|here for the weather in Spain.||Practical
Where To Stay
Medieval manors, mountain lodges, monasteries, Andalusian ranches and deluxe five-star hotels are among the broad choice of accommodations.
The government operates a network of more than 80 hotels and inns called paradores. These may be refurbished castles, palaces or other places of historic and scenic interest; accommodations range from simple to luxurious. Information about them is available from the tourist office.
Arriving & Departing: There is nonstop service from the U.S. to Madrid and Barcelona. The Barajas Airport bus line goes to Madrids Plaza Colón for $2.75, leaving every 12 minutes and taking about 40 minutes. Buses leave every 15 minutes from Prat Airport to Barcelonas Plaça de Catalunya; the fare is about $3.25. Trains between Prat Airport and Barcelonas Sants rail station run every 30 minutes and cost approximately $2.50.
The Barcelona, Seville and Málaga airports have been rebuilt and expanded in recent years. RENFE, the national rail system, has daily service to France, Portugal and other parts of Europe.
Getting Around: The highly praised high-speed AVE trains (Tren de Alta Velocidad Español) run 14 times daily between Madrid and Seville in only two hours and 15 minutes.
The Spain Flexipass offers from three to 10 days of rail travel within two months. Prices start at $144 for second class. Additional rail days start at about $32 for second class.
Spain Rail n Drive combines unlimited rail travel for three days and a car rental with unlimited mileage for two days. All travel must be completed in two months. Prices start at $199 per person, based on two people traveling together. Options include car and rail upgrades, single-traveler rate and purchase of extra car-rental and rail days. For information, call Rail Europe at 800-324-RAIL.
The national marine carrier, Compañía Transmediterránea, offers service from Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante to the Balearic Islands, and from Cádiz to the Canary islands.
In Barcelona and Madrid, passes good for 10 trips on buses or the metro (subway) cost about $5.
New Years Day, Epiphany (Jan. 6), Maundy Thursday (Mar. 27), Good Friday (Mar. 28), May Day (May 1), Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15), National Day (Oct. 12), All Saints Day (Nov. 1), Constitution Day (Dec. 6), Immaculate Conception (Dec. 8), Christmas. (Additional official holidays are celebrated within each autonomous community.)
The banks are open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday until 1 p.m. $1 = 144 ESP as of March 11, 1997.
Brochures are available on specific cities and regions. There are also brochures covering festivals, Spain's Jewish heritage, winter sports, museums, art and architecture, and cultural routes.
Visit our Web site at: http://www.okspain.org