Spain is a diverse country in Mediterranean Europe, sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. Once the centre of a global empire with colonies in Central and South America, and the Philippines, contemporary Spain has overcome civil war and fascism in the 20th century to stand proud and centred in it. With great beaches, fun nightlife, many cultural regions and historic cities, Spain makes a great destination for any kind of trip.
A country of large geographical and cultural diversity, Spain is sometimes a surprise to people who know its reputation for great beach holidays. There is everything from lush meadows in the Northern provinces, snowy mountains to almost desert in the South.
Mallorca and Majorca are, contrary to popular belief, the same place. Early mass tourism to this idyllic Mediterranean island began in the 1950s and for years Mallorca was seen as a cheap package tour destination. Not any more. Majorca has cleaned up its image and whatever holiday you are looking for the island can provide. From exclusive villas in secluded getaways to the beer and chips culture of the resorts, Mallorca has it all.
The most popular resorts lie around the bay of Palma and each one is often preferred by a particular nationality, for example, Sarenal is more popular with German tourists whilst Magaluf and Palma Nova are more often frequented by Brits. The north tends to offer more exclusive options with Puerto Pollensa a popular destination for villa holidays.
Geographically the island offers stunning scenery and its interior is one of the jewels of the Mediterranean with quaint villages, spectacular mountains and hidden bays rarely discovered by the typical tourist. The drive through the Serra de Tramuntana from Soller to Port dAndratx one of the most beautiful excursions you will ever experience. The capital of Mallorca is Palma which is just a few minutes from the airport. It has a beautiful historic centre dominated by an enormous Gothic cathedral. Many visitors never make it to the city and miss one of the islands main attractions.
- Costa Blanca
Costa Blanca takes up the stretch of Mediterranean coast that corresponds to the province of Alicante, a great example of what is known as Mediterranean landscape. The most visited place by tourist is Benidorm.
Located in the middle of the La Marina Baixa region, Benidorm is one of the main tourist destinations on the Costa Blanca, thanks to its excellent beaches, as well as the wide range of accommodation, restaurants and recreational activities offered. Its historic quarter, which sits on a promontory, is in great contrast with the wide avenues lined with buildings, shops and terraces, all along the coastline.
- Costa Del Sol
Costa del Sol takes up about 300 kilometres of the Mediterranean littoral that corresponds to the province of Malaga.
Protected from the northern winds by a mountain chain that in some parts comes down to meet the sea, this sheltered coast is shaped by a succession of extensive beaches, coves almost hidden between cliffs, marinas and anchorage for fishing. The mild climate, infrequency of rainfall and the sea breeze make for semitropical vegetation in which palm and cypress trees, bougainvillaea, oleander and hibiscus are common. The proximity of such different landscapes -the mountain, the valleys blanketed in vegetable gardens and the sea- is, without a doubt, one of the greatest attractions of this coastline which combine all the appeal of the Mediterranean landscape and culture.
Residential areas, marinas, golf clubs, entertainment centres, nightclubs and many more tourist attractions have been built around and now coexist within the peaceful ambience of country villages, which have astonishingly conserved their traditional town centres. Summer beach holidays and is not, however, the only attractions offered by the Costa del Sol: you will have the chance to uncover the most genuine, authentic features of the Andalusian culture very close by.
You can also experience the lively and popular celebrations. The fiestas, Easter parades, song contests and the bull runs without a doubt claim first place on the list of recommendations for travellers who want to see beyond what first meets the eye. Tasting country wines in the intimate cellars of yore and having some traditional fried fish (cooked to perfection by the local folk) are some of the temptations that will seduce all visitors, specially those that prefer the wonders of local gastronomy over the ever-present international fare.
Barcelona has become Europes most popular short break destination thanks to its superb location on the Mediterranean, its vibrant street life, fascinating Gaudi architecture, superb cuisine and its world famous football team.
In a weekend you will get a taste for the magnificent Catalan capital which will have you wanting to return over and over again.
Most visitors stay in accommodation near the Ramblas and in the Gothic Quarter to the east. This is a fine base from where you can explore the citys sights by day including Gaudis masterpiece, the unfinished Sagrada Família Cathedral, and Parc Güell in the north. If you are lucky FC Barcelona might be playing at home and you can watch a match at the 98,000 seater Nou Camp stadium.
In the evening there are plenty cafés and restaurants around the Ramblas but you might like to head down to the harbour to dine at Port Olímpic or in a traditional paella restaurant in the Barcelonese area.
Madrid, Spain’s capital, is a cosmopolitan city. Its position as a centre for economics, finance, administration and services combines the most modern infrastructure with an important cultural and artistic heritage, the legacy of centuries of fascinati
Madrid is the geographical centre of the Iberian peninsular, 646 metres above sea level. Its old town is exemplary among major European cities, and blends harmoniously with the most modern and convenient of urban infrastructure. Madrid offers a broad range of accommodation and services along with the most advanced audiovisual and communication technology. All this, combined with the momentum of a society that is dynamic and open, and at the same time warm and welcoming, has turned this metropolis into one of the western worlds great capitals.
Nobody is really sure when the Madrileños sleep. It may be the afternoon siesta that gives them the endurance to keep things going well into the night. Try it. It is the best city of Spain.
Few cities are, like Valencia, able to combine so harmoniously remains from remote periods, as far away as 138 B.C., with the most modern, avant-garde buildings to be erected in the new millennium. Valencia equals commerce, culture, cinema, theatre, museums, music, and business. It is a place for international and avant-garde design and one of the most attractive cities in Europe when it comes to fairs and conventions. Thanks to its location, Valencia has been the Spanish gateway to the Mediterranean, with the special charm that seaport cities have. The fine sand and crystal waters, the vastness of the open sea, and the proximity of the coastal mountain range lend the Valencia coast a unique appeal.
For years Ibiza has been known as the party island of the world but Ibiza has so much more to offer and normally visitors that goes for a party come back in owe about other things Ibiza has given them.
With coves and long beaches, many of which are surrounded by luxurious pine groves, mark the coast of Ibiza. We also find numerous isles that have their own endemic flora and fauna, making up a very interesting ecosystem that is presently under protection. As part of the coast of Ibiza, we must mention the remarkable Seas.
Menorca has a steep coast that offers the visitor a number of small, beautiful coves, as well as long sandy beaches. There is also a portion of the Menorcan coast that was declared a Nature Reserve, due to its environmental importance.