Last updated on October 26, 2020
The Ultimate Guide to Spain
Update: Spain has declared a state of emergency. The Spanish government has ordered a nationwide curfew in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The walls are closing in and the temperatures are rising, you need to escape your house and your neighbour, you start to reminisce about summers past. Livin' La Vida Loca is stuck in your head, but wait what's that? You watch the news and a smile appears across your face. Spain is open for tourism!
Below we will dive deeper into the new rules and regulations for visiting Spain and your travel possibilities inside the country as well as some secrets along the way.
Spain plans to open its borders up to international travel on June 21 with EU and Schengen Area countries being the first to gain access into the country without having to undergo a compulsory 2-week quarantine. Portuguese citizens will be able to enter Spain on July 1 after an agreement was struck to delay the opening of borders between the two countries.
From July 10, all UK travellers returning from a holiday to Spain do not need to self-isolate for 14 days once returning to the country. This is great news and will help us to travel more freely in mind, body and soul while following the local rules and regulations. Find the full list of included countries here.
Rules inside the country
From May 11, small businesses and hotels opened their doors but social distancing remains in place. Cafes, bars and restaurants are also now operating with 50% capacity. Theatres and cinemas welcomed visitors from late-May onward. Beaches are operational as of late June.
Face masks are mandatory for all people over the age of 6 years old in public places. A fine of 100 euros if you are found out in public without a face mask with a social distance of 1.5 metres applied. The rules are becoming less and less every week.
Are you about to be the first to visit Spain? Be prepared to find it untypically empty without tourists like in this video about Madrid.
Spain travel secrets
Valencia is the capital of Paella, with the dish originating from this region in Spain. The city has many restaurants that serve Paella and the dish is very well-known. A paella place with promise is called Restaurant Casa Carmela. It's a hidden gem that is mainly frequented by locals of the city which gives it an underground and authentic Spanish feeling.
Do you like to add some adventure to your travels? Well, look no further than a Stand-up Paddling (SUP) tour. This sport is becoming more and more popular. There are great tours in Ibiza and Formentera as well as a SUP tour through the Guadalquivir river in Seville which gives you a view of the city from a different perspective. A mixture of adventure and beautiful sites.
The big cities are exciting and all and of course have beautiful buildings and restaurants, but you want something different, something that is completely foreign? We searched and searched and finally, after much deliberation, we have decided on Begur. Begur, Costa Brava is a small village close to Girona which is off the beaten track. The village has stunning views of the sea as well as many tucked away pristine beaches, with Sa Tuna beach being a particular treat.
Eat some traditional tapas at Tapas de Begur or go for a fancy dinner at restaurant Diferente. There is also a gorgeous castle on the top of the hill accessible via the old town which is a splendour walk through the village.
There are quite a few lovely smaller villages in Spain. We will have a look at a village in the South of Spain. This village is located close to Malaga. An up and coming village is Nerja, it is located close to the ocean and boasts gorgeous views of the sea.
Nerja has a cave system that is home to the biggest Stalactites in the world. The guided cave tour lasts 45 minutes, an underground experience. This cave is one of the most unique things you can do in Spain and can be done by everyone in the family from your nan to your child.
Branch out from Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the most visited cities in the world and houses great touristy spots. As we are looking for something more unique, something more Spanish, forget the busy city centre and go to Barceloneta instead. Chill at the beach. Eat at one of the many seafood restaurants. Visit the Marina (harbour) of Barceloneta to see some luxurious yachts.
Or, if you are staying in Barcelona and want to escape the busy city for a day, go on a day trip to Montserrat, a monastery in the mountains. Remember to catch the beautiful voice of the L'Escolania boys Choir that was first established in 1223.
Spain is opening up and this brings some joy and hopes that your summer holiday can continue although this is promising please be aware of the rules and regulations of the country. Follow respectfully the new guidelines so we can travel free together.