Spain Destination Guide and Cruise Finder

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Spain destination guide and cruise finder

Spain [1] (Spanish: España) is a diverse country sharing the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. It is the country with the third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after Italy and China.

Regions

Spain is divided into autonomías or autonomous regions, plus two independent cities. Some of the autonomías – notably the ones which have other official languages alongside Spanish – are regions with their own unique historical tradition. These include the Basque Country or Euskadi (Basque), Galicia (Galician), Catalonia or Catalunya, the Valencian region or Comunitat Valenciana, and the Balearic Islands or Illes Balears (Catalan), but also Andalusia. Travelers to these parts of the Iberian Peninsula should respect their history and language. The Canary Islands lie off the coast of Morocco and are geographically part of Africa, as are the two cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

For ease of reference, Spain’s many regions can be grouped as follows:

Cities

Spain has hundreds of interesting cities. Here are ten of the most popular:

  • Madrid — the vibrant capital, with fantastic museums, interesting architecure, great food and nightlife
  • Barcelona — Spain’s second city, full of modernist buildings and a vibrant cultural life, nightclubs, and beaches
  • Bilbao — industrial city, home to the Guggenheim Museum
  • Cadiz — oldest city in Western Europe with nearly 4,000 years of history, celebrates a famous carnival
  • Cordoba — The Grand Mosque (‘Mezquita’) of Cordoba is one of the world’s finest buildings
  • Granada — stunning city in the south, surrounded by snow capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada, home of La Alhambra
  • Seville — a beautiful, verdant city, and home to the world’s third largest cathedral
  • Valencia — paella was invented here, has a very nice beach
  • Zaragoza — fifth largest city of Spain that held the World Expo in 2008
  • Almeria — best natural beaches and great selection of “tapas”

Other destinations

  • Costa Blanca — 200 km of white coast with plenty of beaches and small villages
  • Costa Brava — the rugged coast with plenty of seaside resorts
  • Costa del Sol — the sunny coast in the south of the country
  • Gran Canaria — known as “a continent in miniature” due to its many different climates and landscapes[2]
  • Ibiza — a Balearic island; one of the best places for clubbing, raving, and DJs in the entire world
  • La Rioja — Rioja wine and fossilized dinosaur tracks
  • Mallorca — the largest island of the Balears, full of amazing beaches and great nightlife
  • Sierra Nevada — the highest mountains on the Iberian Peninsula, great for walking and skiing
  • Tenerife — offers lush forests, exotic fauna and flora, deserts, mountains, volcanoes, beautiful coastlines and spectacular beaches [3]

courtesy © wikimedia.com

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