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Spain & Portugal Holidays Useful Information & FAQs
- Star ratings generally reflect the quality and standard of a hotel but some choose not to be classified although they are often of a high standard and excellent value.
- Services and facilities tend to vary according to the price so bear this in mind when deciding where to stay.
- Bedrooms have at least a shower and wc. As rooms are allocated on arrival, specific requests for a shower or bath can be noted, but not confirmed.
- Where a supplement for sea view, balcony etc. is shown in euros in the description, this will be confirmed if available, and the supplement paid direct to the hotel.
- Room prices include breakfast and on some car tours a 3 course set dinner is also provided.
- A room for 3 will generally be a twin bedroom with folding single bed. Family rooms are only suitable for 2 adults and 2 children under 12 - these are often larger twin rooms with additional sofa bed or folding beds added.
- Children occupying a full size bed pay the adult rate, except at hotels where the offer applies. When this is the case a child under 12 stays free, if sharing a twin/double room with 2 adults - meals are not included. This offer is not available at Paradores from 1-5 April and 18 July-22 August.
- We do not charge for hotel accommodation for children under 4, unless they occupy a full size bed. We can request a cot for babies or toddlers, but these are not always available and a charge will be made by the hotelier - payable direct. It is recommended, and often cheaper and easier, to take a travel cot.
- If you book six nights or more at a hotel showing the offer the seventh night is free.
- The distances shown within descriptions are approximate and the restaurant closures are provided by our suppliers as a guideline - these may change without prior notice.
- There may be a charge for parking and leisure facilities. Some private and public garages cannot accommodate high vehicles such as large people carriers and Range Rovers.
- At Christmas and New Year hotels may offer something special - a festive menu, and perhaps entertainment. An additional charge is made when this occurs. Prices and availability are on request only.
- All accommodation has a fridge and cooking facilities and extras such as microwave, washing machine or dishwasher are listed. Keen cooks should read the descriptions carefully, as some properties only feature a hob.
- A mezzanine is an open gallery, often used for extra beds but not ideal for youngsters with early bedtimes and the elderly or infirm as they are generally reached by steep stairs. You should always supervise children on mezzanines.
- Stairs may be steep or narrow and/or open tread and may not have banisters - if so the description tells you.
- The maximum number of people that can stay in each property is shown in every description. Where it is shown as 4/6 it means standard beds for adults, plus smaller beds more suitable for children such as bunks. This maximum number cannot be exceeded unless authorised to do so by the property owner or agent. If friends are joining you at your accommodation and planning to stay overnight, you must let us know in advance so that arrangements can be made and permission obtained.
- Bathrooms have a bath (usually with shower attachments) and shower rooms have a shower. Neither include a wc unless stated. Baths come in lots of shapes and sizes.
- Clothes storage and/or hanging space may be limited in bedrooms.
- Properties with satellite TV do not necessarily receive English speaking channels but will normally obtain an international sports and news channel.
- Gardens are usually informal, with grassy areas instead of neat manicured lawns. If they are enclosed, the description tells you.
- Barbecues, bicycles or games may be provided although they might show signs of wear and tear so you may prefer to take your own.
- Barbecues are not allowed at some of our accommodation except in dedicated areas. Where they are permitted, never be tempted to use a charcoal or barbecue grill indoors or in an enclosed area (such as tents) as this will cause a build-up of carbon monoxide.
- Some of the holiday facilities and activities detailed (especially swimming pools) may not be available outside the high season, and this is reflected in our prices.
- Whenever using a pool suitable swimwear must be worn and swimming shorts are not usually acceptable. Hats are also often compulsory in public pools.
- Properties will be cleaned after your departure, however you must ensure that you wash up and generally tidy to avoid money being deducted from your deposit.
- Bed linen and/or towels are provided unless stated otherwise. Remember to take tea towels.
- Cots are unlikely to be the latest model and will have been used by others.
- Your accommodation will generally be ready for you to arrive between 4pm and 6pm and you are requested to leave by 10am. When the ship arrives in Spain late afternoon arrangements have been made for an arrival at the property between 8pm and 10pm.
- Rentals include all gas, water, electricity and heating during the cooler months. From May to September inclusive, if any heating is used it will be charged for. Wood when provided is often included in the rental.
- A deposit of €150 is payable in cash on arrival. If you are taking your pet an extra deposit may be requested. Details will be provided with your travel documents.
- Country homes, particularly those that are not permanently occupied by people, may well be the year-round homes of birds, bees or small furry things. This does not in any way reflect on standards of cleanliness, but may alarm those not used to rural living. Likewise, neighbouring farms will be seen as a delight for some and the source of smells and early morning noise by others.
- Our properties are hugely varied. One person's idea of blissful, away-from-it-all peace is another's alarming isolation and some may find the charm of a working farm outweighed by early morning agricultural activities and animal noises.
- A living area will have table and chairs and some comfortable seating unless stated.
- In rural locations water is sometimes supplied direct from mountain streams - this can be consumed but guests may prefer drinking bottled water.
- Even though some pools are shown as being exclusive to clients the owners can choose to use them whilst their guests are out.
Apartments and Chalet Camping
- At campsites you may have to pay extra if you take a trailer as this takes up extra parking space.
- When we are not completely specific about the types of beds (double, single, bunks etc) we have different combinations available. Please discuss your party's requirements with our reservations staff before booking.
- The apartment and chalet exterior and interior pictures are indicative of the style and type of décor and furnishings, but these can vary.
- Many activities such as golf, tennis etc cost extra and are paid for on site.
About your holiday
Want to stay in more than one place?
Any accommodation on our website can be used for a multi-centre holiday, with time spent in more than one location. To book a multi-centre holiday or for a quote please call our Reservations Team on 0871 244 0439.
Although we have tried our best to show accurate prices on our website, where your travel is different to the date of stay, if mixing a route to France with a cruise to Spain, for stays spanning two seasons, prices will vary from those shown. Please proceed with your booking for a quote.
Ferry fares for holiday clients are greatly reduced, therefore if you travel abroad for 7 nights or longer a minimum of 3 nights' accommodation for all members of the party must be booked.
Wherever possible we will try to meet your specific requirements but more often than not our suppliers allocate accommodation on arrival and although requests can be noted, we are unable to guarantee these. Please call our Reservations Team on 0871 244 0439.
Last minute bookings
We will do everything we can to take bookings up to 24 hours before departure. When booking within 1 month of sailing payment must be by credit or debit card or through a travel agent. Confirmation may not be possible instantly and it's a good idea to let us have a 2nd or 3rd choice. To make a last minute booking please call our Reservations Team on 0871 244 0439.
Accommodation that may be suitable for clients with restricted mobility is shown with . However you must discuss your specific requirements with us before making your booking.
Outdoor pools are normally open from mid June to mid September (if heated slightly longer) and may close due to weather conditions or if maintenance is required. This is entirely at the discretion of the management/owner. Also on board the Pont-Aven and Cap Finistère, under certain conditions, the Captain may decide to close the pool. Whenever using a pool suitable swimwear must be worn and swimming shorts are not usually acceptable. Hats are also often compulsory in public pools. Parents should be extra vigilant and supervise children in and around pool areas at all times. Pets must never be allowed in a swimming pool.
Passport for pets
Most domestic pets can also discover the joys of France, Spain & Portugal by travelling under the Pets Travel Scheme. Please contact your vet or the DEFRA helpline on 0870 241 1710 for information.
Where pets are accepted this is shown under extra services and the price shown is a price per pet per night unless stated otherwise. Some restrictions may apply. If you are taking more than one animal please let us know as we will have to make a special request which may be refused. For ferry travel prices please call us on 0871 244 0439.
All passengers must have a valid passport. British passport application forms are available from Post Offices and you should allow up to 12 weeks for issue or renewal. Visas are not required for France, Spain & Portugal by EU nationals. Any child going abroad without a parent or legal guardian must also have a letter of consent otherwise permission to travel may be refused.
For queries visit www.gov.uk or call the Identity & Passport Services on 0300 222 0000. When in mainland Spain please note there are British consulates in Alicante, Barcelona, Madrid and Malaga. Contact: 00 34 902 109 356.
Great €uro rates
As a holiday client you will benefit from preferential rates and Brittany Ferries will charge you no commission when you buy Euros in our Poole or Plymouth terminals. You can also use our Call & Reserve Euro service by ringing 0871 244 0426 to order at least 72 hours in advance and collect when you check in at any of our UK ports. Plus there is the Brittany Ferries Euro MasterCard.
Find out more about all the options available and more details.
You must take your insurance certificate, vehicle registration document and written permission to take the car abroad if it is not registered in your name. All members of the party who intend to drive abroad must also take their driving licences and be over 18.
It is important that you find out what the legal motoring regulations are when abroad as instant fines are levied by the police - for up to date information and to plan your route visit theaa.com.
All passengers except children under 4 must have Personal Insurance. We will arrange cover for all members of the party unless advised of your alternative arrangements to an equivalent or greater level of cover. All members of your party will also need a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which is valid for 5 years. Apply online at www.ehic.org.uk, telephone 0300 330 1350 or pick up an application form from the Post Office. Many insurance companies insist on this being used before a claim is made on your Personal Travel Insurance. It is advisable to have Vehicle Assistance and you are advised to check with your insurance company whether you are insured to drive abroad.
The Brittany Ferries Privilege Card entitles you to discounts at museums, golf courses and leisure attractions nearly everywhere you go, and at wine warehouses near our ports. And the best thing about it is that it's absolutely FREE when you book any Brittany Ferries holiday or break.
Included in your holiday wallet will be your travel documents as well as a trolley token to use at supermarkets and an excellent map of Spain & Portugal.
Price match guarantee
If you can find an identical holiday at a lower price within 28 days of booking with Brittany Ferries, we guarantee to match it. Travel and accommodation must be offered (and be available) as an inclusive package by the tour operator. The price match is based on published brochure prices and excludes group discounts, insurance, special offers, loyalty bonuses and travel agent discounts.
Fully bonded holidays
We are a member of the Association of British Travel Agents so you can book with confidence in the knowledge that your holiday is totally secure.
Our holiday helpline
If you encounter any problems on holiday that you cannot resolve yourself, we operate a Holiday Helpline, with English speaking staff on hand to give you any assistance you require. Details are supplied with your holiday documents.
These play an important part of Spanish and Portuguese culture and many towns and villages celebrate religious days and other important occasions. Fiestas can be numerous and often the dates are only confirmed at the last minute. Expect firework displays, fairgrounds and live music playing into the early hours.
2015 Public Holidays
On public holidays you will find shops and banks are often closed, so make sure you have enough local currency to tide you over. And remember, trading laws often do not allow you shopping on a Sunday except in tourist areas.
Spanish Bank Holidays
January 1, 6
December 6, 8 & 25
Portuguese Bank Holidays
April 3 & 25
December 8, 24 & 25
There are also other regional and town holidays that are too numerous to show here.
What do to if you have an emergency whilst abroad?
The European emergency number is 112. This will allow you to contact the ambulance, police, or fire services.
More information on this can be found at the European Commission Information Site: