Top 5 Things to See and Do in Spain

by Lexa Pennington / Feb 18, 2013 /
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Millions of people travel to Spain every year, perhaps due to its diverse culture and beautiful scenery. The country is arguably one of the most unique in all of Europe, where ancient history intertwines with the modern day. Although there are many destinations throughout the country, some cities are especially popular with first-time travellers. Spain holidays are perfect for a long weekend break, either a romantic city break or an adventurous country break, Spain covers both.

Castles

Spain is full of ancient architecture, including castles that are open to visitors. Palacio Real in Madrid is one of the most visited castles in Spain. Tours allow visitors to view several of the more than 2,000 rooms in the castle, including the throne room of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia. Palacio Real was constructed in the mid-18th century, but has been vacant since the early 1930s. Other grand palaces include the Alhambra in Granada and Alcázar, located in Segovia.

Alhambra

Cathedrals

The Cathedrals of Spain are among some of the most beautiful in the world. In particular, Montserrat is one of the most visited cathedrals in the country. It was originally built in the 9th century and remains an intact destination today. Catedral de León is another beauty, with its intricate stained glass and abundance of sunlight.

Beaches

Spain is a popular European beach destination. It has a mild climate and relatively sunny weather that is ideal for ocean-lovers. By far, the most populated beach is Costa del Sol, which attracts visitors from all over the world. Costa del Sol is the place to go for big resorts, extravagant dining and heavy crowds. Tourists looking for a more relaxing beach experience slightly off the beaten path may look to Costa Blanca, which is more popular with Europeans than globe travellers. Costa Blanca is still a tourism hot spot, but the people there embrace a slower pace synonymous with a beach vacation.

Spain Beach

Food

Dining is a treat in Spain, whether in a highly acclaimed award-winning restaurant or a "hole-in-the-wall" eatery. Regardless of where one eats, there are certain menu items that are staples in most restaurants, including gazpacho, flan and paella. For a unique experience, visitors can head to Sobrino de Botín, which has been serving up roast suckling pig for more than 280 years. Even Hemingway made mention of the restaurant in his famous work, The Sun Also Rises.

Tapas, Spain

Luxury Hotels

No vacation is complete without a relaxing hotel retreat. By far, Marbella Club Resort is one of the most well-known hotels in all of Spain. It is located on the Costa del Sol, and the property is surrounded by beautiful gardens and turquoise waters that seem to make time stand still. An 18-hole golf course and riding stables are located on the property, as well as a European spa and fine dining. For visitors who prefer to stay away from the hustle and bustle of beach life, Hotel Barceló La Bobadilla in Granada is an isolated hideaway that rivals some of the best hotels in the world. Guests are overwhelmed by stunning architecture and exceptional service set amid a natural landscape.