When traveling in Spain, there is no need to even glance at the typical tourist items passed off as souvenirs. With shopping opportunities ranging from flea markets to high-end fashion boutiques, it is possible to find nearly any gift you desire.
Just as valued as the traditional handicrafts and high fashion items sold throughout Spain are some of its delicious gourmet specialties. Many of them are particular to different regions of the country, such as different types of wine and cheese. Some favorite Spanish cheeses to bring home include Idiazabal, Tetilla, Zamorano, Burgos, Manchego and Cabrales. Any of the numerous different types of Spanish sherry, wines, and spirits also make great gifts. Generally most wine of all types is fairly inexpensive as well. The best-known wine regions are Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rueda, Penedes, and Priorato. Bierzo in León has good liquors as well as wine, and Jerez is known for sherry. All unique to Spain, these make a great authentic Spanish gift.
Traditional Spanish Crafts
Another popular kind of gift is one of the many different traditional Spanish crafts. Among these are guitars, porcelain, jewelry, lace, fans, ivory objects, blown glass, and more. Many of these are specific to a particular region, such as metalwork from Toledo, handcrafted wooden furniture from Valencia or fine rugs and carpets from Cáceres, Granada, and Murcia. Other gift ideas include wood and basketwork from Asturias and Cantabria, leatherwork from Castilla-León, ceramics from Aragón, textiles and embroidery from Almagro, and tiles from Madrid. Fajalauza is famous for its Moorish influenced pottery and signature color palette.
Catalonian Textiles and Ibizia Styles
The extensive range of handmade crafts found in Spain is definitely matched by its fashion presence. Barcelona has many shops offering items from some of the top names, like Versace, Armani, Burberry, and Calvin Klein as well as top Spanish designers such as Sybilla, Amaya Arzuaga, and Victorio & Lucchino. Catalonian textiles are world famous and Andalucian leather goods are widely known for their quality as well. The Balearic Islands are known for the ‘Ibizia’ style that originated there, of which white, transparent, light clothes are characteristic. Pearls from Mallorca, in this region, are also very famous, and exquisite pearl jewelry is made here. To give someone the feeling of attending a real Spanish fiesta, traditional clothing from the Circuit del Born also makes a good gift.
Spanish Shoes & Acessories
In conjunction with Spain’s long tradition of leatherworking, the shoe industry is also renowned throughout the country and worldwide. The best places to go for shoes are Alicante and the Balearic Islands. Many other fine accessories are available as well, such as bags, jewelry, and gloves. While the most internationally famous designers can be found in Spain, native Spanish designers create great gifts as well.
Toys and More
Some other goods for which Spain is famous also make great gifts, such as toys from Alicante, antiques from Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville, and interior decorations such as Lladro porcelains, candelabra, trays, and bowls. For the soccer fan at home, great gifts can be found at shops selling merchandise of Real Madrid or Barcelona. El Corte Ingles is a major department store in Spain, where virtually any kind of gift can be found in one place. Numerous flea markets around the country provide still more variety. El Rastro is the largest in Madrid, and the most popular in Barcelona are Mercat de la Encants, Mercat de San Antoni, and Mercat at Plaza Villa de Madrid.
The majority of shops are open Monday through Saturday from 9:30am to 1:30pm and 4:30pm to 8:00pm. Most stores are closed on Saturday afternoons and Sundays, which is when flea markets tend to be open. Winter sales generally begin in early January and last until the end of February, and in the summer they span July and August. Non-European Union visitors can reclaim the 16% Value Added Tax at the airport on items purchased from most places.