5 things you need to know about traveling to Spain
Spain is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe. Blessed with a climate that Northern Europe can only dream about, it offers solo travelers, couples, groups and families a range of unparalleled vacation opportunities.
Spain is a fascinating mix of people, languages, culture and food, but if there is one thing all Spaniards share, it’s a love of food and drink. – Jose Andres
Here are five tips for traveling to Spain to make your trip incredible and unique.
1. More than sunshine and sand: try a Feria
Spain boasts an incredible coastline. The South Eastern beaches or Costas are bathed in sunshine for most of the year. Days are long and this wonderful temperature allows for a relaxed lifestyle.
Visit in the summer and plan your trip to coincide with one of the many Ferias or festivals. Essentially, these are the days set aside by each city, town or village to celebrate. Most of the action takes place later at night when the temperature is cooler.
Whether you decide to visit a major city Feria like Malaga in August or a small village event, you’ll not be disappointed. Free live entertainment, dancing, flowing drinks and tapas help to create an unparalleled atmosphere.
2. Foodie’s delight
Spain’s cuisine is diverse, healthy and excellent value. Seafood is fresh. The famous paella is best sampled in the Valencia region. However, all across Spain, you’ll find versions of the dish.
In the mountains, meat replaces seafood. Be prepared to wait, true paella will take time, up to 40 minutes and needs a minimum of 2 covers. However, solo travellers need not be disappointed. On Fridays and Sundays, many small bars will make a colossal pan of paella to share among all guests for the price of a drink.
Free tapas is a feature of the region around Granada and Almería. Drinks are often accompanied by different tapas for you to taste and try. Spain prides itself on great food options and it is a joy for the traveler.
3. Diverse drinks
Spain produces quality wine, cava, sherry and muscatel . As you travel, you’ll see the extensive hillside vineyards. Many will have visits and tours. If you head to Jerez, the bodegas have organised visits.
But there’s more to Spain than wine. Horchata originates from Valencia. Made from chufas or tigernuts and served cold, it is a refreshing summer drink.
4. Travel and sightseeing are easy
Arrival at Spanish airports couldn’t be more straightforward. Most have integrated networks with transport directly to centers. Car hire is cheap and roads quiet. Just ensure that your insurance means you are fully covered.
Car hire isn’t essential. Trains are fast, clean and affordable. Likewise, the air conditioned coaches traverse the whole of Spain. If you want to see Barcelona and Sevilla, an internal flight will get you from North to South efficiently.
As for sightseeing, all you need to do is follow the advice of travel writer Ben Groundwater: book in advance. You’ll skip the long queues and have time to see more of Spain’s cultural sites.
5. Quality of life
Spain is frequently listed among the best places to live in the world. Anyone who visits can see why. The Spanish have an enviable longevity. No wonder. They value a work life balance. They celebrate everything and anything. They embrace life. Visit Spain and you’ll fall in love with their country and character.
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