Passionate, beautiful and oozing romance and lust for life, Spain is a place to indulge the senses. Located in Western Europe, this lively country features delicious food and drink, stunning beaches and world-class partying—and all of it set amid a romantic landscape of medieval towns, whitewashed villages, rugged green mountains and dreamy turquoise coastlines.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
DID YOU KNOW?
- Soccer is the most popular spectator sport in Spain.
- At a Spanish meal, accepting a second serving is one of the best ways to show appreciation to the cook.
- Spain is the third-largest country in Europe (after France and Ukraine).
- The tooth fairy doesn’t exist in Spain. Instead, there is a tooth mouse named Ratoncito Perez.
Visitors to Spain can usually expect a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
Spain has a deep history that can be traced back to the first modern humans 32,000 years ago. In fact, some of the best known artifacts of prehistoric human settlements from 15,000 years ago have been found in Spain.
Spain played a large role in the age of discovery (a period from the 15th to 17th centuries during which Europeans actively explored the world), and the Spanish Empire had colonies in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Italy, Northern Africa, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
In 1982, Spain’s first left-wing government was elected, which prompted the country to join NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).
In 2002, Spain replaced its own currency with the euro; unfortunately, the euro—and its adopting countries—has suffered from massive economic difficulties since 2008, and continues to struggle today.
The Palacio Real (Royal Palace), built between 1738 and 1755, is the official residence of the King of Spain, although it is only used for state ceremonies.
Protected from strong winds by steep cliffs and islands, La Concha in San Sebastian is said not just to be one of the best beaches in Spain, but in all of Europe. Surf, walk along the promenade or just enjoy the beautiful views on this spectacular beach.
Located between Madrid and Valencia, Cuenca is a perfect example of a medieval city. Built on the steep sides of a mountain, Cuenca features many ‘hanging houses’ that balance precariously on the cliff’s edge—and that make Cuenca one of the most striking towns in Spain.
Ibiza is one of the most popular party destinations in the world. During the summer, the island population doubles as tourists flock to enjoy the nightclubs, beach bars and restaurants. Ibiza is one of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Spain.