Why do people visit Spain? Fifty million people a year choose Spain for their holidays, so it clearly has something worth visiting for, but apart from the fabulous beaches and great weather, what else makes Spain such a popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world?
Spain is famous for many things: paella, sangria, bull fighting and matadors, colorful fiestas, Andalusian horses, Picasso, flamenco dancing, and package holidays.
Mainland Spain lies in southern Europe and has coastlines on the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The southern resorts on the Mediterranean coast traditionally play host to millions of tourists every year, most of them traveling to Spain for the guaranteed sun and beautiful beaches. On the Atlantic coast, the scenery is wilder and generally cooler, but no less impressive.
Away from mainland Spain you will find the Spanish colonies of the Balearic Islands lying off the coast of Africa with their black volcanic sand beaches and rocky landscape. Full of top class resorts with buzzing nightlife and sleepy villages baking in the heat of the midday sun, the islands are a magnet for tourists all year round.
Spain is not only famous for its hot, dry climate. The Sierra Navada Mountains offer great skiing during the winter months, and if you time it well, you can hit the slopes in the morning, the beach in the afternoon, and the clubs at night. Who needs sleep anyway?
The question: why do people visit Spain is probably best answered by the fact that Spain is also a very popular city break destination as well as a family holiday hot spot. Barcelona in particular is well worth a weekend break, although you will probably require longer than a couple of days in the city in order to take in all the sites from La Sagrada Familia and the Picasso Museum, to the FC Barcelona stadium.
As well as sun, sea, and sangria, Spain has plenty of cultural attractions for those looking for intellectual stimulation as well as a suntan. Between the 8th and 15th centuries, Spain was under Arab rule, and there are plenty of fine examples of Moorish architecture throughout the country. The Alhambra Palace in Granada is probably the most famous example and you will need at least a day to explore the fascinating complex.
For those who love art and architecture, Spain is full of wonderful examples of great art. The birthplace of Pablo Picasso and Salvadore Dali, Spain has played a very important role in major 20th century art and there are lots of important art collections worth visiting. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is a great example of the amazing Frank Gehry’s architecture, and in Barcelona, the Antonio Gaudi creations are utterly unforgettable. The Prado Gallery in Madrid will introduce you to Velazquez and you can also see Goya’s paintings and Picasso’s masterpiece, Geurnica, at the Reina Sofia.
And once you have had your fill of cultural excursions, you can find a tapas bar and spend your evening watching the world go by while enjoying some local wine and beer.