Spain or España is a beautiful and diverse country taking the most part of the Iberian Peninsula in the westernmost place of Europe. It is famous for having the largest number of World Heritage Cities as well as the second-largest number of World Heritage sites. It is an all time favourite for the best holiday destinations blessed with amazing natural beauty. It is not a surprise, with one of Europe’s longest and most beautiful coastline, a fascinating culture with an emphasis on good life, spoiled with delicious food and great local wines. Not to forget that Spain is renown to be the party capital of Europe, especially in the Southern Balearic Island of Ibiza.With a great weather all year round, Spain has become a favourite destination amongst European.
- About Spain: from Andalucia to Pamplona. Check out the latest hotel deals in Spain.
- Madrid: the unique capital. Check out the latest hotel deals in Madrid.
- Barcelona: the heart of Catalonia. Check out the latest hotel deals in Barcelona.
- Andalucia: the real Spain. Check out the latest hotel deals in Andalucia.
- Balearic Islands: Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza. Check out the latest hotel deals in the Balearic Islands.
- Canary Islands: from La Palma to Lanzarote. Check out the latest hotel deals in the Canary Islands.
- North-western Spain: Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria..
- Northern Spain: Basque Country, Navarre and La Rioja.
- North-eastern Spain: Cataluna and Aragon.
- Central Spain : Community of Madrid, Castile-La Mancha, Castile-Leon and Extremadura.
- Eastern Spain : Murcia and Valencia.
Spain has a relaxed and easygoing lifestyle, with a the perfect combination of great cuisine, top wine regions, idyllic beaches, world-famous folklore and a vibrant nightlife. From its capital Madrid in the heart of the country to the numerous beach destinations in Andalucia, passing by exciting cities such as Barcelona and world known festivities such as Pamplona the Running of the Bulls Spain really have it all. Not to forget the fabulous islands destination of the Balearic and Canary Islands ideal for a sun and sea holiday especially during the colder European months.
The country of Spain is divided into a number of autonomías or autonomous regions and two independent cities. Those regions can be grouped into Central, Northern, North-eastern, Eastern Spain and Andalucia provinces for the continental Spain and into Balearic and Canary Islands for the Spanish islands.
Madrid: the unique capital
Madrid is truly unique, mostly known to as the city of great monuments, world class museums as well as one of Europe’s football and nightlife capital. It is foremost a fantastic cultural destination with a great historic as well as artistic heritage. Indeed it is home to the best known art galleries such as the El Prado and Reina Sofia museums within the so called golden triangle of Art located along the Paseo del Prado. The amazing medieval center where most of the key attractions are located is a wonderful place to get lost along its narrow streets packed with terraced cafes and restaurants. At the heart of Old Madrid is the Plaza Mayor, an excellent starting point for a day of sightseeing or an evening with friends.
Madrid is not only a fantastic cultural destination but is also famous for being one of Europe’s most vibrant party cities pushing the limits of hedonism. Indeed this exciting metropolis has an abundance of bars, discotheques and live music clubs opened until the early morning. From La Latina district where you may enjoy succulent tapas to Huertas home of the famous live flamenco shows, passing by the party districts of Malasaña and Marula, Madrid is packed with great locations for an outstanding night out.
Barcelona: the heart of Catalonia
Barcelona is by far one of Europe’s more exciting cities. Located on the northern eastern part of Spain and capital of Catalonia it has a lot to offer its visitors, from the continent’s best-preserved Gothic quarters and fascinating Gaudi architecture to the beautiful beaches served by multiple underground stations. Barcelona is Spain’s most cosmopolitan city offering a variety of world cuisine including succulent Catalan dishes. The nightlife and music scene is also one of the most vibrant and their football team is known and supported around the world and. In short, Barcelona is perhaps the most equipped of all European cities will it be for arts, cultures, sport or lifestyle.
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Andalucia : the real Spain
Andalucia is the perfect destination to find the typical Spanish experience, from flamenco to Bullfighting passing by charming white washed towns, Picasso galleries and romantic sea ports. The region is blessed with a rich historical heritage composed of a variety of castles, palaces and cathedrals to be discovered. It is perhaps one of the Spanish region mostly influenced by medieval Islamic Spain with is grandiose architecture such as the fabulous La Alhambra Palace in Granada.
Andalucia is also world famous for being the place to find some of the most sought after coastal resorts from the popular and densely crowded Costa del Sol to the more rugged but beautiful Costa de Almeria.
Andalusia with more than 8 million people is the most populous, the second largest and often considered the most beautiful of all the Spanish regions. The region is divided into eight provinces including Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Córdoba, Malaga, Jaen, Granada and Almeria, with the largest city and capital being Sevilla. Andalusia is the southernmost Spanish region and is bordered to the west by Portugal and has on its southernmost tip the strategic British colony of Gibraltar which is separated from North Africa by just a few miles.
With a charming cultural heritage combined with the excitement of cities such as Malaga, Cádiz and Córdoba filled with the hippest bar and nightlife, as well as the idyllic natural wonders composed of various beaches and the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the backdrop, Andalucia remains one of the top places in the country to discover the real Spain.
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Top Andalucian cities
The following are the top cities in Andalucia in alphabetical order:
- Almeria is home to a variety of medieval remains and fortresses
- Cádiz is famous for being the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the Iberian Peninsula
- Córdoba is the ancient capital of an Islamic caliphate in the Middle Ages
- Granada is home to the magnificent La Alhambra Palace
- Huelva is a maritime port town with the oldest football club of Spain
- Jaen is the world’s capital of olive oil and a booming cultural tourism destination
- Malaga is a large harbour city right on the Costa del Sol
- Marbella is a wealthy resort town on the Costa del Sol, the play ground of the rich
- Seville is the capital and largest city of Andalucia, as well as home to flamenco
Top Andalucia Holiday destinations
The following are some of the top holidays destination from the Costa de La Luz facing the Atlantic to the eastern coast of America.
Costa de La Luz
The Costa de la Luz which can be translated to the Coast of Light is one of the westernmost region in Spain. It is part of the bigger Andalusia region and it is the only coast facing the Atlantic ocean. It extends from the Guadiana River in the North to Tarifa in the south along the Province of Cádiz of Huelva.
Costa del Sol
The Costa del Sol which can be translated to the "Coast of the Sun" is the most popular of all the coastal regions. It is set between less touristic Costa de la Luz to the East and Costa Tropical to the West and is part of the bigger autonomous community of Andalusia. It extend from Punto Chullera in the west to the cliffs of Maro in the East. What was once a land of small quiet fishing settlements, became in the last century, one of the most known holiday destination in the world. Indeed it has today become the land of major touristic hotels and resorts development, high rise apartments, restaurants, bar, nightclubs and many other touristic attractions.
The Costa Tropical is the eastern neighbour of popular Costa del Sol part of the larger Andalusia region. It is often referred to as “Costa de Granada” because of the importance of it s major city Granada. Unlike its resort developed neighbour, the Costa Tropical is made up mostly of agricultural zones and small resort towns and villages.
Costa de Almeria
The Costa de Almeria is 217 kilometres (135 mi) of wonderful Mediterranean coast, from Adra on the border with the province of Granada to the province of Murcia in the East. The land is blessed with a variety of beaches from the deserted ones within the Natural Parks to those enjoyed by numerous vacationers with golden sand and clear sea waters.
The Sierra Nevada is the highest mountain range in Spain offering a variety of beautiful ski holiday destinations. It is known to be Europe’s southernmost ski resort.
Balearic Islands : Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza
The Balearic Islands which are a set of islands in the Mediterranean sea, just South of mainland Spain offer some of the most beautiful beaches of the region as well as some of the most exciting parties in Europe. It is no wonder that numerous youngsters flock in each year to enjoy some cold sangria, a warm sea and hot sandy beaches.
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Top Balearic Islands Holiday destinations
Some of the top holidays places in the Balearic Islands include:
Palma de Mallorca, capital of the Balearic Islands, not only offers plenty of sunshine, a variety of bars, restaurants and shops but also a beautiful harbour and a historical centre. It is not wonder it is one of the most popular holiday destination in Europe particularly with British, Scandinavian and German tourists.
Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, with Palma city being the capital of the island as well as the capital of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands. It’s name is derived from Latin insula maior which can be translated to larger island.
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Menorca offers a more tranquil vibe compare to the other Balearics islands. Blessed with unspoilt natural beauty, it is the perfect place for a laidback beach vacation with more idyllic beaches to choose from than the total of Mallorca and Ibiza sandy spots combined
Its name comes from the Latin Insula Minor which can be translated to minor island as it is smaller than the nearby island of Majorca. It has a population of a bit less then 100k people and El Toro or Monte Toro is the highest point with 358 m/1174 ft above sea level.
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Ibiza is perhaps the most popular of all the Balearic Islands, being famous as one of the biggest party destinations in Europe especially during the summer, where clubbers can dance all night long at the various parties. Some of the most notorious clubs include Es Paradis, Eden, DC10, Amnesia, Space, Privilege and Pacha. As for Ibiza most famous bar it must be Café del Mar known for its chill-out music.
Parties and nightlife aside, Ibiza offers a variety of culture attractions such as the famous Ibiza district port, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ibiza is the third largest of the Balearic Islands and is located some 80km off the coast of Valencia. It has a population of some 111K inhabitants with this number increasing during the peak summer months. Some of its most important towns include Ibiza Town, San Antonio and Santa Eulària des Riu. Its highest point is Sa Talaiassa at 475 m/1,558 ft above sea level. The island along with Formentera are known as the "Islas Pitiusas" from the Greek word pitys meaning pine tree because of the abundance of those tree on the land.
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Canary Islands: from La Palma to Lanzarote
The Canary Islands is a group of island off the African western coast best known for their volcanic landscape and subtropical vegetations. This Atlantic region is blessed with unique natural beauty comprised of spectacular volcanic formations and a unique black sand on some of its lovely beaches.
The Canary region is divided into the following Islands from west to east:
- The Western Canary Islands: La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro
- Tenerife: a variety of attractions
- Grand Canaria: tropical north and resorts packed south
- Furteventura: beautiful beaches with a windy climate
- Lanzarote: volcanic formations and best beach holiday resorts
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North-western Spain: Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria
The North-western region of Spain includes the autonomías of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria.
Galicia is the western most region of Spain and is famous for its verdant landscapes and a dramatic coastline as well as being home to the medieval city of Santiago de Compostela, known as the end route of the legendary pilgrimage. The inland of Galicia includes a variety of charming villages and monasteries set across hills and forests. As for its breathtaking coastline such as the Rias Baixas it is where one will find the best beaches and resorts.
Asturias and Cantabria are part of the Spanish northern green region known for the abundance of forests, as well as home to the Picos de Europe mountain range at its heart and lovely bays and beaches towards the coast. Those two regions are blessed with a rich historical heritage with sights such as the famous Altamira caves with paintings dating back thousands of years or the beautiful medieval town of Santillana del Mar and Oviedo.
Northern Spain: Basque Country, Navarre and La Rioja
The Northern part of Spain which is home to the regions of Basque Country, Navarre and La Rioja, is one of the oldest and most interesting part of the Iberian peninsula. Indeed its lovely coast is blessed with amazing natural beauty from the Basque beaches to the Navarre Pyrenean foothills passing by a variety of cultural and historical attractions.
The Basque Country is known to be home to the world famous Museo Guggenheim in Bilbao as well as having a variety of picturesque towns along the coast. The city of San Sebastian is a perfect example blessed with a near perfect rounded bay and plenty of holiday resorts to choose from. As for the Navarre region it is best known for the excitement of its unique bull running festival in Pamplona. Finally La Rioja, it the smallest of all the Spanish regions but perhaps one of the most charming and famous around the world for its wine production.
North-eastern Spain: Cataluna and Aragon
The North-eastern Spain is home to two of Spain most beautiful and culturally diverse regions, Cataluna and Aragon.
Aragon is perhaps one of the lesser known region of Spain but offers perhaps one of the most breathtaking natural landscape in the country. Indeed from the spectacular views of the Pyrenean to the cliffs and canyons packed Ordesa National Park, it has some much to offer for nature lovers. The San Juan de la Pena monastery hidden in the heart of the mountains is also worth discovering
As for Cataluna its is one of the most visited regions in the Spain. Indeed, having the vibrant Barcelona at its heart combined with kilometres of idyllic coastline, makes it the perfect destination for a holiday destination. From the rugged beaches of Costa Dorada to the packed resort towns of Costa Brava, it has something for every taste and every budget. Catulana has also much to offer in cultural heritage with a variety of amazing sights to explore from the monastery of Montserrat to the charming roman city of Tarragona, passing by Figueres famous for being the birthplace of Salvador Dali, perhaps Spain most celebrated artist.
Some of the top holidays destinations in North-eastern Spain include:
- Costa Dorada
- Costa Brava
The Costa Dorada which can be literally translated to the "Golden Coast" is set within the beautiful province of Tarragona. It is situated south from Barcelona stretching over 200 kilometres between Cunit and the mouth of the Ebro River. This amazing coastal region is home to many great beach resorts, the Universal Port Aventura, the Aquopolis water park and trendy seafront towns with a vibrant nightlife.
The Costa Brava, which can be literally translated to the “rugged coast” is the further east of all the Spanish coastal regions. It is part of the province of Girona and stretches from Blanes, 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Barcelona, to the French border. It is the land of remarkable beaches and hidden villages along the coast, as well as a variety of historical and architectural sites worth discovering. One such example is the small towns of Cadaques near the French border where artist such as Picasso and Dali looked for inspiration.
Central Spain : Madrid, Castile-La Mancha , Castile-Leon and Extremadura
The Central Spain area is home to the Community of Madrid at its heart surrounded by Castile-Leon to the North , Castile-La Mancha to the East and South, and finally the less known Extremadura region to the West.
The Community of Madrid region includes the capital city of Madrid as well as other various places worth discovering such as the city of El Escorial to the West, the Monastery de Santa Maria de El Paular to the north and Chinchon city and the Palacio Real de Aranjuez to the South.
Castile-Leon located North of Madrid is the country’s largest region and is known for its gothic cathedrals, medieval castles and other historical sites. Indeed the province is home to the amazing cities of Leon and Burgos famous for their cathedrals, Segovia known for its roman aqueduct, as well as the medieval walls of Avila and the renaissance university city of Salamanca.
Castile-La Mancha situated to the South and East of Madrid is one of the largest region in Spain. It offers spectacular medieval towns such as Toledo as well as Cuenca and Alcala de Jucar where some of the houses are embedded into the rock of the hills.
As for Extremadura, one of the lesser known Spanish regions it is bordered with Portugal to the west, Andalucia to the South and the two Castile regions to the north and east. Being less dense then its neighbours it is the perfect place for nature lovers with a variety of birds, wildflowers and other wildlife to observe. Extremadura has also a couple of historical attractions including the Guadalupe monastery, the Roman Theatre in Merida as well as the renaissance mansions of Caceres.
Eastern Spain : Murcia, Valencia
The Eastern area of Spain which takes up half of the Spanish Mediterranean coast is divided between the larger Valencia region and the smaller province of Murcia to the South bordering Andalucia. It is one of the most touristic part of Spain blessed with a beautiful coastline and packed with a variety of resorts towns in the famous Costa Blanca and Costa Calida coastal regions. Will it be the hotel packed cities of Benidorm to the most secluded towns of Xabia, passing by the spectacular Mar Menor lagoon, it has plenty to offer for the ideal beach holiday.
The region has also its fair share of cultural sights, will it be in the heart of Valencia, known as the Art and Science city or with the unique baroque architecture of Murcia.
Top holiday spots
The top holiday destination in Eastern Spain include:
- Costa Calida
- Costa Blanca
The Costa Calida which can be translated to the "Warm Coast" is part of the province of Murcia and covers a more than 250 km long stretch of Mediterranean coastline. The region is blessed with a micro-climate with comparatively hot mean annual temperatures and a relative degree of aridity. The Costa Calida extends from the town of Aguilas in the south bordering the region of the Almeria province to El Mojon in the north near the province of Alicante.
Costa Blanca which literally means "White Coast" refers to over 200 kilometres of coastline from Pilar de la Horadada in the southern Costa Calida to Denia in the north. It is part of the Province of Alicante and includes the major tourist destinations of Benidorm, Alicante, Denia and Xabia. It is the land of beautiful beaches, clear blue waters and friendly local people, making it a much sought after destination especially with British and other northern European vacationers.