Spain - Holiday facts and Information

Holiday facts and information about Spain

General facts

Trip Preparation

Trip Preparation

Trip Preparation

Tourism Information Official tourism information of Spain can be found at www.spain.info/en

Language

The official language of Spain for many years under the dictator, General Franco, was Spanish, but in the last few decades other cultures and languages, especially Catalan, have emerged and are freely spoken. However, Spanish is understood by all citizens in Spain.

Best travel time

It is almost impossible to fault the climate in Spain. In the winter, the Costa del Sol in the south of Spain has the most wonderful warm weather but if you want to ski, Spain offers skiing in the mountains of the south and also in the mountains of the north that separate Spain from France. In the summer, all of Spain is hot but the tourists mostly visit Spain’s very long Mediterranean coastline.

Communication

Spain has embraced cell phone technology and there is good coverage in most of the more densely populated towns and cities.

Country and People

Country and People

Traditions and Culture

General Franco tried to destroy many of the local traditions but now Spain rejoices in its various cultures whether it is Flamenco dancing, running with the bulls, watching football, playing golf and tennis, or swimming with the fish in the Mediterranean’s clear water. The family is probably Spain’s most important tradition and eating lunch together is an event that most families share at least once a week. Spain is also renowned for its brave matadors but bull fighting, these days, is not as popular as soccer and has been banned for reasons of cruelty in some regions. Spain’s people have enjoyed freedom since the death of General Franco in 1975 and tremendous wealth since joining the European Union. Unfortunately, Spain has allowed its property boom to be a way for foreign criminals to launder money, especially Deutchmarks, before the imposition of the Euro in Germany, and roubles from Russia. Today, Spain has many half-built developments and too many golf courses that require copious quantities of water. Unemployment is high and life is proving to be quite tough for the Spanish people although tourists are always very welcome.

Religion

Roman Catholicism is taken very seriously in Spain and wherever you go you will find numerous churches and magnificent cathedrals. Membership of the European Union prevents Spain from being a theocracy but there is no doubt that Christianity plays a major role in many people’s lives.

Getting around

Getting around

By bus

Buses and trains have never operated that well between towns and cities in Spain, but within the major centres such as Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, there are very good local bus services.

By plane

Spain is a country that has been hit hard by the global banking crisis and recession but, during the last two decades, it built up its infrastructure so that today, visitors can fly to airports that are locally placed and drive on roads that have been built or radically improved. Renting a car in Spain is simple and, apart from during the high season, cars are usually available for rent at most airports.

Discover and Enjoy

Discover and Enjoy

Sights

Stretching from the magnificently rugged Costa Brava in the north to the soft sands of the Costa del Sol, there is much natural beauty to be admired in Spain. In Barcelona, there are parts of the city that are truly historic including the city’s magnificent cathedral. In the south of the country there are Islamic symbols and monuments built by the Moors and in Madrid there is the Prado, Spain’s finest museum.

Food

Spain is famous the world over for its paella – a peasant dish that is rice based and enriched with seafood and vegetables. The country may not be as revered for its food as much as France and Italy but the quality of both meat and fish in Spain is superb and is complemented by Spain’s fine selection of domestically produced wines.