Map from Google - Navarre
In Navarre, autonomous community and province of Spain, there are the following climatic zones:
- in the north-west, an area influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, cool and humid, occupied by hills and low mountains belonging to the Cantabrian relief and by green valleys;
- in the north-east, the Pyrenean area, along the border with France, cold because of altitude, which receives snowfalls in winter and thunderstorms in summer;
- in the central part, an intermediate zone, slightly continental and moderately rainy, where we find the capital Pamplona;
- in the south, an arid area, with slightly cold winters and hot summers. Here we find also a practically flat area: in the Ebro Valley the altitude falls below 300 metres.
are abundant in the north, where they exceed 1,500 millimetres per year (and in some cases 2,000 mm), while they become progressively more scarce as you head south. Pamplona is located in the intermediate band, where precipitation ranges from 700 to 1,000 mm per year. In the south, precipitation drops below 600 mm, and in the southernmost part, which is definitely arid (see Tudela), even below 400 mm.
Let's start from the north
, the area affected by the Atlantic. In the valleys at low altitude, around sea level, winter is mild and summer is pleasantly warm.
Here are for example the average temperatures of Lesaka.
Average temperatures - Lesaka
In Lesaka the rains are plentiful, since they reach 1.750 mm, and are frequent throughout the year. Summer is the least rainy season.
Here is the average precipitation in Lesaka.
Average precipitation - Lesaka
At higher altitudes, both in the Cantabrian area and in the Pyrenees, the temperature decreases. The highest point of Navarra is Mesa de los Tres Reyes
, 2,428 metres high, on the border with France.
Here for example the average temperatures of Abaurregaina/Abaurrea Alta, situated at 1,050 metres, in the northeast, in the Pyrenean area.
Average temperatures - Abaurregaina
In Abaurregaina, 1,050 mm of rain or snow per year fall, with a minimum in August (65 mm) and a maximum in November (180 mm). In a year, an average of 126 days with rain and 26 days with snow occur; snowfalls usually occur from November to April.
We come now to the central belt.
In the capital Pamplona
, winter is cold enough: the average January temperature is 5 degrees. There are mild periods, when daytime temperatures hover about 12/15 degrees, but the city is exposed to cold outbreaks from Eastern Europe, associated with snowfalls and frosts: there are an average of 10 days with snow per year. In January 1985 the temperature dropped to -15 °C.
Summer is warm enough (the average of August is 21.5 °C), with nights generally cool, but the temperature undergoes considerable variations, both between night and day and from one day to another, depending of the air mass that prevails at a given time: waves of intense heat are possible, in which temperatures can exceed 35 degrees (and sometimes can touch 40 °C), but also pleasant days, spring-like, with highs around 20 degrees, in which nights can be very cool (below 10 degrees), especially in June.
Here are the average temperatures.
Average temperatures - Pamplona
In Pamplona, 700 mm of rain (or snow) per year fall. The wettest seasons are spring and autumn; summer is the least rainy season, but it is not so dry, since occasionally some rains or thunderstorms can occur.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Pamplona
We come now to the south. Here the summer becomes hot, and the rains become much more scarce, so much so that there is also a semi-desert area, with a lunar landscape, called Bardenas Reales
Here are the average temperatures of Tudela
, located in the Ebro Valley. In summer, hot days, with highs around or above 35 °C, are quite frequent.
Average temperatures - Tudela
In Tudela, precipitation amounts to just 380 mm per year; on average it does not reach 50 mm in any month, and winter is particularly dry, while in summer a thunderstorm may occasionally break out.
Here is the average precipitation.
Average precipitation - Tudela
The amount of sunshine
in Navarre is not very good in the north, as cloudy days are frequent throughout the year (although in summer it gets to 7/8 hours of sunshine per day), and becomes good in summer in Pamplona (where there are 10 hours of sunshine per day in July), and even more in the south, where sunny days are frequent throughout the year, but especially in summer.
When to go
The best time
to visit Navarre, at least the north, is the summer, from June to August or the first half of September, being the driest and sunniest. July and August are the warmest and least rainy months. Even in midsummer you must take into account some rain, and some nights a little cool in the valleys, and a little cold in hill areas.
In Pamplona, in July and August you can find a warm weather during the day, with cool nights, but there are also hot days, so you may prefer June and September.
The south, since in summer can be hot, can be visited in spring and autumn, especially in May, and from mid-September to mid-October, even though it rains more often.