A mention of Spain conjures up vivid colour, stirring music, passionate people, a history both glorious and tumultuous, and a fusion of ancient and new. About 500 years ago Spain was a world power and the home port of famed explorers such as Columbus and Cortés. Before that, for 800 years, Spain was ruled by the Muslim Moors. These events have left an indelible mark on Spain – glorious cathedrals and castles built on great wealth, and the stunning Islamic architecture left behind by the Moors in Andalucia.
For today’s travellers Spain offers the cosmopolitan delights of cities such as the capital Madrid, extroverted Barcelona; and the fabled trio of Andalucian cities – Córdoba, Seville and Granada – with their palaces, mosques and gardens. Regional pride is immensely strong – in the north immerse yourself in the distinctive cultures of the Basque, the Pyrenees and the Catalan regions.
It’s a vast land; slow down, choose a few destinations and follow the Spanish way – revel in the sunshine and relish their art treasures, then siesta to save your energy for evenings, cruise the tapas bars and be drawn into the flamenco.