Britain’s perennial summer holiday favourite
Ironically, holidays in Spain are probably as much a part of modern British culture as chicken tikka masala and The X Factor. As mass tourism steadily found its feet in the late 1960s, Spain was waiting with open arms to receive the first British holidaymakers to experience paella, sangria and sunburn. Spanish beach resorts in the Costas are still among the top-rated travel destinations. Cities such as the capital Madrid and the Catalan favourite Barcelona are bursting with history and culture, and present opportunities for cultural sightseeing holidays or weekend breaks. Beach holidays in Benidorm, Malaga, Marbella and countless other coastal towns are perfect for families, couples and large groups, with plenty of variation. Spanish holiday islands such as Ibiza and Majorca in the Balearics, and Tenerife, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands are popular alternatives to the Spanish mainland destinations.
You can almost imagine that Spain was invented by travel boffins as the perfect holiday destination for British people. With short flight times, miles of superb sandy coastline, glorious weather and excellent resorts, Spain has everything you need. Magnificent history and culture is really just the cherry on the cake!
When to Go?
Summer holidays in Spain have been a mainstay of the package holiday industry since its inception, and Spanish beaches are still awash with pasty Brits throughout the June, July and August summer holiday period. To avoid the crowds (and the heat) May and September are a good choice, and also tend to be cheaper. Spring and autumn are also the best times for sightseeing in cities such as Barcelona, Valencia, Alicante and the capital Madrid.
How to get there?
The wide variety of popular destinations in Spain means there are flights from most UK airports. The main destinations include major cities such as Madrid (MAD), Seville (SVQ), Valencia (VLC), and Barcelona (BCN), plus the nearby Reus Airport (REU) - gateway to the Costa Dorada. Spanish beach resorts are served by airports including Malaga (AGP) in the Costa del Sol, Murcia (MJV), Almeria (LEI) and Alicante (ALC) in the Costa Blanca.
Spend a few days in Barcelona admiring the wonderful architecture of Antoni Gaudi, including the quite astonishing Sagrada Familia cathedral and the beautiful Park Guell. Visit the Alhambra in Granada, a world renowned palace-fortress built in the 14th century. Take a weekend break in the fashionable Spanish capital, Madrid, to enjoy an embarrassment of cultural riches, from the superb architectural splendour to the countless museums and galleries. The fabulous Las Islas Cies in Galicia, northwest Spain, is a world-renowned beach, with a soft crescent of sand on a crystal clear turquoise lagoon, located in a beautiful national park.