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Once upon a time Spain was the first global superpower. In the Americas, Africa and Asia Spanish is still spoken today. The Iberian Peninsula with its Atlantic and the Mediterranean coastlines was perfect for naval exploration, but today these coasts are even more perfect for holidays on the beach. Spain’s tourism industry is a very important part of the economy and is very well developed. Nearly a quarter of the more than 50 Million tourists every year are British, another 17% German. But if you really want to get to know Spain, you may want to avoid the obvious overdeveloped beach-and-party communities on the islands of Majorca and Ibiza and have a look at different sights. Just the wonderful cities will leave you impressed. Consider Barcelona as your first introduction to Spain. Go and see the Park Güell above the City and see the works of Antonio Gaudí first hand. Marvel at the Cathedral La Sagrada Familia, which is still under construction after nearly a hundred years. Fine sand beaches are just outside the city, stretching for several miles along the Mediterranean coast.
Go down that very coast, the Costa Brava and Costa del Sol, to arrive in Valencia, home of the world famous rice dish Paella. If you come in March, you may see the Fallas, a three week festival of fireworks and burning of wooden figures. If you are in the area in August, head to the little town of Buñol, where the world’s biggest food fight takes place, the Tomatina. Ten thousand people pelt each other with truckloads of tomatos for one slippery hour on the last weekend of August.Another great city to visit is Sevilla, where the Flamenco was born and is still honed and developed today. Granada and the world famous Alhambra, the great Palace of the Muslim rulers of the Middle Ages, shouldn’t be left out of your travel plans. Madrid, the capital and economic center in central Spain, is a city best to be explored in the spring as it is very hot during the summer month. Most famous is the cloister-castle of Phillip II, the Escorial. But to explore this city of seven million you may need quite some time. From here you can go to the northwest of Spain to see Santiago de Compostella, where the remains of the Apostle James are said to be buried. All over Europe is a network of pilgrim ways that lead here, known as the Way of St. James.
Now the Atlantic coast is near, and here you will find beaches and landscapes not yet overrun by the sun-hungry masses of central Europe. The Atlantic is also a much more active ocean than the Mediterranean, here you find great conditions for surfing. After so much culture and sightseeing, you deserve a lazy time on the most beautiful beaches. Go along the coast from Gijón to Santander and take your pick of beautiful beaches in a mountainous landscape. Further to the east lies Bilbao, capital of the Basque minority. Traditionally Bilbao is the city of metalwork and blacksmiths and an important harbor on the Atlantic coast. If you feel adventurous, the famous Bull Run of Pamplona happens in this area as well. That was just one suggestion of how to get the most out of your time in Spain, there are many more possibilities to enjoy this beautiful country. Don’t hesitate to book your ticket to Spain online right away!