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So close and yet so different, our neighbour Spain has a lot to teach us in terms of traditions and art of living. Legend has it that you could spend a year in Spain attending a different festival every day. Are you up to the challenge? Spain has been steeped in the history of the Romans, Visigoths and Arabs, and has managed to preserve its traditions and folklore, making them its strength and originality. From Holy Week to bullfighting, through the unlikely Tomatina, this tourist guide will help you choose where to start your stay. Indeed, the cities of Spain have a rich heritage. First there is Madrid, Spain's modern capital and host to some of the country's most important museums, then there are 17 regions that differ in their history, gastronomy and sometimes language. On the Mediterranean coast long golden beaches stretch almost continuously, from the unmissable Catalonia with its crazy city of Barcelona to the poetic Andalusia , via the Valencian Community and Murcia. Inland, Navarre,Aragon,Extremadura and the two Castillas, dotted with castles and mills, offer a completely different face, that of a more discreet and authentic Spain. On the Atlantic coast, there is rural Galicia , which is still little visited, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, which offer wilder and more rugged landscapes. Finally, Spain is also the very trendy Balearic Islands and the wild and volcanic Canary Islands. As is often the case, the hardest part is choosing. Each region has its own specialities, but in any case your days will be lively! Use the advice of your Spain guide to choose where to go and what to visit

What to see, what to do Spain?

When to go Spain ?

Spain is one of the destinations that can be visited all year round. However, the prices of your holiday rentals vary according to the duration of important cultural events:

The high season rates are therefore applied for Holy Week (Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday), the Fallas de Valencia (mid-March), the Feria de Sevilla (April), San Fermín in Pamplona (July) or the religious processions, bullfights and reconstitution of the fights that take place in each village. It is then advisable to book your rental car and accommodation well in advance to avoid unpleasant surprises. July and August and public holidays have the same rates.

The low season corresponds to the low months in Spain, generally from the end of October to the end of March, except in the Canary Islands. In some backcountry resorts, hotels or tourist facilities may close between November and February.

The mid-season includes the months of May, June, September and October. The prices are moderate and the temperature is always mild. This country on the Iberian Peninsula has many attractions, so it is not uncommon for prices to fluctuate during this period.

It is therefore strongly recommended to look at the calendar of events before choosing the region to visit or the season to choose.

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Covid-19 : current situation Spain

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, entry and travel restrictions may apply Spain. Remember to visit the site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before you leave for the latest information
Practical information for travel Spain

Each region of Spain can be visited in a short stay of one week, or even two weeks like Andalusia. And cities such as Madrid, Barcelona or Granada alone justify a trip to Spain. Here are some suggestions if you are short on time. In one week you can discover Castile, the cradle of the Spanish Golden Age. By visiting Madrid, its superb Prado or Reina Sofia art museums, its nerve center of the Puerta del Sol and its ever-changing movida. Then Toledo, capital of Spain until the 16th century, and Salamanca, a university and cultural center. If you have a month, your tour will take you to Andalusia (Cordoba, Granada, Seville...), to Extremadura or to the northern coast, to meet Santander or San Sebastián. The route of the "pueblos blancos" or the Rioja wines are good thematic approaches to this country.

How to go Spain

How to go alone

It is very easy to go to Spain alone, as the road, rail and air transport networks are very developed. In addition, the Spaniards are welcoming and have an easy conversation and the country enjoys a similar level of security as France. However, be careful with pickpockets in tourist areas and large cities, especially Barcelona and Madrid. Remember to book well in advance during the summer or during the holidays.

How to go on a tour

The French love to spend their holidays in Spain. Many tourist tours are available. The territory being immense, we will most often favour a thematic approach: hiking tour, seaside tour, mill tour or mountain bike tour. To visit a region during your stay in Spain, please allow a minimum of 15 days. City trips can also be planned over three to five days in one of the major cities.

How to get around

If you want to visit the major Spanish cities, take advantage of a quality and cheap public transport network. On the train side, the frequency and punctuality of arrivals vary. On the bus side, Spain is very well meshed, better than France. Several companies are now competing for the sky with promotions and discounts, including Vueling and Iberia. Finally, with more than 2,000 km of toll motorways, the Spanish network is rather well developed and of good quality.

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Discover Spain

A real biker's guide, this booklet will help you to understand the different notions to live your passion at its best, whatever your level, whether you are a simple beginner in the field of two wheels or an experienced biker. After a few preliminaries, you will find several files ranging from the different motorcycle models - and the recommended models according to your use - to the recommended equipment for your bike as well as the essential accessories for any self-respecting biker. Without ever skimping on safety, we will show you how to best prepare your trip with the preparations and guidance tools for maximum comfort. Finally, the last pages will allow you to find the specialized press. So let's go!

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Museo historico d'Ecija. Office de tourisme d'Ecija
Saveurs locales. Author's Image
Groupe de Batucada lors du festival de Teguise. motivarte -
Puerto Sardina. Author's Image

The 12 keywords Spain

1. Abanico

From spring onwards, you will observe the art of handling theabanico, fan, on public transport and in the street. It's a great thing to do when the temperature rises above 30°C. It is the must-have souvenir to bring back from Spain. With prices ranging from a few euros to higher prices for models made of fine lace.

2. Castanets

The experts make them clap in the hand to produce a particular sound. Introduced in the 17th century, they were used to accompany a dance, the fandango, which was forbidden by the Church at the time. They owed their great popularity to the flamenco and Sevillana of the last century. Today they are still used for shows.

3. Chiringuito

It is a bit the equivalent of our beach huts. Brought back from Cuba by the Indianos, Spaniards who left to make their fortune in the New World, they developed in the 60s and 70s following the tourist boom and have been regulated since 2014. They will accompany your stays on the coast, with the right amount of drinks and food.

4. Gente (the)

The tabloid press plays an important role in the daily life of Spaniards, as evidenced by the circulation of the indispensable Hola (nearly 500,000 copies per week) and the daily programming of the "Corazón" section on a public channel. It follows the gente (the people), footballers, top models, bullfighters or royal families.

5. Marcha

The marcha is linked to the party. Ir de marcha or salir de marcha means to go out and have fun all night long. As a group, Spaniards start the evening by going from bar to bar. Traditionally, everyone buys a round. When the night is well underway, they join the discos. And the after party ends in the morning with chocolate con churros.

6. Movida

This movement emerged in Madrid at the end of the 70s. Initially clandestine, it developed in the 1980s in parallel with the advent of democracy. It was marked by a profusion of avant-garde works in all areas of creation, represented by the singer Joaquín Sabina and the filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.

7. Once

You will come across many kiosks or street vendors working for the National Organization of the Spanish Blind (ONCE), which organizes the lotto to finance infrastructure for the blind and disabled. The Spaniards are very gambling, but the best is the gordo, whose draw on December 22 is followed throughout Spain.

8. Semana Santa

April marks the beginning of Holy Week in all of Spain, which varies from region to region, being more austere in the north and more noisy and colorful in the south. On this occasion, you will see huge pasos(portable altars) representing Christ or the Virgin, abundantly decorated and decorated with flowers and followed by the procession of penitents.

9. Tapas

Born in Andalusia, this practice of covering the drink with a small plate(tapa) with some food has spread throughout Spain. And today, Ir de chatos, ir de pinchos, ir de tapeo, are all expressions to designate the same practice: to meet around a drink and chat with friends. Around 2pm or around 8:30pm.

10. Turrón

This time it is a product that has spread throughout Spain to become the flagship dessert of Christmas. It is a specialty of the Valencian Community where most of its production is concentrated: a soft nougat of brown color, from Jijona or with a harder texture and based on whole almonds, for that of Alicante.

11. Uvas

On December 31, a grape, uva, must be swallowed at the stroke of midnight, so that the coming year goes well. Know that they come from the region of Novelda, province of Alicante. Of the Aledo variety, they are wrapped in paper from October so that they are beautiful on the tables and then shipped throughout Spain.

12. Zarzuela

Born in the middle of the 17th century, it is a kind of operetta where declamation alternated with singing to entertain the royal court. In the 18th century its repertoire was extended to everyday subjects and 19th century Spain used it to affirm its identity. This genre reached its nobility with the masterpieces of Bretón and Chapí.

You are from here, if...

You prefer lunch, the comida fuerte, and in the evening it is rather tapeo, but anyway, light, to sleep well.

You like to take your time and you are not fussy about schedules.

You take a nap as soon as the heat arrives and you rush to the nearest coastal beaches as soon as the weather is nice.

You practice theabrazo. No handshake for you, it's too formal.

You drink your coffee on the rocks(cafe con hielo), in summer because it's a good way to beat the heat.

You ask your friends or family what they will do, not on Easter, but on Semana Santa.

You are a soccer fan, and you wear your club's colors without missing a single game.

You eat churros con chocolate, but only in winter, unlike tourists who eat them all year round.

You are a player and never miss the TV broadcast of the Gordo draw on December 22.

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