Best time to visit: April, May, June, September, October
Average high: 19˚C
Average low: 10˚C
Price of meals: 3/5
Holiday type: Adventure / Beach / Culture / Family / Party / Romantic
With sandy, white beaches, passionate music and dance, and some of Europe’s most interesting and varied history, Spain truly is the nation that has something for everyone. The country’s close proximity to the UK makes it ideal for short weekend getaways in its modern cities, with their towering cathedrals, educational museums and never-ending nightlife. Alternatively, those looking to enjoy a longer holiday can travel out to the more remote towns and vineyards, hike the stunning mountains, and head to the bright beaches and warm water for some sun and relaxation.
Spain’s Atlantic coast is over 440-miles long, meaning the country doesn’t only offer countless shores for world-class sunbathing and water sports, but temperatures vary enormously from cooler climates in the centre of the country to scorching sun in the southeast. The northern regions share the Pyrenees mountains with France where hikers can undertake walks of all difficulties while enjoying spectacular views and jaw-dropping monasteries, including remarkable Montserrat.
Beach holidays are best enjoyed in the southeast sunshine or off the mainland, although Spain also claims the wonderful Balearic Islands. Menorca boasts quaint but beautiful port towns to relax with the family and the rocky Mallorca offers well-preserved Roman and Arab ruins to discover. Ibiza continues to be one of the world’s party capitals, while Formentera attracts thousands of nudists to its small but pristine white beaches. Further afield, off the west coast of Africa, lie the volcanic Canary Islands with their stunning hotels, azure blue oceans and colourful beach resorts.
Meanwhile, Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Sevilla all offer their own charms for those after a city break with a huge choice of delicious restaurants, opportunity to learn Flamenco or Salsa or to indulge in cultural tours, while also being close enough to other nearby attractions to explore on day trips.
The temperature fluctuates enormously throughout Spain. Madrid averages 8˚C in the winter and 23˚C in the summer. The centre of the country is normally where it is coldest and driest, while the southeast coast is popular among holidaymakers where it is not uncommon to reach temperatures over 40˚C in July and August. Meanwhile, the northwest is more temperate; perfect for outdoor adventurers and wine lovers looking to explore Spain’s more mountainous terrain and delicious vineyards.
While the average meal for one in a restaurant ranges €12-25, cheaper restaurants offering a la carte menus mean a three-course meal can cost as little as €8-12. Tapas dishes allow you to try a whole range of local food in one go and are the best way to experience the full range of local cuisine quickly. Beer averages €2-2.50, while a cup of coffee will set you back about €1.50, though you can expect to pay more in cities and popular holiday destinations.
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