MADRID – Villages where the Spanish summer heat does not penetrate? These exist mainly thanks to the three climates that occur in Spain and the fact that Spain is the most mountainous country in Europe after Switzerland. And the higher, the cooler.
Most of the villages on our list of coolest Spanish villages are therefore located high up and in the northern half of the country. Yet there are also cool places in the extreme south of Spain. For example in Andalucia. Others are located in a place with a specific micro-climate, as is the case with Grazalema.
Also read: New extreme heatwave is on its way to Spain
Let’s see in which villages the heat is the least oppressive in the summer.
Griegos is a small village in the sparsely populated province of Teruel (Aragón). It is located in the Sierra de Albarracín. In summer it is considered one of the coldest places in Spain. The village owes this to the fact that it is located at 1,604 metres above sea level on the Spanish plateau. Furthermore, the average annual temperature in Griegos is between 7 and 8ºC, with July being the hottest month, with a maximum of 24ºC and a minimum of 10ºC. Therefore, the nights here are wonderfully cool. Earlier we wrote about Griegos that it offers newcomers jobs and three months of free rent to supplement the 130-headed population
Ezcaray is a village in La Rioja wine region. It is located in the southwest in the La Rioja Alta region in a valley of mountains that form the north face of the Iberian System. The average temperature in Excaray is 19ºC in summer. This also means that even during a heatwave, temperatures are not extreme. It is a picturesque town that owes its fame to a once-flourishing textile industry. The surrounding area is ideal for outdoor sports activities. And for wine lovers, there is of course plenty to do here.
The village of Isaba is located in the northern Spanish region of Navarra. Thanks to its favourable location in the Roncal Valley, temperatures do not rise excessively and average 17.5ºC in summer. An additional advantage is that Isaba is located in a beautiful area with impressive mountain tops and extensive forests. In the village there are typical stone and wooden houses on narrow streets. A small river also flows through the village. The town is centred around the San Cipriano church, a beautiful historic building.
Bellver de Cerdanya
The medieval village of Bellver de Cerdanya is located in the Catalan province of Lleida in the Baja Cerdanya region. With an average temperature of around 19ºC in July, this is considered one of the coolest places in the Spanish summer. In addition, it is often mentioned as one of the most beautiful villages in the Catalan Pyrenees. In the old centre is a Romanesque church from the 11th century, the Santa Maria de Bell-Eloc. In the summer it is frequented by hikers and in the winter you can ski in the area.
On this beautiful, small archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Galicia, the average temperature in summer is 14ºC. This is even the best beach in the world according to the prestigious British newspaper The Guardian. Playa las Rodas often graces lists with the most beautiful beaches in Spain. The Romans did not call the Cíes Islands ‘islands of the gods’ for nothing. On Cíes you can only spend the night in a tent on the campsite. And full means full, so it is important to book a spot in advance. From Vigo, Baiona and Cangas de Morrato there are regular boats from Easter.
Puebla de Lillo
Puebla de Lillo in León is also one of the coolest villages in Spain. The mercury in this small picturesque municipality does not rise above 17ºC on average in the summer. This means those who want to spend the night there can lie comfortably under a duvet or blanket. The village is located in the beautiful mountain area Picos de Europa, so it is a great base for mountain sports. An additional advantage is that the beaches of Asturias and Cantabria are also very nice in the Spanish summer. The elegant resort of Ribadesella is a 2-hour drive away.
Molina de Aragon
Molina de Aragón is located in the Señorío de Molina-Alto Tajo region in the province of Guadalajara between Madrid and Zaragoza. It is known for its relatively low temperatures in June, July and August. The thermometers indicate temperatures that fluctuate between 12ºC and 14ºC in the summer months. In the village is the special, medieval castle Molina-Alfoz. It dates back to the 11th century and is one of the best-preserved castles in Spain. And if you miss the heat… In 2.5 hours you can be on the beach of Sagunto and in 2.5 hours or in the centre of Valencia.
The coolest place in Andalucia is the village of Grazalema in the Sierra de Grazalema (Cádiz). It also has the reputation of being the wettest village in Spain. The annual average precipitation is more than 22,000 litres per square metre. This is due to the so-called ‘hair dryer effect’. Warm damp clouds drift inland from the Atlantic Ocean and in Cadiz meet the barrier of mountain ranges that forces them higher. The clouds cool and the condensation process results in precipitation. And thanks to all that water, it is un-Andalucian green, which also makes it a wonderful hiking destination.
Ski village Pradollano is officially the highest village in Spain. It is located at 2,078 metres in the province of Granada on the northern slopes of the Sierra Nevada. Unfortunatley, you wouldn´t go there for picturesque photos, because like so many ski villages in Europe, Pradollano has quickly been built up with characterless buildings and it looks rather soulless, especially in summer. However, some hotels are still open. Mountain bikers and hikers in particular like to come here because they can cycle to the Pico Veleta (3,396 m) or conquer the top of the Mulhacen. With a bit of luck, you will come across the last slice of snow. While people are sighing in the heat an hour and a half away on the southern Spanish coast, it can be a refreshing 22ºC in Pradollano.
Like Pradollano, Capileira is also high (at 1,436m) in the Sierra Nevada, but on the southern flanks. Although temperatures can rise during the day, it quickly cools down again in the evening and the pleasant temperature lingers at the end of the morning. Those who like cool nights can therefore look forward to sleeping under a duvet. Moreover, Capileira is located in the beautiful region of La Alpujarra. A unique area in Andalucia with water sources and fast-flowing rivers everywhere. It is very green, fresh and everything grows and blooms. Below Capileira, on the same mountainside, are the picturesque villages of Bubión and Pampaneira. They look Arabic because they were built during the centuries when the Moors ruled this area.