Are you thinking about a summer vacation in Spain? Or maybe taking a course in Spain over the summer months? Is August your favorite month to get away and get some rest? If that is your preference, in Spain, you will not spend your vacation alone! Practically the entire country is on vacation that month. August in Spain is the vacation month par excellence!
You will notice that the large cities become almost deserted as small businesses put up their sing on the door “closed for vacation.” That means if you live in one of these cities you should plan ahead if you need to have a certain service done. When you call, let’s say a plumber, in July to get a repair done, they may not even take the call. The reason: they are getting ready for vacation. They will tell you to call again in September. This happens not just with plumbers, but also with businesses of all sorts. Vacation time is very important in Spain—everything else can wait, but not your vacation.
Spaniards love their free time. The make good use of it and enjoy it to the fullest. As the large crowds of big cities move on to their vacation spot, one may wonder how much enjoyment can there be when you are cramped with thousands of others. Luckily Spaniard love people and “la marcha.” One thing they sure hate is being alone. So the crowds? Well, that’s just part of the way it is. No problem!
There are certain days during the summer that you should plan not to be on the road. You will be best to avoid the last and first of the month and the 15th of July and August. Also the weekends that fall around those days. Normally Spaniards will rent their vacation apartment for 15 days. So that could be from the 16th to the 31st of July and the 1st to 15th of August. Millions of people will be on the road going to their vacation destination or returning from it. You could find yourself in an “atasco monumental” the biggest traffic jam you have ever seen. Besides, the accident and death rate during those heavy traffic days are extremely high. So if you can do it, wait for better days to get on the road.
The first weekend of this August the traffic all over Spain was very heavy as expected. There were many accidents and 27 deaths. However there were some good news also. There were 23 fewer deaths than the same period in 2005. Apparently the new point system on driver’s licenses, which started on July 1st of this year, has made some people more cautious in their driving. In the Spanish point system, you get 12 points to star. For each driving violation one or more points are deducted based on the severity of the violation. It seams that the new measure has helped this year in reducing the number of fatalities on the road.
But where do Spaniards go to spend those terribly hot summer days? The beach is the primary destination, mostly the beaches on the east coast and the south. For those who prefer a cooler weather, the north of Spain and the “sierra” are the places to go.
Spain has many kilometers of sunny beaches and many mountainous small towns where people can get away and rest. The best time to secure a good place to stay for the summer months is during the Holy Week break. Spaniards will take a drive out to their favorite vacation spot and secure a rental place for their summer vacation. So if you wait to get here, take a drive out and find a place to stay on the spot, you might find the sign “completo” or no vacancies to your disappointment. So whether the beach or the mountains plan your vacation before Semana Santa and you’ll be sure to get a good place to rent.
Once summer is here, you can relax on the sand or take a hike on the hills. But be ready to be with others, because you will not be alone. Be sure to learn from Spaniards and enjoy your time off. And why not? Do take your vacation in Spain in August, the Spanish vacation month par excellence.