Spain’s Summer Schedule

Get ready for “Horario de Verano”. That’s one Spanish phrase you should know. It literally translates as “Schedule of Summer” and means the opening hours for many businesses will change to accommodate the heat. When I first learned about “Horario de Verano” so many years ago, I thought it couldn’t be true. How could we change opening hours just because it was summer? Impossible. But in fact, it was true, not only true, but necessary! Just imagine trying to work through the heat of a southern Spanish summer. Survival requires a shift in living habits in order to stay up and enjoy the cool of the night. Strangely you can wake up early and feel ready to go in the early cool of the morning as well, but by mid-day – forget your plans! It’s time to hide from the heat. This summer schedule often has workers in to the office as early as possible and then stretches their patience until 3:00 rather than the usual 2:00 break for lunch. Therefore, many put in a solid seven hours in one shot just to earn the right to go home, eat a good lunch, enjoy a much needed siesta and stay up half the night. If you find that the summer schedule gets in your way, try to put yourself in the shoes of those trying to carry on working at this time of year. This new perspective will certainly change the way you feel about that “Cerrado” (Closed) sign hanging in the shop window after all the trouble you took to get there in the midst of stifling heat!
Blog published on 29 June 2009