Welcome to Tour Spain
The Spanish Travel Guide
Renowned for the decisive input it has had in developing so many countries across the globe, Spain has spread its language and culture far beyond Europe’s borders. From a visitor’s perspective, it is a country valued for its strong artistic inclination, enduring religious principles and ethos based on a merger of audacity and romanticism. An equally significant part of its character is the passion for celebration, which makes it welcoming to foreigners seeking to broaden their cultural experience.
Spain in situated in south western Europe and is part of a Latinised area known as the Iberian Peninsula, sharing borders with Portugal to the west, France to the north and to the south, the British dominion of Gibraltar. The country’s administrative system is fairly more complex than that of other European countries, as it is primarily divided into 17regions referred to as autonomous communities, which in turn encompass a total of 50 provinces. Besides its mainland territory, Spain comprises more than fifteen offshore islands which are intensely visited by tourists, among the most frequented being Ibiza, Tenerife and Fuerteventura.
The landscape of continental Spain is dominated by relatively high altitudes as the country is classed as predominantly mountainous, which applies to many of the surrounding islands as well.
Today, Spain’s economy relies heavily on tourism; the eligibility as one of the world’s most favoured tourist destinations is partly based on climate, which complements the country’s coastal position and many offshore territories, providing the perfect natural setting for attractive seaside resorts. Its climate varies between areas yet is principally Mediterranean, which entails a warm and dry aestival season, sought after by many visitors from countries such as the UK, where sunny weather is a rarity. Heat is evermore present in the south, where the climate is semiarid, determining many Brits to purchase land and build holiday properties there.
Spain’s progress and powerful changes throughout the centuries are fascinating to follow as they compile the influences of so many radically different occupiers. A presently democratic monarchy and member of the European Union, Spain has evolved through a journey of approximately 3200 years, according to the earliest traces of human habitation discovered.
Before being integrated into the Roman Empire, the mainland was inhabited by Celts and Iberians; the Roman conquest brought a certain level of standardisation with other Latinised territories through specific elements such as the Latin language and architecture. An interval of Visigoth domination ensued, adding a Germanic element to the already diverse local culture, intensified by the 8th century temporary Muslim rule, which once more radically changed societal rules.
The Middle Ages saw the drastic transformation of a once fragmented country into the world’s greatest economic and military power of its time, a status which lasted for almost two hundred years, throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. Through relentless expansion politics, new resources were constantly found; the country was also thriving due to increasing technological development.
It is common knowledge that Spain and the UK share a significant common trait (besides the pub culture and sash windows), which is a history of intense colonialism, resulting in the emerging of new, ethnically diverse nations – this is particularly notable in Latin American countries, where slightly different yet comprehensible Spanish dialects are spoken. The following centuries were marked by turbulence.
During the first half of the 18th century Spain faced a French invasion and a regime it strongly rejected. The 19th century, dominated by an economic downfall, ended with a ruinous war against the USA, as colonial dominions increasingly sought independence. A turbulent 20th century followed, and as a result of a civil war, propelled Spain into a fascist dictatorship which would last for decades.
Today, contrasting with the rigidness of its previous era, Spain has adopted a more relaxed approach to rights, privacy and lifestyle choices (for instance, it has decriminalised growing one’s own cannabis plants for private use, which makes its legal system more liberal than that of many European countries). The long period of leftist governing has resulted in a multicultural, egalitarian society, as well as the maintaining of a national health care system which is free to access by indigenous and foreign citizens alike.
The same applies to the educational system, which is free and accessible to any resident. In fact, Spain has got a family-oriented ethos and child rearing is by far less restrictive to youngsters compared to the UK, as due to frequent celebrations and holidays they often participate in late night activities without being impeded by a curfew culture. Those seeking to rent a property in Spain can rest assured that tenancy laws are designed towards protecting tenants’ rights, which leaves them less prone to unfair treatment.
In terms of basic symbolism, Spain is internationally associated with coastal sunbathing, bullfighting, distinctive dances and the Roman Catholic faith. In effect, its culture is multifarious and its attractions by far more wide-ranging. The country’s long and tempestuous history, merging ethnic elements of such varied origins, has left behind a rich legacy, its material remnants being observable everywhere, from ancient and medieval ruins to places of worship which are hundreds of years old.
The abundance of museums and art galleries, concentrated in urban areas, is auspicious for an enhanced educational experience for any visitor seeking a more thorough incursion into Spain’s past and best known artwork. Its vibrant nightlife and love for joyful celebration is very appealing to younger generations, which is precisely why the influx of young British tourists has risen considerably over the last few years.
There are numerous reasons for Brits to choose Spain as a holiday destination, aside from providing the classical affordable getaway for families or students with limited budgets. It is home to a wide range of striking landscapes, a captivating record of culture mergers and a progressive, hospitable nation.
Besides relaxing, sightseeing and participating in major events many tourists find inextricable from the Spanish lifestyle, there is a wide range of activities visitors can take delight in, according to the areas they choose to explore.
Concerts, opera and theatre
Eccentric local events
Fiestas and Ferias
Places of Worship