Saturday, 4 August 2012

Spain Tourism | Spain Map

Spain Tourism | Spain Map

About Spain:

Spain is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar; to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal.

Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco. Furthermore, the town of Llívia is a Spanish exclave situated inside French territory. With an area of 504,030 square kilometres (194,610 sq mi), it is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union after France, and the fourth largest country in Europe after Russia, Ukraine and France.

Because of its location, the territory of Spain was subject to many external influences since prehistoric times and through to its dawn as a country. Spain emerged as a unified country in the 15th century, following the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs and the completion of the reconquest, or Reconquista, of the Iberian peninsula in 1492. Conversely, it has been an important source of influence to other regions, chiefly during the modern era, when it became a global empire that has left a legacy of over 500 million Spanish speakers today, making it the world's second most spoken first language.

Spain is a democracy organised in the form of a parliamentary government under a constitutional monarchy. It is a developed country with the twelfth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP, and very high living standards, including the tenth-highest quality of life index rating in the world, as of 2005. It is a member of the United Nations, European Union, NATO, OECD, and WTO.

Geography of Spain:

Spain is a constitutional monarchy located in southwestern Europe. It occupies most (about. 85 percent) of the Iberian Peninsula ind includes a small exclave inside France called Llívia as well as the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Western Atlantic Ocean 108 km (67 mi) off northwest Africa, and five places of sovereignty (plazas de soberanía) on and off the coast of Morocco: Ceuta, Melilla, Islas Chafarinas, Peñón de Alhucemas, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera.

The Spanish mainland is bordered to the south and east almost entirely by the Mediterranean Sea (except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar); to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. With an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe (behind France) and with an average altitude of 650 m, the second highest country in Europe (behind Switzerland).

Its total area is 504,782 km2 (194,897 sq mi) of which 499,542 km2 (192,874 sq mi) is land and 5,240 km2 (2,023 sq mi) is water.Spain lies between latitudes 26° and 44° N, and longitudes 19° W and 5° E. Its Atlantic coast is 710 km (441 mi) long. The Pyrenees mountain range, extends 435 km (270 mi) from the Mediterranean to the Bay of Biscay. In the extreme south of Spain lie the Straits of Gibraltar, which separate Spain and the rest of Europe from Ceuta and Morocco in north Africa; at its narrowest extent, Spain and Morocco are separated by only 13 km (8.1 mi).

Spain Weather:

Spain Culture:

Spanish Art:

Artists from Spain have been highly influential in the development of various European artistic movements. Due to historical, geographical and generational diversity, Spanish art has known a great number of influences. The Moorish heritage in Spain, especially in Andalusia, is still evident today in cities like Córdoba, Seville, and Granada. European influences include Italy, Germany and France, especially during the Baroque and Neoclassical periods.

Spanish Architecture:

Spanish architecture refers to architecture carried out during any era in what is now modern-day Spain, and by Spanish architects worldwide. The term includes buildings within the current geographical limits of Spain before this name was given to those territories, whether they were called Hispania, Al-Andalus, or were formed of several Christian kingdoms.

Due to its historical and geographical diversity, Spanish architecture has drawn from a host of influences. An important provincial city founded by the Romans and with an extensive Roman era infrastructure, Córdoba became the cultural capital, including fine Arabic style architecture, during the time of the Islamic Umayyad dynasty. Later Arab style architecture continued to be developed under successive Islamic dynasties, ending with the Nasrid, which built its famed palace complex in Granada.

Simultaneously, the Christian kingdoms gradually emerged and developed their own styles; developing a pre-Romanesque style when for a while isolated from contemporary mainstream European architectural influences during the earlier Middle Ages, they later integrated the Romanesque and Gothic streams. There was then an extraordinary flowering of the gothic style that resulted in numerous instances being built throughout the entire territory. The Mudéjar style, from the 12th to 17th centuries, was developed by introducing Arab style motifs, patterns and elements into European architecture.

The arrival of Modernism in the academic arena produced much of the architecture of the 20th century. An influential style centered in Barcelona, known as modernisme, produced a number of important architects, of which Gaudí is one. The International style was led by groups like GATEPAC. Spain is currently experiencing a revolution in contemporary architecture and Spanish architects like Rafael Moneo, Santiago Calatrava, Ricardo Bofill as well as many others have gained worldwide renown.

Music of Spain:

Spanish music is often considered abroad to be synonymous with flamenco, an Andalusian musical genre, which, contrary to popular belief, is not widespread outside that region. Various regional styles of folk music abound in Aragon, Catalonia, Valencia, Castile, the Basque Country, Galicia and Asturias. Pop, rock, hip hop and heavy metal are also popular.

In the field of classical music, Spain has produced a number of noted composers such as Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla and Enrique Granados and singers and performers such as Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Montserrat Caballé, Alicia de Larrocha, Alfredo Kraus, Pablo Casals, Ricardo Viñes, José Iturbi, Pablo de Sarasate, Jordi Savall and Teresa Berganza. In Spain there are over forty professional orchestras, including the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona, Orquesta Nacional de España and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid. Major opera houses include the Teatro Real,the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Teatro Arriaga and the El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.

Thousands of music fans also travel to Spain each year for internationally recognised summer music festivals Sonar which often features the top up and coming pop and techno acts, and Benicasim which tends to feature alternative rock and dance acts .Both festivals mark Spain as an international music presence and reflect the tastes of young people in the country.

The most popular traditional musical instrument is the guitar, which originated in Spain. Also typically traditional is the bagpipe (gaita) in the northern regions, especially in Asturias and Galicia.

Spanish Cuisine:

Spanish cuisine consists of a great variety of dishes which stem from differences in geography, culture and climate. It is heavily influenced by seafood available from the waters that surround the country, and reflects the country's deep Mediterranean roots. Spain's extensive history with many cultural influences has led to a unique cuisine. In particular, three main divisions are easily identified:

Mediterranean Spain – all such coastal regions, from Catalonia to Andalusia: heavy use of seafood, such as pescaíto frito; several cold soups like gazpacho; and many rice-based dishes like paella from Valencia and arroz negro from Catalonia.

Inner Spain – Castile: hot, thick soups such as the bread and garlic-based Castilian soup, along with substantious stews such as cocido madrileño. Food is traditionally conserved by salting, like Spanish ham, or immersed in olive oil, like Manchego cheese.

Atlantic Spain – the whole Northern coast, including Asturian, Basque, Cantabrian and Galician cuisine: vegetable and fish-based stews like pote gallego and marmitako. Also, the lightly cured lacón ham. The most known North countries cuisine often rely on the captures from close or distant seas, like the Basque-style cod, albacore or anchovy or the Galician octopus-based polbo á feira and shellfish dishes.

Spain Tourist Attractions:

Costa Brava:

The Costa Brava is a coastal region of northeastern Catalonia, Spain, in the comarques of Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà and Selva, in the province of Girona. Costa is the Catalan and Spanish word for 'coast', and Brava means 'rugged' or 'wild'. The Costa Brava stretches from Blanes, 60 km (37 mi) northeast of Barcelona, to the French border.

In the 1950s, the Costa Brava was identified by the Spanish government and local entrepreneurs as being suitable for substantial development as a holiday destination, mainly for package holiday tourists from Northern Europe and especially, the United Kingdom and France. The combination of a very good summer climate, nature, excellent beaches and a favourable foreign exchange rate was exploited by the construction of large numbers of hotels and apartments in such seaside resorts as Blanes, Tossa de Mar, and Lloret de Mar. Tourism rapidly took over from fishing as the principal business of the area.

While part of the Costa Brava coastline lent itself to tourist developments on a very large scale, other parts have retained a more traditional look and have become "hidden gems" for visitors who want a little more than sun, sand and sangria. Small towns like Cadaqués, which is close to the French border and close to the foothills of the Pyrenees, have attracted artists, such as Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. The Dalí Theatre and Museum in Figueres is one of the most important and visited museums in Catalonia. One can also visit Dalí's House-Museum in Port Lligat, near Cadaqués and the Castle of Púbol in Púbol. The coast between Roses and Tossa de Mar has many delightful small coastal towns, such as Pals, Begur, Tamariu, S'Agaró, Empuriabrava, Llafranc, L'Estartit, Aigua Blava, Fornells, Calella de Palafrugell, Calonge, Palamós and Sant Feliu de Guíxols.


Barcelona is the capital and the most populous city of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of between 4,200,000 and 4,500,000 on an area of 803 km2 (310 sq mi), being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Ruhr area, Madrid and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is also Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast. It is the main component of an administrative area of Greater Barcelona, with a population of 3,218,071 in an area of 636 km² (density 5,060 hab/km²). It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 m/1,680 ft).

Barcelona is today one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres, and its influences in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Indeed, it is a major economic centre and a growing financial centre (Diagonal Mar area and Gran Via); one of Europe's principal Mediterranean ports, can be found here as well as Barcelona international airport, which handles about 30 million passengers per year. It also boasts an extensive motorway network and is a hub of high-speed rail, particularly that which will link France with Spain. Barcelona is the 16th-most-visited city in the world and 4th most visited in Europe after Paris, London, and Rome, with several million tourists every year. Barcelona is the 16th most "livable city" in the world according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index. It is the 4th richest city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with an output amounting to €177 billion, a figure nonetheless smaller than alternative estimates. Consequently, its GDP per capita output stands at €39,859 – some 44% higher than the European Union average and GDP per head is €80,894 according to Eurostat. Similarly, the city of Barcelona stands in 29th place in a list of net personal earnings headed by Zurich. The city is Europe's 3rd and one of the world's most successful as a city brand, both in terms of reputation and assets. Barcelona is 7th most important fashion capital in the world. Also, the city is Europe's 4th best business city and fastest improving European city, with growing improved by 17% per year.


Valencia is the most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain, with a population of 809,267 in 2010. It is the 15th-most populous municipality in the European Union. About 1,175,000 or 1,564,145 people live in the Valencia urban area and 1,705,742 or 2,300,000 in the Valencia metropolitan area.

It is integrated into an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. Its main festival, the Falles, is known worldwide, while the traditional dish, paella, originated in the Valencian Community.

The city contains a dense monumental heritage, including the Llotja de la Seda (World Heritage Site since 1996), but its landmark is undoubtedly the City of Arts and Sciences, an avant-garde and futuristic museum complex.


Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan area is the third largest in the European Union after London and Paris. The city spans a total of 604.3 km2 (233.3 sq mi).

Madrid urban agglomeration has the 3rd largest GDP in the European Union and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, environment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Due to its economic output, high standard of living, and market size, Madrid is considered the major financial centre of Southern Europe and the Iberian Peninsula; it hosts the head offices of the vast majority of the major Spanish companies. Madrid is the most touristic city of Spain, the fourth-most touristic of the continent, and is the 10th most livable city in the world according to Monocle magazine, in its 2010 index. Madrid also ranks among the 12 greenest European cities in 2010. Madrid is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The city is located on the Manzanares river in the centre of both the country and the Community of Madrid (which comprises the city of Madrid, its conurbation and extended suburbs and villages); this community is bordered by the autonomous communities of Castile and León and Castile-La Mancha. As the capital city of Spain, seat of government, and residence of the Spanish monarch, Madrid is also the political centre of Spain. The current mayor is Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón from the People's Party (PP)


The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in the Province of Granada, Spain. It was constructed during the mid 14th century by the Moorish rulers of the Emirate of Granada in al-Andalus, occupying the top of the hill of the Assabica on the southeastern border of the city of Granada.

The Alhambra's Moorish palaces were built for the last Muslim Emirs in Spain and its court, of the Nasrid dynasty. After the Reconquista (reconquest) by the Reyes Católicos ("Catholic Monarchs") in 1492, some portions were used by the Christian rulers. The Palace of Charles V, built by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor in 1527, was inserted in the Alhambra within the Nasrid fortifications. After being allowed to fall into disrepair for centuries, the Alhambra was "discovered" in the 19th century by European scholars and travelers, with restorations commencing. It is now one of Spain's major tourist attractions, exhibiting the country's most significant and well known Islamic architecture, together with 16th-century and later Christian building and garden interventions. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the inspiration for many songs and stories.

Costa del Sol:

The Costa del Sol is a region in the south of Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, comprising the coastal towns and communities along the Mediterranean coastline of the Málaga province. The Costa del Sol is situated between two lesser known costas: Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical. Formerly made up only of a series of small, quiet fishing settlements, the region has been completely transformed during the latter part of the 20th century into a tourist destination of world renown.

It includes the city of Málaga and the towns of Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Mijas, Marbella, San Pedro de Alcántara, Estepona, Manilva, Casares, Rincon de la Victoria,Vélez-Málaga, Nerja, Frigiliana and Torrox. The Costa del Sol extends from the cliffs at Maro in the East to Punto Chullera in the west. Settlement in the region dates back to the Bronze Age, and has been colonised and ruled by many cultures such as the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths and Moors, before the Reconquista.

The Costa del Sol is a popular tourist region that welcomes millions of people annually, who mostly arrive at International Malaga airport and head to one of the many resorts located along this stretch of coastline from Manilva in the west to Nerja in the east.

Costa de Almería:

The Costa de Almería consists of the coastal municipalities of the province of Almería, in the autonomous community of Andalusia, Spain. The coast extends 217 kilometres (135 mi) and includes 13 municipalities, from Pulpí on the border with the province of Murcia to Adra on the border with the province of Granada.

The name "Costa de Almería" is a term established for purposes of promoting tourism within the region. Beginning on 16 February 1928, tourism promoter Rodolfo Lussnigg began promoting the area under the name Costa del Sol; however, that name, originally referring specifically to the city of Almería, has since become attached to the coast of the province of Málaga.

Running of the Bulls:

The Running of the Bulls is a practice that involves running in front of a small group (typically a dozen) of bulls that have been let loose, on a course of a sectioned-off subset of a town's streets. The most famous running of the bulls is that of the seven-day festival of Sanfermines in honour of San Fermín in Pamplona, although they are held in towns and villages across Spain, Portugal, and in some cities in Mexico, Mesquite, Nevada, and southern France, during the summer. Unlike bullfights, which are performed by professionals, anyone older than 18 may participate in an encierro.

The purpose of this event was in origin to transport the bulls from the off-site corrals where they had spent the night, to the bullring where they would be killed in the evening. Youngsters would jump among them to show off their bravado.


La Tomatina is a festival that is held in the Valencian town of Buñol, a town located only 30 km inland from the Mediterranean Sea in which participants throw tomatoes and get involved in this tomato fight purely for fun. It is held on the last Wednesday of August, during the week of festivities of Buñol.

At around 10 AM, festivities begin with the first event of the Tomatina. It is the "palo jabón", similar to the greasy pole. The goal is to climb a greased pole with a ham on top. As this happens, the crowd work into a frenzy of singing and dancing while being showered in water from hoses. Once someone is able to drop the ham off the pole, the start signal for the tomato fight is given by firing the water shot in the air and trucks make their entry. The signal for the onset is at about 11 when a loud shot rings out, and the chaos begins. Several trucks throw tomatoes in abundance in the Plaza del Pueblo. The tomatoes come from Extremadura, where they are less expensive and are grown specifically for the holidays, being of inferior taste. For the participants the use of goggles and gloves are recommended. The tomatoes must be crushed before being thrown so as to reduce the risk of injury. The estimated no. of tomatoes used are around 150,000 i.e. over 90,000 pounds. After exactly one hour, the fight ends with the firing of the second shot, announcing the end. The whole town square is colored red and rivers of tomato juice flow freely.


Zaragoza is the capital city of the Zaragoza Province and of the autonomous community of Aragon, Spain. It is situated on the Ebro river and its tributaries, the Huerva and Gállego, near the centre of the region, in a valley with a variety of landscapes, ranging from desert (Los Monegros) to thick forest, meadows and mountains.

The city is famous for its folklore, a renowned local gastronomy, and landmarks such as the Basílica del Pilar, La Seo Cathedral and the The Aljafería Palace. Together with La Seo and the Aljaferia, several other buildings form part of the Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fiestas del Pilar are among the most celebrated festivals in Spain.


The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain. It separates the Iberian Peninsula from the rest of continental Europe, and extends for about 491 km (305 mi) from the Bay of Biscay (Cap Higuer) to the Mediterranean Sea (Cap de Creus).

For the most part, the main crest forms a massive divider between France and Spain, with the tiny country of Andorra sandwiched in between. Catalonia and Navarre have historically extended on both sides of the mountain range, with small northern portions now in France and much larger southern parts now in Spain.

Sierra Nevada:

The Sierra Nevada (meaning "snowy range" in Spanish) is a mountain range in the region of provinces of Granada and Almería in Spain. It contains the highest point of continental Spain, Mulhacén at 3478 m (11,411 ft.) above sea level.

It is a popular tourist destination, as its high peaks make skiing possible in one of Europe's most southerly ski resorts, in an area along the Mediterranean Sea predominantly known for its warm temperatures and abundant sunshine. At its foothills is found the city of Granada and, a little further, Almería and Málaga.

Parts of the range have been included in the Sierra Nevada National Park. The range has also been declared a biosphere reserve. The Sierra Nevada Observatory is located on the northern slopes at an elevation of 2800 m (9186 ft.).

Ordesa Valley:

The Ordesa Valley is a glacial valley in Aragon, in the Spanish Pyrenees which forms part of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park.

The valley's east–west orientation, unusual in the Pyrenees, opens it to influence from the Atlantic Ocean and gives it a moderate climate. It has one of Europe's largest populations of the Pyrenean Chamois and is well known for its waterfalls and wildlife.

Monte Perdido (3,355 m) is the third highest mountain in the Pyrenees and together with Cilindro de Marboré (3,328 m) and Soum de Ramond (3,263 m) can be seen at the north-east end of the valley. The name Monte Perdido (lost mountain) was given because the peak could not be seen from the French side of the range.

Monte Perdido:

Monte Perdido is the third highest mountain in the Pyrenees. The summit of Monte Perdido (3355 m), located in Spain, lies hidden from France by the seemingly impenetrable peaks of the Cirques of Gavarnie and Estaubé. It is in the north of Huesca province. The mountain forms part of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, in the west of the Pyrenees, in the community of Aragon, Spain.

Access to the mountain is easier from Spain than from France. The route starts near the village of Torla, Aragon, at the Ordesa Valley and ascends the Cirque de Soaso towards the Refuge of Góriz before the stiff climb to the summit. It is a dangerous climb with snow.

Picos de Europa National Park:

The Picos de Europa National Park is a National Park in the Picos de Europa mountain range, in northern Spain. It is shared by the autonomous communities of Asturias, Cantabria and Castile and León.

It was the first of the National Parks of Spain along with Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park in the Pyrenees. When it was created 22 July 1918 it covered the western part of today's national park, centered on the Lakes of Covadonga. The Parque Nacional de la Montaña de Covadonga, as it then was called, had an area of 169.25 km². On May 30, 1995 the park was extended to include its current total area of 646.60 km².

Hotels in Spain:

5Star Hotels in Spain:

Alfonso XIII Hotel

AC Santo Mauro Hotel

Princesa Sofia Gran Hotel

Hacienda Benazuza Hotel

Rey Juan Carlos I

Arts Barcelona

Melia Barcelona

Hotel Adler

Hotel Derby Villa Real

Foxa 30

Hesperia Madrid

Hotel Husa Princesa

Orient-Express Ritz Hotel

Melia Madrid Princesa

Hilton Barcelona

NH Podium

Claris Hotel

Melia Colon Hotel

Budget Hotels in Spain:

Adelino Hotel Ibiza

Hostal Torres

Picasso Hostal Sevilla

Marco Polo ll

Club La Sirena Hotel Ibiza

Formentera I & II Hotel Ibiza

Club Maritim Apartments Ibiza

Cantabrico Hostal Madrid

Maribel Apartamentos Ciutadella

Corbeta Hotel Lanzarote

Hotel Aneto

Hotel Inglés

Hotel Pelayo

Hotel Barbara


Hotel Medium Abalon

Hotel Cantón

Hostal Baires

Spain Pictures:

Map of Spain:

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