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Rent a Car in Spain - City Guide

rent a car spain

 

Car Rental in Spain

 

  • -Official name: Kingdom of Spain (in Spanish Reino de España)
  • - Form of government: constitutional monarchy
  • - Area: 506,000 sq km
  • - Population: 40,500,000 inhabitants
  • - Official language: Spanish
  • - Religion: Roman Catholic (90%), Protestant, Muslim
  • - Capital: Madrid
  • - Currency: EUR
  • - All times are GMT +1 / 2
  • - Internet domain: .es
  • - Area code: 00 34

 

Location

 

Spain is located in the north-western Europe, occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula, Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The landscape of Spain is a mountainous plateau (Messeta Central), surrounded by mountain ranges: Sierra Cantabria, Sierra Iberia, Sierra Betica, and Sierra Nevada. In the north-east of the country you can find the Pyrenees (with its 3404m peak Pico d'Aneto). The rivers are not watery, summer waters have a low flow, but in winter the level goes high, often causing floods. The most important rivers are Tagus, Ebro and Duero, an especially Guadalquivir, which is fed by glaciers in the Sierra Nevada (where is the most southern glacier in Europe) and flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Neighboring countries

 

In the west, Spain shares borders with Portugal; in the south, with British Gibraltar and with Morocco through its African enclaves. It also shares a border with a mountain state Andorra and France, this time in the south-east.

 

Climate

 

Most of Spain belongs to the continental climate, which is warm and dry, including the capital Madrid. Especially in summer, the city full of cars can turn into a furnace. Mediterranean and subtropical climate can be experienced on the islands and on the southern coast, of course, while on the northern coast dominates a wetter, oceanic climate.

 

History of Spain

 

Everything here shows passion, nothing happens quietly, as Spanish people have blood like wine, love music, dancing and women. Here men fight bulls, and create immortal works while their ladies achieve immortality through the art they inspire. Spain is the contemporary state in which the monarchy has retained an important role, although very discreetly. 

 

The peninsula has been inhabited since the dawn of civilizations, including tribes of Celts, Carthaginians, Roman Empire and Visigoths.  In the 8th century, the peninsula has been conquered by Arabs, who ruled over the land for centuries and built beautiful states and cities. In medieval times, the Christian armies began what is called Reconquista, taking over the land and finally drove the Muslims out of the territory. The concluding point was the fall of Granada, last fortress and a very beautiful city.

 

Soon after the two most powerful kingdoms, Kingdom of Castile and Kingdom of Aragon joined forces, the development of Spanish Empire began. A lot changed after Columbus discovered America and it was Spain which arose and flourished from the wealth of the New World. Spain kept its leading role as a colonial power until the 17th century, when it got involved in several European conflicts and was even invaded entirely during the French revolution. The modern Spanish history and the 20th century saw the dictatorship of general Franco; it was only after his death in 1975, when Spain became a constitutional monarchy, reinstating the Bourbon monarchy on the throne. King Juan Carlos is a very popular public figure and Spain is one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, also a member of European Union.  

 

The major cities in Spain

 

Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, Zaragoza, Malaga. We offer car rental service in all these locations and more.

 

Tourism

 

Divided in several provinces with specific features, Spain is a tourist paradise, requiring weeks if not months, to be discovered as it should. Lodging Hotels in Spain are classified from one to four stars. There are several traditional hotel chains such as Husa or Iberotel, and about 85 paradores (tourist establishments owned by government). Prices differ depending on the period, the year being divided into full season, medium and low season. The price for a double room, without breakfast, can vary between 55 and 200 euros per night. Hostels, or Hostales as they are called here, are not establishments for young people as it is associated with that word in the North, but rather rented apartments in private houses at a price about 10 euro per person. In Spain, there are hundreds campsites, most are concentrated on the Mediterranean coast and all are offering cars or boats for rent. Most are open between April and October, the accommodation here costs around 3 euros per day per person. For the more demanding visitors of the Mediterranean coast, you can also rent luxury villas, with terraces and pools.

 

Transportation

 

Spain has many international airports in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Granada, Malaga, Almeria, Alicante, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Ma. You can reach a car hire service in all of them, cars are delivered directly to the airport parking lot. National railway company, RENFE, has slow trains that stop in all stations (régionales - the cheapest), trains connecting major cities (cercanias) and trains on long distances (Largo recorrido). Some regional flights are directly connecting to the network of city underground, thus easing the transfer. There are discounts for people under 26 years and for those with special conditions. Buses leave from Spain to most of theEuropean centers, including Lisbon, London and Paris. Buses are also the best solution for transportation inside the country, as they are the most accessible and reaching practically anywhere you want. The flight is only an option if you want to go to the islands. The ferry is more beneficial in financial terms, although slower.

 

Car driving rules

 

The speed limit is 60 km/h in towns, 90 km/h on regional roads, 100 km/h on the national and 120 km/h on motorways.

 

Gastronomy

 

The secret of Spanish cuisine doesn't lie in tasty ingredients, but in the way they are combined. Ibericii go to market to buy red meat, poultry or game, and especially fish. Many local preparations contain beans, rice, eggs, potatoes and green stuff. Very popular meat pies are served as main course. Snacks called tapas here are also in high popularity. Fish and shellfish are consumed widely not only on the coast, but also within the country, and olive oil is indispensable in the preparation of most recipes. Chorizo is the king of sausages in Spain, being seasoned with spices and garlic. Salads are served at the beginning of the meal, always without dressing, but accompanied by containers of oil and vinegar. Although weight classes are almost the same in all Spain, food from the plate differs from one region to another. In the north-western Galicia, you recognize the Celtic cultural heritage. Locals eat meat pies and fish, seafood and veal. On the coast, in Asturias, they prepare a meal of beans called fabada. Basques focus on fish products, especially soup, also eel with garlic, cuttlefish and several snacks of smoked cod. Catalonia is the most interesting region in terms of gastronomy. Mixed seafood with vegetables or meat and potatoes are very tasty. In Valencia, rice is the king, and paella (a sort of pizza with the crust made of rice) is a symbol of the region. Andalusia invented gazpacho, a soup of tomato, onion and cucumber, seasoned with pepper, oil and vinegar, which is served cold. Although beer is extremely popular in Spain, and its serving is essential in any pub, this country lives on its reputation of making aromatic wines. First class vineyards can be found in Rioja, in north-central area of Spain, and the Penedes, near Barcelona. But nothing compares to Jerez wine (or sherry), produced in south-west of the country and available in multiple variations. 

 

Madrid tourist info

 

The beauty of this city is hard to describe in words. Madrid impresses by its architecture, harmony, urban and lively athmospehere. First mentioned in 932 as a Moorish fortress, Madrid became the capital of Spain only in 1561. The city is located in the heart of the kingdom. The scene of many armed conflicts, the drama of dictatorship and civil war, Madrid has undergone countless changes over time, losing its full defensive walls and 13 of the 16 gates. The university exists since 1508, and Madrid is one of the main cultural and scientific centers in Europe and the world, with countless works of art heritage. Two days are needed to visit its main reference points, but at least a week to get the real taste. A tour can start in southeastern city, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia botanical garden, and the Prado Museum, the market Cnovas del Castillo, Thyssen-Bornemisza museum, up, to well Cibelei, then west on Calle de Alcalá, with passage of the Academy of San Fernando, Puerta del Sol, then the Calle Mayor, with passage through Plaza Mayor, to the Plaza de la Villa. 

 

Banks are open from Monday to Saturday at 8:30-9:00 and 14:00-14:30, between October to June. In summer, they do not work Saturdays. Shops are open on working days from 10:00 to 9:00 and 13:30 to 14:00, and afternoon from 17:00 until 20:00.

 

Rent a car in Madrid and enjoy its tourist attractions

 

Museo del Prado (Prado Museum)  is located in the center of Madrid and is one of the most important museums of the world. Building opened in 1819 to house art objects collected since the days of Spanish monarch Isabella of Castile until today. It possesses the richest collection of Western European paintings in the world. Among the masterpieces displayed here are works of great Spanish masters Francisco Goya, El Greco and Diego Velazquez, but also work of the artists of Flemish, Dutch, German, French and Italian origin, purchased back when these countries were included in the great Spanish Empire. The museum had a lot of benefit from anti-clerical laws of 1836, which forced the monasteries, abbeys and churches to give much of their cultural patrimony of public institutions. Despite the obvious lack of space, Velazquez's masterpiece, Las Meninas, benefits the individual presentation.

 

Reina Sofia Art Center, founded in 1986, managed in a few years to become one of the strongest European cultural institutions, competing with Parisian Pompidou Center. Housed in a former hospital, the art collection assembled here includes mainly works of modern Spanish triad, formed by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro. The star of the museum is Picasso's Guernica, exposed along with several studies focusing on individual elements of the work. Artist and demon is the image of Pablo Ruiz, known as the new Picasso, a great painter, illustrator, sculptor and ceramist. 

 

The newest of the three main centers of art in Madrid, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, is housed in several large galleries. Impressive art collection of the Museum includes around 800 paintings depicting the cultural history of Western Europe through representative works for each major artistic current, starting from the Italian Gothic (13th century) and to the extravagant American pop-art (20th century). Two rooms are dedicated to the Post-Impressionists, including paintings by Pissarro, Renoir, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh and Cezanne. The paintings displayed here were acquired between 1920 and 1980 by industrialist and Swiss Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza and his father. Hans Heinrich donated the entire collection of art to Spain in 1993, at a request of his wife, Carmen Cervera, a former Miss Spain. 

 

- Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

 

Royal Palace was built in the early eighteenth century, by order of the first dynasty of the Bourbon king of Spain, Philip V, strategically placed high above where the first Moorish fortress in Madrid was, dating from the 9th century. Nostalgic after the Palace of Versailles, in which he lived in his youth, the monarch tried to reproduce a French royal residence. Entrance to the palace is guarded by two stone statues representing the prince Atahualpa Inca and Aztec king Montezuma, probably the only homage to the Spanish former masters of the American continent. Inside there are no less than 2,800 luxury rooms by a dazzling, rich rococo style decorations, carpets and expensive porcelain, mirrors, chandeliers and clocks complex. The present monarch, Juan Carlos, preferred to take his family on a more modest Zarzuela palace outside the city, returning here only at official ceremonies. 

  

Barcelona tourist info

 

Barcelona is a tourist paradise, as a second biggest Spanish city and a capital of an autonomous region Catalonia, offering wide range of entertainment and interesting activities. Either with a rented car or simply with a public transport, you can easily explore this vibrant cultural center, located on the coast, ideal for sightseeing, sports or just recreation on the beach. You shouldn't forget to visit the cathedral La Sagrada Familia or Parc Guell designed by famous architect Gaudi.

 

 

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