Spain's postal system, or correos, does work, but delivery times vary widely. An airmail letter to the United States may take from four days to two weeks; delivery to other destinations is equally unpredictable. Sending your letters by priority mail (urgente) or the cheaper registered mail (certificado) ensures speedier and safer arrival.
Airmail letters to the United States cost €1.30 for up to 20 grams (¾ ounce). Letters within Spain are €0.57. Postcards carry the same rates as letters. You can buy stamps at licensed tobacco shops; post offices no longer sell stamps, but stamp mail with the correct amount.
Because mail delivery in Spain can often be slow and unreliable, it's best to have your mail held at a Spanish post office; have it addressed to "Lista de Correos" (the equivalent of poste restante) in a town you'll be visiting. Postal addresses should include the name of the province in parentheses, for example, Marbella (Málaga).
When time is of the essence, or when you're sending valuable items or documents overseas, you can use a courier (mensajero). The major international agencies, such as FedEx, UPS, and DHL, have representatives in Spain; the biggest Spanish courier service is Seur. MRW is another local courier that provides express delivery worldwide.
Correos. 902/197197; www.correos.es.
DHL. 902/122424; 902/123030; www.dhl.es.
FedEx. 902/100871; www.fedex.com/es_english.
MRW. 902/300400; www.mrw.es.
Seur. 902/101010; www.seur.com.
UPS. 902/888820; www.ups.com.