Bare-chested Brits top up their tans and head for the beach in Benidorm as freak January


Holidaymakers are hitting the beach in Benidorm to bask in some winter sun as a freak heatwave has brought temperatures of up to 30C to parts of Spain.

The mercury rose to 29.5C in Valencia, 28.5C in Murcia in the southeast and 27.8C near Malaga in the south – temperatures usually seen in June rather than January.

The Valencian Association of Meteorology said yesterday that it had recorded a staggering 30.7C at a weather station in Calles, which would be a European record for January, but this has since been disputed.

The scenes on Benidorm’s beaches yesterday could have been mistaken for a summer’s day, with Brits and locals bringing out the deck chairs and bathing in the sea as temperatures hit 25C in the holiday resort.

The winter heat has been caused by the presence of a powerful anticyclone above the Mediterranean. These blocks can last for several weeks, meaning the warm weather could last into February.

Holidaymakers are enjoying the extraordinary January temperatures on Benidorm Beach

Holidaymakers are enjoying the extraordinary January temperatures on Benidorm Beach

Pictures show a packed Benidorm Beach as people pulled out the deck chairs and soaked in the sun

Pictures show a packed Benidorm Beach as people pulled out the deck chairs and soaked in the sun

People taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea as they enjoy the sunny Benidorm weather

People taking a dip in the Mediterranean Sea as they enjoy the sunny Benidorm weather

The scenes on Benidorm Beach yesterday could have been mistaken for a summer's day

The scenes on Benidorm Beach yesterday could have been mistaken for a summer’s day

Sunbathers stripped off to enjoy the unusual weather and make the most of the winter sun

Sunbathers stripped off to enjoy the unusual weather and make the most of the winter sun

Holiday makers are seen soaking up the sun in a bar in Benidorm, Spain today

Holiday makers are seen soaking up the sun in a bar in Benidorm, Spain today

A man is seen paddle boarding in Benidorm as people enjoy scorching January temperatures

A man is seen paddle boarding in Benidorm as people enjoy scorching January temperatures

The Valencian Association of Meteorology posted a map of temperatures across the region on Thursday

The Valencian Association of Meteorology posted a map of temperatures across the region on Thursday

Sunbathers have stripped off to enjoy the unusual weather, with pictures showing a packed Benidorm Beach.

Elsewhere in the Valencian Community, swimmers were pictured jumping into the sea in bathing suits, making the most of the abnormally warm air temperature. 

Overnight temperatures were also balmy across Spain, with the mercury staying above 10C in most areas over recent nights.

This includes in the small ski resort of Puerto de Navacerrada near Madrid, which is 6,200ft above sea level and is normally covered in snow at this time of year. 

Spain also recorded unusually high temperatures in December, with the mercury peaking at 29.9C in Malaga, a national record for the month.

‘There are no studies yet that have evaluated the long-term trend of this type of event but it is clear that we are experiencing this type of abnormal situation more and more frequently,’ David Corell, a researcher at the University of Valencia, told AFPTV. 

The heat comes amid a prolonged drought affecting much of the country, especially the northeast region of Catalonia and the southwest region of Andalusia.

In Catalan capital of Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, water reservoir levels fell in mid-January to around 17 percent of their capacity.

It's a good day for a stroll down the promenade, these beachgoers in Benidorm seem to think

It’s a good day for a stroll down the promenade, these beachgoers in Benidorm seem to think

Sunbathers strip off to their skivvies to enjoy the sun during the warmest January on record

Sunbathers strip off to their skivvies to enjoy the sun during the warmest January on record

British holidaymakers enjoy the January sunshine in Benidorm, Spain

British holidaymakers enjoy the January sunshine in Benidorm, Spain

A man searches for a spot on the beach with a deckchair in Benidorm, Spain

A man searches for a spot on the beach with a deckchair in Benidorm, Spain

A couple sun themselves on the beach in Benidorm, Spain

A couple sun themselves on the beach in Benidorm, Spain

A towel seller walks on the Mavarrosa beach, in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

A towel seller walks on the Mavarrosa beach, in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

A pair are seen sunbathing on the beach in Benidorm as Spain enjoys some winter rays

A pair are seen sunbathing on the beach in Benidorm as Spain enjoys some winter rays

A crowded beach as temperatures soared in Spain. The country also recorded unusually high temperatures in December

A crowded beach as temperatures soared in Spain. The country also recorded unusually high temperatures in December

A group of women running into the sea during the unseasonably warm temperatures in Spain

A group of women running into the sea during the unseasonably warm temperatures in Spain

People walk along the sea shore at the Malvarrosa beach in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

People walk along the sea shore at the Malvarrosa beach in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

If they fall below 16 percent of their capacity – which could be imminent – the region will declare a state of emergency.

As global temperatures rise due to climate change, scientists have warned that heatwaves will become more frequent and more intense.

The heatwave has also affected southeast France, with temperatures just shy of 20C in Marseilles.

Last year was the second warmest on record in Spain after 2022 with consecutive heatwaves causing droughts and wildfires.

‘We’re a bit surprised that it’s so pleasantly warm… And it’s nice for us now, but we don’t think it’s completely normal,’ German tourist Thorsten Petersen, 66, said in downtown Madrid.

Adela, a local pensioner, added: ‘Those who say there is no climate change just have to look at what’s happening: it’s either too cold or too warm. I think this is a disaster.’

Footage showed people taking off their winter coats and some wearing shorts and T-shirts in the Spanish capital.

People enjoy the winter rays at a bar in Benidorm

People enjoy the winter rays at a bar in Benidorm

People enjoying the sun at the Malvarrosa beach in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

People enjoying the sun at the Malvarrosa beach in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

A woman taking a shower in a swimsuit in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

A woman taking a shower in a swimsuit in Valencia, Spain on Thursday

A topless man soaks up the sun on a promenade in Spain during the sweltering temperatures

A topless man soaks up the sun on a promenade in Spain during the sweltering temperatures 

People sat in outdoor cafes to make the most of the high temperatures on Thursday

People sat in outdoor cafes to make the most of the high temperatures on Thursday

In neighbouring Portugal, the air warmed up the most in the central district of Leiria, reaching 23C, and the weather agency IPMA expected 24C there on Friday.

In the north, temperatures were 8 to 9C above normal levels, it said.

‘I think it’s because of the climate change,’ said French tourist Jane Dubois, standing by the River Tagus in Lisbon. ‘It’s our future so we have to protect the planet.’

Fabio Silvestre, visiting Lisbon with his small daughter from Italy, echoed the climate concerns.

He said: ‘I am a bit worried about my daughter… The weather is not normal like this.’



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