unpredictably of the British summer drives British holidaymakers to the
Spanish Costas in droves for guaranteed sunshine and beach weather. In
fact, British tourists are always surprised to find that the
temperatures in Spain always exceed the weather forecast printed in the
UK newspapers. However, July and August can witness some extremely hot
temperatures and the constant 'blanket' heat can feel pretty
unbearable, particularly if you have been plunged into the thick of it
directly from the UK.
Although, there is no on/off switch to give you a break from the
suffocation, there are a few preventative measures and cures that you
can take to stop the Spanish weather from spoiling your enjoyment.
surround yourself with water. Start by drinking it and lots of it! Get
into the habit of 'downing' water. Forget about Cola and alcohol, when
you feel thirsty drink plain, old, simple water. Don't wait until you
feel thirsty, in fact, once you get to this stage, it is actually a
sign that you are already dehydrated. No other drink will re-hydrate
you like water. Get young children into the habit of drinking it. It is
difficult to wean them off what they are used to but if you don't buy
fizzy drinks and squash, there's nothing else in the house to drink; if
they're thirsty they'll drink water.
Bottled water is cheap in Spain compared to the UK, especially if you
buy supermarket own brands. Always buy more than you think you will
need and in almost every possible size of bottle. Store them in the
fridge and always keep one by the bedside. Pop a three-quarter filled
bottle in the freezer in the morning, ready to go to the beach in the
afternoon. Stock up at home and take it with you because you will only
end up paying inflated Spanish petrol station prices when you are out
Ways to keep the temperature down
is key to keeping your temperature down and you should immerse yourself
in water as much as possible. Make sure you holiday in an urbanisation
with a pool or near the beach. Regular bursts of cold showers are a
refreshing way to cool off for a while. If you have toddlers buy them a
small paddling pool and supervise them while they splash around. You
can pick up inflatable pools everywhere, the large Spanish supermarkets
are usually quite cheap for inflatable pools, rubber rings etc.
As soon as you arrive go to the supermarket and stock up on ice-lollies. For small
children, you can't beat Mercadona (a great value supermarket to look out for) for
boxes of mini-size lollies.
You will definitely need an electric fan or two, preferably air
conditioning. However, the only drawback of air con is that compared
with the scorching weather outside, inside can get a little too
comfortable, making it impossible to motivate yourself to go out. Fans
can be bought from Boulangier or the bigger supermarkets eg Carrefour
or Alcampo. Make sure you get in there before it really heats up as
they can sell out very quickly.
Clothes to bring
need to check the Spanish weather forecast before you pack during the
summer, you are guaranteed it's going to be hot! When packing really
think practically about what you will wear in Spain. When you're in the
UK, it's very difficult to imagine just how little clothing you are
going to need. Jeans, long sleeves and long trousers are out of the
question unless you think you deserve some punishment! The UK has a lot
of competition on the high street, more so than Spain.
Avoid bringing your thick, good quality cotton clothes from Next and
Marks and Spencer's as they will be too warm. In fact, it's worth
trying the 'cheaper' shops such as Primark and Matalan and even the
supermarket ranges especially for children's clothes. Cheaper clothes
are usually made of thinner cotton, which is ideal for the heat. You
could always wait until you get to Spain, as Spanish clothes do tend to
be designed with the climate in mind. Sarongs and kaftans make great
comfortable cover-ups for ladies especially since many retain fluid and
swell in the heat. The choice in the UK is the best it has ever been,
but if you fancy something different try the Spanish markets where a
kaftan will cost you about ten euros.
Sleep and heat
Spanish summer nights can be very balmy and it is not unusual to see
Spanish children in the park at midnight. As far as sleep is concerned
make sure you are well equipped with a fan and water by your bedside.
You will sweat lots at night and probably won't need even the thinnest
of sheets as a cover. During the hottest period, you will need to
change your sheets every day. Both Carrefour and Alcampo are great for
bed sheet sets 'Juego de sabanas' comprising of a fitted sheet, flat
sheet and long Spanish style pillowcase.
It is worth reviewing your daily routine during your stay. In Spain,
the daily routine is definitely dictated by the weather. A good
starting point is to get into the habit of taking an afternoon nap
during the hottest part of the day. This will enable you to stay up
later and enjoy the more comfortable hours. If you have children, you
may want to adapt their routine for a couple of weeks, if you're brave
enough as there's always that risk that they won't slip back into their
old one when you return.
Avoid the beach before four o'clock especially if you have young children. Always
avoid the sun between eleven and three. We know you hear and see this everywhere,
but this is what the Spanish tend to do and they're the sun experts. Remember that
you can burn in minutes so coat on the cream in a high factor, don't worry you will
still tan. Sit as close to the shore as possible as it tends to be breezier.
Enjoy the Spanish ferias
you do have young children, adapting their routine allows you to make
the most of the liveliest time of year in Spain. When I say lively, I
am not just referring to groups of lads on stag weeks in Puerto Banus.
During the summer months, most Spanish towns hold their annual ferias.
The people of Andalucia come out in their full glory and often
Sevillanas costumes to take part in a party tradition embedded in their
culture. The streets are buzzing with ambiente whilst adults and
children alike enjoy the attractions until the early hours of the
So, prepare yourself in advance and change your routine to really make the most of
your Spanish summer holiday!
Top tips for surviving the Summer weather
Water - Drink it, bathe in it, play in it.
Cheap, light clothes
Lots of bed sheets
Avoid the beach between eleven and four
Change your routine to adapt to the weather
Wear sun protection.
Keep checking the weather forecast, as you may be lucky enough to have
a slightly cooler day to do your sightseeing
Keep cool and enjoy the weather. See you next time!