Espagne vakantie

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Best Places to Visit

Broadly speaking, holidays to Spain are into four main areas, each of which has appeal for different groups of travellers. The mainland caters for city breaks, with culture and heritage in the big cities of Madrid and, of course, Barcelona. These are suitable for holidays of all lengths; from a weekend spent soaking up the atmosphere, to longer durations that allow you to explore the city and get out into the surrounding area.

Spain's most famous holiday resorts are found along the coast of the mainland, in areas such as the Costa del Sol (the Coast of the Sun). This name is more than just good branding. The region has year-round sunshine and warm temperatures, allowing holidaymakers to top up their tan by the pool or on the beach, before plunging into the water for a swim. Just two hours from the UK by direct flight, it can feel like a world away when you first step of the plane.

The Balearic Islands each have distinct characteristics, from Ibiza with its vibrant nightlife to the mismatched twins of Majorca and Minorca - their names containing 'major' and 'minor' in reference to their relative sizes. Like the Costas, the Balearics have been family favourites for generations and were among the first destinations regularly accessed by Brits from the early days of package tours and affordable jet-powered flights.

Finally, and much further away from mainland Spain, the Canary Islands are found close to the African coast. The flights take around twice as long, which may be off-putting for some people, but the rewards are substantial, with temperatures receiving a boost by the breeze blowing over from the Sahara Desert in mainland Africa, and a uniquely laid-back atmosphere. Tenerife is the place to be for nightlife and a faster pace, while Gran Canaria is ideal for relaxation. The Canaries make for a memorable break, with the chance to taste cuisine that can't be found elsewhere in Spain.

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Need to know

Language

Spanish and its dialects are the primary languages spoken in Spain, and of course it is beneficial to know some basic phrases in preparation for package holidays to Spain. Unless you travel to a very remote area, there is a good chance that somebody will have at least a basic grasp of English, though. This is also true of main tourist areas, including the coastal and island resorts, and the big cities like Madrid and Barcelona. In the latter, it should be very easy to find local residents who are fluent or near-fluent in English.

Currency

The Spanish currency is the euro, the single currency used in many EU member states. ATMs are available throughout the main resorts and cities, but be aware, your bank may charge a fee for using your card abroad. This is particularly true where withdrawals are classed as a credit card cash advance. Travellers' cheques are widely exchanged, and prepaid travel currency cards are a great modern option to avoid transaction fees - you can buy these in the UK before jetting off on Spain holidays. Look for a card you can top up online or by phone without incurring extra charges.

Visas

If you are a British citizen, Spain holidays just require a valid passport - and not a separate visa. Your passport should be in date, not just at the start of your trip but also for your return journey. There's no requirement for it to remain in date beyond your return trip (unlike the six months some countries demand) but remember that delays can happen, so be very cautious before travelling on a passport that's due to expire within days of your return to the UK.

Climate

Spain generally has a warm and welcoming climate. The summer can feel very warm for Brits, so seek shade when you need it, stay hydrated, pack sun cream, and wear loose-fitting long sleeves when the sun is high in the sky. Winters are cooler, but still warm, making it an ideal time of year for a city break or an out-of-season coastal visit.

Main Airports

A relatively large number of airports cater for international travellers, although this is partly perhaps due to the fact that Spain includes a number of islands, most of which have their own airport terminal. Madrid and Barcelona are two of the busiest for international arrivals, and many of the most popular tourist destinations are served by one of these. Malaga is also a key route into Spain for international flights, and this serves many of the coastal holiday resorts that cater to the UK tourist trade.

Flight Options

Besides the Spanish mainland, there are the island groups that are equally popular with holidaymakers. The Balearic Islands (which include Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza) all have huge appeal in their own right, and you can fly direct from the UK to each of these. Similarly, many of the Canary Islands take direct international flights from the UK.

Travel Advice

Remember, the Canaries are much further south, and this affects the flight duration considerably. Whereas mainland Spain and the Balearics are around two hours' travel from the UK, getting to the Canaries will take you over four hours. If you are likely to find a long plane journey uncomfortable, it might be wise to opt for one of the Spanish resorts closer to home.

Other Transport Options

There are plenty of transport options open to those who would rather keep their feet on the floor. There’s the train, for example: simply hop on the Eurostar to Paris, then get a connection to beautiful Barcelona. You could even drive to Spain, utilising a ferry service, or head across the water on a cruise ship.

Kaart

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Feiten

  1. Spanje heeft het grootste aantal UNESCO-werelderfgoedsteden ter wereld, maar niet de meeste werelderfgoedlocaties. Die eer gaat naar Italië.
  2. Vakantiegangers gaan vaak om een van twee belangrijke redenen naar Spanje. Vooral voor gezinnen met jonge kinderen vormen de hotels met hun zwembaden en makkelijke toegang tot het strand een simpele manier om een weekje te ontspannen.
  3. Veel stellen daarentegen, reizen naar de grote Spaanse steden voor lange weekendtrips. Barcelona is een van de populairste bestemmingen voor een culturele citytrip, deels vanwege de unieke architectuur en het bloeiende nachtleven.

Feiten

  1. Spanje heeft het grootste aantal UNESCO-werelderfgoedsteden ter wereld, maar niet de meeste werelderfgoedlocaties. Die eer gaat naar Italië.
  2. Vakantiegangers gaan vaak om een van twee belangrijke redenen naar Spanje. Vooral voor gezinnen met jonge kinderen vormen de hotels met hun zwembaden en makkelijke toegang tot het strand een simpele manier om een weekje te ontspannen.
  3. Veel stellen daarentegen, reizen naar de grote Spaanse steden voor lange weekendtrips. Barcelona is een van de populairste bestemmingen voor een culturele citytrip, deels vanwege de unieke architectuur en het bloeiende nachtleven.

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