Spain (Mainland): Introduction
Holidays to Spain have everything you could want and need; plenty of sunshine, natural beauty and accessible accommodation for all types of holidaymakers. Half a century since the Spanish tourist industry took off, many people love to holiday here, and every year thousands of people flock to the beautiful beaches. There’s everything in holidays to Spain, from inexpensive sun-filled holidays in the Costas, to diverse and exciting city breaks in Barcelona and Madrid – and all an easy flight from the UK. Package holidays to Spain are easy to come by; from the beautiful coast, rife with stunning beaches and great resorts, to busy Costa Blanca, Costa Almeria and Costa del Sol, and the glitz and glamour of the Puerto Banus harbor in Malaga.
Why Choose a Spain holiday?
Spain is simply one of the best beach holidays you can have. There’s a wide range of amazing beaches for all the family to enjoy, with lots of beach activities and water sports to keep you amused. The local culture here is easy and accessible; sit in the sunshine with a jug of Sangria, nibble of some local Spanish tapas and enjoy traditional live music in the evening for a taste of real Spanish culture. If you’re in the mood for a fiesta, Spain is the place to come – towns here come alive with many fun-filled festivals throughout the year, complete with street parties, dancing and music, and you’re never far from a hotspot bar to sample the local wines. Of course, for British holidaymakers another advantage is its proximity to the UK, with the majority of flights to Spain taking less than three hours.
Attractions and Activities in Spain
Spain offers a huge wealth of experiences to the curious traveller; whether you’re searching for a beach holiday, weekend city excursion or a cultural exploration. Perfect for solo travellers, couples and families alike, Spain truly does have it all. If you’re looking for adventure, most beachside resorts have great watersports, such as skiing, windsurfing, scuba diving, kite surfing and sailing, and on dry land, there’s golf, hiking and cycling holidays a plenty. For history, head to Madrid, where you’ll find a labyrinth of medieval streets, 18th and 19th century structures and some amazing spots for wine and tapas. The Golden Triangle is home to Madrid’s cultural highlights, and you can easily lose yourself in a day exploring this city. In Alicante, you’ll find impressive streets such as Avenida Alfonso el Sabio and Rambla de Mendez Nunez, as well as great waterside restaurants. If you’re looking to discover more of Alicante’s history, head to Castle of Santa Barbara - it’s one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain, and will take your breath away.
For a great beach break, head to Costa Blanca. This is a beautiful stretch of beach in Alicante, with great beaches, such as Levante Beach, buzzing resorts such as Benidorm, home to the Terra Mitica theme park. Costa del Sol is another of Spain’s more famous destinations, which is popular for golf lovers and beach babes alike. Here you’ll find great resorts, such as Torremolinos, alongside plentiful beach activities. The Costa de la Luz is another section of coastline and is an excellent choice for wildlife lovers with many estuaries and wetlands. While staying in the area, you can easily visit Gibraltar, and visit famous sights such as Europa Point and the Moorish castle.
Of course, holidays to Spain aren’t all about the beach and sunbathing. A city break to Barcelona is an experience like no other; with fantastic museums, such as the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, striking landmarks, like the Sagrada Familia, and great shopping to be had. In Barcelona, you cannot miss Gaudi's Casa Mila – it’s something truly unique to this artistic city. For a break that combines both sun and sea with a spot of culture, head to Malaga. This charming city has more than 2,000 years of history and is home to some fascinating monuments, including Gibralfaro Castle and the Alcazaba.
Events in Spain
There’s tons of fantastic events throughout the year all over Spain. In February, head to Cadiz, where the ancient Andalucian city is transformed into one of Europe’s top party destinations for annual carnival celebrations, or Seville for the Seville Tapas Fair, to enjoy all the tapas delights! In May, Corpus Christi is celebrated throughout Spain; it is particularly impressive in Toledo, with religious processions in the streets. Throughout June and July, there’s lots of fantastic music events in Spain; everything from Sonar Festival Barcelona, to the 4 day Benicassim Festival on the coast between Valencia and Barcelona, and Granada International Festival of Music and Dance, with performers from around the world. In August, there’s Semana Grande Bilbao, where an annual fiesta is held in North Spain, and in September, Festes de la Merce is Barcelona’s biggest annual festival, with lots of drinks, dancing and fireworks. Of course, Christmas is huge in Spain – expect big feasts, religious processions and street gatherings.
Public transport is easy to use in Spain. Spanish trains, operated by RENFE, are generally efficient and comfortable, and buses will probably meet most of your transport needs. Bus fares are very reasonable, and can usually be booked online. Car rental is cheap in Spain, but best organised before your visit; Spain has a good system of highways, both free and with tolls, and renting a car is a great way to city hop. To travel further afield, anyone heading from the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands will probably do so by ferry or catamaran, which can be booked online. Bike rental isn’t common in Spain, apart from Barcelona and Madrid, where bicycle is a very popular mode of transport.