Spain – Generel Information

Spain is a traditionally popular tourist destination, where visitors are welcomed and usually spend a carefree holiday. Beware of pickpocketing and petty crime, especially in the larger tourist centers. During the holiday season, there are occasional raids on tourists along the Spanish motorways (especially on the A 7 between the French-Spanish border station La Junquera and Barcelona). The victims are advised of alleged damage to their vehicle (eg flat tire) and “assistance” is offered. Therefore, if possible, only stop at busy service areas. In the event of a breakdown, make sure that the tow truck called for assistance bears the symbol of “Autopistas” or the symbol of the breakdown service requested by you. Always close your vehicle and do not leave any visible objects in the vehicle.

Should we still treat Spain there ??? It was once so many years ago so romantic and safe ……. But we want to go to Africa and therefore have no choice but to drive through Spain.

Here are some dates to the destination Spain:
area
504,782 sq km
population
40,341,460 (2005)
population density
80 per sq km.
Capital
Madrid with inhabitants: about 4 million (2005)
Geography
Spain occupies about four-fifths of the Iberian Peninsula, which still includes Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. The Pyrenees form a natural border with France in the northeast. The national territory also includes the Balearic Islands south of Barcelona in the Mediterranean (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) and the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa. Last but not least, there are the Spanish enclaves Ceuta, Chafarinas, Melilla and Ladu, all located in North Africa.

Spain is a very mountainous country and lies on average 610 m above sea level. The approximately 400 km long Pyrenean range from the Basque Country in the northwest to the Mediterranean Sea. Some peaks reach a height of more than 3000 m. The highest point is the Pico de Aneto is at 3404 m.

Inland is the Meseta, a huge 600-800 m high plateau. It is divided by numerous sierras. In the northwest and north of Meseta is bounded by the Cantabrian Mountains and the Iberian outskirts. in the south, the Sierra Morena connects. Beyond the Sierra Morena lies the Guadalquivir Valley.

The mountainous landscape of Galicia is located on the heavily rugged Atlantic coast in the north of the Iberian Peninsula.

The Sierra Nevada southeast of Granada in Andalusia is part of the parallel to the Mediterranean Cordillera. The highest mountain of the Spanish mainland lies in this mountain range. It is the Mulhacn with 3481 meters.

All of Spain’s coasts are just under 3,500 km long. The Mediterranean coast stretches from the French border in the north to the Rock of Gibraltar in the south. The Strait of Gibraltar connects the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and separates Spain from North Africa.
Attractions / Attractions
Spain has countless cultural and tourist attractions such as Seville, Barcelona, ​​Toledo, Madrid, Girona, etc. In addition, it has scenic sights and bathing paradises such as the Mediterranean coasts, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands etc.
polity
Parliamentary monarchy since 1978. Constitution of 1978. Two-Chamber Parliament (Cortes Generales): House of Representatives (Congreso de los Diputados) with 350 deputies and Senate (Senado) with 259 senators. Head of State: King Juan Carlos I, since 1975.
language
The official language is Spanish (Castilian). Catalan, Galician and Basque are regionally distributed; in tourist areas z. T. English and German.
religion
Roman Catholic (94%); Muslim, Protestant and Jewish minorities.
local time
Spain / Balearic Islands: CET. Last Sunday in March until last Sunday in October: CET + 1 (summer time).
Difference to Central Europe is in winter and in summer in each case 0 hours.
Canary Islands: CET -1. Last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October: CET (summer time).
Difference to Central Europe is in winter and in the summer each -1 hours.
Money and price level
In Spain, the EURO is the means of payment. In Spain, the overall price level is somewhat lower than in Germany. In the holiday strongholds, however, it is often more expensive.
mains voltage
220 V, 50 Hz (110/125 V often still in older buildings of small towns).
phone
IDD. The public phones work with coins and prepaid cards of the Telefonica, which you can buy in the tobacco shops.
country code
34. Area Codes of Major Cities: Madrid 91, Alicante 96, Balearic Islands 971, Barcelona 93, Benidorm 96, Bilbao 94, Granada 958, Las Palmas 928, Malaga and Torremolinos 95, Santander 942, Seville 95, Tenerife 922 and Valencia 96.
getting there
Traveling by car requires time and leisure, but all routes are already developed as highways today. The journey through France is linked to high motorway tolls. But in Spain are now charged fees for the use of the highway, but significantly lower. If you have time, you should drive over the country lanes, which often means only 300 km per day. But then you should travel according to the motto: The way is the goal.
information
Spanish Tourist Office
Myliusstr. 14
60323 Frankkfurt
Tel: 069 – 72 50 33 – 72 50 38
Fax: 069 – 72 53 13

Austria:
Spanish Tourist Office
Mahlerstr. 7
1010 Vienna – 1
Tel: 431 – 512 95 80
Fax: 431 – 512 95 81

Switzerland:
Office Espagnol Du Tourisme
15, rue Ami-Levrier
1201 Ginebra
Tel: 022 – 731 11 33
Fax: 022 – 731 13 66
automobile
As a driver you need the national driver’s license, vehicle registration and the international green insurance card. Spanish traffic rules do not differ significantly from the Germans. Fuel is available as Normal (92 octane), Super (97 octane), Diesel (gasoleo) and Lead free (sin plomo).

On the main roads and in big cities, blue and yellow RACE road patrol vehicles (ADAC partner club) are on the way. Available nationwide and around the clock on Tel: 91 – 4 41 22 22.

Spain – Climate

The mainland of Spain has recently got hotter summers. In the summer months, it is often only bearable in the houses with the air conditioning switched on. In the deepest south of Andalusia, more than 40 degrees of heat are often reached, which causes the water tanks to dry out and the water to be rationed. This means that the owners of houses can no longer fill their pool facilities and the grounds are no longer irrigated. Particularly dramatic are the water supplies that have been completely discontinued in certain places for certain periods, ie. h., the faucet stays dry.

The winters are getting colder and colder. So it happens recently that even in January and February snow still falls in the beach areas of the holiday regions of the Costa del Sol.

Nevertheless, there is no best time to travel. Each time has its specific characteristics. In the summer months are the tourist areas (and there are almost only on Spain’s coast, means that the entire Mediterranean coast from Port Bou to Marbella are built with resorts) hopelessly crowded. In addition, the temperatures are unbearable and the movement in the wild is becoming a stress factor. On some beaches tourists like sardines lie together. For some, this may seem special.

The off-season months in spring and autumn are not only bearable because of the temperatures, but the stream of visitors then ebbs noticeably. The prices for accommodation costs and food etc. sink drastically during this time.

Spain – Fauna

Even down to the rural areas of Spain tourism (in most coastal regions even mass tourism) has made its entrance.

The good development of the entire coastal region of Spain (not only for tourists) makes every corner of the Costa Blanca visible or ingestible. The humans (not just the Spaniards) have an engaging nature when it comes to their supremacy. The native species in Spain have a hard time surviving.

The biodiversity of the animal inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula, especially on the coasts, is today decimated.

At least in a few places on the densely populated coasts, the Spaniards have managed, not least because of their high zoological and botanical importance, to provide the wetlands under nature conservation. For the migratory birds found here, these nature reserves represent an important wintering place.

Inland, the bird world is hardly available. Larger mammals such as deer, wild boars, martens, foxes, hares and rabbits are more likely to be found in the less populated areas of inland Spain.

The abundance of fish on the coasts of Costa Brava, Costa Daurada, Costa Blanca, and Costa del Sol is impressively low. Most fish destined for cooking must be imported nowadays. Nevertheless, there is a little-known fishing center with an impressive fishing fleet of several hundred fishing boats in St. Carles de la Rapita, a few miles south of Tortosa on the Cap de Tortosa. It is quite impressive to see the infinite line of boats going out to sea in the early morning.

Some boats are seaworthy and therefore stay at sea for several days. When they return to the harbor in the evening, like a string of pearls before sunset, you can see the boats being cleared in the fishing harbor. Catches are generally modest in view of the totally overfished seabed. At most small fish, crabs, shrimp and lobster are brought to the kerbbeweise ashore. Also squid, jellyfish, sardines and tuna are still to be found

Spain – Flora

The Cantabrian mountain range roughly divides the country into two climatic zones. There are very different types of plants. The plant life north of the mountains benefits from a maritime climate. There are not too many temperature fluctuations here.

Not only the climate is more stable here but it rains here more often. This in turn favors the growth of the plants. Therefore, one finds in the Cantabrian area before a lush vegetation. There are about 5,000 different species of plants that contribute to the diversity of the fauna of Spain.

Often you drive on roads that lead through low-vegetation areas. In particular, here falls on the forest poverty. With the destruction of the forests, which was probably started centuries ago, a drying up of the soil took place in these areas. The wierderum conditioned large changes in the water balance, which led to significant soil erosion. Monocultures (for example, pines and eucalyptus), which are of economic interest, hardly support a new development of the species-rich forest flora.

Widely used are ferns and various broom species and heather. Only 30 percent of Spain’s surface is wooded. Through various afforestation programs in much of Spain, mainly monocultures of pines and eucalyptus trees were planted.

In a few mountainous regions you will find forests with beech stands and various species of fir trees. In lower areas also deciduous trees occur. Linden trees, chestnuts, maples, elms, ash trees, hazelnut bushes and the common oak that is so typical of this region should be mentioned.

South of the Cantabrian Mountains, the fauna and vegetation is exposed to significant temperature fluctuations. In the summer months, temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees. In particular, the long dry periods wid the nature demanded a lot. In these areas you rarely find forests. The landscape here is characterized by fallow land or scrub. But there are also some tree species that have adapted to these dry conditions. To mention here are the pine, the holm oak, the maritime pine or the Zenneiche.

Spain – History

10 000 BC
The Iberian Peninsula is populated by Iberians, Celts, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Arabs and Romans. They guard the ancestors of the Spaniards.
1 000-700 BC
Commercial colonies on the Spanish Mediterranean coast are founded by the Phoenicians.
600 BC
The Greeks are ousted by the Carthaginians. They found their first settlements.
200 BC
The Romans conquer Spain. They build a variety of structures. These included aqueducts or amphitheaters. Spain becomes part of the Roman Empire.
400 after Chr.
The vandals conquer Spain
7th – 11th century
Until 711 the gothic rule in Spain continues. The Gothic king Roderik is defeated by the Muslims who come across the Strait of Gibraltar. The Moors made the south of Spain a thriving region. This you achieved due to their Arabic irrigation technique.
12th – 15th century
The Catholic Church is strengthened by the Spanish kings. The Inquisition expels all non-Christians. This also meant that the economy and trade had to undergo a severe recession.
16th Century
The colonization of other countries makes Spain one of the richest countries in Europe. Not all guided wars are won, however. Some wars also end in defeat.
17-18. century
The Habsburgs are replaced by Philipp V. of Castile.
19th century
Napoleon occupies Spain. The victory does not last long, because only a few years later the Spanish king returns to the throne through the struggle for freedom of his people. The country is shaken by unrest and power struggles. A little later, the Republic is proclaimed and briefly replaced by the monarchy.
1923-1930
In the twenties there is an economic crisis. General Primo de Rivera builds a military dictatorship.
1931
The military dictatorship is ended by the proclamation of the Republic.
1936
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the nation lists under General Franco received support from fascist Germany and Italy. After the Spanish Civil War, Franco takes power.
1975
Franco dies in 1975. A constitutional monarchy is proclaimed.
1978
Spain receives a new constitution.
1986
Spain joins the European Union.
1992
The Olympic Games will be held in Barcelona. The World’s Fair comes to Seville.

Spain – wining and dining

Dinner is the most important meal of the day. Compared to Germany, however, it is relatively late in Spain, usually only from 8 pm to 10 pm, for dinner. There is a lot of talk so that a dinner can often take several hours. By contrast, lunch is almost always rather narrow. Breakfast is often just a cup of coffee with a small piece of biscuits from the Spaniards.

Spain’s cuisine is very diverse. Seafood is often on the menu in coastal towns. Almost always salads or vegetables are served. In the interior, on the other hand, quite hearty meals are served. These are either meat dishes or game dishes in autumn. Usually rice and vegetables are served. Typical for the kitchen in the country are hearty vegetable or meat soups based on tomatoes, potatoes and onions. If you choose the meat variant, come to the vegetable base pork, chicken or lamb. But one knows also stew with fish.

An important and often eaten specialty is the paella. This consists of a rice pan with a variety of vegetables, meats and fish, as well as various seafood and rice. Fish dishes in all variations are also very popular. Especially with the Mediterranean cuisine on the coast, fish is always on the menu. Crayfish, clams and cuttlefish are also available in many restaurants.

For a small appetite in between tapas are suitable. Tapas are very popular in Spain. These are small appetizers, snacks and other smaller meals. Since the Spaniards almost always do without breakfast and only have lunch around 2 pm, the break-up will be bridged with a few tapas. There is a very large selection here. From small snacks such as a few olives to chicken thighs, a wide range of tapas is offered. Another popular appetizer are salads in all variations.

The red wines from Spain are the ideal accompaniment to the meal. knows him as the basis for sangria, in the then still fruit or juice and liquor and mineral water is mixed.
tip
In Spain, too, the custom has become customary in restaurants that a place is usually allocated by the operating staff. It is considered impolite to sit unasked at a certain table. It is also frowned upon to sit down to other people without an invitation. The oft-heard question “Is this still free?” Is considered intrusive. It is common for a common bill to be made after the meal.

Spain – Accommmodations

Accommodation options are abundant in Spain and can be found in every price category. It is worthwhile, in addition to the usual information from travel catalogs, to obtain further suggestions from tourist information offices.

The holiday country Spain does not end on the Costa Blanca with its mass tourism. But you have to search long and targeted, until you find a goal without these negative phenomena. This applies above all to the coast from Bacelona to Malaga.

Hotels can be found from the simple pension to the 5 * – hotel. Often the standard is different than usual in Germany. Often, a small but well run hotel with three stars can be better than a four star hotel that has been run down. There are huge differences here.

All these accommodations have a long tradition in Spain. Apartments are available as well as campsites in large numbers. Often the selection is difficult and you should, if you have not pre-booked, in the local tourist information about free accommodation and prices. In the smaller cities and the more remote regions, however, these do not exist and so only the way to make themselves on their socks and abklappern accommodation for accommodation …. especially in the main season an often tedious way.

For individual travelers, the prices in the peak season months from June to September, especially in the tourist centers completely covered. It remains then only the way out in the closer hinterland sprawl, which is often problematic, since there are very sparse accommodations there.

In the low season, many landlords can trade with themselves and give not inconsiderable discounts, which are up to 50% (and more) of the usual price. Here then regulates demand and supply the market.

Especially in the interior of Spain the Paradores can be found. They are the most original kind of hotels in Spain. A total of 86 establishments of this category offer castles, castles, abbeys, monasteries and palaces, which have been specially converted for overnight stays.

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