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Costa Blanca
Sunshine, 200 kilometres of sandy coastline, cliffs, coves, resorts and ancient ports – just some the attractions of the Costa Blanca.

Sunshine, 200 kilometres of sandy coastline, cliffs, coves, resorts and ancient ports – just some the attractions of the Costa Blanca. Its lively tourist resorts are perfect if you enjoy the holiday buzz, while the pretty town of Altea with its cobbled streets, or the walled town of Calpe, are great for some 'down time'.

The Costa also offers a good base from which to explore – discover the mountains, perhaps visiting one of the villages that lie within them, or set off for the city of Valencia, approached via citrus groves and hard to resist with its early buildings, museums and bustling streets.

In the evening the Benidorm Palace, one of the costas most famous night spots, is ideal for a memorable night out, or alternatively join the bargain hunters at the other end of the day at Bendorm's El Cisne flea market.

Stay and Relax Hotel Avenida QQQ

The locally rated 4-star Hotel Avenida is located in the heart of Benidorm on the edge of the old town, close to the sandy Levante beach and the beautiful seafront promenade.

Stay and Relax Hotel Port Denia QQQQ

Located on the Costa Blanca, the historic seaside town of Denia is full of authentic Spanish character and charm. Beautiful beaches, open-air markets and Mount Montgó Natural Park can all be enjoyed from the all-inclusive 3-star Hotel Port Denia.

Stay and Relax Gran Hotel Delfin QQQQ

Enjoy all-inclusive value at this locally rated 4-star hotel, the third hotel to be built in Benidorm with a perfect location next to a beautiful, sandy beach.

Stay and Relax Hotel SH Ifach QQQQ

Stay on the beautiful Costa Blanca at the contemporary 4-star Hotel SH Ifach, which enjoys a great level location between the vibrant marina and the old town of Calpe.

Stay and Relax Hotel Kaktus Albir QQQQ

The popular 4-star Hotel Kaktus Albir is set in the traditional, peaceful resort of Albir on the Costa Blanca, which has an award-winning Blue Flag beach.

Stay and Relax premium SH Villa Gadea QQQQ+

The locally rated 5-star SH Villa Gadea (4Q+) is a contemporary beachside oasis in the Costa Blanca. Soak up the far-reaching views of the Mediterranean Sea and make the most of the excellent range of facilities.

Escorted Tour Pace 1 Secrets of Mediterranean Spain

Discover the hidden corners of Murcia and Valencia on this tour that mixes history, culture and gastronomy with beach-side relaxation...

A host of historic and cultural cities await on this lap of the western Mediterranean aboard MSC Preziosa.

Ocean Cruise Spanish Adventure

Uncover the centuries of history and fascinating cultures at the heart of some of the most famous cities of the Iberian Peninsula.

Step aboard Saga Sapphire as she heads to the Mediterranean Sea and traces the coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

Ocean Cruise Mediterranean Medley

The Western Mediterranean is hard to beat for ports that provide the best arts, culture and shopping experiences, such as Barcelona and Lisbon. Yet this cruise also calls at quieter ports where you can enjoy the simpler pleasures of Mediterranean life.

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



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