The Weather in Córdoba
Let's talk about the weather in Córdoba, it's something that you should consider when choosing an Erasmus destination, but many people often do not.
It is common to assume that it's always hot in Andalucía, that it's never cold, that it never rains, or that it never snows. However this is not the case.
Andalucía plays host to the highest peak in the Iberian Peninsula (mainland Spain, Portugal and Andorra) and one of the highest in Europe, where it always snows, The Mulhacén in Sierra Nevada, Granada. Furthermore, The Sierra de Grazalema in Málaga, Andalucía is the place where the most rain falls per year in Spain.
Surprised? Most people are surprised when they hear this about the region of Andalucía. However it is also true that Andalucía can be very hot. It is probably one of the hottest regions of Europe having a desert in Almería (where it also snows) and tropical beaches in Almeria and Granada. However, it also has many mountainous zones such as; Sierra Nevada, Sierra Morena, Sierra de Segura, Sierra de Cazorla, Sierra de Grazalema, Cordillera Subbetica, etc. There is an enormous, historical valley in which a great river, The Guadalquivir, runs through. Marshlands, nature parks, magnificent beaches and high winds (ideal for surfing in Tarifa) can all be found in the Spanish region of Andalucía
Córdoba is a city of extremes. In summer it's really hot with temperatures reaching more than 50 degrees. In winter, although not quite that of Poland, Germany or Sweden, the weather is cold, dropping to lower than 0º. In Córdoba, snow is not a rare phenomenon as some winters it snows in the surrounding towns it happens most years.
In saying that, summer in Córdoba is long. It is not limited to just the traditional summer months of July and August. Summer in Córdoba usually begins at the end of April or the beginning of May (when it is hot but also rains a lot) and last until the end of September or even until October. Unsurprisingly, the worst months are July and August. In these months the heat is suffocating and if you are not used to this it can be tough, and even make you ill. You have to be careful and take precautions such as:
- Use sun protection.
- Drink lots of water.
- Avoid being outside between the hours of 1pm and 5pm.
- Don't eat to heavily to avoid digestive problems.
- And finally, seek out shade.
There is a song by a Cordobés group with the lyrics "“si buscas la sombra has llegao a mi tierra, ” which means 'if you seek the shade you have arrived on my land. '
As I have said, temperatures can exceed 50 degrees, but if you remain cautious and climatize yourself, you will be fine. The good thing is that the heat in Córdoba is not humid but dry, which is more bearable than other parts of Andalucía. For example in Seville where the river Guadalquivir is bigger and affects the temperature, or in Málaga where the sea makes everything damp.
To escape the heat in Córdoba, it's nice to walk by the river bank which is like a kind of promenade along the river Guadalquivir, or go to Corredera, the main town square (or plaza) for a drink. The Plaza de la Corredera is like many of the plazas de España seen around the rest of the country but has a different name. A number of streets lead onto the square which allows for a breeze from the river to run through making the square one of the coolest spots in the city.
In respect to winter, as I have previously said, it gets cold. At night the temperature can drop below 0º C however during the day, if the sun is out, it can rise to 12-15 degrees. The good thing about the Andalusian sun is that it is strong and gives off more heat. Therefore you can enjoy the winter sun that other places would kill for. A good jacket should be sufficient in winter. It should be noted though, that in spite of what you may believe, in Córdoba it rains a lot, and when it rains... it rains, and heavily. With this in mind I would recommend having a good pair of shoes that don't let water in because if not you might catch a bad cold if you have wet feet.
The cold weather in Córdoba is also not humid, which is good as it doesn't rattle your bones. In winter the best thing to do is to take shelter in a nice café or at home watching a movie with a hot water bottle. However, in Córdoba you may still go out when it's cold, people are still in the streets and even sitting outisde at bar terraces where they put heaters so it is nice and cozy.
So what about the other seasons? Well, in Córdoba there is of course spring and autumn, but they last much shorter than winter and summer. In spring and autumn it usually rains quite a lot, mostly in spring. Other than that the weather is pretty typical for these seasons, in autumn it's chilly and the leaves fall from the trees, in spring it rains but the weather begins to get hotter.
Without a doubt the best time of year is spring, it is also the season in which the most important 'fiestas' of the city are celebrated; los patios, las cruces de mayo and the feria among others.
All in all, when coming to Córdoba you should come prepared with clothing fit for the cold and the hot weather. Also if you want to ski you don't have to go very far, so if you are a keen skier don't be put off coming to the south as you have Sierra Nevada...
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