Vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisine, lively fiestas, and splendid beaches all make Spain one of the best getaways in Europe. Steeped in culture and with a history to discover, the western European country of Spain is a bright, vibrant and exciting place to visit. Since Spain encompasses a number of autonomous regions and islands, the country boasts one of the most widely diverse cultures and landscapes on the continent and thus is a perfect destination for a European vacation.
Spain has always been a favorite vacation destination for most people! There are thousands of reasons that gravitate people to this land with glorious sunshine. Whether it’s about a lazy day out or wandering around those wonderful sites, Spain will not disappoint. The entire country is a land of excitement, thrill, and charm. Let’s know these important things before planning Spain tours.
Spain is a big Country
A lot of patience is required to visit this country! Don’t think that Spain is a small country and visiting just Barcelona and Madrid can get the job done. Whether it’s the geography or the culture, the country covers a huge area. Every part of Spain is absolutely wonderful to see. A road trip particularly can be the most exciting thing with an opportunity to witness its beauty in a most delightful way.
Don’t Limit to the Big Cities Only
There are some of the big and beautiful cities in Spain like Granada, Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. But, don’t think that it’s only these big cities that will matter on the trip. There are many cities in Spain that are smaller, but amazing. From the mountainous Basque region to the area around the plains to the attractive Mediterranean coast, every part of it is stunning and worth seeing. To be able to understand the country from different aspects, it’s very important to see the whole of it, the bigger cities as well as the smaller ones.
Pintxos: A Quick Snack Popular in Spain
Pintxos are the quick snack that is popular among people of Spain. They like enjoying the snack on an early evening drink and sharing with friends and acquaintances. Wherever one is visiting, enjoying beer or wine along with one pintxo is a must. And, the best thing about the snack is that it is available very easily and at most places in the country. Also, it is very inexpensive and will not cost more than one to two pintox.
Great Roads in Spain
The roads in Spain are great! Particularly those who are making use of the toll roads running between most of the urban centers. Spain tour agents say that it can be made way easier to drive along the unknown roads by making use of the Google Maps or sat nav. This will help in concentrating on the way and make sure that one does not get lost.
Barcelona - Most Popular City in Spain
Spain has the perfect blend of adventure & culture! Barcelona is one of the most popular cities in the country and is undoubtedly a heaven for tourists. The city has something special for everyone. Be it the popular Art Nouveau museum and architecture, the well-known Football club, the flamboyant bars, and the bustling nightlife, every part of it is beautiful. Barcelona for sure is going to make any traveler go head over heels. With a plethora of scope for extreme activities, water sports, and beach activities, even if someone is spending a week that would not be enough.
Madrid: The Capital City of Spain
Madrid, the capital city of Spain located beautifully on the banks of River Manzanares, is also known as the Forum. In Madrid, its spectacular architecture, wonderful greenery, and amazing sculptures attract visitors from across the globe. The city is also considered the perfect place for adventurists. Cycling around through the city to travel and see the sites. Also, visitors get an opportunity for climbing, paragliding, and paddleboarding. Madrid is one of the places in the country that should not be missed.
There are plenty of reasons that give reason to having a mention of Andalusia here. The best thing about this place is that the weather is perfectly pleasant throughout the year. Andalusia encompasses the whole of southern Spain. Including the cities like Cordova, Seville, and Malaga, this part of Spain has much for the visitors. Offering its visitors the ease of activities like paragliding, cave tours, river walking, and all other water sports, this makes for a perfect vacationing spot in Europe. Apart from this, it’s also one of the most fascinating party destinations for the party freaks. Well-experienced Spain tour agents and experts suggest that missing this place is like deteriorating the quality of the trip.
Tenerife: Created by 3rd Largest Volcanoes of the World
Tenerife is believed to have been created by the 3rd largest volcanoes of the world. It is considered the most popular in all the Tenerife. Mt. Teide offers an opportunity to enjoy many sports in the volcanic national park. For those bunch of traditional holidaymakers, who admire the deserts of the South, there are a number of coastal activities in La Gomeraand Gran Canaria area. There are also a number of towns, where there are many small hidden villages. One of the most exciting of them is Icod, it's hard to find someone speaking in English. Spain tour agents say that it's perfect trying to understand souvenirs and traditional Canarian delicacies.
In Spain, one does not need any particular any health precautions. Luxury Spain tour agents recommend getting through with routine vaccines for polio, flu shots, chickenpox, the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR).
It’s always better to keep in the knapsack the basic medicines. Create a first aid kit to help yourself with any subtle health issues on the trip.
Also, make sure to buy a highly acclaimed travel health insurance that covers any kind of medical emergency.
Don’t forget finding out the health insurance plan also covers any type of medical emergency that is incurred during an overseas travel.
Spain in general is a very safe country for travelers. One can travel safely on Spain tours. It’s just that one needs to take normal precautions as traveling to other parts of the country.
It’s even safe to roam around the cities at night. It’s common here to see families walking on the roads with their little ones at night.
However, one should be careful about pickpockets in the bigger cities like Malaga, Madrid, and Barcelona.
One needs to be specially conscious when in trains, cars, and metros or in any crowded places in the city.
It’s better to keep any cash or passport safe in the hotel. Also, keep a copy of the credit card information that can help in case of any kind of theft and buy travel insurance.
They say you haven’t been to Spain until you’ve been to Andalusia. Straddling the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, this mountainous southern region is the original home of flamenco dancing, and is renowned for its delectable tapas and glorious weather. With the sunshine comes a slower pace of life; siestas are still very much de rigueur here. Must-see sights include the breathtaking Alhambra Palace in Granada, the 8th century Grand Mosque of Cordoba, and the awe-inspiring Cathedral of Seville. Those who appreciate traditional equestrian shows and dressage will want to visit Jerez de la Frontera – also famous for its fine sherry and brandy production. For more off-the-beaten-track excursions, travel through the tranquil Sierra Nevada Mountains and stop at the picturesque whitewashed villages of Las Alpujarras.
Straddling the Pyrenees Mountains along the French border, the Basque country is a fiercely independent region with a unique culture and language – and reputedly more chefs than anywhere else in Spain. Less crowded and touristy than other regions, this rugged country has a wild beauty all its own. Highlights include San Sebastian with its lively seaside ambiance and fabulous restaurants, Bilbao with its incredible Guggenheim modern art museum, and Pamplona, where the annual San Fermin Festival (held each July 6-14) features the exhilarating ‘Running of the Bulls’.
Hugging the golden coastline of the Costa Brava, the region of Catalonia sparkles in the Mediterranean sunshine. Beautiful sandy beaches, serene blue seas, and lush green countryside provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing vacation. Culture also flourishes in this distinct region, with its own language and cuisine. The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city with world-class museums, top-notch restaurants, and dazzling architecture. Barcelona’s enchanting Gothic Quarter is a labyrinth of narrow streets – some dating back to Roman times – with medieval palaces, churches and placas (squares) inviting you to sit and absorb the ancient ambiance. In striking contrast, the more modern sections of the city are distinguished by grand boulevards and the wildly expressive architecture of Antoni Gaudi.
After soaking up the vibrant culture of Barcelona, the charming seaside villages and pristine sandy beaches of the Costa Brava offer an altogether more tranquil pace beside the sparkling Mediterranean. The historic city of Girona has a Dali Museum that is worth a visit if you appreciate modern art, while gourmands will delight in the legendary cuisine of El Cellar de Can Roca.
A famous tourist destination in southern Spain, the sunny Costa del Sol is a beach lover’s paradise. The picture-postcard village of Marbella is a dreamy upscale seaside resort, while the town of Malaga offers historic monuments, vibrant seaside culture, and a not-to-be-missed Picasso museum.
Spain’s capital offers an evocative taste of the country’s heritage as a global empire, with elegant Baroque buildings, grand plazas, and monumental fountains lending the city a regal ambiance. With its bustling energy and incomparable nightlife, Madrid exemplifies Spain’s unique standing as a meeting-place of the old and new worlds. The city’s world-class museums include the Prado, with Europe’s finest masterpieces of Spanish art, and the Reina Sofia Museum, with its incredible collection of over 20,000 works of contemporary art.
A veritable open-air museum of ancient architecture, Toledo is a designated UNESCO World Heritage City. This mystifying place transports visitors to another, more peaceful era, when Christians, Jews, and Muslims lived here together in harmony. Still surrounded by its medieval walls, the ‘city of the three cultures’ boasts incredible ancient churches, palaces, synagogues, and mosques. There is also an amazing cathedral with El Greco masterpieces and an impressive Alcazar, the old Moorish palace.
Situated in a dramatic natural setting along the El Tajo Gorge, Ronda is a beautiful historic city in the province of Malaga. Around the city are the remains of prehistoric settlements and rock paintings dating to the Neolithic era – the last part of the Stone Age. Ronda is also renowned as the birthplace of bullfighting, and tourists can watch this traditional sport performed in Spain’s oldest bullring.
- Soak up the medieval ambiance of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, reveling in the evocative atmosphere of ancient Roman temples, 14th-century churches, and medieval buildings where Catalan counts and monarchs held court for 500 years. The ancient streets are a shoppers’ paradise, with everything from big-brand stores to bustling markets and dusty old antique shops.
- Take a guided tour of the stunning, instantly recognizable architecture of Barcelona’s most famous son, Antoni Gaudi. The fantastic and surreal world of Post-Modern architecture has its pinnacle in the towering Sagrada Familia basilica – Gaudi’s visionary masterpiece, which is due to be completed in 2026.
- Spend time visiting the charming medieval towns, fishing villages, castles and vineyards that stretch along the Costa Brava near Barcelona. This sunny coastal region has become very popular with discerning Barcelonians and has a rich spread of fine restaurants and boutique hotels overlooking the Mediterranean.
- While on the east coast, be sure to savor the Valencian and Catalonian varieties of paella – the legendary slow-cooked rice dish served with chicken or seafood. Adventurous gourmands will be drawn to the famous ‘black paella’, made with rice stained with squid or octopus ink.
- Take an artistic pilgrimage to the birthplace of Pablo Picasso in Malaga, where the Buena Vista Palace in the city’s historic heart has become the Museo Picasso Malaga – housing an exceptional collection of 285 works by one of the world’s most influential artists.
- Andalusia, and particularly Malaga and Seville, have some of the tastiest tapas in all of Spain, and a tour of their charming cafes and tapas bars will show you a new side of these historic cities – and undoubtedly make you a few local friends into the bargain!
- Succumb to the haunting spirit of authentic flamenco at a traditional tablao flamenco, where the lively dances are often accompanied by delicious food and wine. Some of the better-known clubs, such as Madrid’s Corral de la Moreria and Tablao Cordobes in Barcelona, feature some of the finest flamenco dancers in the world.
- Spain is renowned for her breathtaking festivals, and it’s always worth trying to synchronize your trip with one of these elaborate spectacles. During ‘Holy Week’ at Easter, many of the larger towns come alive with grand musical processions of statues and exotic floats – often borne aloft by dramatically dressed cofradias(religious brotherhoods).
- Although bullfighting is off the agenda for most conscientious travelers, Spain’s most famous ‘Running of the Bulls’ continues to draw thousands of visitors to the narrow cobblestone streets of Pamplona each morning during the second week of July. This chaotic event usually lasts just three minutes – but the parties that follow it go on all day and night!
- The ancient city of Toledo, where Arab and Jewish traditions come together, is renowned for its delicious baked goods and marzipan sweets. While touring the city’s beautiful old palaces and churches, you may find an ancient convent selling melt-in-your-mouth cookies and confectionery made by the cloistered nuns.
- Among a multitude of Spanish locations for an incurably romantic dinner, few can match the exquisite carmen restaurants of Granada – where the candlelit terraces overlook the enchanting hilltop fortress of the 14th-century palace of Alhambra.
- Most of the cities of Andalusia have a beautifully renovated, ancient hammam (Arabian bathhouse), where you can unwind in a luxuriously appointed hot pool, sipping traditional teas or pampering yourself with an aromatherapy massage.
- Some of Europe’s most serene and spectacular hiking country is to be found in the Alpujarras Mountains, a region of secluded green valleys, flower-strewn hillsides, and ancient whitewashed villages scattered beneath the snowcaps of the Sierra Nevada.
The best time to visit Spain is between March to May & September to October. Because of its location in the Western Europe, country’s climatic condition if fairly Mediterranean. Winters in Spain are cold and wet while summers are dry and hot. Luxury tour agents say that temperature varies considerably when one moves from North to South.
High Tourist Season in Spain
Summer is the high tourist season in Spain! Most people traveling to the country from March to May. However, most of the accommodations, flights and other charges become high during this season. And, therefore, for those who are planning a vacation during this part of the year should book everything in advance. The best thing about this season is that it’s not really crowded. This is because most people prefer being near the coastal areas.
Low Tourist Season in Spain
People do not prefer the winter months (January to February) for traveling to Spain. While the accommodation and all the other prices get lowered, but there is nothing much to do in the city. With only fewer crowd, days are cold and short. The three Kings Day is celebrated during January and also the San Sebastian Festival. In February it’s mostly gloomy and chilly.
Seasons in Spain
Summer: June to August
Fall: September to October
Winter: November to February
Popular Festivals in Spain
Three Kings' Day : 6th January
Las Fallas: 15th March to 19th March
The wine battle of Haro: 29th June
Running With the Bulls: 6th July to 14th July
La Tomatina: 29th August
There are different types of accommodation options for different people. One can wisely choose from luxurious boutique hotels to lavish five star resorts, there is no dearth of choices.
Luxury Spain tour agents suggest choosing from the type of accommodations according to one's needs and requirements.
In addition to the many luxurious hotels in Spain, there are also some nice family-run accommodations that provide to the travelers a feeling of being at home.
The great thing about Spain is that it also offers to its travelers a special type of hotels known as “paradores”.
This type of accommodation is unique in the sense that they have been built within the historic monuments including monasteries, convents, palaces, and castles.
This is a perfect thing for the history buffs who want to dig deeper into the stories of the past. Paradores gives an opportunity to these people not only to learn history, but also to see experience & live history.
The monuments itself have been given the form of luxurious hotels. These monuments turned hotels have all the modern facilities.
Also, the actual heritage and character of these edifices has still been preserved in the same form as it looked before.
One may find many of these paradores in nature reserves and parklands or in the historical areas of the city.
While the countries belonging to EU nations does not actually need a visa, if they are traveling for less than 90 days. But, the non-EU nationals will have to produce a tourist visa at the time of the visit in case they want to be in the country for more than 90 days. For those who want any kind of work will have to produce a work permit.
Language in Spain
It's always a great idea to learn a little of Spanish. This enables you to communicate with the locals. Before actually venturing on the trip, make sure to learn a few of the important words and phrases. It will enable tourists to thank, greet, and wish locals of the country on the trip. This will help mostly while shopping and dining).
Not here a few Important Phrases
Buenos Días: good morning
Buenas Tardes: good afternoon
Buenas Noches: good night
Por Favor: please
Gracias: thank you
¿Habla inglés?: do you speak English?
No Comprendo: I don’t understand
Discover the Culture & People of Spain
The people of Spain are generally very outgoing and amiable. There's an easy-going and cheerful atmosphere all through the country. The Spanish culture believes tremendously in family values.
People in cosmopolitan cities like Barcelona are generally very broad-minded. They won't actually form opinions or judgments.
In spite of the fast life in Madrid and cities like that, people find time for gathering over tapas and sharing opinions on different topics.
However, in smaller countries like Andalusia, people follow mostly the traditional ways of life. Festivals and siestas are celebrated all year round.
Luxury Spain agents suggest that traveling the country at the time of the festival is the best decision.
One of the most disturbing things for travelers could be mealtime. The lunch hours could vary between 1 PM to 4 PM&dinnertime between 9 PM to 10 PM.
There are only a few tourist special restaurants that follow the American/British time for serving meals.
Those who are not able to adjust to this tradition can look for tapas bars. These are casual wine bars that along with the drink provide mouth-watering appetizers that can help with hunger.
Not only that, but these Tapas bars also offer the perfect opportunity to gel up with the locals and learn some Spanish.
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