The fifth biggest country in Europe, home to the two world famous football clubs, Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona, winner of the FIFA World Cup 2010 and the second biggest country in Western Europe, Spain shares its border with Andorra and France to the north and the northeast (along the Pyrenees mountain range), with Portugal and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and northwest. To the south and east, the mainland of Spain is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea (excluding Gibralator and Morocco that form a small land boundary to the south). Spanish cuisine is unique and has been greatly influenced by climate, geography and culture. Spanish cuisine mainly consists of seafood and rice-based dishes and numerous cold soups (to the south and east and known as the Mediterranean Spain). Spanish cuisine offers numerous vegetable and fish-based stews and seafood (in the Atlantic Spain). Spanish cuisine offers various hot, thick soups (mostly garlic based), stews, cheese and ham in the central part of Spain, known as Inner Spain. However the unique cuisine of Spain with its diversity in taste and flavour appeal to one and all. Hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclubs are plentiful and also cater to the need and budget of every family and individual.
Getting to Spain
By train and connecting trains, it takes nearly 15 hours to reach Madrid from London via Paris, Figueres (Spain), Girona (Spain) and Barcelona. It takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach Madrid from London by flight. Many different airlines are offering their services between London and Madrid and back.
Madrid: Located on the bank of the Manzanares River, the economic, cultural and political center of Spain and the most visited city of Spain, Madrid is the capital and the biggest city of Spain. Madrid is the seventh most visited city in the world and is among the top 12 greenest cities in Europe. Cibeles Palace and Fountain, Royal Palace of Madrid, Buen Retiro Park, Prado Museum, Teatro de la Zarzuela is arguably the top 5 out 551 major tourist attractions in and around Madrid.
Barcelona: The second biggest city and a major tourist destination, known for its rich cultural heritage, Barcelona is internationally famous for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics. This world famous city has been hosting, many international sport tournaments and world-class expositions and conferences. Barcelona has one of the principal ports of Europe and many UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Park Guell, Palan Guell, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Hospital de Sant Pau). Apart from the World Heritage Sites, Camp Nou (Stadium), Church of the Sacred Family, Passeig de Gracia (Neighborhoods), Magic Fountain, Parc de Montjuic is arguably the top 5 out of 669 major tourist attractions in and around Barcelona.
Tenerife: Visited by nearly 5 million tourists every year, host to one of the biggest carnivals of the world known as the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife is the biggest and the most populated island (of the seven Canary Islands) of Spain. Volcan El Teide (Volcano), Masca Valley, Siam Park, Punta de Teno (Geological Formations), Horse Riding Adventures in Tenerife is arguably the top 5 out of 337 major tourist attractions in and around Tenerife.
Majorca: The biggest among the Balearic islands in Spain, Majorca is an island located in the Mediterranean Sea. The largest by area and after Tenerife the second most populated island of Spain, Majorca is one of the major tourist destinations in Spain. The island has many caves above the sea level as well as below the sea level. Located near the eastern coastal town of Porto Cristo, two of the caves (above sea level) named Coves dels Hams and Coves del Drach offer underground lakes that are open round the year for the tourists. It is home to the former world no. 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal. Formenter Peninsula (Lookouts), Alcudia Old Town (Neighborhoods), Pollentia (Ancient Ruins), Soller Railway (Scenic Railroads), Serra de Tramuntana (Mountains) is arguably the top 5 out of 169 major tourist attractions in and around Majorca.
Benidorm: A coastal town of Spain, by the Western Mediterranean, Benidorm is located in the province of Alicante (in the comarca of Marina Baixa). It is a major tourist destination in Spain (especially for the younger party goers). Today, Benidorm is famous all over the world for its innumerable high-rise buildings and hotels, nightlife, beaches and other tourist attractions. The Gran Hotel Bali (a four-star hotel) is the tallest hotel (186 m tall) in entire Europe and the second tallest skyscraper in Spain. The free cabaret acts have set Benidorm apart from other cities that offer similar shows. Playa de Levante, Platja del Mal Pas and Playa de Poniente are the three major beaches that offer the best possible amenities and beautiful landscapes all around. Terra Mitica, Terra Natura, Mundomar and Aqualandia are four top class family oriented theme parks. You should and must not miss to visit Benidorm, if you ever visit Spain.
Ibiza: An island in the Mediterranean Sea, the third largest island of the Balearic islands, located 79 km off the coast of Valencia, Ibiza is famous world-wide for its nightlife, tourism and unique electronic music that it has originated. The legendary nightlife of the island is centered around Ibiza Town (the capital of Ibiza and located on the southern shore) and Sant Antoni (located to the west of the island). Top producers and DJs in dance from all around the world come to Ibiza in the summer and play at the various clubs. Es Vedra (Island), Castle of Ibiza, Cala Bassa (Beaches), Cala Conta (Beaches), Cala Compte (Beaches) is arguably the top 5 out of 126 major tourist attractions in and around Ibiza.
Beaches in Spain
With over 5000 miles of coastline offering awesome panoramic views, geological formations, crystal clear blue waters and numerous lovely beaches, it is no wonder that Spain is one of the top 5 tourist destinations in Europe. To name and select 5 or10 beaches and crown them as the best, would be a gross injustice to so many other breathtaking lovely beaches in Spain. However, beaches along the eastern and southern coastlines are unforgettable for their amenities, all around panoramas and incredible geological formations. Cala Tarida (Ibiza), Palma Nova Beach (Palma), Levante Beach (Benidorm), Magaluf Beach (Majorca), Playa de Las Teresitas Beach (Tenerife, Canary Islands), Sa Tuna Beach (Costa Brava), Torrelemata Beach (Benidorm) is some of the best beaches, ideal for all age groups.