Please note that we provide specific travel resources and maps on each of our city/town pages (these are the pages which show a listing of hotels in each area). To view these pages use the "Find Hotels & Reserve" Tab to zoom to a location.
There are many informative books and websites covering general travel and tourism in Spain, so we will focus instead on answering some of our clients' most-frequently asked questions. Other than the city hotels, most of our inns are in smaller towns and villages. Your hosts at the inn are your very best source of information for the area: they know the best local restaurants, the most interesting attractions and prettiest countryside (usually not visited by tourists). Many small towns also have a tourist office and the staff there can be particularly useful in recommending special events taking place in the vicinity. The tourist offices often close over the lunch hour, so try to visit earlier in the day. You can often discover interesting events or places (festivals, bullfights, flamenco, winetasting, special farms to visit, etc.) by telling the staff of your interests.
Where Should I Go (& Itineraries)?
Most of our clients already know the areas they would like to visit and we are pleased to recommend hotels in the area. If you don't yet know where you want to go but have some activities or special interests in mind, send us an email and we will make some recommendations. We are also willing to prepare an extensive itinerary for you however we do ask for a 50 euro deposit for this (refundable once you book your hotels).
How Long Should I Go For?
We favour the longer and slower flavour of travel - it affords you the ability to explore at your own pace. However, many people only have five or six days (and want to visit five or six cities) and this is certainly do-able if you are prepared to go flat-out! We recommend one day for a small town and three days for a city. For those who choose a more leisurely pace, a circular route is often a good idea and you get to see some lovely countryside between towns. Keep in mind that during summer, it can get uncomfortably hot so you should plan for several breaks in the day.
When Should I Go?
Spain is a year-round destination but but Spring and Fall are pefect for general touring or visiting large cities. Avoid Seville in August--many of our hotels there actually close for the month because it gets so hot. In general, the cities are more enjoyable in the cooler months (although there is something absolutely wonderful about sitting at an outdoor cafe on Las Ramblas on a warm evening). Many Spaniards take to the mountains or the north in July and August for their annual holidays, so hotels there fill up very early. You can check current conditions and historical weather information at the weather channel
We recommend renting a car through Auto-Europe for your travels (see our link below). We have found that they have an excellent choice of cars, are easy to book online and provide a professional service. Spain has an excellent highway system (some toll roads) and touring by car gives you the flexibility to explore at your leisure. If you have considerable distances to travel, you may want to consider taking a train or short-haul flight. There is an excellent high speed train service from Madrid to Seville and the south coast and it is easy to book your tickets and seats ahead of time online at www.renfe.com
. Note that as well as buying a ticket you also need to reserve a seat – a two step process. You cannot do one without the other. The service is efficient and can be inexpensive and you can often pick up a rental car at the rail station. We recommend either renting a GPS device or taking your own (loaded with European maps). You can preprogram it with the locations of all your inn destinations before you leave. Ours is a Garmin 205 and it is brilliant. We promise it will be a lifesaver many times over! If you are visiting a city that is a tourist attraction in high season, it will often save you time and frustration by parking outside the town at an underground parking lot and either walking or taking a taxi to the centre. If your hotel is in the centre of an old town, phone reception from outside the town and ask them to recommend the best route to their parking, or which parking lot to use if they don't have their own parking. Our preference is not to have a car in the city: it is stressfree to be a pedestrian and take cabs when you need to. We also recommend an up to date map, and usually the Michelin map guidebook (link below) is the most current and accurate. Another option to consider is travel by bus long-haul buses
Mobile / Cell Phones
As anti-holiday as mobile phones can be, we do recommend taking one. Roaming rates can be expensive, so you may find that renting a phone before you leave or purchasing a SIM chip for your unlocked phone to be more economical. Airports usually have kiosks which sell SIM cards and prepaid time. If you don’t find a kiosk at the airport, then look for phone shops at shopping centres. A popular brand in Spain is Vodaphone
. You might wish to buy an unlocked phone and SIM chip before leaving home--this way you can leave your mobile phone number with family and friends in case of emergency. SIM chips are available for specific countries or you might want to get an international SIM chip which functions in many different countries and has no expiry date. We have been particularly pleased with the service offered by Go-Sim
(we are not affiliated with them).
Check to see whether your credit card provides all the travel insurance you might need – it often does and, in our experience, works very well. Be sure to use this card for all your flights and hotel reservations. If you don't have a card that offers this coverage, we recommend purchasing travel insurance from a local company with whom you are familiar. If you are buying travel insurance online, make sure that the company is in your own country. Remember that some insurance companies require insurance to be purchased at the time of making your travel arrangements.
Use a money belt. Find out from your hotelier which areas to avoid walking through at night. Don’t leave bags visible in your rental car. Use your room safe. Know the emergency number for the country you are in (for Spain: 112 is the universal emergency number, 902 102 112 to report non-emergencies, and 900 123 505 for road accidents and travel information. Don’t be afraid to explore - Spain is a wonderful place.