Spain

About Spain

Spain is more than bullfights, flamenco dancers and crowded beaches. It's a spectacular and diverse country, the north resembling the rolling, green hills of Ireland and the south giving you a taste of Moroccan landscapes and architecture. Its tremendous history is reflected in its prehistoric cave paintings, Moorish palaces, crumbling castles, Roman ruins, Gothic and Renaissance cathedrals as well as some very unique modern architecture. The uniqueness of Spain lies in the separate kingdoms which made up the original Spanish nation. These regions remain diverse in their language, culture, cuisine and art. These regions include: Andalucía, Aragon, Asturias, Basque Country, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Cantabria, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León, Catalonia, Extremadura, Galicia, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra and Valencia. Areas of interest are not limited to each region, here are some highlights:

Beaches

Excellent and quiet beaches can be found near Malaga, Huelva and Almería in the south as well as near the coasts of La Manga, Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Euskadi. If you do enjoy extremely developed resort towns, there are plenty of crowded beaches on the Costa de la Luz and the Costa del Sol. Interesting is the harbour of Almerimar with cosy bars, just south of El Ejido (Almeria).

Very unique architecture can be found in Córdoba, Salamanca, Granada, Toledo, Madrid... The visionary architecture of Antoni Gaudí and the Picasso museum are in Barcelona while Madrid is home to Spain’s top three art museums.

Countrysides

If you would rather get some fresh air, Spain is filled with opportunities to visit wildlife parks as well as trekking. The Pyrenees, especially around the Aragón area, are the best areas for trekking. Andalucía has its Sierra Nevada mountain chain with luxurious skiing resorts near Granada. Ski-sports are possible from November up to May. Between Guadix and Baza (famous horsemarket) one can find cave-dwellings, cave hotels, and beautiful natural parks. North and between these towns still are unexplored desert sceneries, with hamlets not even found on maps! The highway infrastructure in this "wild" part of Andalucia is excellent.

Social culture

Spanish people are very open-hearted and comunicative. You won't have any problems to get to know someone, especially in the big cities like Madrid or Barcelona. It's often said that the Spanish living room is the bar where the people usually spend a lot of time in the mornings and in the evenings.

Linguistic diversity

Not only Spanish is spoken in this country, but five languages and a lot of dialects. In Catalunya on the northern coast to the Mediterranean Sea people speak català; in Valencia and its region, people speak Valencià; in Basque Country in the north of Spain people speak euskera (which isn't even a indoeuropean language); in the west in Galicia is spoken galego and in the rest people normally speak castellano (Spanish).

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