Spain is unique in Europe. As a nation it is sophisticated and on the cutting edge of art and culture, while at the same time it embraces a relaxed and fun-loving lifestyle.
The landscape alone is reason enough to visit Spain. From the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Sol to the wild cliffs and coves on the Atlantic Ocean of the northwest as well as the Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa, Spain has mountains to rival any in Europe. The Sierra Nevada Mountain range with snow-capped peaks rise straight from the hot plains of Andalucia. It has several well developed ski resorts.
These mountains offer hiking and biking trails that are deep into wilderness with spectacular views and scenery. There is also canyoning, white water rafting and climbing. Driving the Atlantic coast is one of the most treasured scenic drives on the continent.
Throughout Spain are untouched villages that enjoy receiving visitors and serving timeless local cuisine like no other. Spain has always given special attention to food, and the people today reap the benefit. Paella, jamon, tapas and olive oil are the basis of many meals along with fine Spanish wine. Whether it is prepared in a Michelin-starred restaurant or in a local village café, it will be excellent.
Spain also has archaeological sites from ancient Rome as well as rare examples of Islamic architecture. The many cathedrals offer cool solitude in their magnificent interiors. It is saying something important for history seekers that after Italy, Spain has the most UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world. It has the most World Heritage Cities.
Art enthusiast will have more than enough to fill several holidays. Masterpieces by Salvador Dali, El Greco, Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez Pablo Picasso and many others are on view in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. In Barcelona, there is the Picasso Museum and the Salvador Dali Museum, which the artist himself designed. Antoni Gaudi architectural wonders are in Barcelona.
Majorca and the Canary Islands are also in Spain and they are holiday destinations in themselves. Famous for beautiful beaches, water sports, and a wild nightlife that lasts until dawn, these are the sites best suited for scuba diving.
Visitors also enjoy the Basque Country with fantastic food and wine. The Basques claim their language is the oldest in the world. Visitors can see San Sebastian, the upscale resort and Bilbao, famous for the Guggenheim Bilbao museum.