Brush up on your Spanish, bring your walking shoes, and prepare your palate: Spain has lots to explore and experience! Located on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain offers history, adventure, culture, and Mediterranean flavor on a tapas spread. Even more, it's an incredibly dynamic country with a variety of regions each influenced by different cultural and social forces over the centuries.
Travelers love this Spanish-speaking country for its festivals, churches and architecture, coastal dives and beaches, gastronomy, and landscapes. If you are planning to visit Spain, this guide will provide essential points to consider before booking, as well as some inspiration for your itinerary. Use these tips to decide on when to go and what to do during a tour throughout Spain.
Spain is bursting with activities to enjoy. From land to sea, here is a list of a few tours to consider during your visit. Choose which tours best fit your Spain wishlist or try to combine a few:
Spain is an ideal destination for people who love to trek and mountain bike. Tenerife and La Palma are great for those who want to explore via day trips, while visitors looking for a longer journey should add the famous Camino de Santiago to their list. Bike or hike Spain’s highest mountains or along sea cliffs on the coast -- the final vista will be worth the hard work.
Culture & Food Tours
Join iconic Spanish experiences like the Running of the Bulls, wine tasting, and tapas galore. These tours will help you take a closer look at Spanish history, flavors, and culture. If you are staying a while, why not take a Spanish course as well? Madrid, Barcelona, Cadiz, Valencia, and La Rioja are wonderful places to visit for culture, history, and wine -- to name a few.
Beach & Sea Tours
Head to the Canary Islands for some of the best of Spain's natural wonders, or dive off the Spanish coast to see seahorses, squid, triggerfish, spider crabs, and dolphins. If you’re certified in advanced Scuba diving and can go deeper, check out a number of historical shipwrecks too -- diving certification required. Spain is known for its beautiful beaches and islands, including world famous party spot, Ibiza.
Winter Sport Tours
Spain may not be the first place you think of when planning a ski trip, but the southern region of Sierra Nevada gets plenty of snow -- perfect for skiing and snowboarding. Visit the provincial capital, Granada for rich history surrounded by a perfect view of Sierra Nevada. If one mountain isn't enough, the Pyrenes Mountains that line the border of Spain and France are also a skier favorite.
Once you've decided which activities you want to experience during your Andalusian getaway, use the below information to help plan the logistics of your trip to Spain:
Best Time to Visit Spain
The best time to visit Spain depends on what activity you’re looking to do. While you can explore indoor activities year-round, Spain does experience four seasons. April - September typically offers the best weather for most activities. If skiing is your goal however, late December - February is winter high season and an ideal time to visit.
What to Look For in a Tour to Spain
When choosing a trip, first decide on the duration of your stay. While many activities can be multi-day tours, you can also book several single-day tours spread out across a longer period of time (if you want to rest in between). Because Spain is such a popular destination, it is fairly easy to organize accommodation and transportation between day tours if you choose to do so.
Typical Tour Costs
The cost of your tour will depend on if you want to do a one-day adventure or explore for several days. Tour prices typically range from $200 - $3,500, depending on the duration and type of activities. As always, consult your booking representative to confirm the package inclusions.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
Again, because Spain experiences four seasons, be sure to research the time of year you will be going, and adapt your wardrobe accordingly. If you book adventure tours, safety gear will likely be provided by most operators, but you’ll need to confirm ahead of time to prepare.
Other Tips for Travel in Spain
- Visas: Make sure to check if your country requires a visa (though many Western countries do not). If planning an extended trip, keep in mind that most tourists can only be in the EU for 90 days.
- Transportation: luckily, Europe is famous for its affordable airlines -- though you do get what you pay for. Once in Spain, flights booked even a little bit in advance can be cheaper than land transportation options. Make sure to carefully read for potential fees when booking a budget flight though, and carefully avoid any hidden charges (ie. it costs $50 to print a boarding pass onsite). Trains are also common throughout Europe, and are generally fast and comfortable. Due to the higher quality, trains are usually not the cheapest option. Budget buses and car rentals are also available.
- Accommodation: some tours will include or organize accommodation for you, while others will leave it up to you. Hostels, hotels, and Airbnbs can be booked online -- doing so in advance will guarantee lower rates and availability.
Most European countries, including Spain, do not require vaccinations for entry. Check the CDC website at least six weeks in advance to be sure. As a general health rule, you should be up-to-date with your routine vaccinations already.
Before leaving for Spain, check with your health insurance provider to confirm coverage for your stay. Many companies provide little to no coverage outside of your home country (or won't cover specific activities and sports), so you may want to consider additional insurance.
Here are general safety tips to consider when participating in activities, tours, or general exploration:
- Always carry photocopies of your passport and credit cards, and guard them carefully inside your accommodations. Don't forget a lock to keep your valuables safe when left in the room.
- Like most European cities, pickpocketing is something to be aware of. Guard your belongings when in crowds or on public transportation.