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Escape the heat: Eight places in Spain where it doesn’t get too hot in summer

Not everywhere in Spain is scorching hot in the summer. Here are some amazing holiday spots where temperatures are cooler on average during June, July and August.

Escape the heat: Eight places in Spain where it doesn't get too hot in summer
Fancy cooling down in the nippy waters of Rodas beach on the Cíes islands? Photo: Ferrvic/Flickr

Islas Cíes (Galicia)

These relatively unknown islets off Spain’s northwestern coast are dubbed the “Galician Caribbean” by locals, thanks to their idyllic white sand beaches and turquoise waters. 

Heat haters will also be delighted to know that sea temperatures remain fairly cold during the hotter summer months, offering a proper temperature drop every time they go for a dunk in the Atlantic.

Photo: Pedro/Flickr

Cangas del Narcea (Asturias)

If it’s shade you’re after, this national park in Spain’s northern Asturias region offers a dense canopy to keep you protected from the sun beating down.

If you don’t believe us ask the bears that roam Muniellos forest, as they also choose this spot to cool down in, given that the average summer temperature is just 19.3C.

Photo: Roberto Molero/Flickr

Lago de Carucedo (León)

Even though higher altitudes generally offer lower temperatures, most of us prefer to spend our Spanish summers on the sizzling coastline, to at least be able to have a refreshing dip in the sea.

But what if you can have the best of both worlds? Mountain lakes such as Lago de Carucedo in Spain’s northwest interior offer just that, as well as some spectacular views.

Photo: Amio Cajander/Flickr

Zumaia (Basque Country)

This stunning coastal town in Spain’s northern Basque region has made international headlines in recent years for being the film location of Game of Thrones’ fictional land of Dragonstone. 

And though its choppy waters, rugged coastline and bleak winter weather may not seem ideal for beach bums, the average maximum summer temperatures are a refreshing 24.6C. Perfect to cool off.

Photo: Paco Rubio Ordás/Flickr

Cercedilla (Madrid)

Spain’s capital, slap bang in the middle of the Iberian Peninsula, isn’t the ideal place to be during the sweltering summer months, especially for anyone who can’t handle 35C plus degrees without having to lie down.

There are plenty of public pools available, but to truly experience some freshness, the best bet is to head up to the nearby Guadarrama Mountains.

The town of Cercedilla, 57 kilometres from the city centre, has streams and natural pools that stay lovely and cold in summer. 

Photo: Manuel Sánchez-Mateos/Flickr

Los Alcornocales (Andalusia)

The southern region of Andalusia is a veritable frying pan in the summer. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Spain was in the Cordoba town of Montoro in 2017 – a sweltering 47.3C – but many other parts of Andalusia experience 40C+ temperatures every summer.

So is there any escape from the summer meltdown in Andalusia?

Los Alcornocales Natural Park, located between Cadiz and Malaga, is a real haven for shade seekers. Its dense forests and unvarying morning fog cover keep temperatures at an average 20C during July and August.

Photo: Antonio J. de la Cerda/Flickr

La Palma (Canary Islands)

The greenest and most mountainous of the Canary Islands is cooler on average than the other islands in Spain’s Atlantic archipelago, with average summer temperatures on the coast staying below 28C.

La Palma’s tourism industry is less developed than Tenerife’s, Gran Canaria’s, Lanzarote’s and Fuerteventuras, so if it’s peace, quiet and cool breezes you’re after this summer, La Isla Bonita as it is known has much to offer.

Photo: Martin/Flickr

Aigüestortes (Catalonia)

You’re unlikely to find anywhere along Catalonia’s Mediterranean coast that stays cool throughout the summer, so once again it’s best to head to the mountain if it’s a drop in temperatures you’re after.

Aigüestortes National Park is one such place, although swimming in its rivers and lakes is forbidden unfortunately. That doesn’t mean you can’t look for accommodation with a pool, and the cooler mountain temperatures make it possible to take part in activities such as trekking, rock climbing and horse-riding.

Photo: Peter Lorre/Flickr

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Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

Those with Spanish citizenship are in luck because their passports are the third most powerful in the world, meaning they can travel to many different countries without the need for a visa.

Spain has third most powerful passport in the world

If you want to go on a last-minute break, it’s really only possible to countries that don’t require you to apply for a visa beforehand or issue you with a visa upon arrival. 

The Henley Passport Index is based on data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and each year it reveals the number of destinations that passport holders from around the world can access without a prior visa.

The index includes 199 different passports and 227 different travel destinations and offers all kinds of information on global mobility, ultimately revealing which passports are the most powerful. 

Each country is scored on the total number of destinations that a holder of its passport can access without a visa. For each travel destination, if a visa is not required, they receive a score of one. This also applies if holders are able to obtain a visa on arrival, visitor permit or electronic travel authorisation (ETA) upon entry.

The rankings for 2023 show that Spain, along with Germany, is in joint third place, meaning that Spanish passport holders can visit a total of 191 countries without needing a visa.

READ ALSO: Why Spain is second favourite country for Americans to move to

In joint first place are Japan and Singapore whose passport holders can visit a total of 193 countries without requiring a visa.

They are closely followed by South Korea in second place, whose passport holders can visit a total of 192 countries.

After Spain and Germany, there are several European countries on the list. Those from Finland, Italy and Luxembourg come in fourth place, able to visit 189 destinations, while those from Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden come in fifth place able to visit 188 destinations.

These are followed by passports from France, Ireland, Portugal and the United Kingdom in sixth place, allowing them to visit 188 countries without a visa.

According to the rankings, only 17 percent of countries give their passport holders access to more than 80 percent of the world without a visa.

The three countries with the least powerful passports are Afghanistan whose holders can only visit 27 countries without the need for a visa, Iraq with a score of 29 and Syria with a score of 30.