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Discover Spain
Spain inspires thoughts of adventure, exploration and beauty. Festivals are a fact of life and are celebrated by dancing on patios to the sound of guitars on warm Spanish nights. Food is shared and enjoyed with friends- Iberico ham, marinated olives, chorizo in red wine, and crusty bread with garlic infused oils are passed around long wooden tables illuminated with candles. There is just something about Spain that makes people feel warm and fuzzy inside, with or without the glass of Rioja.

Spain has many regions of varying landscapes, history, culture, people and influence. Whatever adventures you wish to partake in, whether it’s hiking, sightseeing, skiing or cultural festivities. There is a region for everyone.

Andalucía in southern Spain, is the only European region with both Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts, making the region great for seafarers and beach goers. Moors, bullfights, flamenco, and pure Spanish horses, Andalucía is the embodiment of Spain.

A mixture of Basque and France, northern Spain offers some of the best cuisine in the country, and certainly the best wine. The coastal towns here are breathtakingly beautiful and the mountains are a hiker’s paradise.

The east has the islands and long stretches of Mediterranean coastline. People travelling here can choose to both relax and unwind on the beach, or party at some of the world best nightclubs.

Western Spain is an ancient land with beautifully preserved landscapes and monuments. The cultures and traditions in the west have been passed down from generation to generation and is a true representation of Spain’s multicultural background.

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With such a huge number of visitors arriving from the UK each year, finding a cheap fare or package deal from London is easy work. Renting out an apartment or staying at a guest house is a cheap alternative to staying in busy hotels and hostels, where you barely have room to breathe.

The culture, atmosphere and landscape is so remarkably different from region to region, that the best way to really appreciate each one is to concentrate your time in one specific area. This should also save you a little bit of money, as the more you get to know a particular place, the more you learn where you can find excellent food, accommodation, activities and attractions on the cheap.

Alternatively, renting a car and going backcountry camping from one region to another, will allow you to explore Spain extensively. You really appreciate Spain’s diversity driving around, and the money you save by going backcountry camping, will allow you to do and see more.

How to plan your trip:
Cheapest flights to Spain are from the UK with Ryan Air. You can find flights for as low as 6 euros one-way in spring. These cheap flights are usually destined for the Balearic Islands of Palma, Mallorca, Menorca, and Ibiza. But you can find flights to any region for no more than 30 euros. Skyscanner is the best flight comparison site, to find cheap airfares.

Flights from mainland Europe will only cost a few euros more, so your options are not limited to the UK. If you want to drive through Europe and then into Spain, make sure you rent a car that allows you to cross borders. Pick a route through Spain that covers a couple of cities, a national park, a beach and a few small villages. For example: Seville + Granada + Cabo de Gata National Park + Playa de los Muertos + Alhama de Granada + Arco de la Frontera + Montefrio. Leave extra time to visit places you find out about when you arrive.

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La Sagrada Familia

Transport:
Once you are in Spain, you should note that many of the most beautiful towns don’t have an airport. So if you do not have a car, getting around is easy enough on a bus. There are over 170 different destinations that are serviced by buses and most journeys are short, making for an easy ride. Madrid is your best starting point if you are travelling by bus. ALSA is the biggest operator in Spain, and prices can be as low as 5 euros. Most bus journeys with ALSA come with Wi-Fi onboard, so you will be able to keep yourself entertained. That is if you can draw your attention away from the spectacular views.

Download the Busbud app on your smartphone, to book bus tickets, get valuable information and to find routes.

Plenty of bargain flights to the islands can be found on Spain’s mainland. There are also ferry and catamaran services from Barcelona, Valencia and Denia to the Balearic Islands. Tenerife is the best hub to get to and from the Canary Islands via air, and flights can be as low as 20 euros one-way. For a bit of a different experience, you can take a boat or ferry to the Canary Islands from Cadiz. This journey takes roughly 45 hours and has a pool, club and restaurant onboard. The route costs roughly 150 euros for a seat and 313.50 euros for a stateroom. Book online at www.transmediterranea.es.

There are also ferry options available between the islands. Renting a car or campervan, and driving across Spain, is a phenomenal experience and leaves you plenty of time to explore and adventure. Car rental costs in Spain are comparable to other countries in Western Europe.

Accommodation:
Independent travellers who like to visit countries on the fly will be at home in Spain. There are hundreds of accommodation options allowing visitors to just show up without the need for a reservation (in the off-season).

Spain has some incredibly unique accommodation options and no Spanish adventure should be completed without having stayed at a Parador. Paradores are luxury accommodations in historical buildings such as castles, forts or monasteries. Prices start at around 100 euros a night, and there are many websites that have promotions running in certain seasons or regions. www.paradoresofspain.com is a good place to start, but you will also find them listed on booking sites like expedia.com or booking.com.

Family-run guest houses called Pensiones, are great for budget travellers, couples, or for those really wanting a more cultural experience. Some are very basic and are listed on most booking engines. Airbnb is a great place to start looking, and they also list an incredible range of villas to choose from- another classic way to stay in Spain.

Alhambra Fortress, Granada

 Urban nights:
Pensiones will help you keep costs low in the cities like Barcelona and Madrid. Prices range from 15 euros to 80 euros per night for two people. A dorm room in a hostel should be as low as 10 euros per night. Use trip-advisor to search for well-reviewed hostels as some are very low quality, and will ask for the same rate as a higher end hostels. So make sure you spend your money wisely.

There are also some amazing package/all-inclusive deals, for hotels and resorts, to be found on UK travel sites like www.thomson.co.uk.

Stay in nature:
If you are planning a journey through Spain’s north, either cycling or walking, along the Camino de Santiago, it is well worth the experience to stay in one of the many monasteries along the way. Not to mention it is the most traditional way for those making the pilgrimage to experience the religious history of Spain.

There are also rural guesthouses in small villages or farms where travellers can stay. They occasionally offer meals with your accommodations. You can volunteer to assist the farm in exchange for a bed.

In a traditional white village near Granada, Andalucía- there is the Cuevas El Abanico. This beautiful place, offers rooms imbedded in the rock. This cave accommodation will make tourists feel like they are in a star wars movie.

Wild or backcountry camping is perfect for those driving around Spain and wanting to really connect with nature. However, as in Italy and other Mediterranean countries, wild camping is free and acceptable, sometimes. There are no clear cut rules, and it will depend entirely on where you are and who you know…

The Camp Nou

Where to spend your money:

Do:
Viewing Gaudi architecture in Barcelona is spectacular. Many travellers come to Spain for no other reason than to see Gaudi buildings. La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is the most famous of Gaudi’s work. Gaudi used many different materials from ceramics to stained class and the buildings are elaborately designed, colorful masterpieces, inspired by nature and religion.


Running with the bulls, in Pamplona Spain. The festival commences at midday on the 6th of July and runs for 8 days in honor of San Fermin. The running of the bulls starts at 8:00 am on July 7th. Running in front of 6 powerful bulls takes an enormous amount of courage… or stupidity. Either way, the tradition is honored every year.


A football match at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium, Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabéu Stadium or Sevilla’s FC at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.


Lanzarote is in the Canary Islands on the west coast of Africa. This Spanish island paradise boasts crystal clear waters, an arid climate, and multicolored volcanic sands. The Atlántida tunnel features incredible blue grottoes and stunning cave systems that run into deep waters where you can dive.


Northwest Spain is known as ‘green Spain’ and reminds one more of the West Country in England, with rolling hills, cider, lakes and rivers. Galicia and Asturias are the best places to explore the region and you should never be short of things to do.


Andalucia and Catalan are the number one regions in Spain for those who have never been before. Between beaches, cuisine, architecture, culture and tradition, these two regions offer the very best of Spanish life.


Eat:
-Basque cuisine is arguably the best in Europe and a top contender for some of the best cuisine in the world. The region alone has 39 Michelin star restaurants serving traditional dishes from Pintxos to salt cod with Piquillo peppers and garlic. Basque cuisine is an art and its flavors have foodies begging for more.


Pork. Whether is made into chorizo, cooked in red wine, cured into thinly sliced Iberico ham or marinated and barbequed. When it comes to pork, the Spanish do it right!


Tapas. A hundred of your favorite things in small little dishes to share with friends as you eat, drink and laugh. Patatas Bravas, Spanish meatballs, chorizo and prawns, marinated bowls of fat black and green olives and herb and garlic chicken, are just a few dishes to enjoy.

Drink:
Rioja wine comes from slow growing grapes and each region has their own distinct tastes and dates back to the Phoenicians. Wine in Spain is often served in a stemless glass, and in some regions, comes to you in a traditional pitcher called a Porron, which looks like a glass watering can.


Sangria is popular the world over, but no one consumes more Sangria than the Spaniards. No surprise as Sangria originated in Spain. Sangria consists of red wine, sugar, fruit and brandy.

Horchata is made from ground tiger nuts, milk or water, vanilla, cinnamon and sugar. It can be served hot or cold and is quite frankly pure heaven.

Now that you’re in Spain:
One of the most spectacular journeys a traveller could make will start in Lisbon, Portugal. From here you will make your way to the beautiful city of Seville and explore Andalucía at your leisure. Then across to the British colony of Gibraltar, which is steeped in a rich, multi-cultural history. But the journey doesn’t have to stop here, take a ferry from Gibraltar to Tangier in Morocco to complete a trip of a lifetime. Ferries from Gibraltar to Tangiers cost around 65 euros return. Note that you can only make a booking online no earlier than one month in advance.   

Go Adventuring

Natural Wonders

Urban Wonders

Curios

Costa Brava

Ibiza Nightclubs

Church of San Miguel del Fai

Ronda, Andalucia

Gaudi Architecture

The Josep Pujiula Labyrinth

Atlantida Tunnels

The Camp Nou

Festa de Gracia