Spain Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
Spain is one of the most popular destinations in the world with millions of people visiting every year. Expect facsinating cities, a vibrant culture, amazing beaches and beautiful islands. Get information, advice and inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Spain.
Spain Travel Ideas, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs
Travel to Spain
Our destination guide aims to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this amazing country. Find affordable travel and backpacking ideas with advice for amazing things to do and how you can be more than just your average traveller. You can also get recommendations for budget travel tips, where to stay and advice how to stay safe.
Get inspired to visit Spain today!
- Population: 46.5 million
- Capital: Madrid (population 3,300,000 approx)
- Currency: Euro
- Official languages: Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque
- Area: 505, 000 sq km
Weather & Best Time to Visit Spain
Spain is an all round destination with a warm Mediterranean climate, even in winter it never really gets that cold. The Canary Islands average around 20oC most months and we highly recommend heading to to coast / islands for summer. April and May are our best time recommendations to visit Spain, this is when the country isn't boiling hot and the weather is comfortable. During July and August the weather can be extremely hot, and also crowded with tourists
How to Get to Spain
The easiest and quickest way to get to Spain is by flying. There are great value flights to international airports in most major cities and tourism hotspots in Spain. You can also cross from mainland Europe via bus/train which can be cheaper than flying but expect much longer journey times.
Several low cost airlines offer flights to Spain from the UK and other European destinations. Airlines which fly direct to Spain from the United Kingdom include:
- Aer Lingus, Air Europa, Blue Air, British Airways, easyJet, Flybe, Iberia, Jet2, Norwegian Air, Primera Air, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines & Vueling.
Other airlines that fly to Spain from international destinations include:
- Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Arabia Maroc, Air France, Air Malta, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Bulgaria Air, Czech Airlines, eurowings, Finnair, Germania, Icelandair, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Luxair, Norwegian, Royal Air Maroc, SAS, SkyWork, Smart Wings, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines & WOW air.
To get the best deals on flights to Spain we recommend booking in advance and also travel out of the busy summer season (June to September). Search flights on Skyscanner which is the best comparison website.
There are lots of options when it comes to where to stay in Spain including hotels, hostels, apartments and AirBnB.
A dorm bed in a hostel costs around £5-£20 ($10-$25) although in more popular destinations you could pay more. You can stay in a private room in a guesthouse or a hotel for around £20 - £50 ($30 - $60) per night. Prices in Barcelona and Madrid are usually higher than other areas of the country.
Travelling & Backpacking in Spain
Spain is the ideal place to travel for those with boundless energy, the islands offer a range of things to do, such as scuba diving, windsurfing, horse riding and caving, to name but a few. Of course, it’s also the perfect place to lie back, relax and soak up the rays. Spain is a very laid back country and local people usually have a siesta during the afternoon, sometimes even large cities like Barcelona and Madrid can seem empty and deserted. This can be annoying if you are looking to go shopping or buy something from a local store but once you fall into the culture you will soon get used to it.
Spanish culture is rich and varied. Characterised largely by its laid back attitude and historical heritage, it manages to seamlessly blend old and new which has resulted in one of the most vibrant and interesting art and culture scenes in Europe set in and amongst some of the continent's most historical cultural facilities and architecture. From modern metropolises like Madrid and Barcelona to sleepier spots like Andalucía or San Sebastian, the Iberian culture has something for everyone at varying paces of life. Spanish cities are sure to stir the soul and inspire new and interesting ideas while experiences with more of a focus on surfing and sunbathing on the coast are not to be underestimated
For outdoor enthusiasts Spain is one of the top places to go, offering a wide range of water sports, the unspoilt beaches are a favourite amongst windsurfers and water skiers alike or you could head to one of the islands many other secluded beaches hidden along the coast. You could head North of Barcelona to the Basque region for scenic rural towns and villages or spend time in the islands or amazing cities of Seville, Madrid or Valencia. There are lots of different experiences, the hard part is deciding which places to add to your Spain travel itinerary.
Best Places to Visit in Spain
There are some other places to consider adding to your Spain travel itinerary:
- Balearic Islands - famous for Ibiza, Mallorca and it's world class nightlife, expect buzzing towns, nightclubs and also sandy beaches.
- Canary Islands - located off northwestern Africa expect beautiful beaches, a warm climate, world class resorts and entertainment including some of the best golf courses in the country.
- Seville - Experience laid back Seville with pretty buildings, fountains, squares and also the Alcázar of Seville - an iconic Moorish-Renaissance royal palace.
- Teide National Park - A UNESCO-listed world heritage park.
- Costa Brava - a popular summer holiday destination in northeastern Spain with beaches and water parks.
- Costa del Sol - popular with British expats, this area in the south of Spain has pretty coastal towns, beaches and sun.
Spain Travel Tips
Exchange Euros in advance to get the best deals. If you leave it till you get to the airport or use an ATM in-country you will likely be charged a fee and get a worse rate.
How much you spend really comes down to what you want to do and visit. If you are really on a shoestring then visiting during summer (June to August) isn't recommended as this is the most expensive time of the year in terms of flights and accommodations. Hotels and sightseeing can cost a lot more in Barcelona and Madrid compared to other destinations in the country.
Try to at least pick up some of the local language and be open to new people, cultures and food.
Gap Year in Spain
Thinking about taking a gap year in Spain? Good decision. Now book your perfect experience today by searching programs which are open to students, graduates or anyone seeking to take a break with a difference. Discover the best of Spain today.
With a range of exciting activities, pristine beaches and sleepy fishing villages, it’s easy to see why the this stunning destination has become a Mecca for those seeking relaxation, sun and a relaxing lifestyle.
If you are looking to visit Spain and would like to do more than just sunbathing our gap year travel programs will appeal to you. Wherever you go and whatever you do Spain is the perfect destination for those seeking sun, sea and an amazing experience all year round.