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The Weather and walking

The weather is one of the main reasons for visiting and living in the Costa Brava. Summers are hot and winters are mild with lots of blue sky and sunshine which means there is good walking for ten months of the year, and swimming at the beach for the remaining two.

Rainbow over the Costa Brava Most people will think of the Costa Brava like other Costas - lots of hot summer days. While this is true, the Costa Brava is cool in the winter compared to the Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca. This generally means sunseekers will tend to head further south in the Winter.

However for us walkers who want somewhere to live, rather than just a quick burst of sunshine, the Costa Brava has just about almost perfect weather as skies are normally clear especially in November and December, with it rare to have more than two consecutive days of rain and temperatures remain mild even in Winter.

During the summer (Estiu) the days are hot and long which can makes long walks difficult, but with the upside that there are so many beaches too choose from as an alternative. But even in the height of July and August the nights aren't as sticky as say Barcelona which means you can sleep at night with the windows open and no air conditioning. The coast also brings its own cooling mechanism in sea mists that roll across the countryside in the early hours of the morning. In the winter the air clears and freshens bringing long views and vistas up and down the coast and out to the countryside outside.

If you're feeling active, generally, the sea is warm enough for swimming from June to the end of September, and we still see holiday-makers swimming in the sea in October and occasionally (brrrr) in December.

Autumn (Tardor) starts with thunder storms and torrential rain around mid-October. The rain is about ten times heavier than the UK and great heaps of gravel wash off the hills and onto the roads. Luckily it's unusual to have more than two days of rain or cloud a week. Most of the rest of the time the day opens up to blue skies.

In November the light really clears giving the first views of snow on the Pyrenees in the distance - in many places the mountains can be seen from the coast. If you want to get away from the grey November fog in the UK, then November is an excellent time to visit. The days are typically about 16C and evenings colder requiring heating in the house - but often a log fire is enough to warm a whole house. Imagine a typical UK September Indian Summer type day.

Even in December or January the weather would be equivalent to a good Autumn day in the UK but without the rain or clouds, so excellent walking weather. A jacket and t-shirt for a walk, but very rarely really wrapping up. At the end of January and early February there might be the chance of snow - again an unusual (and quite magical) event.

Days will start to warm up from February ownwards and spring is an excellent time to come to see the gardens here as the flowers come into bloom and the fields go bright green and people come out for Carnival (Carnesoltes). By April and Easter with the change in the clocks, more things happen in the evenings. The fields are filled with poppies and people eat outside on the terraces. In May and into June, the flowers continue and the fields are still green with fields of sunflowers appearing as temperatures rise until in June the schools here break up. July and August get busy with people and the days are properly hot. We normally head for the sea in the late afternoon when sunburnt tourists are heading back to their hotels. The summer season is short though - by the first week of September peak season is over and campsites are closing down, but the weather remains hot with the sea easily warm enough for swimming.

At the end of September and into October vast espalliers of fruit trees laden with apples, pears, peaches and nectarines are found on the plains of the main rivers (Ter, Muga, Fluvia), and the rice is harvested in the many rice paddies around the lower levels near places like Pals.

The one caution is that a few times a year the Tramuntana wind blows from the North. It rarely blows more than one or two days a month, but during Spring and Autumn it can feel quite fierce and chilly.

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