Holidaying In Spain Madrid And Barcelona

Spain, storied land of Don Quixote, is blessed with a delightful climate, relaxed people and a culture that makes wining and dining an art form.

Accommodation:from cheap stays to luxury resorts

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of hotels in Spain

Madrid:royal city of artists

Madrid lacks the antiquity of other European capitals. It only became the capital in the second half of the 16th century when Phillip II plucked it from obscurity to become the seat of his court.

Transport: getting there and getting around

Barajas, Madrid's huge modern airport, offers metro connections to downtown.

The metro is a great way to get around the city and there are also buses. Plus, the compact city centre is good for walking and taxis are cheap.

climate

Generally, just about everywhere in Spain is pleasant from April to early November. However temperatures can drop to freezing in Madrid between December and February while in July and August the city smoulders with temperatures above 30 C.

Accommodation

Check on the internet for the range, location and cost of Madrid hotels

events:what's on and what's hot

Festivals are part of the fabric Spanish social life and the best held between Semana Santa (the week before Easter Sunday) and from September to October.

*Carnevale (February to March),

*the Fiesta de la Comunidad de Madrid (2 May)

*Fiestas de San Isidro (15 May)

*If bullfights are to your taste, you can head to the world's biggest bullfighting ring, the Plaza de Toros Monumental de Las Ventas. The season begins in February with main event being the mid-May feria, a four week bullfighting extravaganza during the festival of San Isidro.

Barcelona:homage to Catalonia

After a 20 year transformation, Barcelona is now a vibrant and fashionable metropolis though still rooted in the traditional Spanish spirit.

Transport:getting there and getting around

Barcelona airport is 7.5 miles southwest of the city. It receives many direct flights from North America and Europe. You can also get there by international train or by ferry from the Balearic Islands and Italy.

The metro is the fastest and easiest way to get around the inner city area. Barcelona is pedestrian-friendly, too.

Climate: Pleasant for most of the year with best weather from May to the end of July. September is also good.

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