Many travellers consider Spain as the best holiday destination in the world – and with good reason too. Spain tourism offers the ultimate mix of everything one can want from a holiday; from fashion to food, from sightseeing to scenic landscapes, from buzzing nightlife to strong tradition, Spain truly has it all.
Spanish, Galician and Catalan Language
Spain is located in the south-west of the European continent. It is the largest country in Southern Europe and makes up the majority of the Iberian Peninsula as well. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the south and the east, ensuring pleasant weather throughout the year which is great for Spain tourism – but more on that later. To the west, you will find the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. Finally, to the south of Spain are the Straits of Gibraltar, which separate Spain and continental Europe from North Africa, specifically, Morocco.
Spain is made up of seventeen autonomous regions – each of which have their own personality, culture and traditions – and two autonomous cities, Cueta and Melilla. Madrid, the capital of Spain, is the largest city in the country and the third largest in the European Union, after London and Berlin.
Like all countries near the Mediterranean Sea, Spain enjoys pleasant, balmy weather throughout the year. While summers are dry and hot, especially in islands like Majorca and Tenerife, winters are noticeably milder than those in other parts of Europe, which is great for Spain tourism. In the summertime, the temperature usually goes higher than 35 degrees Celsius on the hottest days. In winter, the temperatures fall below 10 degrees Celsius and can often hit near-zero in the capital city of Madrid. So, make sure that you are well protected with a warm coat and woollens if you are travelling during this time.
The culture that you see today in Spain is shaped by a myriad of historical events and empires but has been most strongly influenced by Celtic and Iberian culture. In fact, the Roman empire controlled and created Hispania as the country’s first legal and political unit. From then on, the country has been moulded as history took its course.
The Spanish languages are derived from Latin, like many other European languages. While the official language and the most widely spoken dialect of the country is Castillian Spanish, you will notice that accents and dialects change dramatically from city to city. In particular, cities in the Catalan region, like Barcelona, will have most signages written in both Spanish and Catalan. Other major languages include Aranesa which is spoken in the Aran Valley, Basque which is the co-official language in the Basque Country and Navarre, Valencian which is recognised amongst the Valencian community and Galician which is spoken to Galicia, but also in Castile and León. But fear not – as a tourist, you will have no trouble communicating with the locals as English is widely spoken across Spain, especially around tourist hotspots, making Spain tourism easy, convenient and comfortable.
The Spanish folk love to celebrate, whether it is for a religious, national or regional tradition. Popular holidays in Spain include the Fiesta Nacional de España, Good Friday, All Saints’ Day and Christmas, but each region has its own set as well. Experiencing a local festival or celebration is a fun part of Spain tourism, so make sure to keep an eye out for what’s going on during your holiday.
What’s the biggest similarity between Spain and India? The love of food. Spanish cuisine is a quintessential part of daily life and culture and has been influenced by the country’s rich history. Iconic, must-try dishes include a good paella, the classic Spanish omelette, a serving of authentic Spanish ham and a plateful of scrumptious patatas bravas. If you’re keen to immerse yourself in the Spanish food scene, you may want to try out one of the many Spain food tours that are often headed up a local who knows the best spots to hit.
Spain tourism has been booming for years, and it should definitely be on your travel list. There are many ways to see the country – you can opt for a Spain-only holiday, which will allow you to venture into smaller towns and cities beyond Barcelona and Madrid. You could also pair your Spanish holiday with other Mediterranean nations like Portugal, which are truly beautiful as well. Alternatively, you could club some of your favourite Spanish cities with other parts of Western Europe, for a well-rounded holiday. It’s really up to you. If you have the time and the budget, we recommend visiting some of Spain’s beautiful islands as well – some are better for partying while others are more suited to travellers who want to relax. Either way, the stunning Spanish islands are a must-do at some point in your lifetime.
At SOTC, we offer a host of Spain tour packages for every type of holiday, traveller and budget. Our ‘Summer Budget Best of Spain’ allows you to get a quick but perfect taste of the nation by spending seven days across Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona, while our ‘Summer Premium Spanish Fiesta’ is a Spain tour that gives you thirteen days across Madrid, Salamanca, Fatima, Lisbon, Seville, Gibraltar, Granada, Valencia and Barcelona, with the opportunity to experience the infamous La Tomatina as well. Along with that, we have Spain tours as part of our multi-country packages; there truly is something for everyone. Give us a call or visit your nearest SOTC branch to learn more!