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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.
Madrid, Spain’s already beautiful, feisty capital is being further invigorated, the aim being a cosmopolitan centre to rival the world’s best. The development is not all bricks and mortar – Madrid is now officially one of the “greenest” cities in Europe...
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Freddie Mercury put it this way: Barcelona, Like a Jewel in the Sun. Stand beneath the incomparable Sagrada Familia, the church that extraordinary architect Antoni Gaudí began working on in 1882 and remains a work in progress.
The strum of a guitar, the clack of a flamenco dancer’s feet, a waft of orange blossom on a Mediterranean breeze. Andalucia, encircled by mountains and sea, is one of Spain’s most beguiling regions. Flamenco was born here, as was the guitar (and Antonio Banderas).
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Often overlooked in favour of Barcelona, Valencia is a rich cocktail of impressive architecture, lively streets and nightlife, with a refreshing lack of tourists. Here, you can drink horchata (a traditional drink made from tiger nuts, sugar and crushed ice) and eat paella.
In the Mediterranean Sea off the east coast of Spain sit the Balearic Islands. Majorca the largest island is a mix of resort towns and charming villages, white sandy beaches, fancy wines and cuisine. Menorca is great for families and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
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Spain’s north-western corner, pounded by the Atlantic Ocean and separated from France by the ramparts of the Pyrenees, is off the beaten track. During medieval times the town of Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral attracted throngs of pilgrims.
Are you planning your next trip to Spain? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Spain.
This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
Enquire below or pop in-store and talk to one of our travel experts today.
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