By Miruna Corneanu
There are far more than 100 reasons why you should visit Spain, but hopefully this list will help you get an idea about how beautiful and fascinating this country is and how many fantastic attractions lie beneath its hot glowing sun.
Photo by Cynthia Dial
1. The Beaches. Spain is blessed with an amazing variety of beaches from long sandy stretches jam-packed with tourists to wild surfing beaches and nearly secluded bays. In 2012/2013 Spain featured the largest number of blue flag beaches (550) from all participant countries.
2. Madrid. From food, culture and nightlife to sights and art, everything in the majestic Spanish capital is fabulous.
3.Barcelona. A feast for the eye, Barcelona is bursting with Modernist architecture and sophisticated cafes to which it adds a lovely local vibe in order to create the most appealing and cosmopolitan city on the Med.
4. The Food. A superb combination of long-lasting culinary traditions, fresh produce, Mediterranean diet and avant-garde Catalan techniques, the Spanish cuisine is one of the best in the world. Just think about it: exquisite jamon, Valencian paella, Andalusian gazpacho, amazing seafood, Crema Catalana, tortilla de patatas, Queso Manchego…
5. Gaudi’s Works. The Catalan master who endowed Barcelona with some of the world’s most beautiful and unusual buildings is a pretty good reason to visit Spain.
6. Flamenco. The sensual Spanish art is a wonderful experience, especially in the south of Spain (Granada and Seville), where it originates.
7. Andalusia’s White-Washed Villages (Pueblos Blancos), where people still live according to century-old traditions and where narrow medieval lanes steeped in history and culture, invite you to soak up the feel of an ancient Spain in small tucked-away cafes and idiosyncratic shops.
8. The Moorish Architecture. Spain is known worldwide for its amazing architecture, and the Islamic influences – the result of seven centuries of Moorish occupation, are a strong part of its aesthetic charm. The most striking examples can be found throughout the south of the country.
9. Tapas. Everyone falls in love with Spain’s most delicious tradition.
10. Ibiza. The world’s party capital with its vibrant mega clubs, unique music culture and exuberant atmosphere never fails to impress.
11. Golf. With its awe-inspiring landscapes and high-quality courses, it’s no surprise Spain is one of Europe’s best golfing destinations.
12. Sierra Nevada. Where else can you ski in the morning and swim in the afternoon? Sierra Nevada offers that due to its proximity to Granada (32 km) and Costa Tropical.
13. Las Fallas de Valencia. Valencia’s flamboyant carnival welcomes visitors with an exuberant mix of gunpowder, fireworks, music and giant characters that take by storm the city’s beautiful streets. The festival takes place each March.
14. Football. That’s right, football can bring you to Spain. The country is home to some of the world’s best football teams (Real Madrid and FC Barcelona), the locals are crazy about this sport and each game ends up into a fiesta. This is an experience no one should miss while visiting Spain.
15. The Museums. Spain boasts an amazing variety of over 1,400 museums that range from science, sex and chocolate to some of the world’s finest collections of art.
16. The Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí – a stunning group of ancient, UNESCO-protected churches tucked away in the sleepy villages of the high Pyrenees.
17. Seville, the romantic capital of Andalusia with its warm atmosphere and delightful melting pot of Andalusian, Islamic, Gypsy and Jewish cultures.
18. Bullfighting, the most iconic and violent Spanish traditions. The season lasts from spring to autumn, with Madrid and Andalucía the most popular destinations to see a bullfight.
19. The Mezquita de Cordoba (the Great Mosque of Cordoba), one of Spain’s most spectacular displays of Renaissance and Moorish architecture.
20. The Canary Islands with their awe-inspiring volcanic landscapes, gorgeous beaches, year round sunshine and charming laid-back atmosphere.
21. The Easygoing Spanish Lifestyle. That’s something you rarely find in Europe.
22. Seville’s Semana Santa. The Holly Week in Seville is one of the most important and dramatic Easter events in Spain, and a magnificent experience that shouldn’t be missed.
23. The Pyrenees, a land full of legends, outstanding landscapes, unspoilt villages and fashionable ski resorts.
24. Santiago de Compostella. Galicia’s monumental capital is the final destination of the renowned Camino de Santiago, but apart from its religious importance, it is also a lively city brimming with culture, atmospheric restaurants and youthful vibe.
25. Alhambra. Granada’s astonishing architectural complex is certainly one of greatest wonders of Europe.
26. The Spaniards are fantastic people and they know how to make you feel welcomed in their lovely country.
27. The Roman Ruins of Cordoba, including the Roman Bridge across the Guadalquivir River and the enchanting gardens behind the Alcázar de Los Reyes Cristianos.
28. The National Parks. Spain boasts 14 National Parks, each with its own distinguished landscapes and stunning flora and fauna.
29. The Variety. This is probably the word that best describes Spain, the country that has it all, from mountains and sea to deserts and rolling hills.
30. The Vibrant Nightlife. From restless Madrid to crazy Ibiza and the sophisticated Costa del Sol, the Spanish nightlife has something for everyone.
31. It’s Affordable!
32. La Tomatina. Spain is the country of peculiar festivals and La Tomatina, the huge tomato fight held each August on the streets of Bunol, is one of its most interesting and unusual fiestas.
33. The Language.
34. The Upscale Marbella with its delightful mix of stylish boutiques, top-notch restaurants, lively nightlife and inspiring architecture.
35. The Mediterranean Flair.
36. The Gorgeous Wine. Spain is the third largest wine producer in the world after France and Italy. La Rioja, Jerez (home of sherry), Galicia’s Rias Baixas and the glorious Catalonia are the country’s best destinations for wine lovers.
37. Its Proximity to Africa (Gibraltar). A holiday in Spain can be easily combined with a trip to Morocco.
38. Shopping. With its renowned Inditex Group (Zara, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, etc), unrivalled sales seasons (rebajas/rebaixes) and the nation’s serious passion for fashion and consumerism, it’s no wonder Spain is a shopping paradise.
39. The Summer Music Festivals. From Barcelona’s Sonar and Primavera Sound to FIB (Festival International de Benicasim) and Bilbao BBK Live, the Spanish summer is packed with all kind of bouncy music festivals.
40. The Festival of the Patios, Cordoba (May).
41. The Castellars. The human towers of Catalonia have been declared by UNESCO a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
42. Pamplona’s San Fermin Festival. Let’s face it, where else in the world can you run with the bulls? Moreover, the fiesta is much more than that, and Pamplona is a lovely city full of parks and medieval sights.
43. The Weather. With almost 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s easy to see why Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world.
44. San Sebastian, the Basque Country’s most beautiful and sophisticated city.
45. Water Sports. To offer you a glimpse, there’s excellent surfing on the Atlantic coasts, great scuba diving on Costa Brava, luxury sailing in the Balearics and Andalusia, terrific windsurfing in Tarifa, amazing snorkeling on Costa Calida, and all of the above (and even more) in the Canary Islands.
46. Mallorca. Ibiza’s stylish sister has wonderful beaches, high-end dining, sophisticated party atmosphere, charming traditional villages and a plethora of natural wonders.
47. The Undiscovered Murcia.
48. Spain is the country with the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which makes it a paradise for culture buffs.
50. The Atmospheric Chiringuitos that line the beautiful Spanish beaches.
51. The Basque Country’s exquisite Pintxos.
52. Picos de Europa. Spain’s northern mountain range abounds in wildlife, outstanding natural beauty and outdoor activities.
53. Picasso, Dali, Miro, Velasquez and the list can go on. Anyone should visit a country that gave birth to such illustrious artists, not to mention admiring their extraordinary works.
54. Granada’s characterful gypsy quarter (Albayzin)
54. Cadiz, the oldest city in Western Europe
55. Adra in the province of Almeria – One of the sunniest, safest, cheapest and best Spanish towns to relocate. The Telegraph portrayed is as Spain’s best-kept secret, but I guess that’s not the case anymore.
56. The Charming Cadaques with its arty vibe, stunning location on the edge of the Cap de Creus Peninsula and Salvador Dalí House-Museum.
57. Hiking. From the south to the north, Spain offers an incredible range of hiking opportunities.
58. The Lively Squares. There’s nothing more Spanish than drinking a beer with your friends in one of the country’s alluring plazas.
58. Formentera, the laid-back Balearic Island and the home of Europe’s most beautiful beaches.
60. The Paradors. Spain plays host to a wonderful variety of paradors – castles, palaces, fortresses, monasteries or other historic buildings converted into luxury hotels.
61. Vigo’s Amazing Sea Food, often regarded as the best in Spain.
62. La Rioja, where culture meets wine.
63. Jerez de la Frontera, a land of flamenco, fine horses, aristocratic palaces and sherry wine.
64. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
65. The Beautiful Salamanca with its UNESCO-listed Old Town, spectacular Renaissance architecture and cool university vibe.
66. Besalu, one of the most charming villages in Catalonia.
67. Juzcar, aka The Smurf Village. The only blue tint in the white-washed villages of Andalucía, Juzcar is the only official Smurf village in the world.
68. Girona, the prettiest Catalan city after the fabulous Barcelona.
69. The Spectacular Covadonga Lakes in Asturias
70. Toledo, dubbed “The Imperial City” of Spain.
71. Malaga, Spain’s sunniest city, the birthplace of Picasso and the place with the largest concentration of bars in Europe.
72. The enchanting seaside town of Santander in Cantabria.
73. Valencia. Lonely Planet called it “the perfect summer city”, and with its smart mix of beaches, handsome architecture and lively nightlife it’s easy to see why.
74. The Parks. Most of the Spanish cities and towns are filled with beautiful parks and green spaces.
75. Leon, a city packed with history, culture and genuine Spanish character.
76. Zaragoza. Situated midway between Madrid and Barcelona, the mighty capital of Aragon offers everything from culture and exquisite gastronomy to raucous nightlife and delightful shopping.
77. The Green Galicia.
78. The Designer Hotels. The new wave of designer hotels that have taken by storm the beautiful regions of Spain in the last few years are quite impressive.
79. Each region has its own peculiarities and that makes Spain adorably unique.
80. Lovely Burgos, the north-central Spanish town with eye-catching medieval architecture, UNESCO-listed cathedral and vibrant dining scene.
81. The postcard-perfect Basque town of Getaria
82. Ski. The Spanish Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada provide surprisingly great ski opportunities.
83. Tarragona, the perfect mix of beach life, ancient Roman ruins and Catalan charm.
84. The dynamic cultural scene.
85. It boasts the oldest restaurant in the world – Sobrino de Botin (Madrid)
85. Sailing. Spain is home to 5000 miles of blissful coastline spotted with over 320 fully equipped marinas, so sailing here is a national sport.
86. Cantabria, the worlds’ richest region in archaeological sites from the Upper Paleolithic period
87. Spain is an outdoor country.
88. The Coffee. Spain is probably the country with the widest range of coffees.
89. Spain welcomes everyone from backpackers to jet-setters.
90. The Countryside. From Catalonia to Andalusia to Asturias, the Spanish countryside is brimming with stunning landscapes, charming villages and fascinating traditions.
91. The Posh Yacht-studded Marinas dotted around the Spanish Costas.
92. Spain has something for everyone.
93. There’s art and history everywhere you look, how can you not fall in love with such a rich country?
94. Celebrity Spotting. Mallorca, Ibiza and Marbella are known worldwide for attracting the trendiest Hollywood stars to their gorgeous beaches and upscale clubs.
95. Bardenas Reales, the stunning desert of Spain.
96. Las Medulas, a historical site of outstanding beauty in northwestern Spain declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site due to its great importance in the Roman Empire.
97. The Breathtaking Cies Islands, also known as the Galician Caribbean.
98. Tarifa, a laid back town with Arabian feel and tremendous surfing conditions.
99. Sitges. Often referred to as the Saint Tropez of Spain, Sitges is an attractive coastal town only 30km southwest of Barcelona and one of the most gay-friendly places on Earth.
100. Spain is one of the most beautiful, varied and welcoming countries in the world and has it all, from majestic mountains and sparkling seas to fabulous history, culture and amazing food.
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