Spain Travel Guide
🗝️ Key Facts
💶Currency: Euro €
🕙Time Zone: +1 GMT
📞Phone Code: +34
✈️Best time to visit: March-June Sept-November
🍴Eat: Paella, Tortilla, Tapas
🍷Drink: Red Wine, Sangria, Sidre, Beer
🗺️Don't miss: Cibeles Palace (Madrid), Gaudi Park (Barcelona), "Chiringuito" (Restaurants on the Beach)
🗺 Menu of Contents:
Spain takes a high place in the top tourist destinations worldwide! Welcoming million of visitors a year, Spain offers its visitors the best things that one can expect from a good holiday; good weather, good food and good beaches! But it's not all about fun and partying the long nights away either, Spain also attracts a large number of visitors for its unbelievable 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (only Italy and China have more).
Tourists looking to enjoy a beach holiday in Spain will be spoilt for choice: the country boasts 8,000km of beaches, and many of the most popular areas - Ibiza, the Costa Blanca, Alicante, the Costa Brava, and the Costa del Sol - are deservedly world-famous, specially for those from the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia and more recently, Russia. Add to these reasons, an warm climate year round, friendly locals, a famously vibrant nightlife and plenty of affordable eating and drinking venues, makes Spain an ideal holiday destination, so attractive in so many aspects!
There is so much to see and do in Spain, whether they head to the capital Madrid to check out the cultural treasures of the Prado Gallery and incredible buildings like the Cibeles Palace, or travel straight to gorgeous Barcelona to admire the architectural feats of Gaudi, or whether they wish to go high into the Sierra Nevada mountains to do some skiing or wish to sunbathe on the warm sands of the Canary Islands, visitors to Spain are ensured a continuous number of holidays to come back and explore the country in so many ways.
Spain is also a big country for sporting events, football especially! If you are a fan of it, crowds cheer loudly and proudly their teams and then party the night, whatever the result!
However, if you are looking for peace and quiet, make sure you check the calendar of events! Spain can also be quite loud at night, inside restaurants and bars. Smaller cities and villages might offer those escaping the more typical areas, a very relaxed and true Spanish experience.
So whatever you might be looking for on a holiday, definitely Spain has it for you on the Menu! Make sure you come hungry!
Reaching Spain is ever so easy, especially by air, with many airlines operating to many Spanish Cities from most European Airports. In recent years, it is no longer necessary to transit via Madrid or Barcelona if you are coming from Europe, with many low cost airlines offering direct flights to airports close to the coastal hotspots of the Mainland, the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands. However, if your home location doesn't have a direct flight, the best airports to transit are Madrid-Barajas (MAD), Barcelona El Prat (BCN) , Malaga (AGP), Alicante (ALC) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI).
Iberia and Iberia Express are the main carriers in the country and offer the best choice of flights, connections and offers. If you are coming from overseas, these are the best to choose as you will require to make a transit stop. However more and more airlines are now serving Spain, Emirates, Qatar, Cathay Pacific or Turkish Airlines just a few of the legacy airlines offering good services.
If you are coming from Europe, Spain offers additionally many low cost airlines serving main and secondary airports, low-cost airlines such as Easyjet, Ryanair and recently based Norwegian are all worth considering when booking tickets.
You can also reach Spain by international rail from cities such as Paris or Brussels. Internal Spanish Rail is excellent, having high speed connections throughout most of the major cities ranging north to south and west to east. Prices are very competitive and always better to buy in advance except for local trips. For more information about Spanish rail system visit Renfe.
Busses are widely popular to travel in Spain throughout the country despite the longer times, for more info visit Alsa.
Lastly, renting a car is very popular as well when you visit outside of the main cities, specially if you are choosing to visit smaller towns and villages where public transport is limited, or want to see as much as possible, its the best idea to drive. Roads are well paved, with many services along the road to stop by, cheap motel style hotels and plenty of food options.
Spain's climate varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. As it is a big country with varying terrain and altitudes, climate can be extremely distinctive from one corner to another. Overall, the coastal regions in the South and Eastern parts of Spain are excellent to visit all year round thanks to the Mediterranean climate (mild temperatures and long days). Northern Spain generally experiences colder temperatures than the South, while Central Spain stays hot and dry due to its location on a plateau.
The best time to visit depends on the region and type of travel experience you’re seeking. For a beach vacation, the best months for guaranteed sunshine are June to August. Naturally, these are also the busiest months for tourism along the coast and on the Spanish islands, so be prepared for high prices and crowds, as well as temperatures will reach well into the high 30's! (°C) However, if you’re heading into the mainland in the Summer, like cities of Toledo, Segovia, Madrid, Granada, Cuenca, Sevilla, Cordoba, Ciudad Real, etc, be aware temperatures are sizzling (+35/40 °C) and streets are empty most of the day until the late evening.
So that said, the best time to go is mid season, Spring and Autumn: from March to end of May and September to November. These are when tourist destinations are least crowded and weather is still pleasant. January to February is the best time to ski, as snow is ample and the sun is shining. Especially in the Sierra Nevada, the sun can be quite overwhelming even in the snow, so come prepared with snow goggles and sunscreen.
Winters can be mild in the south, with pleasant temperatures around 20 °C, cold-cloudy in the inland of the country, like Madrid with temperatures in the Winter down to 10 °C or less, but it rarely goes down to freezing. The north of the country is fresh in Winter, with temperatures around 15 °C, often cloudy and windy.
Spain's eating and drinking culture is one of its greatest attractions, and a very sociable one too, with people very close together rubbing shoulders in tapas bars and cafés. The Spaniards take their food seriously, you can find from cheap menus del dia (menus of the day) or elaborate cuisine in gourmet restaurants. An excellent way to understand different facets of Spanish cuisine is to sample tapas (pintxos in the Basque Country): small snacks served with drinks in local bars across the country. They can range from gourmet canapés to simple plates of olives, cheeses and cured meats, and may be charged or given for free.
Specialities include: Paella, a Valencian rice dish loaded with seafood and chicken or rabbit, saffron and vegetables. Croquetas, fried bread-crumbed fritters with a creamy, potato interior. Cocido, a fragrant and rich chickpea and meat stew popular in Madrid. Tortilla Espanola, a rich, chunky potato omelette, one of the most traditional dishes and made in different styles depending on the region you visit. Gazpacho, a chilled tomato-based, tangy vegetable soup from Andalucía. Jamón Serrano, one of many cured Spanish meats, finely sliced ham. Pulpo á feira, tender, boiled lobster seasoned with paprika and salt and drizzled in olive oil. Chorizo, a dried pork sausage seasoned with smoked paprika. Bacalao al pil, a Basque Country dish of salt cod with a velvety white olive-oil emulsion. Albondigas, fried Spanish-style meatballs, usually smothered in tomato sauce.
Spanish drinks are also very popular, and are renowned worldwide. From the thirst-quenching sangria (Fruity red wine with a sweet taste served in a Jug) to bubbly Cava and the sophisticated Rioja wine. Spirits are also famous, like the, Sherry a fortified wine available in several styles: Fino and Manzanilla (pale and dry), amontillado (dry, richer in body and darker in colour), Oloroso (medium, full-bodied, fragrant and golden) and sweet sherries such as Pedro Ximénez.Rioja: Spain’s flagship red wine, made from Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes. Cava, a sparkling wine from Catalonia made using the same method used to produce Champagne.
Since Spain was my Childhood country, I have lived there for over 20 years. Spain is most noted for it's warm weather, tasty food and calm towns and villages along its coast line which have become very popular for visitors around the globe. But also Spain has an incredible array of cultural attraction, historic cities with old quarters and buildings, art galleries, museums and even a medieval feel in some cities where you can discover the most pure Spanish culture.
Spain is a paradise for tourists around Europe and now far beyond who come to the country to enjoy the tasty natural and healthy food, great weather, as most of the year it's kissed with clear blue skies. Spain has a big array of interests and reasons to come. For sure it will leave you with plenty of desire to repeat a holiday, time and time again!
(Lived in country)