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Spain

Destination Guide

When many British travellers think of Spain, they think of cheap, alcohol fuelled, all-inclusive holidays on the Costa del Sol. While we love a cheap weekend in Benidorm (thanks for that Dad!), we also know that Spain has so much more to offer. Whether it is taking in some of Gaudi’s finest work in Barcelona, exploring the stunning Alhambra Palace in Granada or soaking up the sun in the beautiful fishing village of Calpe, there is so much more of Spain to explore.

Over the past couple of years we have been to Barcelona a couple of times and to Alicante (as well as those family reunions on the Costa del Sol!) and there is so much more we want to go and visit. Madrid, Grananda, Seville, San Sebastian and Bilbao are all on our bucket list. Here’s what we have loved about our trips to Spain so far.

Things to See and Do in Spain

Check out the beaches on the Costa del Sol
Take in a FC Barcelona game at the Camp Nou
Visit the magnificent La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
Take a trip to the beautiful fishing village of Calpe
Relax with friends in a rural villa with a pool
Take in the views of Barcelona from Parc Guell
Discover hidden tapas and pintxos bars
When in Benidorm - take in a drag show with Ruby Rox!
Calpe Spanish beach

A beach in Alicante

Spain coastline

Looking out over the Mediterranean

What to Expect in Spain

Currency – Euro.

Best time to visit – whilst most Brits will head to Spain during the summer, the temperatures during the height of the season can be unbearable. To beat the crowds and make the most of the fantastic weather we would recommend visiting in May, June or September.

Accommodation – Spain is known in the UK for its package holidays and cheap, all-inclusive hotels. Yes, there are plenty of those available but if you are looking for a more authentic Spanish stay there are also a huge number of fantastic local Airbnbs to choose from. For example, we stayed in this stunning villa in 2017 and it is perfect for a group holiday. There are also some fantastic hotels to stay in for a city break. Check out our review of the Andante Hotel in Barcelona for some inspiration.

Food – perhaps less celebrated than it’s French and Italian neighbours but Spanish cuisine more than holds its own against its illustrious neighbours. From paella and tapas to jamon and churros – there are so many culinary delights for you to try during your trip. Check out the wonderful pintxos bars on the streets of Barcelona for a taste of authentic Spanish cuisine.

Transport – we have not used public transport in Spain outside of Barcelona as we have always tended to travel with family who prefer to hire a car. The public transport system in Barcelona is adequate but we were warned by the hotel to be careful travelling later at night as there are more pickpockets in the more touristy areas.

How much will it cost me – trips to Spain tend to be much cheaper than other western European countries like France or Italy. In the coastal resorts there is an abundance of cheap accommodation particularly if you travel slightly out of season. All of the budget airlines run frequent flights to airports across Spain so shop around for the best deals.

Clock Out Check In’s Top Tips

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Soak up the sun and get lost in a book by the beach Spain has miles and miles of glorious white sandy beaches - it would be a shame not to make the most of them. Make sure you have a good book and settle in for a relaxing afternoon sipping sangria in the sun.
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Book ahead for La Sagrada Familia La Sagrada Familia was one of my favourite excurisions during our trip to Barcelona. The cathedral, which is still unfinished, was designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi. Book your tickets online in advance to avoid the worst of the queues outside as it can get incredibly busy in peak times.
3
Venture out of the resorts Spain is a beautiful country - yet many British tourists hardly venture out of their resorts on the Costa del Sol. Just up the road from Benidorm are two beautiful smaller towns - Altea and Calpe. Venture out and explore some more of what Spain has to offer.
4
Watch a game at the Camp Nou If you are a football fan then there is one trip you are guaranteed to want to make during your holiday to Barcelona and that is to the Camp Nou - the home of FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi (for now!). The Camp Nou offers excellent tours of the stadium but for a real taste of football in Catalonia - snap up tickets for a FC Barcelona home game. The atmosphere was incredible and it was a much better experience than the tour the next day.

I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends in Spain!

George Orwell

Ready to start planning?

If the Costa del Sol is calling then make sure to check out the rest of our Spain content to help you start planning your next holiday.

  • On our latest trip to Barcelona, we stayed at the Andante Hotel in the El Raval district. Find out what we thought and whether you should book too.

  • We love exploring Barcelona and as the flight takes just over two hours from the UK, it is the perfect destination for a long weekend away. But with so much city to see, where should you start?

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Alex is a solicitor at an international law firm based in London. He has always loved travelling and loves to eat like a local. His favourite destination is Peru where he spent a month travelling in 2009 with World Challenge.

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