Bullfights, the clack of castanets and exotic food. Prehistoric paintings, wonderful landscapes and a blissful climate. Sun-drenched beaches, warm and gentle waters, and an electric nightlife. All that - and more - is why Spain attracts millions of visitors every year. As a European destination Spain is high profile. With great cities, a rich culture, enthralling history, extensive Mediterranean coastline, an inherent sense of fun and wonderful food, a vacation for all tastes is achievable.
Madrid and Barcelona are cities that ooze charm, with sightseeing to keep you enthralled for days. View wonderful old architecture, visit interesting museums, enjoy fabulous shopping, an almost endless variety of after dark entertainment, and savor a spectacular range of Spanish and international cuisine. If you’re a golfer Barcelona boasts some superb seaside courses.
Although inland Spain holds many attractions of its own, including multiple World Heritage sites, most tourists congregate on the coastline. From the Costa Brava in the north, past the Costa Blanca and down to the Costa Del Sol in the south, across to Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca - the renowned party islands - your biggest challenge will be finding enough time to fit everything else in around your suntan time.
The Costa del Sol, a 100 mile (161km) stretch of Malaga Province coastline in the south is a region which encapsulates the best of Spain in a climate that is possibly the best in Europe, with the Mediterranean at your doorstep.
Here you can choose from a huge range of timeshare resorts, with good exchange availability all year round, and enjoy everything this wonderful region and its surrounds has to offer.
Towering cliffs meet the sea east of Malaga, tapering slowly down to Nerja, where you’ll have the choice of winding down the footpath to sparkling beaches in little coves, or spreading out on the vast powder-white sands that stretch as far as the eye can see.
The area west of Malaga is far more developed for tourism. On the way down to its westerly edge of La Lina, you’ll pass Marbella, playground of the rich and famous. And Gibraltar is just a short walk from La Lina’s main square.
Laze on wide, clean beaches, partake of a wide range of water sports, explore the 3,000 years of history of the area, journey into the mountainous hinterland where there are many interesting villages to explore, savor a tantalizing array of fish dishes for which the area is famous, and if it takes your fancy watch bullfighting.
Nature lovers are well catered for with several nature reserves, some stunningly beautiful gardens and an interesting array of landscapes. Golfers will not be disappointed with over forty golf courses, many of exceptional quality, in quite close proximity.
The Almeria region has one of the warmest climates in Spain. Sunshine bathes the area for over 300 days of the year and temperatures hover in the mid seventies (over 20C), even in winter.
Not surprisingly, the scenery around Almeria is striking and desert-like. Make a point of going to the troglodyte villages with their homes dug into the cliffs. La Parata Valley, an hour or two northeast, is at the opposite end of the scale, being covered with multiple fruit orchards and beautiful gardens, even along the roadside.
Visit Port de Rei, an ancient fishing village on the Costa Brava. When you’re not lying on the sandy beach, there are significant Greek and Roman archaeological remains nearby and a major theme park a couple of hours down the coast.
Castellon’s mountainous landscapes mean that even when you’re on the beach, you have a wonderful view. One of the more rustic Spanish towns, it’s a great place to walk around. Look out for the handmade local craft while you’re about, in particular the lovely ceramics or items made from hemp.
The Costa Blanca’s northernmost town, Denia, is the stepping-off point for the Balearic Islands and has a huge fishing fleet as well. They’re famous for their delectable cakes and sweets. Also try the narrow-gauge railway that winds through the mountains.
There is a multitude of theme parks around Benidorm. And the roads to Torrevieja on the southern end are dominated by huge salt lakes. While you’re there, do your best to catch the sunset over the harbor. It’s spectacular.
You’ll take more than just incredible memories home from a vacation in Spain. And don’t be in the least bit surprised if you decide to go back once more … and again after that.