From the peaks of the Pyrenees to sun-scorched beaches and desert-like regions, Spain is a country of diverse landscapes. Enjoy this natural backdrop while you view eclectic architecture, sample regional food and be swept up in one of the country’s many festivals.
Throughout its 17 regions, Spain offers captivating scenery, exciting outdoor adventures and a relaxed atmosphere on its beautiful beaches. On a tour of this country you can travel through hilltop villages full of whitewashed houses, visit Moorish fortresses and Romanesque churches and see one of the world’s finest collections of art works.
Go on an architectural tour of some of Spain’s cities. Stroll around Barcelona’s Gothic quarter and marvel at Gaudi’s buildings. These include the spectacular Sagrada Familia, the unfinished basilica with an exterior that resembles dripping wax. In Granada, see the Alhambra, a Moorish palace-fortress, and relax in the scented gardens of the Generalife. Explore Plaza de España in Seville. While you are in the city, watch a flamenco show in Triana, one of the locations that claims to be the birthplace of this folk music and dance.
Culture lovers will relish the opportunity to visit the country’s museums and art galleries. Bilbao’s showpiece is the Guggenheim Museum, with its titanium roof and futuristic architecture. Study the works of Francisco de Goya and other Spanish artists in the internationally acclaimed collections of the Prado Museum in Madrid, the country’s capital city. Trace the evolution of the work of Spain’s most famous son at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.
Join the Spanish in their passion for outdoor pursuits. Enjoy a hillwalking expedition through the Picos de Europa National Park. Go skiing in the Pyrenees or in the Sierra Nevada mountain range above Granada. Cycle through the countryside on more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) of disused railway lines known as Via Verde.
The further south you travel in Spain the warmer the weather. Many resorts on the southern costas are year-round vacation destinations. Head for the beaches of the Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol. Although nudity is permitted on Spanish beaches, many who dare to bare stay in Vera Playa, home to the country’s first naturist hotel.
Go to Tarifa, on the Atlantic coast, for watersports. Strong winds throughout the year are perfect for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Tarifa is also Spain’s closest point to the African continent. Make time in your itinerary for the 35-minute ferry trip over to Tangier in Morocco.
Spaniards enjoy a busy calendar of festivals and celebrations, so it’s easy to time your visit with one of these events. Watch as Seville transforms during the week-long religious festival of Semana Santa leading up to Easter, pick a city along the coast to witness the Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) festival in June or be in Barcelona in September for the city’s biggest street party, La Mercè.