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Spanish Pyrenees: Itinerary and Weather

Hi All,
Planning a trip to the Pyrynees for three wks,mid August to early September. Originally making it a September trip, but now I'm wondering about cooler weather in that region. What is the best time or at favorable weather for driving and touring in the Spanish Pyrenees? My research shows that northern Spain can be temperate: 59F (low) - 71F (high) in August and September.
- Assumed we'd fly into Madrid, spend a couple days, then drive to Bilbao. But if Madrid is miserable hot then, would it be best to get to Bilbao straight from the airport, then return to Madrid when weather has cooled?
- From Bilbao, I've seen a semi-circle tour route south then north to Bayonne. Would this make an interesting itinerary?
- What spots and accommodations in Spanish Pyrenees do you recommend and not? We like charming and active villages w/restaurants and good service inns.
I am a bit on my heels for not planning this sooner, but the climate difference from north vs. southern/central Spain surprised me.
All suggestions and advice welcome.
Thank you!

Posted by
6820 posts

How far south and east do you intend to go before heading to Bayonne? Your interesting and mine might not mean the same thing. Go to places of interest to you. There are enough places to visit that you won’t have difficulty filling three weeks.

Frequently mentioned as a place to visit is Valle de Baztan.

Possible places to stay:
Estación de Canfranc
Parador de Bielsa
Parador de Vielha
Parador de la Seu d'Urgell

Posted by
120 posts

Thank you for the suggestions on south of Pyrenees- we think traveling to Bilbao east along the coast then traveling inland and a bit south then dipping into the Haute Pyrenees would be an interesting trip (then return to. Madrid.

August was historically the month to avoid traveling as Europeans took their summer vacations then. Is this till true?

We are planning on September for this reason-will the weather likely be still warm (70s) and cool at night?

Posted by
690 posts

(from a Bilbao, Basque national) Spain is extremely diverse in climate, landscapes, food, traditions,´s a very heterogeneous country almost in every sense of the word. The north is wet and rainy, not too warm, mountainous (as many other parts of Spain, it´s a country full of mountains...that famous sentence about the rain in Spain and the plain has done much harm to the overall perception of this country :)), and from west to east there are four coastal different regions (Galicia, with its own language, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, also with a very distinctive own language). The Pyrenees are not too high in your route, take into account that they are almost 500miles long and quite varied in heights and regions. If it´s Pyrenees, then try Navarre, Aragon or Catalonia, there aren´t Pyrenees near Bilbao or on route to Bayonne...but of course plenty of hiking routes, it´s a very popular activity over here.

September will be much better in terms of finding lodging and of course much less people in any place you visit. Cooler, but usually nice weather, you´ll need a light jacket at night (and also in August for most of the days), unless climate change continues warming up the traditionally colder areas in Spain.