Spain Travel Guide
An overview of Spain - from major hotels, attactions and localities to climate and weather information.
Most of Spain’s cities are well visited due to its vibrant culture and historical background. Madrid, the country’s capital, has several excellent museums and an intense nightlife while the modern architecture, cultural nightlife and beaches of Barcelona can be enjoyed by all. The famous Guggenheim Museum is located in Bilbao, historic sites can be found in Spain’s oldest city of Cadiz, and one of the world’s most impressive buildings known as the Grand Mosque can be found in Cordoba. Also worth visiting is the picturesque city of Seville which is home to the world’s largest cathedral.
Spain offers many attractive beaches which are quite popular among summer vacationers. The volcanic Balearic and Canary Islands offers exciting water sports adventures including boating and sailing, diving, snorkelling and surfing, while places like Valencia have very fine beaches. The islands also offer a beautiful tropical setting with sunshine all year round. The stunning beaches of the Spanish coasts are well sough after in summer and include places like the Costa Brava, the Costa Daurada and the Costa del Maresme, Costa del Azahar, Costa Calida and the inland salt lake of Mar Menor in Murcia. The Andalusian coastal areas are very beautiful as well.
During the winter, Spain offers a lot in terms of skiing and winter sports where places such as Granada with the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the famous La Alhambra, the Pyrenees, the Sistema Central and the Sistema Ibérico all with alpine environments provide adventurous activities during the cold months. Canyoning, climbing in Los Mallos and white water sports in Aragon can also be enjoyed.
There are quite a few wonderful theme parks including natural areas in Spain. These include the breathtaking Port Aventura with its green spaces and exciting events in Catalonia and the well known Terra Mitica in Benidorm. The Terra Mitica is divided into five zones namely Egypt, Greece, Rome, Iberia, and the Mediterranean Islands, each section highlighting major aspects of the country it represents. Beautiful water parks ideal for families can be found in the country as well. The lush green spaces of Northern Spain are a nature lover’s paradise. Eco tourism flourishes in areas like the Ordesa Valley, the Picos de Europa National Park and the Doñana National Park with many others.
Spain has thirteen intriguing World Heritage cities including Salamanca, Ibiza, San Cristobal de Laguna, Tarragona and Segovia. Among the numerous heritage sites are places like the Poblet Monastery, the archaeological ensemble of Mérida, Pyrenees-Mont Perdu, the archaeological complex of Tarraco, the Roman Walls of Lugo and Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza along with the Vizcaya Bridge, Teide National Park and the Tower of Hercules. Madrid has its fair share of historical and cultural complexes. The architecture of the Plaza de Cibeles in the city and the Sagrada Família Temple in Barcelona as well as El Capricho in Cantabria should not be missed. Among the country’s most visited museums are the Prado Museum, the Dali Theatre Museum, Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art and the Picasso Museum. Also worth visiting are the Valencia Institute of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Castile and Leon Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chillida Leku Museum.
There are many excellent places for entertainment in Spain including cinemas, theatres, show grounds and high energy cultural events. Madrid and Barcelona are the main cities for a lively nightlife with clubs like the Kapital in the former and Pacha and Razzmatazz in the latter. These cities in addition to the Balearic Islands are superb destinations for partying and fun. Spain’s amazing restaurants and cuisines should not be missed. Popular festivals include Córdoba en May and Las Cruces in May, the Festival de Patios, Valencia’s festival known as Fallas in March and San Fermines in July. There is also the exciting and colourful Fiesta de San Isidro in Madrid, the Cranival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Cádiz, Moors and Christians in southern Spain and the giant tomato fight known as La Tomatina in Bunol.
Spain has at least five major climatic types in addition to the cold winter climate of its mountainous regions. The inland peninsula areas such as Madrid experience a Continental Mediterranean climate typified by cold, dry winters and warm summers while an Oceanic climate is experienced in the area known as Green Spain which encompasses Bilbao and the Bay of Biscay coastal zone. To the south east in Murcia a semi arid or arid Mediterranean climate is experienced. The Canary Islands boast a sunny sub tropical climate.
Spain is home to many extravagant five star Spanish style hotels. There are several holiday homes, apartments and villas and camp sites on the islands and coastal areas while the winter resorts have quite a few luxury hotels and winter chalets. Further inland you can take advantage of farm stays and increase your experience of traditional Spain. Among the grandest hotels in the country are the Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona, the Hesperia Madrid, La Bobadilla in Granada and the Gran Melia Don Pepe in Malaga. The beautiful 19th century architecture of Hotel Santo Mauro in Madrid will be appreciated by all. The capital is also the home of the impressive Westin Palace Madrid and the Hotel Ritz. The luxuriant setting of the Marbella Club Hotel Golf Resort and Spa, the Gran Melia Fenix and the Hotel Botanico in Tenerife allows one to enjoy the country in the finest style. Spain offers a multitude of exciting opportunities for those seeking wild pleasure and entertainment, and a relaxing haven for those in need of rest and rejuvenation.
http://www.spain.info/index.html?l=en : Official Tourist Website with all the necessary information