One of the best places to visit in the world is Spain. Every year millions of people flock to Barcelona, Madrid, and the rest of the south of Spain, especially Muslims, given its Islamic heritage and legacy. Spain has everything from some of the most beautiful Islamic sites in the world, stunning countryside, historically significant centres of arts, amazing food, and two of the best football clubs in the world.
The Spanish cities have a bustling, cosmopolitan vibe, but they retain some of the old Spanish charms merging centuries of history from the Romans to the Muslim era. They are also heaven for food lovers. Spain is the home of tapas, croquetas, paella, ensaladilla rusa, gazpacho, and tortilla de patatas. For sports enthusiasts, a visit to the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia is a must. These cities have developed in recent years as major centres of sports entertainment as homes of some of the best football teams in the world, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona F.C. All of these factors combine and give Spain its own unique flavour.
Spain is not all about its metropolitan cities. The country has some of the most stunning landscapes you can find anywhere in the world. In the country’s far northwest is the region of Galicia, with its lush greenery and hilly terrain. This place is reminiscent of the Celtic era. You will surprisingly find a desert in Spain, known as the Tabernas Desert. Tabernas is famed as a shooting location for various movies and TV shows, including the memorable Three Dollars trilogy with Clint Eastwood as the lead. Then there is Picos de Europea, which means ‘peaks of Europe’. A mountain range rich in wildlife and flora.
More important than Spain’s stunning cities and countryside is its rich Islamic heritage of over eight centuries. Every year, millions of Muslims visit Spain, Portugal and Morocco to experience the culture, architecture, and legacy of Spain’s Islamic past. With a trusted local Muslim tour agency, you will get a tailored tour plan that will cover all important Islamic landmarks of Spain.
Travelling to Spain for Malaysians and Indonesians
Travelling in Spain gives you a diverse range of experiences. No wonder it is the favourite holiday destination for millions of people. In 2019, Spain was the third most visited country in the world. Thousands of tourists from Malaysia and Indonesia travel to Spain around the calendar to enjoy their culture and Islamic heritage. With improved airline connectivity, travelling to Spain is easier than ever. If you are worried about the availability of Indonesian or Malaysian food in Spain, local tour agencies like Omeya Tours will cater to all your specific needs. Be it finding a place for praying or finding Indonesian or Malaysian halal food in Spain, a trusted tour guide can do it for you.
Malaysians and Indonesians enjoy their Muslim-friendly tours of Spain, and they are increasing every year. For Muslims travelling to Spain, the country has an amazing collection of halal food, historically significant stunning Mosques and Palaces. The Great Mosque in Granada, built by local Muslims, is a symbol of the past, the present and the future of Islam in this land.
Granada also has the Albayzin – the former Muslim Quarters where the Great Mosque of Granada is located. Cordoba, which once was the centre of Islam in the world, is a must-visit for every Muslim. It is home to the Mezquita de Cordoba (also known as Cathedral de Cordoba) and Madinat al-Zahra. In Madrid, you must visit the M30 Mosque, also known as ‘Centro Cultural Islámico’, meaning Islamic Cultural Centre. It is the largest Mosque in Spain. Malaga has the famous Al-Andalus mosque and Seville has the historic Alcazar. All of these places are symbols of Spain’s Islamic past and the contribution and efforts of Spain’s Muslims. Many Muslims travel to Spain every year to reunite with this part of Islam’s history.
Spain’s long history of Islam is dotted all over the country, and Islamic history tours of Spain are very popular. Muslims have played a critical role in the growth and development of the country. Islam is an important minority religion in Spain, with over 2,091,656 adherents across the country. When Malaysian and Indonesian Muslims tour Spain, they come back with a broader perspective and hope for a better tomorrow. Spain went from persecuting Muslims to welcoming them now. Halal tourism in Spain is a great way of broadening your horizon and experiencing a deeper connection with and appreciation for everything around you.
Tips for Malaysians and Indonesians for travelling to Spain for the first time
Knowing about a country’s customs and practices is the best way to avoid unwanted situations after you reach there. If you are travelling to Spain for the first time from Indonesia or Malaysia, it is normal to feel a little nervous or overwhelmed. Ensure that you collect all necessary information about Spain before travelling. It will also be helpful to you if you get in touch with a local Muslim tour agency that can guide you on different aspects of an Islamic tour of Spain. Spain is a great destination for Malaysians and Indonesians for the opportunity of an Islamic Spain Tour. You can do an Andalusian Islamic tour or a trip to the best halal restaurants in Spain. As you can see, the possibilities are diverse. All you need to do is to get prepared for your trip to Spain. Below are some things that you must know before travelling to Spain from Malaysia or Indonesia.
Not all Spaniards understand English
If you assume all of Spain speaks English, you are very wrong. Spain has many regional languages and dialects, and many people do not speak English at all. While it may not be possible for you to learn Spanish for a tour of Spain, you can hire agents from local Muslim tour agencies who will do the translation for you. Apart from helping you with language, a local Muslim tour guide can make communication with the locals very easy and accessible. Without them, you may have a problem communicating with locals who do not understand English.
Do not mistake the Spanish temperament for rudeness
Spain is a country that does not like to rush through life. The food and architecture of Spain are testaments to that. So when visiting Spain, you may come across Spaniards who would not share the same sense of urgency as you might feel about some things. Suppose you go into any of the best halal restaurants in Spain to enjoy dinner. You may find the waiters or the staff to not be in any hurry about getting you served. Do not mistake this for rudeness or hostility. Spanish people enjoy their food cooked slowly, and their daily conduct reflects the values of slow, mindful life.
If this is something that you think will bother you, you must remember a few things. It is not rude to ask politely when you need to get something fast. Just be courteous and polite in your conversations, and your work will be done.
In the bustling cities of Madrid, Barcelona, or Sevilla, you may come across people with a more cosmopolitan lifestyle. In that case, you would need to worry about having things delayed due to a slow pace of life.
Spanish cities are not as unsafe as they are portrayed to be
Barcelona has a bad reputation for being a city filled with petty thieves, scammers, and all sorts of people trying to dupe you. The truth is not as harsh as that. As long as you know what you are doing and where you are going, you do not have to worry. It is absolutely okay to ask for help from common people if you get stuck in something. The city has reformed itself to a big extent in the last few years, and crime rates have gone down. Similar instances can be found in other Spanish cities, like Madrid.
In spite of a better situation in the cities, it is still advised to take a few basic precautions. These precautions hold true for most of the places you would visit in your life. It is very important to keep bags and wallets safe, using a zipper or lock whenever possible. You would also enjoy better peace of mind if you can leave behind valuable things such as jewellery and gadgets at your hotel.
Do not expect to cover all of Spain in a few days
While Spain may look small on the maps, it is not that small after all. This realization will hit the moment you start travelling from one Spanish city to another. You do have the option of just travelling from city to city, where transport networks are good; however, the best way to travel nowadays is to hire the services of local Muslim agents that will provide you with superb private transport services. You will be accompanied by a local Muslim escort guide/driver that will take care of you throughout the journey, taking you to the best halal options, Mosque’s and even introducing you to the local Muslim community in every city. Furthermore, in most people’s opinion, not exploring the rural and countryside of Spain is a big mistake. The essence of Spain lies in its hills and valleys, beaches and forests.
Spanish cities are undoubtedly some of the best cities in the world to visit, but the Spanish countryside is in no way lesser. In fact, for many visitors, the impact of touring the Spanish countryside is deeper than that of touring the cities. Keeping these things in mind, have a good plan about what are the places you want to visit, keep the plan realistic and take advantage of the rising of local Muslim touring companies. They will advise and guide you in your travel plans and provide you with the best services for Muslims.
Spanish summers are not mild
Spain does enjoy a more or less pleasant climate throughout the year, but the hot months of Spain are very hot. In places like Cordoba and Seville, the mercury frequently hits 40 degrees centigrade in summers. If your tour plan is scheduled to be in the summers, prepare for the heat beforehand. Some of the things you can do to keep safe are:
- Carry water with you always. Dehydration can lead to serious health issues and spoil your entire trip.
- Wear light clothes. Linen and cotton are excellent choices of fabric for Spanish summers. Make sure you have room to breathe.
- Schedule sightseeing in a way that saves you from harsh summer afternoons. It would not be particularly enjoyable to go sightseeing under the scorching sun.
Connected with the last point is the Spanish tradition of siesta or an afternoon nap. The hot summer afternoons are a reason behind this custom. However, it would be considered rude to perceive that all Spaniards sleep in the afternoon. What you should know is that afternoon is meant for rest, and it is not the business hours for many enterprises.
Eat in places that have a good reputation with locals
You will find some halal restaurants in Spain. Most of them serve a mixture of eastern, Moroccan and Spanish halal food, but there are some that aren’t as good as the others. To not make a mistake, ask local Muslim agents or look up on the internet what is popular with locals. By doing this, you will successfully avoid many halal restaurants that are nothing but a tourist trap. Do not shy away from trying a wide range of halal food. Food in Spain is delicious and one of the many things that attract tourists year after year. The Mediterranean vegetables and fruits are a delicious treat for every Muslim when they are missing Malaysian or Indonesian cuisine.
Travelling to Spain from Malaysia
With fast, modern aeroplanes, travelling to Spain from Malaysia has become very easy. Direct flights can be booked from Kuala Lumpur, Alor Setar, Kota Kinabalu, and Penang. Flights would take around 15 hours to reach Spain. Also, remember that Malaysians entering Spain do not require a visa.
Travelling to Spain from Indonesia
The Indonesian cities of Jakarta, Denpasar, Kota Ambon and Surabaya have direct and 2-stop flights to Spain. Travelling takes seventeen hours or more, depending on how many stops your flight has, but still worth it once you land after a stopover at wonderful airports such as Dubai or Istanbul. You will also need a visa to enter Spain. If something about the Spanish rules and regulations confuses you, it is recommended to take the help of a Spanish Muslim tour agency. Their years of experience in tourism ensures that you do not have to face any hassle in your tour of Spain.