Spain reigns supreme as one of the top holiday destinations in Europe. Particularly popular with travellers looking for a beach get-away in the popular party resorts of the Balearic Islands or some winter sun along the Costa del Sol in the quieter months, this sun-soaked region offers everything from glittering beaches along its Mediterranean coastline to medieval towns and rustic ruins in the interior, right through to the innovative modern developments of the country’s intensive regeneration over the last thirty years in its main cities of Barcelona, Bilbao, Valencia and Madrid. With plenty of things to do in Spain for every taste and budget, it’s no wonder it has rapidly become the second largest tourism industry in the world.
The hotspots continue to be Spain’s major cities on the one hand, and its beaches on the other. Trendy Barcelona is teeming with visitors in the summer months, come to marvel at its Gothic structures and scattered oddities, including Gaudi’s surreally beautiful Sagrada Familia chapel. Bilbao, home to the stunningly contoured Guggenheim Museum, a must-see, boasts an astonishing array of art galleries and museums for the culture lover and Madrid, the country’s capital, with its grand boulevards and trendy tapas joints, is matched in the cool stakes only by its own relentless nightlife, with live music at the forefront of entertainment. The most legendary nightlife however, is found on the islands: Ibiza, Tenerife and Majorca remain firm favourites, for their all-day sunshine and pumping party strips. And it’s not just summer. Spain is an all-year-round holiday destination with activities for every season. The weather stays warm in the south and, perhaps surprisingly, even here by the Mediterranean the Sierra Nevada gives its high profile Alpine ski resort competitors a run for its money.
Spain is a country with strong cultural roots, famous for its distinct regional identities and open celebration of its heritage, from the mix of Baroque and Romanesque architecture to the local and regional festivals revering the patron saints of its towns and villages. All year round the country offers its numerous feria. Check which celebrations are going on before you travel for the opportunity to witness the Spanish lifestyle at its most vibrant and authentic. Each region has its own traditions, whether it is the processions lining the streets of Castilla la Mancha, home of the legendary fictional character Don Quixote, whose statues adorn this region’s towns, the world-famous San Fermin (the Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona, or the fire festival of Valencia. This is authentic Spain at its best.
On top of all this, Spain operates a stringent hotel star rating system with higher requirements than most of its European counterparts, so you can rest assured even at the booking stage that your trip will be made in comfort and style. Whether backpacking across the Picos de Europa, enjoying a poolside family holiday in Tenerife, marvelling at the rich and colourful culture of the Basque Country, or taking a city break in achingly trendy Barcelona or artistic Bilbao, Spain can cater to every need and requirement. This is a country that deserves to be seen and experienced beyond its clichés. The only question now is, where to start?
Last Edit by ASchilz on 12/09/2011 EDIT NOW >>