More than the Costa del Sol
Home to some of the most creative minds – Gaudí, Picasso…Xavi. The one thing all of these geniuses have in common are their unique individual abilities that sets them apart from their peers. The same applies to the country as a whole. Situated on the Iberian Peninsula cut off from the rest of the continent by the mountainous Pyrenees, Spain has always been different and forged its own path. Whilst Rome was building its Eastern Empire, Southern Spain was becoming a Muslim stronghold leaving behind World Heritage sites like Alhambra and the majestic Medina Azahara with its iconic arches which you can marvel at today.
Even now, the Spanish continue to be fiercely independent, best shown with its autonomous communities. Indeed if you go to Barcelona, there will be more Catalan flags than Spanish flags. Being culturally and legislatively divided makes it easy to see how each different region compares with its food (Valencian Paella), drinks (Cava in Catalonia or Rioja in the north) and dance (Flamenco from Andalusia).
Not all of Spain is sun and the sea as Galicia in the North-West can be wet and green whilst the South-East is dry – Clint Eastwood filmed ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ here.
Currently boasting well-known brands like Zara and Mango, Spain has always been at the forefront of trade hitting its high-point during the Age of Discovery in the 15th Century.
Spain is just behind France with the second biggest tourism industry and just behind Italy with the second largest amount of World Heritage Sites being able to offer Roman marvels like Pont du Gard, modern wonders like the Sagrada Família and art from the likes of Picasso, Dali, Goya and Velázquez.
This country really is the crossroads between the Atlantic and Mediterranean, and Europe and Africa. Just remember to eat the fruit at the bottom of your Sangria…