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Taking A Perfect Spain Vacation

We all like good vacation, and the more choice there is when it comes to vacation selection the better. Naturally, beautiful weather, the beautiful environments, rich history, and culture are always issues to consider when choosing a vacation spot. If this sounds like your kind of vacation then a Spain Vacation could be the ideal choice for you.

Many people now decide to take Spain vacations, and it is because traveling to Spain can be a such an exciting and entertaining experience. There are so many great places to visit in Spain. Places like Costa Del Sol and Costa Blanca, and cities and towns such as Alicante, Valence, Grenade, Benidorm, Murcia, Seville, Madrid, and many, many other fabulous areas. With each offering a variety of sights, entertainment, and recreational attractions. When you choose to go to Spain for your vacation what awaits you is a marvelous experience of diverse entertainment with something for everyone in your party to enjoy.

When we’re looking to choose a vacation destination we usually want one that offers a fair amount of variety. Find a spot that has perfect weather, cultural attractions, beautiful natural surroundings, a wealth of history and culture and perfect beaches, and you have found vacation Nirvana. Well, that’s exactly what get with a Spain vacation. Many people take their vacation in Spain for the following reasons.

There are so many resort areas to choose from. Areas such as Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol where you can visit towns such as Alicante, Valencia, and Murcia. Or you could choose a vacation in a city such as Granada, Seville or Madrid.

There is no end to the choice of Spanish destinations that will offer any vacationer a wonderful combination of entertainment and relaxation. If you travel with a family or a group, there is sure to be something for everyone.

With all these areas to choose from, with each offer it’s own unique type of experience, you’re sure to find a spot that’s perfect for your vacation.

Certainly, everyone has their own idea of a perfect vacation, and Spain seems to cover them all. For the history or culture buff, the towns and cities of Spain offer historical monuments, fascinating museums and beautiful architecture. In each town, large or small, you’ll find cultural events and celebrations all year long. Enabling you to soak up the culture and learn a lot about this fascinating country. If your idea of a perfect vacation is to be on a beach and not to do anything, Spain is your kind of place. There are miles and miles of beaches with beautiful water under an almost continually sunny sky guarantees perfection for this kind of vacationer. The more active types will appreciated the many sports activities, the night life and the great entertainment. Spain truly does have something for everyone.

There are many Spain Vacation deals available to those that look for them. You can have a marvelous vacation without spending a fortune in this ideal place. Excellent deals can be found on the airfare, hotel accommodations, car rentals and other items. You’ll even find some package deals that put the whole thing together for you at a great price, and save you all the hassle of figuring everything out, while still saving you money.

It doesn’t really matter where in Spain you decide to spend your vacation. You Will have a wonderful time and come away with memories that will last a lifetime. Many who go on a Spain Vacation leave already planning to return to Spain for their next vacation.

Car Hire – a Guide to Driving in Almería

Nestled in the South-western region of Andalucía, is the rapidly emerging city of Almería. Compared to some of Spain’s other capitals such as Seville, Madrid or Barcelona; Almería has been relatively overlooked by many tourists – this however has changed considerably over the past decade or so.

Almería has experienced a somewhat turbulent past, suffering the brunt of four major earthquakes, notably the earthquake of 1522 which left the city in near ruins. The city was also victim to countless raids from pirate forces which has led to some of the interesting architectural quirks that can be seen today.

The city’s cathedral for instance, is both Gothic and Renaissance in appearance yet has a distinguishing fortress exterior, this is extenuated with the presence of its corner towers which were once home to canons. Today the cathedral houses a great variety of priceless art including paintings, a statue and a great alter amongst other pieces.

The city is crowned by the glorious Alcazaba, an Arabian fortress bested only be the magnificently preserved Alhambra palace.

The main part of the city has a great sense of charm to it and its meandering quaint streets, fine museums and gastronomic delights are almost begging to be explored.

The regions charm does not end at the city’s borders though, in fact for those who choose to hire a car and venture out of the city will be in for some particularly rewarding sight seeing gems.

Notably there is the small picturesque town of Mojacar, roughly 50 miles from the city. With its cobbled streets and white-washed houses, Mojacar is a popular yet unspoilt resort for artists and couples alike.

The small village of Tabernas, about 20 miles north of Almería is a favourite with movie buffs as its isolated arid landscape made it the perfect setting for many popular spaghetti westerns. Today they are a few resorts devoted to such films.

As you can see there is a great deal to see both in and out of the city. Car hire in Almeria is easily arranged online, with a wealth of agencies offering cheap car hire in Almeria. For the best Almeria car hire quote then the use of an online comparison site is recommended.

Find your Ideal Spanish Hotel

Travelling abroad can be a stressful thing, booking flights and hotels and trying to get a plan together of what you can do and see whilst you are there. There are many different types of hotels in Europe and Spain is no different, there are hotels that are ideally placed with fantastic service or there are hotels where you use just as a base to rest your head after a long days sightseeing.

When looking to book cheap hotels in Spain, make sure you know what the average price is in order for you to have a good idea of what is a good price and what isn’t. If you are planning on going to Madrid, think about staying in a hotel outside the city to save yourself a considerable amount of money. Staying in areas such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are going to cost you up to double the price than if you stayed in the Asturias region which is in the north-west of Spain.

Some hotels will have better offers than others so shop around for a good deal. As with flights, consider staying during off-peak times to save yourself more. There are many different hoteliers in Spain so you should be able to find a couple that offer a competitive price. Depending on your requirements will depend on the quality of hotel you choose, if you want a 5 star hotel in Madrid next to the “Palacio Real” then expect to pay around £70 per person per night and although this may seem expensive, the quality of service will be impeccable and you are in the centre of Madrid which means you will not need any taxis (unless you want to venture out of course!). For an alternative on hotels, special holiday cottages are available in Spain, at an average off peak price of £250 for a cottage in Northern Spain, this offers the customer something different and is often more accommodating for children.

Europe

Backpacking around Europe is a great way to explore a selection of some of the western world’s oldest and most diverse countries. Budget travelers are also spoilt for choice, with over 48 different states to explore and a great many more sights and attractions and several methods of getting from place to place.

Hostels in Europe vary in price, but even in the most expensive cities such as London, Paris or Madrid, the cost is competitive and leaves plenty in the way of funds with which to explore.

Low-cost airlines are rife, as are the destinations that are accessible, which means that there really are very few restrictions on where to go.

Culture

While many would claim that there is a European culture, in terms of tourism the positive differences between each country outweigh the similarities, which makes for a fulfilling and varied trip.

In Eastern Europe, countries such as the Ukraine, Moldova and Belarus were most recently part of the former USSR. However, capitals such as Kiev in Ukraine still house proud remnants of early historical pockets of power and cultural significance, such as the St Sophia Cathedral and the Golden Gate of Kiev.

Comparatively, countries like neighboring Romania enjoy an entirely different landscape and atmosphere boasting ancient gothic castles, stunning mountain ranges and a Dracula mythology that ensures a completely unique experience.

Moving south, meanwhile, Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy and the most southerly regions of Spain take on an entirely different character, defined notably in terms of its famed cuisine and climate.

Whether meandering around a local Italian market in Sardinia or Sicily, showcasing all manner of affordable local delicacies, or relaxing on the beach soaking up the summer sun on the Greek coastline, it promises as far a removal from much of the rest of Europe as one could wish for.

Getting Around

With the addition of cheap Europe hostels, budget travel encompasses a wealth of cheap charter flights, where it is possible to snatch a one-way ticket for next to nothing on some occasions.

But internal transport is perfectly suited to a budget trip. France, Germany and Spain are good examples of this, with major cities such as Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and Berlin all serviced by a cheap and efficient metro, bus or train system for which tickets are cheap.

Holiday in Spain: so Much to See so Little Time

Europe is a popular vacation destination for many people. The culture and heritage of most European cities and countries are rich, historic and artistic. All these reasons and many more, attract millions of tourists to this continent each year. But Europe is pretty big, so narrowing it down to specific destinations within Europe is essential.

Spain is one of the top countries you should definitely visit in Europe. Your holiday in Spain will be filled with wonder and awe as you tour the beautiful country and experience its culture. You will soon discover that there is a LOT to see.

Start Planning Your Holiday in Spain

There are several popular cities in Spain which are ideal for experiencing the best of holidays. Barcelona and Madrid are at the top of the list. Here is what you can expect.

Enjoying Magnificent Barcelona

Your holiday in Spain will be unforgettable if you start it in Barcelona. Barcelona is a magnificent city packed with things to see, fun things to do and exciting places to visit. One of the “must see” attractions of this beautiful city is Las Ramblas. It is a street wide tourist hot-spot which many locals and visitors alike patronize. This street is filled with cafes, stores, galleries and other attractions like actors and artists, You can plan a full day of activities around visiting Las Ramblas.

Another exciting feature is La Sagrada Familia. It is an epic work of art and is still under construction up to this day. Antoni Gaudi started this construction in 1882 and is the primary architect of this incredible tourist attraction.

Madrid: The Heart Of It All

Madrid is the capital city of Spain and is the largest city in the country. This city is for anyone looking for an active nightlife. If you plan to be in Madrid, do not miss the bullfights. Madrid boasts the biggest bullring in the world, the renowned Las Ventas. It can seat up to 25,000 spectators.

Another sport that you can witness during your holiday in Spain is football. So if you are a football lover, you will feel right at home. The city is also home to numerous museums and galleries. So if you would like to experience art and culture on your holiday in Spain, then Madrid is the place to be.

Whether your preference is for Barcelona or for Madrid, you will be a “winner” if you choose to holiday in Spain.

Travel destinations: Canary Islands, Lanzarote

While flying I am high above the earth and its problems, I realize this makes problems smaller than I am, putting them in the proper perspective. I am bigger and semi detached from the earth and its problems.

On the flight over, my seat happened to be over a wing and I noticed a crack on the wing, realizing that it hadn’t gotten any worse, I continued to watch it , I figured there wasn’t any use to say anything, there is no place to land in the middle of the ocean anyway.

Upon arriving in Madrid, I immediately exchanged my US dollars for the Spanish Peso. I inquired as to whether this money would be good in the Canary Islands, the young girl replied,” Yes we still own the Canary Islands.”

Just the answer I needed after being up all night!

Guess that is what I get for asking a dumb question.

My connecting flight to Lanzarote didn’t leave for six hours, ,so I deducted that the best thing I could do was grab some shut eye on the unoccupied bench in the airport. Using my camera bag for a pillow, and assuming a horizontal positioned I settled in for a long deserved nap.

After departing Madrid on a three hour flight, I settled in for the three hour flight, we were barely in flight when I noticed we were still in Spain and we were landing, not knowing what the reason was, I started inquiring as to what was going on. However , no one spoke English. Looking out my window I noticed a road sign that stated we were in Seville. The flight attendants kept telling us to depart the plane while offering no explanation.

We departed and were loaded onto a bus and taken to the airport where we were told that we would be reboarding shortly. Finally, finding someone who spoke broken English, I was told that we had to refuel the plane! We only left Madrid an hour ago, what do we need fuel for?

My only reasoning was that maybe there wasn’t any fuel available in Lanzarote, and they had to refuel before the plane left Spain.

The Canaries are called Canis Islands or islands of good fortune and are one of the last remnants of the Continent of Atlantis.

Lanzarote now rises from the ocean as a paradise yet undiscovered its many fine hotels and resorts shining in the sun. The continuous building & construction lie as evidence of the potential of this sunshine paradise with an almost perfect climate.

This island has much to offer, from the lava fields formed by volcanoes that erupted simultaneously in 1730 and flowed until 1736. During which time 12 villages were

What to Expect on an Escorted European Tour

You are in a comfortable, climate controlled coach bus meandering down the hills of Tuscany. Surrounded by vineyards and while comfortably in your seat, you bask in the calm atmosphere. A half an hour later you stop outside a small village marketplace. Your tour guide gives you some handy tips on where to go, you grab a snack, maybe some wine and take a little bit of the country’s glow in for yourself. Then it’s back to the comfortable coach bus, and on to another stop.

This pattern repeats itself for a few more stops, and next thing you know, you are in Rome. Your bus stops outside the Coliseum and your tour guide informs you that you will be seeing this one as a group. However, instead of just wandering around, and maybe getting a tour that runs periodically, your guide has set up a special tour just for your group. You spend the afternoon enjoying ancient buildings, and retiring back to the bus just before dusk. Then it is on to a stunning hotel with a room that you could never afford without the group rate that was arranged in advance, and perhaps a visit to a gourmet restaurant or whatever other eating establishment meets your approval. Imagine this stress free bliss for your entire vacation. Imagine having all of Europe just outside the door of your bus, and an experienced guide who knows all of the destinations just waiting to reveal the secrets of the cities you will visit.

On an escorted tour through Europe you can expect to see cities such as Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Paris, Marseille, Madrid, Rome and countless others. You may spend a day or two at each destination, and time will be given for you to enjoy the thrills as either a group or on your own. During that day you will have access to your tour guide. He or she will be able to tell you more than just the basics. It’s pretty well understood that if you are going to London, then you will want to see Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. But your guide can reveal for you all of the lesser known attractions that the city offers. The location truly does get unlocked by your travel operator, and you are given access to so many things that you otherwise would either not know about, or not be able to afford.

Speaking of that aspect, affordability is the best part about the escorted tour of Europe. Traveling in a group is one benefit that makes an escorted tour of Europe affordable. While in Europe, your tour will visit many different locations. Your operator is able to negotiate group rates for almost anyplace you may eat, sleep or visit.

Another feature to expect on a European tour is the number of transportation options. The ample supply of railroad tracks and water routes allows tour guides to be more creative in their methods of transportation. River cruises and train trips are common. Indeed, they can be some of the most popular escorted tours offered. Imagine floating through Europe’s major rivers, and in the process enjoying all of the cities that you pass by along the way. River cruises can truly be vacation bliss. When visiting Italy, your tour guide will provide you with a ride on a gondola. The gondola is an important aspect of Italian culture which was widely used in the 18th century. A gondola ride is very relaxing and allows you to experience the rivers of Venice, Italy.

All in all there is one thing you can expect to see of more than anything else on an escorted tour of Europe. That sight is the continent itself. You will not spend your days wasting away over maps. You won’t be constantly staring at the road in front as you try and navigate through areas that you don’t know. Instead, you will be free to experience Europe to its fullest under the watch and care of an experienced, well informed guide. On an escorted tour of Europe you will actually get to relax and enjoy your destinations. That, in and of itself, makes the prospect of an escorted European tour an attractive one.

What to know about traveling in Spain

The image of Spain as a country of sun, sea, flamenco and bullfighting is only really true of Andalucia. Madrid and Barcelona are bustling metropolises, and the north is quite European in style and climate.

Out of Barcelona and Madrid, Barcelona is the more famous, and more cosmopolitan of the two. But people from Barcelona would argue that it isn’t really Spain! It is also tucked away in the north-east corner. Madrid is a better base to get around the rest of Spain. It also has the beautiful Toledo and Segovia nearby, which make great day trips.

For alternative, young nightlife, Madrid has the Camden-like Malasaña, while Barcelona has the world famous Razzmatazz.

Sevilla is beautiful, with Easter the best time of year. The Easter Carnival is a joy, while the temperature is far more bearable than in the summer.

Staying in the south, Cádiz is a beautiful windswept peninsula with nice beaches. For surfing, Tarifa is the clear winner.

When travelling, be sure to compare prices and travel times. Often a bus is just as quick as a train, and considerably cheaper. At other times the express train makes the difference between flying and taking the train quite little.

Note that the south coast is badly connected by train (Marbella shockingly doesnt have a train station) so a coach may be a better choice.

Some useful websites:

www.multimadrid.com An expat guide to life there, with a very popular forum

www.renfe.es Trains

www.spanair.com Planes

www.iberia.es More planes!

Find Hidden Shopping Areas In Madrid

Madrid is the best city in Spain to go shopping, but, you’ll need to know where to look.

The most known shopping street in madrid is Gran Via & Sol, where most of the biggest brands have their biggest stores in this area. Most prominent such as Zara, Mango, H&M to mention but a few are all here.

Vintage Finds

If you’re sick of walking down the street and recognizing everyone’s clothes as the latest H&M or Zara fashions, try seeking out some of Madrid’s funkier alternative shops. From vintage duds to resewn, these clothes and accessories will be sure to get you noticed, and not for because you’re wearing the same thing as the person behind you. Head to Malasaña for truly unique designs: Templo de Susu (c/Espiritu Santo, 1) is small but boats cool coats and jackets for guys as well as jeans and skirts for women. Prices are in the €15-100 range. Across the street is Retro City (c/ Corredera Alta de San Pablo, 4) which has a great selection of old t-shirts and Adidas apparel as well as great 80s-style dresses and cowboy boots. Or you can head to Lotta Vintage (C/ de Hernán Cortés 9) exclusively for women. Don’t miss their great range of hats, and be sure to check out the sale rack tucked away at the back.

If wearing someone’s old clothes isn’t your thing, try amazing handmade and original finds. Head to Corredera Alta de San Pablo to Naufrago and La Bonita, where there are some thrifty picks for clothing and accessories. Naufrago has everything from t-shirts and sweatshirts to skirts, jeans and wallets. If you’re willing to go for something a bit pricier, check out Lost People (c/Santa Bárbara, 6). Here you’ll find designs unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Spot something you like that’s not available in your size, and they’ll stitch it together for you on the spot.

Music-lover’s paradise

It’s not really a surprise that the area around the Teatro Real, Madrid’s opera house, is a very musical neighbourhood. Just north of the opera you’ll find secondhand and collectors’ record shops, while those to the south are the places to find musical instruments. El Flamenco Vive (C/ del Conde de Lemos 7) also known as El Tato is your first and last stop to get fitted in the art of flamenco. Along with guitars and drums, they stock dresses and shoes, all handmade and made-to-measure. Their own publishing house and record company are responsible for some of the many CDs, DVDs and books on sale in the shop. Alberto Martínez and his brother David have been running the business for 15 years. Their customers range from young tourists who leave with a few postcards, to flamenco professionals such as Tomatito, Paco de Lucía and Enrique Morente, who buy their gear from them. Don’t be intimidated; everyone is welcome — their only desire is to spread the culture of flamenco.

Mercado de Fuencarral

One of the main veins of the city that links north to south is calle Fuencarral, also known as the main setting for La Movida, the youth movement in the years after Franco’s death. It’s a shopper’s Mecca, with a combination of chain stores and boutiques. But the jewel of the street lies right in the middle, near metro Tribunal. El Mercado de Fuencarral is three floors of local vendors and artists with everything from handbags to shirts to tattoos and haircuts on offer. It’s a great place to scour the racks to find that one-of-a-kind concert tee or button as well as hand-painted Converse and Vans. Some of the stuff is way out there, but the selection is incredible and the sales during the summer and winter are hard to beat. Make sure to pick up some flyers near the door of all the latest concerts, underground clubs and special dance nights.

Shopping in Madrid can also be enjoyed by visiting small, specialized stores, and busy food markets. If you prefer the boutiques and specialty shops to department stores and supermarkets, then visit the different zones and take the time to explore the huge array of shops at your disposal. Our madrid shopping guide will point you in the right direction!

Relocating To Spain

Moving to Spain is not something to do too quickly, as it is a big decision. You should visit the country a few times before moving, which will not only help you become familiar with the area but also with the culture and communities in which you will be living. You can visit several regions and cities such as the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Barcelona and Madrid, for example. Generally, research the city you will call home and learn everything you can. This will lead to a smoother move and help alleviate any anxiety you may have for such a major decision. There are a few things to consider during your planning and preparation phase, such as employment, transportation, paperwork and accommodations.

The paperwork required depends on the country you are moving from, as the requirements for countries vary. The requirements for countries which are members of the European Union will be different than countries which are not members. You can contact the Spanish Consulate for the exact requirements, but you should confirm this information early to allow for enough time to comply and gather the appropriate documents.

You should also ask the consulate about the requirements for a driver’s license. You will also need to decide on your source of transportation and whether or not you will bring your car, sell it or purchase a new car in Spain. If you decide not to bring your car, you may need to rent a car until you purchase one. This should, of course, be temporary as it can get expensive. You will also need to arrange for insurance with a local carrier.

If you are moving to Spain for purposes of job relocation, then you fortunately will not have to worry about finding employment. Some companies offer financial assistance for such relocations, or may at least reimburse you for some or all of the associated expenses. Some choose to use relocation services, professional companies or organizations which can help you get settled into your new country. They can help you find somewhere to live, register your children in school and generally help familiarize you with the area and services. However, if you are not moving because of job relocation, then you should start job hunting early. The internet is a good source for employment opportunities.

You will, obviously, need to find somewhere to live. A real estate agent can assist you in locating a place to either purchase or rent, whatever you decide. If you plan to purchase, it would be a good idea to make several trips to view properties. If you need to sell your current home prior to moving, start early to provide yourself with enough time to sell the property before needing to purchase another home in Spain.

Generally, though, be sure you have enough money to live on for a while, giving you time to find employment, get settled and on a predictable monthly budget. The better you prepare before the move, the smoother move it will be.