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Spain Tourism And Travel Guide
13.3° C / 55.9° F
April to October
7 to 10 Days
Madrid International Airport
Madrid Atocha Train Station
A country that has seen many cultures, many histories and many peoples - from Castilians to Romans to Arabs and Jews and Gypsies. Spanish Empires were built on the ruins of Moorish and Roman ones, making this country an evolution like no other. Spain is a south-European country that is considered very exotic. The tourism in Spain is the third largest contributor to their economy and makes for a great experience for the travellers. People come here for the tapas, and bull races and architecture and flamenco dances. If you are completely sold to the idea of a Spanish holiday then read this travel guide to make Spain your next destination.
How to Reach
Mumbai and Delhi operate 12-hour-long flights to Spain regularly and usually these flights have at least one stop-over. Barcelona International Airport, Malaga International Airport and Madrid International Airport are Spain’s main International airports in addition to other domestic airports in other cites and towns. You can choose flights to any of these depending on your holiday itinerary.
Road trips to Spain are possible from its neighbouring countries like France, Andorra and Portugal. The highways are very well made and maintained and you can hire a car to drive yourself. Buses and coaches also ply between EU countries and Spanish cities, although the road taxes and highway tolls are on the expensive side in Spain.
The Eurail is the best bet if you want to travel in Spain from other countries like Italy, England or France. For cross country travel, high-speed trains will take you to and fro and are considered the best mode for this type of commute.
Luxury cruises are available to Spain from coastal countries like Morocco, UK, Italy and France. Ferries also ply between mainland Spain and its islands in the Mediterranean.
For getting around in big cities like Barcelona and Madrid you have many options like the metro train, buses and taxis. Uber is also available on app and you can easily book it. For smaller towns you can choose to hire a two wheeler or a bicycle to explore.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Spain is basically almost all year round, even though winters are a little too cold in the north.
Spring (March to June):
Spring in Spain is basically off-season in the north but shoulder season down south and the islands. Canary islands and Ibiza are just about to get busy and have a nice tepid temperature for dips in the sea and lazy afternoons on the beach. The cities of Spain are decked up during Easter and give you a full cultural treat.
Summer (July to September):
The high season is hot as coals in some places and yet summer in Spain is meant to be an out-and-out tourist time. The northern parts of Spain are mild but the central cities like Madrid and Seville become hot, almost going upto 45ºC. Two of the most famous summer festivals in Spain are La Tomatina and Running with the Bulls.
Autumn (October to November):
Autumn is a shoulder season and the best time to visit for back-packers, budget travellers and for those seeking peaceful time exploring. The beaches can still be ventured into until October end, which makes autumn a good time to visit.
Winter (December to February):
Winter holidays are best enjoyed either skiing in the Spanish mountains of Sierra Nevada or laying down on Ibiza beaches to get a suntan in the cold weather. Madrid is very cold but bearable, while Barcelona sees a milder winter due to its maritime influence. Not the most ideal time but preferential according to your needs, winter is also good to visit Spain.
Things to Do
Do a Cultural Tour of Madrid:
A cultural walk down Madrid must include some of the museums and palaces of the city, as well as the main street that is lined with shops and boutiques and old buildings. You must circuit the museum triangle of Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo Nacional Centrode Arte Reina Sofia, and Museo del Prado and follow it up with the Royal Palace of Madrid. The best evenings are spent in the pulsating street of Gran Vía enjoying the tapas and churro cafes, drinks at bars and shopping your heart out.
Visit the Grand Fortress of Alhambra:
Alhambra is a great palace complex that has some of the strongest fortifications in the country, located in the city of Granada. It was built in 889 AD and updated in the 13th Century. Today it is a must-visit UNESCO World Heritage Site and open to crowds from May to October.
Go Island Hopping in the Mediterranean:
From Ibiza’s party haunt beaches to Canary Islands’ chill vibes, Mallorca’s Jazz fest and scenic views to Lanzarote’s volcanic sites - you have so many options to go island hopping. Autumn, winter and spring seasons make for less crowds and best time to do this, even though it is a bit on the chillier side.
Play at La Tomatina:
The famous Spanish Tomato fest (a lot like the Indian Holi) is celebrated on the last Wednesday of every August in Bunol near Valencia. You must make yourself prepared and reach the streets armed with tomatoes to throw at each other. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Run with the Bulls in Pamplona:
Another summer festival that you cannot miss is the Feast of San Fermín in Navarre’s capital Pamplona. The festival is celebrated on 14th July every year and includes half a dozen bulls running with men running in front of them to the finishing line. The game is full of adrenaline and also results in many casualties every year, so be cautious. You can also choose to watch from the sidelines.
What to Eat
When in Spain, eat Tapas or small dishes with an array of finger foods or starters that you can taste a little of each. From churros (sweet as well as savoury), croquettes, calamari to olives and cheeses and meats and cured hams, there are so many options of hot as well as cold Tapas. Patatas bravas (potato fries in salsa sauce), Spanish omelette etc are other tapas that are also a worldwide sensation. The best places for Tapas are Seville in Andalusia, Granada and Aragaon. Another dish that you must eat try in Spain is Paella (a kind of Spanish seafood rice dish), best eaten in the city of its birth - Valencia. You must also try Tortilla, Gazpacho (cold tomato and pepper soup), Pisto, and of course, chocolate churros for desert.
Where to Shop
The best things to take back from Spain includes Christmas poopers or the toys that spray water from their trousers (a traditional gift in Catalonia), clothes (from Desigual for street fashion and Zara for highstreet), Gouda cheeses, and any other kick-knacks that you like at flea markets. Another great souvenir and take-away for yourself from here is a pair of Espadrilles or classy summer shoes that are made of canvas and rope. They come in cool colours and are very comfy to walk in. Invest in a good pair for his and hers and they go well with almost anything. Furthermore, if you do not live in the EU and shop for more than 90.16 EUR then you can claim your VAT returns at the airport by filling in the form given. How cool is that?