Exterior of Alhambra de Granada in Spain

Spain holidays


Although holidays in Spain have long been associated with sun, sea and sangria, modern-day travellers tend to find a much broader appeal.

Head for the beaches of the Balearics, for instance, and you’ll discover islands rich in tradition and religious symbolism. Walking in Mallorca’s rugged Serra de Tramuntana is also thoroughly worthwhile as is escaping to Ibiza’s north coast where whitewashed villages and local fish markets provide a peaceful, laid-back vibe.

Elsewhere, on the mainland, Andalucia is no slouch when it comes to cultural nourishment with city breaks in Seville and Cordoba conjuring up more than ample excuses to gen up on long-forgotten language skills. Cantabria, too, is incredibly refreshing, in every sense, with a wild Atlantic coastline creating exquisite al fresco settings from where to sit back and sample the seafood in San Sebastian. If it’s art you’re after there’s nothing that beats Barcelona for works by Gaudi and Picasso while the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid is amongst Europe’s elite exhibition houses.

Of course, it goes without saying that the Costas: Brava, Blanca and del Sol still sing to sun worshippers from sandy stretches but if you’re looking for holidays in Spain to really remember, right here’s where you fall in love again.

The Balearics

Majorca sits between quiet and peaceful Minorca and bohemian Ibiza like a Balearic big brother. Collectively, the three siblings constitute the Balearic Islands and have been providing travellers with a rich range of beachside retreats and Spanish island charm since the sixties. From the natural harbour of Mahon in Minorca and the architectural style of Palma, Majorca’s capital, to market day in Plaza de la Constitución in Ibiza Town; these islands are where you head for a classic Spanish holiday.

Canary Islands

Situated just off the northwest coast of Africa, Spain’s Canary Islands offer an exciting mix of rugged volcanic landscapes and fun-packed beach resorts. From the secluded white sands of Fuerteventura and the panoramic views from Pico de las Nieves, in the centre of Gran Canaria, to the nightlife, nature parks and emerald green lagoons of Tenerife and Lanzarote – this is where you choose your own adventure and kick back for a couple of weeks of sunbathing, sangria and papas arrugadas.


Set between the limestone peaks of the Picos de Europa mountains and the beachside towns on the Bay of Biscay, the northern region of Cantabria showcases Spain’s wild and interesting side. This is where the capital, Santander, features Gothic spires and the Paseo de Pereda promenade, while the gourmet epicentre of San Sebastian sings to day trippers seeking seafood. From the rugged coastline of Llanes to the entry point at Bilboa, a holiday in Cantabria is a real treat for all the senses.

Spain’s festivals

If you’re looking to unveil an even more traditional side to Spain, nothing beats a cultural festival. From feasting on delicious regional dishes – such as paella and Tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) – to religious pageantry and symbolism, this is where Espana shows her true colours.

Christmas, especially, is a great time for festivals with the Parade of the Three Kings in December celebrated across the country. If you’re visiting in October, be sure to head for Calpe for the Moors and Christians fiesta, which features battle reenactments, horse riding and historic costumes. Alternatively, if you prefer your parades to be a tad more fabulous, head to Gran Canaria Carnival in Las Palmas for the annual celebration of feathered flamboyance that takes place every February.

And finally, La Tomatina is considered the world’s largest food fight. So, if you find yourself in Valencia during August, head to the town of Buñol, and don’t forget your umbrella unless you want to get hit by a low-flying mushy tomato.

What is the flight time to Spain?

The flight time from the UK to Spain won’t take much longer than 2 hours.

Do I need a visa to travel to Spain?

You don’t need a visa to visit Spain from the UK as long as you stay for less than 90 days. Go to GOV.UK for entry requirements to Spain or, alternatively, visit CIBT visas for more information.

What’s the weather like in Spain?

The further south you go in Spain, the hotter it’s going to get. The north regions, around Cantabria, can often have quite comfortable temperatures, even in summer, whereas the Costas and Andalucia will be scorchio from May to October. Head to the coast or the islands for a cooler sea breeze and don’t discount Madrid, Seville or Barcelona in the winter for cooler temperatures and fewer crowds.

What’s the time zone for Spain?

Spain’s on Central European Time and therefore one hour ahead of the UK.

What language is spoken in Spain?

Spanish is the official language of Spain. English is also widely understood in hotels and resort towns. Always a good idea to bring a phrasebook with you, just so you can practise as you travel around.

What is the capital of Spain?

Madrid is the capital of Spain.

Can you drink tap water in Spain?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to drink the tap water in Spain.

How long can you stay in Spain?

You can stay in Spain for up to 90 days without a visa.

Is Spain in the EU?

Yes, Spain joined the European Union in 1986.

What is the population of Spain?

There are more than 47 million people currently living in Spain.

How hot is it in Spain?

Spain has mild winters and hot summers. Temperatures range from 6C in January to almost 30C in July.

What countries border Spain?

France, Portugal, Gibraltar, Andorra and Morocco are the countries which border Spain.

What is Spain famous for?

Spain is famous for food such as paella, omelettes, and gazpacho soup as well as serving a selection of small plates known as tapas. It’s also famous for its art and architecture with the artists Picasso, Dali, Goya and Gaudi all leaving their mark within galleries, museums and monuments. Alongside restful afternoon naps, known as siestas, Spain is also famous for its Flamenco dancing and flamboyant football as well as sunshine, sea and beautiful beaches.

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