Located in southwestern Europe, Spain is the second largest country in Europe, behind France. The mainland of Spain is dominated by mountain ranges and high plateaus while there are Alluvial planes along the coastline. Due to the geographical location of the country, it makes the climate in Spain very diverse and changing, depending upon the region in question. The climate is not the only thing diverse about the country, the culture finds its roots traced back to Iberian, Celtiberian, Latin, Visigoth, Roman Catholic and Islamic influences.
With so many things to do in Spain, it is hard to narrow down which activities are the most popular. Running with the bulls in Pamplona, is one of the most famous attractions in the country. It begins during the week of July 6th through the 14th, with six bulls being released into the streets each day. In front of the bulls, hundreds of locals and tourists from all around the world, in a test of bravado, they begin to run in front of, next to or behind the raging bulls. The entire event provides some interesting sightseeing opportunities and the week of festivals leading up to the event are very entertaining and popular with tourists.
Set with the Sierra Nevada mountain range as a backdrop, Alhambra dominates the sky with its towering red buildings and fortresses. Alhambra has the best preserved Arabian palaces in all of Spain. The first palace was built in the 11th century, but it was not until the 13th and 14th centuries that the palaces were transformed into the grandiose structures they are today. During Napoleonic times the fortresses were used as a barracks for French soldiers and after the war is was declared a national monument in 1870. An average of 2 million people visit Alhambra, Spain every year, making it one of the top tourist sites in the country.
The towns of Barcelona and Malaga have both laid stake to Pablo Picasso. Though born in Malaga, Picasso spent his formative years in Barcelona and Barcelona is the home of the Pablo Picasso Museum. The museum was opened in 1966 and contains exhibits of his childhood drawings, works from the blue period and forty-four works from his Las Meninas studies. In addition there is another museum located in Malaga which contains works that were donated entirely by the Picasso family. Visitors can tour the artists childhood home and view sketches and sculptures Picasso did during his childhood. The museums are a must-see for any art lover and display some of the most comprehensive collections of his works to date.
Mallorca is the largest island in Spain and many have called it the most beautiful island in the Mediterranean. It has exquisite examples of Gothic architecture, the Tramuntana Mountains, the Lluch Monastery and Caves of Drach. The capital city of Mallorca, Spain is Palma. Here visitors can tour a 13th century cathedral and 10th century Arabian baths. The city is filled with the top nightlife attractions, shopping and lovely beaches, so there is always something to do.
There are some very exclusive hotels and resorts in Spain that offer some of the best wine and food in the country. The Royal Ramblas in Barcelona is a prime example of an establishment that provides excellent service combined with a knowledgeable attentive staff. Las Ramblas is always alive with activities and with this hotel being located in the Gothic Quarter, it is a wonderful place to stay and experience life in Barcelona. Situated along Madrids famous Gran Via is the Vincci Capitol Hotel. The hotel was completely remodeled and the outside preserved in 2007, this hotel still retains its old world charm while boasting updated comfortable furnishings and amenities.
Visiting Spain should always be an extraordinary occasion for any traveler because of all the thing there are to do and see. Spain is famous for its attractions as well as its warmth and hospitality and offers some of the best service in the world. With over 1,200 years of castles, forts and architecture to explore, the country of Spain holds something for everyone and keeps people yearning to return, once they have experienced all the country has to offer.