Spain ranks as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. A large, culturally diverse country, it boasts breathtaking panoramic vistas, friendly people, great cuisine, fine wines and plenty of sun, sea and sand. From Spain’s big modern cities to its sleepy villages or world-class resorts, there is a wealth of things to see and do wherever you go in this fascinating country. Here are ten reasons why you should visit Spain.
- Spain is renowned for its five thousand miles of coastline and beautiful golden or white sand beaches. Most areas of the country enjoy three hundred days of sunshine every year, so it’s no wonder that tourists and locals alike, flock to the beaches. In Spain you are never very far away from a beach.
- Spain is a veritable playground for the sports enthusiast. There you can indulge in wind surfing, sky diving, bungee jumping, scuba diving, or sail the waters of the Mediterranean or Atlantic. If golf is your game, Spain has a plethora of fine world-class courses and golf resorts.
- Spain is full of variety, offering distinct regional cultures and very different geographical terrain. Its people include the Basques, Catalonians, and Galicians all of whom have their own language and customs. The topography includes barren arid plains, snowcapped alpine mountains, sunny coasts along with lush islands; the Canary Islands, in the Atlantic, and the Balearic Islands, in the Mediterranean Sea.
- Spain’s many cultural influences have created a delicious and varied cuisine. Seafood plays a prominent role in Spanish dishes but they are also famous for their cured meats like chorizo sausages and jamón serrano (dry-cured ham). These ingredients can be found in every tapas bar menu and are featured in the country’s national dish, paella; a medley of rice, fresh vegetables, seafood and meat, flavoured with saffron. Each region of the country has its own culinary specialties, including some world’s best wines.
- The people of Spain welcome visitors. The Spanish are a warm, friendly, hospitable people. Outside of the hustle and bustle of the big cities, you’ll find the natives are very relaxed. Many of the smaller towns and villages still have a siesta during which everything grinds to a halt while folks take a mid-afternoon nap.
- Spain has a vibrant nightlife. You can dance the night away at the country’s many nightclubs. You’ll find Tapas bars, cocktail bars, clubs, jazz lounges, live music venues, and flamenco theatres that cater to all tastes and ages.
- Spain is home to some of the world’s most colourful and joyous festivals. Some festivals to check out are the La Tomatino Festival in Bunol, The Valencia Fireworks Festival, The Moors and Christian Festival Alicante, Las Hogueras de San Juan and La Féria de Malaga. For excitement, there is always the infamous running of the bulls at Pamplona, part of the San Fermin Festival.
- Spain boasts the largest art gallery in the world. The Museum of El Prado, in Madrid, houses more than eight thousand paintings and countless other works of art. Spain gave birth to some of the world’s most famous and unique artists from Velazquez, Goya, César Manrique to striking and often weird images of Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso.
- Travel within Spain is easy and affordable. Most international flights land in Madrid and from there, high speed AVE trains, capable of travelling at two hundred and twenty miles an hour, connect the major cities. Bus and train travel is reliable and safe throughout the country.
- And last, but certainly not least, Spain is steeped in history. Cave paintings, discovered in Altamira, date from 15,000 to 8500 B.C. Spain later became part of the Roman Empire for six centuries before it fell under Moorish rule for close to eight hundred years. Throughout Spain you’ll find wonderful examples of the country’s colorful past. The island of Menorca lays claim to the highest number of prehistoric monuments in the world. A visit to the historic sites of mediaeval towns, palaces and castles will capture the imagination. The magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada, a stunning example of Moorish architecture, is not to be missed.
With all that Spain has to offer, it is no wonder that the country has had an enduring appeal to vacationers from around the world. If you are serious about travelling, Spain and the whole of Europe has a lot to offer, with plenty of culture, beautiful holiday parks and world heritage sites you are bound to find plenty to do and see.