7 Best Places to Visit in Spain in October

While the tourist season runs from May to September, resist the urge to visit Spain at the peak time and you’ll be thoroughly rewarded. October is arguably one of the best months to visit Spain, as the summer heat has died down but winter’s chill hasn’t quite arrived. The sun is still strong and rainy days are rare, making it prime time for an abundance of activities—from hiking and biking, to wine-tasting, to exciting festivals.

Southern Spain is quite a treat. If you’re passionate about food, history, and architecture, this is the place for you. It’s a melting pot of cultural influences from Europe and the Middle East. Some great cities to visit include: Sevilla, Malaga, Granada, and Valencia. Each one is unique in their own way and straightforward to navigate.

Let’s explore the best places in Spain to visit in October.

1. Barcelona – Jazz Festival

It may be surprising to hear, but some excellent up-and-coming jazz talent is coming right out of the Northeast corner of Spain. The best in local and international jazz is celebrated at the Barcelona Jazz Festival, held each October in various venues around the city. Even if you aren’t a jazz lover, you’ll relish in the energy the performers give and even getting to experience Barcelona’s most beautiful concert venues, such as the stunning Palau de Musica and the hip Sala Apolo.

2. Rioja – World-class Vineyards

You may have seen the name “Rioja” on a wine bottle once or twice—that’s because Rioja is one of the most famous regions for wine in the world. The beautiful is home to x number of vineyards, which become especially active during the fall as the summer heat cools and the weather is perfect for outdoor wine-tasting.

There are plenty of vineyards to choose from, all which produce a variety of wines, making it easy to tailor the experience to your liking and enjoy the pretty fall scenery in this beautiful region of Spain.

3. San Sebastian – Horror and Fantasy Film Festival

Each end of October, right in time for Halloween and All Saint’s Day, is San Sebastian’s annual Horror and Fantasy Film Festival. The festival brings all things creepy, scary, and weird to the Basque city, which is a must-see in its own right. If scary isn’t your thing, the festival features plenty of fantasy films as well, in addition to children’s films, exhibitions, and a virtual reality showcase.

Between showings and activities, you can wander around San Sebastian and uncover what makes this stunning city by the bay so magical.

4. Val d’Aran – Hiking, Biking & Wellness

High up in the Catalan Pyrenees sits the area of Val d’Aran, a valley tucked between the mountains and dotted with tiny villages. Just before the winter chill, Val d’Aran becomes a paradise for outdoors and wellness lovers. There are plenty of spas and retreats in the area, as well as many routes for hiking and biking through the Pyrenees. The area is especially beautiful this time of year as the mountains and forests explode in fall colors.

5. Bilbao – The Bilbao Night Marathon

Running may not be your vacation of choice... but this is more than a marathon. If there are any things the Spanish have perfected, they would be fitness and partying. This marathon combines both. Runners can choose between a non-competitive 5k for charity, a 10k, a half marathon, or a full marathon.

There are over 10,000 participants each year, and if you try this marathon, you’ll see why: not only is running through the city of Bilbao at night magic in itself, but once the work is over, the play begins. After the run it’s time for the fiesta, which lasts well into the morning and features fireworks, live music, and delicious food and drink.

6. Gorbea Natural Park – Hiking & Nature

The Gorbea Natural Park in the Basque Country of Spain covers 200km of space, making it the largest park in the region. The park is formed around Mount Gorbea and its surrounding peaks, which make for excellent hiking—especially in the fall. The massive park is filled with forests whose leaves begin to change into vibrant yellows, oranges and reds come October.

There are many different trails within the park, so choose one and allow yourself to be surrounded by the lush forests and the rainbow of colors they present.

7. Seville — The Seville Guitar Festival

Flamenco dancing, a beautiful city, and some of the best Spanish guitar players in the world. You can experience all this and more at Seville’s annual Guitar Festival, where guitar players from all over Spain gather and hold performances around the city, often featuring Flamenco dancing and delicious food. Plus, autumn is the perfect time to visit this Andalusian city.

While summer brings oppressive heat to Seville, autumn is much cooler without ever becoming cold, making the weather perfect for a stroll in the October sun.

Kalyan Panja