2013 has been a challenging year for many in Spain but one sector that has really bucked the downturn is tourism. Overall visitor numbers are up significantly and here at TotallySpain.com we have seen our numbers increase too. As we approach 2014, Ken Baldwin & Belen Encinas, the founders of Totally Spain, talk us through the past 12 months.
We’ve been booking hotel rooms in Spain for clients since the year 2000 and part of that process is briefing clients on what to expect when they book their hotels in Spain and what extras they can ask for upon arrival. Because most of our clients here at Totally Spain come from the US, the UK, Canada and Australia, our advice is coming from an Anglo-Saxon perspective.
We love Madrid’s Golden Triangle of museums – the Prado Museum, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen Bornemizsa Museum – which are among the top museums in the world. But we also highly recommend some of the smaller, more unusual niche or special interest museums in the capital for their content, their architecture, their slower pace and charm.
One of the most common questions we answer is about Spanish mealtimes. Being based here in Spain, we frequently see travellers to Spain sitting down to meals at the wrong time. We always encourage our Totally Spain clients to make a note of (and adapt to) Spanish mealtimes – especially when travelling to less touristy areas and in the low season. Why? If you do dine at the correct Spanish mealtimes, you are much more likely to find yourself eating authentic Spanish food with lots of local colour, noise and atmosphere – which is always better than dining alone.
Cantabria might not be the first region you think of when you think of Spanish cuisine but within Spain it’s becoming very fashionable to cook with Cantabrian ingredients and many of the local chefs have opened sister restaurants in Madrid to cater for the increase in popularity. We’ve been working from Northern Spain for the past two decades as travel specialists and we love Cantabrian food and want to make it as easy as possible for you to understand it and enjoy it too.