As the most southern province of Spain, Andalusia is famous for flamenco, bullfighting and tapas, but it also boasts the splendours of the Muslim period; palaces, gardens and mosques blend seamlessly with the riches brought back from the Americas in Córdoba, Granada and Seville. White villages or pueblos blancos and Moor castles can be seen on the Sierra Nevada, while the beaches of the sunsoaked region of the Costa Del Sol are also a treat.
World-renowned historical cities, monasteries, cathedrals and museums make Spain a historical and cultural hotbed. Partner that with snow-capped Sierras and sun drenched Costas, you'll find a corner of the country that suits your perfect idea of a getaway.
The country oozes flare and each province has its own unique identity seeped in history and tradition. Get whisked off your feet by the flurry of a flamenco dancer's dress and the clack of her castanets in Andalusia, take a stroll round the quaint plazas of Spanish villages, explore divine caves and seascapes in Asturias or tour the archeological sites around Castille-Léon. Great quality Spanish food and a glass of sangria can be found wherever you stay. However each region's identity is stamped with its signature dishes, such as the fresh calemares from the Galician sea, paella in Valencia and cured ham in Salamanca.
For many, Spain's priceless attribute is the leisurely pace of life, which makes for an exceptionally therapeutic break. Afternoons are spent basking in the sun amongst friends or family, or in the cool of an air-conditioned bar or restaurant savouring your tapas. However, come sunset and the night is set ablaze with dancing to Latino rhythms that will show you the true meaning of a Spanish fiesta. So what are you waiting for? Travel to Spain and viva España!
Spain invites you to explore its bountiful regions - whether you do so in numerous trips or attempt them all in one go is up to you! Its diversity is astonishing: from snow-capped sierras to deserts which stretch as far as the eye can see, to jam-packed coasts or cities offering a chunky slick of culture. The large cities, in particular, are unavoidable and the capital, Madrid, is a must-see destination. Before departing for further horizons, take a stroll through its historical centre to the Mayor Plaza, or spend the better half of your day at the National Prado Museum of art. For your fill of Madrid's sporting offerings, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with avid Real fans at the Santiago-Barnabéu Stadium! Barcelona, meanwhile, is Spain's ultimate weekend destination. Visitors to the city weave in and out of the magnificent architecture of Antoni Gaudí; such as the renowned Sagrada Familia, his unfinished masterpiece, or the Park Güell. Beyond the cities, Spain is more than accommodating for nature-lovers. The adventurer has the desert regions of Tabernas and Bardenas Reales to choose from, as well as numerous national parks veiled in thick forests, lakes and mountains. Others may brave Spain's most isolated places, in order to better understand the cultures unique to each region. For a relaxing holiday, choose the sun-kissed coasts in summertime, such as those of the Costa Brava or Costa del Sol. The Canary and Balearic archipelagos will bring a touch of the exotic to your break. But it's Andalucia which wins our hearts hands down. Travellers rarely return home without beautiful memories of the winding roads to Ronda, the walls of Granada's Alhambra palace tinted red at sunset, the snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, a walk to the mouth of the Guadalquivir river or, of course, the unfaltering beauty of Seville with its flamencos and active bull-fighting tradition.There's never a bad time to visit Spain, with a year-round temperate climate. Its winters can nevertheless be a shock to the system in some regions, and the summers suffocating, particularly in Madrid. Spring and Autumn are pleasant, though, as a general rule, the best months are June and September.
Spaniards have lunch around 2:00pm and dinner after 9:00pm. Most shops will close in the afternoon for 'siesta.' Evenings are long and can last until dawn. The locals have a strong sense of partying and the streets often stay animated until late into the night. Levels of eating, drinking and partying reach new heights during a festival or fiesta, and every woman, child, man and his dog gets in the spirit! Family remains the foundation of social organisation, although modernity has challenged those values to some extent.
Spain is one of those rare countries where spending hours searching for gifts can actually be a pleasure. You may even come back with a genuinely 'authentic' souvenir! At the crossroads of numerous civilisations, Andalusia overflows with artistic offerings. In particular, it's known for its ceramics, crafted by the hands of local artisans who take inspiration from the region's Muslim heritage. They'd no-doubt find a place in your home. You'll also find guitars, flamenco dresses, decorated fans and even castinets. Something for all the family! Seville, meanwhile, is known for its mantilla available in silk or lace, this is a piece of clothing which women traditionally wear during Holy Week. Cordura, is known for its leather, strips of which make attractive wall-hangings, and for its jewellery. For beautiful pearls, head to Majorca of course! Each region is equally inspiring for its unique treasures and visitors will always be able to find something to take home with them; culinary or otherwise!