Spain

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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.

Language: Spanish
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.

CLIMATE

Visitors to Spain can usually expect a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.

HISTORY

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.

MUST SEE

PALACIO REAL
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.

LA CONCHA
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.

CUENCA
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
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.

Escape Locations

Barcelona

Grab a table along Las Ramblas and sip some sangria as you take in the magic of Barcelona. This exciting, vibrant city epitomizes all that European cities are famous for—delectable cuisine, rich history, incredible architecture and a culture you’ll never want to leave.

Santiago de Compostela

For more than a thousand years, pilgrims have walked their way to this historic spot in Galicia, where the remains of the apostle James are believed to be buried under the town’s cathedral.

Fisterra

Travel to the end of the world in Fisterra, an ancient fishing village on Galicia’s ominously named “Coast of Death.”

Explore

3 Adventures in Costa Brava

From the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean to the majestic Pyrenees, Costa Brava in Spain is absolute paradise. Here are three adventures to tackle, from in the air to on two feet.

Marbella: Still Going Strong

Marbella is mostly known as one of Spain’s top luxury getaways. But it’s also a place rich with history as well as hotels, with tales of royalty and criminals gracing its famous shores.

Escape to Spain’s Smallest Island

Isla Tabarca on Costa Blanca is Spain’s smallest inhabited island, and tends to get overlooked by most tourists. And that’s exactly why you’ll want to go there.

Fiestas de Navidad

Santiago de Compostela is a magical place to spend the Christmas holidays, where the traditions of feasts and sacred ceremonies date back hundreds of years.

Photos: La Tomatina!

Ready, set, aim! The world’s biggest, messiest food fight is happening today in Bunol, Spain, with more than 100 metric tonnes of over-ripe tomatoes ready for tossing.

Photo of the Day:
Running of the Bulls

The annual Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, known by locals as San Fermin, is one of the wildest and craziest festivals in Europe! This eight-day festival got off to a slippery and dangerous start this past Saturday, injuring a handful of people. Would you give this adrenaline-fuelled sport a try?

Scam City:
On the Hunt in Barcelona

Scam City’s production coordinator, Sara Nourizadeh, found that Barcelona is the perfect hunting ground for a cast of colourful characters—from con men magicians to scheming prostitutes.

On Set in Spain with
Scam City’s Conor Woodman

Pickpockets, prostitutes and police—it’s all in a day’s work for Scam City host Conor Woodman. Here, he tells us what it was like to film (and go undercover as a transexual prostitute!) in Barcelona, Spain.

Walking the World for Change

In 2001, Mony Dojeiji embarked on a 5,000-kilometre Walk for Peace that took her from Rome to Jerusalem. Her simple message was, “To change the world, we must have the courage to change ourselves.” Here are her top 10 travel tips for walking for change.