Spain holidays

With miles and miles of beaches, plenty of colourful cities and fun-filled waterparks galore, Spain holidays have something for everyone. You’ll find year-round sunshine just a short flight away from the UK, whether you’re heading for bustling mainland Spain or the gorgeous islands off the coast. When you arrive on your holidays to Spain, you’ll discover a country brimming with charm, from the mountain villages and Moorish castles to the bustling resorts and delightful tapas restaurants.

Things to do

When it comes to things to do on Spanish holidays, you’ll be spoilt for choice. In the country’s many beach resorts, you won’t be able to resist lounging around on the sand, soaking up the Mediterranean sunshine. And if you feel like picking up the pace, you could always try your hand at water sports; you’ll find plenty going on in places like Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca or Costa del Almeria in mainland Spain. But Spain has so much to offer beyond the coastline. It’s absolutely brimming with incredible landscapes, from Lanzarote’s volcanic peaks to Menorca’s lush wetlands. When it comes to keeping the kids happy, you’ll find a great choice of fun-filled waterparks that they’ll just love. 

Places to stay

With a fantastic range of beaches, many Blue Flag awarded, you can see why this country attracts beach lovers, year after year. Holidays on the mainland are about the Costas; named the “Golden Coast”, this stretch of sandy beaches is drenched in sunshine. In the Canaries, you’ll find black volcanic sands in Lanzarote and Saharan shores in Gran Canaria, while in the Balearics, Menorca boasts secluded coves and Majorca enjoys sweeping bays. In Ibiza, it's become a tradition to watch the spectacular sunsets.

Canary Islands in Spain

With golden beaches, volcanoes and lush forests, the Canary Islands are all about diverse landscapes. There's so much to explore and see, holidays to the Canary Islands are perfect if you're looking for activities. The weather is warm all year round, with great conditions for watersports, as well as long days under the African sun. With all this and more, Canary Islands holidays have got everything you could ask for. All within a reasonably short flight.

Costa Almeria

From the whitewashed buildings of Mojácar to the traditional culture of Roquetas de Mar, holidays to Costa de Almeria are great for peaceful breaks in idyllic settings. You can head out on scenic walks in the hills or take long walks along golden beaches. Bars and restaurants can be found in the eco-resort of El Toyo, where you can fill your Costa de Almeria holidays with new Spanish flavours.

Costa Blanca

Translating to "White Coast", Costa Blanca holidays are popular with beach lovers. Stunning white sands stretch on for miles, making it perfect for those long, lazy days soaking up the sun. It's more than just beaches though, holidays to Costa Blanca can take you up into the hills, with the countryside rich with colour, charming vineyards and the smell of citrus and almond groves. In the evenings, Costa Blanca nightlife is not to be missed.

Costa Del Sol

Spanish for "Coast of the Sun", Costa del Sol holidays are filled with plenty of warm weather. There's plenty of beaches for everyone to enjoy all of that sunshine, but there's plenty more to the sun coast than soft sands and blue waters. On holidays to Costa del Sol, you'll find sleepy villages amongst the hills and mountains that are beautiful to drive through, vibrant nightlife and some rich history and culture too.

Costa Dorada

Costa Dorada holidays are filled with fun for everyone. Salou is a lively resort that's got lots for family days out, while there are plenty of beaches along the coast for fun on the sands and to swim in the warm waters. Holidays to Costa Brava aren't complete without a visit to PortAventura, one of the biggest theme parks in Europe, which is full of exciting rides, shows and a waterpark.

What should I pack?

If you’re booking your holidays to Spain in the summer months, then put sunscreen at the top of your list. Aside from that, there are a few bits and bobs that will help to make your break that little bit easier. If you can’t live without your gadgets you might want to bring a power adaptor so you can charge them up back in your hotel. A portable power pack is also a good idea for gizmo addicts.

When it comes to clothing, keep it light and airy, with outfits made from linen and cotton. For those balmy Spanish evenings, it’s a good idea to have something special; the Spanish are a stylish people and if you’re going for a night out, dressing up is the only way to blend in.

Swimwear is important if you’re hoping to hit the beach and flip-flops are a convenient way of getting across the sun-bleached sands, without burning your feet or ruining your best shoes.

Map of Spain

world_map
17–30°C

Hot, dry summers and mild winters

View live forecast

2-5 hours
Spain has 25 international airports, with dozens of flights every day from departure points all over the UK

Spain is best for...

Couples: With a wealth of beautiful beaches and pretty cities galore, many Spain destinations are perfect for two. Why not wander through Barcelona’s bustling streets before riding the cable car to Montjuïc? 

Families: Find your favourite spot on the Costa’s golden sandy beaches. When you fancy a change of scenery, you’ll find all kinds of waterparks and theme parks to keep the kids entertained.

Night owls: Whether you want to laze away an evening in a traditional tapas restaurant in Madrid, or dance all night in Ibiza’s top clubs, you’ll find something to keep you entertained when the sun goes down. 

Fast facts for Spain

Language: Spanish, although English is widely spoken across Spain, especially in the tourist hotspots and resorts. If you’re heading off the usual visitor trails, pack a phrasebook or download our essential language app.

Currency: Euro (€).

Local time: Spain is 1 hour ahead of GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Alicante Airport for Benidorm, Girona Airport for Costa Brava, Reus Airport for Costa Dorada and Malaga Airport for Costa del Sol. Transfer times are 30–90 minutes.

Flight time from the UK: The flight time to Spain is around 2.5 hours.

Tourist information: Find further information about various Spain destinations at the official Spain tourism website

Visa / health: British citizens don’t need a visa for Spain holidays but you do need a valid passport. Visit the UK government's Spanish travel advice for up-to-date visa and health recommendations.

More Travel Guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations including: Andalusia | Balearic Islands | Ibiza | Majorca | Menorca | Canary Islands | Fuerteventura | Gran Canaria | Lanzarote | Tenerife | Costa Almeria | Costa Blanca | Costa Brava | Costa del Sol | Costa Dorada | Madrid

Getting around Spain

By train: High-speed trains run between the major cities in mainland Spain.

By metro: There are metro systems in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Bilbao.

By boat: Ferries and catamarans connect the Canary Islands with each other, which you’ll also find in the Balearic Islands.

By hire car: Hiring a car is a convenient way of exploring at your own pace, and getting to hard-to-reach places.

Events in Spain

Tenerife carnival: Escape the cold winter in the UK and head to Tenerife in February to experience one of the biggest carnival celebrations in Europe.
Semana Santa: Easter brings celebrations all over Spain during Semana Santa (or Holy Week).

Clubbing season: Nightclubs in the Balearic Islands reopen for the summer from May onwards, finishing with huge closing parties in October.

Menorca Fiesta: Kick off the fiesta season in Menorca from 23–25 June, during the festival of Sant Joan.

La Tomatina: You’ll be seeing red during Buñol’s annual tomato frenzy, La Tomatina, in late August.

Sónar and Benicàssim: Music fans will want to book Spain holidays for June and July when two of Europe’s biggest festivals take centre stage.

Spain safety and security

Do I need a passport?

The Spain passport regulations state that if you’re a UK citizen you will need a full British passport, which is valid for the duration of your holiday. For further information on entry requirements visit the UK government travel advice for Spain.

Do I need a visa?

Currently, as a British national, you don’t need a Spanish visa to visit Spain. However, if you’re planning on staying for longer than 30 days, it’s best to get in touch with the Spanish Embassy and double-check if you do need to apply for a visa. 

Should I get travel health insurance?

It’s always best to prepare for the unexpected. Travel health insurance ensures that if you need medical treatment, you’re not left out of pocket. Policies can cover everything from the cost of medicine to your return back to the UK. Before you travel, it’s worth checking over the terms of your agreement, to make sure that you’re covered, particularly if you’re planning activities such as skiing, scuba diving, or rock climbing.

Any other tips?

  • Siestas are part of daily life in Spain, so don’t expect many shops, bars or restaurants to be open between 1 pm and 4 pm. It’s because of this afternoon nap that many establishments are open well into the night.
  • Just as with any city in the world, Spanish cities attract petty thieves. If you’re carrying cash, a credit card or a mobile phone, be sure to keep them safe and out of sight. This also applies to the Spanish metro systems, where carriages can be crowded.
  • Should you need it, the phone number for the Spanish emergency services is 112.
  • Smoking is prohibited in enclosed public spaces, such as bars, restaurants and buses.
  • Cover up, once you’ve left the beach. Wandering around a city in your swimwear is considered offensive and even illegal in some seaside cities.

For up to date advice on travelling to Spain, please visit the UK government's safety and security page for Spain.

Spain weather

Temperatures: Expect a mild Mediterranean virtually climate all year round 
Best time to visit: Visit outside of peak summer months for cheap holidays to Spain.

The climate in Spain varies from region to region, but you can generally expect hot and dry summers, with temperatures hitting the high-20s (°C) wherever you are. Over in the Balearic Islands, things start to heat up in May, with highs in the mid-20s. Enjoy peak temperatures of 30°C in July and August. Things are similar over on mainland Spain, with sunny summers in the mid-20s, and mild spring and autumns seasons, too. Down south, the Canary Islands (or the ‘Islands of Eternal Spring’) enjoy warm, sub-tropical weather. It hardly ever drops below 20°C in winter, with highs of around 25°C in the summer months. The western islands have the most rain, but it's only the occasional shower during summer.

When’s the best time to go?

You can always find a reason to want to visit the home of paella and the paso doble. Holidays to Spain can offer something for everyone, with stunning beaches, beautiful countryside, cities filled with history and superb cuisine. If you’re heading to this European hotspot, then before you go, let us share with you our travel advice for Spain.

The climate is typically Mediterranean, with long, hot summers and mild winters. For the best of the sunshine book your Spain holidays between May and October when the temperature averages the mid-to-high 20s and peaks in the low 30s.

Visit during the winter months between November and April and you can take advantage of the lower temperatures and spend some time in inland destinations like Barcelona and Madrid. During the summer, the heat soars in the cities, but head over in the winter and you’ll find much more pleasant weather for sightseeing, with the thermometer hovering at around the mid to high-teens.

Top destinations in Spain

Best hotels in Spain

Popular Spain holiday resorts

Similar destinations