The tourist industry based around beaches, bars and bawdy behaviour has rather coloured our view of Spain as a destination. The annual migration for two weeks in Benidorm or Ibiza is the travelling equivalent to learning the alphabet and only getting as far as ‘A’. Spain is a diverse country where, with a little effort, you can find yourself far from the hordes. A gap year in Spain? You will want to return.
But what is there in this country to tempt you into taking a gap year in Spain? The modern, the ancient and the traditional meet in the middle, while the Mediterranean and traditional European cultures collide. Be you cyclist, climber, art-lover, musician or foodie there is enough here to occupy you for a lifetime. You may be more attracted by the bars and clubs of the resorts and by the day-time water-sports or the golden beaches. Whatever your take on life, you will find it in abundance here, as a gap year in Spain simply has everything.
Working in Spain
Employment for your gap year in Spain has become more difficult since the recession, which hit Spain hard. British companies in the resort areas still employ casual workers but agricultural labour is currently less of an option than it has been. There are many language schools but it is difficult to find work there without a CELTA certificate which will take a few weeks to gain. The wealthy do seek English-speaking au pairs. Experience in child care is not always necessary but references need to be glowing as these positions are much sought after, coming as they do with accommodation and often the use of a car. Sailing is popular and crewing a yacht is another way to travel the Mediterranean on a budget. Many trips will start and end in Spain.
Gibraltar, a British enclave at the southern tip of Spain sees the border open and close as its sovereignty is disputed. A ferry will take you to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in North Africa. To the west is Portugal, to the north the mountain principality of Andorra and France. But having come for a gap year in Spain, why would you want to go anywhere else?