Weather Averages for Malaga in January
Averages for Malaga in January
Malaga is a major city and holiday resort, which is the capital of the Province of Malaga in Andalucia in southern Spain. It lies on the Mediterranean Costa del Sol (“Sunshine Coast”) and is the southernmost of the large cities in Europe. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back to approximately 770 BC, and it is the main economic and financial centre of southern Spain. Tourism, construction and technology are the main factors that contribute to the prosperity of Malaga.
Malaga has a subtropical Mediterranean climate, which is one of the warmest, driest and sunniest in Europe although it is not quite as dry as the south-east of Andalucia, thanks to its proximity to the North Atlantic Ocean, which means that the region is sometimes prone to significant rainfall from mid-latitude depressions during the winter half-year. Temperatures are moderated significantly by the neighbouring Mediterranean Sea, which helps to keep the winters somewhat milder than further inland, while often restricting the intensity of the heat during the summer months. In winter the Malaga Mountains to the north help to shelter Malaga from cold northerly winds.
The mean maximum temperature ranges from 17°C in January to 30°C in July and August, and on average August is slightly hotter than July, due to the tendency for the sea to be at its warmest during August and September. Extremes of cold are very rare and the lowest temperature recorded in the city centre is -0.9°C on the 19th January 1891. Extremes of heat are also quite rare but they do occur, particularly when a sluggish southerly flow brings hot air up from the interior of northern Africa, and 43.3°C was recorded on the 13th August 1881. In the 20th century there was only one instance of snow in Malaga, on the 2nd February 1954.
The mean annual precipitation is 526mm, and most of this falls between October and March. Rainfall amounts can vary considerably depending on how far south the jet stream is, and consequently, how far south frontal depressions from the North Atlantic Ocean track. Thus, while the months of the summer half-year are consistently very dry, in the winter half-year some individual months are very wet while others remain mostly dry. Much of the rain tends to be heavier and over with more quickly than is normal in central and northern parts of Europe.
Sunshine totals average 2815 hours per year, making Malaga one of the sunniest spots on the European mainland although not quite as sunny as some of the Mediterranean islands. This amounts to approximately two-thirds of the possible sunshine amount and is approximately twice the amount of sunshine associated with most of the northern half of Europe. The mean daily sunshine duration range from 10 or 11 hours during July and August to between 5 and 6 hours in December. The winter months feature about three times as much sunshine as is typically experienced over central and northern Europe.
Malaga does not have an especially humid climate, and the average relative humidity ranges from 73% in December to 59% in June. The average sea temperature ranges from 15°C in February to 23°C in August, which makes diving and snorkelling attractive during summer and early autumn.
Weather hazards in Malaga are relatively rare but during the winter half-year the levante wind, a strong east or south-easterly wind associated with depressions tracking eastwards through the Mediteranean Sea, can cause some damage near the coastal strip. The sirocco wind, associated with a significant southerly component, brings hot, dry and dusty conditions up from northern Africa.
January is typically the coldest month of the year in Malaga although December and February are only about a degree warmer on average. The temperature typically rises to a daytime high of 17°C and falls to 7°C overnight. Snow has not been observed in Malaga in January during the instrumental era, and a large majority of Januarys remain frost-free, although a minimum of -0.9°C was once observed near the city centre on the 19th January 1891.
January is typically one of the wettest months of the year, with a mean precipitation total of 81mm, although depending on how far south the jet stream tracks, there is considerable variation in rainfall from one January to the next. Most of the rain tends to be heavier and over with more quickly than in central and northern parts of Europe, and consequently, heavy rainstorms sometimes trigger problems with flooding. During an average January there are 8 days out of 31 with measurable precipitation.
Sunshine totals are quite high with a mean of 172 hours, which is a mean of 5.5 hours per day, and is about three times the typical values over much of north-western Europe. The average relative humidity is approximately 71% in January, which is higher than in the summer half-year, partly due to the greater frequency of wet weather. The average sea temperature in January is just 16°C which is on the cool side for swimming.
Dates for the diary
On the 5th and 6th January the ProcesiÓn de Los Reyes (Procession of the Kings) is held at the city centre. At 5pm on the 5th January, the Kings arrive at the port and a child requests gifts for all of the children in Malaga. Parades and carnivals follow, featuring 12 festive processions and 5 bands. The 6th January is celebrated in a similar fashion to Christmas Day with exchanges of gifts commonplace.
The Fiestas de San Anton is held on the 17th January at Nerja, Alhaurin El Grande and Salares, which dates from the 17th century. Bonfires are lit on the evening of the 16th and then the evening of the 17th features a procession and fireworks displays.
Things to do
January is a good time of year to try out one of Malaga’s impressive museums. The Museum of Glass and Crystal at Plazuela Santisimo Cristo de la Sangre boasts approximately 700 objects of glass and crystal, dating from Egyptian and Roman times to the present, in an 18th century palace. There are many colourful samples and there are paintings and stained glass windows to check out. The museum is closed on Mondays, but from Tuesday to Sunday it is open from 11am to 7pm, and visits are guided.
A good museum to try for automobile enthusiasts is the Museo Automovilistico De Malaga at Avda Sor Teresa Prat, which features numerous classic and ancient cars, many of which have been done up to reflect art. This museum, too, is closed on Mondays and also on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but is open from 10am to 7pm on Tuesday to Sunday.
Fans of ten pin bowling can take a trip to Vid Bowling at Centro Comercial Málaga Nostrum, Calle Jaén no.1. This complex contains a large bowling alley with promotional offers for games of bowling, and has facilities for birthday parties and disco bowling events on an evening. There is a pool hall with numerous pool tables and also some dart boards. There is a bar which serves snacks, and a video games room with numerous arcade machines and air hockey and table football tables. There is also a soft play area for children.
Hit the beach
January is not generally a good time of year to hit the beach although on a fine day, it can be pleasant enough outdoors for a spell of relaxation, especially with very few tourists on the beach at this time of year. La Arana beach has a big rock and a cove and watchtower, from which you can enjoy spectacular views over the sea. The Pedregalejo Beach is a sandy beach parallel to the Malaga promenade and boasts numerous restaurants nearby, as well as a playground.
Where to eat & drink
There are many good restaurants in Malaga, and the Marisqueria el Kaoba at Av. Salvador Allende 31, 29017 is particularly highly-regarded by customers for its range of fish and seafood, with an emphasis on local products. Those after a pleasant snack can try out Julia Cupcakes Malaga at C/ Carreteria 53, 29008, a bakery themed around American-style cupcakes and pastries which also has a house speciality, the “Antonio”.
Malaga has some good wine bars, and one of the most reliable is the Casa De La Antigua Guardia at Alameda Principal 18, 29005. This is the oldest tavern in Malaga, dating back from 1840, and there are ample opportunities to drink sweet and reasonably priced wines. For those after a livelier bar, Picasso’s Show Bar at Local 14 Plaza Ibensa, Benalmadena has frequent afternoon and evening shows, and show nights are mostly held on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays featuring drag queens and vocalists, among other attractions.
Where to stay
Malaga boasts a significant number of good accommodation options although there are also some unreliable ones, so choose wisely. The Vincci Seleccion Posada del Patio at Pasillo Santa Isabel 7, 29005 offers luxury 5-star accommodation and has many amenities including a bar with occasional live music and a fitness centre. A good hotel for access to the various attractions associated with Pablo Picasso is the 3-star Malaga Hotel Picasso at C/ Acacias de Guadalmar, 153, 29004, which is located in the Guadalmar beach and is surrounded by a quiet residential area. A good inexpensive romantic retreat is the Hotel California at Paseo de Sancha 17, 29016 which serves a continental breakfast and has 2.5 star accommodation.
Those on a tight budget are well catered for and can consider the Hotel Solymar Malaga at Calle Ferraz, 29002, which is a small hotel close to the beach and within walking distance of the city centre. Self-catering options are numerous, and include the New Villa Fantastic Views, 2+1bed Private Pool, which is located on the edge of the town of Coin, about 25 minutes from Malaga Airport, and has a private swimming pool.
Malaga City at night.