WHY TO VISIT SPAIN
The attractions of Spain go beyond its beaches and festive atmosphere: It has marked regional identities, a magnificent historical heritage, diverse landscapes and lively cities that all make this country an exciting destination.
Madrid, the capital, offers many beautiful museums; the Prado museum is the most famous as well as being very beautiful, the Plaza Mayor has a lovely relaxing botanical garden, the Royal Palace is notable with its beautiful decorations and there are several bullrings where fans can watch good quality bullfights.
Barcelona is another city in this splendid country that you mustn’t miss:it is dynamic and active in many areas, very lively and "connected", this city will seduce you with the Ramblas where you can meander during the day and night, the Gaudi's Holy Family church, various museums, the medieval district (Barrio Gotico), Park Güell, numerous shops and various markets.
Andalusia boasts treasures that should be seen: Cordoba's mosque-cathedral, Seville's Alcazar Gardens, Granada and the Alhambra are some examples of recommended stopovers in this area.
In Castile, Toledo is another wonder that will dazzle you: a medieval city overlooking the Tagus, it has churches, museums and palaces, synagogues and a Gothic cathedral.
Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) is another manner to explore the country, on foot though.
There's so much to see in Spain, you will realize that one visit will not be enough!
WHAT TO SEE IN SPAIN
Top destinations in Spain are:
- Teide National Park
- Picos de Europa National Park
WHEN TO GO TO SPAIN
Weather in Spain
Best period to visit Spain is from May to October.
If Spain is a country of many regions, it’s also a country of many climates. The best time to visit depends on where you’re going and what you’re planning to see. The high central plains (which include Madrid) suffer from fierce extremes – stiflingly hot in summer, bitterly cold and swept by freezing winds in winter.
The Atlantic coast, in contrast, has a tendency to be damp and misty, with a relatively brief, humid summer. The Mediterranean south is warm virtually all year round, and in parts of Andalucía it’s positively subtropical – it’s often pleasant enough to take lunch outside, even in the winter months.
On a general holiday or city break, in most regions spring, the early part of summer and autumn are the best times to visit. Temperatures will be fairly clement, sites and attractions open, and tourist numbers relatively low – worth considering, especially if your destination is one of the beach resorts or cultural attractions.
Spain is one of the most visited countries on the planet – it plays host to about sixty million tourists a year, rather more than the entire population – and all main tourist destinations are packed in high summer. Even the Pyrenean mountains aren’t immune, swapping winter ski crowds for summer hikers and bikers. August is Spain’s own holiday month – when the costas are at their most crowded, though inland cities (including Madrid) are, by contrast, pretty sleepy, since everyone who can, leaves for their annual break.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Spain
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH SPAIN
To travel within the country, train and buses are both efficient and inexpensive means of transportation; however a car is still the most practical solution.
by plane, main airports are:
- Palma De Mallorca
- Gran Canaria
- Tenerife - Sur
- Tenerife - Norte
- Santiago de Compostela
- Oviedo - Asturias
- A Coruña
GENERAL INFORMATION ON SPAIN
country entry requirements: for not EU nationals, passport + visa
health tips & vaccination: none
local currency: European euro
local time zone: GMT+1 (+2)
electricity: type C and F (230 V - 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN SPAIN
typical food in Spain
- Paella: saffron rice combined with white fish, shrimps, squids and clams.
- Arròs Negre: similar to Paella, with cephalopod ink, cuttlefish or squid, rice, garlic, green cubanelle peppers, sweet paprika, olive oil and seafood broth.
- Croquetas: breaded and fried ham (Croquetas de Jamon), chicken (Croquetas de Pollo), tuna (Croquetas de Atun), rice (Croquetas de Arroz) or potatoes (Croquetas de Papas) croquettes.
- Patatas Bravas: potatoes in a chesse gravy.
- Gazpacho: cold soup made with raw tomato, cucumber, pepper, onion and some garlic, olive oil, wine vinegar, water and salt.
- Empanada: meat or vegetables filled pastry.
- Jamón Ibérico: cured ham served raw in thin slices.
- Crema Catalana: a crème caramel-like dessert. A custard base with a hard caramel top.
- Tortilla Española: thick omelette made with eggs and potato, fried in oil.
- Albondigas: meat-balls served as an appetizer or main course, usually in a tomato sauce.
- Bocadillos: sandwich made with Spanish bread cut lengthwise and filled with omelette, cheese, salami or ham.
- Chorizo: cured, spicy pork sausage made of chopped pork and pork fat, seasoned with pimentón (smoked paprika) and salt. Can be served raw or cooked.
- San Jacobos: ham wrapped around cheese (or with cheese filling), then breaded and pan-fried or deep-fried.
- Polbo á Feira: crunchy boiled octopus seasoned with salt, paprika and olive oil. Served with with sliced boiled potatoes and bread.
- Pan con Tomate: toasted bread, with rubbed tomato, seasoned with olive oil and salt and sometimes, garlic.
- Tapas: small portions of any kind of food; may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, battered, fried baby squid).
- Fabada: rich bean stew made of dried large white beans, pork shoulder (Lacón Gallego) or bacon (tocino), black pudding (morcilla), chorizo.
- Mallorcan Tumbet: layers of sliced potatoes, aubergines and red bell peppers previously fried in olive oil, topped with tomato fried with garlic and parsley.
- Tigres: mussels stuffed with different fillings, breaded and lightly fried.
- Churros: sweet fried pastry-dough snacks
- Sangria: Alcoholic drink symbol of Spain made from wine, fruit pieces and spices.
- Tinto de Verano: half red wine, half lemonade, usually served with ice cubes.
- Cava Wine: white sparkling wine
- Licor 43: liqueur made from citrus and fruit juices, flavored with vanilla and other aromatic herbs and spices, for a total 43 different ingredients (hence the name).
- San Miguel beer
souvenirs from Spain
- Flamenco Dress
- Bull-fighter attire
- Toledo sword
- Bota wineskin
- Bottle of red wine
How are you?: Cómo estás?
Thank you: Gracias
What is your name?: Cuál es su nombre?
How much is it?: Cuánto cuesta?