One of Spain’s predominant features is undoubtedly its diversity, visibly embodied by the linguistic and cultural differences between its many regions, essentially due to their dissimilar evolution throughout history. As their internal administration is based on a certain degree of independence, they are also referred to as autonomous communities, seventeen altogether and also partitioned into provinces.
Having survived and expanded through long eras of turmoil, many Spanish cities are dated back to prehistoric times in terms of original habitation, their grounds comprising vestiges of their foundation alongside avant-gardist constructions and modern facilities.
In terms of architecture, the fascinating blend of the old and the new, and everything in between, creates a unique, appealing character. Settlements dated back to the times of ancient Phoenicia, Rome and Carthage are of distinctive interest to anyone with a passion for the development of Europe.
The country’s offshore territories, as well as its mainland, show the corollaries of a succession of foreign dominations, the most notable as a consequence of medieval Moorish invasion. Spain’s most prolific architectonical styles include Romanesque, Gothic (particularly applying to places of worship such as cathedrals) and Baroque, most cities preserving archetypal examples of all three, alternating with Arabic designs.
A substantial part of Spain’s touristic sector is focused exclusively on coastal locations, where holiday makers from all over the globe find a refuge for a carefree break in the sun. Annually, the Spanish coast draws thousands of visitors, which is in itself a testimony of the sustained quality of the services they are provided with.
Spanish hotels are renowned worldwide for their high standards, which have never declined, and vary greatly in terms of price, in order to suit visitors on all levels of affordability. On mainland Spain, the shoreline areas are referred to as costas and include Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, Costa Dorada and others.
Spanish islands such as Ibiza, Mallorca, Tenerife and Fuerteventura are crowded all year round, boasting a vibrant atmosphere which is particularly dear to younger generations. Many are of volcanic formation and reach high altitudes, which combined with sandy beaches and densely populated plateaus, make up splendid views.
Moreover, most islands comprise protected natural areas such as nature reserves, nature parks and even World Heritage sites. Their geographical features provide auspicious conditions for practicing a wide range of sports, such as hiking, mountain biking, canyoning and rock climbing, as well as a multitude of water sports, such as sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing and paragliding. Diving is also an endeared activity in many locations, along with sea life observation.
Among the most intriguing aspect of becoming acquainted with Spain’s culture and events consists of witnessing or participating in local celebrations, many encompassing religious elements and more often than not, bizarre traditions one is bound to remember.
From national and regional holidays to small customary ceremonies indigenous to small settlements, Spain undoubtedly passes traditions from one generation to the next, regardless of their contrast with modern living, which is one of its captivating and indeed respectable features.
Concerts, opera and theatre
Eccentric local events
Fiestas and Ferias
Places of Worship