It’s hard to ignore Spain as one of the largest holiday destination countries in Europe today. Equipped with thousands of years of history, world-class beaches, dependably sunny and pleasant weather, wine and food that brings in connoisseurs from around the world, and affordable stay options for travellers of every background, Spain is a sought-after destination today.
Whether you’re coming for the miles of beaches, the historically regarded cities, the theme parks, or one of Spain’s many engaging and interactive festivals, it’s hard to ignore the Spanish charm as it unfolds as the night goes down. Sit back and take in the Flamenco dancers, their vibrant clothing, the Moorish influence on architecture and castles standing to the south of the country, the rugged Costa Brava and Costa Dorada, and of course, the wine country. Do not leave Spain without first sampling wine from their world-class vineyards.
If you’re looking for a tropical, sun-soaked destination, look no further than the regions of Costa de Almeria, Costa del Sol, and Costa de la Luz, plus the Balearic Islands, like renowned Majorca, Menorca, Formentera, and of course, Ibiza. There’s also the Canary Islands to the west, for a more relaxed getaway, and some even lesser-known destinations of La Gomera or La Palma. Lastly, if you’re in the mood for an Instagram picture worthy of fame, try the white-sand beaches near Costa Blanca before you leave.
What makes all of this so amazing is that Spain’s slice of paradise is considerably more affordable than other European counterparts. Pack your sunscreen, and get ready to sail off into the sun’s encompassing warmth.
Things to know about Spain
- Formal name: Kingdom of Spain
- Population (est.): 48958159
- Capital city: Madrid
- Economy: 2. Developed region: nonG7
- Flag: 🇪🇸
- Currency: Euro Exchange rate: £1.00 to € 1.14
- Timezone: Europe/Madrid (UTC+1)
- Language: Spanish
Things to do in Spain
Spain carries a unique blended history, one in which the Middle Eastern influence of the Ottoman Empire crept up to the south, leaving behind a Moorish legacy that makes for some of the most breathtaking sights in the world. That’s why you must visit:
- Granada: Where one can find the Alhambra reddish walls with the white and blue interior design that lands it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation.
- Malaga: Birthplace to one of the world’s most famous painters, Pablo Picasso, Malaga plays host to 300 of his notable works, making it a desirable destination.
- Vitoria-Gasteiz: Sit back on the bar-crammed side streets, with waved wine glasses, Spanish chit chat, and street dancing that envelops 16th century palaces and gorgeous homes, evident of centuries past.
- Segovia: As part of the Roman Empire, Spanish tourists every single year pile into Segovia to get a stunning Roman view, from the perspective of a massive aqueduct. As another UNESCO World Heritage site, Segovia is a perfect place to take in what’s left of the Roman Empire.
- El Transcantábrico: A 400-mile rail that connects Leon and Santiago de Compostela, provides one of the most luxuriously breathtaking transportation activities in the entire world. Be sure to have your camera at the ready!
Other than that, Spain’s many historic and party-based cities are filled with restaurants, boutiques, wineries, clubs, and music venues that are so long and renowned, we could write an entirely different article just for them.
Spain is Europe’s sunniest country, enjoying on average 300 days of sunshine per year.
Although Spain can have its fair share of colder winter months, many times, patrons can rely on sunshine and warmth that will invite them into the water’s edge long into winter. The country has over 5,000 miles of coastline, with thousands of beaches that vary from tiny rocky coves to long strips of golden beach that melt into the sunset. The Telegraph even awarded the country the title of having the most beautiful beaches on the entire earth.
As we mentioned above: regions of Costa de Almeria, Costa del Sol, and Costa de la Luz, plus the Balearic Islands, like renowned Majorca, Menorca, Formentera, and of course, Ibiza are some of the most traveled beaches in the world today. If you’ve ever been to Spain, you know why! Try La Barossa on the South Coast, or Tenerife, Lanzarote, or Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands. Basically, you can plan a Spanish holiday wherever you want to go, and know that gorgeous coastline is within reach at any point.
Lastly, for the surfers, the Iberian coastline facing the Atlantic provides some of the best surfing opportunities in the world. There is literally something for everyone when it comes to the beaches of Spain. Do note: the sun is hot and directly exposing, which is why it’s wise to plan accordingly with the necessary materials to stay covered up and safe.
Food & drink
Romantic nations sure know how to whip up mouth-watering dishes, paired with locally sourced wine, for a sensory experience that is out of this world. Whether it’s spicy chorizo and iberico ham, or the manchego cheese sourced from Asturias where over 40 different original artisan cheese are made, your mouth is in for a serious experience in Spain.
Let’s not forget the seafood and paella! As one of Spain’s most famous dishes, this rice based seafood indulgence can be cooked on massive outdoor grill pans for all to see. Throw in shrimp crayfish, muscles, and more, with a mixture of Spanish rice and spices, followed by locally sourced vegetables. It’s an outdoor entertainment venture you won’t want to pass up.
While you’re out taking in the natural tastes of Spain, be sure to also try croquetas, cocido, tortilla, gazpacho, and pulpo á feira.
We would be remiss without mentioning sangria: as Spain is its official birthplace. Made with local wine, fruits grown right in the Spanish plains, and nectar seethed from local fruits, sangria is an adventure for the senses, pairing just the right amount of sweet with the natural bitter wine taste that so many know and love.
If sangria is too sweet for you, ask for the locally made red wine that can come from a variety of estates right in Spain. Look into booking local wine tours that will give you an in-depth view of the cultivation process that earmarks the unique vibrancy and tastes of Spanish wine.
Where do we begin? The Spaniards are a vibrant and raucous people, known for their late dinners, incessant dancing and singing, and laid-back attitude that comes from their constant sun exposure. If you’re looking to take a night out on the town, look no further than Spain’s most notable cities:
Of course, that’s just on the mainland. One of the hottest party cities in the entire world right now is Ibiza. As an Electronic Dance Music capital, DJs, singers, dancers, and models are constantly flocking to the Balearic Islands to have a piece of the pie. Dancing on beaches until dawning hours with DJ booths set up in the middle of pools – and even the ocean – it’s certainly a destination you must add to your Spanish outing.
As for the festivals, there’s La Tomatina, where people dress in white and absolutely annihilate one another with tomatoes, for an incredibly silly, yet unforgettable experience.
Do remember: Spaniards like to kick off their parties at 10PM and dance long into the morning hours. It’s worth shifting your sleeping schedule to accommodate for their later culture, which also doesn’t get going too early in the morning. It’s a nation where you are meant to truly relax.