Perhaps it is this question that has led you to this article. What is the best time of year to travel to Malaga?
We, who live here, think that Malaga is almost paradise on earth and very visitable during the 12 months of the year. Your choice will be more specific depending on what you are looking for, here we go!
Table of Contents
The weather in Malaga
Spring in Malaga
It can be said that here in Malaga we almost live in an eternal spring. Almost, because it is interrupted by 2 months of extreme heat.
Characteristic for Malaga is that there are plants, flowers, shrubs and trees in bloom all year round, bringing an enormous variety of colours and aromas to delight our senses.
That said, in spring (March, April and May) after the winter rains, flowering is exuberant in nature in general.
Summer in Malaga
We dedicate an entire chapter to summer in Malaga, high season on the Costa del Sol for sun and beach lovers. Temperatures in July and August are very high and leave little choice other than beach and pool.
If you prefer cooler months to combine with other activities, we recommend June and September.
Autumn in Malaga
If you think that autumn in Malaga means grey and cold days, you are very wrong!
The celestial shows of clouds and light at sunrise and sunset are simply spectacular every day. The best of the winter season begins. And for the record, winter as such is virtually non-existent in Malaga.
Winter in Malaga
While the rest of Europe endures for months freezing temperatures and overcast skies, in Malaga and the Costa del Sol we continue to enjoy excellent weather.
Malaga in December is usually an experience apart, as during the day temperatures can reach 18ºC/20ºC without any problems. The nights are illuminated all along the coast with Christmas lights and we can enjoy numerous Christmas markets.
November and February are usually the months with the most rainy days. But also the months with the most rainbows, as the sun soon comes out again.
At the end of January/beginning of February we can delight in the almond blossom, a marvel for the senses and messengers of the imminent spring.
The low season months are undoubtedly ideal for active tourism, hiking and a getaway to Malaga, perhaps on Valentine’s Day?
What do I look for during my holidays in Malaga?
Sun and beach
Obviously sun and beach remains the undisputed favourite of visitors to Malaga and the Costa del Sol.
Located at the southern tip of Europe, Malaga is blessed with an excellent climate all year round and protected from the icy winds in winter by high mountains.
It is not surprising that our more northern visitors (which from a geographical point of view is not so difficult, as they all actually live further north than Malaga, the most southerly city in Europe) are longing for warm weather. To feel the sun on their bare skin and to enjoy summer nights.
But let’s take it one step at a time, as the summer in Malaga is very long, it actually goes from May to October, we break it down below.
May: Although May still rarely sees locals bathing, they are already flocking to the beach to refresh their tans. The sun is already strong, with temperatures between 20 and 25 degrees Celsius as we approach June.
The water is cold with an average temperature of 17 degrees. However, the author had a short dip all winter. And although this temperature is not exactly inviting for swimming, it feels great. Those of you who know the Kneipp Baths know what I am talking about.
June: June, frankly, is paradise. Temperatures are summery, but still in a pleasant range. The sea water is also gradually getting warmer and we can enjoy magnificent days on the beach with crystal clear, clean water.
And best of all, no crowds of holidaymakers. The best of the best.
July & August: High season on the Costa del Sol. If you opt for a purely beach holiday, these are your months. The water is warm, the temperatures are usually very high, between 30ºC and 38ºC.
During these months we are visited 6 or 7 times by the Terral, a local phenomenon that raises the temperatures in a few minutes to oven level. During these months the night temperatures rarely drop below 23ºC.
These are months to spend on the beach or by the pool. Everything takes a lot of effort, so it is the ideal time to drop into one of the many beach bars along the Costa del Sol. Or one of the best beach clubs along the coast and enjoy the dolce far niente, along with thousands and thousands of other people, mind you.
Because you know, high season means not only high temperatures, but also very high occupancy of beaches, hotels, restaurants and also much higher prices.
September: If you have the luxury of a holiday in September, so much the better! In fact, September is the new August, but without the crowds. Temperatures remain the same, only in the morning there are cooler days with 20ºC in the morning.
The sea water is warm after a long summer and is also becoming less murky again as there are no longer masses of bathers stirring up the sands. September is, along with June, the golden month to enjoy all the best that the Costa del Sol has to offer in terms of quiet beaches.
October: In October there are still fabulous days to fully enjoy the beach. The water is starting to cool down a bit. But it doesn’t matter, as during the day we still reach 25ºC without any problem.
As we said before, you can actually swim all year round. It’s a pleasure and the sun will quickly warm you up again. But if you are looking for the typical beach feeling with all that it entails, the central summer months are for you.
City breaks are an ideal plan and even more so when it comes to Malaga. You can enjoy a lot of atmosphere and activities in Spain’s sixth largest city all year round.
However, due to the sweltering heat we advise against July and August, unless you are coming to celebrate the Malaga Fair.
In general, we can always recommend the months outside the high season to discover the beautiful streets and squares of the old town at a more leisurely pace and have a coffee in one of the many cafés.
This ancient city has witnessed several cultures that have left their mark: From the ancient Roman theatre to the Moorish fortress, both just a stone’s throw from the centre.
Malaga has also made a name for itself in recent years for its many museums. Many of them are housed in beautifully restored old buildings which are worth a visit in themselves.
But modern life is also very attractive in Malaga, rent an electric scooter or a bike and discover the city your way!
Take a stroll along Muelle Uno (Pier One) with its open-air markets, shops and restaurants, just a few metres from the old town. Or take to the heights to the best roof top terraces to enjoy Malaga from a different perspective while having a drink or dinner.
Every year there are many festivals such as the Larios Fashion Week or the Spanish Film Festival, just to name a few.
Nature and active tourism
Just a few kilometres from the Costa del Sol, the interior of the province of Malaga offers countless attractive options.
Nature lovers, hikers and adventure sports enthusiasts are in luck in Malaga, as these sports can be practised all year round.
We have put together an extensive article with all the exciting things you can do in Malaga. Just to give you an idea:
Horse riding, Kayaking, Archery, Hot air ballooning, Malaga Reservoirs, Downhill Mountain Biking, Canyoning, Climbing. Caving, Hiking and Trekking, Zip lines, Via Ferrata, Vertigo Trails: Caminito del Rey and El Saltillo. Tandem Paragliding, Rafting and much more you will find in our article about Active Tourism and Adventure Sports in Malaga.
• The Caminito del Rey, the famous 100-metre-high footbridge is built into the walls of the Desfiladero de los Gaitanes. Deadly dangerous before its renovation in 2015, is today one of the most visited tourist attractions.
• Enjoy the eagle vision with Tandem Paragliding in Malaga
• El Torcal, spectacular limestone formations with routes suitable for all the family. The interpretation centre also organises activities throughout the year such as moonlight walks.
• El Saltillo, the unknown Caminito del Rey
• Malaga has its first National Park: Sierra de las Nieves