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.
A beach in Alicante
Looking out over the Mediterranean
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.
I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends in Spain!
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.