Spain, the most popular European holiday destination occupies the largest part of the Iberian Peninsula on the South West of Europe.By far the most popular holiday destination for Europeans, Spain has a lot to offer to every body.
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is the Spanish Autonomous Community with the greatest number of inhabitants and the second in surface. Its varied landscapes, the mildness of its climate and the friendly character of its population have turned it into one of the most attractive regions.
The community of Aragon
, bordering on France with the Pyrenees, is of particular interest for its outstanding mountainous landscapes, with glacier lakes and several natural preserves where you still may observe animals, which have been extinct in many other regions of Europe long ago. In total contrast is the plain Ebro valley, which is limited by the mountain range Moncayo, in the east.
The Principality of Asturias
consists of a single province. The capital is Oviedo. It is limited by high mountain ranges, Cordillera Cantabrica, where you find some outstanding natural preserves such as Picos de Europa and the national parks of Covadonga and Somiedo. Asturias is well known for its green landscapes, and just at a few kilometres from high mountain peaks there is the Cantabric coast with great beaches and colourful fishing villages.
The wonderful group of Balearic Islands
is divided into Gimnesias (Mallorca, Menorca and Cabrera) in the North, and Pitiusas (Ibiza y Formentera) in the Southwest.Baskland
is of particular interest for its completely autochthonous culture, including a language of its own of quite mysterious origins. Its folklore is autochthonous too, and you may even watch particular sports like the so-called Basqueball ("pelota vasca").
The paradisiac group of islands - Canary Islands
- with a preferred climate and constant temperature through the year the splendid beaches of fine sand, consists of seven larger islands (Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Tenerife, La Palma, Gomera, Hierro) and a few smaller ones (Alegranza, Graciosa, Montaï¿½a Clara, Roque del Este, Roque del Oeste und Lobos). Surprisingly, the landscape of each island is radically different to the others.
With a surface of 5.300 sq km Cantabria
offers extremely varied landscapes and climates. In its mountain ranges, Picos de Europa and the natural preserve of Saja, still live bears, wolves and eagles and the rivers are full of salmons and trouts. Pico de tres Mares ("peak of the three seas") is a real curiosity: a drop of water that falls here may equally arrive to Atlantic Ocean, by Duero river, the Cantabric Sea, by Nansa river, or the Mediterranean Sea by Ebro river.
An extense tableland dominates Castilla La Mancha
, which is located at the very centre of the Iberian Peninsula, although there are mountainous landscapes too.Castilla y Leon
is not only the largest region of Spain, but as well the largest region of all the European Union. The elevated plain is limited by the the mountain ranges Sistema Iberico to the east, Cordillera Central to the south, Cordillera Cantabrica to the north and by Duero river towards Portugal.Catalonia
has a very marked culture of its own, most evidently of Mediterranean tradition, and is distinguished of most other Spanish regions in several aspects, not at least by its language, Catalonian (although everybody speaks and understands Castilian Spanish perfectly). Certainly it is one of the most cosmopolitan places in Spain, thanks to its long tradition of international commerce.Extremadura's
landscapes are characterized by the mountain ranges Cordillera Central, Montes de Toledo and Sierra Morena as well as the plains and fertile valleys of the rivers Tajo and Guadiana, and the plain lands of Low Extremadura. The climate is continental, with warm summers and temperatures well over 30 C, and quite cold winters.Galicia
is known in Spain as the "land of the 1000 rivers". Those rivers cross the entire region from the mountainous inland to the coast, where they form the characteristical "Rias". The coast itself offers great contrasts, from the smooth beaches of As Mariï¿½as to the dangerous cliffs of Costa de la Muerte, the "coast of death".
The capital of Spain - Madrid
- since 1562 is located on the geographic centre of the Iberian Peninsula. Because of its central location and high altitude, the climate of Madrid is characterized by warm dry summers and cool winters.
Madrid is a city of great monuments. Among its highlights are the medieval center dating back to the Habsburg Empire and the Prado Museum. Murcia
is characterized by its old history of commerce and agriculture. Already its original inhabitants, Iberian tribes, established commercial relations with Phoenicians and Greeks. Lateron it became first a Carthaginean colony, then a Roman colony. (Carthago Nova, today's Cartagena still reminds of that fact). The Moors established effective and modern agricultural production, which still today is an important economic factor, thanks to their advanced technologies.
The history of the ancient kingdom of Navarre
always has been marked by its border situation with France, Castile, Aragon and Baskland and the fact that it is crossed by the pilgrim way Camino de Santiago (Way of Saint James) is an additional reason for its extraordinary monumental richness. Its beautiful towns, like Artajona, surrounded by medieval walls, Estella, Olite, formerly seat of Navarre's kings, Tudela and Roncesvalles always are worth a visit.La Rioja
is well known by its wine bearing the same name. It is produced here, in the smallest of Spain's Autonomous Communities, located south of Basque Country at the occidental extreme of Ebro valley.
This Autonomous Community - Valencia
- is a prototypical example of the "Mediterranean Spain", with a fantastic climate and more than 500 kilometres of coast. It is one of the country's most tourist areas.