Spain tailor-made holidays

Spain has long been one of Europe's leading holiday destinations, full of cultured cities and opportunities to soak up the Spanish sun during a flop-and-drop beach holiday on its sand-fringed islands or along the mainland Costas. [See Spain itinerary ideas]

The Spanish seaside resorts have been a popular choice with UK holidaymakers ever since the advent of mass tourism in 1960s and 1970s. A broad choice of flights to a number of regional gateways mean that they continue to be so today - whether for a weekend getaway, a family summer holiday or as a place to get over the winter blues. The Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, and the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote are a few of the best-known beach destinations, with modern resorts and interesting excursions to be had nearby.

Spain is a country with great regional differences, with distinctive languages and customs and culinary flavours in Galicia, the Basque Country and Catalonia. The country is the home of flamenco dancing, bullfighting and historic pilgrimage routes, but Spain also has plenty of modern attractions as well - including luxury shopping boutiques, great golf and energetic nightlife in its big cities and popular resorts.

Spain is also a country of fine art and architecture, in the surreal Guggenheim in Bilbao; the Moorish influences of the buildings in Granada and Seville; and Gaudí's Modernist masterpieces in Barcelona. Wine is another draw and visiting local bodegas amid the vineyards of La Rioja is a great way to experience a more traditional, rural side of Spain.

Many parts of mainland Spain are well suited to self-drive holidays, with the chance to take in historic cities such as Toledo or the graceful capital, Madrid, or to witness one of the country's many exuberant fiestas along your route. The Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona and Las Fallas in Valencia are two of the better-known Spanish festivals, but there are others to discover in big cities and small rural towns alike.

Wexas Travel brochure for Spain

Europe brochure

Our in depth guide packed with background information, sample itineraries designed by our experts and hand-picked suggestions for what to see and do, where to stay and when best to go.

When to go

"The present era is so proud that it has produced a phenomenon which I imagine to be unprecedented: the present's resentment of the past, resentment because the past had the audacity to happen without us being there, without our cautious opinion and our hesitant consent, and even worse, without our gaining any advantage from it."
Javier Marías

Spain is a year-round destination with an abundance of attractions. As a rule of thumb, May, June and September (extending to April and October in the south) offer great weather and fewer crowds. The summer heat can reach an uncomfortable 45°C in cities like Madrid, Seville and Cordoba, but Barcelona is somewhat cooler and often humid. At the height of summer you can retreat to the northwest, the Atlantic coast or high mountains throughout the country for respite from the heat. Winter along the southern and southwestern Mediterranean coasts, the Balearics and the Canaries is warm and mild.


Essential Experiences

We’ve rounded up our list of recommended sites and things to do. Click on the map to enlarge it and see what we suggest or follow the links in the list to discover how to get the best out of your holiday.

Practical Information

"By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination."
Christopher Columbus

Capital - Madrid

Size - 505,988 sq km

Language - Spanish (Castilian) and regional languages Catalan, Valencian, Gallego (Galician) and Euskera (Basque)

Population - 46.7 million (2012)

Religion - 71% Catholic; minority Islam, Protestant and others; 24% no religion

Currency - 1 euro = 100 cents

Time zone - GMT + 1 hour

Flight time - London to Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Tenerife, Seville (direct) 2 hours to 2 hours 30 minutes


Highlights of the cultural calendar include many traditional regional festivals, interspersed with international arts, music and sports events. Major dates include:

19 to 20 January - Tamborrada de San Sebastian (San Sebastian Drum Festival). A 24-hour, midnight-to-midnight drummers' parade through the city.

02 to 03 February - La Endiablada (The Disguised Devils), Cuenca, Castilla y La Mancha. While the menfolk march dressed as gaudy devils clanging cowbells, the women of Cuenca dance with castanets.

14 to 19 March - Fallas de San Jose, Valencia. Festivites include a nighttime parade and the Nit del Foc (Night of the Fire), on which all the fallas (grotesque and comical cardboard figures) are burned.

April/May - Feria de Abril, Seville, Andalucía. Soon after Holy Week, the Seville Fair runs morning, evening and night for six days, with daytime processions, funfair rides and late-night singing and dancing against a backdrop of multicoloured tents, wreaths and paper lanterns.

22 to 24 April - Fiesta de Moros y Cristianos, Alicante, Valencia. The biggest and liveliest of 150 'Moors and Christians' celebrations dotted year-round throughout the country, featuring mock battles, fireworks and bell-ringing.

Mid-May - Festival de los Patios Cordobeses, Cordoba, Andalucía. Centuries-old festival in which the patios, side streets and plazas of the city are filled with flowers.

29 May - Corpus Christi, Toledo, Castilla y La Mancha. A solemn religious procession dating back to the 15th century, accompanied by a week of events including concerts, shows and sports competitions.

29 June - Fiestas de Haro, La Rioja. Festivities continue throughout the summer, but the most famous festival in the city is celebrated on San Pedro's Day, 29 June, marked by a 'Wine Battle' in the Riscos de Bilibio.

06 to 14 July - San Fermin Festival, Pamplona. Known for the encierro, or Running of the Bulls, popularised by the accounts of Hemingway, which takes place daily at 8 am for eight days from 07 July - and the evening bullfights in which the running bulls are killed - the week-long festival also includes parades, traditional Basque sports such as stone and hay-bale lifting and wood cutting, and firework displays.

03 August - Romeria Vikinga, Pontevedra, Galicia. A simulated battle marking the Viking invasion of the Torres de Oeste, and their defence by the Christian natives, followed by feasting, drinking and folkloric dancing.

27 August 2014 (last Wednesday in August) - La Tomatina (Tomato Fight Festival), Buñol, Valencia. 5,000 locals are joined by 15,000 visitors to participate in an officially sanctioned hour-long food fight that has nothing whatsoever to do with the tomato harvest but has its roots in civil disobedience.

09 to 16 August 2014 - Fiesta de Verano, Málaga, Andalucía. Big summer festival featuring fireworks, bullfights, traditional food, music and dance.

September - La Rioja Wine Festival, Logrono. Centring on both San Mateo's Day (21 September) and the grape harvest, festivities include concerts, bullfights (again), an international fireworks contest, dance shows - and wine tastings.


Please note that entry requirements and visa regulations can change often and at short notice. We can provide general information about the passport and visa requirements for your trip and this information may be included after the itinerary section of your quotation. Your specific passport and visa requirements and other immigration requirements are your responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant Embassies and/or Consulates. Neither we nor the principal(s) or supplier(s) accept any responsibility if you cannot travel because you have not complied with any passport, visa or immigration requirements. Please call your WEXAS specialist if you wish to discuss entry requirements.

Passport requirements

Passports must be valid for the duration of your stay. No additional validity is required.



The peseta was replaced by the euro in 2002. Notes and coins from any country in the eurozone are legal tender. Notes come in denominations of €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500, and coins in €1 and €2 and 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents.


ATMs can be found in all cities, large towns and island resorts, and international withdrawals are straightforward via an English-language interface.

Cash and EFTPOS

Credit and debit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants, shops, bus and train stations and travel agencies. Many large markets also accept card payments.

Guideline prices

Spain is no longer quite the budget destination it once was, but bargains can still be found. A lunchtime menú del día can cost from around €10, but expect to pay at least €20 a head in a mid-range restaurant for dinner with a carafe of house wine. Fresh fruit and vegetables bought from daily or weekly market stalls offer good value.

Public transport is generally inexpensive, although you'll pay a premium for high-speed (AVE) trains. Most sights and museums are fairly cheap and many have free days - though these often fall on Sundays when attractions can be crowded.

Regions [15]

Click on a place name below to find out more. Alternatively, to start planning where to go in Spain, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Central Spain

Central Spain is dry, hot and arid and, bar the capital Madrid, is all too frequently overlooked. Castile-La Mancha and the Madrid region do, however, have a lot to offer for those willing to find it and is easily explored on a self-drive tour.


The Moors made Cordoba the capital of al-Andalus. And in the tenth century, Cordoba was considered to be one of the great cities of the world for its culture and its amazing architecture. Although Cordoba has seen many twists and turns of fortune since then, the …


Gibraltar is a curious corner of the United Kingdom, looming off the coast of Spain. Resolutely British, the Rock as it is known, is an amazing amalgam of influences and cultural associations, with residents speaking both English and Spanish, signposts in English and …


The Moorish extravaganza that is the Alhambra dominates the skyline of Granada. Sprawling along a hilltop overlooking the city, this fortress and palace is a constant presence, visible from many of Granada's streets and squares, enticing travellers to wind their way up …


Madrid, the energetic and enticing Spanish capital, makes a fabulous city break destination, or as the focal point for an itinerary taking in other Central Spain attractions. It has an impressive historical centre, beautiful sun-kissed squares, some lovely parks and a …

North West Spain

The province of Galicia in North West Spain is relaxed and remote outpost, nestled between Portugal and the Spanish regions of Castilla y León and Asturias, as well as the crashing surf of the Atlantic Ocean. It's a Celtic state, with it's own distinctive language …

Northern Spain

Northern Spain is a part of the country that's sometimes overlooked by travellers. And it's true that tourism here is a world away from the crowded southern coasts frequented by many holidaymakers.


Spain is full of extraordinary ancient buildings that have been converted into spectacular, exceptional accommodation options not usually available to travellers elsewhere.


Seville smells of oranges. The scent of orange blossom pervades every plaza and contributes to the generally heady feeling of life in the Andalucian capital. Seville is all about enjoyment - seen at its most intense during the Feria festival in April and during Semana …


Valencia state - known as the Valencia Community - has some of the most fertile plains in all of Europe. The result is a region of great richness where oranges, lemons and dates are abundant.

Itinerary ideas [13]

The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Spain. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Holiday Autos car rental sale

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Our key car-hire partner Holiday Autos is going to have a huge sale starting on the 07 January 2013.

The Way of St James - Camino de Santiago Route

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City History & culture Luxury travel

Discover the Way of St James, a centuries-old pilgrimage route between León and Santiago de Compostela in beautiful northern Spain.

Active in Andalusia, Spain

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Activity adventure History & culture Short break

Enjoy activities, culture and gastronomy in Andalusia’s great cities: Seville, Granada and Cordoba. Base yourself in these fabulous Hospes hotels as you …

World Heritage Cities Route

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History & culture

A route full of history and culture, linking the glorious cities of Cuenca, Segovia, Avila and Salamanca.

Madrid & the Castle Route

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City History & culture Luxury travel

Live like a king or queen on this six-day tailor-made self-drive, combining a stay in the Spanish capital Madrid at a converted 19th-century palace with further …

Barcelona City Break

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City History & culture Short break

Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage with the Gothic Quarter being the centre of the old city. Many of the buildings date from medieval times and several are …

Flexible Rioja 4-day tour

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Activity adventure Food & wine History & culture

Wine and gastronomy are perfectly matched on this four-day trip to the beautiful Spanish wine-growing region of Rioja. This short break provides an in depth …

Spain’s Parador Passport

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City History & culture Self-drive

Though the name translates as little more than 'stopping place', Spain's 94 Paradors are anything but humdrum hotels. They are palaces, fortresses and medieval …

Places to stay [33]

The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Spain. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Spain, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0618.

Hospes Palau de la Mar, Valencia

Beach History & culture Short break

Hospes Palau de la Mar Hotel, Valencia is an aristocratic nineteenth century building located in the heart of Valencia. Located within easy walking distance of …

Villa Cortes, Tenerife

Beach Relaxation Spa

The Villa Cortes is a colourful, Mexican-inspired property on Tenerife offering all the charm of a boutique hotel.

The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

Family Food & wine Golf

The Ritz-Carlton Abama is located in the tranquil enclave of Guia de Isora, in Tenerife. It's situated at the highest point on the slopes of The Teide, and has …

Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa

The stylish 5-star Sheraton La Caleta Resort & Spa has large pool areas and a lovely spa.

Jardin Tropical, Tenerife

Beach Golf Relaxation

The Jardin Tropical is a large and beautifully finished hotel offering guests a wide array of facilities for a relaxing and comfortable holiday on Tenerife’s …

The St Regis Mardavall Resort

Beach Luxury travel

The elegant and luxurious St Regis is located on the coast along from exclusive Portals Nous. The supremely comfortable suites, which range from Junior through …

Don Carlos Leisure Resort & Spa, Spain

Set in 40,000 square metres of tropical gardens with direct access to the golden sands of one of Marbella's best beaches, you won't have much reason to leave …

Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, Mallorca

Relaxation Romance Spa

Set atop a cliff on Mallorca's Sa Talaia headland, with commanding views across the town of Port Soller and the Mediterranean Sea, Jumeirah Port Soller, opened …

Seaside Los Jameos Playa, Lanzarote

Beach Golf Relaxation

With bright and airy room, a gorgeous beachside location and gorgeous views of the surrounding volcanic landscape, Seaside Los Jameos Playa makes for a superb …

HOSPES Madrid, Spain

Luxury travel

The five-star Hospes Madrid, part of the Hospes Hotel group, is a serene oasis of tranquillity and luxury located in the heart of the city. Every small detail …

Llenaire, Mallorca

Beach Natural world Relaxation

Located on a small hill at the foot of the Tramuntana mountain range overlooking the bay of Pollensa on the Spanish holiday island of Mallorca, Llennaire offers …

Princesa Yaiza, Lanzarote


The Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort is located In Playa Blanca, a former fishing village on the south-eastern coast of the island of Lanzarote. It offers …

Hospes Palacio de San Esteban, Salamanca

City History & culture Relaxation

Hospes Palacio de San Esteban is a beautiful historic hotel in Salamanca, Spain

RedLevel Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora

Beach Food & wine Relaxation

RedLevel at the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora on the Spanish Island of Tenerife is a new concept in luxury and personalised service. This adult-only hotel within …

Las Lomas Village, La Manga, Spain

Family Relaxation Sports & activities

La Manga Club is a vast, sprawling leisure and sports resort spread across 18 kilometres of landscapes gardens and golf courses just 20 minutes from Murcia …

Avenida Palace Hotel, Barcelona

City Food & wine History & culture

The Avenida Palace is a classic luxury hotel in Barcelona. With a privileged location in the city centre, it’s close to the popular Ramblas as well as two of …

La Manga Club Hotel Principe Felipe, Spain

Family Golf Relaxation

Located just 20 minutes from Murcia airport and an hour from Alicante, at the heart of the 1,400-acre sporting paradise of La Manga Club Resort, Hotel Principe …

La Residencia, Deia, Mallorca

Short break

The two 16th and 17th century manor houses of La Residencia are high in the foothills of the Tramuntana Mountains, with views of idyllic Deià village. Rooms …

SHA Wellness Clinic, Alicante, Spain


A pioneering wellness clinic in the hills of Alicante offering macrobiotic diets and a fusion of natural therapies combining ancient Eastern wisdom and advanced …

Jardines De Nivaria, Tenerife

Luxury travel

The award-winning Jardines De Nivaria is located in the resort of Fañabé in the south of Tenerife with direct access to the sandy beach of Playa Fañabé and …

Kempinski Hotel Bahia Marbella Estepona

Beach Family Luxury travel

This exclusive, five-star resort is surrounded by subtropical gardens, palm trees and waterfalls. It has three large outdoor swimming pools (one heated), direct …

Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden, Puerto de la Cruz

Relaxation Spa

Hotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden is located in Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, and is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World group. As …

ABAMA Golf and Spa Resort, Tenerife

Beach Golf Relaxation

Located on the coast in the rural area of Guía de Isora, the 5-star Abama is a wonderful Moorish-style retreat where you can escape from the flurry of daily …

Hospes Palacio del Bailio Cordoba, Spain

History & culture Luxury travel

Take a generous helping of classical Roman tradition, add a colourful slice of Andalucian heritage and throw in all the luxury you can imagine. The result is …

Radisson Blu Resort, Gran Canaria

Beach Family Spa

This hotel is excellent for those seeking a quieter, quality holiday. Situated on the southern coast of Gran Canaria and surrounded by three beaches, it offers …

Parador de la Gomera, Canary Islands


The Parador de la Gomera stands on a cliff top some 250 feet above the little town of San Sebastian, the island’s ‘capital’, with views over the sea to …

Hotel Palm Beach, Gran Canaria


Located on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Hotel Palm Beach is enclosed by a 1000-year-old palm grove. Part of Design Hotels, Palm Beach offers a blend of …

Tenerife, a perfect escape

Activity adventure Beach Food & wine

Sunshine, sandy beaches and a wide selection of deluxe hotels with leading spa facilities can be enjoyed in Tenerife at any time of the year. Adventure …

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