Spain

Spain is much more than a package holiday destination. With a very diverse range of landscapes, cultures and languages, Spain is defiantly a place to stop and experience what is going on around you.

Regions

Articles

Recommended Spain

  • Barcelona
  • Tapas
  • San Sebastian
  • Pamplona
  • Santiago de Compostela

Campsites and free camping in Spain

Campsites are found in all popular coastal regions, and many inland areas. Free camping is possible in many areas. Read more.

Vehicle ferries to and from Spain

There are many ferries to chose from when getting a vehicle to and from Spain. See the ferry section.

Driving in Spain

Spain has the second highest accident rate in western Europe, but with care you should have no problems. Read more.

Crime

Spain is a relatively safe and crime-free country. Vehicle break-ins are amongst the biggest problems, so always secure your vehicle, and leave nothing on display. Sensible parking can also reduce you risk of a break-in.

Costs in Spain

Spain is cheaper than France, but not as cheap as Portugal. Fuel is the cheapest of the western countries. Food is good value.

Information

Currency Euro (€)
Capital city Madrid
Time zone +1hr GMT
Religion Catholic and Muslim
Emergency numbers General emergency 112
Police 092
Local police 091
International operator 1008
Electricity 220v continental
Border crossings Spain is a Schengen state

 

Geography

Spain is the second largest country in western Europe, after France. Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe. The north of Spain is endless mountains, as the Pyrenees become the Picos de Europe mountains. These landscapes are stunning, and well worth visiting. The Atlantic ocean has left a rugged and beautiful coast line, with some of the best surfing in Europe.
The south and eastern coasts of Spain are lapped by the warm and calm Mediterranean ocean. A world apart from the northern shores.
Inland the capital of Madrid, high on its perch, is boiling in summer and freezing in winter.

Spanish food and drink

Spain is home to pallea and the wonderful experience of tapas. Seafood is cheap and excellent. Wine and beers are good. Read more.

Spanish languages

Almost everywhere in Spain the Castillian language, what we know as Spanish, is spoken (Castellano or Espanol in Spanish). It is spoken at breakneck speed. Knowing some will help you out, as English is not so widely spoken in Spain as it is in France and Portugal.

Below is a guide to the languages spoken in Spain. Do not consider Catalan and Galego to be dialects of Castillian (or Spanish), they are all considered seperate languages.

Language Region Comments
Castillian Central Spain, and generally all over Spain What we know as the “Spanish” language. Also spoken in South America.
Catalan Catalunya (Barcelona) and The Balerica Islands. A distinct language, but has similarities to Castilian and French. Is difficult to understand.
Basque (Euskara) Basque (Euskadi) Unlike any other language. Signs are written with a distinct font.
Galego Galicia Sounds like a combination of Catalan and Portugese
Babel Asturias A minority langague

Health

Health care is excellent and generally free, but European residents need to get a E-111 card from your home country. In towns at least one pharmacy will be ‘on-call’ and open around the clock. Manned by highly trained staff, they can be a good first of call as many prescription drugs (like antibiotics) can be bought over the counter after a consultation. No drugs, even ibuprofen, are available from supermarkets, only the pharmacy.

Opening hours

Spain’s traditional long lunches, and in some places, siestas, are still common. General opening hours are 10:00 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 20:00, Monday to Saturday. Although these hours can vary widely from place to place. Banks generally open at 08:30 and large supermarkets will open all day. If you need to do something important in town, go early or late in the day, or you can be kicking your heals waiting for shops to open. Most smaller shops will shut at midday on Saturday and all day on Sunday.

Surfing in Spain

Spain has a massive variety of breaks, big swell, and warm weather. The most hyped waves include Mundaka and Rodilles. See surfing in Spain.

Related Web Sites

Articles

Andalucia

Andalucia is a large and varied region, offering some of Spain’s finest cities, warmest waters and most stunning mountain scenery. The Spanish images of flamenco, bullfights, sherry and ruined castes are at their best in …

Asturias

Picos de Europa Potes Potes is a small village with several restaurants and a few shops. Most of the shops sell souvenirs, rather than useful hiking equipment. There are several small supermarkets and a bank. You can book kayaking, rafting and mountain biking trips from places in town.

Basque Country – Euskal Herria

San Sebastian (Donastia) Parking in San Sebastian Parking in San Sebastian is a problem.  The paid street parking spaces get taken very quickly.  It is possible to find spaces in suburbs.  Check for conditions though. The Paseo Nuevo road on the headland west of the river is free to park on out of se

Camping in Spain

Spain has a good range of campsites. Campsites in Spain Free camping in Spain

Cantabria

Santander Santander is a vibrant city with many students, and a great nightlife. However, the city itself has few attractions other than its beaches, which are magnificent. The beaches are great for surfing, but are always very busy. Several ferries from the UK dock here. There are many slums and bad areas in the city.

Catalunya

Barcelona Castelldefels Castelldefels is a pleasant seaside town with a massive attractive beach. This is a great place to escape the mayhem of Barcelona.

Driving in Spain

Driving in Spain is straightforward. However, Spain has the second highest accident rate in western Europe, so always takes care. The road network is good is more built-up areas, but not so good in some rural areas. Everywhere you can expect to find areas of bad roads.

Galicia

Free camping in Galicia Northern Galicia: The coastal road that hugs the stretch of coastline from Ribadeo to Foz has many car parks and bus parks. I have stayed in a bus park there in Autumn with two other motorhomes. There are several fields marked as free parking, which also seem OK to stay in overnight. There are no signs suggesting that leisure vehicles are prohibited.

Madrid

Campsite in Madrid Camping Osuna is the only campsite in the city area. Although 11kms away, it is an easy walk from the campsite to the Metro. The Metro takes 15 minutes to get downtown. There are other campsites further away, see further down this page.

Old Castile and Leon

Burgos Campsites in Burgos Aranda del Duero Camping Costajan, Aranda del Duero Just off E5 North of Aranda del Duero. Well kept and very quiet. Pool open in summer. Moderately priced.

Spanish food and drink

Spanish food Famous for tapas and paella, Spain has other options. Seafood is good value and excellent at all costal resorts, and inland in places such as Madrid also. Pastries are popular and excellent. It is worth trying a few different kinds.

Spanish Formula One Grand Prix, Catalunya

The Spanish Foruma One Grand Prix is one of the best in Europe, and indeed the world. The circuit is a favourite with the drivers, and since the success of several times world champion Fernando Alonso the event has become very popular with the local fans. Barcelona is an excellent city to visit, and is within easy reach of the circuit.

Surfing in Spain

Spain is one of the best places to surf in Europe, and still underrated. Whilst there are well known breaks such as Mundaka and Rodilles, the Bay of Biscay offers an unrivalled variety of surfing options.

Valencia and Murcia

Burriana Free camping in Burriana There are some large parking areas where you can stay near to the sea. Benicàssim Free camping in Benicàssim You can park on the road running by the beach in several places. No problem in winter months. There is drinking water in town in lots of places and paying loo’s on promenade.
  1. BBC casting Vanlife
    Now Casting Worldwide looking for adventurers who are joining the growing movement and living the vanlife If you or someone you know is living out of their van we would like to interview them asap for a BBC-produced true documentary series. Please complete the form below and a casting director will be in touch. Feel free to email with any questions or problems [email protected]
    https://vanlife.castingcrane.com

    Reply

  2. motorhomes
    We are looking to buy a motorhome, with end bed, large fridge,
    seperate shower from the loo, in same compartment of course, and side seating opposite the dinette. If you have a ‘van you wish to sell with all those facilites, we are ready with cash to buy. Will
    pay up to €30,000 for one in good condition, year 2000 plus, and not too high mileage. We are seasoned caravanners so know exactly what we are looking for.
    Please contact us if you are a serious seller as we are serious
    buyers. Thank you.

    Reply

  3. Buy a camper in Spain
    Looking to buy a camper in Spain preferably 4 berth on Spanish plates.Up to 10.000 euros. Can anyone out there help please Thank you Herbert.

    Reply

  4. free camping motor home sitges
    Does any one know of sites free or very low costs close to the center of Sitges spain .garages etc for small transit motor home

    thanks
    peter

    Reply

    1. Im in Sitges right now.
      I’m

      Im in Sitges right now.
      I’m staying at the Camping Sitges campsite. For 1 person it’s €15 per night.
      Today I saw several motorhomes camping on the seafront.
      It’s a metered parking area, however these vans where near the roadabout at the very southern end of the beachfront, next to the golf course hotel. I think there mustn’t be meters there.

      Reply

  5. NOW OPEN! CAMPERSTOP CAÑAVERAL, Cáceres province, Extremadura
    NOW OPEN !
    CAMPER STOP CAÑAVERAL™
    42,5 km north of Cáceres city, or 41 km south of Plasencia city, Cáceres province, Northern Extremadura.
    Near the E-803 / A66 motorway, take off ramp 508.
    GPS: 39º46’59 87”N – 6º23’46.65” W

    Cañaveral, April 23, 2011.
    WELCOME!
    You’ll see the village of Cañaveral nestled in the foothills from the motorway A-66 / E803, 42,5 kms North of Cáceres city (or 41 kms South of Plasencia city). -Take off ramp 508 and follow the signs to Cañaveral village, under 1 km.
    -Stop at the PETRONOR petrol station: ALWAYS OPEN from 06:30 – 23:00 hours, ask for CAMPER STOP info “inglés”, please register with your name and e-mail address, sothat we may keep you informed of developments at this new facility.
    Introductory tariff, valid until May 15th, 2011: unit price: €.3 / 24 hrs, €.5 /48 hrs. Longer stays at reduced tariff! Our facility only accepts RV campervans.
    -To CAMPER STOP: Drive on through the village on the main road N630. At the end of the village, follow sign CAMPER STOP>, turning sharply right before green-painted communal Sportscenter + municipal swimming pool. Park on large former football field behind the Sportscenter; please leave the access road and heliport clear! There is lots of space for up to 100 RVs, free nature all around, clean air, quiet.
    -24 hour constant safety controls by friendly municipal police staff.
    -Fresh water gratis at the petrol station, soon fresh water- and electricity shall be installed at Camper Stop Cañaveral. For now you’ll find a fresh water drinking fountain in the small park at the entrance of the sports complex. From there you may also fill up your water tank, if you have the necessaries for this on board.
    -N.B. The as yet lacking facility for discharging and flushing chemical toilet or black water tank shall be installed shortly elsewhere in the village.
    -Our village (1,600 inhabitants) offers you everything you might need, from banks, cash-points, shops, to village supermarkets, bars, restaurants, vehicle workshop; from Cañaveral there is a direct train connection to Cáceres, Plasencia, Madrid, and even Lissabon.
    -We are the ideal sally point for visiting the many beautiful spots in the province. All relevant tourist info is freely available.
    -Please direct all your questions in English to:

    Manager Hendrik/Enrique: sms to (0034)627 678 027, or: [email protected]
    I’ll thankfully receive your e-mails with your points of view and constructive critique. Cañaveral´s Mayor Emilio Durán and his staff, all villagers and I are determined to make your stay with us an enjoyable one!
    Please do help us with your suggestions, and do inform your camper friends and -acquaintances about our facility, for which we offer you our warmest thanks! ****

    Reply

    1. christopher.warburton May 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

      holyday tour
      hi can you send me details of your site as i will be traveling from santandar to visit you

      Reply

  6. Campervan hire in the balaerics/and Italy
    I would love to explore the natural beauty of either of these continents. Ideally at my own pace and choice.
    I would like to know if there are places that rent campers, at a very reasonable price in either Menorca, Majorca or the Almafi Coast down to Sicily of Italy.

    Any Ideas where I can start looking?

    I have tried searches on the web but it results in nothing.

    Please Help.

    Thanks.

    Reply

  7. Any waste water dumping stations in Western, S.W. Spain?
    We plan to drive through Spain from Western France, near Pyrenees, going to the Algarve.
    However, we cannot find any adequate waste water dumping sites anywhere along the A-66 route: From San Sebastian, to Burgos, to Valladolid, to Salamanca, to Caceres, to Sevilla. Then West to Huelva and then to Algarve. We know there is a waste water dumping site just inside Portugal, but what about in Spain?

    Any help would be very much appreciated!
    Best regards,
    Antoinette

    Reply

  8. Campervan hire
    Where can I hire a 2 berth campervan from in either Spain or Southern France?

    Kind regards,

    Bree

    Reply

    1. Hi,
      these are on special for

      Hi,

      these are on special for return in march

      http://www.wickedcampers.co.uk/bookings-a-quotes/specials.html

      jamie

      Reply

  9. Where can we buy a camper van in Spain?
    would love to buy one, travel and sell it again but there is very little info about it

    Reply

    1. Hi Daniel
      Used vehicles are

      Hi Daniel

      Used vehicles are generally quite expensive in Spain, as there are limited used vehicles, as most are new.
      You’ll also probably need to know some Spanish to get a smooth transaction.

      It’s generally better to buy in the UK or Germany, where prices are cheaper. In the UK vehicles are right-hand-drive, which isn’t so good for touring around Europe.
      You’re more likely to find an English speaking seller in Germany. Also consider France, where used prices can be good.

      Where are you travelling from?

      Reply

    2. buying second hand motorhome in spain
      I have lived in spain for over 8 years now & still have the motorhome we came over in now on spanish plates. Where I store my motorhome always has caravans & motorhomes for sale.If more information is required notify me at this E-Mail address & I will try to help you as much as possible.

      Reply

      1. motorhomes
        hi,
        I hope you can help us. We want to but a nice motorhome, not too small or large, in Spain. We live near Granada and cannot seem to find anything.
        Regards,
        Tess and John.

        Reply

      2. Buy or register motorhome in Spain
        Hi
        Can anybody help with this. I want to buy a UK lhd motorhome and register it in Spain, can you tell me how much is the cost to register and (I know its not easy) but just how hard is it to do MH would be about £15,000. I own property in Spain (I know thats a must).

        Thanks for any help,

        Reply

      3. Motorhomes
        Hi Thank you for your help, if you see a motorhome for sale with shower, wc, hob etc, 4 berth around the price of 2,500-3,000euros, please contact me. many thanks

        Reply

      4. motorhome in spain
        Hi I know this post is from 3 years ago but i was reading this forum today 6-6-2013 as I want to buy a motorhome in Spain.
        Any information or help and advice you have to offer will be very much appreciated.

        Many thanks

        Reply

      5. storage
        we are looking for short and long term storage for our small motorhome near malaga. any help or contacts would be much appreciated

        Reply

      6. storage
        we are looking for short and long term storage for our small motorhome near malaga. any help or contacts would be much appreciated

        Reply

      7. Jeannette Marais December 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm

        buying a camper van in Spain
        Hi there
        We want to buy a camper van in Spain in June 2015. We will be driving to Italy. Is it better to buy in France? Would welcome.amy advice.

        Reply

    3. motorhome
      We have a 32ft motorhome that we wish to sell. seperate master bedroom. seperate shower room and toilet. sleeps 6 people . send us an email for more details we are in |Murcia Spain

      Reply

      1. hi do you still have the
        hi do you still have the van?could you send me any info and pictures thanks

        Reply

      2. motorhome
        hi, is your motorhome still available,
        many thanks

        Reply

      3. motorhome
        why dont you say the make of it, would help, or is it a secret. We have been looking for two years for an end bed, large fridge, separate shower from the loo inside, and dinette with seating at the side. If yours if anything like that we are interested.
        Thanks.

        Reply

  10. Andaluz
    Andaluz is also a separate language, but the only reason it was never credited as being one by the majority of Spain was because as a poor province, they could never muster enough money to apply to have the language given official status.

    It is another language, not just “lazy Spanish” …

    Reply

    1. Andaluz is NOT a separate language within Spain.
      I do not agree with you about Andaluz being a separate language. It uses a different way of pronouncing words. Example: Pasado in Castellano (true Spanish) is pronounced “pasao” in Andaluz.

      Reply

  11. Motorhome holidays in Spain
    Having moved here 3 years ago in my motorhome, I thoroughly recommend touring Spain inside a lovely house, be it permanent or temporary. There are no strict rules on having to stay on campsites, and if your motorhome has gas, there’s no reason why you should stay on a campsite. I live near Andalucia’s largest lake and you can park up next to it for the day for stunning views, swimming if you like too!

    Oh, and if you want a motorhome to rent, let me know, as I have one of those too!

    Amanda[at]casa-la-celada[dot]com

    Reply

    1. What about waste water dumping, Amanda?
      What is it with the Spanish, for not putting in waste water dumping stations for RV vehicles? How do you get around this problem, Amanda?

      Reply

    2. Camper van hire
      Hi,
      My friend and I are coming to Spain on the 4th of July and want to hire a van. Are u still over there and do u have any vans available? Thanks

      Reply

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