Famous for its Mediterranean beaches, spicy cuisine, siestas and otherworldly architecture, Spain is a fascinating place to visit. There are so many attractions to discover, fabulous food to indulge in and captivating art, culture and tradition to experience.
Each Spanish city is entirely different from the next, whether its Barcelona’s magnificent architecture or Madrid’s parks and wide avenues. Wherever you travel in Spain, whether it’s to laze on a beach on the Costa Brava or the Costa del Sol, party all summer on the Balearic islands of Ibiza or Majorca, or explore the towns of Seville, Toledo and Valencia, you’re in for an adventure full of flamenco dancing, tapas, paella, superb wine and glorious sunshine.
What we love about Spanish holidays
- The country is full of history and traditions.
- Go island hopping in Spain, from Balearic gems like Ibiza to Majorca.
- Spanish festivals, like the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, are legendary.
- Its art is unmatched, with many of the world’s best painters hailing from Spain, including Goya, Picasso and Dali.
- It is famous for its numerous magnificent beaches, considered the best in Europe.
- Spanish architecture is unique and extraordinary.
- It’s home to 47 fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Whatever type of holiday you’re looking for, whether it’s a beach holiday, a dream honeymoon package, an opportunity for a family time holiday, an all-inclusive getaway to party with friends, or a voyage of discovery, you’ll find it in Spain. This beautiful country offers so many different holiday experiences, with its incredible landscapes, mouth-watering cuisine, striking architecture, fascinating traditions and fabulous art museums. Thompsons Holidays are experts in creating package holidays to Spain. Browse our deals now and let's start planning!
Things to do in Spain
Flamenco dancers, bullfights and tapas reign supreme in this sizzling country full of world-class museums and stunning art galleries. Let’s not forget the exquisite Canary and Balearic Islands, of which Ibiza and Majorca are the stars. Spain’s cultural and political heart is Madrid, home to the Prado Museum, where masterpieces by Spanish greats like Goya and Velasquez are on display.
The country’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan city is Barcelona. With its sandy beaches on one side and mountains on the other, Barcelona is the ultimate holiday destination. Add modernist art and architecture, an eclectic atmosphere, modern and historical attractions, and you have an exciting destination just waiting to be explored.
Things to do in Spain
- Go cycling on the magnificent island of Majorca.
- Explore one of the world’s best contemporary art museums, the Guggenheim in Bilboa.
- Enjoy surfing on Spain’s famous Costa Verde.
- Discover Valencia’s extraordinary City of the Arts & Sciences.
- Choose a paradise Balearic Island for an unsurpassed beach break.
- Visit the magnificent Sagrada Familia (Church of the Sacred Family) in Barcelona.
- Watch a traditional flamenco show followed by dinner.
- Take a walking tour of historic Toledo.
- Visit the legendary pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela.
- Stroll through the maze of narrow streets in the charming old city of Salamanca.
- See ancient Roman ruins in Mérida.
- Dine in the world’s oldest restaurant, Sobrino de Botin, in Madrid.
Spain’s incredible art and architecture, its sunny year-round weather and spectacular natural beauty are all reasons to visit on a memorable holiday. Then there are the numerous activities, from ziplining and hiking to surfing and scuba diving plus fabulous skiing and snowboarding in winter. Let Thompsons Holidays arrange a holiday package to one of Europe’s most loved destinations. Enquire now.
Know before you go...
- Spain is a popular year-round destination with long hot summers and cooler winters.
- The best time to visit Spain is late spring (May) and early autumn (September and October).
- High season (summer) is July and August; winter is November to March.
- You will fly into Spain via any major city in Europe or the Middle East.
- South African passport holders require a Schengen visa to enter Spain.
- Passports should be valid for at least 3 months after travel.
- Spain is on Central European Time, 1 hour behind South Africa during the winter (November to March) and the same time as South Africa in the summer months (last Sunday in March to last Saturday in October).
- The official currency is the Euro (€ or EUR).
- Credit cards are widely accepted and ATMs are prevalent.
- Tipping is an accepted custom. In restaurants, tip 10% of the bill.
- Food is reasonably inexpensive in Spain compared to other European countries.
- Spanish is the official language.
- Many people speak at least some English.
- Catholic Christianity is the dominant religion in Spain.
- Other religions include Judaism, Protestantism, Hinduism and Islam.
- The water in Spain is safe to drink, but many prefer to drink bottled water, which is readily available.
- Vaccinations – check with your travel clinic before you go.
- Many public restrooms will charge a small fee to use them, so keep change on hand for this.
What must I pack?
- The summer in Spain is scorching hot and dry during the day then breezy and slightly cool at night. Pack lightweight clothing and beachwear.
- In winter, along the Mediterranean coast, choose items that can be layered.
- The northern part of Spain can experience heavy rainfall during the winter with low temperatures. Be sure to pack appropriately for the cold weather.
- Dress modestly when visiting churches. Stay on the conservative side with long, loose trousers and long-sleeved shirts.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses for summer holidays.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor. The Europlug is a flat, two-pole, round-pin domestic AC power plug, rated for voltages up to 250 V and currents up to 2.5 A.
What can I do to be responsible traveller?
- Wherever possible, buy local food and souvenirs and support local artisans.
- Respect each other's cultures and customs.
- Always have a map (or app) on hand, especially when travelling at night.
- Be safety conscious: don’t display cash or valuables. Leave jewellery and expensive watches at home.
- Keep your belongings safe – use the hotel safe for passports and valuables.
What do I do in an emergency?
- Contact the Thompsons Holidays 24-hour care line to assist.
Barcelona, Spain - Sightseeing [2.5 MB]
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