Living in Valencia can be great. But the summer months can also be a challenge. If you already live here, then I’m sure you’ve found a way to deal with the heat. But if you’ve just moved in or planning to visit then here are some things to help you keep cool and survive summer in Valencia.
Personally, my favourite months of the year are from March to June. This is the perfect time to get those work done outdoors and enjoy the mild and sunny temperatures in Valencia. Come July – August temperatures can climb up to 37-40 degrees, which qualifies as very hot according to north European standards.
The Spanish sun may be ideal or a dream to many, but summer in Valencia can be uncomfortable especially if you’re not used to the heat. I grew up in the Philippines so I’ve experienced tropical temperatures – but somehow, the heat here in Valencia can very dry and seem to linger for longer periods of time.
But there are ways to deal with the heatwave in Valencia, and the best way is to do what the Valencians do. Here are just some ways you can help to keep cool!
12 Ways How To Survive Summer In Valencia
Close your windows and shutters
In the 9 years that I have lived in Valencia, I have learned many things about living in a Spanish home. This includes keeping the windows and shutters down during the height of summer. Yes, you might feel like that you’re missing out on the sunshine, but keeping the sun from shining through your windows and doors are one of the best ways for keeping your house cool.
It’s a no brainer especially when the temperature heats up you need to top up with water. Make sure that you take water wherever you go. Do yourself a favour by getting a stainless steel bottle and take it with you at all times. You can also use water fountains that are placed around towns and cities. They are safe for drinking or even just for cooling yourself down.
Go for a siesta
It’s well known that Spaniards take their siesta very seriously, and there’s a valid reason for that. Between 13:00-16:00, the shops close and you’ll find the streets empty, this is a cue for you to stay home or go somewhere cooler. Valencians avoid venturing out during these times. Resting during the hottest part of the day is the best way to stay cool. Put the aircon on, have a nap and enjoy.
Being stuck in the kitchen when it’s 37c is no fun. Eating heavy food or spending time in the kitchen can only make you tired and irritable. Spaniards usually eat their lunch or dinner alfresco whether in a restaurant or their own backyard. Summer food usually consists of salads, jamons, bread, grilled fish/seafood/meat followed by fresh fruit such as melons, or flan.
Get a hand fan/spritzer
Another inexpensive and effective way to keep yourself cool is by using a spritzer or a hand fan (abanico). You can also fill a spray bottle with water and use that as a spritzer or you can also buy a refreshing facial spray to keep cool. Both are very good and they help you keep refreshed whenever you need to.
Make an early start
Whether it’s sightseeing or doing things around the garden, starting early before the sun reaches its peak is the best time. During the summer you will find that shops, markets and tourists attractions will open their doors earlier in the morning. Only tourists wander around at the hottest time of the day. Don’t be like them if you want to avoid burning or even worst, getting heatstroke!
Drink cafe del tiempo
If you like drinking coffee as I do, then ordering cafe del tiempo (iced coffee) is the best way to keep cool during hot summer days. Many bars and restaurants in Valencia will know what cafe del tiempo is, I tried ordering this in Barcelona and they didn’t know what I was talking about, so it’s definitely a regional thing.
Go to the beach or water parks to cool off
Though I’m, not a fan of the beaches in the summer, it’s a great way to cool off. Just make sure that you bring something for shade, like a parasol or a pop-up beach tent to protect yourself from the sun. There are also many public pools and waterparks in Valencia, where you can spend a few hours to cool down.
Granizado is an icy drink that comes in different flavours. It consists of crushed or shaved ice and usually available in lemon, strawberry, coffee, or milk. It’s very similar to slush puppies and it can refresh you in an instant. They are sold in many bars, ice cream parlours and even some corner shops.
Go out during the night
It’s no secret that Spaniards love the alfresco life. During the summer, night time activities such as meals, shopping and meeting up with friends are done after the sun goes down. This time of day is cooler and it makes sense to do all these things when the temperature is bearable. It’s perfectly fine to start dinner from 21:00 to midnight, and you find most Spaniards won’t be in a hurry to get home during the summer months.
I hope my suggestions give you an idea of how to deal with the heat during the hottest months. Do you have any further suggestions on how to survive summer in Valencia? Let me know in the comments below!
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