Lunch is from 2 p.m. onward, and dinner comes after 10 p.m.
If you're hungry in between or can't reset your body clock, there's help -- tapas and pintxo bars (pintxo is the Basque equivalent of tapas) open around midday and again around 7 p.m.
In some bars, a snack still comes free with a glass of beer, sherry or wine, but some places now charge.
San Sebastian is Spain's gourmet capital, not only for top restaurants but also pintxo bars.
The old town in the city claims the highest density of bars per inhabitant in the world. You can make a meal on exquisite miniature dishes and glasses of txakoli (a lightly sparkling dry white wine), Rioja or cider.
4. There's coastline beyond the Costa del Sol
On the Costa del Sol, tales of rampant overpricing and badly designed hotels conflict with the glam, moneyed image of Marbella.
The eastern Mediterranean coast is better known for low-cost tourism.
But there are still unspoiled beaches where development and commercialism are largely absent.
One of Spain's rare volcanic regions, Cabo de Gata is a protected area in the southeast, where black-sand beaches sit beneath Arab watchtowers, monumental rocks and cactus-studded hills.
In the southwest, the sandy beaches south of Cadiz are superb for windsurfing.
In the north, attractive coves and fishing harbors edge the Bay of Biscay.
5. It snows in the olive groves
Andalucia isn't all shorts and T-shirts.
In winter, snows falls at higher elevations, sometimes bringing a surreal vision of olive groves blanketed in white.
The peninsula's highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada is almost permanently snow-capped, creating the perfect scenic backdrop to the Alhambra, the famed Moorish fortress and palace.
In spring, wildflowers colonize the slopes, while in the valleys the last olives are harvested.
6. Life is just a series of fiestas
Frenetic music, food, booze, dance and dressing up make saints' festivals a highlight of the year in Spain, even in the tiniest of villages.
The quirky Spanish imagination -- Pedro Almodovar's movies exemplify it, as do Salvador Dalí's paintings -- gives birth to the parade of grotesque papier mache figures in Valencia's Las Fallas festival and the giant annual tomato fight in the town of Bunol.