There are many reasons why Spain is our favorite travel destination. Here are 12 reasons.
Spain has experienced a large increase in the number of visitors this year, with a twelve percent increase in arrivals to the country’s airports between January and June. The growth is partly due to uncertainty in other tourist destinations with the terrorist attacks in other European countries and in Africa. The tourist boom has pushed the unemployment in Spain down to the lowest level in seven years. But there are many more reasons other than the fact that Spain is a safe destination.
1 – The Sun
“The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”, if it rains at all. Spain is statistically Europe’s sunniest country. Along the Mediterranean coast there are usually more than 300 sunny days a year, on the Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca the average is 320 days of sunshine.
2 – The wonderful cities
Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Cordoba, Granada and Málaga. Many world cities “that you must visit” are located in Spain. From the cultural and majestic capital Madrid to the trendy Catalan city of Barcelona. From the narrow alleys of Granada’s gypsy quarter to the sun at Muelle Uno in Costa del Sol’s capital Málaga. There is guaranteed a city for everyone.
3 – The Moorish legacy
Don’t forget Granada, where the Alhambra is located. The beauty of the Moorish palace and its gardens, located on a hill overlooking Granada. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. One can see clear traces of the Moors in large parts of Andalusia, both in terms of architecture, cities names, music and gastronomy.
4 – The big cultural personalities
Spain is a major cultural exporter. We can mention the surrealist Salvador Dali (Visiting Teatro Museo Dali in his hometown of Figueres is a must). The architect Antoni Gaudi, who designed the unfinished Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and a number of other projects. Artist Pablo Picasso was born in Malaga and there is a museum with about 300 of his works. – To mention a few.
5 – Europe’s and the world’s best beaches
With more than 7.900 km of coastline, of which 4,900 are on the Iberian Peninsula. Spain has the longest total coastline of all the European countries. 586 of Spain’s beaches have been awarded the quality label “blue flag“. It is more than any other country in the world. To receive the award certain requirements for water quality, safety, service and environmental information must be fulfilled. If the requirements are not fulfilled during a random check, the flag is lost. The award must be renewed every year.
6 – The hidden gems
One of these is La Coruna in the northwest corner of Spain. This Galician port city with its salty soul has two beautiful City Beaches – Playa del Orzan and Playa de Riazor – The town’s narrow medieval alley is filled tapas bars. Museo de Belas Artes is an underrated gem with sketches of the Spanish romantic Goya.
There are a series of articles here on megafon.net that fits under this heading: Spanish Secrets.
7 – Ancient monuments
“Go to Segovia for a fabulous Roman view and an amazing piece of Roman engineering,” says the historian Mary Beard. The enormous aqueduct was built at the end of the first century, in a series of double-deck arches which is almost thirty meters high. It comes right into the center of the modern city and dominates the central square.
Segovia is a World Heritage site, not only because of the aqueduct, but also because of the mediaeval architecture, the castle, the cathedral, the monastery and the small bars that are everywhere.
8 – World class cycling
The Telegraph’s John MacLeary considers Mallorca the best place in the world for cyclists, with a terrain that suits all styles and abilities. He is not alone – the island is regularly a training camp for the world’s elite cyclists. Do not miss the spectacular climb Sa Calobra, a miracle in road construction. It is 9.4 km long with an average gradient of 7% and 668 meters in altitude climbing. The fastest time is 24:54 (by Sebastian Henao Gomez). But there are several other climbs that cyclists are familiar with: Coll de Femenia, Puig Major, Coll de sa Batalla and Coll de Soller.
9 – The beautiful mountains
Fred Mawer writes: “The provinces of Asturias and Cantabria offers a rare combination of spectacular mountains and fine beaches. From the northern valleys of the Picos de Europa, an amazing number of beautiful small high limestone peaks and lush pastures high above sea level, it is as little as 30 minutes drive down to the stunning sandy beaches.” Remember also the Sierra Nevada in the south; one of the few places in the world where you can ski in the morning and swim in the sea in the afternoon.
10 – The food
“Many of us are buying chorizo, Jamón ibérico, Manchego cheese and Spanish wine,” writes Annie Bennett. You can spend a very happy holiday and really explore the regions where your favorite dishes and wines are being produced. For instance the best ham is made in the western part of the country, in Salamanca, Extremadura and the Sierra de Aracena in northern Andalusia. Each region has its specialties. About 40 handcrafted cheeses are being produced in Asturias, while you can spend two weeks in Galicia and eat different kinds of seafood every day.
11 – Fairs and festivals
Every city and every village has at least one “feria” every year. Some fairs lasts for a week, while others only lasts a few days. Then there are some festivals that stand out such as La Tomatina, the tomatoe War or El Colacho where grown men dressed as devils are jumping over children on mattresses. Not to forget all the music festivals that exist across the country during the summer.
12 – Value for the money
Spain remains one of the most affordable destinations in Europe for a summer holiday, with the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Costa Brava as the cheapest alternatives. For the winter months the Canaries are a well-known option for sunbathers. The travelling time is comfortably short. From UK you can reach all the Spanish mainland and the Balearic Islands between 2.5 to 4.5 hours depending on the destination.
This was just a sample of what Spain has to offer. There is much more – for everyone.