ROOTS OF SEFARAD

Jewish Heritage in Spain and Portugal

Tips for travellers


Weather

Conditions vary greatly depending on region and season of the year.  Temperatures go well below freezing in the winter in the center and north, and are often as high as 45º C (113º F) or more during the day in the summer in the center and south.  Temperatures are generally milder on the coast than in the interior of the Peninsula.  We suggest that you take this into consideration when planning your trip, and don’t hesitate to consult us for advice on the best time to travel to each region.

Clothing

We highly recommend that you bring comfortable clothes, including sturdy, comfortable shoes.  You should also bring protection against the rain--a light plastic rain poncho is best—and a sun hat.

Passports and Visas

Visas are not necessary for Americans when travelling to Spain or Portugal.  Make sure your passports are up to date and in good condition. Bring other photo ID besides your passport.  It is a good idea to make photocopies of your passport and ticket and keep them with you, in a separate place from the original.  Also leave a copy with someone at home.

Money and Credit Cards

The currency in Spain and Portugal is the Euro. You can check this website for the current exchange rate and currency conversion:

http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi?To=USD&From=EUR&Amount=1

In Spain and Portugal, when paying by credit card, a passport/ photo ID is always required. Traveler’s cheques are rarely accepted and not recommended. American Express cards are less widely accepted than Visa and Mastercard. The most practical way to get cash while in Spain and Portugal is ATM machines.  Before leaving home, check with your bank to make sure that your pin code is valid abroad.

Notify your credit card companies that you will be travelling to Spain/Portugal, so they do not block your card once you start making charges. Bring a copy of all your credit card contact details (telephone number/ fax/ email) in case of credit card theft, blockage, etc.

International Phone Calls 

Prepaid phone cards are available at most convenience stores.  With these, you can phone abroad for the price of a local call.   We can advise you as to which will give you the best value.

Cell Phones:  Check with your cell phone service provider for roaming conditions and rates.

Insurance

We highly recommend that you purchase medical insurance and full travel insurance to protect you from unexpected situations such as flight cancellations, lost luggage, etc.

Electricity

The voltage and plugs are different in Spain and Portugal from the United States; electric current is 220 volts and the plug is two circular pins, so if you want to bring electronic equipment you will need to bring both a plug adaptor and a voltage adaptor.  However, most hotels have outlets that will accommodate American electric shavers.

If you have any other doubts or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

More info:http://www.spain.info/en/antes_del_viaje/consejos-practicos/index.html