Spain Tours & Holidays
From towering cathedral spires to a shared jug of sangria, it’s passion that ties Spain together.
Passion is the constant across Spain’s diverse regions and cultures, from the twirling skirts of flamenco dancers in Seville to the tears of pilgrims arriving in Santiago de Compostela. Despite (or perhaps because of) its complicated history, Spain has produced some of the most moving art in the world – and we’re not just talking about Gaudi’s architecture and Dali’s melting clocks. Here, art isn’t just in the grand architecture and museums around the country. It’s in the jamón expertly cured by a family who has been making it for centuries, and vibrant festivals that bring whole cities together. Like its art, Spain offers something for everyone.
Our Spain trips
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Spain at a glance
Madrid (6.9 million)
(GMT+01:00) Madrid winter, (GMT+02:00) Madrid summer
Type C (European 2-pin) Type F (German 2-pin, side clip earth)
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Culture and customs
History and government
Eating and drinking
Geography and environment
Festivals and events
Top places to visit in Spain
Spain travel FAQs
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Due to its size, Spain has a varied climate, but for the most part, you can expect Mediterranean temperatures along the coast, with hot, sunny summers (and peak tourism!) and colder, rainy winters.
On the east coast of Spain, major cities like Barcelona can be very busy during summer, so if you’d prefer to share the streets with more locals and fewer tourists you might find the ‘low season’ of November to February is the best time to visit this region.
Citizens of the European Union and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are not required to obtain a visa but must abide by local residency requirements if they plan to stay for more than 90 days.
Travellers from Australia, the USA, New Zealand, Brazil, Japan and more can visit Spain for 90 days in a six-month period with no visa, as long as they have no plans to work.
Travellers visiting from Cambodia, Ecuador, India, Nepal and other countries must obtain a visa from the Spanish consulate or embassy in their region – allow at least two weeks for it to be issued.
Tipping in Spain is entirely optional. If you would like to tip, rounding up the bill or leaving spare change in restaurants should be sufficient. Feel free to tip more for good service, but it isn’t expected of you.
Internet access is good in Spain. Internet cafes and wi-fi hotspots are easily found in most cities and major towns. In some very remote and rural areas, access can be patchy, but this is improving.
Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in Spain. If you want to use your mobile phone, purchase a local sim or ensure global roaming is activated before you arrive (but be aware of the fees this may incur). Travellers from countries not part of a Global Mobile Systems network, like Japan, will not be able to use their mobile phones in Spain.
Flushable, Western-style toilets are the standard in Spain. Be aware that public toilets aren’t as common in Spain as they are in some other countries and you often have to pay to use them. Be sure to carry change to avoid being caught short.
Spain's unit of currency is the euro. Here's what you can expect to pay for a:
- Half-litre of beer = EUR€ 0.50-2
- Basic cafe meal = EUR€ 10-15
- Simple tapas plate = EUR€ 6-8
- Metro ticket = EUR€ 1.60
Drinking water from taps is 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.
- 1 January New Year’s Day
- 6 January Epiphany
- April or May Maundy Thursday
- April or May Good Friday
- 1 May Labour Day
- 15 August Assumption of Mary
- 12 October Fiesta Nacional de Espana
- 1 November All Saints’ Day
- 6 December Constitution Day
- 8 December Immaculate Conception
- 25 December Christmas Day
See a current list of public holidays in Spain, including those with movable dates.
Overall, Spain is a welcoming and safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers. Same-sex marriage is legal, and laws exist to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals to live free from of discrimination (though employment discrimination laws do not yet protect transgender individuals).
Public opinion on LGBTQIA+ individuals is relatively positive. Though LGBTQIA+ travellers may encounter more conservative views in rural areas and small towns, the risk of experiencing overt discrimination in Spain is very low for travellers.
Transgender individuals and gender non-conforming folks are widely accepted in Spain, though gender identity-based discrimination still occurs.
If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at the time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
Spain is a mixed bag when it comes to access for travellers with disabilities. While some regions like Catalonia are proactively working to meet the needs of travellers with disabilities, others may prove challenging for travellers with mobility and/or visual impairments.
Barcelona is notable as one of the most wheelchair-friendly cities in Europe. All of Barcelona’s major sights are accessible for wheelchair users, and some beaches have all-terrain wheelchairs for free hire as well as boardwalks that extend to the water. The vast majority of metro stations and all buses are accessible to folks with reduced mobility. Many train stations in Barcelona have tactile strips to direct folks with vision impairments to platforms, ticket machines and elevators. Ticket machines and elevators have speech options in a variety of languages.
Madrid is also a city committed to accessible travel, with metro and bus systems that can be used by people with mobility and visual impairments and many accessible monuments.
Spain’s national parks are somewhat accessible, as they are commonly outfitted with accessible interpretation centres and viewpoints. The trails of the Picos de Europa are well-maintained and non-reflective, so may be accessible to people with visual impairments (depending on the severity of the impairment).
Travellers who use battery-operated hearing aids should familiarise themselves with the Spanish equivalent of the batteries their devices need.
If you do live with a visual, hearing or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made. As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.
You don’t need to spend hours trying to learn Spanish before your trip... unless you want to, that is! The following phrases should help you get by:
- Hi – Hola
- Good morning – Buenos días
- Good afternoon – Buenas tardes
- Good evening – Buenas noches
- How are you? – ¿Cómo está usted? (formal)
- How are you? – ¿Cómo estás? (informal)
- What are you doing? – ¿Qué haces?
- Thank you – ¡Gracias!
- Nice to meet you – Mucho gusto
- Please – Por favor
Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. In fact, we make a donation on behalf of every traveller. Trips to Spain directly support our foundation partner, Open Arms.
Open Arms protects people fleeing from their home country to reach Europe by sea. Donations from our trips help them protect immigrants abandoned in international waters fleeing war, persecution and poverty. They collaborate with healthcare and frontline research teams to support immigrants through health emergencies and work in their countries of origin to strengthen communities and build alternatives to irregular or unsafe immigration.
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
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:
Go to: https://travel.gc.ca/
From the UK?
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
From New Zealand?
From the US?
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information. Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Whether you’re a seasoned traveller or you’re about to embark on your first trip, travelling can be as intimidating as it is exciting. That's the beauty of a small group tour. From handling the logistics and organising amazing cultural activities to local leaders who know each destination like the back of their hand (like which street has the best markets and where to get the most authentic food), travelling on a small group tour with Intrepid will give you unforgettable travel experiences without the hassle that comes with exploring a new place. Plus, you'll have ready-made friends to share the journey with. All you have to do is turn up with a healthy sense of adventure and we’ll take care of the rest.