For property buyers in Spain, this summer presents a unique opportunity to purchase in a buyer’s market with far fewer tourists (and in time for Brexit). So how do you get to Spain? Read our Spain travel update.
Spain is enjoying glorious weather and attracting tourists and second-home owners to return, despite new travel and health regulations.
It’s easy to buy in Spain this summer or autumn, so long as you have some help. Click here to meet your ‘Golden three‘, the lawyer estate agent and financial experts to make it happen.
Almost all regions now require the face masks in public with only those suffering from respiratory and similar illnesses exempt. Beaches are being carefully patrolled to ensure safe social distancing and to prevent overcrowding. Many have been closed for several hours or even all day once numbers have grown.
However, people from European countries – and particularly from the northern ones such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and France – have flocked here. It seems that driving is a more popular way to travel than ever before.
Unfortunately, there have been an increasing number of Covid-19 spikes across the country, as families have got together again and people returned to the workplace. The authorities have put in place local lockdowns and restrictions, with the Basque Country, part of Murcia and Catalonia being the worst affected to date.
On Sunday there was speculation that the French/Spanish border might close again because of the number of outbreaks of Covid-19 on both sides of the frontier.
All this makes life particularly uncertain for travellers, so this is the current situation if you are planning to come to Spain.
Air travel to Spain
Most airports are operating now, and you can easily see the flights from each via their website. Alicante Airport, for example, has 44 flights from the UK, Ryanair being the leader, with Vueling and Easyjet in second and this place. Most of these flights are available at the moment, always bearing in mind that the situation can change rapidly and airlines may have to make cancellations.
Ryanair began flying to Spain on 1 July. They are not be serving food on board and wearing of masks for all passengers and crew is obligatory. Less than half of its daily flights are running, however, with a reduced service to most destinations.
Flights from London Stansted arrive at several Spanish airports, Alicante
Almeria, Barcelona, Barcelona Girona, Barcelona Reus, Castellón, Fuerteventura,
Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Jerez, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Murcia International, Palma de Mallorca, Santander, Santiago, Seville, Tenerife South, Valencia and Zaragoza.
Flights from UK regional airports will include some of the above but not all.
Easyjet also requires the wearing of face masks on all their flights to Spain.
Their flights from London Gatwick go to 18 Spanish destinations, Almeria, Barcelona, Canary Islands (All Airports), Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Granada, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera,
Lanzarote, Madrid, Majorca Palma, Malaga, Menorca Mahon, Murcia Intl, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tenerife South and Valencia.
From regional airports such as Bristol, 14 of these destinations are covered but you will need to check exactly where they fly to from your nearest airport.
BA also insist that masks be worn. They’re offering a new type of food service to reduce contact with crew members.
From London airports, BA are currently flying to Benidorm, Almeria, Barcelona, Bilbao, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Mallorca, Menorca, San Sebastian, Seville, Tenerife and Valencia.
Again some of these destinations are available from UK regional airports.
Vueling requires masks be worn during the flight. They have 26 Spanish destinations from London airports but warn on their website that there could be cancellations. Currently, they are flying to A Coruña, Alicante, Almeria, Asturias Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Granada, Ibiza, La Palma, Lanzarote, Madrid, Majorca, Malaga, Menorca, San Sebastian, Santander, Santiago, Seville, Tenerife North, Tenerife, Valencia, Valladolid and Vigo.
It seems that most airlines are flying to their usual destinations but with fewer flights a week than before the pandemic.
Eurostar began running again on 10 July but with fewer trains than usual. All trains are deep cleaned before a journey, with particular attention being made to door handles, toilet flushes, seats and armrests, tables and trays.
From London St Pancras International, you travel to Spain via Paris and can reach northern Spain easily within a day. Trains through France are running almost normally at present. Trains from France to Spain (Paris to Barcelona) likewise but with the question of the French/Spanish border closing again, you should check before you travel.
See the website seat61.com for reliable advice on routes and prices. Click here for suggestions on great places to buy in Spain you can reach easily by train.
Driving and ferries
Eurotunnel trains are running from Folkestone to Calais. There is limited service in their terminal shops with some cafés open.
Brittany Ferries have started services between Bilbao and Portsmouth with two sailings a week in each direction, likewise on the Santander to Portsmouth route. You may be lucky to get a space, however, and foot passengers are not being allowed.
An Independent Financial Advisor will help you plan your tax and finances, potentially saving you money. We can put you in touch with a trusted partner who has plenty of experience helping UK buyers moving to Spain.
Ferries to the Balearic Islands from Barcelona, Valencia, Gandía and Denía generally offer one or two crossings a day in each direction. Do check though as there have been rumours that they might be temporarily stopped if the Covid-19 clusters increase in Barcelona, Denía and Valencia.
When you’re in Spain
Once you have arrived, you can be assured of a warm welcome. Don’t worry, responsible British arrivals are still welcome, provided they stick to the rules about facemasks, beach overcrowding and sensible behaviour when enjoying a drink and tapas or a meal in a restaurant. The authorities have been clamping down on drunken tourism in areas like Magaluf, but this is really to the advantage of the rest of us, especially property buyers.
Spain is still a wonderful place with friendly people, gorgeous beaches and countryside and of course, a wonderful climate which is why so many people from other countries choose to live here.