Wild landscapes and walled cities, rugged mountains and rolling olive groves, whitewashed villages and bright blue ocean fronts. Spain is a lot more than 'sun, sea, sand and sangria' – a stereotype that could not be further from the truth.
This country is as multi-layered as its history, with a compelling, richly influenced culture. From the pre-Romanesque ruins of northern Asturias, to Segovia’s fully intact Roman aqueduct, southern Andalucia’s majestic Moorish palaces and countless monumental cathedrals built by the all-conquering Christians, every civilisation has left its mark.
The cosmopolitan capital, Madrid, buzzes with energy, while the extraordinary architecture of Barcelona justifies a visit to the Iberian Peninsula all on its own. You'll be in awe as you gaze up at the intricately carved ceilings of Antoni Gaudí’s magnificent Sagrada Família.
And to experience Spain’s infinite adventure playground, go hiking, skiing, climbing or kayaking in mountain ranges like The Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada and Picos de Europa.
But Spain is not just a nirvana for naturalists and history buffs. Sights like Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum, Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences and Madrid’s Prado Museum prove it’s also a centre of innovation and cutting-edge art. Two of the world’s most renowned surrealist artists also hail from Spain – you can visit Salvador Dali’s self-designed museum in his hometown of Figueres in Catalonia, as well as Pablo Picasso’s birthplace in Málaga, Andalucia.
But, lest we forget, Spain is also home to some of Europe’s finest white-sand beaches, which draw the bulk of visitors to its sun-kissed coastlines. Join the masses on the Costa del Sol, or strike out to the virtually undeveloped Costa de Almeria, where pristine, often empty stretches abound.
Spain offers practically every kind of accommodation imaginable, from high-end hotels and luxury villas, to friendly B&Bs, cheap hostels and remote eco-lodges.