Spain

Oh Spain… how you dazzle us with architectural feats and artistic treats, enrich us with historic treasures and nourish us with sangria and tapas! From charismatic cities full of boisterous bars and hip galleries, to sleepy villages dotted with run-down farmhouses and olive groves, Spain never fails to open up travellers’ eyes, minds and hearts.

Spain Tours & Travel

Top holiday deals in Spain

Departing Days Price USD
12 Sep 2015 Highlights of Spain 8 $1096
12 Sep 2015 Marrakech to Barcelona 15 $2639
17 Oct 2015 Marrakech to Barcelona 15 $2261

All our Spain trips

DAYS
8
FROM
USD $1,220
CAD $1,335
AUD $1,315
EUR €890
GBP £720
NZD $1,455
ZAR R13,090
CHF FR1,080
Travel from alluring Madrid to beautiful Barcelona. Visit Cuenca’s Old City with its intriguing ‘hanging houses’,...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $3,350
CAD $3,455
AUD $3,385
EUR €2,195
GBP £1,955
NZD $3,775
ZAR R33,900
CHF FR2,660
Kick off a colourful Best of Spain tour in Madrid and visit some of Spain's highlights. Travel from Madrid to Granada...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $2,722
CAD $2,797
AUD $2,752
EUR €1,871
GBP £1,586
NZD $3,067
ZAR R27,566
CHF FR2,272
Travel through France and Spain, exploring the delights of Paris, going on a wine tour in Bordeaux, hiking in the...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $3,380
CAD $3,490
AUD $3,425
EUR €2,245
GBP £1,990
NZD $3,810
ZAR R34,260
CHF FR2,720
Travel through Spain and Portugal. Visit Madrid, Granada, Seville, the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto, Santiago de Compostela...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $2,351
CAD $2,415
AUD $2,377
EUR €1,586
GBP £1,372
NZD $2,647
ZAR R23,801
CHF FR1,923
Travel from Madrid to Marrakech on a sangria, sun and spice infused tour across Spain, Portugal and Morocco. Also...
DAYS
10
FROM
USD $2,435
CAD $2,855
AUD $2,995
EUR €2,115
GBP £1,555
NZD $3,295
ZAR R28,160
CHF FR2,165
Walk the pilgrim’s trail on the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. Get arty at the Guggenheim, go rafting in...
DAYS
8
FROM
USD $1,805
CAD $1,860
AUD $1,825
EUR €1,230
GBP £1,055
NZD $2,035
ZAR R18,280
CHF FR1,490
Get a taste of northern Spain's culture, cuisine and charisma on an eight-day tour. Barcelona, Pamplona, San...
DAYS
29
FROM
USD $6,320
CAD $6,520
AUD $6,395
EUR €4,320
GBP £3,695
NZD $7,125
ZAR R64,015
CHF FR5,225
Travel to France, Spain, Portugal and Morocco on a trip from Paris to Marrakech. Visit Bordeaux, Madrid, Lisbon, the...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $2,639
CAD $2,805
AUD $2,673
EUR €2,006
GBP £1,746
NZD $3,455
ZAR R26,537
CHF FR2,473
Travel from Marrakech to Barcelona on a tour through Morocco and Spain. Visit Marrakech, Casablanca, Fes, Moulay...
DAYS
24
FROM
USD $3,870
CAD $4,000
AUD $3,915
EUR €2,640
GBP £2,265
NZD $4,360
ZAR R39,210
CHF FR3,195
Visit Spain, Portugal and Morocco on a tour from Madrid to Marrakech. See Lisbon, the Algarve, Fes, Aroumd and camp...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $3,910
CAD $4,035
AUD $3,955
EUR €2,670
GBP £2,290
NZD $4,405
ZAR R39,615
CHF FR3,230
Travel through three of Europe's most enchanting countries. Visit Spain, head through the Pyrenees into France and...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $3,790
CAD $3,910
AUD $3,835
EUR €2,585
GBP £2,225
NZD $4,275
ZAR R38,370
CHF FR3,135
Visit southern Spain and Morocco and explore the sights of Seville, become acquainted with Granada's eclectic air,...
DAYS
22
FROM
USD $4,765
CAD $4,920
AUD $4,845
EUR €3,285
GBP £2,785
NZD $5,375
ZAR R48,265
CHF FR3,980
Visit the drawcard attractions in Spain and tour Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, Costa de la Luz, Ronda, Granada, Valencia,...
DAYS
29
FROM
USD $6,650
CAD $6,865
AUD $6,725
EUR €4,540
GBP £3,895
NZD $7,495
ZAR R67,370
CHF FR5,495
Jump aboard a colourful adventure from Paris to Barcelona. Tour through France's wine region, visit beautiful...
DAYS
22
FROM
USD $5,170
CAD $5,330
AUD $5,230
EUR €3,460
GBP £3,020
NZD $5,820
ZAR R52,340
CHF FR4,190
Travel through Spain and Portugal. Visit Madrid, Granada, Seville, the Algarve, Lisbon, Porto, Santiago de Compostela...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $3,750
CAD $3,875
AUD $3,795
EUR €2,355
GBP £2,190
NZD $4,225
ZAR R37,980
CHF FR2,845
Packed with historical, culinary and artistic attractions, this journey from Barcelona to Berlin encapsulates much of...
DAYS
36
FROM
USD $5,875
CAD $6,350
AUD $6,590
EUR €4,470
GBP £3,925
NZD $7,815
ZAR R59,120
CHF FR5,395
Visit Spain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic and Italy on this epic journey that includes the best of Europe's...
DAYS
8
FROM
USD $1,972
CAD $2,036
AUD $1,996
EUR €1,372
GBP £1,156
NZD $2,224
ZAR R19,976
CHF FR1,664
Visit some of the best culinary cities in Northern Spain and discover the history, culture, sights and incredible...
DAYS
15
FROM
USD $2,160
CAD $2,225
AUD $2,185
EUR €1,505
GBP £1,260
NZD $2,430
ZAR R21,825
CHF FR1,825
Travel through Morocco and southern Spain to visit mosques and medinas in Casablanca, discover the secrets of ancient...

Spain trip reviews

Our Spain trips score an average of 4.67 out of 5 based on 229 reviews in the last year.

Explore Spain and Portugal , August 2015

North Spain Discovery, July 2015

Video

Articles on Spain

Introducing Europe’s newest independent countries (probably)

Posted on Fri, 28 Aug 2015

Thanks to a turbulent history, Europe has fifty-one of the countries on the official global list, but who knows which regions will try to fly solo next? See them now, thank us later.

Read more

European history according to Asterix and Obelix

Posted on Fri, 28 Aug 2015

Just like a regular history lesson, only interesting.

Read more

Europe on a shoestring: why the continent is cheaper than ever in 2015

Posted on Wed, 15 Jul 2015

Fortunately for those who have skipped a Eurotrip so far, 2015 is looking like the year of the shoestring.

Read more

Five Game of Thrones locations you can actually visit

Posted on Mon, 15 Jun 2015

Think you can guess your fav show’s shooting locations? You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Read more

Transport

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Spain, you may find yourself travelling by:

About Spain

At a glance

Capital city: Madrid (population 3.1 million)
Population: 46.7 million
Language: Spanish, Catalan
Currency: EUR
Time zone: (GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)
Dialing code: +34

Best time to visit Spain

The months of May, June, September and October are ideal for visiting Spain. July and August, can get extremely hot (particularly in the south) and is the peak period for Spaniards to travel. During these months there is a mass exodus from the cities to the coast. The ‘Costas' become a hive of activity and the cities are fairly deserted.

Generally, pleasant weather can be found in different areas of the country, depending on the season. Why not retreat to the north of Spain and enjoy the beaches and mountains in the height of summer? In winter, the north can become quite cold so perhaps this is the time to enjoy the mild winter of the south?

Barcelona weather chart

Culture and customs

Visitors light candles of remembrance at the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia
Spaniards are known for their love of food, passion for partying and penchant for siestas. This is the home of vibrant fiestas, flashy flamenco, heaving nightclubs and wild foam parties. But it doesn’t end there - to visit Spain is to be welcomed into a world of creative genius. From visionary architects to passionate painters, controversial film directors to literary greats, Spain has a strong creative tradition evident in the gothic cathedrals, abstract art and much-loved movies to come out of this nation. Spain can lay claim to such influential names as Dali, Goya, Miro, Picasso, Gaudi and Almodovar, so travellers can expect to be spoilt by Spain’s many cultural treasures.

With most Spaniards being Roman Catholic, Easter, Christmas and other religious holidays are observed. Additionally, different Patron Saints are honoured by regional areas – with cities and villages celebrating with bonfires, feasts and parades. Many regional areas of Spain are culturally different from others (especially the Basque and Catalonia areas) where unique traditions, customs, holidays and language are observed.

Eating and drinking

spain tapas local cuisine restaurant dinner restaurant

Intrepid believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savoring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world.

Food doesn’t get much better or fresher than in Spain. An abundance of fresh seafood, vegetables, fruits, wines and pastries ensures there’s plenty to try in the bars, restaurants, cafes, street fiestas and markets of Spain.

Things to try in Spain

1. Tapas

Who would have thought that little bowls of seafood, pork, beef, vegetables and olives could be so filling? Have fun hopping to different tapas bars, trying classics like patatas bravas, croquetas, pulpo a la gallega and jamon serrano.

2. Wine

Don’t leave without trying a glass of tempranillo or sherry, both native to Spain. The Jerez area is famous for its sherry varieties, so have fun visiting local cellars for some taste testing.

3. Beer

Although Spain has a strong wine culture, local beer is still a great choice, especially on a hot summer’s day. Try Moritz, San Miguel or Estrella for a refreshing afternoon beach treat.

4. Coffee

Spaniards serve their coffee espresso-style, which is perfect considering the amount of caffeine required to stay up partying with the locals until the sun rises.

Geography and environment

Busy beaches of San Sebastian during summer in Spain
Located in south-west Europe, Spain shares borders with France, Andorra, Portugal, Morocco and Gibraltar, as well as the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. Occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain’s topography is mainly a blend of mountains and low-lying plains. Spain’s coastline and islands are world-renowned, and draw in millions of tourists who come to bask at the beaches during the day and party all night long. Tenerife, Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca are among the most popular with tourists chasing sunshine and good times.

Spain’s major cities (Madrid and Barcelona) are busy, urban centres, yet have managed to retain their historic charm while encouraging contemporary development. In comparison, Spain’s vast countryside offers picturesque landscapes dotted with rustic villas, traditional stone cottages, olive groves, farms and rivers. Life is slower here – perfect for hiking, indulging in fresh produce and enjoying the sense of peace that often can’t be found in big cities.

History and government

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

About SPAIN

Spain has a rich and complex history. As conquerors (and the conquered), Spain has seen many different outside influences come and go via war, invasion, immigration and trade. From the Moors to the Romans, the British to the Portuguese, Spain has been influenced both by its neighbours and by far-flung lands. This is evident in the different styles of architecture, art, cuisine and culture that are present in modern-day Spain. Emerging from social upheaval, civil war, international conflict, devastating pandemics and terrorism, Spain’s spirit is both irrepressible and irresistible.

Top Picks

Close up of traditional Spanish Paella Bowl of traditional Spanish Olives in oil Colourful glass of fresh Sangria

Top 10 Must-Try Foods of Spain

1. Albondigas

This dish of meatballs swimming in a spicy tomato sauce is a Spanish tapas staple. Typically made from a combination of veal and pork mince, they are simple to make and even easier to eat.

2. Olives

The hills of Andalucia are covered in olive groves, making this region a top place to savor these salty delights. You don’t have to go far to find them, a wide variety of olives and oils can be found in the markets, restaurants, farms and shops of Andalucia.

3. Paella

This delectable combination of rice, chorizo, mussels, prawns and saffron is a firm favourite with travellers, and rightly so! Although a speciality of the Valencia region, quality paella is available throughout Spain.

4. Sangria

Jugs filled with chunks of apple, lemon and orange floating in spiced red wine are the perfect accompaniment to a golden, Spanish sunset. But it doesn’t end there – Sangria is a one-way ticket to extended late night revelry.

5. Calamares a la Romana

This dish of deep-fried, crispy calamari is popular in the coastal regions of Spain. Eat a plate of it at a beachside restaurant or head to a bar and include it in your tapas mix.

6. Churros

For a sugar hit, try Spain’s version of the donut. Churros are sweet crunchy strips of deep-fried goodness, dipped in chocolate for extra calories! Find them at open-air food stalls and cafes.

7. Jamon

Spain is world-renown for its legendary jamon (cured ham). You’ll find salty jamon hanging in shop windows, displayed at markets and featured on menus all throughout Spain.

8. Gazpacho

For a fresh, healthy and oh so Spanish dish, you can’t go past Gazpacho. This raw, chilled tomato soap is a cool answer to Spain’s summer heat.

9. Tortilla de Patatas

Potato tortilla (or Spanish omelette) is a slice of authentic Spanish culinary tradition. A simple dish that’s often served at tapas, it’s a great option for vegetarians wanting something hearty.

10. Sherry

Native to the Jerez region of Spain, locals call this dry, fortified wine ‘vino de jerez’. When visiting the area, stop at cellar doors to sample the world’s best straight from the source.

Shopping

Range of Moorish-style decorated tiles from Barcelona

Home of cult-fashion brand ZARA, Camper shoes, Lladro porcelain, Mango clothing and some of the best wine and olive oil in the world, shopping in Spain may not be cheap but quality is pretty much guaranteed if you stick to authentic brands and handmade goods, rather than fake imports.

It's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

Things to buy in Spain

1. Leather

Spain is known for its excellent leather products, which generally offer good value for money. Bags, belts and footwear are the best picks, and will often last a lifetime.

2. Moorish Mementos

Elaborate Moorish-style decorated tiles, jewellery and scarves are great buys when travelling in Seville, Toledo, Cordoba and Granada.

3. Modern Art

With such rich artistic traditions, Spain is a good place to pick up a souvenir piece of art to hang at home. Whether it’s an iconic reproduction from a museum or an original piece from an up and coming artist, there’s enough variety here to satisfy most tourists.

Festivals and Events in Spain

Las Fallas

Valencia’s Las Fallas is a sizzling cacophony of colourful firecrackers, smoky bonfires, roaring rockets and massive effigies. Celebrated each year in honour of Valencia’s patron saint, this is a week of fiery fun and extensive late night partying.

Wine War

Every June, the Spanish town of Haro explodes into a Wine War known to locals as ‘Batallo de Vino’. Unforgiving residents pump red wine out of water pistols, hoses and other vessels in this grand example of wine warfare. Be warned: no one is spared - this is not a spectator sport!

La Tomatina

A relative newcomer to the Spanish festival scene, La Tomatina draws in travellers, tourists and the world’s media who come to see ripened tomatoes splattered across the city of Bunol. Thousands of people cram into the narrow town plaza to smash tomatoes into each other – a chaotic, strange and super fun experience.

FAQs on Spain

SPAIN:
Australia: No - Not required
Belgium: No - Not required
Canada: No - Not required
Germany: No - Not required
Ireland: No - Not required
Netherlands: No - Not required
New Zealand: No - Not required
South Africa: Yes - in advance
Switzerland: No - Not required
UK: No - Not required
USA: No - Not required
Rounding up the bill or leaving spare change in restaurants should be sufficient when travelling in Spain. Feel free to tip more for good service, but this isn’t expected of you.
Internet access is good in Spain, and internet cafes and Wi-Fi hotspots are easily found in most cities and major towns.
Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in most parts of Spain. Ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive.
Flushable toilets are the standard in Spain. Be aware that public toilets aren't as common in Spain as they are in some other countries.
Metro ticket = 1 Euro
Pastry = 3 Euro
Beer = 5 Euro
Simple meal in a café = 10 Euro
Drinking water from taps is considered safe in Spain, unless otherwise marked. For environmental reasons, try to use a refillable water bottle rather than buying bottled water.
Major credit cards are widely accepted by stores and hotels in Spain. Smaller cafes and shops may not accept credit cards, so ensure you carry enough cash to cover small purchases.
ATMs are very common in Spain, so finding one won't be a problem in most towns and cities.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Jan 1 New Year’s Day
Jan 6 Epiphany *
Mar 19 San Jose *
Mar 28 Maunday Thursday
Mar 29 Good Friday
Apr 1 Easter Monday
May 1 Labour Day
Aug 15 Assumption
Oct 12 National Day
Nov 1 All Saints’ Day
Dec 6 Constitution Day
Dec 8 Immaculate Conception
Dec 25 Christmas Day
* Autonomous regions of Spain may celebrate these holidays on another date

Please note these dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Spain/public-holidays

Health and Safety

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

Spain Travel Tips

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Top responsible travel tips for Spain

1. Be considerate of Spain’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.

2. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

3. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.

4. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.

5. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.

6. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Shadow of the WindCarlos Ruiz Zafon
Don QuixoteMiguel De Cervantes
The Time of the DovesMerce Rodoreda
Travels with My Donkey: One Man and his Ass on a Pilgrimage to SantiagoTim Moore
Homage to CataloniaGeorge Orwell