Wine Tourism Tips
Travelling tips in Spain
There are many different Spain: Spain offers a large geographical and cultural diversity. You can find great beaches and holiday resorts, green meadows in the Northern, snowy mountains to ski and some areas that look like deserts in the South.
When to visit?
There are tourists all year round in Spain, but weather conditions vary significantly from one region to the other (the North being cooler and rainier) and from Summer to Winter.
We find the best seasons from April to June and September & October. July and August are hot (the North coast being warm) and winters can be cold in central and mountainous areas. South and Mediterranean coasts have milder, more pleasant winters, but not warm enough to sunbathe (the Canary islands are an exception with more stable, warm weather all year round).
Greetings in Spain typically involve 2 kisses on each cheek (men to women or women to women) and shaking hands (men to men).
Religion in Spain:
Spain is a Catholic country, masses happen normally on Sunday mornings. The younger population are less religious than in previous generations.
Calling abroad and internet:
Hotels impose a high surcharge on every call. There are telephone boxes in the streets that operate with coins and cards (with the expansion of cellular phones the number of telephone boxes has decreased though). Instructions are provided in English. To make an international call dial 00, followed by the country code and the number you need. Internet cafes and internet shops are popular, mainly in big cities.
Spanish is the language known by all the population in Spain. Catalan, Gallego and Basque are also spoken in each of these regions. English knowledge is not as high as in other Western European countries, so be patient to find an English speaker and speak slowly.
220 volts AC. Plugs are continental European. We recommend taking your adaptor with you.
Tipping in Spain:
Service is generally not included but tips should be around 5% as nobody expects higher than this.
Spain is a world leader in renewable wind energy. You will find many wind farms whilst travelling in Spain (A new version of Don Quixote´s mills!).
The visitor should pay attention to pick pocking, mainly in the city centre at large cities. In Madrid the Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, or the Retiro Park are hot spots for pick pockers.
The same applies for Barcelona, where you should be especially careful in the Plaza Catalunya, the Ramblas and surrounding streets of the old district.
On roads: pay attention to flag down robberies, some vehicles are flagged down by passengers in other vehicles who simulate a problem or indicate there is a problem in yours.
Police officers will be in uniform in all travel related issues. Unmarkedpolice cars will show a flashing electronic sign The Guardia Civil deal with traffic. The Guardia Civil or Police will ask you to show them your documents only and not your bag or walletpolice can be contacted dialing the 112.
Getting Around Spain:
The motorway system is good. The system combines payable and free motorways. We recommend you use Guia Michelin to find out the cost of motorway tolls on concrete routes.
The train service is rendered by Renfe, the Spanish national rail carrier. High-speed train is available on a limited number of connections: Madrid & Seville, Madrid & Zaragoza and Madrid Barcelona but it continues to expand. Bus is a good option and most major routes are point to point and with good frequency.
Currency and credit cards in Spain:
Credit cards are usually accepted in most shops and hotels. You may need to present your passport sometimes to demonstrate you are the card owner. You may need however to pay cash in most tapas bar (even in Madrid or Barcelona).