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Spain Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Spain vacation

Dog Rules in Spain 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Something one must be aware of when visiting Spain, is that Spain has many laws that are not known. Many relate to driving and animals. If you chose to bring your dog to Spain, firstly remember that the animal is allowed in no area of the car other than the very back. Secondly, there has to be a partition between you in the way of either a dog grid or something similar. If you do get caught on the wrong side of the law in Spain, be warned, 90% of fines in Spain are spot fines and if you don't have the cash they will escort you to the bank. Not only this, the spanish police can be very relaxed in everyday life, but if you step wrong they will point it out very quickly and fines are not small. A personal friend of mine forgot to pay his car insurance of 150 euros and was slapped a fine of 1500 euros!


Who would recommend Furteventura?
Has anyone been to Furteventura and where would you recommend one stay? We are wanting to go in November for a bit of sun. Or is Gran Canaria or La Palma better?


Cities to visit in Andalucia 4 stars
Seville is my favourite city – definitely visit Seville, it has some of the most beautiful architecture as a result of the two exhibition it has hosted – see separate review.

Jerez – famous for its sherry the city consists of many sherry-houses. It’s worth gong on a tour of one – we went on Tio Pepe tour (famous for the mice that like the sherry) – the tours are well done, with lots to see and some sherry tasting at the end with a shop as well. We stayed outside the city on the coast at the resort of Rota on the coast to the west of Jerez, in the hotel playa de la Luz. It is a very traditional Spanish hotel, which had rooms right on the beach. It was very quiet and peaceful and I’d recommend staying outside the city for a more relaxing atmosphere.

Granada – famous for Alhambra Palace this is definitely worth a visit if you are staying on the coast even if it might be a 2 hour drive away. The site is now a UNESCO world heritage site and was a palace and fortress for the Moorish rulers of the area in the 14th century. The architecture is magnificent and is based on Moorish/Arabic designs with intricate detail and mosaic work. There is a lot of walking involved so wear comfy shoes and take water with you. Your entrance ticket may give you a set time to enter part of the Palace.

Ronda is also another quaint Spanish town worth a day-visit if you are staying on the coast. It is built over a gorge and contains the oldest bullring in Spain which you can take a tour round and is quite enlightening – see separate review.


Bargain supermarkets! 5 stars
Spanish supermarkets are amazing. The prices, from booze to food, are just so cheap it's untrue. When I visited Barcelona, I felt honour bound to stock up on all manner of exotic drinks (including a bottle of absinthe, and some very tasty vanilla vodka) just because, at these prices, it would have been rude not too! Lasy year, after returning from a year travelling in South America, my flight stopped at Madrid. Visiting a supermarket near the airport, I was staggered to find that prices were far lower than in the country I had just left (Colombia). I loaded my trolley with olives, asparagus, breads, cheeses, juice...and of course some booze...and paid next to nothing for the lot. And then, of course, it was back to the UK, and reality.


Learn Spanish 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The best trick I can give you for learning Spanish is to buy the Michel Thomas course. It's cheaper on tape, especially second hand, but is also available on CD or, probably, to download.

Basically, the guy is a genius. The way he teaches is revolutionary, and is being picked up by people offering to teach the 'Michel Thomas' method. They're rubbish, always buy the original!

You'll be listening to Michel teaching two students, and you essentially become the third member of the class. You'll be picking up the other students when they make mistakes which is great fun!

He teaches by making you confident that you already have a large vocabulary in the language (romantic languages share thousands of words), and then by teaching you the verbs and how to use them, getting more sophisticated in time, and building your vocabulary is you go.

It's such an exciting way to learn, and it's so easy. Thoroughly recommended. beginner course is 8 hours, advanced is 5 hrs.

Good luck!


Liquer 43 4 stars
Liquer (I'm not sure how you spell it in Spanish) 43 (cuarenta y tres) is a Spanish (I think) orange tasting liquer and very, very tasting. I think it may be a bit like a Spanish version of Grand Marnier and Cointreau (both of which are very easy to drink). I really like this drink and I normally mix it with pineapple juice (you normally have to mix it with something to get it to mix properly) but I think it can also be mixed with coca cola. The only thing I would say is that it's very sweet and you can't drink a lot of it in one go.


Cacique 5 stars
I only stumbled upon Cacique by accident after a friend asked for it as an easy alternative to asking for Rum (ron) in a bar but I've been drinking it on trips to Spain (and at home now that I brought a bottle back!) ever since. Cacique is originally from Venezuala but people in Spain drink it a lot. It's a dark rum with a really mild and slightly sweet taste. I've only ever drunk it with coke but not sure if you can mix it with any other soft drinks. It's also really nice on the rocks! If you want to buy a bottle it's about 10 euros so about average for a nice bottle of rum in Spain


Cómpeta, Malaga 5 stars
A great place for a holiday! Situated in the foothills of the Sierras Almijaras, there are plenty of opportunities for walking and other outdoor activities. I went riding in the San Anton fair, one of the local fiestas - great fun. There are over 3000 fiestas in Andalucia


Mini Cruise to Spain 4 stars
When people think about cruising they assume it will be very expensive, some of them can be of course. However, a mini cruise to Spain, on the Pride of Bilbao, can be as little as £49 per person. This price is usually for a two birth inside cabin, but sometimes, especially if you book well in advance, you can arrive to a spacious four birth outside cabin. A bargain for less than £50 each!

The Pride of Bilbao sales from Portsmouth to the port of Santurtzi, Spain. The journey takes four days, so you get to spend three nights on board. There is some fantastic entertainment laid on in the evenings; not your usual club singer. We enjoyed three shows, one each night, lasting more than an hour, which included performances from Greece, Chicago and West End Musicals. It may not be everybody’s idea of a good night but I thoroughly enjoyed it. As the main entertainment lounge was packed each night, I think it was very popular with other passengers too.

There is plenty to do onboard, once you set sale. Apart from the entertainment in the evenings, there are quizzes, bingo and two cinemas to keep you occupied. There is plenty of choice for food from the restaurants, bars and café. For those of you who like to gamble there is a casino too. If you have indulged a little too much there is a chance to redeem yourself at the fitness centre or take a dip in the swimming pool. For the children there is a separate play area or a games room, plus other activities organised by staff.

When you arrive at the Port of Santurtzi, you have the option to spend the four hours ashore exploring the port or you can choose one of the excursions available. If you like museums, you can visit the Guggenheim, for history and shopping go for Tastes of Old and New Bilbao or visit the fishing village of Castro Urdiales, for a glimpse of the Spanish culture. I have spent time in all places, except the museum; I would definitely recommend spending your time in Castro Urdiales. It’s a very pretty fishing village with lots of history and culture. We enjoyed a guided walk and sat and enjoyed the atmosphere and sea views, whilst sipping coffee.

Unfortunately, time on board the Pride of Bilbao comes to its end, but not before enjoying everything the ship has to offer, including some serious relaxation. Whether you choose to take advantage of all the activities and facilities or you just decide to take it easy, the trip offers something for everybody.


Sun, sea ,siesta... 4 stars
Spain has to be an ideal holiday destination; it offers so much to such a wide range of people. From the northern countryside and cool climate of Galicia to the Moroccan influenced villages of Andalucía, Spain is a tourist’s paradise.

Slipping over the border from France and stop in crazy, crazy San Sebastian! Why is it crazy? It only has the most bars per person in Western Europe. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is a more quiet and tranquil pastime. Hours can be spent admiring the stunning architecture before going inside to look at the fantastic collection of modern art that includes temporary exhibitions of Basque art.

Next stop Madrid! Madrid is definitely a city that never sleeps. For some it’s a choice between partying the night away at the many clubs and bars that open until 7am with drinks served all night or taking in the many cultural activities that the city offers all year round. Just a tip: Madrid during July and August can be scorchingly hot in the centre of the city, with little respite among the hustle and bustle of daily life. Many restaurant and shop owners go on holiday for the summer and shut their establishments, but the fun of the July festivals and concerts are a must see for any fun-loving tourist!

Andalucía should not be missed! Granada offers free tapas (try the patatas bravas) with a drink (great for those on a budget), Seville is the perfect place to enjoy an authentic flamenco show by the river, Cordoba offers a taste of how life was under the Arab conquest and Almeria has a beautiful coastline with stunning, untouched beaches.

So what are you waiting for? Spain awaits!


Spain, Seville 4 stars
If you're travelling from within Europe reaching the capital of Andalucia, Seville, is not difficult. Seville airport is located just outside the city and takes 15 minutes with a taxi at a set price of 18 Euros plus a bit extra for baggage or take a bus at around 2.40 Euros to arrive directly in city center.
After checking in to accommodation, head down to the center for tapas and a beer and enjoy an atmosphere that is friendly and easy.
If you can speak some Spanish and are a friendly type, you'll end up chatting to one of the locals in no time. It´s a great way to find out what´s going on and to ask about the real side of Seville´s Flamenco scene. There are clubs for tourists with set dance routines which are a good intro to the cultural dance of Andalucia or over the river and into the other part of the city Triana, you may be lucky and find a little bar with some spontaneous live music and dance. Seville is a city but it certainly has an atmosphere of community-spirit. If your Spanish is a bit shaky, don't worry, the average Sevillano enjoys helping people out. most of the time they're not in hurry. You will notice the tourists by their walk, quick stepping their way along a sun-drenched street,sweating and commenting on how hot it is.The locals take their time and stroll, looking for the coolest shadows for their route. Conversation is a favorite Spanish pastime so they will most often stop and help if asked.
Many bars lock-up and promptly refuse anymore drinks bang on midnight. If you're a night-hawk and want to keep going, there is plenty of opportunity further down town in Hercules de Alameda. A long, broad street that has just been rebuilt and is full of bars and clubs to suit all tastes. The price of a beer may be a bit more than early evening drinks, but it's worth the relaxed atmosphere of a hot summer night in the street.Or maybe you are feeling energetic, then off around the corner to "Jackson" Bar/Dance club to sweat it out on the dance floor till dawn.


Museums in Spain 5 stars
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
One of the best things about visiting Spain is that it has fabulous art museums!!

My personal favorites:
1. El Prado, Madrid for portraits by Goya
2. La Reina Sofia, Madrid for works like "Guernica" by Picasso
3. El Museo de Picasso in Barcelona; it's in a beautiful building
4. El Museo de Salvador Dali in Figueres; a fun-house designed by the artist himself
5. the museum of modern art in Valencia


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