New Delhi : Now that Spain has the pandemic under control, it is working hard to attract international visitors. Much of their economy relies on the incredible supply of sights and places to visit that the country has to offer.
From Barcelona and Madrid to Seville and Galicia, Spain has one of the richest ranges of diverse destinations of any country in Europe. Tourists come from all over the world to experience a bit of Spanish culture
So what should Israeli passport holders know before planning a trip to visit Spain?
To begin with, Israeli citizens planning to go on vacation to Spain in 2022 should start familiarizing themselves with the European Travel Information and Authorization System, also known as the ETIAS Spanish for Israelis. ETIAS, which will be made available to Israelis by the end of 2022, will facilitate the application for permission to enter Spain.
By moving the entire visa waiver application online, Spain is doing two things. On the one hand, it makes the application process as easy as possible by eliminating any travel to an embassy or consulate or the need to send important and personal documents.
The second important aspect of ETIAS is that it allows for an extra layer of security, which allows residents and tourists to breathe easier knowing that they are all the safer.
With that in mind, what else do Israelis need to know about ETIAS and what can they expect to find once they arrive in Spain?
Traveling to Spain: Pandemic and visas
The creation of the COVID digital certificate has made checking the health of passengers much easier. By scanning tourists’ recent medical histories, Spain’s Ministries of Health and Tourism have helped take the stress out of everyone involved.
The same principles will soon be applied to visas, or, more precisely, to visa waivers that Spain issues through ETIAS.
The ETIAS app will require Israelis to provide Spanish authorities with personal data and information such as their full name as it appears on their passport, date of birth, current address, phone number and address e-mail, etc.
Additionally, Israelis will need to present a scan of their passport information page, a passport-style photo, and they will need a valid credit or debit card in order to pay the non-refundable fee.
Once the application is submitted and reviewed, successful applicants will receive their ETIAS for Spain by email. Then they will be ready to find out what Spain has to offer.
The call: explore Jewish life in Spain
Before the Spanish Inquisition, Spain had one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in the world. Many towns had neighborhoods named “El Call” from the Hebrew word for community or congregation where Jewish life flourished.
The history of the Jewish community in Spain is riddled with terrible tales of oppression. However, despite this reality, cities like Barcelona or Girona have worked to maintain the memory of these cultures. By preserving the infrastructure of their Jewish citizens, they woven these stories into the fabric of their respective gifts.
Today, Girona and Barcelona offer comprehensive tours of these neighborhoods. They have kept their titles (El Call) despite the changes these areas have undergone over the years.
The Girona Jewish History Museum offers a comprehensive and wonderfully organized account of Girona’s Jewish community. As Girona is only a short train ride from Barcelona, ââa trip to the Catalan capital could be combined with a weekend getaway or day trip to get the full picture of what to expect. was once Jewish life in Catalonia.
Andalusia: Visiting the Middle East in Europe?
Due to the geographical location of Spain, it is intrinsically linked to the history of much more than Europe. The history of the Moors and present-day Morocco in Spain means that the influence of these cultures can still be seen and felt today, especially in Andalusia.
The Alhambra in Granada is a shining example of the mixture of cultures from these multiple regions. This sparkling and breathtaking palace and its vast grounds are a sort of palimpsest of the many lives that the building, the city and the region have lived.
Indeed, over the centuries, the building has housed rulers of various faiths who put their individual touches and details throughout. From reliefs and tiles to faded scriptures that can still be read, Grenada tells the story of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East with a peaceful visit to this breathtaking site.
Elsewhere in Andalucia, some buildings and similar neighborhoods tell stories about the complexities of the region. For Israelis who want to better understand how contemporary Spain came to be what it is, a trip to the south is a great place to start.