Two of the four Iberian nations, Spain and Portugal, are sort of trying to navigate their respective ways through what is a touch-and-go financial crisis, so if you’re looking for some good travel deals, now is probably the best time. If you’re looking to travel to that part of the world purely for the authentic Iberian experience and nothing else however, then any time is a good time to travel to either Spain, Portugal, or both. I guess the point I’m trying to get across though is that because of a confluence of two major factors, namely the financial climate and climate proper, there’s perhaps never been a better time to visit the Iberian Peninsula than right now.
Things tend to be a little cheaper because the tourism market along with just about all other markets is experiencing a little bit of a lull in relation to what is usually happening at this time of the year. Perhaps with the exception of flights (flights tend to get a bit more expensive when things are slower), accommodation, dining and transport costs seem to have been slashed a bit in order to boost demand a little. Even the likes of Maxinutrition are taking full advantage, a supplements manufacturer operating in an industry which otherwise has no direct, obvious links to travelling. They’re offering a VIP trip to Ibiza for the winner of a 30 day physique transformation competition, who can even bring along two of their friends, so you have plenty of options to pursue if you want to get the fully authentic Iberian experience while it’s so readily up for grabs. The weather is getting warmer too and well, let’s face it, along with Andorra and Gibraltar, which makes up the full complement of Iberian nations, any postcard promoting this region as a hot travel destination is set during the warmer months. It is indeed during the summer seasons when the Iberian travel experience bares its soul and gives the traveller full authenticity.
An authentic Iberian experience is essentially made up of three aspects, namely the food, the choice of entertainment, and some of that good old Iberian adaptability and uniqueness in the way they do everything. Think of the way the likes of Spain and Portugal play football – it isn’t the typical western European style of say Germany, France or Italy. They celebrate Valentine’s Day differently in the likes of Span too and perhaps more fittingly call it the Day of Lovers instead of St. Valentine’s Day. Instead of the clichéd gifts exchanged, you get a rose (for love) and a book (for forever).
On the entertainment front, Iberians party hard and long, and if you happen to attend one of these parties which have a real exclusive feel about them, you’ll come away with the distinct sense that there are some hotspots reserved exclusively for fully “letting go” in that way. The island of Ibiza is one such example where the party can go on for hours, welcoming the sun back every once in a while.
You have to get a good taste of Iberian cuisine if you’re to wrap-up the authentic Iberian experience, and between Spanish, Andorran, Portuguese and some North-African influence in addition to the various Gibraltarian dishes, you’ll realise just how diverse Iberian cuisine actually is.