Spain holidays

Holidays to Spain bring you to some of Europe’s most vibrant cities, 3,000 miles of soft sandy beaches, and fun-filled waterparks galore. Whether you’re heading for the bustling mainland or the gorgeous islands off the coast, you’ve always got year-round balmy weather, just a short flight away from the UK. Discover a country full of charm, from the mountain villages and Moorish castles to the bustling resorts and delightful tapas restaurants. 

There are so many incredible destinations to explore with a holiday to Spain. You could relax on the powdery white sands of Marbella, soak up the party atmosphere in Ibiza, venture through the coves of Costa Brava or seek out the volcanic landscapes of the Canary Islands. So whether you want to flop on the beach, hit the world-famous after-dark scene, or set off on an adventure, Spain holidays are for you.

Things to do

You'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do on a holiday to Spain. From lounging on the golden sands to picking up the pace with watersports in bustling resorts like Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca or Costa Almeria on the mainland. But a holiday to Spain has so much to offer beyond the coastline. It’s brimming with incredible landscapes, from Lanzarote’s volcanic peaks to Menorca’s lush wetlands.

Family fun

You could make a splash together at the famous Siam Park. Build sandcastles on the pristine soft sands of Playa de Alcudia. Or meet the colony of cute Humboldt penguins at Marineland. And if you're seeking a day of sightseeing, hop aboard the Cap Salou Tourist Train. Your little ones will love discovering the hidden corners of this spectacular city.

Couples

Couples have so much culture and romance to soak up together in Spain. Whether you want to step under the stained glass windows of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. Go on a horse riding tour through the valleys of Ibiza. Or set sail with a sunset catamaran trip in Malaga. And if it's foodie hotspots you're both after, follow your taste buds around the pavement tables of Alcudia for the traditional paella.

Places to stay

With a fantastic range of Blue Flag beaches, it's no wonder Spain attracts so many to its shoreline. Holidays on the mainland are about the Costas, aka the ‘Golden Coast’, a stretch of soft sand 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 and Majorca boast secluded coves and sweeping bays. In Ibiza, it's become a tradition to watch the spectacular sunsets. The rich hues of reds, oranges, and pinks set the Mediterranean waters on fire.

Canary Islands in Spain

With golden beaches, volcanoes and lush forests, holidays to the Canary Islands are all about diverse landscapes. There's so much to explore, from the fire mountains in Timanfaya National Park in Lanzarote to the nature reserve on Lobos Island in Fuerteventura. The weather is also warm all year round, with excellent conditions for watersports and 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 stroll 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 the "White Coast", Costa Blanca holidays are popular with beach lovers. Stunning white sands stretch 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, where the countryside is 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 offer 325 days of warm weather and 95 miles of coastline. 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 rich history and culture.

Costa Dorada

Costa Dorada holidays boast pristine sands, pretty ports, towering mountain trails, pine forests, the region's largest wetlands and medieval villages. Salou is great for kids. With shallow waters, playgrounds and historic towns. And family holidays to Costa Brava aren't complete without a visit to PortAventura, one of the biggest theme parks in Europe, with themed rides and brilliant entertainment.

What should I pack?

Pack your sunscreen if you're booking your holidays to Spain in the summer months. Aside from that, a few other bits and bobs will help make your break easier. If you can't live without your gadgets, you might want to bring an adaptor to charge them 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. 

Unsure of the best time of the year to visit? Check the weather in Spain to see which month is right for you.

More travel guides

We also have travel guides available for destinations, including: AndalusiaBalearic IslandsBarcelona | Canary IslandsCosta Almeria | Costa Blanca | Costa BravaCosta Dorada | Costa del Sol | Fuerteventura | Gran Canaria | Lanzarote | Tenerife | Ibiza | Madrid | Malaga | Majorca | Menorca

 

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 of Spain’s 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: Laze away an evening in a traditional tapas restaurant in Madrid, or dance until the sun comes up in Ibiza's superclubs. And when you really want to fire up your night, head to the popular flamenco shows in Andalucia.

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 a translator 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
  • 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 islands in the Canaries, which you’ll also find with 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: Head to Tenerife in February to experience one of the biggest carnival celebrations in Europe. With sparkling costumes, street parties and big parades.

Semana Santa: Easter brings celebrations all over Spain during Semana Santa (or Holy Week). For seven days, thousands of people take to the streets to join the religious processions.

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

Menorca Fiesta: KKick off the fiesta season in Menorca from 23–25 June, during the festival of Sant Joan, when riders show off their stunning native horses

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 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.

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