Spain: a good halal destination for your holidays
If you are looking for a country that takes your needs into account and makes you feel comfortable during your holidays, we recommend Spain. Spain is a country that accommodates all religions and during your stay you’ll notice that a large number of hotels are able to adapt to meet the needs of Muslim clients. With regard to food, you’ll be pleased to know that Spain is famous for its healthy Mediterranean diet, with loads of recipes based around vegetables and fish, and many based on Arab cuisine.
In Spain, certain products and services have the Halal Certification awarded by the Halal Institute, which guarantees that they meet the requirements demanded under Islamic law. This certification is particularly associated with food products but is increasingly being awarded to hotels, restaurants, cosmetic companies, Arab baths, etc.You will find more information on the Halal Institute web page.
Halal restaurants and hotels
The list of restaurants with halal options in Spain is extensive and you will always find vegetarian options or dishes with the ingredients you want: gazpacho, paella, ajoblanco, pil pil cod and many other ideas that are sure to suit your tastes.
There are already restaurants with Halal Certification, such as El Faro (in Marbella) and Los Almendros (in Cordoba); and in certain establishments, if you request them in advance they can prepare dishes using ingredients governed by Sharia or Islamic law. What is more, there are an increasing number of high quality, successful initiatives such as the restaurant Noor, from chef Paco Morales, in Cordoba, the first to specialise in halal haute cuisine. In any case, if you have any doubts, we recommend consulting the establishment where you would like to eat. You can also use the most popular online restaurant search engines (yelp.com, thefork.com, etc.) to search for halal establishments in Spanish destinations.
As regards accommodation, you’ll find a wide variety of high quality, family-friendly establishments with a pleasant atmosphere. The Alanda Hotel Marbella has become the first to obtain the certificate from the Halal Institute, offering services aimed at the Islamic market, such as very strict dishes, special areas for prayer, etc. Also, in cities such as Madrid, you will find hotel chains that indicate the direction of Mecca in their guest rooms, or which have prayer rooms.
Religious services in airports
In the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, there are two mosques situated in the public area of the exits to terminals T2 and T4. Halal meals are also served in the Aena VIP lounges.
In the Málaga-Costa del Sol airport there is a multi-faith prayer room which welcomes all religions including Islam, located in the arrivals hall of terminal T3. This room has no images and one of the walls is decorated with different material and special lighting, facing Mecca, for prayer.
In the Barcelona-El Prat airport there is also a multi-faith prayer room situated in terminal T1, with no type of decoration at all.
The same is the case in the airports of Gran Canaria and Tenerife Sur. Each one is equipped with a multi-faith prayer room with no images or religious symbols.
In Melilla Airport, in the public facilities in the check-in area, there is a wash basin adapted for ablution prior to ‘salat’.
Official mosques in Spain
In Spain there are more than 250 official mosques and Islamic religious centres. In fact the official Spanish Ministry of Justice web page offers a places of worship search engine where you will find a a list of such places. On our web page, you will see that we provide you with the addresses of the large mosques in the main tourist destinations. Simply go to the destination you are interested in: Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Granada, Málaga or Marbella.
Many Muslims choose cities like Cordoba and Granada to spend Ramadan because of the number of hours of sunlight. During Ramadan, some institutions such as the Casa Árabe, Cordoba City Council and the Halal Institute organise activities such as the Noches de Ramadán in Cordoba, a special programme of activities that includes films, workshops, talks, exhibitions, concerts, etc.
Other useful websites
Unión de Comunidades Islámicas de España (Union of Islamic Communities in Spain)
Here you will find information on the different communities in each region of Spain, which in turn have their own web pages, where, for example, you will find the Salat timetable.