Traveling through Spain on a long stay vacation is wonderful when you are a senior, with plenty of time to explore the country on your own.  A long stay vacation can be experienced when one doesn’t have to return to the deadlines employment will impose.  Your time and your itinerary is your own.  Many companies such as Merit Vacations and Transat Holidays offer long stay vacations in Spain.

Merit’s long stay vacations offer packages which combine Spain and Portugal – stays of 30 nights for about $4,495, plus tax.  Accommodation is in fully furnished apartments or condos with kitchens or kitchenettes, enabling you to enjoy the Spanish experience, shopping for your food in the local markets when not dining out.  If you’re independently minded you can even travel to Spain on a long stay vacation, rent a car  or take the train, research the hotels, villa and apartment rentals and explore on your own with no deadlines.  Your travel agent can help with such things as hotel bookings or you can book all on the internet.

If you visit Spain on your own with a travel companion(s) or your spouse you can save money by renting a villa in Spain or an apartment in one location, say Barcelona and travel out from there.  A group of friends staying together can reduce your accommodation costs immensely.

Spain is one of the most popular countries in Europe to visit.  Each year brings about 52 million tourists to Spain.  Some of the reasons:  it’s a beautiful country, there’s lots of history, the food is delicious, the climate is pleasant in all seasons and there’s so much to see.  This is why  a long stay vacation in Spain is worth it.  You’ll find yourself busy learning so much about Spain’s architecture culture and history but there are also restaurants where you can enjoy the Spanish cuisine or simply sitting in cafés where you can people watch an enjoy a Spanish coffee.

Fly into Madrid, the ideal place to start your long stay holiday in Spain and then head to Barcelona, a very beautiful city. Use the Michelin Guide to find great little restaurants to eat.  We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Barcelona.  Dining is fantastic and we found many small bistros and cafés where we could enjoy a tasty snack.  Visit the Boqeira market off Las Ramblas.  Make sure you don’t miss the big Sagrada Familia, a big church which is almost a fantasy to behold.  Create your own tour of Barcelona – check out our guide to the top ten things to do in Barcelona.

Good food experiences always makes things even better.  Food can be hit and miss but you’ll find some of the best meals can be the cheapest. Search for traditional Spanish faire while in Spain. The Spanish eat different food in a different way. For instance, you can dine on great tapas for lunch one day and dinner will be a more formal affair and much more expensive.  The Spanish themselves enjoy simple tapas and a drink around 6:00 pm and then follow it up with a lighter meal later in the evening. If you want the authentic Spanish experience – avoid the tourist trap food – which there is plenty of.

Other places not to miss on a long stay vacation in Spain is Seville.  Add Seville  to your itinerary for Spain.  Check out the Hotel Murillo (where we stayed in Seville) – it’s a great place to stay.  Expedia offers some last-minute hotel deals at Expedia.com. In Seville there is plenty of Moorish styled architecture to see.  Not to be missed is the Gothic cathedral, the Cathedral of St. Mary, one of the largest in Europe.

If you’re driving by rented car, head to Valencia on the Mediterranean coast. Valencia is another very beautiful city with both traditional and modern architecture.  Our hotel in Valencia – the Hotel Venecia.  For the best last-minute deals – I always recommend the Expedia website last-minute hotel deals at Expedia.com.

Another Spanish city, five hours away by car is Granada and don’t forget a tour of the Alhambra – a tour which will take about four hours to complete and offers you many photo opportunities.

If you begin to tire of churches head towards Malaga on the Costa del Sol coast.  In Malaga, be sure not to miss the Picasso museum.  Close by are the beaches of the Costa del Sol can visit the beach to relax, take in the sun, do a little swimming.  Near to Malaga is a nice little village called Mijas. Mijas is a town perched about 1000 ft above the Mediterranean with whitewashed buildings and wonderful scenery.

A long stay vacation is Spain is the classic European holiday, best enjoyed with plenty of time to spare and no deadlines.  Many seniors travel to Spain because it offers the traveler much in the way of sights, history, pleasant weather and great dining experiences.  It’s a safe destination, seeped in history and traditions.  When you find yourself a little exhausted from traveling to the many towns and cities of Spain, find a comfortable little hotel and relax a few days until you recuperate and gather up your energy again to begin further exploration.  This is the advantage for senior travelers – the time limit is only what you decide and the journey will be exactly what you make it.

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