Location: Spain, located in southwestern Europe, is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of Biscay in the northwest and by the Mediterranean Sea in the east and the south. It has a long border with with Portugal in the west and a border with France and tiny state Andorra in the northeast. In the south it has a touching border with Gibraltar (which legally belongs to the United Kingdom) and around 100km border with Morocco.
Climate: There are three main different climate zones in Spain.
1) Mediterranean climate is characterized by dry and warm summers and cool to mild and wet winters.
2) The oceanic climate is located in the northern part of the country, especially in the regions of Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria and Galicia.
3) The semi arid climate is located in the south eastern part of the country, especially in the region of Murcia and in the Ebro valley. The dry season continues beyond the end of summer.
Cuisine: Spanish cuisine is heavily influenced by regional cuisines and particular historical processes that shaped culture and society in those territories. Every region has its own distinct cuisine and specialties.
Geography and climate had great influence on cooking methods and available ingredients. Seafood and fish are popular in coastal areas. Other popular foods are cheeses, eggs, beans, rice, nuts, and bread (a crusty white bread, baked fresh daily, is common). Olive oil and garlic are common ingredients.
Spain is also known for its wines, including the rioja , made in the northern province; sherry, a fortified wine that may be dry or sweet; and sangria, wine mixed with fruit and soda water.
The best-known Spanish dish is a stew called paella (pie-AY-ah). This dish originated in Valencia, an eastern province on the Mediterranean Sea. However, there are several variations of paella. A variety of shellfish, vegetables, sausage, rice and chicken meat is used to make paella. Rice, one of the main ingriedients, is grown in Valencia’s tidal flatlands.
Currency: Spain is a part of a European Union and uses their common currency Euro.
1 Euro = Rs75.73
1 Euro = $1.13
Things to Do: Spain has a lot to offer to tourists visiting the country. While there is a plethora of cultural spots to explore, there are some scintillating beaches to spen quality time. Madrid, the capital, is one of Europe’s finest collections of art. A visit to Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, which focuses on modern art and houses Picasso’s famous Guernica, is also a must do thing in Spain. Beautiful Roman and Gothic arechitecture can be seen all over.
In Córdoba, there is the Mezquita (Great Mosque), a World Heritage Site, and the ruins of Medina Azahara to be explored. Caves on the island of Mallorca are also a must see on a trip to Spain. There are three chambers inside, Cueva Negra (Black Cave), Cueva Blanca (White Cave) and Cueva Luis Salvator (Luis Salvator Cave). Along with these caves, one must also see Lago Martel (Lake Martel), one of the largest subterranean lakes in the world.
Garajonay National Park on the Canary Islands with stunning scenery is another UNESCO World Heritage list waiting to be explored. A stroll along the Rambla and seafront is something worth doing in Barcelona. One should also not miss on swimming, jetskiing and waterskiing on the Spanish sea beaches. Surfing is big around the Basque village of Mundaka.
Enjoy Spanish cuisines and taste some of the best wines in the world in Spain.
Visa: Anyone willing to go to Spain need a Schengen Visa. Following documents are required for the visa.
• Duly filled and signed in original application form for Schengen Visa in blue ball point ink. The application form must be correctly filled, with all possible information requested in the form including postal address, email address and telephone number.
• Passport of the applicant with at least two blank pages, which should be valid for at least three months after the duration of intended stay. This document should have been issued in the last ten (10) years. Photocopy of all the pages of the present passport must be submitted.
• Two photocopies for the application form along with two recent photographs for Mumbai and three recent photographs for Delhi (35-45 mm) of the applicant with white background.
• Covering letter from the applicant, explaining in detail the purpose of the visit.
• Details of the hotel bookings for the entire duration of stay.
• Details of the flight bookings.
• Travel itinerary for the entire duration of stay.
• Photocopy of the applicant’s PAN card.
• Original bank statements of the applicant for last three months, with the original stamp and signature of authorized signatory of the bank (Online Bank statements are not acceptable).
• Personal Income tax returns for the last three years.
• Proof of travel insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros to cover any expense which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and /or emergency hospital treatment. The insurance must be valid throughout the territory of the Member States. The duration of the insurance cover must include the entire period of stay and additionally 15 days more after the proposed date of departure out of the Schengen territory.
• Any other document that the applicant may consider appropriate to support his/her application.
• For Family visa applications applicants are requested to submit proof of family relations with the principal applicant as an additional document with the visa application, for example Marriage certificate for spouse and birth certificate for children.
Flights: There are no non-stop flights to Spain as of now. But all major Indian international airports are connected to Spain through indirect flights.