The Spanish island of Tenerife was the number one holiday location for Britons looking to take a break over New Year’s Eve, survey finds.
Arrive in Madrid and transfer to you hotel on SIC.Enjoy a Art Flamenco at “Torres Bermejas” with One drink & Show ticket only. Overnight in Madrid.
Proceed on the Madrid sightseeing tour & Bernabeu Stadium owned by Real Madrid club.Overnight in Madrid.
Morning, proceed to the train station (on your own) and board your train to Seville. Overnight in Seville.
Proceed for a Hop on Hop off Tour of Seville. In the afternoon, you may try Sky Diving in Seville (on your own). Overnight in Seville.
Proceed to the train station (on your own). Board train to Valencia via Madrid (enjoy the fascinating ride on high speed AVE trains). On arrival, transfer to your hotel (on your own). Overnight in Valencia
Enjoy a hop on hop off tour of Valencia. Proceed to train station on your own & board train to Barcelona. In the late afternoon, explore the city on your own. Overnight in Barcelona
Morning travel to Girona for a Deep Sea diving activities (on your own).Overnight in Barcelona
In the afternoon, proceed on a Montserrat tour with Cog wheel train experience. Overnight in Barcelona.
Proceed to train station (on your own) & board your train to Bilbao. On arrival transfer to your hotel (on your own) and overnight in Bilbao
Enjoy a Full day tour to San Sebastian & Biarritz (lunch not included – departs on Sundays) or Vitoria & Rioja Wine Area (departs Monday) or full day tour of Basque Coast (departs on Saturdays) or Sanctuary of Loyola, Getaria, Zuaraz & San Sebastian tour (departs on Tuesdays). Overnight in Bilbao
Proceed to train station (on your own). Board train to Madrid. On arrival, transfer to your hotel (on your own). Overnight in Madrid.
Depart to Madrid Airport for your flight to final destination.
Spain, on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, is really 17 autonomous regions, each with its own geography and culture. The capital, Madrid, is home to the Royal Palace and singular Prado museum, housing works by European masters, and Segovia to the north has a fairy-tale medieval castle and Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s quirky modernist architecture, including the Sagrada Família basilica.
One of the characteristic features of the early history of Spain is the succesive waves of different peoples who spread all over the Peninsula. The first to appear were the Iberians, a Libyan people, who came from the south. Later came the Celts, a typically Aryan people, and from the merging of the two there arose a new race, the Celtiberians, who, divided into several tribes (Cantabrians, Asturians, Lusitanians) gave their name to their respective homelands. The next to arrive, attracted by mining wealth, were the Phoenicians, who founded a number of trading posts along the coast, the most important being that of Cadiz. After this came Greek settlers, who founded several towns, including Rosas, Ampurias and Sagunto. The Phoenicians, in their struggle against the Greeks, called on the Carthaginians, who, under the orders of Hamilcar Barca, took possession of most of Spain. It was at this time that Rome raised a border dispute in defense of the areas of Greek influence, and thus beguan in the Peninsula the Second Punic War, which decided the fate of the world at that time
After the Roman victory, Publius Cornelius Scipio, Africanus, began the conquest of Spain, which was to be under Roman rule for six centuries. Once the Peninsula had been completely subdued, it was Romanized to such an extent that it produced writers of the stature of Seneca and Lucan and such eminent emperors as Trajan and Hadrian. Rome left in Spain four powerful social elements: the Latin language, Roman law, the municipality and the Christian religion. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Suevi, Vandals and Alans entered Spain, but they were defeated by the Visigoths who, by the end of the 6th century, has occupied virtually the whole of the Peninsula. At the beginning of the 8th century the Arabs entered from the south. They conquered the country swiftly except for a small bulwark in the North which would become the initial springboard for the Reconquest, which was not completed until eight centuries later. The period of Muslim sway is divided into three periods: the Emirate (711 to 756), the Caliphate (756-1031) and the Reinos de Taifas (small independent kingdoms) (1031 to 1492). In 1808 Joseph Bonaparte was installed on the Spanish throne, following the Napoleonic invasion, although the fierce resistance of the Spanish people culminated in the restoration of the Bourbons in the person of Fernando VII. In 1873, the brief reign of Amadeo of Savoy ended with his abdication, and the First Republic was proclaimed.
However, a military pronunciamiento in 1875, restored the monarchy and Alfonso XII was proclaimed King of Spain. He was succeeded in 1886 by his son Alfonso XIII, although his mother Queen Maria Cristina of Habsburg acted as regent until 1902, when he was crowned king. Prior to this, a brief war with the United States resulted in the loss of Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines, in 1898, thus completing the dissolution of the Spanish overseas empire In the municipal elections of April 12th, 1931, it became clear that in all the large towns of Spain the candidates who supported the Monarchy had been heavily defeated. The size of the Republican's vote in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona was enormous. In the country districs the Monarchy gained enough seats to secure for them a majority in the nation as a whole. But it was well known that in the country the 'caciques' were still powerful enough to prevent a fair vote. By the evening of the day following the elections, great crowds were gathering in the streets of Madrid. The king's most trusted friends advised him to leave the capital without delay, to prevent bloodshed. As a result, Alfonso XIII left Spain and the Second Republic was established in April 14th. During its five-year lifetime, it was ridden with all kind of political, economic and social conflicts, which inexorably split opinions into two irreconcilable sides. The climate of growing violence culminated on July 18th 1936 in a military rising which turned into a tragic civil war which did not end until three years later.. On October 1st, 1936, General Franco took over as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
The Spanish State embarked on a period of forty years' dictatorship, during which the political life of the country was characterized by the illegality of all the political parties with the exception of the National Movement. Franco died in 1975, bringing to an end a period of Spanish history and opening the way to the restoration of the monarchy with the rise to the Throne of the present King of Spain, Juan Carlos I de Borbon y Borbon. The young monarch soon established himself as a resolute motor for change to a western-style democracy by means of a cautious process of political reform which took as its starting point the Francoist legal structure. Adolfo Suarez, the prime minister of the second Monarchy Government (july 1976) carried out with determination and skill though helped, certainly, by a broad social consensus the socalled transition to democracy which, after going through several stages (recognition of basic liberties, political parties, including the communist party, the trade unions, an amnesty for political offences, etc.), culminated in the first democratic parliamentary elections in 41 years, on June 15th, 1977. The Cortes formed as a result decided to start a constituent process which concluded with the adoption of a new Constitution, ratified by universal suffrage, on December 6th, 1978. Between 1980 and 1982, the regions of Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia and Andalusia approved statutes for their own self-government and elected their respective parliaments. In January 1981, the prime minister, Adolfo Suarez, resigned and was succeeded by Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo. On August 27th, 1982, Calvo-Sotelo presented to the King a decree for the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of a general election to be held on October 28th.
Victory of the polls went to the Spanish Socialist Worker Party (PSOE) and its secretary general, Felipe Gonzalez. The socialists obtained 202 seats out of the 350 of which the Lower House consists and approximately 48% of the popular vote. Felipe Gonzalez was elected prime minister (December 2nd) after the parliamentary vote of investiture. The major losers were the Union of the Democratic Centre -which has split up following the defection of a number of its members- and the Spanish Communist Party (PCE). The Popular Alliance, whose chairman was Manuel Fraga Iribarne, made considerable gains (106 seats and approximately 26% of the vote). The subsequent general elections of 1986, 1989 and 1993 were also won by the Spanish Socialist Party and consolidated the the position of the Popular Party, led by Jose Maria Aznar, as the second largest political force in the country.
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is a cosmopolitan city that combines the most modern infrastructures. Madrid is strategically located at the geographical centre of the Iberian peninsula, 646 meters above sea level. Its old town is exemplary among major European cities, and blends harmoniously with the most modern and convenient of urban infrastructure. Madrid offers a broad range of accommodation and services along with the most advanced audiovisual and communication technology. All this, combined with the momentum of a society that is dynamic and open, and at the same time warm and welcoming, has turned this metropolis into one of the western world's great capitals.
Bilbao is the heart of a metropolis where more than a million people live. It is the centre of the economic-social development and the main factor of the modernisation of the Bay of Biscay. The great architectural and infrastructure projects have been the driving force of the urban and economic regeneration of the city. The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, the Euskalduna Conference and Music Centre, Norman Foster's Underground, Calatrava's airport, the towers designed by the architects Arata Isozaki and César Pelli are all examples of the dynamism that exists in Bilbao. The city is situated in the area of Bizkaia and is surrounded by a fertile landscape with forests, mountains, beaches and steep coasts. All this makes Bilbao a privileged destination for visitors
There are few cities like Valencia, able to harmoniously combine the remnants of its farthest past, dating to the year 138 BC, with the most innovative and avant-garde buildings from the new millennium. Valencia is trade and culture, cinema, theatre, museums, magic, business. It is the centre of international and avant-garde design, and one of the most active cities in Europe regarding fairs and conferences. Thanks to its location, Valencia has historically been Spain’s Mediterranean port and has that special charm of cities that are also seaports. And the fine sand and clean water, the vastness of the sea and the closeness of the coastal mountains make the Valencian coast uniquely attractive.
Situated on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, Seville has a rich Moorish heritage, and used to be a prosperous port that carried out trade with the Americas. The streets and squares in the historic quarter of the capital of Andalusia are lively and busy. They treasure many constructions that have the World Heritage designation, and many districts are full of traditional culture, like Triana and La Macarena. Seville is a prominent business and service centre in the south of Spain and has many hotels distributed all over the city which enable visitors to discover endless attractions. Museums and art centres, theme parks, cinemas, theatres and clubs are some of the many leisure options that a great city like Seville holds.
The Spanish people display great regional diversity. Separatist tendencies remain particularly strong among the Catalans and the Basques. Castilian is the standard Spanish language, but Catalan (akin to Provençal), Galician (akin to Portuguese), and Basque, unrelated to any other language, are still spoken and written extensively in their respective districts. Roman Catholicism was the official religion until 1978, but its role in Spanish public and private life has declined. There is a sizable Muslim minority (about 1 million), largely consisting of North African immigrants
The majority of Spaniards are formally Roman Catholic, although different religious beliefs are accepted. During the history of Spain, there have been long periods of where different religious groups have coexisted, including Muslims, Jews and Christians. Still some traditions manifest more like a cultural event than a religious one. During Holy Week, many participants of the processions wear peaked, black hats as the sign of a penitent and walk barefoot, carrying a burden of some kind. Religious history is apparent in every small town, where the most grandiose building is typically the church. In the large cities the Cathedrals are almost museums
Spain is a year-round destination. The ideal months to visit are May, June and September (plus April and October in the south). At these times you can rely on good to excellent weather, yet avoid the sometimes extreme heat and the main crush of Spanish and foreign tourists – of July and August, when temperatures can climb to 45°C in inland Andalucía; at this time, Madrid is unbearable and almost deserted. There’s decent weather in some parts of Spain virtually year-round. Winter (December to February) along the south and southeast Mediterranean coasts is mild, while in the height of summer (June to August) you can retreat to the northwest, to beaches or high mountains anywhere to escape excessive heat. You can be sitting outside enjoying a beer in a T-shirt in Granada in February, or rugged up against the cold while trekking the Picos de Europa mountains in July.
The meseta (high tableland of central Spain) and Ebro basin have a continental climate: scorching in summer, cold in winter, and dry. Madrid regularly freezes in December, January and February, and temperatures climb above 30°C in July and August. Valladolid on the northern meseta and Zaragoza in the Ebro basin are even drier, with only around 300mm of rain a year (little more than Alice Springs in Australia). The Guadalquivir basin in Andalucía is only a little wetter and positively broils in high summer, with temperatures of 35°C-plus in Seville that kill people every year. The Pyrenees and the Cordillera Cantábrica, backing the Bay of Biscay, bear the brunt of cold northern and northwestern airstreams, which bring moderate temperatures and heavy rainfall (three or four times as much as Madrid’s) to the north coast
Even in high summer you never know when you might get a shower. The Mediterranean coast and Balearic Islands get a little more rain than Madrid, and the south can be even hotter in summer. The Mediterranean, particularly around Alicante, also provides Spain’s warmest waters (reaching 27°C or so in August). Barcelona’s weather is typical of the coast – milder than in inland cities but more humid. In general you can usually rely on pleasant or hot temperatures just about everywhere from April to early November. In Andalucía there are plenty of warm, sunny days right through winter. In July and August, temperatures can get unpleasantly hot inland. Snowfalls in the mountains can start as early as October and some snow cover lasts all year on the highest peaks.
Currency used in Spain which is Euro, like many of the countries of the European Union, One Euro values up to 1.3491$. Notes with denominations of five, ten, twenty, hundred, two hundred and five hundred Euros are available in the market. The coins in the Spain Currency of Euro start with a 1 cent piece and ends with a 2 Euro piece. On the denomination side of the Spanish (Euro) coin is the same for all European countries but the image on the face side of the coin varies according to the country of the European Union that is using the coin. Spain currency or the currency used in Spain is Euro as it is located in southern portion of Europe. Being a part of the European Union and the Euro zone, Spain adopted the common European Currency Euro (symbol: €) in the Year 2002. This meant that a person from any of the countries of the European Union could now travel into Spain without worrying about currency exchange. Prior to the year 2002 Pesetas was the Spain Currency.But that was a thing of the past and since 2002 it has been Euro that is the official money currency used in Spain. However, although Euro is the official currency, there are people in Spain, specially of the older generations, who still feel comfortable to transact money in terms of the old Spain Currency, Pesetas. It is in some parts of rural Spain that prices are still mentioned in Pesetas but finally are always paid in Euro.
Spaniards often start the evening with el paseo a leisurely stroll through the city’s streets. A café terrace is an excellent vantage point to observe this tradition. The atmosphere is especially vibrant at fiesta time. They then continue the night with a tapeo, moving between tapas bars, drinking and snacking. Tapas culture is especially rich in Madrid and Andalusia, whilst San Sebastian and Bilbao are famed for the more sophisticated version – pintxos. Then it's time for copas or cubatas mixed drinks in bars, pubs, or nightclubs. Trendy nightlife can be found in the major cities like Barcelona and Madrid, and in coastal resorts like Ibiza or Marbella, but even small villages will have somewhere where you can dance till dawn. For a taste of something local, head out to the flamenco tablaos for a spectacle. The best places to see a flamenco spectacle are in Andalucía, specifically Sevilla, where veteran dancers take to the stage and stomp their feet to atmospheric tunes in authentic caves. If you’re seeking something mellower, jazz bars in Barcelona, Madrid and Granada are well worth a visit. Hip hop bars are rather popular in Seville at the moment – you’ll be surprised by the number of hip hop joints you can find there. In summer, music concerts are filled to the brim with partygoers where music performances go late into the night – with the most popular ones being Sonar and Primavera Sound Festival. Rave parties are aplenty especially on Ibiza island, where the fun continues until the sun comes up.
Carretera de La Coruña, Madrid, Spain It-playground for the uppercrusty. A fantastic Balinese summer terrace and around 300 buddha statues. DJ's spice it up with disco tunes as the night goes on. Sport your designer gear.
Calle de Fortuny 34, 28010 Madrid, Spain Multi-level VIP mansion for the glitterati. Noble wooden finishes and a luscious green courtyard. A must see! Flamenco tunes to trigger the vibe, electro to the finish the night.
Calle de Velázquez 6, 28001 Madrid, Spain Club craze for soccer idols and their puppets. Red carpet all the way from the gates into the hall of fame. DJ's pop some local canto and spice it up with house later on. Gringos not welcome, so play.
Major discotheque built in a stylish 1870's theatre. Theme nights with live gigs. Gold-rimmed balconies overlook the blare. An OD of spring breakers and tourists. Cheesy music
The official language is Spanish, also called Castilian, and is the first language of over 72% of the population. Galician is spoken in the region of Galicia and Basque by increasing numbers of the population of Euskadi, the Spanish Basque Country. Catalan is spoken in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, and the closely-related Valencian in the Valencia region. All these languages have official regional status. Other minority languages including Aragonese and Asturian are not officially recognised.