed by traditional Canarian music, dance, and local delicacies.
  • Corpus Christi in Toledo: Celebrated with grandeur in Toledo, Corpus Christi features religious processions, vibrant floral carpets adorning the streets, and traditional dances. The city becomes a canvas for intricate artworks made from petals, seeds, and colored sawdust.
  • San Juan Bonfires in Alicante: Welcoming the arrival of summer, the San Juan Bonfires involve beachside celebrations with bonfires, fireworks, and traditional rituals. Locals leap over bonfires for good luck, and the festivities extend into the night with music, dancing, and beach parties.
  • Flower Festival in Girona: Girona’s picturesque streets become a floral wonderland during the Flower Festival. Elaborate flower displays adorn balconies, windows, and historic landmarks, transforming the city into a living tapestry of vibrant colors and sweet fragrances.
  • La Patum de Berga in Catalonia: Recognized as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, La Patum is a unique festival in Berga that combines ancient rituals, theater, and music. Giant figures parade through the streets, and locals participate in traditional dances, creating a mesmerizing spectacle of cultural expression.