Spain is a wonderfully varied country to visit. It has a rich mixture of landscapes ranging from the breathtaking Pyrenees to the vast expanse of beaches, to the rugged coastal cliffs along the Northwest. There are a huge range of places to visit with so many sites of historical and cultural interest, together with the warmth and friendliness of Spanish people.
Spain Car Hire
By using the booking form below, you can get a free car hire quote or book your car directly with any of the leading car hire suppliers in Spain, which include, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Firefly, Hertz, InterRent, Sixt and others.
Spanish Arts and Architecture
Spain has many beautiful cities to visit. The Capital, Madrid, has cathedrals, churches and lots of medieval architecture to admire, together with many interesting museums and restaurants. Museo del Prado in Madrid is considered one of the world’s most prestigious art galleries, with pieces by artists such as Goya, Velazquez, Rubens, Bruegel, Van Dyke, Bosch, Rafael and Gainsborough, to name but a few.
Museo Guggenheim, Bilbao house contemporary and modern art. The building itself is considered an extremely important work of architecture with its highly original and stunning design.
Barcelona, on the north east coast, and Spain’s second largest city, will appeal to art lovers with it’s amazing Gaudi modernist art and architecture. Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, with it’s combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau styles, is stunning whatever your taste in architecture. Barcelona also has a great night life with many chic bars and restaurants to choose from.
In Granada, Andalusia, with its rich Moorish history, you can visit the district of Albaicín, which is a World Heritage Site with its Muslim medieval streets and buildings. There is also the beautiful Alhambra, a stunning palace and fortress steeped in Muslim history.
The Flamenco music and dance of Spain is known worldwide, and where better to sample the authentic Flamenco than in Andalusia, Southern Spain where it originated. The characteristic style with its guitar and finger snapping is always popular among the locals and visitors alike. Seville is a great place to experience this distinctive genre with its vibrant performers.
The Spanish Landscape
Spain’s variety of landscapes include Sierra Nevada with its beautiful snow capped mountain peaks where you can trek or ski. The mountain range of the Pyrenees are outstanding and form a natural border between Spain and France. It has a vast range of peaks and long stretches of woodland and forests. There are beautiful lakes, rivers, streams and and many mountain torrents forming tall waterfalls.
There are also many hot springs. You can hike, ski, climb, mountain bike, canoe or even try your hand at white water rafting. There so many beautiful natural landscapes in these regions to explore and take in the amazing beauty of the scenery.
If it’s beaches you want, then Spain offers a huge choice. In Águilas, Murcia, there are many pretty coves contrasting with its craggy cliffs. In Playa del Silencio, Oveido, the pretty beach is quiet with tranquil waters, and is perfect for snorkelling. Mundaka Beach in Biscay is great for surfing with its big waves, or at Es Trenc Beach there is a long expanse of shallow water, making it popular for families with children. Playa de Las Catedrales in Galicia, northwest Spain has beautiful rock formations to admire. The province of Huelva has a coastline of beautiful wide beaches of white sands. Pine trees and sand dunes add to the character, and the beaches are not over developed, making them popular with more local holidaymakers.
The region of Andalusia has large areas of nature reserves and the National Parks of Doñana and Sierra Nevada. In the natural parks there are wetlands, forests, deserts, steppes, woodland, caves, rock formations, salt marshes and a varied coastline, making them wonderful places to watch wildlife and see the beautiful natural landscape, perfect for lovers of nature. Nearly all the areas of the natural parks can be accessed by anyone, with some needing prior permission before entering because of risk of disturbing bird nests or starting forest fires. The National Park of Doñana is mostly accessed with a tour guide. Andalusia also has the longest hours of sunshine in Spain, which is popular with everyone.
Spanish meals typically include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and garlic and olives are used a lot in dishes. Cheese, eggs, nuts, beans and bread and soups are popular, and fish and seafood is eaten widely along the coast. The Spanish are very sociable people and love to share their meals together. They take their time eating their food and talking together and there’s never a rush to leave as soon the meal is over. The largest meal of the day, La Comida, is often around midday, with several courses.
Many of their meals are cooked as a large mixture of fresh food in one large pot and shared between everyone. A famous Spanish dish is paella, a rice dish which originated in Valencia on the east coast of Spain. Paella recipes can vary but with the rice ingredients can include chicken, pork, fish, shellfish, peas, beans. Saffron is an important part of the dish and adds the distinctive flavour and lovely gold colour, and the dish is all cooked in a large flat pan for sharing.
Tapas are very popular in Spain. They are snacks which are most often eaten mid-morning, but can be enjoyed anytime. Tapas can be hot or cold, canapes, on small dishes and can include any type of food. They are served in most cafes and bars in Spain and have become part of Spain’s culture.
Coffee is widely enjoyed in Spain and commonly the Spanish will end their meals with a coffee. Cafe con leche is coffee with milk and cafe solo is without milk. Wine is widely drunk with meals in Spain, whether at home or in a restaurant. Spain prides itself on its home produced wines and many parts of Spain have a climate perfect for wine making. It produces the third biggest amount of wine in the world. Some of the main wine regions include Rioja, Ribera del Duera and Cava.
Spain is rich is history, culture and natural beauty and will always be a great country to visit, whatever type of holiday you are looking for.
Map of Madrid, Spain
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