Beneath the vibrant and explosive facade of Spain lies a nation erupting with history, heritage and culture. Wild, passionate and charming all at once, it’s got character and stylish flair.
Spain’s diverse landscapes stir the soul. The Pyrenees and the Picos de Europa are as beautiful as any mountain range on the continent, while the snow-capped Sierra Nevada rises up improbably from the sun-baked plains of Andalucía; these are hiking destinations of the highest order. The wildly beautiful cliff s of Spain’s Atlantic northwest are the scene for some of Europe’s most spectacular drives, even as the charming coves of the Mediterranean are still the continent’s summer destination of choice; despite decades of overdevelopment, numerous unspoiled corners remain. And everywhere you go, villages of timeless beauty perch on hilltops, huddle in valleys and cling to coastal outcrops as tiny but resilient outposts of Old Spain. Food and wine are national obsessions in Spain and with good reason. You may experience the best meal ever over tapas in an earthy bar where everyone’s shouting or, over a meal prepared by a celebrity chef in the refined surrounds of a Michelin-starred restaurant. Either way, the breadth of gastronomic experience that awaits you is breathtaking. Spain’s story is told with endless creativity through its arts and architecture it becomes clear that Spain’s future will be every bit as original as its past. For all such talk, this is a country that lives very much in the present.
This beautiful city is full of what European cities are known for, outdoor markets, busy restaurants, shops, museums and churches. It is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations. The core centre of town, focused around the Ciutat Vella which provides much enjoyment for those looking to experience the life of Barcelona while the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation during the long summer months that are filled with blue skies and delightfully warm weather.
The capital of Spain is a cosmopolitan city that combines the most modern infrastructures and new architecture with a large cultural and artistic heritage with a legacy of centuries of history. The culture of Madrid has been dominated by its Royal history, as the centre of the Spanish Empire. The city though plentiful in medieval architecture and steeped with historic buildings such as the Royal Palace, enormous cathedrals and churches, Madrid is now full of numerous shops, street markets and shopping centres to entice visitors of all ages offering everything from fabulous antiques to the very latest designs. You can sample a wide variety of the finest Spanish and international cuisine or be enchanted by its bars and taverns. Madrid's happening nightlife is another major attraction. Its pubs, bars, discos and flamenco clubs have a tremendous party atmosphere by night, while by day there are traditional verbenas (open-air dances).
Santander & Bilbao
Santander is an elegant city which extends over a wide bay with views of the Cantabrian Sea. Its historic quarter includes a group of majestic buildings which are situated against an incredible natural backdrop of sea and mountains. Its marine and commercial tradition is linked to a century old history of tourism, which has its main attractions in the famous El Sardinero beach, the promenade and the La Magdalena peninsula. The cultural wealth of the Cantabrian capital is enriched with the passage of the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela and the neighbouring Altamira Caves, both of which have been declared World Heritage.
Bilbao is the heart of a metropolis where more than a million people live. It is the centre of the economic-social development and the main factor of the modernisation of the Bay of Biscay. The city is situated in the area of Bizkaia and is surrounded by a fertile landscape with forests, mountains, beaches and steep coasts. The city is home to prestigious restaurants which offer dishes ranging from traditional cuisine to the most avant-garde culinary creations. The cultural activities in Bilbao are irresistible, with two of the best art galleries in Spain, six theme museums and contemporary art exhibitions. The shopping centres and shops of Bilbao are full of antiques, typical ceramics, exquisite cakes and pastries or the latest fashions. All this makes Bilbao a privileged destination for visitors. The modern transport and network of roads run to locations nearby such as the other capitals of the Basque Country - Vitoria and San Sebastián.
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Belgium - Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent.
Channel Islands - Alderney, Guernsey, Jersey.
Denmark - Copenhagen, Dyrehavsbakken.
England - Liverpool, London, Portsmouth.
France - Boulogne, Calais, Lille, Paris, Reims.
Germany - Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich.
Ireland - County Kerry, Dublin, Galway.
Spain - Barcelona, Madrid, Santander & Bilbao.