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SpainEurope

From the peaks of the Pyrenees to sun-scorched beaches and desert-like regions, Spain is a country of diverse landscapes. Enjoy this natural backdrop while you view eclectic architecture, sample regional food and be swept up in one of the country’s many festivals.

Throughout its 17 regions, Spain offers captivating scenery, exciting outdoor adventures and a relaxed atmosphere on its beautiful beaches. On a tour of this country you can travel through hilltop villages full of whitewashed houses, visit Moorish fortresses and Romanesque churches and see one of the world’s finest collections of art works.

Go on an architectural tour of some of Spain’s cities. Stroll around Barcelona’s Gothic quarter and marvel at Gaudi’s buildings. These include the spectacular Sagrada Familia, the unfinished basilica with an exterior that resembles dripping wax. In Granada, see the Alhambra, a Moorish palace-fortress, and relax in the scented gardens of the Generalife. Explore Plaza de España in Seville. While you are in the city, watch a flamenco show in Triana, one of the locations that claims to be the birthplace of this folk music and dance.

Culture lovers will relish the opportunity to visit the country’s museums and art galleries. Bilbao’s showpiece is the Guggenheim Museum, with its titanium roof and futuristic architecture. Study the works of Francisco de Goya and other Spanish artists in the internationally acclaimed collections of the Prado Museum in Madrid, the country’s capital city. Trace the evolution of the work of Spain’s most famous son at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.

Join the Spanish in their passion for outdoor pursuits. Enjoy a hillwalking expedition through the Picos de Europa National Park. Go skiing in the Pyrenees or in the Sierra Nevada mountain range above Granada. Cycle through the countryside on more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) of disused railway lines known as Via Verde.

The further south you travel in Spain the warmer the weather. Many resorts on the southern costas are year-round vacation destinations. Head for the beaches of the Costa Blanca or Costa del Sol. Although nudity is permitted on Spanish beaches, many who dare to bare stay in Vera Playa, home to the country’s first naturist hotel.

Go to Tarifa, on the Atlantic coast, for watersports. Strong winds throughout the year are perfect for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Tarifa is also Spain’s closest point to the African continent. Make time in your itinerary for the 35-minute ferry trip over to Tangier in Morocco.

Spaniards enjoy a busy calendar of festivals and celebrations, so it’s easy to time your visit with one of these events. Watch as Seville transforms during the week-long religious festival of Semana Santa leading up to Easter, pick a city along the coast to witness the Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) festival in June or be in Barcelona in September for the city’s biggest street party, La Mercè.

Popular cities in Spain

Almudena Cathedral
Madrid
Known for Museums, Culture and Theaters

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Reasons to visit

  • Prado Museum
    Prado Museum
  • Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
    Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia
  • Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
    Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum
Valencia City Centre which includes a city, bird life and a park
Valencia
Known for Dining, Historical Buildings and Shopping

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Reasons to visit

  • Central Market
    Central Market
  • Plaza de la Reina
    Plaza de la Reina
  • Valencia Cathedral
    Valencia Cathedral
Plaza de Espana which includes a castle, heritage architecture and night scenes
Seville
Known for Cathedrals, Historical Buildings and Cafes

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Reasons to visit

  • Plaza de España
    Plaza de España
  • Seville Cathedral
    Seville Cathedral
  • Alcazar
    Alcazar
Palma de Mallorca showing a beach as well as a large group of people
Palma de Mallorca
Known for Dining, Beaches and Cathedrals

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Reasons to visit

  • Basilica of St. Francis
    Basilica of St. Francis
  • Plaza Mayor de Palma
    Plaza Mayor de Palma
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma
    Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma
Gibralfaro Castle featuring chateau or palace, a bay or harbor and heritage architecture
Málaga
Known for Dining, Shopping and Beaches

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Reasons to visit

  • Port of Malaga
    Port of Malaga
  • Gibralfaro Castle
    Gibralfaro Castle
  • Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta
    Plaza de Toros de la Malagueta
Granada featuring landscape views, heritage elements and a city
Granada
Known for Historical Buildings, Cathedrals and Castles

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Reasons to visit

  • Alhambra
    Alhambra
  • Granada Cathedral
    Granada Cathedral
  • Science Park
    Science Park

Popular places to visit in Spain

Puerta del Sol
Image for Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol

Stand at the very center of Madrid and feel the buzz as thousands of people meet and greet before a night out, gather for protests, or start out on a tour of the city.

Camp Nou
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Camp Nou

Check out Placa d'Espanya and Poble Espanyol—just two of the top sights around Camp Nou, a city also notable for its museums and monuments.

Placa de Catalunya
Image for Placa de Catalunya

Placa de Catalunya

This popular Barcelona meeting point connects the old city with the new and is famous for its shopping, monuments and festival celebrations.

Park Guell
Image for Park Guell

Park Guell

Look out over the city from a Gaudí-designed terrace in this park in the city’s north.

El Retiro Park
Image for El Retiro Park

El Retiro Park

Relax by the pond, walk through landscaped gardens, and admire the elegant statues and buildings in one of Madrid’s biggest and most popular parks.

Alhambra
Image for Alhambra

Alhambra

Venture to Sierra Nevada Ski Resort and Generalife—just two of the top sights around Alhambra, a city also notable for its gardens and shopping.