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About

Canyon of Anso

  • Spain is located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula.
  • It is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea, to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal.
  • Mainland Spain is dominated by high plateaus and mountain ranges, such as the Sierra Nevada, and Alluvial plains are found along the coast.
  • Spanish is the official language and spoken all over the country
  • Roman Catholicism has long been the main religion of Spain
  • Spain has been dominated by football since the early 20th century.

 

Spanish Cuisine

  • Mediterranean Spain –heavy use of seafood, several cold soups like gazpacho, and many rice-based dishes like paella
  • Inner Spain – hot, thick soups such as the bread and garlic-based Castilian soup, along with stews. Food is traditionally conserved by salting, like Spanish ham, or immersed in olive oil, like Manchego cheese.
  • Atlantic Spain – vegetable and fish-based stews, and lightly cured lacón ham.

HISTORY

  • Spain gained freedom from the Moors in Granada (the last stronghold of the Moors) in 1492.
  • Spain was among the most powerful empires in the world during the 16th century.
  • Spain remained neutral in World Wars I and II, but suffered through a devastating civil war (1936-39).
  • In the second half of the 20th century, Spain has played a catch-up role in the western international community; it joined the EU in 1986.
  • Continuing challenges include Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) terrorism and further reductions in unemployment.


FACTS

    The Place of Spain, Seville

    • Spain was among the most powerful empires in the world during the 16th century.
    • Bullfighting in Spain, which is regarded as an art as well as a popular attraction, is its biggest and most controversial sport. Bullfighting is a central part of Spanish history, art and culture and there are bull rings in all important cities and even a few minor ones.
    • More than men, it is women who are presently enrolled in Spain’s universities.
    • Around 40% of Spaniards between the 17 and 24 age group are smokers.
    • Spain has one of Europe’s highest rates of AIDS.
    • The locals of Spain have lunch at 2 pm and dinner at around 9-10 pm.
    • Spain comprises 85% of the Iberian Peninsula.
    • Spain legalized gay marriage in June 2005 despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church.
    • Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain in order to find the New World.
    • In Spain, prescription medications can be acquired ‘over-the-counter’ at medicine shops.
    • The biggest industry in Spain is tourism. Benidorm, a beach town nearby Alicante has the third most hotel rooms in Europe after London and Paris.

Avg. Costs

Canteras Beach

  • For a bed in a dorm in a youth hostel, expect to pay between 13€ and 24€ per night.  For 70€ per night you will get a very nice room.
  • Coffee and a pastry or toast for breakfast is under 2€ (add 1.50€ for freshly squeezed orange juice)
  • A baguette and a drink for lunch will cost about 5€.
  • A three course ‘menu del dia’ can cost anything from 6€ to 15€. A la Carta food is more expensive, but you can still eat well for under 20€.
  • Spain is hot – factor into your budget the need to buy water and stop for a cool drink occasionally. A 1.5L bottle of water from a street vendor or convenience store is 1.50€ (60c in a supermarket, though it will rarely be cold). Potato chips and a chocolate bar will cost you 2€ for the two.
  • Total Food Budget Per Day: 15-40€ (if you eat lunch from a supermarket you can eat even cheaper).
  • Museums and art galleries can vary greatly from completely free to about 10€.
  • Travel within cities in Spain is cheap. A bus or metro ticket rarely costs more than 1€ and there are usually saver tickets that can make them even cheaper.
  • For a long distance bus ride, you normally wouldn’t pay more than 30€
  • A ten minute journey in a taxi in Spain will usually cost about 6-7€

 

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Cuenca

Spain is a safe country, but you should take some basic precautions whenever travelling:

  • Try not to show expensive belongings in depressed areas
  • Thieves prefer stealth to direct confrontation so it is unlikely that you will be hurt in the process, but exercise caution all the same.
  • Try not to show the money you have in your wallet or purse.
  • Always watch your bag or purse in touristic places, buses, trains and meetings.
  • Beware of pickpockets when visiting areas with large numbers of people
  • Don’t hesitate to report crimes to local police.
  • Avoid gypsy women offering rosemary, refuse it always; they will read your future, ask for some money, and your pocket will probably be picked. Some gypsy women also will approach you on the street repeating “Buena suerte” (“good luck”) as a distraction for another gypsy woman to try to pickpocket you. Avoid them at all costs.
  • Women that carry purses should always put the straps across their bodies. Always hold on to the purse itself and keep it in front of your body. Keep one hand on the bottom, as pickpockets can otherwise slit the bottom without you ever knowing.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/. Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Girona

  • Southern Spain is the ideal holiday region, having the warmest weather on mainland Europe, even during the winter months.
  • The Southern and Eastern coast of Spain has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters
  • The West Atlantic coast is cooler in summer and very wet in winter.
  • Inland the climate is temperate and the capital Madrid, which sits on a plateau, can be very cold in winter.

 

Best Time to Visit: April to October, although July and August can be excessively hot throughout the country except the coastal regions. Madrid is best in late spring or autumn. The central plateau can be bitterly cold in winter.

Required Clothing: Light to medium weights and rainwear, according to the season

Places to See

Teresitas Beach

Belmonte Castle

  • A massive medieval castle located in Cuenca, Spain
  • This grand bastion was built on the hill of San Cristobal, considered one of the important historical locations throughout Spain
  • Medieval fortress Belmonte attracts thousands of visitors a year, because besides the magnificent fortress, it impresses with the beauty of its forms – it was built in the shape of a star with six rays, each ending in an oval, tall tower.

 

 

 

Caves of Drach

  • The caves of Drach are four great caves that are located in the island of Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain.
  • The caves extend to a depth of 25 m, reaching 2.4 km in length.
  • The four caves, called Black Cave, White Cave, Cave of Luis Salvador, and Cave of the French, are connected to each other.
  • The caves have formed due to water being forced through the entrance from the Mediterranean Sea, and some researchers think the formation may date back to Miocene.
  • There is an underground lake situated in the caves called Martel Lake, which is about 1150 m in length and 30 m in width.

View Map

 

 

 

PortAventura

  • A theme park and a resort in Salou, Tarragona, Catalonia, Spain, on the Costa Daurada (“Golden Coast”), approximately an hour drive south of Barcelona.
  • It attracts around 3 million visitors per year making it the most visited theme park in Spain.
  • PortAventura Park is also the 6th most visited theme park in Europe.
  • The resort also includes a water park and four hotels.

View Map

 

 

 

Terra Mítica

  • A theme park located in Benidorm, Spain.
  • The park is divided into 5 themed zones: Egypt, Greece, Rome, Iberia, and the Islands (of the Mediterranean).
  • The park was opened in 2000.

View Map

 

 

 

Garajonay National Park

  • Located in the center and north of the island of La Gomera, one of the Canary Islands
  • It was declared a national park in 1981 and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986.
  • The park is named after the rock formation of Garajonay, the highest point on the island at 1,484 m (4,869 feet).
  • The park provides the best example of laurisilva, a humid subtropical forest.

View Map

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Initial greeting expect to shake hands
– Once a relationship has formed men embrace and pat each other on the shoulder
– Many men use a two handed shake, left is placed on the forearm of the other person
– Female friends will kiss on both cheeks starting on the left

Business Etiquette:
• They prefer to do business with people that they know and trust
• `Spend time getting to know your colleagues and them getting to know you
– Your relationship will be personal and will continue even if you change companies
– The Spanish value face to face contact
– Your presentation is of critical importance when dealing with them
– Display modestly when describing achievements
– Avoid confrontation if possible
• Spaniards place a great emphasis on the character of a person
• Hierarchy and rank is of great importance
– Decision making is held at the top of the company
– You may actually never meet the one who makes the final decision
– You may be interrupted while speaking
– It is no insult, it means the person is interested in what you are saying
– They are very thorough and will review every detail
– They expect both sides to abide by the contract
• Appointments are necessary and should be made far in advance
– By phone, fax, email
– Arrive on time for meetings
– First meetings will be about getting to know one another
– Decisions are not made during the meeting
– Watch for their non-verbal communication
• Dress in Spain is conservative
– Dress as you would in Europe
– Elegant accessories are important for men and women
• Business cards are presented to the receptionist upon arrival
– Have one side translated into Spanish
– Hand it with the Spanish side facing the recipient

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