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Spain

Situated on the Iberian Peninsula, Spain has some amazing World Heritage Sites, delicious food and stunning landscapes. It boasts approx. 8000 kilometres of coastline with turquoise water and fine sand beaches and countless hours of sunshine each year. The capital Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado Museum amongst other attractions. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s whimsical modernist landmarks like the La Sagrada Família and Güell Park. Centuries of mixed cultures have left their captivating mark on Spain with some of the most amazing artistic heritage in the world.

Spanish cuisine is world famous due to its flavours, healthy and traditional dishes. Rioja produces the most famous Spanish wine, but you will discover other options throughout your journey. Going out for Tapas is probably Spain’s most famous gastronomic and social tradition, it was thought to have started in Seville. The most famous Spanish dish is undoubtedly the Paella, of which there are many varieties. However, the people of Valencia (the famous Paella city) will tell you that the two ‘true’ paellas are the Valenciana made with chicken and rabbit and Paella Marinera made with seafood.

The Basque city of Bilbao is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum, with its stunning structure of 20th Century architecture. The museum houses some of the world’s most important private collections of modern and contemporary art. San Sebastian is a Basque resort town on the Bay of Biscay. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by picturesque promenades and the cobblestoned Old Town (Parte Vieja), upscale shops and vibrant pintxo bars.

For centuries, thousands of pilgrims have travelled along the St. James’ Way, finally reaching the Galician capital and entering the iconic Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the burial place of the relics of James the Apostle, discovered in the 9th Century. Other sites include the Plaza del Obradoiro, the Raxoi Palace and the imposing Monastery of San Martiño Pinario.

Valencia is a city of contrasts, with its old town charm and futuristic buildings. The most fascinating attractions include the Plaza de la Reina with the Cathedral, the Miguelete Tower and the more modern City of Arts and Sciences. Then there are the large beaches where eating paella by the sea is a national pastime.

Córdoba’s famous Old Town is a World Heritage Site full of little streets to be explored, courtyards full of flowers, inviting squares and lively taverns where you can enjoy a good flamenco performance or try the local cuisine. The Great Mosque, the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos, the Synagogue and the Roman Bridge are the prime examples of Córdoba’s Old Quarter. The city reflects its Roman past and the coexistence of Christian, Islamic and Jewish cultures throughout its history. At the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, lies Granada with its unmistakably Moorish flavour, fountains, lookouts and Cármenes (houses) surrounded by characteristic gardens. The historic district of Albaicín is a World Heritage Site together with the Alhambra and Generalife.

Malaga is a combination of sea and culture with a lively atmosphere and 16 sunny beaches. The birthplace of Pablo Picasso it has a plethora of tapas bars to discover in the Soho area. This city also has historical significance including the Alcazaba, one of the largest Moorish Fortresses in Andalusia, the Gibralfaro Castle, La Manquita the Cathedral and the Picasso Museum and the home where he was born.

Sevilla is one of those special cities you just have to visit. This might be due to its grandiose monuments, like the Giralda Tower, the Cathedral and the Real Alcázar of Seville. The views around Seville are beautiful with its courtyards of orange trees, scents of jasmine in its squares, Spanish guitar music ringing through it streets or perhaps the charming area of the Triana with its tapas of marinated ‘pescaíto’ (fish), small filled rolls, typical snails, fino (white wine), manzanilla (sweet wine) or a cold beer. Whatever brings you to Sevilla this city will not disappoint.

The Balearic Islands of Menorca, Formentera, Majorca and Ibiza are flush with enchanting coves, gorgeous sunsets and lush natural landscapes. There are so many ways to enjoy the islands including relaxing, partying, wandering through the streets of the small fishing villages or even enjoying a range of water sports. The Canary Islands are known for their natural attractions with five of the seven islands having been declared a Biosphere Reserve. The archipelago has four national parks and outstanding beaches that are perfect for relaxing in the sun or enjoying windsurfing and scuba diving.

 

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