Local Spain Experts
The trip.me way of travel
It’s fair to say that Spain, for the tourist, is split into distinctive types of trips: the beaches, the cities, and the cities with beaches.
Most tours of Spain will start in Madrid or Barcelona. Madrid is a scintillating mixture of fine-dining, hedonistic nightlife, astonishing art and irresistible cafes. It is in Madrid that the different facets of Spanish life are most obviously apparent (although aficionados of one particular aspect – flamenco or wine, for example – will have another favorite destination). The Almodovarian stereotypes are still about, as are the traditional art of bull-fighting and old tapas bars, but Spain’s perpetual willingness to experiment also makes Madrid one of Europe’s most exciting cities in the arts and gastronomy.
Barcelona is one of Europe’s nightlife capitals, and one of the continent’s most popular tourist destinations. Thanks to ts glut of restaurants, clubs and bars, hedonistic revelers have traveled there for decades. Fortunately for them, they can always work off any unwanted unease on Barcelona’s charming (though somewhat crowded) beaches. Barcelona is also famous for the work of Gaudi, who has several important architectural wonders around the city. All of these are worth visiting, as are the several museums and galleries in the city. Barcelona’s greatest charms, however, are found wandering through its maze-like, narrow streets.
There are many other cities in Spain that warrant visits on tours. Bilbao, in the north of the country, may have had a tough past but it has come kicking and screaming into the 21st century with a wealth of new projects and investments (notably the Museo Guggenheim) that have given it a global reputation for the arts. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the heart of Bilbao has gone missing. It remains a tough, soulful city and the clash between these two sides of its personality is undoubtedly what makes it such an exciting place to be.
Nearby San Sebastian charms with its laid back attitude and sultry style, while Pamplona‘s Running of the Bulls is one of the world’s most infamous festivals. The north is also home of La Rioja – the delicious red wine.
Valencia is another of Spain’s most famous cities, and one of its liveliest. While the beaches at nearby Costa Blanca inevitably prove the most attractive to European holiday-makers, it’s on the streets of Valencina and Murcia that one really sees the culture of the region. And, of course, no Spain tours would be complete without sampling some paella, right? In Valencia, you’ll find the very best available.
Spanish tours inevitably focus on the country’s beautiful beaches, and rightly so. Head towards the south of the country for beautiful Islamic architecture, incredible food, astonishing beaches and the very best of the country’s flamenco. Seville is a particular delight, and should be sought out on any tour of Spain.
Finally, when mainland Spain is all covered, you have the islands. Ranging from the unashamedly raucous (Ibiza) to the sublimely relaxing (Menorca), these islands make for a great couple of days (or weeks) on Spain tours.
There’s plenty more on offer in Spain – from the north’s rugged coastline in Galicia to the charming villages dotted throughout the country – so if you plan on going on a tour to Spain, be sure to plan on going back again and again.
Spain could be an all year destination if you don’t mind a little chill or some extreme heat, but if you prefer it somewhere in the middle you’ll want to visit around May, June and September (you can extend this to April and October if your Spain tour is in the south.
In winter you can find mild weather in the south of Spain, whereas along the mountains you’ll be battling it out in the cold. In short: take your pick.
Spain’s is a complicated culture that continues defining and redefining itself into the 21st Century. The country is split into several regions, with many of these seeking autonomy, or at least exhibiting a great deal of unrest under the Spanish rule. The most vocal of these groups are the Catalans and the Basques, both of whom have their own language and distinct culture (they’re not the only regions like this, to be sure).
Whatever the political situation, anyone on Spain tours will appreciate the diversity of the country and the distinctive separations between regions – as well as seeing considerable similarities between them. One major similarity is the warmth of the people. The Spanish are an open, inclusive people who generally greet foreigners with great heart and generosity, as well as pride in their country/region.
Another common factor is the food and wine which, thankfully, is uniformly excellent. Whether it’s tapas in a dive bar or a world-renowned chef in a restaurant in Barcelona, the quality is likely to be excellent, the conversation engaging and your evening completely memorable.
Margaux was very accommodating in every way. She spent many hours adjusting the itinerary according to our wishes and desires. Everything she planned for us was ready upon our arrival. Her choices of lodging, car rental, and places to visit were well chosen. It was actually a surprise when she met us the first day at our hotel. We made a last minute change during our trip, and she was additionally accommodating and helped with the arrangements.
We chose a self-driving itinerary through the southern part of Spain, Andalusia region. We were extremely pleased with the location, and quality of each of our accommodations planned by Margaux. While car and insurance was included in our rate, we were rather shocked that the rental car company insisted they we needed additional car coverage protection. We should have called Margaux earlier to examine what the term "insurance" in the trip.me plan covered before venturing on the trip. We assumed it meant car insurance...so to any new travelers, we'd ask to examine the coverages before paying additionally. Also, I might suggest that when embarking on a self-driving itinerary, that one learns the features of the car and how to connect with any GPS features. We learned about this with our car but only after a few days into the trip....this is not an issue with trip.me, but rather one with the car rental representatives and their lack of explanation of the features of a car like ours.
Marta was easy to work with and asked all of the right questions. Overall, our trip was fantastic and well thought out. All of the hotels were perfect for us and their locations were also very convenient to the center of the cities that we visited. If I had any negative it would be that in some cities it was very difficult to locate the hotel and especially difficult to determine where we could drop off our luggage and check-in. Especially true in Madrid!. Perhaps some added detail would be helpful for travelers who are driving since GPS navigation devices will not give you this kind of important information.Read More Read More Less
She did a great job, planning and making it happen, we had a great time.
Margaux was fantastic! Margaux helped us along the way with any questions. She was proactive, professional, always on top of everything related to our wonderful 18 day trip to Spain.