Your full Wanderlust guide to

Spain

Spain
The Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, Spain (Shutterstock)

Spain has over 6,500km of coastline and more beaches than you can count, but there is so much more to enjoy here than just sun, sea and sand. Spain’s cities are some of the most beautiful and cultural in the world. Madrid’s museums offer endless cultural immersion and its trees and parks provide refreshing greenery. Valencia is a thoroughly green-minded city, the birthplace of paella and locally sourced ingredients, perfect for strolling its Central Market (the largest fresh produce market in Europe) and enjoying a boat ride around the Albufera Natural Park just outside the city.

Spain’s beauty also lies in lesser-visited areas like the mountains of the Picos de Europa National Park in Asturias, the incredible birdlife in Extremadura and the rich cultural heritage of Andalusia, including the exceptional Alhambra Palace and Fortress in Granada.

Few travellers know of Castellón, dotted with medieval citadels, trails, rock art and great swathes of wild forests, or the fishing ports, castles and islands of the Costa del Azahar.

As well as the mesmerising landscapes, Spain is a culinary powerhouse, championing locally sourced cuisine that has earned its chefs some of the highest accolades in the world with acclaimed restaurants in the Basque Country, Catalonia and the capital, Madrid.

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Latest Spain articles

Capital
Madrid
Languages
Spanish
Population
47.8 million
Int. Dialling Code
+34
Visa
Not required for UK travellers for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period
Time zone
UTC+1 (UTC+2 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October)
Plug Type
Type F
Money
Euro EUR

When to go to Spain

Most of Spain becomes extremely hot in the summer months so to avoid the crowds and high temperatures, it’s best to travel off-season in spring, autumn and winter. Various festivals take place throughout the year, including Valencia’s Las Fallas Festival in March, Seville’s Feria takes place two weeks after Easter, the Sitges Carnival in Catalonia takes place in February and La Tomatina festival in Buñol happens in August every year.

International airports

The Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) in Spain’s capital is the country’s biggest airport, just 15km from the city centre. Elsewhere in Spain, international airports include: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) in Barcelona, Valencia’s Manises Airport (VLC), Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP) in Andalusia, Murcia-Corvera Airport (RMU) in the Región de Murcia, Seve Ballesteros-Santander Airport (SDR) in Cantabria, Santiago de Compostela Airport (SCQ) in Galicia, among others.

To get to the Balearic Islands, the international airports are: Ibiza Airport (IBZ) to reach Ibiza and Formentera, Palma de Mallorca Airport (PMI) and Mahón Menorca Airport (MAH).

To reach the Canary Islands, international airports include: Tenerife South Airport (TFS), César Manrique-Lanzarote Airport (ACE), Gran Canaria Airport (LPA), La Palma Airport (SPC) and Fuerteventura Airport (FUE).

Getting around in Spain

Spain’s train network is extremely efficient and affordable, so it’s a great way to get around the country. It’s also an ideal way to see Spain at a slower pace and with lower carbon emissions. RENFE (renfe.com) is one of the best ways to book train travel around Spain and the train network is great for both longer and shorter journeys.

Health & safety

Take protective measures against biting insects and ticks as dengue fever is present in Spain.

For more information, go to gov.uk.