Spain Mainland

Spain Mainland lies on the Iberian Peninsula on the far southwestern edge of Europe. Occupying an area of 504,788 square kilometers, it is home to 39.2 million people. Situated at the crossroads between Europe and Africa The glorious sunshine in which the country basks has long made it an ideal destination for sun-seekers.

Widely known for Flamenco, bullfights and fiesta, or sun, sea and sand. There’s a dream holiday for everyone in Spain, from the perfect family beach holiday on the Costa del Sol, to the thrill of the village fiesta in Andalucia, and the cultural highlights of Madrid, Seville, and Granada. The sheer variety of this huge country, which in the north can look like Ireland and in the south like Morocco, cannot fail to impress.

More than 45 million tourists come to Spain every year, making it the third most visited country in the world The sophisticated, elegant and exciting cities of Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia are well worth a visit. Take in a bullfight, see a fiesta, dine late into the night as is the Spanish custom, enjoy glasses of Rioja accompanied by the great Spanish invention tapas. It’s almost impossible to summarize Spain as a single country.

Catalunya is lively and energetic, Galicia rural and unspoiled; the Basque country offering spectacular new city initiatives; Castile and the south still, quintessentially “Spanish”. There are definite highlights to Spanish travel: the three great cities of Barcelona, Madrid and Seville; the Moorish monuments of Andalusia and the Christian ones of Old Castile; beach-life in Ibiza or on the more deserted sands around Cadiz and in the north; and, for some of the best trekking in Europe, the Pyrenees and the Asturian Picos de Europa.

Costa Blanca has 26 kilometers of sandy coast with the choice of 2 airports to fly into, Alicante or Murcia. Visit the beaches or the cities or combine them both.

Costa Brava from Blanes to Portbou Costa Brava offers culture and beauty, offering medieval towns and nature reserves.

Costa del Sol with fabulous beaches, stunning scenery, fabulous food and cultural heritage. Popular with the crowd that head to Puerto Banus and Marbella.

Costa Almeria offers the visitor a choice of beaches and inland retreats. Visit the popular beach resorts of Mojacar, Almerimar, Roquetas de mar and Garrucha. Head inland to the Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada or to the beautiful white town of La Turre high above the sea at the back of Mojacar it is the perfect Spanish town with winding streets and whitewashed buildings.

Weather in Spain – The best time to Go

Mild year-round. Summers are dry and clear, with warm sunshine extending long into Autumn. Winters are moderately cool and are the rainiest time of year, except in subtropical Madeira, where there is little rain. Mid-Summer temperatures range in the 70 F, while Winter temperatures range from the low to mid-50s.

Banks and Currency in Spain

Spain accepts the Euro and cash can be exchanged at all banks -open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. (except in summer, from June to September, when they close on Saturdays)– as well as at exchange bureau in the main cities. A good number of hotels and travel agencies will also change money. In addition, traveler’s cheques and leading international credit cards are accepted by most hotels, restaurants and shops.

Visa Requirements for Spain

Spain, along with Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal, forms part of the border-free travel zone subject to the Schengen Agreement. US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Israeli citizens are among those who may enter Spain as tourists without a visa and stay up to 90 days. EU passport holders can come and go as they please

On entering Spanish territory, travellers are required to present a passport. Presentation of a National I. D. Card will suffice in the case of citizens of EU Member States, Switzerland and the Principalities of Andorra, Monaco and Liechtenstein.

Driving tips and car hire in Spain

Drivers from all non-EU countries except Switzerland must hold a Green Card, the insurance policy covering the cost of assistance in case of an accident. Spain has an extensive road grid covering close on 340,000 kilometers, and of this total 7,000 kilometers represent highways (toll motorways, free-ways, and dual-carriageways).

This highway network, a great part of which is toll-free, makes it possible for the visitor to drive in comfort from the Pyrenees all the way down to Andalusia, either along the Mediterranean coast or, alternatively, inland via Madrid. A comprehensive network of petrol stations and roadside rest areas offer the widest possible range of en-route services.

Driving is on the right-hand side in Spain. Speed limits in Spain are 50KPH in urban areas, outside built-up areas 100KPH and 120KPH on motorways. On the spot fines are applied for speeding and other traffic fines.

Seat belts are compulsory in front and rear of vehicles at all times. Children under the age of 12 years can only sit in the front of the vehicle if in a proper child seat.

The alcohol limit in Spain is 0.5%. Spain has an extensive road grid covering close on 340,000 kilometres, and of this total 7,000 kilometres represent highways (toll motorways, free-ways and dual-carriageways).

This highway network, a great part of which is toll-free, makes it possible for the visitor to drive in comfort from the Pyrenees all the way down to Andalusia, either along the Mediterranean coast or, alternatively, inland via Madrid. A comprehensive network of petrol stations and roadside rest areas offer the widest possible range of en-route services.

Essential information about Spain

Capital City – Madrid
Language – Spanish (Castilian) Catalan, Galician, Basque, English
Currency – Euro
Electricity – 220V
Flight time – On average from London 2 to 3 hours
Time Difference – 27 March to 30 October GMT +2 otherwise GMT +1
For more information see the Spanish Tourist Board