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Canaries
The Canary Islands lie in the Atlantic Ocean, one hundred kilometers west of the Moroccan coast.

Will you choose Tenerife, the largest of the archipelago? It's renowned for its diverse landscape of lush forests, mountains and dark volcanic beaches and there's always plenty to see and do.

Or perhaps you'll plump for Gran Canaria, best known for its stunning swathe of sand dunes.

Lanzarote has a distinctive lunar-like landscape and nowhere are the Canaries' volcanic origins more evident than here.

Or there's Fuerteventura, whose seemingly never-ending beaches are gloriously uncrowded. Decisions, decisions . . .

See all our Canary Island holidays.

Stay and Relax Apartamentos Aguamarina Golf QQQQ

Enjoy a stay at the modern 3-key Apartamentos Aguamarina Golf which is ideally located close to the shops, restaurants and bars of Golf del Sur

Stay and Relax Mogan Princess & Beach Club QQQQ

Enjoy fabulous views as you relax at this contemporary hilltop hotel in the small resort of Playa de Taurito.

Stay and Relax H10 Tenerife Playa QQQQ

H10 Tenerife Playa enjoys a prime location on the seafront in the newer part of Puerto de la Cruz, the most popular resort on the north coast of the island.

Stay and Relax Hotel Puerto Palace QQQQ

Relax at this friendly hotel just outside Puerto de la Cruz

Stay and Relax Hotel Aguamarina QQQQ

This 4-star hotel is situated between two excellent golf courses in the sunny southern part of Tenerife.

Stay and Relax Hotel Dunas Don Gregory QQQQ

A great seafront location and panoramic ocean views are among the high points of this new addition to our range of hotels in Gran Canaria.

Stay and Relax Hotel Elba Carlota QQQQ

The modern 4-star Hotel Elba Carlota boasts a superb level seafront location with a golden sandy beach and is ideally situated for exploring Fuerteventura.

Stay and Relax premium Hotel Reina Isabel QQQQ+

The 4-star Hotel Reina Isabel enjoys an outstanding beachfront setting on the promenade of Playa de Centeras with its cafes and restaurants. It is also ideally placed to explore the region, including the capital, Las Palmas.

Stay and Relax Riu Palmeras QQQQ

Set in the popular resort of Playa del Ingles, The 4Q Riu Palmeras is located just 350m from the seafront and 250m from the city centre.

Stay and Relax H10 Rubicón Palace QQQQ

The H10 Rubicón Palace, with its five swimming pools, is the perfect place to relax and unwind amidst stunning surroundings.

Stay and Relax Iberostar Bouganville Playa QQQQ

Relax in a beachside hotel on sub-tropical Tenerife.

Stay and Relax IFA Faro Hotel QQQQ

With a spectacular location by the beach, lighthouse and dunes, this new addition to our range of hotels in Gran Canaria is sure to become a firm favourite.

Language

Spanish; Castilian -

Castillian Spanish is the official language, with other Spanish languages and dialects varying in different regions.

English isn’t widely used outside of the main coastal resorts, so you may find it very handy to learn a few words before you travel.

Tipping

Tipping is similar to the UK: the typical amount in restaurants is 10% (most establishments don’t add a service charge to the bill). Taxi drivers and porters expect a small tip too.

Population and size

Spain has a population of 47.4 million, which is relatively low in comparison to other European countries such as France and Italy.

At 505,988 square kilometers, Spain is more than twice the size of the UK.

Currency

Euro - The currency is the euro, divided into 100 cents.

Culture

The main religion is Roman Catholic, which accounts for around two-thirds of the country, along with a small minority of Muslims.


When meeting new people, a handshake is the common greeting among men, and a kiss on the cheek between women – the number of kisses can vary, so prepare yourself for two or even three!


You’ll also find that the Spanish eat much later than we do in the UK, with lunch between 2-3.30pm and dinner between 9-11pm, so don’t be alarmed if you find yourself in a relatively quiet restaurant. Oh, and the Spanish love to party, so depending on when you visit you might find yourself embroiled in one of their many annual celebrations – including one that involves a battle with tomatoes!


Pablo Picasso is among Spain’s most celebrated sons, along with Antoni Gaudi, whose eccentric architecture dots the Barcelona cityscape. More recent times saw Spanish cinema come into its own with directors like Pedro Almodovar breaking into the English-speaking world. And films like the Guillermo del Toro’s darkly fantastic masterpiece, Pan’s Labyrinth, a Spanish-Mexican venture, solidified Spain as a big player in the film industry.

Phrases

A few basic words of Spanish to get you started…

Hola – hello

Adios – goodbye

Por favor – please

Gracias – thank you

Si – yes

No – no

Perdon – excuse me

No hablo espanol – I don’t speak Spanish

Timezone

Spain is one hour ahead of GMT, two in British summertime.

Electricity

Mains voltage is 220-240 volts AC (50 cycles) and all sockets take small round two-pin plugs. You’ll need an adaptor for your British appliances, so remember to bring one with you as you probably won’t be able to find one in Spain.

Climate

The climate varies depending on the region, but generally the further south you go, the warmer it will be. The weather on the south and east coast is fairly reliable all year round, enjoying a balmy Mediterranean climate, while the interior tends to stay hot and dry as it’s located on a plateau.

Health

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre – see www.nathnac.org, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad at www.fco.gov.uk/travel.

Passports and visas

You’ll need a current passport valid for the duration of your stay. British citizens don’t require a visa.

Smoking

Smoking is banned in enclosed public areas and is not allowed on public transport, in bars or restaurants, except in designated areas. Be sure to remember this or you may be stuck with a hefty fine.

Flight time

London to Madrid and Barcelona – from 2 hours

London to Seville – from 2.5 hours