Best time to go: April – June & September – October
Best for: UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Ancient and Medieval Architecture, Running of the bulls
Spain attracts holidaymakers from around the world seeking sun and sand, good food and wine, and a colourful and pulsating vibe.
Attractions include flamenco shows, bullfights, paella and sangria, medieval towns, castles, and even snow skiing in the Sierra Nevada.
Try Pamplona outside the fiesta season. The main attractions are its old walled quarter, Renaissance cathedral and imposing citadel. Run with the bulls or join with the crowds at the Festival of San Fermín in Pamplona.
Sunbathing, swimming, boardsailing and crowd-watching are favourite pastimes at the dozens of popular resorts along the Costa Do Sal.
Spain is a great place for sailing, with plenty of harbours and sailing clubs.
For up to date Health & Visa information click here
Capital: Madrid (MAD)
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Language: Castilian Spanish. Other languages spoken; Catalan, in Catalonia; Galician, in Galicia; Euskera/Basque, in the Basque Country; Valencian, in the Region of Valencia; and a particular variety of Catalan, spoken in the Balearic Islands. English may be understood in tourist areas.
Dialling code from SA: +34
Time Zone: UTC / GMT +1 (1 hour behind South Africa)
Daylight Savings Time: From last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October: UTC / GMT +2 (same time as South Africa)
Side of the Road: Right. An International Drivers Licence is required.
Plugs: 230 volts AC, 50Hz. Round two-pin plugs are in use
Drinking Water: Mains water in hotels and towns is safe to drink. In Ibiza, tap water has a salty taste and bottled water may be preferred.
Health: There are adequate and well-equipped medical facilities, however visitors are required to pay for these services. Comprehensive health insurance is recommended. If you require any medication on your travels it is best to bring it with you, in the original packaging, with a signed and dated letter from your doctor detailing exactly what it is and why you need it.
Customs: Normal social courtesies. Lunch and dinner are eaten late.
Local Offences / Laws: Smoking is prohibited in public areas. Drinking in the streets is illegal.
Duty Free: Spain is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragrance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs – all at tax-free equivalent prices.
If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22% volume, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Spain by persons over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% volume or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22% volume.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers.
Prohibited Imports: Meat and dairy products from outside the EU, and unauthorised firearms and ammunition.
Prohibited Exports: Endangered species require an export permit.