I never went to Spain as a child, it was generally France or staying in jolly old England, it wasn’t until I was 22 that I first visited Spain and I was instantly hooked. I have been numerous times since and can see why this is such a favourite destination for brits.
From Barcelona to Madrid, the Canaries to the Balearics, Costa Brava to Costa del Sol and Mallorca to Ibiza, there are so many destinations in Spain that you’re bound to find your perfect getaway spot. Best of all, it’s a great place for bagging great travel deals that let you enjoy cheap holidays no matter the time of year. If you’re about to make your first trip to Spain, check out these five tips to help you prepare:
1.Get to grips with Spanish meal times
Lunch is the main meal of the day in Spain, and it is served in restaurants throughout the afternoon. Typically, Spaniards eat something lighter for dinner, which they eat late – after 9pm. If you do find yourself getting peckish, however, many restaurants start serving food around 7pm, particularly in busy areas. If you’re a late night eater you will still find.
2.Try some tapas
You can’t visit Spain without trying some authentic Spanish tapas. Perfect for either main meals or as snack any time of day. Chorizo with a glass of wine? Patatas Bravas on the beach? Octopus, croquettes, olives, the list of options to nibble on is endless. I recommend tapas for every meal! Though make sure you hunt out the best restaurants as some of the typical tourist spots won’t be the best tasting tapas.
3.Tip if you want to
Tipping is not obligatory in Spain, and a service charge is often included in your bill already. If you’ve experienced particularly good service and you want to tip, you can leave between five and ten percent. It isn’t expected that you tip high amounts like in the USA, but I always say give what you think is fair.
4.Have a siesta
The famous Spanish afternoon snooze is less common if you’re staying in a major resort or city, but in quieter areas you’ll notice a difference at this time of day. Remember that many places close between 2pm and 4pm, so if you’re planning a shopping trip, go in the morning instead. Generally chain stores will stay open, but the smaller boutique shops will close for their afternoon siesta! Anyone else want to bring the siesta to the UK?
When we think about Spain we often picture warm sunshine, but the country is a large one and the weather varies greatly between the regions and throughout the seasons. For guaranteed heat all year round, the Canary Islands are the place to go. On the mainland, the further inland you travel, the more extreme the seasons are. So, if you’re travelling in winter, don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll get sunshine and warm weather! I visited Mallorca in Autumn last year and my week there was super varied. There were a couple of nights we put the log fire on to keep us warm, but during the day I could be sunbathing.
Are you visiting Spain soon? I would love to hear your tips on preparing for a holiday there.