Spain is a beautiful country located in southwestern Europe and known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and rich history.
Spain is famous for its rich culinary traditions, with dishes such as paella, gazpacho, and churros being popular favorites. Spain is also known for its wine and is home to several world-renowned wine regions, including Rioja, Ribera del Duero, and Priorat.
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Spain is a very varied country that can fascinate anyone: gourmands come here to enjoy the local cuisine; young people have fun at wild parties; children and their parents spend time at Port Aventura Theme Park; beach vacation enthusiasts bask in the sun on the Mediterranean Sea coast or the islands; and culture lovers may visit a huge number of amazing attractions in Spain.
The motherland of flamenco, corrida, paella and castanets boasts an excellent climate: the sun shines here about 280 days a year.
And if we add ancient culture, history, the brilliant Antoni Gaudi’s architectural masterpieces, numerous festivals and extensive beaches, its popularity with tourists will be unsurprising. Check this out yourself together with our experts!
Natural Landmarks and Lakes
The Stone Island of Gaztelugatxe
Situated on the coast of Biscay. A huge, old esplanade bridge connects this fragment of dry land with the continent. On the highest point of the island, one can find John the Baptist's hermitage built in the 10th century; this is a destination of pilgrims traveling across the Basque Country. In the eastern part of the island, sea waves have drilled two natural flow-through arches.
Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park
Lagunas de Ruidera Natural Park located in Castilla la Mancha spans fifteen lakes. They are interconnected with straits and surrounded with picturesque lagoons and waterfalls. The unique waterbody system of Lagunas de Ruidera is called "the Mirrors of La Mancha". Even though wild riverbanks and lake shores in Lagunas de Ruidera are protected areas, there are hotels, restaurants, tourist 'casa rural' houses and other signs of civilization.
Las Catedrales Beach
There is an unusual beach in the province of Lugo. There is good reason why it is called "the cathedral beach" – Las Catedrales. Waves and prevailing winds near the coast formed gigantic masses of rock resembling grandiose temples. These colossi rise up to 30 meters above the water surface.
Somiedo Natural Park
In the central area of the Cantabrian Mountains, in the south of Asturias, one can find Parque Natural de Somiedo. It is called "the brown bear kingdom": the natural reserve's territory accommodates a large population of these mighty animals. In the mountainous areas, one can even find grizzly bears, an extremely rare sight in Europe. Oak and beech groves of the national park are inhabited by boars, deer, and wolves; forests and waterbodies are home to over 100 species of birds, amphibians, and nutrias.
Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family (Barcelona)
You're not sure what to see in Spain to never forget your trip? Visit La Sagrada Família. According to Gaudi's idea, the temple was destined to become the Bible embodied in architecture. The gorgeous facades had to symbolize the main events of Christ's life: the Nativity, the Agony of Christ, the Resurrection. The amazing acoustics in the temple is determined by the perfect bell system, and when the columns meet the arches, they create a fantastic resemblance to intertwined tree branches. The construction of the temple only continues thanks to personal donations.
Alcázar of the Christian Monarchs (Cordoba)
In the palace, one can see numerous collections of antique objects: carpets, tapestries, antique furniture, paintings. It holds exhibitions, official ceremonies and presentations. The Alcázar Gardens spanning an area of about 55 thousand square kilometers, are a work of art. The territory is decorated with flowerbeds, fountains, artificial ponds, and statues of Spanish monarchs.
Monastery of El Escorial (Madrid)
The walls of the palace are decorated with woven carpets based on Rubens and Goya sketches. The inner yard territory accommodates over 200 statues. In the treasury, one can find a collection of silver and gold jewelry with gemstones. The unique Gospel Book with pages of pure gold is the most outstanding exhibit. The library of the palace is second only to the Vatican Library.
Plaza de España (Seville)
In Seville, travelers should definitely see the square built a bit over a century ago for the sole purpose of holding the Ibero-American Exposition. It was designed as an antique square in the beautiful Mudejar style, with plentiful openwork, blue-and-white Gothic elements. Today, this square is a favorite place for strolls both for the locals and the guests of Seville. The oval-shaped area is framed with the channel's waters; the channel, by the way, is suitable for boat tours.
The Island of Ibiza
The older part of the city is encompassed by an ancient fortress wall. When walking along the winding streets, one can visit souvenir shops, unpretentious cafes or good restaurants. Young people rush to the old fishing district which has turned into a center of nightlife. Tourists have two quays at their disposal, both with numerous entertainment facilities. The island amazes with its nature that makes even the hottest months comfortable thanks to the sea breeze.
Having arrived here, tourists head straight for the most famous place, the Roman aqueduct. It was built of 20,400 granite blocks without cement. It consists of 166 arches and is 18km long. The noteworthy sights also include Segovia Cathedral built in the Gothic style and the Alcazar of Segovia. At different times, the fortress served as the Castilian monarch's residence, a military fortification, a state prison and an artillery school.
The Old Town of Toledo
The country's ancient capital has preserved its original cityscape. Its world-famous masterpieces include the Cathedral of Toledo. The construction of the cathedral went on for three centuries and engaged people of many different nationalities. The three-meter tower in the center of the cathedral is made of gold and silver. The walls of the cathedral are decorated with the original paintings by Goya, Rubens, Raphael, Titian and other world-famous artists. The city is dominated by the Arabic fortress of Alcazar which now houses the Army Museum.
The culture and the cityscape of Madrid reflect its royal history as the capital of the Spanish Empire. The royal palace, wide squares and colossal buildings constructed by the monarchs, unusually huge cathedrals and churches – all these abound in Madrid. The same can be said about medieval buildings. At that, the city of today is as cosmopolitan as Berlin or London and just as full of energy.
This aquarium is considered one of the largest ones in Europe: 34 reservoirs contain 11 thousand fish, arthropods, mollusks, and polyps. Here, one can see 450 species of marine creatures. The entire exposition is divided into thematic areas. The Oceanarium is the largest area. The aquarium with a capacity of 4 million liters is inhabited by terrifying sharks, rays, massive tuna, Spain's favorite dolphinfish (often called "dorado fish" in restaurant menus) and other large fish species.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona is a very popular vacation spot. Its territory spans several interesting museums as well as Barcelona Zoo. If the children got tired of Barcelona's architectural phantasmagoria, here, they can relax and enjoy communication with the animals. Besides, the zoo ticket cost includes a dolphin show that is usually exciting for kids.
Aqualandia Water Park
Aqualandia Water Park in Benidorm has 8 water slides. Young daredevils may try the Mini-Zig-Zag slide and the Splash family slide. Teenagers and adults are offered steep or lengthy slopes. The fun includes almost upright sliding along the Big Ban slope, flying in the dark of the Black Hole, the crazy speed of Rapid, the descent down Smooth Slide, and a lot more.
The park has gathered animals from all the continents of the planet. Here, one can see a lynx and a llama, goose and adjutant stork, ordinary pig and capybara, deer and exotic Watusi bull, giraffe and elephant. For all animals, experts have created an environment closely resembling their natural habitats so that animals feel absolutely free. The territory of 1.5 million square kilometers spans forests, cliffs, savanna areas, waterbodies – all brimming with life.
The CosmoCaixa Museum
The CosmoCaixa Museum is divided into several large departments. The "Geological Wall" exhibition demonstrates the structure of the Earth. Ninety tons of rock were used to show a cross-section of the planet. Here, one can learn about the processes on the planet's surface, the tectonic shifts, the reasons of changes in surface topography. The volcanic eruption model is probably the most impressive exhibit.
The Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions in Malaga
The Malaga Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions is located in a typical Andalusian two-storey house with a courtyard leading to different rooms. The exposition comprises 18 halls, each of them presenting an individual theme. It is interesting that every room has its special atmosphere, and some of them provide genuine homey comfort. For instance, in the kitchen, amidst the sparkling clean copper pots and clay jars, a hungry visitor's nose may be able to smell the aroma of gazpacho or another mouthwatering dish of the Spanish cuisine.
El Rey de la Magia: the Magical Museum, Theater, and Shop
The museum exhibits not only magical gadgets but also the old posters inviting the crowds to the magic show. And in the evening, be sure to watch the performance in the magical theater. Even though the show is in Catalan, everything is clear without words.
The Chocolate Museum in Barcelona
The Chocolate Museum in Barcelona was established by the city's Confectioner Guild. Since the confectioners are true experts in all kinds of treats, even the entrance tickets are edible (or rather, the ticket is printed on the wrapping of a small chocolate given to every visitor). In the old monastery building that now accommodates the exposition, the story of the times when the bitter Indian cocoa bean drink first appeared in Europe, sounds especially marvelous.
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Do Not Carry Your Original Documents Around
Instead of carrying a passport, we strongly recommend (and the Spanish police agree) bringing a copy, best verified with the hotel stamp. If the policemen need your original passport (which is very unlikely), they will find a way to accompany you to the hotel. On the bright side, you will not have to report your stolen passport to the police. It’s also better to have a credit card instead of cash; this is much more convenient and safer.
Currency may be exchanged at foreign exchange offices, hotels and travel agencies but the best rate is traditionally offered by banks that require no fees. Banks work from 9 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday.
Fines on the Road
In Spain, everyone must use their safety belts; a violation of this rule leads to a rather hefty fine. The speed limit in the city is 40 km/h, on a regular road – 100 km/h, on the highway – 120 km/h. All the roads in the country are in very good condition, and most of them are free. Payment is only required for using highways.
During the siesta, not only shops but also most of the restaurants and cafes are closed. The siesta lasts approximately from 2 to 4 pm.
How it works
Couple (2 persons)
Barcelona El Prat Airport
Barcelona El Prat International Airport is situated in Catalonia, in El Prat de Llobregat municipality. This is Spain's second airport in terms of air traffic serving both regular and charter flights.
Palma de Mallorca Airport
Palma de Mallorca International Airport also known as Son Sant Joan Airport, is the main air terminal of Mallorca Island and the third largest passenger air terminal in Spain. It is located in the southern part of the island, 8km to the east of Palma City, near Can Pastilla Resort. The distance from Son Bonet Mallorca Airport: 10-12km along the motor road.
Manises International Airport in Valencia
It is situated 8km to the west of Valencia, in Manises municipality. Apart from civil international and domestic flights, the airport serves private flights for VIPs (government officials, businessmen, etc.). In 2018, the passenger flow in the air hub amounted to almost 8 million people ensuring its eighth place in the top list of Spain's busiest airports.
Adolfo Suarez Airport
Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport is the largest Spanish airport, part of the Madrid cosmopolitan area. It is located 9km from the downtown and 13km from the city's historic center.
Cabanes Als Arbres
This unusual hotel comprises several cabins on the trees equipped for convenient outdoor recreation. The cabins are super comfortable. We've had a luxury vacation!
The hotel is located in a gorgeous fortress to the south of Palma City on the island of Mallorca. The fortress towers over the rocky shores of the gulf overlooking the impressive Mediterranean Sea coast. A real royal vacation!
Upon arrival, we were offered two quaint igloos with open-air Jacuzzis perfect for stargazing. The service is magnificent. We liked everything very much :)
Five futuristic glass-and-metal pavilions with minimalist interiors create the impression of a truly extraordinary hotel. Les Cols also comprises a restaurant awarded with two Michelin stars. Fashionable, luxury vacation!
Arrival in Barcelona
Car rental (price: approximately €250 for 5 days)
Check-in at the hotel, overnight stay Almanac Barcelona 1 night, 1 adult €570 Taxes + €6 Breakfast included
Breakfast at the hotel
Ride to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea at the Old Harbour of Barcelona
Stroll along the Gothic Quarter (we recommend that you enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the cozy cafes)
Ride to Passeig de Grasia
Tour of Casa Batllo
Lunch at La Rita Restaurant (average check: €20-30)
Tour of Sagrada Familia (tickets are booked on the official website in advance) (ticket price: €17)
Picasso Museum (please book tickets on the website in advance) (ticket price: €10)
Dinner at Paco Meralgo (average check: €60-70)
Return to the hotel, overnight stay Almanac Barcelona 1 night, 1 adult €570 Taxes + €6 Breakfast included
Ride to Madrid
Arrival, dinner at Los Montes de Galicia (average check: €75-80)
Stroll across Plaza de Cibeles
Check-in at the hotel, overnight stay Relais & Châteaux Heritage Hotel 1 night, 1 adult €403 Taxes included Breakfast included
Stroll through Retiro Park
Tour of Palacio de Cristal
Lunch at GastroVía 61 (average check: €35-40)
Tour of the Royal Palace
Visit to the CaixaForum Museum
Dinner at Entre Santos Madrid (average check: €65-70)
Stroll along the Market of San Miguel
Return to the hotel, overnight stay Relais & Châteaux Heritage Hotel 1 night, 1 adult €403 Taxes included Breakfast included
Ride to Valencia
Arrival, lunch at San Tommaso (average check: €30-40)
Stroll through Ciutat Vela (Old Town)
Visit to the three main squares: Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza de la Reina and Plaza del Ayuntamiento
Shopping at the famous market of Mercat Central
Dinner at Karak (average check: €100-170)
Football watching at the stadium of Estadio De Mestalla
Check-in at the hotel, overnight stay SH Valencia Palace 1 night, 1 adult €155 Taxes included Breakfast included
Ride to Alicante
Arrival, lunch at Steki Restaurante (average check: €60-70)
Beach recreation at the Costa Blanca coastline
Tour of Basilica de Santa Maria
Ride to Alicante Esplanade
Dinner at Tabula Rasa (average check: €80-90)
Stroll through Reina Sofia Park
Check-in at the hotel, overnight stay Hospes Amérigo 1 night, 1 adult €255 Taxes included Breakfast included
Return of the rental car
The Historic Walled Town of Cuenca (Cuenca)
This medieval jewel is situated high above the sea level, at the height of 956 meters. In the Historic Walled Town, one can find the Mangana Tower – the ruins of a fortress wall constructed by the moors and then destroyed. An old convent offers tours of the Science Museum it houses. The History Museum tells the story of the city's fascinating destiny.
Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park
The Ordesa Canyon is the main attraction in the park. It impresses with huge rocks hanging over both sides of the mountain trail. A river of the same name flows along the bottom of the canyon. Small streams coming down from the slopes feed the river. The lower part of the park comprises a dense forest where one can meet many representatives of the forest fauna.
The Maspalomas Dunes (Island of Gran Canaria)
These are the Maspalomas Dunes on Gran Canaria, one of the Canary Islands. These natural creations look almost alive: their outlines shift regularly due to the wind. The dunes are included into the Maspalomas Nature Reserve which spans an area of a thousand hectares and comprises two ecosystems: the sand dunes and a lagoon. Since this territory is protected by a mountain range, the weather here is dry and warm all the year round. This is why one can have a great vacation on the local beaches, the more so as these areas are equipped for comfortable recreation: there are bungalows, hotels, shops and restaurants.
The Canary Islands (Atlantic Ocean)
The remote volcanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean boast excellent warm climate and gorgeous nature; for instance, there are 4 totally different national parks included into the List of World Heritage Sites. Tenerife, the largest island of the archipelago, accommodates the best seaside resorts with wide sandy beaches. Here, one can also climb Mount Teide, the highest mountain in Spain.
La Concha Beach (Donostia – San Sebastian)
Situated near Costa del Sol, Cadiz City and Costa de la Luz, San Sebastian City in the Basque Country remains one of the most fashionable resorts. La Concha, the city's main beach, is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches in Europe. It stretches along the similarly-named bay for about 1.5 kilometers. The outline of the beach resembles a giant conch so that from any position here, one can view the beautiful places on the opposite side.
During summer months, there is no better salvation from the heat on the south of Spain than gazpacho, the thoroughly cooled tomato soup. Apart from tomatoes, it is made of cucumbers, onions, olive oil and garlic and served with toasts and red pepper. According to one of the culinary legends, the soup was invented by Spanish mule drivers who always had the above-mentioned ingredients on hand.
In Spain, there exist numerous variations of the famous paella, but rice always remains its primary ingredient. Traditionally, Spanish countrymen made paella with obtainable ingredients adding chicken, rabbit meat, and Valencia's typical vegetables – for instance, lima beans or sugar beans – to the rice. However, centuries passed, and the paella recipe underwent changes. Today, rice with seafood is the most popular paella variation in Spain.
Thanks to his very peculiar understanding of the culinary art, Dabiz Muñoz achieved great success in the capital and earned praise from the "Salsa de Chiles" blog kept by Carlos Maribona, a restaurant critic.
Eneko Atxa, the chef, has managed to put the entirety of his talent and imagination into his creation, the Azurmendi gastronomic complex. The restaurant is situated in Larrabetzu, Vizcaya, and surrounded with vineyards.
How long is the Spanish siesta and is it true that everything is closed during this time?
Large stores and cafés continue working throughout the siesta but it is next to impossible to get there from 1 to 4 pm since all the Spaniards from offices and smaller shops gather there. I have never seen all the establishments close simultaneously up to 6 pm. And foreigners do not abide by the siesta, only the locals, so that working establishments may be found in any town. If nothing else, fast food is always available.
How to travel through the island of Ibiza?
There are public transport options, car rentals (the small Ibiza Island can be easily crossed by car virtually in half an hour), motorbikes, motorcycles and another, rather convenient, environmentally friendly and cost-effective option – bicycles (which also eliminates the parking issue).
What Spanish oceanfront resorts are best for a family vacation?
You can spend your vacation in Cádiz which is an interesting resort and the capital of the similarly-named province. Moreover, Cádiz ranks among the most ancient cities of Europe. The beach of the resort is suitable not only for nice beach recreation but also for various kinds of sport. Even though the Old Town of Cádiz is small, it is packed with various amazing attractions (if desired, one can walk through the entire Old Town within a single day). On the beaches, sunshades and deck chairs are available at an additional cost (during the siesta, they may be used free of charge).
Where is it best to fish in Spain?
Excellent fishing recommended by experienced fishermen takes place on the Costa Blanca coastline – for instance, in the areas of fisherman towns of Dénia, Calpe or Jávea not far from Alicante. You will be provided with all the fishing tackle suitable for the specific fish species you’re after.
Fire Service: 080
Consulate: (+34) 91 587 2200
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