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Welcome to Spain

Spain

Spain Holidays

Beyond these clichéd images, a vast, unexpected panorama unfolds before you. Emerald green mountains seem to slide into the wild blue Atlantic in the north. Proud, solitary castles and medieval towns are strewn across the interior. White villages glitter in inland Andalucía. Rugged mountain ranges such as the Sierra Nevada (Europe’s most southerly ski resort) are draped across the country. The Celtic music of Cantabria, Asturias & Galicia reminds one of the misty lands of Brittany, Scotland and Ireland.

From its Roman relics to Muslim palaces, from baroque cathedrals and Modernista constructions, the country is a treasure chest of artistic and architectural marvels across a matchless cultural palette. More than 30 years of democracy and rapid economic development have spurred Spain’s cities to bedeck themselves with sparkling new ornaments. An army of local and international architects has left a slew of daring signature buildings in Barcelona, Bilbao and Madrid, to name a few.

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Information & Facts

Driving
To rent a car in Spain you have to have a licence, be aged 21 or over and, for the major companies at least, have a credit or debit card. Smaller firms in areas where car hire is particularly common (such as the Balearic Islands) can sometimes live without this requirement. Although those with a non-EU licence should also have an IDP, you will find that national licences from countries like Australia, Canada, NZ and the USA are often accepted.
Currency
As in 12 other EU nations, the euro is Spain’s currency. The euro is divided into 100 cents. Coin denominations are one, two, five, 10, 20 and 50 cents, €1 and €2. The notes are €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500. Spain’s international airports have bank branches, ATMs and exchange offices. They’re less frequent at road crossings now as Spain’s neighbours – Andorra, Portugal and France – all use the euro. If you’re coming from Morocco, get rid of any dirham before you leave. Banks and building societies tend to offer the best exchange rates, and are plentiful: even small villages often have at least one. They mostly open from about 8.30am to 2pm Monday to Friday. Some also open Thursday evening (about 4pm to 7pm) or Saturday morning (9am to 1pm). Ask about commissions before changing (especially in exchange bureaux).
Health
No jabs are necessary for Spain. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that all travellers should be covered for diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and polio, regardless of their destination. Since most vaccines don’t produce immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given, visit a physician at least six weeks before departure.
Tipping
The law requires menu prices to include a service charge; tipping is a matter of choice. Most people leave some small change if they’re satisfied: 5% is normally fine and 10% generous. Porters will generally be happy with €1. Taxi drivers don’t have to be tipped, but a little rounding up won’t go amiss.
Transport
A plethora of companies provide bus links, from local routes between villages to fast intercity connections. It is often cheaper to travel by bus than by train, particularly on long-haul runs, but also less comfortable.
Banks
Banks and building societies tend to offer the best exchange rates, and are plentiful: even small villages often have at least one. They mostly open from about 8.30am to 2pm Monday to Friday. Some also open Thursday evening (about 4pm to 7pm) or Saturday morning (9am to 1pm). Ask about commissions before changing (especially in exchange bureaux).
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