Let’s Talk About… Spain

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Montefrío, one of my favorite small Spanish towns in Andalucía

If you follow my blog, Instagram, worked with me professionally, or happen to know me in real life, you know that I have a slight (ok, incredibly large) Spain obsession.  I have spent large amounts of time in Granada, Madrid, and Barcelona. Additionally, I have traveled all over the country extensively and several times. At this point, España is pretty much my other digital nomad home base, and returning here feels like coming home again.  But in an “I am so happy to be home!” way.

Por fin (finally), here I am, back in Madrid.  So it is clearly time to gush about Spain again.  And help make YOUR dreams of traveling to Spain a reality. Because I am helpful like that.

This country is such a fantastic travel destination.  I always recommend it to my clients looking for a European vacation. And I have helped several of my clients make their Spanish travel dreams come true.

So what makes Spain so special? And why do so many different types of travelers rave about it.

For starters, there is something for every type of traveler here.  Are you an art lover?  Madrid has no fewer than three world-class art museums.  Interested in Iberian Moorish (and Jewish) culture? Andalucía (the south of Spain) is calling your name.  Want to visit a beautiful beach? You can choose between the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Bay of Biscay.  The infamous, tourist-ridden Costa del Sol is not the only beach option, believe me!  Are small towns your thing?  If you rent a car, you have access to thousands of them.  And even without a car, Spain’s extensive bus and rail system makes visiting more off the beaten path places possible.  Love getting lost in a big city?  Madrid and Barcelona are perfect for aimless wandering.  Do you love natural wonders? Spain is filled with beautiful nature and national parks.  Want to learn a new language? Obviously Castilian Spanish is an option, but you can also study Catalan, Gallego, or Basque.

Then there is the food. The food here is delicious (even for us vegetarians). Everything is so fresh and carefully prepared.  Local markets stock every type of vegetable possible. Spanish cheese is so underrated it is almost a secret. But once you try San Simón, you will thank me for the recommendation. For you meat eaters, you really have it all here. Spain probably is your culinary heaven. Of course, Jamón is a huge part of Spanish culture.  But the pig based options stretch well beyond legs of ham. Every region has its unique local specialties.  For example, you’d be amiss to visit Basque Country without stuffing your face with pintxos. And don’t miss the pimientos de padrón in Galicia, these small peppers, occasionally spicy, are always prepared perfectly.  Fancy baby suckling pig so tender that you can with it with a plate? You have to go to Segovia to try Cochinillo.  And the list goes on and on.  Finally, I don’t mention the wine, I am clearly doing my blog readers a disservice.  Spanish fantastic, diverse, cheap (see below), unique, and plentiful.  A glass of Albariño a day keeps el médico away.  Or at least I tell myself that.

What really makes Spain so special are the people.  Spaniards are friendly, diverse, welcoming, helpful, fun loving, and relaxed while being full of life.  If you want to be alone, it is possible.  But if you find yourself traveling alone and lonely, just go to the nearest tapas bar and strike up a conversation.  Even if you don’t speak Spanish, Spaniards are patient and love to meet people from other countries.  Many of them speak some English too.  (But making an attempt to learn some Spanish goes very far in Spain and is much appreciated).  You will have new friends faster than you can say “una caña*, por favor.” (*a small and cheap cup of beer)

Traveling on a tight budget? Spain is also one of Europe’s few remaining good deals.  Although the dollar is currently weak, and the Euro has gone up in value, it is still possible to visit Spain much cheaper than some of its neighboring European countries.  For example, the menu del día is a great way to have a cheap (and large) lunch.  A decent cup of wine will only set you back about €2.  And there are many other tips and tricks to make your Euros go far here, even in the bigger cities.

Getting around Spain is simple and actually fun.  High-speed trains whisk passengers between the larger and medium-sized cities.  An extensive rail network connects most of the rest of the country.  The busses are convenient and comfortable (many even offer free WiFi).  And within the cities, there are underground metro systems, light rail, streetcars, and busses.  But to really explore a Spanish city, walking is best.

In terms of safety, other than the pickpockets that plague every large city, Spain is very safe.  The country is ideal for solo travelers, even first-time solo travelers.  It hardly ever feels dangerous walking around alone (in most parts of) Madrid, a city of over three million people, at night.  As long as you take usual common sense precautions, you will most likely be very safe in Spain.

Sold yet?  Want to visit Spain yourself?  I am a Spain expert and can help you plan a memorable trip here.  Whether you have one week or three months, I can customize a trip to Spain that suits your needs, budget, and interests.  Let’s get in touch to begin to make your dreams of Spain a reality.

Te quiero, España!