5 things you probably didn´t know about winter in Spain
Winters in Germany are generally quite harsh, but that rule does not really apply to the current winter season. In the Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg, at least, it is not being at all as bad as I expected. After only a couple of snowy days and a surprisingly low number of days with temperatures below 0 °C, we could say we are having some sort of long autumn. This can be, however, quite relative; especially when you come from “the home of the sun”.
However “mild” –average temperatures below 5 °C are actually quite cold– this winter season may be, when Germans learn where I come from, they pity me: “The current situation in Spain must be really hard if you are willing to renounce the never-ending spring you people enjoy down there”, they wonder. When it comes to the weather, they are right as well sometimes, but not always.
In the case of Águilas, my hometown, they are quite right: we can boast about one of the most pleasant climates in the country and even the Mediterranean coast. Spain, however, is much more than sunny beach days. In fact, winters can be really harsh in many places throughout the Iberian Peninsula and even the Balearic Islands –Canary Islands must be left out of the picture this time. To prove it, here you have some facts that you probably didn´t know about Spain:
- Average altitude of 660 metres above sea level.
In Europe only Switzerland, Austria, Andorra and Liechtenstein have a higher average altitude. It is no surprise, then, that some northern cities are hit by heavy snowfall just like in Reinosa (Cantabria) last week.
- More than 30 ski resorts.
Most of them are in the north or the centre of the Peninsula, which makes the southern Sierra Nevada (Granada) one of a kind. This ski resort in southern Spain is so close to the Mediterranean coast that you can go both skiing and for a nice walk on the beach on the same day!
- Snow on the beach.
- Temperatures way below 0 °C.
In some inland cities, such as Teruel, average minimum temperatures in January can drop up to below -2 °C.
- The rainiest place in Spain is in Cádiz, the southernmost of the Spanish provinces.
I´m talking about the Serranía de Grazalema (Grazalema mountains). This beautiful spot in Andalusia receives even more rainfall than the green areas in the northernmost provinces off the Atlantic coast.
So, does anyone still dare say there is no such a thing as winter in Spain?