Everything you need to experience on your first trip to Spain

Savour wine and tapas in a sun-dappled cafe by the coast. Soak in the local nightlife to the sound of the flamenco guitar. Stroll through the mosaic-decorated halls of an unfinished masterpiece. This is Spain. The sunny jewel in Europe’s mainland is welcoming back fully vaccinated visitors from the UK, EU and North America. With travel at the edge of our fingertips, it seems only fitting that we pull together some of our favourite things to eat, drink, do, and see for an unforgettable first trip to Spain. 

Weave your way through mosaic landscapes & Gothic architecture
It’s tough not to be awestruck by the beautiful century-old architecture nestled within the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. In this labyrinth of cobbled lanes and squares, you’ll discover the remains of the city’s Roman wall, the Jewish quarter, as well as several standout landmarks from as far back as medieval times. Even if you’re a history buff or an architectural expert, the Gothic Quarter is still undoubtedly best experienced through the seasoned hands of a local guide – helping you dive head-first into Barcelona’s cultural timeline.

The first trip to Spain isn’t complete without stepping into the world of Antoni Gaudí either. A colourful combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, the Sagrada Familia is a magnificent – and still unfinished – Roman Catholic basilica which has become iconic to the city’s skyline. Take a few hours to wander around the building and admire the whimsical maze-like landscaping surrounding the church, which has been described simultaneously as “one of the most hideous buildings in the world” by George Orwell, and the “greatest piece of creative architecture” by famed architect Louis Sullivan.


Celebrate the dances of Spain

How does getting swept up in the passion and frenzy of a live flamenco dance sound? On your first trip to Spain, spend at least one night soaking in Seville’s nightlife: listening to the flamboyant strums of the guitar, the rhythmic clapping distinctive only to flamenco, and the lilting voices of the singers. A night to remember in the city famous for the dance itself.

Relax on the sun-kissed shores of the Costa del Sol

Feel the sun’s rays warm your shoulders as you stroll along one of Spain’s most famous coastlines. Here, there’s something for everyone. Looking for that golden holiday tan? Sip on a refreshing drink from one of the nearby cafes and bask in the midday sun. More of an adventurous type? Take a short trip to nearby Malaga – a city famed for its hiking spots and art museums. Need a cool down on your trip to Spain? Plenty of open-air beachside restaurants are just waiting to welcome you with open arms. There, you can feast on a cuisine inspired by Spanish, Jewish or Arabic traditions. That’s everything from pescaíto frito – breaded and fried fish – or gazpacho – a cold tomato soup perfect for a sun-beaten day.

And finally… admire world-famous masterpieces in the Spanish capital

Take a guided tour of all Madrid has to offer, starting with the famed Prado Museum on your first trip to Spain. Inside these halls, some of the most striking pieces from a long history of European art are displayed. We’re talking collections from Velazquez himself, Goya’s Black Paintings (as created in the twilight of his life), and Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights. From there, the city is yours to dive into. Our personal favorite way to end the day, however? Digging into a hot calamari sandwich whilst doing a spot of people watching in Buen Retiro Park. If that doesn’t say la buena vida, what does? 

Be Part of a Great American Tradition and Visit the U.S. National Parks

Yellowstone National Park

America is a vast country, diverse in geography and natural features. Many of America’s most beautiful landscapes and landmarks fall under the purview of the National Parks Service. This federal agency exists to preserve and maintain the natural beauty of America’s most marvelous features, to provide a place for wild flora and fauna to thrive in America, and to provide locations where visitors can tour and observe the beauty of the geological features and wildlife, while learning about the history behind each location.

Through AffordableTours.com, you can book a number of vacations that take you through some of America’s most notable national parks and the regions where many of them are located. First, though, learn more about where you might travel on a national parks tour and what you might see.

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General Tours World Traveler is now Alexander + Roberts

2alexander+roberts

One of our partners in global travel will soon be known by a new name. General Tours World Traveler has chosen to re-brand with a name that reflects the quality of their service and the personal touch they provide to each customer. The company has announced it will adopt Alexander+Roberts as its new global brand name, and, as its new slogan, “Original Journeys since 1947.”

The name Alexander+Roberts comes from a combination of the names of founder Alexander Harris and current president Robert Drumm, reflecting both the company’s long history with providing global travel and its updated, modern approach for the 21st century – while emphasizing the personal.

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What to Know about Local Customs When Traveling Abroad

What to Know about Local Customs When Traveling Abroad

Sure, here in America (where AffordableTours.com is located) you can see plenty of natural sights and experience cultural events while never leaving the borders. However, a vacation to another country is often the best way to experience and immerse yourself into a completely new culture.

Many tourists may find themselves unprepared for such an experience, so it’s important to do some research on your planned destination before heading over. Here are some tips on what to be aware of when you’re abroad, to ensure a successful, stress-free vacation.

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