40+ Spanish Summer Words You Need for Your Next Vacation
Summer is many people’s favorite time of year.
You’ve got your vacation planned, love the beach and have been working on your tan.
You’ve been dreaming about the warm sand, crashing waves, sunny skies and even the sand castles. What could be better?
In this post, you’ll learn over 40 useful Spanish summer words to help you talk about your favorite season!
- Common Spanish Summer Words
- Tips to Practice Summer Words
Common Spanish Summer Words
Clothing and Accessories
- El bañador / traje de baño — Bathing suit
- La toalla — Towel
- La crema solar / el bloqueador solar / el protector solar — Sunblock
- Las gafas de sol / los lentes de sol — Sunglasses
- Las chanclas — Flip flops
- Las sandalias — Sandals
- La sombrilla — Umbrella (specifically for sunny weather)
- La tabla de surf / la tabla — Surfboard
- La cometa — Kite
- El cubo / el balde — Pail
- La pala — Shovel
- El balón de playa / la pelota de playa — Beach ball
Pro tip for beginning language learners: When you come across these tricky Spanish word pairs, the forums over at WordReference can be a great resource. In these forums, people frequently ask native speakers to clarify how words are really used. Chances are, somebody has asked your question before!
Things at the Beach
- La playa — Beach
- La arena — Sand
- El castillo de arena — Sandcastle
- El sol — Sun
- El salvavidas / la salvavidas — Lifeguard
- El mar — Sea
- El océano — Ocean
- El agua — Water
- La marea — Tide
- La marea alta — High tide
- La marea baja — Low tide
- Las olas — Waves
- La orilla — Shore
- La concha — Shell
- La estrella de mar — Starfish
- El cangrejo — Crab
- El pez — Fish (the animal)
- El pescado — Fish (seafood that you eat)
- Las algas — Algae, seaweed
- La medusa — Jellyfish
- La quemadura de sol — Sunburn
Keep in mind that agua is a feminine noun, even though it takes the article el. When you use adjectives to describe it, make sure to make them feminine! For example: El agua está fría. — The water is cold.
This happens because when a feminine noun starts with a, it would be too much of a tongue twister to say la before it.
The more exposure you have to Spanish, the easier you’ll pick up on these nuances—many of which you’ll just pick up rather than actively study.
A handy resource for learning vocabulary and grammar like this in context is FluentU. The language learning program teaches you Spanish by immersing you in authentic videos (like news reports, vlogs and inspiring talks) with interactive subtitles.
- Viajar — To travel
- Tomar el sol — To sunbathe
- Broncearse — To get tan
- Jugar al voleibol — To play volleyball
- Jugar al frisbee / jugar al disco — To play frisbee
- Nadar — To swim
- Bañarse — To be in the water, to wade
- Bucear — To dive or snorkel
- Hacer surf — To go surfing
- Surfear — To surf
- Pescar — To fish
- Estar fuera — To be outside
- Hacer un picnic — To have a picnic
- Pasar tiempo con … — To spend time with…
- Las vacaciones de verano — Summer vacation (i.e. from school)
- El veraneo — Summer vacation (traveling)
Tips to Practice Summer Words
Use new vocabulary often
One of the best ways to improve your vocabulary is by using new words frequently. Use your favorite flashcard app or try to use the words daily by keeping a journal or talking to yourself. You might also consider getting a Spanish pen pal to write to.
Use online resources related to seasons
If you’d like to hear some of these words in context, the BBC offers great resources for Spanish learners—including this lesson on Spanish beach phrases.
Play summer games with your new vocabulary
Here are some fun summer games that you can play while you sunbathe or wade in the water:
- I spy — In Spain, this classic game is called Veo, Veo (I see, I see). Choose something that you see on the beach and have your partner (or group) ask questions about it—in Spanish, of course! The questions must be answered with yes or no, and the players keep asking until they guess your object. (Tip: If you’re unclear about questions in Spanish, check out an article on the subject here!)
- Same letter — Give a vocabulary word for something you see on the beach. Whatever letter your word ends with, the next person will have to say a word that starts with that letter. For example, if you say playa (beach), the next person could say algas (algae), then the next person could say sol (sun) and so on.
- What’s in my beach bag? — This memory game gets tougher and tougher as you play it. The first player says En mi bolsa de playa hay un/una… (In my beach bag there is a…) with a vocabulary word after it. Each player has to add something to the beach bag and also remember all the previous words that have been said. When someone forgets, everyone starts over. See how long you can go without forgetting!
- Pictionary — This game is great when you’re tired of snorkeling and swimming and just feel like relaxing on your towel. Draw a picture of a summer vocabulary word until your partner only guesses it, communicating in Spanish. For a more difficult challenge, use a combination of adjectives, verbs and nouns.
With these 40+ Spanish summer words, you’ll be equipped to enjoy el verano (summer) in Spanish with ease!
Be sure to pack them for your next vacation and, in the meantime, practice them frequently to make sure they’re at the front of your mind.