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Northern Spain

Spain began in its north. Say that to the Asturians and they’ll puff up with pride, for when the Moorish wave swept rapidly across the peninsula in the eighth century, the small mountain region stood indomitable. 

It was from here that the long process of Christian reconquest began, laying the foundations of modern Spain. It wasn’t necessarily subtle, and the culturally sophisticated Moors must have wondered where they had gone wrong, but the tide turned. The Asturians erected beautiful churches in the eighth century, León had 24 kings before Castilla had laws, and Castilla was a muscly European kingdom centuries before Madrid was heard of. Aragón ruled the western Mediterranean and half of Italy, and progressive Navarra briefly united the whole of Christian Spain in days when Vikings still prowled the seas.

Fascinatingly, these ancient kingdoms still exist, and not just as modern administrative boundaries. Travel between the Basque Country and neighbouring Burgos and you’re crossing a sociocultural border that’s immediately evident in every way: how people eat, dress, earn a living and even what language they speak. The same goes for Asturias, for Aragón, for Galicia; and the cities of the plain in Castilla seem like little autonomous kingdoms.

One common aspect is the region’s immense architectural wealth. Even the most forgotten of villages may flaunt city walls, a majestic church and a handful of imposing stone palacios unchanged by the passage of time. On the natural side is a series of fabulous protected parks and reserves backed by a network of excellent rural accommodation.

Tourism in the north is a world away from the crowded southern coasts. It’s the original Spain, or more accurately Spains, and whether you’re admiring Gothic vaulting, nosing wine in the Rioja, surfing Basque waves or pacing the pilgrim road to Santiago, it’s a vital, vivid and engaging place.


Often described as having one foot in Europe and one in Africa, Andalucía is quintessentially southern, with baking heat, vibrant dance and song, and intoxicating hedonism seemingly wafted on the breeze (with a tinge of orange blossom). Yet it’s a far deeper, more complex place than you might expect. Layers of occupation over the millennia have left a cornucopia of historical treasures and a rich culture resplendent with colour. And flavour: tastebuds are treated like visiting royalty down here. The salty tang of manzanilla wine, a cool, garlicky gazpacho in the summer heat, the freshest of seafood, the rich olive oils, the flavoursome ham and pork from the Huelvan hills. In Andalucía the emphasis is on fresh ingredients, with the local cuisine trumping more pretentious fare and creating a unique eating and drinking culture based around the region’s greatest invention: tapas.

Scenically, there’s an even wider range on the menu. Lush green hills around Grazalema are crowned with postcard pretty white villages, while the desert-scapes around Almería have featured in many spaghetti westerns. You can kitesurf off the windy beaches of the Costa de la Luz, or ski in the Sierra Nevada, while the churches of noble Sevilla and Renaissance splendour of Baeza compete for your attention with the United Nations of birdlife in the Coto Doñana national park.

If you’re looking for Spanish stereotypes, Andalucía’s eight provinces have them all; yet the seeker of less-known cultural and natural jewels also still has extraordinary scope for fulfilling exploration here under the near constant sunshine.

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While it's fun to explore cities and get lost in their maze of alleyways, islands are where you should go if you want to combine relaxation and exploration in one holiday. But when choosing which island to visit, dare to dream big! Below, check out the top European islands worth a visit. Each island offers a unique charm, from pristine beaches to mysterious cultural monuments and picturesque seaside villages.

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The Costa del Sol is one of the favorite destinations for European tourists for many reasons. In summer, moreover, is when most of these visits are concentrated thanks to the large number of things you can do at this time on the Costa del Sol. In this article we want to tell you about some of these things that we have chosen and that, without a doubt, will always be a good choice if you choose the province of Malaga as your vacation destination.

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Madrid is Spain’s capital and its largest and most diverse city but is also a paradise for foodies. As eating is one of the Spanish people’s greatest pleasures, the city’s food scene is constantly expanding. Read on to discover more about this exciting foodie destination.

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Barcelona is considered one of the most amazing cities in Europe. Its charming mood and personality have turned this city into one of the favourite places to visit when travelling to Spain.  Nobody wants to miss anything this fantastic tourist spot offers, which is why many people choose it as a multi purpose destination. Students from all over the world also come to study here as they find the city very stimulating and challenging as it provides a vast number of possibilities for everyone who decides to spend some time there.

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According to legend – well, one legend, anyway – tapas were invented in Seville, when bartenders placed a saucer on top of a glass of wine to keep out the flies, then added a little ham or some olives. In any case, Andalucia is the heartland of this quintessentially Spanish snack – and here are ten unmissable tapas bars to try in the region, from Seville to Málaga, Ronda to Granada…

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Transport comes in so many different forms in Spain – each with its own joys. Explore the country by train and tram, bike and boat, car and cablecar to discover fabulous views and historic highlights in Andalucia, Catalonia, Mallorca, the Canary Islands and more

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You know about the beaches, the buzzing cities, the spectacular cuisine – but how about the dunes, the ancient remains, the snowsports? Discover five unforgettable experiences you never expected in Spain

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In AD 711, an Islamic army from North Africa crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and began an invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. That conquest resulted in the creation of Al-Andalus, a domain of the vast Umayyad Caliphate. Though the last Moorish ruler was expelled from Granada by the Christian monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand in 1492, Spain still boasts many extraordinary Moorish monuments to explore…

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