Spain Discovery Guide

Overview

The country of Spain is located at the Iberian Peninsula and shares its borders with the country of Portugal. Spain is the 4th largest country in Europe and one of the highest countries as well. Although it is considered as part of the European continent, Spain is separated from the rest of the European mainland by the majestic Pyrenees Mountains located in the northern region of the country. It is also separated from the continent of Africa by the Strait of Gibraltar. The entire country is comprised of the mainland of Spain and the Balearic Islands.

Spain has an extremely diverse landscape. Mountain ranges can be found along the northern and southern regions. The central region is an arid plateau, called a meseta, which experiences hot summers and windy winters where snow blizzards are commonplace. Travelers visiting the northwestern region of Spain are greeted with lush green valleys and warm plains along the Mediterranean coast.

Much of the locals living in the country of Spain are found in the urban areas, such as the capital city of Madrid. Founded by King Philip II in 1561, the capital city of Madrid is home to 5 million locals. It is the center of finance and government, as well as one of the centers of cultural heritage in the country. One of the top tourist attractions here is the Prado, a fine building whose beauty is not just in the exterior, but also in what you will find inside. Prado is one of the leading art galleries in Europe showcasing the finest artworks found all over the world.

Just like most countries in Europe, religion plays an important role in everyday life. Majority of the population living in Spain are Roman Catholics. Travelers visiting the country of Spain are sure to catch a local fiesta celebration held in honor of a particular saint. These festivities last for days which are filled with color and music. Each of these fiestas kicks off and ends with a colorful and spectacular procession with the participants of the processions wearing traditional costumes while parading to the tune of traditional music. With over 3,000 fiestas held all over the country each year, you can definitely be sure to experience a couple of them regardless of the time you come and visit the country.

Surprisingly, the top tourist attractions in Spain are not located in the mainland. Instead, they could be found in the Balearic Islands. Located on the eastern part of the Mediterranean, the islands are famous for their fine wines, pristine beaches and picturesque surroundings. Each year, thousands of tourists visit the islands, particularly the larger islands of Majorca, Minorca and Ibiza. Each of these islands is home to some of the finest sandy beaches in the world where tourists and locals can enjoy the sun all year round. Go inland and be captivated with the beautiful cities where you can sample some of the fine Spanish dishes such as Paella, a popular rice dish, while washing them down with a glass of refreshing Sangria which is a blend of Spanish red wine, citrus fruit, lemonade and brandy.
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