What to Pack for a Trip to Northern Spain

holiday suitcase | ©George Hodan / PublicDomainPictures.net
holiday suitcase | ©George Hodan / PublicDomainPictures.net
Photo of Esme Fox
24 January 2017

Northern Spain spans a vast array of landscapes and cultures, and comprises the regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country, Navarra, La Rioja, Aragon and Catalonia. Known for their mountainous green landscapes, unique cultures and languages, vibrant cities and food, these are great alternatives to popular Andalusia and the Costa del Sol. Here’s a list of what to pack for a trip to Northern Spain.


The Spanish love their boots, mostly leather and ankle-or-shin-length – perfect for staying stylish during the cold winter months. As soon as the weather begins to turn, around October time, you’ll start to see boots everywhere, pounding the streets of cities across Spain. Since Northern Spain is one of the coldest areas of Spain, especially in winter, they’re the ideal fashion accessory to keep your feet dry and toasty during a city break.

women's boots / Max Pixel. FreeGreatPicture.com

Walking Shoes

If boots are for the cities, then walking shoes are for the countryside. Due to its mountainous terrain and spectacular landscapes, Northern Spain offers a wide array of picturesque hiking routes across the region. One of the most famous of course is the Camino de Santiago – starting from just across the French border to the city of Santiago de Compostela, along the coast.

walking shoes / unsplash.com

A Mac Or Trench Coat

Unfortunately, ‘the rain in Spain, does not fall mainly on the plain’, it falls in the northern provinces of Galicia and the Basque Country, and the areas known as ‘Green Spain’. Be prepared for some wet and windy days, whatever the time of year, and make sure you pack something to keep you dry. The most style-conscious options are a rain mac or trench coat – perfect for cities like Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona and Santiago de Compostela.

woman wearing a trench coat | JÉSHOOTS/PEXELS

A Fashion Scarf

Spanish people love to accessorise with colourful scarves, both in winter and during the warmer months of the year. As well as adding a splash of bold print to any outfit, it will ensure your neck is warm during winter, and act as a light shawl for the evenings in spring and summer.

woman wearing a scarf | ©musicFactory lehmannsound / PEXELS


It can get quite chilly in Northern Spain, due the unpredictable weather and cold winds that move in from the Atlantic, so remember to take extra layers. When the sun does come out however, it can get pretty hot, so you’ll want to pack layers you can take off quickly too.

Pack layers for Northern Spain / | ©George Hodan / PublicDomainPictures.net

A Swimsuit / Bikini

Yes we know we’ve said it’s cold and rainy in Northern Spain, but in summer, when the sun does shine, it’s the perfect place to hit the beach – and there are some spectacular stretches of coastline here. One of the best beaches in the whole of Spain can be found here – Playa de las Catedrales in Galicia (or As Catedrais in the local language). San Sebastian’s La Concha Beach and A Coruña’s Playa del Orzan also make great trips, while, the Costa Brava – the north eastern coastal region of Catalonia – has many small hidden coves to explore.

Bikini on the beach / Max Pixel

Remember to pack a bikini for the summer months / Max Pixel

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