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16th January 2013

Self Drive Holiday Through Spain

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posted in Spain, Travel Tips, Getaways, Vacation, weekend getaway, holiday, Scenic Drive, Southwestern Europe |

by Ackerley Wilson

A self-drive holiday through Spain can be an unforgettable experience! With endless miles of stunning scenery, quaint villages, mountain strongholds and fortresses, fields of saffron and paprika, the chance of arriving in a town on a local fiesta day, colorful white-washed hamlets, stopping on impulse at a wayside taverna for a sampling of the local fare and stumbling upon a rare historic mansion, Roman ruins and city walls, abandoned windmills and romantic country estates, this is one holiday that you will enjoy thoroughly. With no schedules or flight-times to worry about, no tourist guide hurrying you from one crowded city to another, you can experience the authentic Spanish culture, traditions and cuisine at your own pace and leisure.

Criss-crossed by well-maintained motorways and highways, Spain is generally a safe and convenient place for a self-drive vacation. With the freedom and independence that your own vehicle gives you, you can create your own itinerary and change it at will too! Car-rental is the best option and anyone over 21 with a valid license that has been in use for at least a year is free to rent a car and take off on their dream vacation. There is no maximum age-limit for drivers in Spain, though some regulations may require senior drivers to carry a fitness certificate from their local doctor.

Vienna Convention Road Signs apply here as in all EU countries. Motorway tolls are charged in many of the expressways depending on day of the week, car-type and destination. It\’s advisable to read up on the parking laws, highway rules and make a note of emergency services along your route.

The kind of car you rent really depends on your requirements, number of people and your budget. It\’s possible to book the car and suitable accommodation on-line from your own country and pick up the vehicle at the designated airport. Some large cities may charge a premium-location additional fee. Basic insurance is part of the rental and covers damage and theft. If you need GPS, an additional fee is charged per day. You can extend your rental by informing your service ahead of time.

A check-list of Spanish driving rules is a good thing to keep handy. Driving is on the right of the road and drinking laws are very strict here. Seat belts are mandatory and there are frequent radar traps along most motorways. Children below 12 are not allowed in front-seats and spot fines are the rule. In case of an accident, the insurance companies will have to be contacted immediately. Always carry yours and the vehicle\’s entire documentation and a few extra copies. Helmets are mandatory for bikers and all kinds of fuel are available here except leaded. While traveling in winter, snow-chains should be carried.

With the right precautions and safety tips in mind, a self-drive holiday in Spain is a great vacation option!

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