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Mainland Spain Holidays

Holidaymakers are truly under Mainland Spain's spell, and there's no sign of the enchantment breaking anytime soon. From sand and the city in Costa Blanca to the glitz and glamour of the Costa del Sol, breathtaking beaches are just the beginning. Feed your curiosity with UNESCO-listed cultural treasure chests, conquer majestic mountain ranges in Andalucia, tuck in to traditional tapas and take a swing at some of the world's best golf courses in Costa Calida.

Holidays in Mainland Spain

A Moorish castle sits on top of a hill in Almeria, overlooking a traditional Spanish whitewashed village

Villa holidays in Mainland Spain give you a backstage pass to all the best bits. Scattered across the western and southern shores, Mediterranean climes and year-round sun are perfect partners to any getaway. The coveted 'Costas' are British holidaymakers' bread and butter. Each named for their unique quirks, choose between golden, wild, warm, white and coast of the sun. Whittling down the sandy shores is a welcome challenge for those who have their heart set on a week or two searching for the perfect beach. A stone's throw from the heart of the action, mountain peaks, quaint fishing harbours and amusements parks are all waiting to be discovered too.

Mainland Spain brings its a-game in the form of Andalucia and Almeria. Ancient landcapes are steeped in Moorish tradition and authenticity is in strong supply, with achingly beautiful villages nestled in verdant valleys and perched on heavenly hilltops. Bucket list pueblos blancos are a perennial favourite, enticing visitors from far and wide to wander through their whitewashed streets. Fun in the sun comes in all shapes and sizes on a holiday to Mainland Spain.

Weather

Sun across the seasons is music to most holidaymakers' ears, and fortunately Mainland Spain got the memo. Temperatures range from pleasant to toasty, with Spring and Autumn averaging in the low 20°Cs. Summer peaks skyrocket to well over 30°C in the southernmost region of Costa del Sol, while the nature-focused north is marginally cooler at 29°C.

Beach bums will adore the non-stop sunshine from July – September, while outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the cooler climes in May and October.

Things to do in Mainland Spain

Landscaped gardens at Granada's Alhambra Palace, looking through an archway towards a series of water fountains

Andalucia

Uncovering Andalucía is a dream come true for those of you that just love culture. This corner of mainland Spain is a melting pot of Spanish tradition and architectural marks left by invading empires. The Moors may have fled these shores in the 15th century but you could argue that they still own little pockets of Andalucía today. With landmarks like Seville's Alcazar Castle and Granada's Alhambra Palace capturing visiting hearts hundreds of years on. Roman's came for their piece of the pie centuries before. They clearly planned on staying for a lot longer than they did, with many of their buildings still standing strong. Cordoba is home to some of Andalucía's finest Roman relics. Picture towering stone columns, impressive arched bridges and plenty more of that Roman flair. For every amazing monument there's a traditional whitewashed village, brimming with authentic Andalusian charm. Wandering through the narrow streets gives you a flavour for the local life. And those tucked away in the mountains and countryside make exploring feel extra special.

It would be a crime to come all the way to Andalucía and not spend a little time on the sand - this is Spain's longest coastline after all! Blessed with beaches for whichever mood you happen to be in that day. Quiet coves for when you just need some rest and relaxation, vast stretches that offer watersports for when you're feeling adventurous. Families will also find sheltered beaches that make sandy playgrounds for the whole gang. You really will find a beach for every occasion in this part of Mainland Spain.

Turquoise waters of La Fossa Beach, Costa Blanca. The iconic Peñón de Ifach sits in the background

Costa Blanca

Costa Blanca was once famous for the fishing villages found up and down the coast. But today it's one of the most popular destinations for Mainland Spain holidays and the boats filled with the catch of the day are less common. Instead planes packed with holidaymakers searching for Spanish charm and the perfect beach have taken their place. Luckily stepping off the plane and onto an amazing beach is easy on the 'White Coast'. In fact, you're never too far from the fine sand and shimmering seas in this slither of Spain. The trickier decision is whether you want to be close to charming villages, historic towns or mountain peaks…

With the Montgo mountain range towering above, the towns of Gandia and Denia offer spectacular views of these impressive peaks. Each has their own charming harbour, with colourful boats and buildings that create a vibrant contrast to the dark shades of the mountains. Calpe might not be home to mountains, but the Peñón de Ifach is impressive in its own right. This craggy rock formation stands at 300m tall, meaning that discovering the Valencian heritage comes with breathtaking panoramas. There's more culture a little further down the coast, where Murcia and Elche are jam-packed with sights and monuments. Historic statues and a wonderfully crafted basilica meet 11,000 exotic palm trees in Elche. While Murcia is a cocktail of museums and religious buildings. The 14th century cathedral, the native art of Museo Salzillo and an 18th century Bishop's palace are enough to fill your cultural boots.

A courtyard of Alcazaba Fortress in Almeria.

Almeria

A close neighbour of nearby Andalucía, Almeria holds its own Arab past and charm. Holidaymakers are often faced with the tricky choice between the two, so it's no surprise that the Moors couldn't decide either. Almeria was once vital in keeping watch for approaching enemies. The Alcazaba Fortress offers the ideal vantage point, from its hilltop position. Fear of invasion is long gone, but you still might opt for a short stint as lookout – once you lock eyes on the landscape and sea below. When you've finished keeping watch, why not explore more of Almeria's history? Taking a guided tour through the Civil War Shelters is an eye-opening experience. This is where locals sought shelter from falling bombs. Putting yourself in their shoes will give you a real insight into a tumultuous point in Spain's past.

It's not all history, there's a lot more to Almeria than Arab invasion and not so civil feuds. And if you're searching for some local charm, you've come to the right region. Traditional coastal villages like San Juan de los Terreros are dotted with fishermen's cottages and quaint harbours. There's plenty more Almerian culture tucked away among the valleys, so finding some peace and quiet is a piece of cake. Brilliant beaches are also in touching distance of our Almeria villas – perfect for when only the sound of the sea will do.

Golden sands covered in sunloungers and parasols on the Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol

Where better to soak up some rays than the 'Sunshine Coast'? With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, it's no surprise that the Costa del Sol remains just as popular today as it was decades ago. But don't worry, you won't be fighting for sunbathing space! There's more than 160km of coast to choose from, with golden sands found all along the shore. If you're looking for somewhere tucked away from the crowds, head to Playa La Viborilla. This quiet cove feels like your exotic escape, with palm trees keeping this tropical paradise a hidden delight. Sometimes you just need that seaside hustle and bustle! A beach with space to spread out or indulge in some sandy sports and activities - Playa del Campo de Golf in Malaga is the answer. A whopping 2250m of sand awaits, with stunning mountain views making those beach days extra special.

If you're heading away with little ones, or you're a big kid looking for a little childlike enjoyment of your own, Benalmadena is a coastal hub of fun. Tivoli World Amusement Park has been putting smiles on faces for more than 40 years. You'll find high octane rollercoasters, rides that offer just enough thrills for younger kids and go karts for budding racing drivers of all ages. While Selwo Marina is your Costa del Sol gateway to the animal kingdom. Sea lion shows and dolphin demonstrations are highlights of any trip here, as you watch these wonderful creatures at their brilliant best. An exciting challenge awaits a little further down the coast, at Mijas Costa's Water Park. Put yourself to the test on the inflatable obstacle course, sitting just off the shore. Trampolines, slippery slides and so much more are waiting to be conquered off the Costa del Sol.

Best Beaches in Mainland Spain

Crystalline waters and golden sands of a beach in Mainland Spain

Life's a beach in Spain, and the mainland isn't about to let the idyllic islands have all the fun! The 'Costas' are a law unto themselves, catering for every kind of beach-goer with the magic staple of sun, sand and sea. Not doing anything by halves, the buck doesn't stop there of course – with each stretch of coast bringing something unique to the table. Washed by the sparkling Mediterranean and drenched in year-round sunshine, your summer travel plans have never been sweeter! Whether you're after quiet coves hidden from the masses or a buzzing bay full of endless ways to keep the kids entertained, Mainland Spain has more than enough sand to go around. Not to mention Blue Flags by the dozen…

Eating in Mainland Spain

The Spanish love their food, and who can blame them! Boasting a gastronomic scene that puts other destinations to shame, you can have your churro and eat it with a hugely diverse array of delicious dishes. From international cuisine to the locals own creations, meal times are simply marvellous in Mainland Spain. Tastebuds run on slightly different timetables here, where lunch takes pride of place on the culinary calendar and dinner is reserved for tapas. 'Finger food' of the finest degree, tuck into as many of the little plates as your waistband will allow, and don't forget to wash wash it down with a glass of Sangria.

Makings of a pair of Espadrilles in Mainland Spain

A nation of night owls, don't be surprised if you see Spaniards turning up to eat just as you're finishing your desert! Bigger dishes like Paella or Pisto are classics too, and you'll be able to sniff them out in traditional restaurants up and down the country. Regional twists are often added to keep things fresh – after all, variety is the spice of life!

Shopping in Mainland Spain

Mainland Spain has no shortage of shopping hotspots, with big-name cities full to the brim with bargain outlets and high-end fashion. Malaga, Barcelona and Valencia all pack a punch with their retail therapy repertoire, each acting as an epicentre for the best labels and Spanish brands. Whether you're perusing a modern marina or window shopping along winding alleys – you're in for a treat!

Street markets are a fantastic way to stock up on fresh food for your villa's kitchen, as well as getting your hands on unique keepsakes courtesy of the local's handiwork. From brightly flamenco fans to a bottle of blue wine, some of these souvenirs are only available in Spain. If footwear's your thing, be sure to stock up on the summer fashion staple, Espadrilles. The origins of the trend-setting shoe can be traced back all the way to 1840, when farmers in the Pyrenees were after something practical and lightweight to wear while working. Fast forward a thousand years and they're one of the most popular styles around…

Driving in Mainland Spain

With so much to see and explore, driving in Mainland Spain is a must! Whether you're on the hunt for a hideaway beach or simply looking to get away from it all, there's nothing like the open road to keep you company. Unrivalled freedom and bucket list backdrops set the holiday mood, while off-the-beaten-track spots are well within reach with a hire car. Whether you're chasing a sunset or making last minute sightseeing plans, spontaneity is a beautiful thing.

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