Travel Blog

The over 55's Guide to Travelling to Spain

There is no destination in Europe the British enjoy as much as Spain. As a nation, we love Spain so much, we even bought our second homes here.

Whether you’re planning a romantic short spring break to Madrid, or a longer-term trip to the Spanish Costas, we cover all short-stay and long-stay trips to Spain and Europe with our specialised medical travel insurance.

Here at Medical Travel Compared we know that our customers love relaxing under Spanish skies.

And no medical condition or disability should stop that from happening.

So, along with our specialist travel insurance, we’ve pulled together the only over 55’s guide you need for travelling to Spain.

Spanish Flag

Travel in Europe

As mentioned in the Over 55’s guide to travelling France – there is no requirement for UK residents to apply for a visa to holiday in Spain.

There are also no rules on length of stay within Spain for UK citizens. Travellers from the UK can legally stay in Spain if their passport is valid.

This rule applies to most other European countries within the European Union and Schengen Area, including France and Italy, but it is always recommended to check before an extended trip to Europe.

Of course, many of our customers already know this as they own second homes along the beautiful Mediterranean Coast.

Travelling to Spain with a Medical Condition  

If you travel to Spain frequently, or own a second property that you visit for long periods of time during the winter months, you are still always advised to get the right travel insurance.

For those with a specific condition, this isn’t always the easiest of tasks.

At Medical Travel Compared we cater specifically to people with long-term medical conditions or people recovering from short-term illnesses.

You are able to browse our condition specific guides and insurance policies, to find the right cover for you.

Why visit Spain?

With many British tourists visiting Spain every year we probably don’t even need to answer that question.

But from sunsets to tapas, to flamenco and art, Spain is a country that truly embodies rich and vibrant culture.

Spain and the Spanish Isles are some of the most passionate and inspiring places in the world.

Heritage and history dating back centuries are woven deep into everyday Spanish culture and life.

For sun seekers who don’t enjoy long distance flying, hopping over to the Spanish coast inspires enough tropical thinking to excite anyone.

With seafood in abundance and Cerveza (beer) that is always chilled, if you love the simplicity of life in a fishing port then Spain is exactly the destination for you.

 Spanish Cuisine

The Other Spanish Cities

If Madrid and Barcelona don’t sound like your dream Spanish destinations, then don’t worry – there are plenty of other famously vibrant and exciting cities throughout the country.

This means every type of tourists visiting Spain can find their dream holiday spot.

Visit Malaga and explore the Museum of Picasso as well as enjoying the Costa del Sol.

Don’t forget the picturesque port city of Valencia and Seville, a city famed for its traditional Spanish flamenco.

Other notable Spanish cities popular with tourists include Cadiz, Salamanca, Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela.

Always be prepared to do a little research ahead of your planning to find the ideal city for your trip to Spain.

The best time to visit Spain

It goes without saying that the European summer time is always an excellent time to visit Spain, but if you prefer cooler temperatures and avoiding crowds you’ll want to time your visit to Spain with the right season.

Generally, the European summer time runs right through May – September, sometimes even October.

Usually April and October fall into a category known as ‘shoulder season’ which is travel talk for in-between the peak season and off season.

Off season is made up of all those other months. Why not visit Spain in early March to avoid the crowds and have the best pick of restaurants?

Note: some costal resorts in Spain completely close for the off season. We always recommend doing your research before booking a trip in the off season to avoid disappointment. 

Cultural events and festivals

There are a range of notable cultural events and festivals than span throughout the Spanish annual calendar.

Along with all your typical celebrations, such as New Year’s Eve and Easter.

Why not make notes of these important dates for planning your perfect Spain itinerary?

  • Feria de Seville – also known as ‘Seville Fair’ – takes place in mid-April. It is the annual fair in the Andalusian capital of Seville. The festivities always fall after Easter and Holy Week which is widely celebrated in Spain.
  • International Festival of Music and Dance, Granada – Join the locals in Granada for this celebration of Spanish Music and Dance. Expect flamenco and fun in this late June/early July festival.
  • La Tomatina, Buñol, Valencia – perhaps the festival you never knew you wanted to experience. La Tomatina happens in late August (the last Wednesday of the month) on the outskirts of Valencia in Eastern Spain. Expect the throwing of tomatoes as this just-for-fun festival.
  • Fiesta Nacional de España – The National day of Spain falls on the 12th October every year and is a national holiday in Spain. The holiday celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to the Americas and ‘The New World’.

Top Pick Destinations for Spain


Barcelona is an obvious choice along with the countries vibrant capital of Madrid.

But why not try some of the lesser known Spanish cities?

Bilbao, Seville and Granada are all perfect choices for a Spanish city break packed with culture, cuisine and that unmistakable Spanish sunshine.

City Breaks to Spain for Over 55’s

City breaks to Spain can encompass a wide range of enjoyable activities, memorable experiences and culinary joys of both the sweet and savoury variety.

If you enjoy late nights, warm temperatures and the buzz of Spanish chatter in the air you’ll want to add some of Spain’s charismatic cities to your Spain travel bucket list.

The Spanish aren’t afraid to enjoy life, and that’s what you can expect to experience in Spain’s cities.

Whether you choose to visit the northern regions or southern cities when visiting Spain, a certain quality of life can be expected – one that can only really be experienced under a European sun.

Granada, Spain


The city of Granada is one. Overlooked by the stunning Alhambra Palace, it makes for the ideal weekend getaway.

Located in southern Andalusia, the city of Granada is packed full of historical gems from the Islamic occupation of Spain.

Take a tour of the famous city of Granada, and visit the many secret locations that house various historical monuments and notable buildings from the Moorish reign of this area.

Take a tour of the Alhambra Citadel and Palace then enjoy a candle lit dinner in the hills, overlooking the postcard perfect views of the Alhambra. Expect it to be lit up brightly in the evening.

The Spanish Isles

If mainland Spain doesn’t float your boat, then that’s not an issue either! There’s loads of Spanish Isles for you to choose from. All with great transport links for European tourists.

Majorca and Ibiza are the popular Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean and filled with white sandy beaches, sangria and more.

Located a little further south you’ll find the tourist favourite Canary Islands. Just off the West African Coast the Canary Isles offer an exotic version of Spain that’s proven to be very popular with British holiday makers.

Whether it’s the year-round warm temperatures or stunning black sand volcanic beaches. There’s certainly something special that keeps us Brits travelling back and forth to the canaries each Summer and Winter.

It’s worth noting that flight times to destinations in Spain vary.

Madrid and Barcelona

Sagrada Familiar

The vibrant tourism epicentre of Spain comes in the form of its capital city Madrid, no city in Spain is as lively or energetic.

Except perhaps, for the flamboyant Barcelona, home to the famed Sagrada Familia.

Both cities are worth a visit. Spend an afternoon in Madrid’s stunning Plaza Mayor and enjoy the bustle of the European Union’s third largest city.

Great food and wine flow freely in Madrid and there’s always an up-and-coming Tapas restaurant that’s worth eating at.

If you’d prefer to visit Barcelona, then take a rooftop bus tour of the city to pack in all the top sights, then stop for a stroll down La Rambla to experience true Barcelona.

Watch out for pickpockets in Barcelona as the city may be famed for its incredible architecture and historic buildings but it also has a notorious reputation of petty crime among tourists.

Find out more information on safety in Barcelona here.

What happens if my belongings are stolen whilst travelling?

Although it is rare for tourists to experience petty crime whilst travelling. It is always advised that you have the right travel insurance that covers your valuable goods and belongings.

Spanish Healthcare

There is healthcare in Spain and it is available to Brits if you were to fall ill whilst travelling in Spain.

The Spanish healthcare system will cater to your needs, but a cost is associated with any treatment you have whilst out of the UK.

Travel insurance is always recommended for UK tourists travelling overseas – even if you own a second home in Spain.

To avoid high costs of treatment, ensure you have the correct insurance policy will all the appropriate cover and premiums for your needs.

What happens if I fall ill whilst on holiday in Spain?

If you fall ill on holiday in Spain, providing you have the right travel insurance policy you’ll be fine.

You’ll want to head to a hospital to seek treatment.

If you don’t have the right travel insurance policy, you’ll likely have to fork out a great deal to cover the medical costs after visiting a Spanish hospital.

At Medical Travel Compared we always recommend that everyone travelling to Spain has travel insurance.

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We’re a specialist comparison website that provides people with pre-existing medical conditions an easy way to find suitable travel insurance. You’ll find a range of guides, articles and tips across our site. Whilst we always aim to provide the most accurate information and guidance, we can’t always guarantee that the information contained in the pages of our website is correct. Because of this, we can’t accept liability if things go wrong and you use the information at your own risk.

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