Spain is a country with a rich, colorful and diverse history, a land of many varied regions and a people who are proud and welcoming. Looking historically, culturally, gastronomically and geographically, it is said to be one of the most diverse countries of Europe.
For many first-time visitors to Spain, the expectations are of frequently used and evocative media images of sangria, sombreros and bullfights. While all of these plays a part within traditional Spanish culture, there is much more that makes modern Spain a progressive, diverse and cosmopolitan society. From its Roman relics to Muslim palaces, from baroque cathedrals and Modernista constructions, the country is a treasure chest of artistic and architectural marvels across a matchless cultural palette.
While some people prefer to go skiing in the winter months, others prefer to sunbathe on the coast. Not many countries can offer both options during the same month, but Spain can. As a tourist destination, Spain is often mistakenly stereotyped as a sun-and-sea location having most beautiful spots.
Stretching sun-drenched and untamed to the south of the wild and majestic Pyrenees, this passionate nation works a mysterious magic. Spain is littered with hundreds of glittering beaches; flamenco bailaors (dancers) swirl in flounces of color; and toreros (bullfighters) strut their stuff in the bullrings.
Emerald green mountains seem to slide into the wild blue Atlantic in the north. Proud, solitary castles and medieval towns are strewn across the interior. White villages glitter in inland Andalucía. Rugged mountain ranges such as the Sierra Nevada (Europe’s most southerly ski resort) are draped across the country. The Celtic music of Cantabria, Asturias & Galicia reminds one of the misty lands of Brittany, Scotland and Ireland.
Indeed, if there is one thing Spaniards love, it is to eat, drink and be merry, one can gobble up tapas over fine wine in Madrid.
Famous Places to visit and attractions:
It used to be the capital of Menorca and still has a lot of important historical buildings and an interesting cultural heritage.
Monuments and interesting places in Ciutadella:
• Menorca Cathedral: 14th century, Gothic style, built upon the remains of a mosque
• Des Bastió de sa Font Municipal Museum
• The Old Part: Arabic and medieval remains, within what was once the walled city
• La Plaza del Borne
• Iglesia de Roser: Baroque-style
• Plaza de Alfonso III
• Plaza de la Catedral
Madrid shows the onlooker multiple faces that history has left behind, such as its medieval origins as an Arab-fortress characterized by its ancient buildings and the smell of the taverns. The courtesan district of the Hapsburgs characterized by Phillip II and his Renaissance and Baroque style buildings like those in the Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and Plaza de la Villa, Madrid of the Bourbons and the complex town planning schemes of Charles III, the Royal Palace, Cibeles and Neptuno Fountains and the Puerta de Alcal are world famous. There are also contemporary Madrid avenues such as Gran Vía, Castellana, the district of Salamanca, Plaza de Castilla, Parque del Oeste, University Campus, commercial and financial zones of Modern Madrid, the emblematic Las Ventas Bullring and the Santiago Bernabéu Football Stadium.
In its past, there have been several different people who have controlled the area and they have all had an impact on the buildings, monuments and traditions. On the southern most coast of Spain this important seafaring city has preserved an important historical heritage. Cadiz has excellent beaches and a delicious local cuisine. The Costa de la Luz, divided between the provinces of Huelva and Cadiz, also offers a host of destinations for culture and leisure. UNESCO has declared the Doñana National Park, a World Heritage Site.
Salamanca University was the first to be founded in Spain and is also one of the oldest in Europe. It was once regarded as one of the best European universities and was attended by some of the greatest and most famous Spanish thinkers, artists and writers.
It is the capital of the Valencia province on the river Turia, in the richest agricultural area of Spain. It is a charming city, light, carefree and confident, where everyone has some claim to an artistic temperament.
• Andalucía, Costa del Sol
The Alhambra is one of the most important buildings in Europe and there is so much more to admire about Granada.
Bilbao is an attractive and vibrant city with a wonderful heritage and very well worth seeing.
It is a beautiful medieval village, set on the rocky surroundings of the River Júcar in Cuenca, about an hour and a half drive from Madrid.
The walled village, its castle, churches and stone-built houses blend in with the surrounding landscape and winding river, providing the visitor with outstanding views and complete peace and quiet.
Baeza is a beautiful historical town set in the province of Jaén in Andalucía surrounded by Europe's largest olive tree plantation and near to one of Spain's most impressive national parks, El Parque Nacional de Cazorla.
It is a beautiful small town set in the northern (and prettiest) part of the province of Alicante. Beautiful beaches, with white sand and crystal-clear water, tall mountains, wide valleys with unusually green countryside all add to Benissa's unique appeal.
It is one of Spain's most beautiful walled medieval villages.
15. Villafranca del Bierzo
It is a beautiful village in the north of the province of Leon and the parador of Villafranca del Bierzo is a simple, no-frills, peaceful parador which has friendly staff and offers comfortable (not plush) accommodation and good food and wine for a very reasonable price.
Things to Do:
1.“Illuminations” Night Tour and Flamenco Show
On the guided illuminations evening tour, one can watch luminating sights of Madrid that can amaze and astonish anybody. Flamenco shows in Spain are available in a number of impressive venues. FLORIDA PARK Nightclub, specialized in Spanish Ballet and Flamenco, is a place where one may enjoy with its dance orchestra and its great show and amazing and mouth watering Tapas Dinner can also be enjoyed at the same time.
2. Spectacular Bullfighting
Attending bullfighting in Madrid is an unforgettable experience. People from Madrid, madrilènes, have a passion about attending bullfights. In the Spanish capital, Madrid, best matadors and bullfights in the world are found. Las Ventas is the most important bullring in the world. An opportunity to attend an unequal able spectacle, where the bravery of bull and bullfighter compete can be taken. The guide will explain the most relevant characteristics of bullfighting, the great Spanish national holiday, which is a manifestation of an ancestral culture that has survived until today.
3. Thrilling Madrid Segway Tour
It is an interesting and original way to cruise through the heart of Madrid. The Segway is the most advanced transport device to move around in pedestrian environments. It's safe, easy and provides lot of fun.
Drive through central Madrid in the thrilling Segway Tour.
Things to do in Spain
Benalmadena Hop on- Hop off Tour
The small town of Benalmadena is located in the province of Malaga in the Andalusia autonomous region. The name Benalmadena is derived from Arabic "Bani al-Medina" which means "Son of the Settlement". The town is 12 kilometers west from the city of Malaga and is home to around fifty three thousand population. The small town is thronged by visitors round the year. The town is located at the coast of Mediterranean Sea and boast of a comfortable Climate round the year. Town has quite a few architectural heritages and of course the city is quite peaceful and pleasant. Enjoy a walk down the beaches and feel the warm sunshine or simply relax in any of the beautiful parks or you can enjoy at the bustling Marina jostled with restaurants, pubs and nightlife or see and explore the lanes of the old Andalucian villages. The town can be best introduced to you on a tour of Hop on- hop off buses. The buses cover 12 main stops and here you can see the attractions of Benalmadena. The buses offer you unlimited access for 24 hours and you can explore the town at your own pace and interest. Audio guide in 8 languages including English is available with the tour which will help you to comprehend the insights and information of the Benalmadena town.
Barcelona Gothic Quarter Tour
Enjoy a walking tour at the historic Gothic quarter or Barri Gothic of Barcelona and enjoy the rich historic heritages of this city. The Gothic Quarter is the oldest part of the Barcelona city and dates back to the Roman Times. You will be lead by an expert guide who will show you around and will provide you with many interesting facts and insights. Visit the old quarter and explore its maze of hidden streets, wonderful architecture and charming squares. You will visit the August’s Temple, the Cathedral Cloister and Palantine Chapel of Santa Agata. The tour will be great experience and you will learn a great deal about the history and heritage of Barcelona.
Barcelona Modernist Architecture Tour
Enjoy the amazing Modernist architecture of Barcelona which is renowned globally. On this tour you will visit the stunning Quadrat d'Or or Golden Square area of the Eixample district. This area is filled with stunning “modernista” architecture of Barcelona. Most of the buildings were made at the end of the 19th century and are designed by city’s most famous architects, Lluis Domenech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Antoni Gaudi who shaped the city of Barcelona. You will see many stunning architecture and the famous Casa Mila, the palace of Catalan Music and the “Block of discord”.
Barcelona Picasso Tour
Enjoy the famous works of the renowned Spanish Painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso and see his preserved works at the Museum of Picasso. Your expert guide will show you the Picasso’s first studio, the gallery where his first exhibition was held. Visit the Café where he used to visit frequently with other artist friends and listen to some amazing facts about this great artist who started the famous cubism movement of expression in fine arts. You will enjoy a guided tour of the Picasso Museum present in the ancient Barcelona region and the museum has nearly 4000 works of Picasso’s early career.
Gibraltar Shopping Tour
Visit the Gibraltar Peninsula which is under the British Sovereignty. The Gibraltar Peninsula lies between the Iberian Peninsula and the North Africa. You will arrive here by an air conditioned coach and here you will visit the City Center, which is a long, narrow area lined with shopping stores and small shopping outlets. The city center is a pedestrian avenue which has many benches, cafes and bars. Enjoy shopping here and buy some duty free products like Gold jewellery, cigarettes, spirits, watches, perfumes and designer outfits of many famed international brands. Enjoy shopping here and take the pleasure of retail therapy. Once you are done with your shopping and run out of your money or is fully satisfied with your shopping activity return back to your tour starting point.
The climate varies tremendously in Spain, due to its large size. Visitors can generally expect a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
Spanish cuisine consists of a variety of dishes, which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep maritime roots.
Best Time to Visit
The ideal months to visit are May, June and September (plus April and October in the south). In July and August, temperatures can climb to 45°C; Madrid is unbearable and almost deserted at this time.
How to Reach
Bus is generally the cheapest option but the train is more comfortable, especially for long-haul trips.
The main road crossing into Spain from France is the highway that links up with Spain’s AP7 toll way, which runs down to Barcelona and follows the Spanish coast south.
Euro lines and its partner bus companies run an extensive network of international buses across 26 European countries and Morocco. In Spain they serve many destinations from the rest of Europe, although services often run only a few times a week.
The principal rail crossings into Spain pierce the Franco-Spanish frontier along the Mediterranean coast and via the Basque Country. Another minor rail route runs inland across the Pyrenees from Latour-de-Carol to Barcelona. From Portugal, the main line runs from Lisbon across Extremadura to Madrid.
About the only truly direct trains to Madrid and Barcelona are the trenhoteles, which are expensive sleeper trains.
The passenger-train service Euro star travels between London and Paris, from where you can connect with trains to Spain.