Is visiting Spain on your bucket list? It’s been a while since international travel was even a thing, which has given fresh oxygen to some of the worst misconceptions about what in reality are some of the most breathtaking and unforgettable destinations to spend your hand-earned money and time on and in. And the misconceptions about Spain just about top that list – and we’re not just talking about the old stereotypes about never-ending sun and ever-flowing sangria.
Actually, Spain is one of the most diverse countries not only in Europe, but on the entire planet. There are three local languages that divide into separate local dialects and sub-dialects; a complex political landscape; the north and the south could hardly be more different from one another; not everyone loves bullfighting; it’s usually the tourists who love Flamenco dancing the most; and head south if what you’re looking for is that famous Spanish sunshine.
Are we already smashing your expectations about what Spain is all about? We highly recommend you read on:
1. The landscapes
Are you picturing a sunny Spanish coastal city speckled with spectacular historic architecture? That may be the feature image – but there’s so much more to Spain. The northern Pyrenees, for instance, are greener and snowier than any Spanish stereotype, or you could pop over to Tenerife and take in the Mount Teide volcano. Or perhaps the only European desert, Cabo de Gata, entices you – just as it inspired so many of the spaghetti westerns that were filmed there.
2. The adventures
Think it’s all about a Siesta after paella? Think again, because your holiday snaps could be the most spectacular imaginable after you take the only zip-line between two countries in the entire world. That’s right, jump aboard in Sanlucar de Guadiana (Spain) and follow the spectacular Guadiana River all the way to Alcoutim (Portugal) at up to 80kph. And if that’s not enough adrenaline for the day, how about some snowboarding, scuba diving, surfing and hiking after a glass of Spanish sherry?
3. The history
Did you know Habsburg Spain in the 16th century was the world’s first ever superpower with a sprawling empire that reached into Asia, India and across the Atlantic to the Americas? This is a country that has flicked between Civil War and dictatorship back to a stable democracy, but Spanish history dates back a lot longer than that. The Cathedral de Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion, for instance, started life as an ancient Roman temple, was an Islamic mosque before the turn of the first Millennium, and it was completed in the 16th century … as a Catholic cathedral.
4. The language
Actually, we should have used the plural – because Spain isn’t just one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, it’s also one of the most diverse. Hop from region to region and discover the rich evolution and diversity of the brands of Spanish spoken in Catalan, Galacian and beyond. Did you know Basque is the oldest language in Europe? Pick one of the most diverse Spain tours and discover so much more.
5. The fun
After rousing from your midday Siesta, it’s time for fun. But before we get to the party isle of Ibiza, the wine drenching festival in La Rioja or Pamplona’s running of the bulls, why not check out the sandy streets of the Canary Islands? Or the official Pablo Picasso museum? Or the Spanish city of Jerez, with the name translating to ‘Sherry’ because it’s where the sherry-making white grapes originated … as well as a Formula 1 track!
So whether you want to visit Real Madrid’s home turf, tune up a genuine Spanish guitar, amble through the spectacular Guggenheim or just soak up the warmth of pure white beach sands, there’s a lot more than 5 reasons to start considering of the many diverse Spain tours on offer as we all get jet-setting once again with the help of Designer Journeys. Olé!