As the top destination for Brits heading abroad, there’s a good chance that you’ll be visiting Spain this year for your annual break. However, with an area of over 500,000km² and incorporating two archipelagos, Spain is anything but small. So, how do you choose where to go? And should you visit the mainland or head out to one of Spain’s idyllic islands in 2013?
Value for money
As money is an important factor for many when choosing their holiday destination, we’ll start by comparing how far your pound will go on the mainland or on the islands. Islands such as Majorca and Tenerife are no stranger to package deals and as a consequence cheap holidays are available on both. Many are all-inclusive, so visitors never need stray outside of their hotels.
This may be for the best, as on Tenerife alone the cost of some everyday essentials around 86 per cent higher than on the Spanish mainland. On the smaller islands, the limited space can mean accommodation comes at a premium. Although your stay still won’t break the bank, you may well notice the difference when compared to mainland Spain.
The entire length of the Spanish coastline is dotted with airports, most of which offer regular and affordable flights to the rest of Europe. Most of the main resorts are no more than 90 minutes away from a major airport, making mainland Spain one of the most accessible places in Europe.
The Spanish islands are also very well connected, with almost all of them having their own airport, although Formentera is only accessible by boat from Ibiza.
The mainland and all of the islands have plenty of attractions to keep visitors busy.If you’re interested in architecture, you can’t beat Andalucia with its white, mountain villages and Moorish inspired towns. For natural beauty, the Canary Islands take some beating, with their volcanic landscapes unlike anywhere else in Europe.
Although the mainland has plenty of historical sites, these can be spread far and wide, whereas on the islands, everything is within easy reach. Menorca holidays can be divided between exploring the rugged coastline as well as some of the best Bronze Age sites in Europe.
Despite its reputation for year-round warmth, parts of Spain can actually get pretty chilly, with areas in the north experiencing a climate not dissimilar from Britain. Like the south of Spain, almost all of the islands have fantastic climates with the Canaries winning the battle for winter sun hands down.
If you’ve already visited the Spanish mainland then 2013 and is definitely the year to explore some of the paradise islands that also bear the Spanish name. However, with a low cost of living, regular flights and an almost endless choice of beaches, the mainland is still pretty hard to beat.