We know that you are looking forward to traveling to Spain and enjoying good weather, gastronomy and the good life in Spain. Therefore, we want to help you be a little clearer about the situation in the country and give you some advice so that you can visit us in complete safety.
Can you travel to Spain?
The official date for the opening of borders is June 21, although only travelers from the Schengen area and the United Kingdom may come to Spain.
In fact, from June 15, Mallorca is receiving the first German visitors who will not have to be quarantined and must stay on the island for at least five nights. This is part of a pilot program to start recovering foreign tourism in the country.
In Spain, the return to normality is being carried out in stages, depending on the situation in each region. Therefore, rules are different in each place and it is best to check out the phase in which the town you want to visit is, in order to be clear about what can and cannot be done.
However, there are two common standards throughout the country:
Mandatory use of masks. The use of a mask is compulsory in Spain in public spaces for people over six, as long as the safety distance of two meters cannot be guaranteed. There are exceptions, such as people suffering from respiratory difficulties or people doing an activity (running, cycling…) that is incompatible with its use. The use of the mask is mandatory on public roads, outdoor spaces and in any closed space for public use.
You must keep a distance of two meters with people who are not part of your family nucleus (with whom you do not share a home). If circumstances do not allow it, it is mandatory to wear a mask.
What kind of shops are open?
Again, it depends on what phase each region is in. Spanish regions are either in phase 2 or phase 3. These are the services that are running in each phase:
Services available in phase 2
Commercial premises at 40% of the capacity.
Shopping centers with a limited capacity of 30% in common areas and 40% in stores.
Open-air markets with a third of the usual ports.
Terraces of bars, restaurants and cafes at 50% of their capacity.
You can eat inside the restaurants, with 40% of the capacity.
Common areas of hotels and tourist accommodation with a third of the capacity.
Libraries, museums, cinemas, theaters and auditoriums. These last three open to the public with a previously assigned seat and limitation of a third of the capacity.
Recreational pools by appointment and a maximum capacity of 30%.
Services available in phase 3
Commercial premises at 50% of the capacity.
Shopping centers with limited capacity to 40% in common areas and 50% in premises.
In any case, you must ALWAYS respect the safety distance both for sunbathing or sitting on the sand, as well as for walking and swimming. For this reason, some beaches are creating small plots to ensure standards are met. And in Valencia, for instance, there will be informants to remind bathers of the measures to be taken, in addition to police officers and drones to monitor compliance with the regulations. And in Andalusia 3,000 guards will be incorporated to check that the safety distance between visitors is respected.
The municipalities of the coastal towns will control access to their beaches, so the situation may vary depending on where we are. For example, people in Andalusia can stay on the beach for four hours maximum. On the other hand, beaches in some other places are still closed. So we advise you to check with the town hall of the town you want to visit to find out the conditions. We are looking forward to visiting these beaches, the best in Torrevieja.
Can you travel between regions?
Regional governments decide if their citizens can move between provinces inside the region. Of course, it is essential that the provinces that open their borders are in the same phase.
As of today, the Autonomous Communities that allow moving between their provinces are Andalusia, Aragon, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Galicia, the Basque Country and Castilla La-Mancha (only between Cuenca and Guadalajara). You can also travel freely in regions with only one province (such as Murcia or Cantabria).
However, mobility between regions will not be allowed until June 21, when the State of Alarm ends.
Situation in the most tourist destinations
The most popular destinations for those who visit Spain are in different phases:
Surely you like to enjoy a day at the beach, cool off in clear waters, stroll through fine, clean sand, have all the services you need at your fingertips… yes, we do too. But, if now nothing about the beach we are visiting, we may have a bad surprise and find out it is not as beautiful as we imagined.
Therefore, the Blue Flag badge is essential when deciding where to spend our vacations or that weekend getaway that we so deserve. Today at Sonneil we tell you what a Blue Flag is and why they are so necessary.
Blue Flag: the most reliable quality badge
After more than thirty years watching over the environmental quality of beaches, Blue Flag has become the most reliable quality mark in this regard, and an added value for the countries that display it on their beaches.
How was Blue Flag created?
As you may read on itswebsite, Blue Flag was created in 1985 “as a national award for marinas and boats that distinguishes at a distance those who love and protect the marine environment.” A few years later it was expanded as an environmental education program and, finally, as a procedure to enforce the EU’s Bathing Water Quality Directive.
In Spain, the NGO in charge of granting the Blue Flag distinction and enforcing environmental criteria in beaches and marinas is ADEAC (Association for Environmental and Consumer Education).
What criteria are followed?
The Blue Flag is already a symbol recognized by millions of beach and marina users. Watching it wave gives us peace of mind and confidence. If you wonder what a Blue Flag is, you should know it is the fruit of a lot of effort and a great environmental awareness, which is scored based on very strict criteria that are agreed annually on an international level.
The criteria that a Blue Flag beach must meet are divided into four blocks:
Environmental Information and Education. There must be panels with information on the beach, the coastal ecosystems and, where appropriate, on nearby protected natural spaces, along with a code of conduct for these spaces. The municipality must organize at least five environmental education activities per year.
Water quality. The quality of bathing water on the beach, during the previous bathing season, must be excellent, in all its sampling points, in accordance with the Bathing Water Quality Directive. A number of periodic water samples must be officially taken to determine this quality.
Environmental management. The beach must comply with environmental legislation, especially the Coastal Law, and must be clean and have adequate waste management, including the selective collection of containers, paper, glass, etc. The beach must have public baths. Urban beaches and/or at least one of the municipality’s Blue Flag beaches must have one bath adapted for people with disabilities.
Security and Services. The beaches must have easy and safe accesses. In addition, urban beaches must be accessible to people with disabilities. There must be a first aid kit, as well as adequate human equipment and life-saving supplies.
As you can see, a Blue Flag beach offers all the guarantees for you to enjoy it to the fullest. And, of course, Spain has plenty of them!
Do you want to know our favorite Blue Flag beaches? Then, keep reading. 😉
Top Blue Flag beaches in Spain
Choosing is difficult. We would do a tour of each and every one of the Spanish beaches! But if we are to recommend, we beg you do not miss the following beaches in the Valencia region and Malaga’s Costa del Sol. You will never want to leave.
The best beaches in Valencia region
Valencia region has a preferred position in this list, since it leads the national ranking with 134 Blue Flags on its beaches. Among them, those on Alicante’s Costa Blanca are the most awarded in the entire Iberian Peninsula, with no less than 73 Blue Flag beaches.
These are the ones we like the most:
Racó del Mar, in Canet de Berenguer. Dune chains, ecological value, 1,250 meters long, fine sand and chosen as the best beach in Spain in two consecutive years.
Les Deveses, in Denia. Three kilometers length and the furthest from the Denia town center, which maintains its natural essence at 100%. There is also a windsurfing school!
Cap Blanch, in Altea. Most impressive are its waters, which almost look like glass. You can choose between fine gravel and bowling, and it never becomes overcrowded. Yes, Altea is our weakness…
Sant Joan, in Alicante. The quintessential Alicante beach, full of life and seven kilometers long! Beach volleyball, soccer goals, water sports … Boredom does not exists here.
La Cala, in Finestrat. This cove is a little gem with very calm, warm and crystalline waters. And it is only three kilometers from Benidorm.
Malaga’s coast is the apple of our eyes. We feel weak for its light, the joy of its people and those fresh waters that welcome us every summer. Malaga is the province of Andalusia that got the most Blue Flags this year, with 23 in total, so you can imagine the quality of its beaches.
We cannot spend the summer without visiting these:
Arroyo Vaquero, in Estepona. This beach is special for its tranquility and its vegetation. And also for being a great destination for divers. And you can feel free to practice nudism. Arroyo Vaquero is pure nature.
La Cala, in Mijas Costa. Also known as the Butibamba, it is a narrow beach with calm waters. Walking along its promenade and finishing with a bath is a luxury.
Casablanca, in Marbella. This beach has everything you need. Whether you are looking for sports, relax, a family day… you will find it here. The palm trees give it a different touch and its golden sand is always pristine.
Going for a walk is no longer a dream. At last we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel and we can walk and enjoy the sunlight. At Sonneil, we love doing it in these areas of the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol. Fancy going for a walk with us?
The Costa Blanca has more than 300 days of sun a year and we are looking forward to enjoying them like this:
Going for a walk in Denia
Denia is a small port city, yes. But don’t be fooled by its size. Denia has more than 2,000 years of history, and Iberians, Phoenicians and Greeks lived in it. There must be a reason, right? The castle and the port are its hallmarks, as well as a gastronomy to lick your fingers. Hopefully we can visit one of its restaurants soon! Denia is like a secret garden, and the favorite destination of those who love sunlight, hiking, seafaring atmospheres… It is a small place, but it is also really cosmopolitan. Living here is a luxury.
Calpe is one of the most visited cities on the Costa Blanca, and we are not surprised at all! Great civilizations like the Phoenicians and the Romans lived in it. The Baños de la Reina site is just a trace of the importance that Calpe had in the history of the Mediterranean. For views lovers, looking at the horizon from the top of the Peñón de Ifach will leave you breathless! As well as the quality of its fine sandy beaches and the cleanliness of its waters.
Our favorite walk: the ecological walk that winds the coast from La Fossa beach to Benissa. Cliffs, crystalline coves such as the Mallorquí and Bassetes … and with the Peñón de Ifach as the background of our postcard tour. We can’t wait to do it! And why not? Rest at home looking at the sea.
Going for a walk in Jávea
Between the ends of La Nau and Sant Antoni, in the northern part of the Costa Blanca, Jávea, has nothing more and nothing less than 25 kilometers of coastline. Plenty to choose from! In addition to sandy beaches, stone coves, cliffs… the historic center has a lot to offer. Lose yourself in the medieval streets with white facades, gothic houses, wrought iron trellises, and the characteristic ‘rough stone’ of the area.
Our favorite walk: enjoy the seaside neighborhood from the Gorgos river bridge. Feel the sun as we reach the port walking along the Paseo de la Grava. The fishermen’s market, the yacht club, Cala del Pope and, if you dare, go up Cabo de San Antonio to the lighthouse. The views of the bay of Jávea are memorable.
Going for a walk in San Juan Beach
Playa de San Juan is the beach of Alicante par excellence. It is where the people of Alicante escape to disconnect from the city, where friends gather around a few towels, where the beach bars are an excuse to look at the horizon.
Known for its unrivaled hotel infrastructures, Benidorm has been transformed in recent years. It is not only beaches and good temperaturas any more, but also an ideal destination for lovers of mountain routes and spectacular views from the top of the hills. The Sierra Helada natural park is the best example. Anyway, surely you miss walking along the promenade and getting your feet wet in Playa de Poniente or Playa de Levante.
Our favorite walk: start at Plaza Canalejas and tour the old town of the city. It has more history than you think. Continue towards the Church of San Jaime and Santa Ana, Plaza de San Jaime, Plaza Castelar and look out over Cala del Mal Pas, the marina and Playa de Poniente.
Estepona has 16 kilometers of pedestrian streets and 18 of coastal path. Walking it is a pleasure. Of course: always keep the sanitary recommendations. The restoration of the town has turned it into a collage of bougainvilleas, flowerpots and white facades.
Our favorite walk: Calle Sevilla, with the tower of the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios church in the background. For sunset: the beach, always the beach.
Yes, we could write a book about walking around Malaga… in fact, surely there is one already. If you are lucky enough to live in Malaga, you must know very well that it is much more than a tourist destination. History, gastronomy and culture are the three pillars of the capital of the Costa del Sol, which was founded 3,000 years ago. There is still a bit left to delight us again with the fried fish and the taverns, but just thinking about it makes our mouths water!
Our favorite walk: obviously, discovering its history by walking through the old town. The cathedral – called La Manquita, the one-handed, because it only has one tower-, Calle San Agustín, Casa Picasso, the Roman Theater, the Alcazaba and, of course, Calle Larios.
Going for a walk in Frigiliana
In 2014, its old town was certified as a Historic Artistic Complex. No wonder: it is so well preserved that it seems to have been built yesterday. It is very popular among foreigners, which gives it a very curious cosmopolitan air. Flowered corners, hidden squares, terraces with views, small fountains… and our beloved white facades. For those with a sweet tooth: the cane honey from Ingenio Nuestra Señora del Carmen – the only cane honey factory in Europe – is spectacular.
Our favorite walk: wandering through its streets is enough for us. Exercise your legs and go up to the Town Hall enjoying the viewpoints and tile decorations that tell us about the Jewish, Moorish and Christian history of the area. Or discover any of the white villages in Malaga. But we leave that for later.
Wherever you are, at Sonneil we wish you go back to normal as soon as possible, and that you enjoy wonderful walks along the Spanish coast.
Maintaining the commitment, the desire to innovate and the closeness is not easy at all in the days of COVID-19.
Although the Sonneil team are used to working remotely and we have the appropriate tools to communicate and organize our day-to-day work, we are missing seeing each other in the office, the talks while having a café con leche, our team meals and the activities we used to organize outside working hours (#SonneilWalking, board games, #SonneilEat).
But we need to adapt and see each change as an opportunity to improve and develop new skills. That is why at Sonneil, during this period of confinement, we will continue betting on talent and teamwork, organizing activities and sharing knowledge.
Fancy knowing how the Sonneil team adapts to quarantine?
Yoga for everyone
Our Postsales Coordinator, Elizaveta Isaeva, is also a yoga teacher. So what better than sharing talent to build a team? Sonneil has launched yoga sessions for all employees who want to join. And of course, also for their families!
A few stretches and tips on postures and flexibility come great on these days when we can not go for a walk or run in the park. At the moment, these lessons are just for our team. But who knows? Maybe in a few days you can also enjoy them!
Digital Marketing and Programming Talks
Sharing digital knowledge makes us better professionals and helps us understand the work of our colleagues. Over the next two weeks, Joan, Santiago and Chris, from the marketing and technology team, will give four talks to reveal some digital marketing and programming tricks and bring us closer to their daily work. Knowing doesn’t take place, and this is a great time to learn from each other!
Elizaveta’s skills don’t stop at yoga! She is also a Spanish teacher for foreigners, and has offered to help Sonneil fans who are not yet very comfortable with Spanish.
Through short videos that we will upload on our social networks, Elizaveta will reproduce situations or dialogues that can occur on a day-to-day basis, such as when shopping, drinking coffee, going to a restaurant… because we Will be looking forward to having a chat once we can go outside!
In difficult times like these we live in, solidarity grows and emerges as a much-needed human value.
At Sonneil we want to join the wave of solidarity that has formed in Spain and, therefore, we have begun to collaborate with the Red Cross ‘Respond’ plan. Through this plan, the Red Cross aims to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by adapting its regular services and activities and adopting new measures to ensure the continuity of responses to the general population and, especially, to people in situations of vulnerability.
Psychological assistance, distribution of basic necessities, cleaning and laundry services, assistance with procedures… are just some of the volunteer actions included in the plan. The goal is to assist 1,350,000 people in two months. Do like us and join the plan!
Our grain of sand with #stopcorona
The fight against the coronavirus is a joint fight, in which we must be united. That is why we love Rescue App. This project acts as a repository, managing material, service or individual support offers and connecting them with the needs that arise. Thus, the process of sending and receiving aid is streamlined.
There are many ways to help. For example:
Products. Donate glasses, masks, food and much more.
Material. Cover the material needs to produce, especially waterproof textile and PVC.
Machinery. Do you have a sewing workshop, 3D printers or other tools?
They say that need sharpens ingenuity. During these days of quarantine, some of us seem to opt for the three Michelin stars, because we do not stop trying new recipes! In addition, we share them with each trough our Whatsapp group.
These are some of the most successful recipes among the team:
Susana, our CMO, recommends the banana bread recipe that Manu CatMan proposesin this post. Do you dare?
Our developer, Nadine, goes for the healthy and has dared with a vegan cheese recipe (made with chickpeas). You can check out María’s Healthy Coocking recipe in this Youtube video.
See? We do not stop even in quarantine! If you don’t want to stop either, we suggest you to continue visiting our blog to discover nearby paradises on the Spanish coast, or how we like to live the good life in this part of the world.
Come on, we are almost there. The Sonneilteam sends out a big hug to you all!
In these rare times, it always helps to escape and discover other places
thanks to art, literature, cinema or music.
At the moment you cannot visit us, but … how about using these days to
discover Spain from the comfort of your home? At Sonneil, we have put together
a list of options to keep boredom well away.
Because there’s a lot to learn from the good life in Spain.
Books to know Spain
What better way to get to
know a place than by reading about it? It is difficult to choose, but we are
suggesting you five books on different topics that will bring you a little
closer to Spain. 📚
The Great book of Traditional Cuisine, by Sergio Fernández. The title says it all, right? Discover Spain through its flavors, dishes and raw materials. Nothing more and nothing less than 500 recipes of Spanish cuisine of a lifetime!
The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. One of the most acclaimed novels in contemporary Spanish literature, it is perfect for discovering 20th century Barcelona hand in hand with mystery.
A Handbook for Travellers in Spain, by Richard Ford. Ford discovered Spain in 1831, when he arrived in Seville. From there, he traveled the country on horseback. Thanks to his notes, we have one of the first travel guides for Spain ever.
Ghosts of Spain: Travels Through a Country’s Hidden Past, by Giles Tremlett. A foreigner writing about Spain? Yes, and he does it as if he had been born right here. Tremlett explains and reflects on Spanish politics, society and culture. A must read!
The Prado, by the Prado Museum. Collects essential works from the history of universal art on a chronological tour of the Prado Museum collection. Velázquez, Goya, El Gredo, Murillo … Beauty galore!
Ah! You can read further about small paradises on the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol in our blog. We can’t help it, we are crazy about being close to the sea!
Past and present greatest hits
Music accompanies us in the best and worst moments. To
discover Spain through its songs, visit our Spotify playlist. Create your own
dance floor and get your feet tapping! 🎉
Some of the most legendary songs in Spanish music (and
Sonneil’s favourites) are:
Mediterráneo, by Joan Manuel Serrat. For those who love the sea and the coastal breeze.
La vida sigue igual, by Julio Iglesias. For the unregenerate old-schoolers.
Bailando, by Alaska and Los Pegamoides. For hyperactives.
Libre, by Nino Bravo. For those who dream of flying.
Rufino, by Luz Casal. For the 80s nostalgic ones.
La Puerta de Alcalá, by Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel. For monument hunters.
¡Qué bonito!, by Rosario Flores. For the emotional ones.
Me colé en una fiesta, by Mecano. For those who find parties everywhere.
No puedo vivir sin ti, by Los Ronaldos. For hopeless lovers.
Malamente, by Rosalía. For the modern ones.
Travel with documentaries
travel throughout Spain now, but who says we cannot know it better? We have put
together a list of documentaries to discover some of the most impressive
landscapes and cities in our country. So write down the ones you like the most
and, when these days are over, go visit them! 🌁🌄
Ciudades españolas Patrimonio de la Humanidad. RTVE streams a documentary series to discover the great cities of the History of Spain. Córdoba, Salamanca, Ibiza and Santiago de Compostela are some of them.
Mi querida Españatells the country’s history through the interviews of Jesús Quintero, one of the great Spanish interviewers of recent times.
Diario de un nómada. Miquel Silvestre travels Spain on a motorcycle to show us a country of contrasts: large cities and endless fields. A different way of traveling!
Mar de Levante. In this chapter of the documentary program Spain, between heaven and earth, the main character is the coast of the Valencian Community. Looking forward to a quick dip!
Movies to discover Spain
Spanish cinema has titles that will go down in history for
its mastery in portraying the culture, family life or idiosyncrasy of Spaniards.
There are many (many), but these are some of the essentials 🎞:
The language of the butterflies, by José Luis Cuerda. The saddest episode of Spain’s history seen through the eyes of a child.
Eight Basque surnames, by Emilio Martínez-Lázaro. Much humor to deal with some of the regional topics in Spain.
Open your eyes, by Alejandro Amenábar. Amenábar’s masterpiece. We’d better keep our mouth shut. You have to watch it yourself!
Volver, by Pedro Almodóvar. A raw and realistic postcard from rural Spain.
Now, you know where to start to know Spain. If you wish to
continue discovering wonderful places, you can follow us on our Instagram and
Facebook accounts. At Sonneil, we are available for anyone who dreams of living
on the Spanish coast and finding a place where they can enjoy the light and the
sea in this wonderful corner of the world.