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