Spain Luxury Travel Vacation Guide

Language, Culture, Architecture, Food, Drink, Beaches, Energy -- you name it, Spain has it and for a very reasonable price as well.

When to Visit
Spain is a warm country best visited in Spring or Fall.  High Summer, especially in the south, visitors are likely to stay to the beaches and do day bus trips into cities.  During the summer many of the locals, especially from baking Madrid, head to the Mountains or the north.

City of Barcelona

Will appeal to anyone -- with Gaudi's series of amazing works, plus Bari Gotic, the beachfront and other holdovers from the 1992 Summer Olympics, Cava and Tapas restaurants -- it's arguably the most "amazing" city on Earth.

City of Madrid

Many visitors to Madrid are surprised by the wealth of art, palaces, and churches just within the city's limits.  Madrid is also ideal to set off for anywhere else in the country as it's right in the center.  Grand Granada, brilliant Bilbao, pious Santiago and sassy Sevill are not out of reach while Toledo and Segovia are close enough for divine day trips!

Travel to Spain ? Airports, Flights, Driving etc.

Most people fly to spain, and there are many deals to be had, not just on cheap airlines like Ryan Air and EasyJet. Spain is served by several major airports.  Madrid and Barcelona are the major hubs; however, the Balearic Islands, Malaga, Seville, Bilbao, as well as other major cities have regional airports that often cater to low cost airlines.

Ferries run to Morocco and Spanish Morocco from the South of Spain.

Eurolines run to Portugal, France, and other far reaches of Europe.

Trains run from almost anywhere TO almost anywhere including Portugal and France (and beyond). 

Driving is on the right.  Spainish Drivers have a reputation for being agressive, but it's not deserved.  Outside of major cities there are no hassles, and even within it's just typical frustrated commuters as you'd see anywhere.

Languages in Spain

Spanish is the official language (obviously!), but Basque and Catalan, spoken in the North East (Barcelona for example) are protected by law as are some other local dialects.  Many people in the tourist sector understand English, but this does not extend to restaurants or transportation.

Spanish Food & Drinks

Tapas is great and everywhere, mostly in fantastic small restaurants decorated with giant hocks of drying ham.  The cured ham is served sliced, and along with Paella, gazpacho they are all great Spanish treats.  Spanish wine is of great value, especially the Sparkling Wines called Cava here, from the North East, and the reds from the south.  Spain, like most of the rest of Europe, uses the Euro.  In restaurants service is often included in the bill. Leaving some extra change, such as rounding up the nearest euro, is appreciated. There is very little bargaining in Spain.

Shopping and Safety

There are great souvenirs to bring home.  Clothes, folk items, and Spanish wines are good souvenirs. Banks offer better rates than exchange places but have fewer opening hours.  Spain is on the euro. For members of the EU, you need to carry your ID.  Customs is pretty relaxed these days. Spain is generally very safe with friendly and helpful police. 

Beware of pickpockets in Barcelona, they are incredibly brazen and well organised -- leave all important items and backpacks in your hotel safe while there.  Actually it's only a few square blocks where they are so "lightfingered" so learn them when you arrive and leave the day packs at home.  That being said, it's incredibly rare to hear of any physical danger especially now that ETA (the Basque separatist terrorist organization) has, like the extreme groups in Ireland, renounced violence.

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