Spain is a diverse country with contrasting regions that have different languages and unique historical, political and cultural traditions. Because of this, Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities (comunidades autónomas), plus two autonomous cities. Some of the autonomous communities — notably the ones which have other official languages alongside Spanish — have been recognised as "historical nationalities" that have a unique historical identity. These include the Basque Country, Catalonia, Galicia, the Valencian region, Andalusia and the Balearic Islands, but more recently also include Aragon and the Canary Islands.

Spain's many regions can be grouped as follows:

 Green Spain(Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria)
 Northern Spain(Aragon, Basque Country, Navarre, La Rioja)
 Eastern Spain(Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia)
 Central Spain(Community of Madrid, Castile-La Mancha, Castile-Leon, Extremadura)
 Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera)
 Canary Islands (Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, La Gomera, Lanzarote, La Palma, El Hierro)
 Spanish North Africa (Ceuta, Melilla, Crag of Vélez de la Gomera, Crag of Alhucemas, Chafarinas Islands, Alboran Island)
Spanish exclaves along the coast of Morocco


Spain has hundreds of interesting cities. Here are nine of the most popular:

  • Madrid — the vibrant capital, with fantastic museums, interesting architecture, great food and nightlife
  • Barcelona — Spain's second city, full of modernist buildings and a vibrant cultural life, plus nightclubs and beaches
  • Bilbao — former industrial city, home to the Guggenheim Museum and other cultural features; main Basque city
  • Málaga — the heart of flamenco with the beaches of the Costa del Sol
  • Córdoba — The Grand Mosque ('Mezquita') of Cordoba is one of the world's finest buildings
  • Granada — stunning city in the south, surrounded by snow capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada, home of La Alhambra
  • Seville — a beautiful, verdant city, and home to the world's third largest cathedral
  • Valencia — paella was invented here, has a very nice beach
  • Zaragoza — fifth largest city of Spain that held the World Expo in 2008

Other destinations

  • Costa Blanca — 200 km of white coast with plenty of beaches and small villages
  • Costa Brava — the rugged coast with plenty of seaside resorts
  • Costa del Sol — the sunny coast in the south of the country
  • Galicia — historic cities and small towns, world-famous seafood, and more Blue Flag beaches than any other autonomous community
  • Gran Canaria — known as "a continent in miniature" due to its many different climates and landscapes
  • Ibiza — a Balearic island; one of the best places for clubbing, raving, and DJs in the entire world
  • La Rioja — Rioja wine and fossilized dinosaur tracks
  • Mallorca — the largest island of the Balears, full of amazing beaches and great nightlife
  • Sierra Nevada — the highest mountains on the Iberian Peninsula, great for walking and skiing
  • Tenerife — offers lush forests, exotic fauna and flora, deserts, mountains, volcanoes, beautiful coastlines and spectacular beaches

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Spain - Travel guide


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