The highest possible heat risk has been issued for parts of Spain on Friday and Saturday with Navarra, La Rioja, Aragon and Catalunya to suffer the most from high temperatures.

People enjoying the beach in northern Spain

Meanwhile, Andalucia has orange warnings in place for Cordoba and Granada while often the hottest city in Spain, Seville is only on a yellow alert.

The heatwave is expected to peak from today onwards. Temperatures all over the continent are to rise above 36°C and with some regions reaching extremely high temperatures above 40°C.

Health authorities are giving the usual advice of wearing a hat, high factor suncream, drinking water frequently and to favour sheltering from the intense rays of the sun rather than to be directly out under them.

As far as the Costa del Sol and Nerja is concerned the Spanish State Meteorological Agency AEMET is predicting a near perfect 29ºC with a gentle breeze.

Experts say that the hotter than normal weather in northern and central Europe is due to a combination of hot air from the Sahara Desert and a high-pressure system that has settled over central Europe.