Spaniards stayed in the shade in parks, headed for the beach or sipped iced drinks to tackle stifling temperatures as high as 43 degrees Celsius (110 degrees Fahrenheit), as the country experiences its second heat wave this year.
Warm summer sunshine combined with a hot air front from North Africa have sent temperatures soaring, state meteorological forecasters AEMET said on Sunday, and the heat wave could last until July 14.
The highest recorded temperature on Sunday was 43 degrees Celsius by the Guadalquivir River near Seville in southern Spain and in Badajoz, towards the west of the country, forecasters said.
For Rasha, 45, a Syrian health executive who lives in Abu Dhabi, the heat wave was an unwelcome surprise on holiday.
"It's not as enjoyable as we would like it to be on a holiday but it is what it is. But compared to the desert it is not that bad," she told Reuters.
Lazaro Cun, 37, a builder from Guatemala, stayed in the shade in Madrid's Casa de Campo Park to escape the heat.
"It is hot but at least with a breeze you feel better," he said.
AEMET spokesperson Ruben del Campo told Reuters that temperatures could touch 44 degrees Celsius in Cordoba or Extremadura in southern Spain.
"They could also reach 42C in parts of (central Spain) like Castille and Leon and Galicia (in central and western Spain) on Tuesday and Wednesday."
Del Campo advised people to avoid excessive physical activity, to take care of elderly people with conditions which meant they were sensitive to high temperatures, and to drink plenty of water.
He said there was also a high risk of forest fires during the heat wave.
In June, Spaniards weathered the earliest heat wave since 1981, according to AEMET, with temperatures surpassing 40 degrees Celsius in parts of central and southern Spain.