Eclipse waiting: Spain 2026/27

It sounds like something from the fantastic imagination of don Quijote… After a wait of 114 years, Spain will witness two total solar eclipses less than 12 months apart.

Total solar eclipses in Spain, 2026 and 2027Image: Antonio Sánchez Molledo/Wikimedia Commons

The first eclipse will arrive at Spain’s northern coastline at 8:26 pm on 12 August 2026. It will carve a 300-km-wide path of totality across the Iberian peninsula, before ending at sunset in the Mediterranean.

The path of totality — where the moon covers the sun completely — will include the cities of Oviedo, Bilbao, Zaragoza, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca. (The sun will be low on the horizon, so it is important to have a clear view to the west.)

Path of totality, Spain, 2026 and 2027The paths of totality for 12 August 2026 (top) and 2 August 2027 (bottom).
Image: Time and Date

The second eclipse will strike the southern tip of Spain at 10:44 am on 2 August 2027. As the moon’s shadow sweeps eastwards, Cádiz, Jerez, Algeciras, Marbella and Málaga will all experience totality.

“Eclipse waiting” is a project to chronicle the exponential build-up of public expectation as the twin events approach. As with all exponential growth, not much happens for a long time. Then things go off the chart. What are the key events and/or milestones that drive and shape the growth of public awareness? “Eclipse waiting” aims to find out.

Ever since the American writer and world traveller Mabel Loomis Todd published “Total Eclipses of the Sun” in 1894, eclipse chasing has become a well-documented activity. The business of eclipse waiting, on the other hand, has been studied far less…

10 key points about the 2026/27 Spanish eclipses

(1) The 2026 total eclipse will be the first in mainland Europe since 1999

(2) … and the first in mainland Spain since 1912. (In 1959, the path of totality crossed the Canary Islands and Spanish Sahara, which was a province of Spain until 1975.)

(3) The 2027 total eclipse will be the last in Europe until 2053 — when, again, totality will just nick the southern tip of Spain.

Spain total eclipse

(4) The longest period of totality in Spain for the 2026 eclipse will be 1 min 49 sec in Luarca, Asturias. (Spain’s two biggest cities just miss out on totality: Madrid and Barcelona will each have a 99% partial eclipse.)

(5) The best weather prospects for 12 August 2026 are likely to be in Castilla-León, Castilla-La Mancha and Aragón. Since the eclipse will be taking place close to sunset, it is important to have a clear view towards the western horizon.

(6) In 2027 the longest totality in mainland Spain will be 4 min 39 sec in Punta de Tarifa, the southernmost point of the Iberian peninsula. (A bit further south, on the coast of northern Africa, totality will last up to 4 min 49 sec in the Spanish autonomous city of Ceuta.)

Spain total eclipse

(7) Spain will also experience solar eclipses either side of 2026/27. On 29 March 2025 there will be a partial solar eclipse, where the moon appears to take a small bite out of the sun (in Madrid, 21% of the sun will be covered)…

(8) … while on 26 January 2028 — less than six months after the 2027 total eclipse — the southern and eastern parts of Spain will experience an annular solar eclipse. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is too far away to cover the sun completely; instead, it appears surrounded by a dazzlingly bright ring (or annulus) of sunlight.

(9) The last annular eclipse in Spain was on 3 October 2005, when the path of annularity passed over Vigo, Madrid and Valencia.

Spain total eclipse

(10) NEVER look at the sun with the naked eye. Even if the sun is 99% covered by the moon, the remaining sunlight is extremely bright and can cause permanent damage to the eye. (The only time it is safe to view a solar eclipse with the naked eye is during the few short minutes or seconds of totality during a total eclipse, when the sun is completely covered — never during a partial eclipse or annular eclipse.)

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