After a year and a half of living here, I can now say without a doubt, that Spain one incredibly varied country. If I were a betting man, I’d wager to say that it is the most diverse country in Europe. In terms of local culture, food, and music, even language, every province is like a country in of itself.

Unfortunately, I haven’t travelled enough to say with certainty that this is true–yet. But if there is a country more culturally diverse than this, I deign to see it.

As such, there is a common saying here in Spain in regards to this very variety. It is said that the North is Europe and that the South is Africa. While one could argue that this is true in terms of culture, the phrase is used in reference to the climate.  Or should I say climates.

Broadly speaking, the northern regions like Galicia and Basque Country are quite wet and rainy, while the south, Andalusia, is dry and arid. The rest of the country seems to fall somewhere in-between these two opposing climates.

What shocked me most about being here, however, was not the differences in climate. It was the differences in the weather throughout the day. While I was accustomed to cooler mornings and evenings and warmer afternoons, you know, sun patterns and all, I wasn’t used to them being so extreme.  I soon found that if I left the house before, 11am, even in the warmer months, I needed to wear a long sleeved shirt or even a jacket.

But by noon, during the warmer months, I was ready to melt. Or, in the winter, remove some layers. Until, the sun was covered temporarily by a cloud or had set for the evening.

While this may seem hyperbolic, let’s be clear, I’m not kidding people. You get two settings here: hot or cold. And you’d better dress for accordingly and simultaneously.

Suffice it to say, dressing appropriately here is an art that I haven’t quite mastered yet. But I have picked up some knowledge along the way of my travels here. While, I am no meteorologist, I can give you this tip at least: Always carry a jacket.

The Province of Madrid

Places I’ve Been:

  • Madrid
  • Segovia
  • Toledo

Local Conditions:

  • Sunny

Best Time to Visit:

  • Spring
  • Fall

What to Bring/Wear:

  • Jacket
  • Layering Pieces.

Basque Country

Places I’ve Been:

  • San Sebastián
  • Bilbao
  • Vitoria

Local Conditions:

  • Overcast and Rainy

Best Time to Visit:

  • Summer

What to Bring/Wear:

  • Raingear

Andalusia

Places I’ve Been:

  • Sevilla
  • Granada
  • Malaga
  • Cádiz

Local Conditions:

  • Sunny

Best Time to Visit:

  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Fall

What to Bring/Wear:

  • Bottled Water
  • Light Jacket
  • Layering Pieces

Canary Islands

Places I’ve Been:

  • Tenerife

Local Conditions:

  • Sunny

Best Time to Visit:

  • Late Spring
  • Summer

What to Bring/Wear:

  • Bathing Suit
  • Jacket
  • Layering Pieces

Galicia

Places I’ve Been:

  • A Coruña
  • Santiago de Compostela

Local Conditions:

  • Rainy

Best Time to Visit:

  • Late Spring
  • Summer
  • Early Autumn

What to Bring/Wear:

  • Umbrella
  • Close Toed/Waterproof Shoes
  • Light Breathable Jacket

Balearic Islands

Places I’ve Been:

  • Menorca

Local Conditions:

  • Sunny
  • Cloudy
  • Windy

Best Time to Visit:

  • Spring
  • Summer

What to Bring/Wear:

  • Bikini
  • Wind Jacket

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