Information on Spain
Comparison of temperatures
Spain is south-west of the Pyrenees on the Iberian Peninsula. Its neighbouring states are Portugal, Gibraltar, the Principality of Andorra and France.
Form of government:
Parliamentary constitutional monarchy. King Felipe VI has been the head of state since 19 June 2014. Mariano Rajoy has been the head of government since 21 December 2011.
Roman Catholic (more than 90%)
Spanish (Castellano) is the official language. The respective regional languages have official status in the autonomous regions of the Basque Country, Galicia, Catalonia and Valencia.
Madrid: highland climate; Castilian Plateau (680 metres above sea level): dry, cold winters, hot summers (up to 40 °C); coast: Mediterranean and Atlantic climate
Electricity in Spain is supplied at a voltage of 230 V and in the form of alternating current with a frequency of 50 Hertz. You need an adapter in your hotel.
Spain is part of the Central European Time zone where GMT+1 applies, along with daylight saving time.
Making telephone calls:
To make phone calls to the UK, pre-dial 0044 (+44). To make phone calls from the UK to Spain, pre-dial 0034 (+34).
The euro has been the official currency in Spain since 2002. Exchange rate (May 2016): 1 GBP = 1.27 EUR; 1 EUR = 0.79 GBP.
Purchases can be paid for in cash and using the most popular credit cards. This payment system is typical in Spanish shops; the symbols of credit cards accepted are usually displayed at the entrance to shops. ID cards are required when paying by credit card. Travellers’ cheques (in dollars or Euro) can also be cashed in banks. It is also possible to withdraw cash from ATMs using EC/Maestro cards but high fees may be charged by the respective bank.
ATTENTION: Caution is advised when paying with bank or credit cards as criminals may try to copy the traveller’s bank card and obtain the relevant PIN code without being noticed to then withdraw cash from cash machines using fake cards. Travellers are therefore advised to keep an eye on their bank card when paying with it and to enter their PIN number with discretion. Care should also be taken when using bank and credit cards with PIN code in exchange offices.
Crime: Vigilance should be exercised regarding pickpockets and petty crime in larger tourist centres in particular. We recommend leaving cash, identity documents, driving licences, air tickets and other important documents in the hotel safe, for example, and only carrying the cash (and EC or credit card) you need on a given day on your person. Travellers should try to steer clear of large groups of people and keep an eye on their valuables at tourist spots, airports (including in the security area), railway stations, the metro, buses etc.
Your expert tour guides will be able to provide you with detailed information about the country, people, history, culture etc., and offer advice and assistance for organising your trip. They can also help with room allocation and look forward to welcoming you with initial information and a welcoming drink. Here you will find out all you need to know and useful information about the trip. We have put together a varied programme including numerous highlights, enabling you to experience the culture and diversity of landscape that Spain has to offer, and learn all about the country and its people. Although your trip already includes a comprehensive package, you also have the option of choosing added extras on arrival.
“Explorer” cultural package: This package includes three unique all-day excursions to “Granada” (Day 3), “Seville” (Day 5) and the “White Villages & Marbella” (Day 6) for only £160 per person.
Entry requirements for British citizens:
British nationals do not need a visa to visit Spain. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. Nationals of other countries are advised to inquire at the Spanish Embassy about the entry requirements applicable to them. Spain is a contracting party to the European Agreement concerning the movement of persons between member states as agreed by the European Council on 13.12.1957. With the exception of provisional ID
cards, travel documents must not have expired by more than one year. It must be noted, however, that departure from Spain by air is only possible with a valid ID document on account of the prevailing aviation security requirements. As a general rule, these entry requirements apply for all citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Private persons travelling within the EU can purchase and export goods without limits on quantities if they are for personal use and not intended for resale. The customs regulations for the UK can be viewed on the British Customs Web site www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk or queried by phone.
Vaccinations: The standard vaccinations for children and adults should be examined and supplemented prior to travelling. The Foreign Office Medical Service also recommends vaccination against hepatitis A and B in cases of particular exposure (e.g. current outbreaks, basic travelling conditions, hygiene deficiencies, missions, inadequate medical care, particular professional/social contacts). Please consult a doctor specialising in tropical illnesses. Customers must ensure that they are in good physical and mental health in line with the trip in question. Customers must enquire about the physical mobility and psychological autonomy required for this trip.
In Spain, anyone with state insurance in the UK is entitled to medical treatment – where urgently necessary – by doctors, dentists, hospitals etc. registered with the foreign statutory health insurance association. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or Replacement Certificate must be presented as proof (both documents can be obtained from your health insurance company). Nonetheless, you are urgently recommended to take out travel health insurance for the duration of your holiday which covers risks not assumed by the statutory health insurance companies (e.g. repatriation to the UK in the event of illness, treatment by private doctors or in private hospitals). You can also contact your health insurance company for information on current regulations.
All information is subject to change/Last updated: May 2016