During the summer Spain is packed with tourists from around the globe in search of sun, sea and sangria, but autumn is the season when you should visit and here is seven reasons why.
Away from the beaches, Spain is full of forests and city parks that abound in stunning fall colours. Try and visit Faedo de Ciñera in León for its 500-year-old beech trees in a forest that is considered the best cared for, woodland in Spain.
The Andalusian mountain village of Pujerra has turned the humble chestnut into a money making fiesta that celebrates the coming of winter. Located just an hour and forty minute’s drive from Malaga, in the Serranía de Ronda Mountains, Pujerra comes alive for the annual chestnut festival on Halloween.
Spain’s famous La Rioja wine region on the banks of the Ebro River is the Holy Grail of Spanish winemaking. Full of medieval villages and hilltop castles, it is here where you can sample Spain’s leading export at any one of the 500-plus bodegas.
During the autumn mushroom hunting becomes a national passion in Spain. Don’t be tempted to try this yourself unless you know what you are looking for. Just about every bar will have locally foraged mushrooms on their tapas menu from September until Christmas.
As the chilly nights creep in, so does the rich, hearty food Spaniards love to eat. Gone are the healthy salads and fried fish being replaced with Asturian beans and rich bull tail stew.
People who are not tied to taking their holidays when the schools are out will appreciate just how much nicer Spain is once the crowds are gone. All the bars still have outdoor tables and the lines to visit museums and historic sites have vanished.
Autumn is the best time to visit Spain weather wise. Gone are the unbearably hot days with no relief in sight replaced by sunny afternoons and cool evenings where you have to wear a light sweater or cardigan. If we had to pick our favourite time of year it would almost certainly be September and October.
Photos courtesy of AFP, Juanedc, Dexter HP, Inga Vitola, Robert McIntosh, Elsergientenapuros and CoCinerosdeespaña.