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Spain

With beautiful sunshine, a magnificent coastline and a wonderfully relaxed way of life, Spain is just made for holidays.

One of the great empires from the past, Spain’s majestic Moorish castles, dramatic landscapes, picturesque villages and ancient vineyards provide a stunning backdrop to the beautiful beach resorts that have made Spain’s Mediterranean coast justifiably famous throughout the world.       

Little over two hours flight from the UK, the South of Spain is one of the most easily accessible holiday destinations in Europe and has so much to offer. Here you can just relax in the sun, listen to the gentle lapping of the waves and take life at your own pace. The resorts revolve around the needs of visitors, so you’ll tend to find that shops, bars, cafes and restaurants are all in the immediate area of your hotel, with good pavements, boulevards and road crossings. English is widely spoken, especially in the hotels.

The Spanish are extremely friendly and will take pride in introducing you to their local food specialities such as paella, tapas, freshly caught shellfish and, of course, their award-winning Riojas. You’ll also find fast-food outlets and places serving British fare, including traditional breakfasts and fish and chips. At night the seafronts exude a unique and exciting atmosphere, often enhanced by colourful street markets, live music and magical flamenco performances.

Once discovered, you’ll understand why Spain is by far the UK’s number one holiday destination.

GENERAL INFORMATION
Currency                                     Euro
Time Difference (from UK)            +1 hour
Flight Time (from UK)                             2 hours 15 mins
Voltage                                      220V, 50Hz AC
Shop Opening Times                    0900-1300 & 1630-1930 Mon-Sat (1000-2000 department stores)
Bank Opening Times                    0900-1400 Mon-Fri, 0900-1300 Sat (except during the summer)

Costa Del Sol

The "Sun Coast" is a well-developed tourist area extending along virtually the entire Mediterranean coast of Andalucia, the southernmost province of Spain. Covering over 100 miles, the Costa del Sol includes 24 fine beaches and several large resorts, like Torremolinos and Marbella, with a backdrop of mountains along most of its length. The area is well-served by marinas, golf courses and all forms of leisure activities. In the 1960s it was a favourite with film stars and celebrities; later it gained notoriety (and the nickname "Costa del Crime") as the bolt-hole of fugitive British criminals. The main airport is 7 miles SW of the port of Malaga. Popular excursions include the cities of Granada, Cordoba and Seville for Moorish and Gothic buildings, as well as Ronda for Roman remains.

Torremolinos

General Description:
Probably the most famous of the Costa del Sol resorts, Torremolinos was the first town on the Costa to be extensively developed for tourism and is now showing its age, resembling the dreaded concrete jungle of the late ‘60s and ‘70s. Its name is a byword for boisterous fun, with discos pumping out the latest hits at full volume late into the night and a busy, jam-packed beach. This sprawling resort now measures roughly 3 miles by ¾ mile, and is still growing in every direction. At the town centre is a long, traffic-free street lined with shops, bars, restaurants and nightspots. Here, the resort is considerably higher than the beach, so steep, winding streets or long flights of steps are an intrinsic part of the journey from one to the other. The main road running parallel to the coast is almost chock-a-block with high-rise developments, which spread beyond Playamar Beach in one direction and to the adjacent resort of Benalmadena in the other. The latter is virtually a continuation of Torremolinos, offering more of the same hotels, apartments, bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants. An interesting relic of old Torremolinos is the village of Carihuela, on the coast between Benalmadena and the centre. This little quarter has retained some of its fishing-port atmosphere, with seafront restaurants and bars backing onto a smart promenade that runs all the way to Benalmadena along the coast to the Southwest.

Location:
On Spain's south coast, in the centre of the Costa del Sol. 10½ miles west of Malaga. 8 miles west of Malaga airport.

Shopping:
The main shopping area is along the traffic-free area around Calle San Miguel, offering masses of tourist souvenirs, leather and jewellery, which continues down the steep steps to the beach, and along much of the promenade. There is a Thursday-morning street market in the old part of town (El Calvario), and a large number of hypermarkets in the area. Some of the larger self-catering complexes have supermarkets on site.

Eating Out:
Catering for all tastes, from fast-food eateries, snack bars and pizzerias to local cuisine. Fish specialties in the Carihuela area and some up market restaurants.

For the less mobile traveller:
Torremolinos has a fantastic promenade that stretches for miles with numerous areas to access the beach. At each access point, plastic walkways have been laid. The old town is situated on top of a very steep hill and access to this area, even for an able bodied person would be by taxi. The area where the hotel/beach/promenade is situated has sufficient shops, bars, restaurants and attractions, providing more than enough choice.

Fuengirola

General Description:

Basically a ribbon development, Fuengirola sprawls for 6½ miles along the beach, extending 1½ miles inland at its widest point. The resort has the feel of a mini-Benidorm, with thickly spread, high-rise buildings catering for the vast influx of mainly British tourists. However, it still boasts a large fishing fleet, and the narrow, generally busy coast road is pleasant enough, stretching the length of the beach. The bustling central tourist-orientated area covers 4 miles of beach front, which is roughly divided by the marina and extends rather chaotically inland for around ½ a  mile.

Location:
On Spain's south coast, roughly midway between Torremolinos (to the east) and Marbella (to the west). 19 miles SW of Malaga; 16 miles SW of Malaga airport.

Shopping:
Good, with a varied selection of merchandise. At least 4 hypermarkets on the outskirts. Large Tues-morning market (known as the most popular on the coast) in the centre of the resort.

Eating Out:
Plenty of restaurants to suit everyone's taste and pocket, either within the resort or just outside. Fish and shellfish, not surprisingly, are the local specialities, but don't be surprised to find an awful lot of bangers and mash!

For the less mobile traveller:
Fuengirola has an array of attractions to offer, such as shopping, an accessible beach and an accessible marina. Fuengirola, unlike some other Spanish towns is a flat resort offering easy access to less mobile travellers.

Marbella

General Description:
Marbella enjoys a privileged micro-climate that attracts tourists all year round. Known as the San Tropez of Southern Spain, it really is stylish and chic drawing in a glamorous crowd. With 24 beaches covering a 25 kilometre stretch from Guadalmina to Las Chapas many with promenades, housing an array of shops and restaurants, this area is something to be seen.

Marbella has a charming old town that echoes traditional Andalucía. The whitewashed town is partly framed by the ancient Moorish castle walls and has a maze of narrow alleys laden with flower-strewn balconies which lead you through shady squares mixed with traditional coffee bars, boutique shops, fountains and restaurants.

 

Location:

Marbella is located in the South of Spain on the Costa del Sol. Situated along the Mediterranean Sea and in the region of Andalusia, 40 miles from Malaga Airport.


Shopping:

Marbella has a huge selection of designer clothes and jewellery shops and has several large shopping complexes, as well as supermarkets, accessory shops and gift stores. The best way to explore Marbella’s shops is simply strolling through the streets, especially through the old town where gift shops and souvenirs can be bought to take home. The best market is at the Plaza de Toros (Bull Ring) Nueva Andalucia and operates on a Saturday.

 

Eating Out:
Marbella offers a wealth of cafés and restaurants. Eating out could not be simpler. The largest concentrations of restaurants are alongside Marbella's coastal promenade, the Plaza de los Naranjos and within Marbella's old city. 

 

For the less mobile traveller:
Marbella has a fantastic promenade that stretches for miles with numerous areas to access the beach. At each access point, plastic walkways have been laid. The walkways are large, flat and well maintained making access very good.

Roquetas De Mar

General Description:

Roquetas de Mar’s friendly, relaxed atmosphere wins over its visitors every summer, with a glittering golden coast, beautiful scenery and hotels right on the waterfront. This family resort offers a brilliant combination of seaside fun and lazy days on the sands. Once a fishing town, it's now a thriving resort but still retains a historic air around its ancient Moorish centre, topped with a medieval watchtower.

Location:

Roquetas de Mar is a fishing village just 15 minutes, by vehicle, from Almería, the capital city of the province. A promenade with restaurants and cafés stretches for around 13 kilometres, linking Roquetas’ long string of beaches.

Shopping:

The fishing town comes with plentiful shops with Spanish charm and shops geared more for the tourists can also be found.

Eating out:

The palm-fringed promenade is lined with restaurants plus fantastic tapas bars. Roquetas de Mar’s cuisine revolves around the fruits of the sea with rice and lobster topping the list of local specialties, plus seafood and pasta stews and typical Andalusian style fried fish are also very popular.

For the Less Mobile Traveller:

Holidays to Roquetas give you shingle beaches without the crowds and a nature reserve on your doorstep. The resort is flat and the promenade provides easy access to explore the expansive stretch of beaches. 

Costa De La Luz

The "Coast of Light" runs for some 180 miles from the Portuguese border to Tarifa, Spain's most southerly point on the mainland. Similar to Portugal's Algarve in terms of climate and geography, it is however, nowhere near as developed touristically. It is comprised of two distinct areas separated by Europe's largest national park, Doñana, famous as a stopover point for migrating birds. The resorts in the NW are normally served from Faro airport in Portugal while the SE sector's arrivals usually come through Jerez airport or, occasionally, Malaga. Both can also be reached from Seville airport. This Atlantic coast is characterised by its long beaches of fine golden brown sand, backed by either dunes, pine forest, salt marshes or low sandstone cliffs. The Costa de la Luz has been a summer holiday destination for the Spanish themselves for many years. The Germans discovered it in the 1990s but it is relatively new to the British market. Resorts are either long-established, in or near traditional villages and towns, or modern purpose-built developments (known as "urbanizations") whose growth is carefully controlled in an attempt to avoid the excesses suffered in other parts of the country.

 

General Description:

Spanish holidaymakers in the know, know all about holidays in Isla Cristina, for news of the sun soaked beaches and sizzling seafood has spread around Spain. The glorious beach of golden sand runs for 8 kilometres and with the area almost surrounded by the sea, it'll come as no surprise that this perky holiday town still makes a living from the sea. Fishing is big here, almost as big as the great choice of excellent fish restaurants which line the attractive port.

Location:
90 km from Faro airport, 20 km from Portugal and 125 km from Seville.

Eating Out:
The main restaurants offer excellent Spanish cuisine, but are quite limited in this area.

For the less mobile traveller:
Isla Cristina has a long accessible beach with ramped access onto the large sand dune beach. There is a beach wheelchair available for hire from the Confortel Istantilla hotel reception.  Close to this hotel is a commercial centre with various shops, bars, supermarkets and great restaurants within. The terrain is flat and accessible.

Costa Dorada

Extending south from Tarragona as far as the River Ebro delta, the Costa Dorada ("Golden Coast") consists of 45 miles of fine, sandy beaches shared between a few large resorts and several small picturesque fishing villages. Salou and Cambrils are the main tourist centres. The mountains of the Coastal Range form a backdrop to the whole area. The local airport is at Reus, 10 miles west of Tarragona. Both a motorway and a railway run along the coast.

 

General Description:
Cambrils to the SW and La Pineda to the NE merge with Salou itself to form one continuous resort some 10 miles long. It's well kept and tidy, and – as its expansion dates back no further than the early 1980s – most buildings are modern in style. An elegant promenade lined with palm trees displays a monument to Jaime I, the Spanish king who sailed from Salou to conquer the Balearic Islands. Just outside the resort is Port Aventura, a full-blown theme park modelled on Busch Gardens in Florida, featuring 5 themed areas (Polynesia, Mexico, China, the Wild West and the Mediterranean). The exclusive Beach Club offers watersports, children's areas and 7 swimming pools, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities. There is also a large, all-year-round water park with a Caribbean theme – Caribe Aquatic Park.

Location:
In the NE of Spain, on the Mediterranean coast. 75 miles south west of Barcelona, 7½ miles SW of Tarragona, 5 miles south of Reus and 7½ miles south of its airport.

Shopping:
A wide range of shops, from typical souvenir stalls to high-class boutiques, leather shops, perfumeries, supermarkets etc. A flea market is held every Monday in the "old" centre of town.

Eating Out:
Something to suit everybody. British pubs, pizzerias, burgers, Chinese, Spanish tapas bars and quite a few very classy restaurants.

For the less mobile traveller:
Salou is a flat resort with a long flat promenade, which is adjacent to the beach/sea front. This is 500m from the hotel and is reached via a walkway through a promenade of typical gift stores and shops.  Drop kerbs do exist, which makes this resort relatively wheelchair friendly.

Costa Blanca

Located in the south of the Valencia region, the Costa Blanca ("White Coast") is about 85 miles in length. At its centre lies Alicante and the airport, 6 miles to the South West. Characterised by large beaches and backed by mountains, the area includes numerous small resorts as well as the large and popular Benidorm with its attractive twin bays.

Torrevieja

General Description:

Torrevieja is a gem to be enjoyed as this part of the coastline has wonderful sandy beaches, a modern yacht club and a long flat promenade. Surrounding this beautiful resort are two large and natural salt water lakes, known for their highly therapeutic and healing benefits, which attract a wide variety of bird life and protected species. Here you will enjoy a hot, Mediterranean climate, known for its long and dry summers.

Location:

In SE Spain, on the Costa Blanca, directly on the Mediterranean Sea. 65 miles south of Valencia. 30 miles south of Alicante.

Shopping:

Shopping in Torrevieja Centre is varied and fun, with many different shops selling everything you could possibly want. If you want a large shopping centre featuring many high street brands a visit to The Habaneras should not be missed. Shopping along the promenade is also fun, but for an authentic experience try the daily street markets. The marina has daily ones and the largest is weekly on a Friday morning and can be found on Avenida de las Habaneras, next to the bus station.

Eating Out:

The food in this area is excellent and the choices are endless. Along the seafront there are many restaurants, cafeterias, ice-cream parlours. The whole area brings you different eateries specialising in wine, Spanish tapas, pizza, grilled and barbequed meat and fish. Seafood, rice dishes are typical local specialities. Up market restaurants can be found in the old town. Fast-food and British food is easy to find and prices are very reasonable compared to the UK.

For the less mobile traveller:

Along the promenade and marina access is flat and even. The old town does have its frustrations as cars do tend to park alongside the drop kerbs and some pavements are uneven.

Albir

General Description:
The first thing you will notice about Albir is no high-rise buildings or hotel blocks. Albir has grown from a small community in the last few years into a great holiday destination. It is ideally suited for families and couples who like an alternative to the busy beaches of Benidorm, but still like to enjoy all the other amenities of a good beach resort.

Location:
60 kms north of Alicante and a 10 minute drive from Benidorm.

Shopping:
During the summer months, a small market of local craft and artwork trades at the upper end of the sea front where you can purchase original jewellery, leather goods and souvenirs.

Eating Out:
Something to suit everybody. British pubs, pizzerias, burgers, Chinese, Spanish tapas bars and quite a few very classy restaurants.

For the less mobile traveller:
Albir is another popular resort due to its accessible promenade, which stretches for miles and is not overcrowded. The beach does provide wheelchair access by limited wooden cladding, but this does not run all the way to the sea. There is a regular bus service, (most buses are accessible), which enables you to visit Benidorm’s main beach, which is fully accessible with wheelchair facilities. These include, changing room, shower and adapted toilet for exclusive use by wheelchair users. In addition to this they also provide beach wheelchairs free of charge with attendants to assist you into the sea. The main town is on a slight hill with limited drop kerbs. However the main promenade has plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from.

Altea

General Description:
Arty Altea has a charming old town and numerous galleries and craft shops. It has kept a very typical Spanish feel, which makes this town ideal for those who want to escape from the crowds.

Location:
7 km north of Benidorm and 40 km north of Alicante.

Eating Out:
All around the plaza are different bars and restaurants, ranging from typical Spanish to International, from where you have a wonderful view of the Mediterranean Sea as the plaza is situated at the highest point of the village.

For the less mobile traveller:
Altea offers peace and tranquillity in typical Spanish surroundings away from the crowds, but is limited with regard to access for wheelchairs.

Benidorm

General Description:
Benidorm is an excellent choice for wonderful sandy beaches and vibrant night life. Tailored for the foreign visitor you will find an abundance of bars, restaurants and discos. Much of the hotel accommodation is located in high-rise buildings. There is an Aqua park nearby. Benidorm can become crowded in peak season but a short distance away from the coast you can find peaceful mountain scenery with olive trees, citrus groves, and quiet hilltop villages.

Location:
In SE Spain, on the Costa Blanca, directly on the Mediterranean Sea. 65 miles south of Valencia. 26 miles NE of Alicante.

Shopping:
Concentrated in the old town. No shortage of souvenir outlets. Open-air market on Wednesdays. Shoes and leather goods are particularly good buys. Alcohol and cigarettes are bargains compared to the UK.

Eating Out:
Throughout the resort are fast-food outlets, as well as local and international restaurants. Seafood, rice dishes and tapas are typical local specialties. British food is easy to find. Up market restaurants are in the old town. Prices are very reasonable compared to the UK.

For the less mobile traveller:
Benidorm is an all year round holiday destination. Being one of the largest Spanish tourist resorts, Benidorm offers an abundance of bars, restaurants and evening entertainment, many of which are wheelchair accessible.  Levante beach offers good wheelchair accessible facilities, which include, changing room, shower and adapted toilet for exclusive use by wheelchair users. In addition to this they also provide beach wheelchairs free of charge with attendants to assist you into the sea. The main streets that are adjacent to the beach front promenade are also wide and accessible and are well furnished with drop down kerbs.

Calpe

General Description:
Calpe is an ancient fishing village. Towering above the city is the magnificent Rock of Ifach, now a nature reserve it stands over 300 metres tall. It is accessible by road and the enchanting panoramic views are breathtaking. There are two parts to the town, the traditional 'old town' and the new developments that surround it. The old town has improved its facilities greatly in the past few years and now boasts a bustling centre of culture with museums, restaurants and bars, all linked with quaint streets and classic town squares. Many different visitors have descended on Calpe in years gone by, everyone from Romans to Pirates. The Romans set Calpe up as an important port selling fish to passing tradesmen.

Location:
Calpe is situated on the Costa Blanca coast north of Benidorm.

Eating Out:
Something to suit everybody. British pubs, pizzerias, burgers, Chinese, Spanish tapas bars and quite a few very classy restaurants.

For the less mobile traveller:
For the less mobile traveller Calpe is a very popular resort. Whilst the old town like many Spanish towns has narrow streets, hilly in parts and with few drop kerbs, the main promenade, which stretches either side of the Rock of Ifach, is very flat and accessible. Both beaches benefit from fabulous wheelchair accessible beach facilities, which include, changing room, shower and adapted toilet for exclusive use by wheelchair users. In addition to this they also provide two beach wheelchairs free of charge with attendants to assist you into the sea.
The promenade offers a variety of bars and restaurants some of which are accessible and with their own accessible toilet.

Costa De Almeria

This has a more relaxed atmosphere than the other Costas. Long beaches of sand and shingle stretch out on either side of the city of Almeria. The gentle breezes are ideal in the hot season. Away from the beaches you can find some spectacular desert landscapes. This area was used as a setting for spaghetti Westerns. Costa Almeria is an ideal destination for families and couples who want to escape from the crowds.

Garrucha

General Description:
The history of Garrucha goes back 5000 years. Since then it has sheltered armies, exported marble and minerals all over the world and still remained a centre of the fishing industry. Modern day Garrucha is an independent stretch of coastline with many attractive costal properties and marble esplanades. Yet it still remains loyal to its roots and remains a bustling port. As one of the major fishing ports of the area, it provides fresh catches for most of the surrounding restaurants in the Almerian area. There are many grand imposing old buildings including the council buildings and the Church of San Joaquin. A real treat is the Lonja fish market. Each afternoon the day’s catch is sold to anyone who wants to make an offer. A fantastic array of fish and sea food makes for a gastronomic delight. The highlight has to be the famous red prawns, which are exported all over the country. Last but not least, should you fancy some more history then you might like to visit the Castle of Jesus of Nazareth.

Location:
45 minute drive from Almeria Airport.

Eating Out:
A great selection of restaurants and bars with many excellent seafood restaurants found along the seafront, serving the fresh catch of the day.

For the less mobile traveller:
For the less mobile traveller Garrucha does offer a flat accessible promenade adjacent to the sea front. However Garrucha is a very old traditional Spanish town with many steep and inaccessible narrow streets.  Electric wheelchairs or scooters would be required to navigate parts of the town with ease.

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