Pure Spain!

Spain is one of Europe’s most popular travel destinations – and not without reason. Even the Greeks, Romans and Moors enthused about the country which, in terms of diversity, is hard to beat. Visitors can enjoy snow-covered peaks, green and fertile plains, stark coastlines, gentle beaches and even desert-like regions. The highest mountain in Spain’s national territory, at 3,718 metres, is Mount Teide on the island of Tenerife. On the mainland, Mulhacén is the highest peak, at 3,482 metres. It is found in the Sierra Nevada, in the province of Granada.

While the Balearic and Canary Islands mainly attract sun-worshipping holidaymakers, the mainland and its 17 regions offer an enormous range of attractions in terms of landscape, sights and places of interest. A wealth of architecture and culture is waiting to be discovered by visitors. You will find artwork and structures from every era and style, created by the different peoples and cultures who settled on the Iberian peninsular. But Spain has also had accomplishments in its more recent past. The Olympic Games were held in Barcelona in 1992, and Seville hosted the World EXPO in 1992. Madrid was awarded the status of European Capital of Culture.

The great cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, in particular, with their many sights and important museums, exhibitions and trade fairs, make it difficult to choose. And with their innumerable shopping options and places to visit, a short visit is really never enough.

Add to which fiestas, bull fighting and, of course, flamenco, and Spain’s proverbial lust for life is everywhere. Quite apart from the major festivals, such as Seville's "Feria de Abril" where the flamenco culture can be lived through music and dance for an entire week, the Spanish know how to party. Of course, dancing, music and wine are always part of this.

Cuisine

Spanish cuisine is extremely varied, and differs from region to region. For example, fish and seafood are usually on the menu in coastal towns, as are salads. In the interior the tendency is more towards quite hearty meals, particularly meat-based. Dishes are often based on rice and vegetables. No rice dish is better known than the world-famous paella. As an occasional snack there is a huge variety of tasty tapas. Plus the range of cheese is exceptionally broad. And wine accompanies all main courses.

Spain also has an absolutely inexhaustible variety of fruit. In the summer, for example, you have peaches and melons, grapes and figs, while in the autumn citrus fruits, particularly oranges and mandarins, predominate, along with pomegranates, mangos and papaya.

Sport and leisure

If you are keen to sample Spain from a sporting perspective, it will not be difficult to leap into the water from one of the innumerable beaches along the 3,144 km long coastline. The options available for water sports, including snorkelling and diving, sailing and kite surfing, are enough to satisfy any desire. But on dry land, too, the opportunities are wide-ranging. From hiking in the Sierra Nevada or canyoning and mountain biking in the Pyrenees, the possibilities are endless. Since there is a long tradition of equestrianism in Spain, almost everywhere has a stable from which you can take horses out for a ride.