Plan a trip to Spain

Publish Date: 2021-07-07 By: Priyanka's Team
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Plan a trip to Spain

Spain

Europe has always been a tourist attraction for its culture, lifestyle, cuisines and geography.Just like every other European countries, Spain too captivates and allures travellers and tourists.Located in extreme southern west Europe, Spain occupies 85% of Iberian Peninsula.

Spain is a country of stoned castles, snow capped mountains, vast monuments and sophisticated cities. Its geographical and cultural diversity plays a crucial role in attracting tourists. Spain’s countryside is quaint, speckled with castles, aqueducts, and ancient ruins, but its cities are resoundingly modern.The many and varied cultures that have gone into the making of Spain—those of the Castilians, Catalonians, Lusitanians, Galicians, Basques, Romans, Arabs, Jews, and Roma (Gypsies), among other peoples—are renowned for their varied cuisines, customs, and prolific contributions to the world’s artistic heritage. The country’s Roman conquerors left their language, roads, and monuments, while many of the Roman Empire’s greatest rulers were Spanish, among them Trajan, Hadrian, and Marcus Aurelius. The Moors, who ruled over portions of Spain for nearly 800 years, left a legacy of fine architecture, lyric poetry, and science.

Spain is the perfect destination if you want to meet new people and get acquainted with a new culture and language.Spain is a unique experience that treats you with spiritual uplifting in the form of pilgrimages, cathedrals and tombs. Pay attention to the details of the marvellous architecture built in an era of kings and kingdoms.

We’ve listed out all that you need to know before planning your tour, from visa to cuisines and restaurants. We’ve got everything sorted for you!

VISA REQUIREMENTS

VISA REQUIREMENTS

Documents for Spain Visa application

  • Original passport and old passports, if any
  • Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months, with a minimum of two blank pages for the visa stamp
  • Scanned copy of the first and last page of your current and previous passport
  • Confirmed return air tickets
  • The visa application form with two copies duly typed and signed on column 37 and 38 in blue ink only.
  • The following forms also need to be duly filled, signed and submitted along with the application:
    - Spain Authorisation Form
    - Spain Supplementary Form

Please note: Applicant’s mobile number should be mentioned in the visa form as Embassy / Consulate can contact the applicant at any point of time during the visa processing.

  • 2 recent passport-size colour photographs taken against a white background with matte-finish (size 35 mm x 45 mm and 80% face close-up)

Please note: Photograph should not be more than 3 months old or scanned, stapled and should not be used in any of the previous visas.

  • Covering letter mentioning details of travel, details of the traveller, purpose of visit and duration of stay. The letter should be duly signed by authorized signatory with company stamp and addressed to The Consulate General of Spain, Mumbai
  • Income Tax Returns of the last 3 years
  • Original bank statements reflecting transactions for the last 6 months, duly attested and signed by a bank official
  • Scanned colour copy of your pan card
  • Hotel confirmation details for the entire period of stay in Schengen area and tour itinerary
    Please note: Hotel dates should match the ticket dates and maximum stay should be in Spain.
  • Medical insurance policy

Places to Visit - BILBAO

Bilbao is located in northern Spain.It is the largest city in the province of Biscay and the Basque country as a whole.Its main urban core is surrounded by two small mountain ranges with an average elevation of 400 metres (1,300 ft).Its climate is shaped by the Bay of Biscay low-pressure systems and mild air, moderating summer temperatures by Iberian standards, with low sunshine and high rainfall.Bilbao is also home to football team Athletic Club, a significant symbol for Basque nationalism due to its promotion of only Basque players and being one of the most successful clubs in Spanish football history.Most tourists who visit Bilbao make a beeline to the Guggenheim Museum, the city's must-see sight. The building itself is a spectacular work of art and is considered a groundbreaking example of 20th-century architecture.The Museum of Fine Arts in Bilbao offers an outstanding collection housed in two separate buildings. The historic building displays works by the European masters of the 14th to 17th centuries.Some of the most stunning views over Bilbao are from La Salve Bridge, an architectural and artistic masterpiece in itself which is home to "L'arc rouge" (the red arch), designed by French artist Daniel Buren in honor of the Guggenheim's 10th anniversary. It crosses the estuary just next to the museum complex, and pedestrians can gain access to the bridge's viewing platforms via elevator to look down over the building and its grounds for breathtaking, picture-perfect views of the Guggenheim.

CUENCA

A World Heritage Site, Cuenca is one of Spain's most memorable cities, its old centre a stage set of evocative medieval buildings, many painted in bright colours, stacked on a steep promontory at the meeting of two deep river gorges. Narrow meandering streets separate tall houses with wooden balconies that literally jut out over the sheer cliffs. Yet, despite its age and Unesco listing, Cuenca has somewhat ironically established itself as a vortex of abstract modern art.It's best to go by car, but if you don't mind walking there is much that can be seen and done in the centre of town. Buses numbers 1 and 2 take you from the centre up to the castle (Castillo). Take the bus to the end of the line where the views are breathtaking. Walk down the hill through the castle and Plaza Mayor. The cathedral (€3.80 including audio-guide) and hanging houses are all on the way. Two of its most iconic buildings – including one of the famed casas colgadas (hanging houses) – have transformed their interiors into modern galleries. It’s a theme continued in many of the town’s hotels, museums and restaurants.

RONDA

Ronda is the third most visited destination in southern Spain.Ronda boasts one of the most extraordinary locations in Spain, sitting as it does on each side of the 100 metre (328 foot) deep El Tajo gorge. There is some wonderful walking to be enjoyed in this spectacular cleft in the landscape: from the old town, a dramatic path takes you right down to the bottom of El Tajo, to the foot of the mighty “New Bridge” that spans the canyon. The scary yet beautiful Puente Nuevo is Ronda’s most famous attraction. It connects up El Mercadillo (The Market), the newer part of town, with La Ciudad (The Town), the old Moorish quarter and is, quite simply, breathtaking to behold. So dangerous was its construction that 50 workers lost their lives in the process.

Now, you must be pondering over when to visit this mind-boggling and breathtaking country.The best time to visit Spain is in late spring (April to May) or early autumn (September to October), due to the pleasant temperatures and lighter crowds. However, the country's diverse offerings mean you can find something to enjoy at any time of year.

While planning a trip or tour, we often struggle to choose the best hotels for us and basically end up in great trouble. Just for your convenience, we’ve shortlisted some amazing hotels with the best hospitality and facilities.

Best Hotels - GRAN HOTEL DOMINE BILBAO

The Gran Hotel Domine is located in the city’s most desired location, directly opposite Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

With 145 air-conditioned and soundproofed rooms and suites, some with views of the Guggenheim, guests can enjoy a relaxing stay in the heart of Bilbao. Rooms feature en-suite bathrooms with bathtubs, bathrobe and slippers, free WiFi, USB connection and a 40″ flat-screen TV with international satellite channels and HDMI.

Breakfast is served on the roof terrace with spectacular views over the museum and the River Nervion. Guests can also sample different dining options at either the gastronomic Beltz restaurant, the more informal Le Café or at the stylish Sixty-One Lobby Bar.

The Hotel Domine has a Wellness Centre with a fitness area, sauna and Turkish bath, while staff at the hotel’s 24-hour reception can provide information about what to see and do in Bilbao and the Basque Country.

PARADOR DE CUENCA

Spend a short and relaxing break in the luxurious Parador de Cuenca, with excellent views of the famous hanging houses, set opposite the hotel.
Housed in a former convent, this hotel has conserved its historical architecture. The interior patio area is ideal for keeping cool in the midday heat, and enjoying a read. Combining the original charm, with contemporary touches, this hotel is stylish and comfortable accommodation for a stay in historical Cuenca.

Take a dip in the Parador’s outdoor swimming pool in the hot weather, or get more active in the on-site gym. There is also a sauna where you can unwind after some exercise.
Dine in style with all the family in the Parador de Cuenca’s on-site restaurant, where you can sample traditional-style Cuencan cuisine.Among the most popular facilities are swimming pool,parking, free wifi,restaurant,facilities for disbled guests and a luxurious bar.

CATALONIA RONDA

Located in Ronda Town Centre, just across the bullring, the Catalonia Ronda features an infinity pool, hot tub, and a rooftop terrace with views of the square and Tajo de Ronda. A spa is also available, as free as free WiFi.The elegant rooms at the Catalonia Ronda are equipped with air conditioning and heating, a minibar, safe, coffee machine, and a kettle. A flat-screen TV is also available. The modern bathrooms come with a bath or shower.

This hotel offers a buffet breakfast, and the on-site restaurant serves Andalusian dishes. There is also a snack bar offering tapas and drinks.There are also banquet/function facilities available.

Spanish Cuisines - Must Try

Spanish Cuisines - Must Try

Spanish cuisine is globally known for its taste and especially for the herbs which are used in almost every dish.Spanish cuisine consists of the cooking traditions and practices from Spain. Olive oil (of which Spain is the world's largest producer) is heavily used in Spanish cuisine. It forms the base of many vegetable sauces (known in Spanish as sofritos). Herbs most commonly-used include parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme. The use of garlic has been noted as "common to all Spanish cooking. The most used meats in Spanish cuisine include chicken, pork, lamb and veal. Fish and seafood are also consumed on a regular basis.

PAELLA

One of the most traditional and famous rice dishes in Spain, paella comes in several varieties, but if you can, try Valencia paella. Valencia is the region in which this dish originates so you’d better believe they know how to make this highly-sought after Spanish food just right. The most traditional variations are made with rabbit, chicken or seafood. The meat or seafood is simmered together with green beans, white beans, rice, and herbs like saffron and rosemary. It may take some time to prepare, but the slow cooking process highlights the distinctive flavors. You’ll easily be able to spot paella in restaurants by the bright yellow rice, which takes its color from the saffron.

CROQUETAS

The Spanish version of croquettes is croquetas. And this classic tapas dish is made with several different fillings. The most popular filling for this Spanish delight is jamón (ham).They’re found in almost every restaurant or bar in Spain. But each establishment presents them in their own style.

Croquetas are made with the main ingredient of choice which could vary from ham, fish, cheese, vegetables, ground meat, potatoes, and more.The main ingredient mixes with béchamel, white bread, egg, onion, and any other type of filling and spices. The ingredients used vary depending on who is making it.But no matter what’s used, everything’s rounded together in the shape of a disk and deep fried into perfection.

POLLO AL AJILLO

Garlic chicken, or pollo al ajillo, is a classic Spanish recipe. Even though it hails from the Andalusian region, it is enjoyed all over Spain. This version is cooked on the stove rather than roasted in the oven.

As the name suggests, garlic is the main player in this recipe. It is combined with white wine to make the base for the sauce. Like all popular and classic recipes in Spanish cuisine, every family has their own version. Some cooks include a hot pepper, paprika, and vinegar—as this recipe does—to add a bit of spice as well as a tangy bite.

Travel Advisory

IDENTIFICATION

You must carry adequate ID, such as a passport, to provide to a police officer upon request. You could be detained until you can prove your identity. Keep a photocopy or digital copy of your passport’s photo page in a safe place, should your passport be lost or seized.

ILLEGAL DRUGS

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences or heavy fines.

ILLEGAL OR RESTRICTED ACTIVITIES

In Madrid, Barcelona and the Balearic and Canary islands, the consumption of alcohol in the street is banned by various municipal or regional authorities. You must respect this law; fines are imposed for failure to comply.It is illegal to photograph military installations.
Some municipalities have banned beachwear outside of local beaches, including on beachfront promenades. If caught, you could face on-the-spot fines.

DUAL CITIZENSHIP

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Spain.
If local authorities consider you a citizen of Spain, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent them from providing you with those services.

DRIVING

For stays up to six months, you must carry an international driving permit and your valid driver’s licence to drive in Spain. For stays longer than six months, you must obtain a Spanish driver’s licence.

The use of cellular telephones while driving is prohibited, unless the vehicle is fitted with a hands-free device (for example, in-car Bluetooth or a mounted GPS device).
The use of a seatbelt is mandatory for the driver and all passengers in a car. Children under 12 who are less than 135 cm tall must ride in appropriate car seats.Those who fail to comply with these laws, will be charged with fine on-spot.

Covid Norms

Covid Norms
  • Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to Spain.
  • Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to Spain. Because of the current situation in Spain, all travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants.
  • If you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorized by emergency use by the World - Health Organization, you do not have to get tested before travelling or get quarantined after reaching Spain.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and while indoors at U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Travelers are not required to wear a mask in outdoor areas of a conveyance (like a ferry or top deck of a bus).
  • Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in Spain, including mask wearing and social distancing.

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Priyanka Aradhye

Priyanka Aradhye

#Author, #Blogger, #Health #Lifestyle

Hi, I am Priyanka. I am a statistician and a blogger. I love things related to a healthy lifestyle. Follow me for more. @chilli_clove.
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