Mainland Spain is huge and diverse with miles of beautiful coastline, charming hilltop villages, spectacular mountain ranges in the North (the Pyrenees) and the South (Sierra Nevada) and amazing cities to explore. Traditionally visited by tourists for its seaside resorts, Spain has these in abundance but also so much more to offer.
Cities such as Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia, Madrid and Seville all have their own very different characters but all share the ability to delight visitors with a wonderful laidback vibe and a host of interesting things to see and do. Spain's artistic history is visible in so many places with Dali, Picasso, Gaudi and Manrique's influences evident not only in museums and galleries but in parks, round-a-bouts, restaurants and many other places.
The late night dining is great to join in with (if you can stay awake late enough!) and even young children are welcome in many restaurants way past their usual British bedtimes! Tapas restaurants will supply you with endless, small, delicious dishes all to be shared and washed down with local wine. Nights out are noisy, happy and friendly.
Away from the mainland are the Canary islands (just off the coast of Morocco in the Atlantic) and the Balearic Islands (to the east of Spain). The Canaries are a great place to go for some winter sun and relaxation. There are lovely beaches, good value accommodation and the volcanic landscape is amazing to see. The Balearic islands also are well geared up for holidaymakers and with their pretty coastline and charming towns it's easy to see why they are the most visited islands the Mediterranean.
How to travel to and in Spain
It takes 2-2.5 hours to fly to Spain from the UK and around 4.5 to fly to the Canary Islands. There are many cheap fares to be had especially to the most popular airports.
Travelling within Spain is pretty straightforward. If you're driving there is a great network of motorways and car hire is easy to arrange and often good value. Trains, coaches and buses are plentiful and good value. Many major cities have a metro system and all have buses and taxis available.
By land & sea:
You can travel directly to northern Spain by ferry from the UK. It is also possible to get a ferry between mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands or the Canary Islands. See How to book a ferry for more details and links. Driving through France to Spain can easily be done in a couple of days. See How to go on a road trip for more information. If you want to take the train check out your train options here.
Most popular airports:
Malaga, Barcelona, Girona, Almaria, Alicante, Seville, Madrid, Valencia, Castellón de la Plana, Jerez, Bilbao, Murcia, Granada, Zaragoza,
Balearic Islands: Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza all have airports with direct flights from the UK.
Canary Islands: Arrecife (Lanzarote), Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura.
Go to How to Book a Flight for loads of flight booking tips and tools.
There is huge range of accommodation in Spain much of which offers good value particularly outside of the main cities. There is an abundance of hotels, villas, apartments and campsites so choose carefully and book in advance if you're travelling peak season.
A few favourites:
Gavina Camping Village - Great campsite on the edge of a large, sandy beach with some pitches literally on the sand. There's a pool, restaurant and mobile homes for those that want four walls!
Candelaria 10 - Comfortable and well equipped apartments in the old town with wonderful a roof terrace with views across the city. Helpful and friendly staff for whom nothing is too much bother.
Mercer House Bòria BCN - Lovely boutique hotel in the heart of the La Ribera district with lots to explore locally. Spacious rooms and suites which are particularly good for families as many options sleep more than 2 people.
Hotel Boutique Balandret - Good value hotel on the beach in Valencia with easy access into town. Airy, comfortable rooms, many with a sea view.
Finca de Arrieta -Looking for something a bit different? These cosy yurts and stone cottages are simple but beautiful and have everything you need. 300m from the beach and set in the volcanic landscape of Lanzarote they are family friendly and great value for money,