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Spain holidays: The best holiday destinations in Spain

Spain is one of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers from the UK. And it's no wonder. With the short flight times, delicious food and some of the most exciting holiday destinations in Europe, a Spain holiday always delivers.

Whether you're after an action-packed city break or a relaxing family island holiday, Spain is bound to have a destination that ticks all your boxes. And we're here to help! No matter which type of holiday you're after, this page is packed with all our very best - and cheapest - Spain holiday deals.

You'll also find loads of inspiration here, such as the best destinations in Spain and the top things to do and eat while you're there. From the world-class museums of Madrid to the photogenic beaches of Ibiza, a Spain holiday is guaranteed to be utterly unforgettable.

When is the best time to visit Spain?

With its great weather and wide variety of activities on offer, Spain is a top travel destination at any time of year. Get the lowdown for Spain's seasons below.

🌸 Spring: This is when the south of Spain is in bloom and the weather is pleasantly warm, but not too hot. Spring is a good time to visit Andalucia or Murcia.

☀️ Summer: South and central Spain can become very hot, but this is also when the mountains in the north and west of Spain are at their best (a good point for hikers to keep in mind!).

🍁 Autumn: This is a great time for a beach holiday in Spain, as this is when the temperatures drop but are still pleasantly warm. And most of the other tourists will be gone, which means you might have the beaches to yourself!

❄️ Winter: This is the perfect time to visit Spain's many great ski resorts, such as Valdezcaray in the Rioja region.

The highlights of a Spain holiday

No matter where you end up travelling to, there are some essential things you must do during any trip to Spain. Here are our favourite must-dos for a Spain holiday.

Go out for tapas: This is the Spanish version of a pre-dinner pub crawl. You'll need to head out with a group of friends to sample different wines and tapas in several bars - all before going out to a restaurant for dinner, of course.

Explore local history and culture: There are plenty of famous museums in Spain but look out for the smaller ones, as this is where you can learn about truly local history and artists. Some of our top lesser-known museums in Spain include the Museo Del Jamon de Monesterio in Extremadura and the Museum of Pilgrimage and Santiago in Galicia.

Explore historic town centres on foot: This our favourite way of getting to know a new destination. Discover charming hidden places for drinks or atmospheric alleyways filled with tucked-away restaurants and cafes.

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The best things to do in Spain

Spain really does have it all. Picture-perfect beaches, fascinating museums, ancient buildings and ruins, buzzing nightlife, delicious food and drink and spectacular national parks, to name but a few. And this is what makes Spain such a reliable travel destination - you'll always find something to do.

Here are some of our favourite things to do during a Spain holiday.

  • Plaza Mayor: Central Madrid's Plaza Mayor is one of the top tourist attractions in the Spanish capital. This is where you can enjoy delicious Spanish food in the many restaurants and enjoy unique architecture. This square is also worth visiting in winter, as the traditional Christmas markets are located here.

  • Teide National Park: Tenerife's Teide National Park was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007 and it's now considered to be one of Spain's top tourist attractions. The park is home to Mount Teide, a large volcano that is also Spain's highest peak. To access Teide's summit, you'll need an extra permit (strictly limited) - make sure that you apply for this permit well in advance.

  • Iglesia Nuestra Senora de Regla: On Fuerteventura, you can find one of the most beautiful churches in all of the Canary Islands. You can find Iglesia Nuestra Senora de Regla in the city ​​of Pajara, and you'll want to spend plenty of time marvelling at the ornate decorations found on the exterior facade. Bonus? Admission is free.

  • Alcazaba and Roman Theatre: The city of Malaga has two impressive historic buildings. The Alcazaba is an ancient fortification that dates from the 11th century. Just beneath it, you can find the Roman Theatre, which was built in the 1st century BC. Both of these ancient places deserve a visit.

  • La Sagrada Familia: No Spain holiday is truly complete without a visit to Barcelona's La Sagrada Familia. Considered to be the symbol of Barcelona, this gravity-defying architecture needs to be seen to be believed. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, whose work can be seen in other parts of the city, the church is still not complete to this day. Remember to book tickets in advance!

  • Valencia's Old Town: Whatever you do, don't miss out on seeing Valencia's beautiful Old Town. There are many landmarks to see here, including the historical main square - the Plaza de la Virgen - as well as Valencia Cathedral. Other popular attractions are the Torres de Serranos, La Lonja and the Palace Marques de Dos Aguas.

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Plan a Spain beach holiday

Home to gorgeous islands, including Ibiza, Cabrera, Majorca and Gran Canaria, Spain offers some of Europe's finest and cleanest beaches.

Playa de Silencio in Asturias is one of Spain's most exquisite beaches, known for its natural rock formations and silver sand. On the island of Majorca, Cala Agulla is a great place to bask in the tropical weather of summer and early autumn, while indulging in plenty of water sports, of course!

Nicknamed the Caribbean of the European continent, Playa de Ses Illetes in Formentera is worth a visit for its turquoise water, white sand and numerous bars and restaurants.

Located in the town of Tarifa, Playa de Bolonia is an ideal place for hiking along the sand dunes while admiring an awe-inspiring view of the turquoise water. This beach is also excellent for kitesurfing due to its crashing waves and strong winds.

Start planning your own beach holiday in Spain today.

The 14 best types of food to try in Spain

  1. Tapas
    Where to eat: Madrid and Barcelona
    Tapas are an absolutely essential food experience, and you can find them pretty much anywhere you go in Spain. These small plates are meant to be split with friends and tapas culture is especially strong in the big cities like Madrid and Barcelona. You’ll usually encounter two types of tapas: pinchos are individual slices of bread with different toppings like sardines or chunks of thick tortilla while porciones are small plates for sharing.

  2. Tortilla Espanola
    Where to eat: Everywhere
    While some may associate the word 'tortilla' with the thin, flat pancakes used in Mexican cuisine, tortilla Espanola is actually a type of omelette. This dish is usually made using potatoes, eggs and onion. The result is a crust-less quiche, usually more than an inch or two thick. Tortilla Espanola is served by the slice and is especially tasty when sandwiched between two slices of bread

  3. Croquetas
    Where to eat: Madrid
    Croquetas are one of those foods that exist in one form or another in many countries across the globe. In Spain, croquetas have a crispy outer crust and a warm, gooey centre that's filled with thick, cheesy bechamel and your choice of filling. The most common fillings include jamon, cod or shredded chicken.

  4. Patatas bravas
    Where to eat: Madrid
    While we might have our chips and ketchup, the Spanish have patatas bravas. Translated as 'brave' or 'wild' potatoes, these crispy potato morsels are drizzled with a spicy tomato sauce. They're the perfect accompaniment to a late-night cana (small beer). Grab a few porciones to share with friends.

  5. Gazpacho
    Where to eat: Andalucia
    Gazpacho is the perfect summertime dish: cool, refreshing and not too filling. This chilled soup uses juicy summer tomatoes as its base, along with vegetables like cucumber, pepper and onions. Buy it fresh at a cafe or restaurant or pick up a carton at the supermarket to take on a picnic. For a thicker alternative with a similar flavour, try the lighter-coloured salmorejo.

  6. Paella
    Where to eat: Valencia
    Paella is one of Spain’s most iconic foods; this savoury saffron-infused rice dish is prepared with vegetables, seafood or meat (and sometimes all three). It's traditionally cooked in a large round pan and the most common variants are paella mixta (a mix of meat and seafood), paella de marisco (seafood) and paella de verduras (vegetables). If you want to try something a little different, go for paella negra, sometimes called arros negre, which is prepared with squid ink.

  7. Pan con tomate
    Where to eat: Balearic Islands
    Sometimes the simplest dishes are also the tastiest. Pan con tomate means 'bread with tomato' and has many variants across the regions of Spain, such as the pa amb oli ('bread and oil') of the Balearic Islands. Be sure to save some extra bread to dip in a bit of alioli, a highly addictive garlicky mayonnaise spread that you’ll usually find as a pre-meal appetiser.

  8. Pulpo a la gallega
    Where to eat: Galicia
    It may seem like an unusual combination, but this mixture of fluffy potatoes and tender, briny squid that's drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika just works. Share a plateful with a travel companion over a glass of red wine for an afternoon snack.

  9. Churros con chocolate
    Where to eat
    : Everywhere
    It’s a testament to the delicious nature of fried foods that churros have now spread across the globe. The varieties are endless: some are filled with sweet cream, some are dusted with cinnamon sugar, others are served as thin loops and others as hollow columns. In Spain, churros are best eaten dipped in a tub of thick hot chocolate.

  10. Crema Catalana
    Where to eat
    : Catalonia
    Another sweet treat, Crema Catalana is the cousin of the French creme brulee. The main difference is that Crema Catalana is thickened with cornstarch and is typically not made with cream. You’ll find this creamy custard dessert on menus across Catalonia (and the rest of Spain).

  11. Fabada Asturiana
    Where to eat: Asturias
    The green, mountainous Asturias is a great choice for outdoorsy travellers, and it's also known for having a slightly cooler climate. Enter the fabada Asturiana, a hearty stew that's made from white beans and different types of pork, such as ham hock and chorizo; it's best accompanied by a local Asturian cider.

  12. Pimientos de padron
    Where to eat
    : Galicia
    These small green peppers are the perfect salty snack to accompany a refreshing glass of beer. The peppers are often prepared with plenty of olive oil and a generous dash of salt. Padron peppers are available in many places in the UK, meaning that you can replicate the recipe back home.

  13. Queso manchego
    Where to eat: La Mancha
    Spain has its fair share of delicious cheeses - queso Mahon, from the town of the same name in Menorca, is another good bet - but queso manchego is perhaps the most famous. Made from Manchega sheep's milk, the end result is a sweet but nutty cheese that pairs well with fig spread and crisp crackers or warm bread.

  14. Cured pork, in all its forms
    Where to eat: Everywhere
    Chorizo, jamon iberico, fuet, jamon serrano, morcilla - the list goes on and on. The Spanish have perfected the art of curing pork, and whether it’s a thick slice of spicy chorizo or a delicate sliver of melt-in-your-mouth jamon serrano, it’s hard to go wrong. Seek out the local speciality wherever you’re staying or order a plate with a variety of options to find your favourite.