Fragrant oranges, wild bulls and dances full of passion are clichéd images of the country, but true nonetheless. The bubbly and warm mentality of the Spanish people as well as the country’s beautiful nature contributes to Spain’s unique exotic magic, where all your holiday wishes are met and your dreams come true.
Facts & Figures
Official Name: Reino de España (Kingdom of Spain) Location: Southwestern Europe, located on the Iberian Peninsula on the Mediterranean and Atlantic Area: 505,990 km² Capital: Madrid Population: 46.7 million Religious and ethnic groups: 72% Castilian Spaniards, 16% Catalans, 6% Galicians, 2% Basques, 1% Roma Language: Spanish (official), Catalan (official regional language), Basque (official regional language), Galician (official regional language) Geography: Pyrenees in the north, central, flat plateau with hills. Highest point: Pico de Teide (3718m) Time zone: Central European Time (UTC + 01:00) Political and Economic: Parliamentary Monarchy, GDP: EUR 1,022.9 billion (2013) Currency: Euro (since 2002)
Arrival and departure
The journey to Spain can be made by land, car, bus or by train. However, since all major cities and many smaller towns are served, most visitors use air connections. Vaccinations: In general, vaccination against hepatitis A and B are recommended. On the ground: The road and rail network is considered good. Note, however, that there may be long waiting times at the ticket counters in the stations.
Climate and best time to travel
Spain's climate is temperate with dry, cold winters and hot summers inland and a maritime climate along the coast. Winter average temperature: Madrid / Galicia: 6 ° C / 10 ° C (lows of 1 ° C / 7 ° C in February) Summer average temperature: Madrid / Galicia: 24 ° C / 16 ° C (maximum temperatures around 31 ° C / 22 ° C in August) Water temperature: Mediterranean / Atlantic: max. 24 ° C / 19 ° C in August The country is worth visiting all year round. Midsummer can be very hot both inland and along parts of the coast, which is why spring and late summer are more recommended for city breaks.
The most beautiful holiday regions
Andalusia – Flamenco and proud horses Costa Brava – Nature parks, botanical gardens and sandy beaches Galicia – Green hills and river landscapes Teneriffa – volcanic mountains with dragon trees
Public holidays and celebrations
New Year (January 1), Epiphany Festival (January 6), Balearic Day (March 1), St. Joseph's Day (March 19), Holy Thursday (March 29), Good Friday (March / April), Labor Day (March 1). May Day), Assumption Day (15 August), National Holiday (12 October), All Saints Day (1 November), Constitution Day (6 December), Immaculate Conception (8 December), Christmas (25-26. December)
DOs and DON'Ts
DO • Adjust eating habits. The Spaniards eat very late in the evening and usually in many small portions (tapas). In addition, mealtimes in Spain are more than just refuelling – it’s about spending time together around the dining table. • Keep change in your pocket. You will need it for most toilets. • Take a siesta. By noon, it's too hot to do much else. This will also prepare you for the long Spanish evenings.
DON'Ts • Expect punctuality. The Spaniards usually have a very relaxed attitude on firm dates and will often arrive late. • Look for non-smokers. The proportion of smokers among the Spaniards is high and whoever complains about it means that he is afraid of life.
Can you drink the tap water? Spanish tap water is generally good, but since the pipes are often out of date, you should use bottled or boiled water. Do I need an adapter? There are the same sockets as in Germany, an adapter is not needed.
Top tips and discoveries
Granada Located in Granada, a visit to the vast gardens of the Alhambra could not leave you more amazed. Surrounded by magnificent, Moorish palaces and overlooking the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, you’ll feel as if you’ve stepped into another world. Every nook and cranny holds unique treasures, filling you with reverence and admiration for the splendour of the place.
Valencia Despite the often high temperatures, Valencia is fresh and airy. This is mainly due to its relative spaciousness and the many small green areas and water facilities that invite you to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and take a break. At night, with its vibrant Barrio del Carmen and countless bars and clubs, the city becomes a haven for party-goers and night owls.
Picos de Europa National Park It feels almost a bit like being in the Alps in this nature reserve in the north of the country. With huge mountain ranges, mighty glaciers and deep, green valleys, the park is home to one of the most unusual landscapes in Spain. Deciduous forests, wide meadows and rugged lake plateaus dominate the region, which invites you to many hiking trails perfect for individual training.