Viva España

10 reasons why we keep going back to Spain…

1. We have young children and the flight for us to Spain is only two hours long. If you have ever flown with little people you will know the importance of trying to get the timings just right. We have managed a four hour flight before now, but only just by the skin of our teeth! We couldn’t even manage to drink a hot drink with all the limbs flapping around in our designated tiny space. I read somewhere that for a man, it was something like having a tiny leprechaun dancing on your testicles for several hours! For women its a mind curling tactical endeavour, you may as well just shave your hair off before you leave. To entertain a toddler that has an attention span of under five minutes for a whole four hours, in a space you wouldn’t even keep your rabbit, is a considerable challenge! If you have more than one child you can easily times the difficulty rating by the amount of children you have and then double it! So for us, whilst they are young, it has to be a daytime or afternoon flight so that nobody entirely falls apart or god forbid misses a whole nights sleep entirely. 

2. It is not overly hot. We love the heat and did once end up being in a heatwave in southern Spain. I think it reached forty degrees on one of the days. This is not a great temperature to try and wonder around a pretty little town, with a sweaty baby strapped into your buggy, and a rather limp four year old looking up at you.  It is usually a maximum of 35 degrees, depending on what time of year you go.  For us anything from 25 to 35 is comfortable. I like to be able to actually walk on the sand and to feel confident that a high factor sun cream is going to be enough to keep our little ones safe.  We have ventured to places over forty degrees on holiday and as you can imagine it is just not fun.  

3. The people are friendly, I’m sure that lots of people are friendly all over the world, I am also just as sure that some Spanish people are not as friendly as other’s, but from my experiences our family enjoy the nature of the Spanish people we have met.  They are not too “in your face”, they seem to be understanding of family’s and love children.  I have also never felt pressured to buy something in a Spanish shop, something that has unfortunately happened to us in other countries. 

4. Spain has most things, from stunning mountain ranges to beautiful beaches, remote villages to lively city’s. We have bathed on white sandy beaches, climbed to churches on the top of mountains, swam under waterfalls and driven though endless amounts of orange groves. We try to have a different type of adventure each time we visit. We feel it really does have a bit of everything, and in southern Spain nothing is a million miles away. 

5. You know what you are going to get. We have found it to be a relaxed and leisurely country. When we want a quick get away, we head for the Calpe/Alicante area, we know what’s around there and how much variety there is.  This way we can’t go wrong. 

6. We have a regular car hire company that we know is good and reliable. We have found a company that has worked for us every time.  No awful horror stories of unreturned deposits of misleading paperwork, just good clean cars. We fly into the same place every time so we know exactly where to go and what to expect from them. I can’t however say that driving on the other side of the road comes as naturally every time, but after an hour or so it does seem to all click back into place.  

7. Self catering.  I know you can do this in most places but I think it is nice to have an idea of your area before you jump into going self catering with young children. If you don’t know the country at all then this can be very daunting as little people can get hungry… well they’re always hungry! We have done all inclusive before but quite frankly, we felt like robots being told what times and where to eat every day. I think having to queue for food on holiday, just doesn’t really feel like you’re on holiday.  The other downside is a lot of these all inclusive places have dinner quite late, this can also be difficult with little ones. We have found that some places do an early dinner for children, but we prefer to eat as a family. The best option by far would be breakfast and board. This way you can go down for a huge varied breakfast that will set you up for a big day of memories, and you don’t have to worry about what time to get back for lunch or dinner.  

8. Euros are easy to deal with. So eating out and shopping doesn’t have to be a maths challenge. For example 1 euro is similar to 1 pound, rather than say, 1000 rupees being the same as 1 pound! All you have to workout is your exchange rate, I find that this is much easier, and more importantly quicker to workout.

9. Very importantly we feel safe, relaxed and we don’t feel like we are being ripped off at any given opportunity… What you see is what you get, that being said my final reason is… 

10. Food!!!!! I cannot emphasize enough how lovely the food is in Spain.  We are big foodies so this is why I have left food to talk about untill now.  Spanish food is fresh, comforting and its full of great flavours and ingredients.  Walking into a Spanish supermarket is probably one of my absolute favourite things to do. If you love seafood you will not be disappointed… 

Even if you don’t, there are copious amounts of meat products and vegetables to satisfy everyone.  We usually save half a suitcase free, to fill with as much chorizo as we can manage, because nothing quite compares to the real Spanish thing. It’s also a great excuse to go back when you have run out! 

I believe that we have got it so very wrong in our country when it comes to food.  The variety of tomatoes, olives, meat products and fish is just phenomenal, and the prices are even better. Why on earth the UK supermarkets think we all want red round tomatoes is beyond me! I love being able to choose fruit and vegetables because they look unusual and smell amazing, not because they are a certain shade of red and are perfectly round! Everything has been massively over farmed and sadly uniformed at home, being in a Spanish supermarket is a breath of fresh fragrant air. If you enjoy cooking or just eating in general.. Please do not go to Spain all inclusive, we bought these prawns, clams and muscles for just pence! 

They were fresh, local, huge and tasted incredible.  I could go on and on sharing pictures of the food we have made whilst on holiday in Spain, and I also have quite a few pictures of inside the supermarkets! I have picked just a few of my favourites, hoping to convince you to give it a go, and also to go self catering. We do like to holiday to other places but on the times when we really just want and need a good holiday, this is where we go and why we keep going back! I know everybody’s ideal holiday is very different but for me and my family good food is a must, and great seafood makes our holidays! Also the other contributing factors help, and anywhere that thinks having a nap in the middle of the day is ok…  Is fine with me! 

Long live Spain. 

L x

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