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  • Malaga-Province - The province of Málaga, the birthplace of Malaga sweet wine, straddles the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, in Andalusia.
  • El-Tajo-Ronda-Spain - El Tajo, the historic bridge in Ronda in Spain's province of Málaga.
  • Malaga-province-2 - The Málaga region along the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, in Andalusia, is known for its sweet fortified wine.
  • Malaga-Province - The province of Málaga, the birthplace of Malaga sweet wine, straddles the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, in Andalusia.
  • El-Tajo-Ronda-Spain - El Tajo, the historic bridge in Ronda in Spain's province of Málaga.
  • Costa-del-Sol-Malaga-Cathedral - Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación in Málaga, Spain.
  • Costa-del-Sol-Nerja - Nerja is a scenic beach near Málaga, Spain, on Costa del Sol.
  • Malaga-province-2 - The Málaga region along the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, in Andalusia, is known for its sweet fortified wine.
  • Costa-del-Sol-Marbella-old-town - Casco Antiguo (Old Town) in Marbella, along Costa del Sol in Spain.
  • Barcelona-skyline-Spain - A sweeping view of the Barcelona skyline, with the unfinished Sagrada Família in the distance.
  • La-Pedrera-Barcelona - Casa Milà, or La Pedrera, is one of the top landmarks in Barcelona. The building was designed by noted architect Antoni Gaudi.
  • Puerto-Portals-Mallorca-Spain - The most popular marina for Mediterranean yacht owners and a host of international celebrities is Puerto Portals in Mallorca. Majorca is also the longtime home of tennis star Rafael Nadal.
  • Santiago-du-compostelle - Hiking through Santiago de Compostela, the capital city of Galicia in northwestern Spain.
  • Barcelona-cityscape - The Barcelona cityscape. The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is Spain's second largest city and brims with history and plenty of sights to take in.
  • Valldemosa-Mallorca-Spain - Valldemossa is a picturesque village on the island of Mallorca, the setting for George Sand's book, "A Winter in Majorca." The city's beauty and cultural history have inspired many songs and poems over the centuries.
  • Torre-del-Oro-Seville - Torre del Oro, or the Gold Tower, in Seville, southern Spain, was variously used as a store house, prison and fortress since the 13th century.
  • caldera-de-taburiente-La-Palma-Canary-Islands - At Caldera de Taburiente National Park in La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands, take in the area's mountain arches and rock formations.
  • Donana-National-Park-Huelva-Andalusia-Spain - Doñana National Park in the province of Huelva in the Andalusia region is home to some of Spain's most ecologically sensitive wildlife areas.
  • Santa-Eulalia-Church-Palma-de-Mallorca-Spain - A view of Santa Eulalia Church in Palma de Mallorca, which dates to the 12th century. James II was crowned there as king of Majorca, part of the Balearic Islands in Spain.
  •  Sant-Antonio-Abad-Ibiza-Spain - Cala Gració at Sant Antonio Abad in Ibiza off the southern coast of Spain. The beaches there have a pure scenic beauty and are at the hub of many local activities, such as boating, fishing and swimming.
  • Sagrada-Familia-Barcelona - The Basílica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, popularly called Sagrada Família, is the large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Construction began in 1882 and is projected to be completed in 2026. Why rush a good thing?
  • beach-Santa-Cruz-de-Santiago-de-Tenerife-Canary-Islands - Head to Santa Cruz de Santiago de Tenerife, or Santa Cruz, the capital of Spain's Canary Islands, for a serene getaway on its long, beautiful beaches.
  • Cedida-por-Turespana-Cordoba-Spain - A view of pretty Cedida por Turespaña at night in Cordoba, southern Spain.
  • Fallas-Valencia-Spain - One of the more than 350 amazing satirical sculptures made of wood placed thoughout the neighborhoods of Valencia, Spain, during the city's biggest festival, Las Fallas. It's held every March during the Feast of St. Joseph, who was the patron saint of carpenters, after all.
  • Cordoba-Spain-greenery - Many residents of Córdoba in southern Spain take advantage of the region's subtropical Mediterranean climate by creating botanical beauty of their own.
  • La-Mezquita-mosque-Cordoba-Spain - In Córdoba, Spain, home to a culturaly rich heritage, you can visit La Mezquita mosque and its famed red striped arches.
  • Carnival-Santa-Cruz-de-Tenerife-Canary-Islands-2 - An elaborately costumed performer at the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, held each February.
  • Taberna-Flamenca-Seville-Spain - In the taverns throughout Spain, you can hear live music and join in the singing. You might even catch a traditional Flamenco dance.
  • Teatro-Romano-Cartagena-Spain - The ancient Roman Theatre in Cartagena, Spain, was completed in the year 1 BC and only discovered in 1988. Because it was concealed underground so long, a large amount of the original building materials are still visible today.
  • Valencia-Spain-townsquare - A fountain at the center of a townsquare in Valencia, Spain.
  • Rodas-Beach-Vigo- Spain - One of the best beaches in the world? That's what several noted publications have called Rodas Beach in Vigo, Spain. The beach is known for its crystal waters, white sandy beaches and natural dunes.
  • Casa-Batllo-Barcelona-at-night-2 - Casa Batlló in central Barcelona at night. A remodel of a previously built house, it was redesigned by Antoni Gaudí from 1904-1906.
  • Patio-de-los-Leones-Alhambra-Spain - Patio de los Leones, part of the fortress and palace complex of Alahambra in Granada, Spain, has beautiful fountains and an ornate structural design.
  • La-Caleta-beach-Cadiz-Spain - 

La Caleta beach, in the historical center of the port of Cádiz in southwestern Spain, is popular with locals and travelers during the summer months. Cádiz, capital of Cádiz province, boasts a scenic coastline and rich culture.
  • Maremagnum-Mall-Barcelona - Barcelona's largest shopping destination, Maremàgnum Mall, overlooks the bay along the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Malaga-Province - The province of Málaga, the birthplace of Malaga sweet wine, straddles the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, in Andalusia.
  • Vigo-landscape-Spain - Visitors will revel in breathtaking seascapes on the Island of Vigo, Spain, in the Galicia region.
  • A-Coruna-Spain - A night scene in A Coruña, northwestern Spain, home to many beaches, botanical gardens and waterscapes rolling through its lush forests.
  • lighthouse-Cabo-de-Gata-Spain - The lighthouse perched on the cliffs of Cabo de Gata in Natural Park Cabo de Gata-Níjar, Spain.
  • El-Tajo-Ronda-Spain - El Tajo, the historic bridge in Ronda in Spain's province of Málaga.
  • Casa-Batllo-Barcelona-at-night - Casa Batlló in the heart of Barcelona is one of the most famous art buildings in Spain.
  • Alhambra-landscape-Spain - A scenic view of Alhambra, the historic royal palace and fortress — originally constructed in 889 and rebuilt in the mid-11th century — in the city of Granada in the Andalusia region of southern Spain.
  • Olympic-stadium-area-in-Barcelona - The central stadium area where Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics.
  • Heroes-de-Cavite-Square-Cartagena-Spain - Plaza de Heroes de Santiago de Cuba y Cavite, originally called Plaza de Aduana, is a memorial in Cartagena, Spain, to Spanish soldiers and marines who have died in combat.
  • Carnival-Santa-Cruz-de-Tenerife-Canary-Islands - Ornately costumed dancers on parade at the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The festival is held in February each year and attracts visitors from around the world.
  • Mirador-del-Castillo-Benidorm-Alicante-Spain - Along the promenade at Mirador del Castillo in Benidorm in the province of Alicante, Spain. There you can see what's left of an abandoned castle built on a rock separating two beaches.
  • Patio-de-los-Arrayanes-Granada-Spain - These clear waters at the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) are located in the palace complex of historic Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
  • Cordoba-tabernas-Spain - One of the most popular ways to enjoy the rich cuisine of Córdoba, southern Spain, is by spending time at one of the many terrace eateries.
  • Giralda-Seville-Spain - Built by the Moors between 1184 and 1197, this minaret Giralda tower in Seville, Spain, was repurposed and became a bell tower after the Christians' conquest in 1568.
  • Vendimia-Jerez - A street scene in Jerez de la Frontera in the Andalusia region of southern Spain during Harvest Festival, the celebration of fall harvest inspired by wine and held every September.
  • Cies-Islands-Vigo-Spain - Located at northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula, the  Cíes Islands in Vigo, Spain, offer sea-based activities and breathtaking views.
  • cafe-Ibiza-Spain - Locals and visitors indulge in Mediterranean fare served at a taverna on the island of Ibiza, in the Mediterranean off the coast of Valencia in eastern Spain at Sun Sea Bar.
  • La-Rambla-Barcelona - La Rambla is a main hub for shopping, dining and sightseeing in central Barcelona.
  • Malaga-province-2 - The Málaga region along the southern Mediterranean coast of Spain, in Andalusia, is known for its sweet fortified wine.
  • Rodin-sculpture-Barcelona - A public sculpture by Frenchman Auguste Rodin in Barcelona.
  • Tapas-Benidorm-Alicante-Spain - Locals and visitors in the coastal town of Beniform, in the province of Alicante, Spain, enjoy conversation and tapas, delicious small-plate dishes.
  • Uniworld-Queen-Isabel-Douro-River - Guests will marvel at majestic scenery as Uniworld's Queen Isabel makes her journey along the serene Douro River Valley in Portugal and Spain.
  • Ciudad-de-las-Artes-y-las-Ciencias-Valencia-Spain - City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is a display of arts, culture and architecture featuring eight buildings as well as scenic areas throughout. It's one of the most popular attractions in Valencia, Spain.
  • El-Oceanografic-Valencia-Spain - El Oceanogràfic has exhibits of more than 500 different  sea creatures and wildlife from all over the world. You'll find it at Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias in Valencia, Spain.
  • Torre-Agbar-Barcelona - A look at the 38-floor office tower Torre Agbar in Barcelona, Spain. The building is a modern architectural inspiration that has become a symbol of Barcelona itself.
  • Valencia-Spain-cupola - Cupola in the cruise port of Valencia, Spain.
  • Valencia-Spain-street-scene -  A street scene in Valencia, Spain.
  • Costa-del-Sol-Marbella-old-town - Casco Antiguo (Old Town) in Marbella, along Costa del Sol in Spain.
  • Costa-del-Sol-Malaga-Cathedral - Santa Iglesia Catedral Basílica de la Encarnación in Málaga, Spain.
  • Costa-del-Sol-Nerja - Nerja is a scenic beach near Málaga, Spain, on Costa del Sol.
  • Spain-Santiago-de-Compostela - Hospital Real in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
  • SeaDream-in-Seville-Spain - SeaDream ships are slim enough to sneak up Rio Guadalquivir and call on Seville in southwestern Spain and its stunning Moorish architecture.
  • Spain-Salamanca-cathedral - The New Cathedral, one of two major cathedrals in Salamanca, Spain, dates from the 16th century. See it on a cruise on the Douro River.
  • casa-mila-gaudi.jpg - Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in 1906–1910.
  • benedictine-monastery-catalonia.jpg - A Benedictine monastery juts out of the mountainside in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain near Barcelona.
  • casa-batllo-barcelona.jpg - Casa Batlló, a renowned building in downtown Barcelona, was one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces.
  • casa-batllo-ceiling.jpg - A ceiling inside Casa Batlló in downtown Barcelona.
  • seven-seas-explorer-in-valencia-2.jpg - Seven Seas Explorer docked in Valencia, Spain.
  • valencia-amphitheater-2.jpg - A bullfighting ring that is now used for concerts and events in Valencia, Spain. Bullfighting has been banned in most of Spain.
  • Valencia-City-of-Arts-Sciences2-2.jpg - The Opera House at the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias) in Valencia, Spain.
  • Valencia-City-of-Arts-Sciences3-2.jpg - The Museum of Natural History and Arts features architecture that resembles dinosaur bones.
  • Valencia-City-of-Arts-Sciences4-2.jpg - The new Aquarium in the City of Arts and Sciences arts complex in Valencia, Spain.
  • valencia-gold-pillars-2.jpg - Golden pillars highlight a work of public art in Valencia, Spain.
  • valencia-L'Umbracle-sculptures-2.jpg - Modernist sculptures created by Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava as an entrance to the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.
  • valencia-L'Umbracle-2.jpg - The indooor garden walkway leading to the entrance of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain.
  • valencia-public-square-2.jpg - Classic buildings frame a public square in Valencia, Spain.
  • Barcelona-skyline-Spain - A sweeping view of the Barcelona skyline, with the unfinished Sagrada Família in the distance.
  • Tere-Moana-Barcelona-Casa-Mila - Take a Tere Moana cruise to Barcelona and visit this roof architecture at Casa Milà by Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona's most famous architect.
  • Sagrada-Familia-Barcelona - The Basílica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family, popularly called Sagrada Família, is the large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Construction began in 1882 and is projected to be completed in 2026. Why rush a good thing?
  • Tere-Moana-Barcelona-snapshot - Visit Antoni Gaudí's Parc Güell and capture a memory while in Barcelona during a shore excursion on Paul Gauguin Cruises' Tere Moana — or on a pre- or post-cruise stay.
  • Torre-Agbar-Barcelona - A look at the 38-floor office tower Torre Agbar in Barcelona, Spain. The building is a modern architectural inspiration that has become a symbol of Barcelona itself.
  • Tere-Moana-Barcelona-cafe - Plaça Reial in Barcelona, one ofTere Moana's destinations, is known for its outdoor cafes, nightlife and celebrations.
  • Barcelona-cityscape - The Barcelona cityscape. The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is Spain's second largest city and brims with history and plenty of sights to take in.
  • Casa-Batllo-Barcelona-at-night - Casa Batlló in the heart of Barcelona is one of the most famous art buildings in Spain.
  • Gran-Teatre-del-Liceu-Barcelona - The Gran Teatre del Liceu, in the Ciutat Vella neighborhood of Barcelona, opened in 1862 and was built privately by shareholders of what eventually became the Great Liceu Theater Society.
  • Casa-Batllo-Barcelona-at-night-2 - Casa Batlló in central Barcelona at night. A remodel of a previously built house, it was redesigned by Antoni Gaudí from 1904-1906.
  • Maremagnum-Mall-Barcelona - Barcelona's largest shopping destination, Maremàgnum Mall, overlooks the bay along the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Rodin-sculpture-Barcelona - A public sculpture by Frenchman Auguste Rodin in Barcelona.
  • Olympic-stadium-area-in-Barcelona - The central stadium area where Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics.
  • La-Pedrera-Barcelona - Casa Milà, or La Pedrera, is one of the top landmarks in Barcelona. The building was designed by noted architect Antoni Gaudi.
  • Spain-barcelona-10 - Several Mediterranean and transatlantic cruises begin in Barcelona, Spain.
  • La-Rambla-Barcelona - La Rambla is a main hub for shopping, dining and sightseeing in central Barcelona.
  • Tere-Moana-Barcelona-Gaudi - Take a Tere Moana cruise to Barcelona and check out the architecture at Casa Milà by Antoni Gaudí, Barcelona's most famous architect.
  • Tere-Moana-Barcelona-bikes - Bikes are a great way to get to know Barcelona during your shore excursion while journeying on a Tere Moana cruise.
  • Barcelona-shopping - Some of the best shopping can be done in El Born Barrio, the central area of Barcelona, where you can visit some of the best clothing, interior design and designer labels stores in Spain.
  • casa-mila-gaudi.jpg - Casa Milà, better known as La Pedrera, was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in 1906–1910.
  • benedictine-monastery-catalonia.jpg - A Benedictine monastery juts out of the mountainside in the Catalonia region of northeastern Spain near Barcelona.
  • casa-batllo-barcelona.jpg - Casa Batlló, a renowned building in downtown Barcelona, was one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces.
  • casa-batllo-ceiling.jpg - A ceiling inside Casa Batlló in downtown Barcelona.
  • Sagrada-Familia-2.jpg - Gaudi's famed Sagrada Familia Cathedral of Barcelona, a classic example of gothic architecture.
  • Puerto-Portals-Mallorca-Spain - The most popular marina for Mediterranean yacht owners and a host of international celebrities is Puerto Portals in Mallorca. Majorca is also the longtime home of tennis star Rafael Nadal.
  • Santa-Eulalia-Church-Palma-de-Mallorca-Spain - A view of Santa Eulalia Church in Palma de Mallorca, which dates to the 12th century. James II was crowned there as king of Majorca, part of the Balearic Islands in Spain.
  • Valldemosa-Mallorca-Spain - Valldemossa is a picturesque village on the island of Mallorca, the setting for George Sand's book, "A Winter in Majorca." The city's beauty and cultural history have inspired many songs and poems over the centuries.
  •  Sant-Antonio-Abad-Ibiza-Spain - Cala Gració at Sant Antonio Abad in Ibiza off the southern coast of Spain. The beaches there have a pure scenic beauty and are at the hub of many local activities, such as boating, fishing and swimming.
  • cafe-Ibiza-Spain - Locals and visitors indulge in Mediterranean fare served at a taverna on the island of Ibiza, in the Mediterranean off the coast of Valencia in eastern Spain at Sun Sea Bar.
  • Cies-Islands-Vigo-Spain - Located at northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula, the  Cíes Islands in Vigo, Spain, offer sea-based activities and breathtaking views.
  • Rodas-Beach-Vigo- Spain - One of the best beaches in the world? That's what several noted publications have called Rodas Beach in Vigo, Spain. The beach is known for its crystal waters, white sandy beaches and natural dunes.
  • Berbes-Square-Vigo-Galicia-Spain - Local cuisine with a view of the marina in the heart of Vigo, located in Galician region of northwest Spain.
  • Vigo-landscape-Spain - Visitors will revel in breathtaking seascapes on the Island of Vigo, Spain, in the Galicia region.
  • Spain-Santiago-de-Compostela - Hospital Real in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
  • caldera-de-taburiente-La-Palma-Canary-Islands - At Caldera de Taburiente National Park in La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands, take in the area's mountain arches and rock formations.
  • beach-Santa-Cruz-de-Santiago-de-Tenerife-Canary-Islands - Head to Santa Cruz de Santiago de Tenerife, or Santa Cruz, the capital of Spain's Canary Islands, for a serene getaway on its long, beautiful beaches.
  • Carnival-Santa-Cruz-de-Tenerife-Canary-Islands-2 - An elaborately costumed performer at the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, held each February.
  • Carnival-Santa-Cruz-de-Tenerife-Canary-Islands - Ornately costumed dancers on parade at the Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands. The festival is held in February each year and attracts visitors from around the world.
  • Cactus-Garden-Guatiza-Canary-Islands - A windmill stands watch over the Cactus Garden in Guatiza, in the municipality of Teguise in the northeastern part of the island of Lanzarote in Las Palmas province in Spain's Canary Islands.
  • Parque-Nacional-de-Timanfaya-Canary-Islands - A geyser shoots off at Parque Nacional de Timanfaya in Tinajo  on the island of Lanzarote in Las Palmas province in Spain's Canary Islands.
  • coastline-Canary-Islands - The coastline of the Canary Islands shows its wild side.
  • MSC-Armonia - The luxury cruise ship MSC Armonia sails off Spain's Canary Islands.
  • Splendour-of-the-Seas-Las-Palmas-aerial - Splendour of the Seas sailing along the shoreline of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.
  • Navigator-of-the-Seas-in-Tenerife - Navigator of the Seas in Tenerife, the largest and most populous island in Spain's Canary Islands.
  • Navigator-of-the-Seas-in-Tenerife-2 - Navigator of the Seas in Tenerife, the largest and most populous island in the Canary Islands.
  • Giralda-Seville-Spain - Built by the Moors between 1184 and 1197, this minaret Giralda tower in Seville, Spain, was repurposed and became a bell tower after the Christians' conquest in 1568.
  • El-Oceanografic-Valencia-Spain - El Oceanogràfic has exhibits of more than 500 different  sea creatures and wildlife from all over the world. You'll find it at Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias in Valencia, Spain.
  • La-Caleta-beach-Cadiz-Spain - 

La Caleta beach, in the historical center of the port of Cádiz in southwestern Spain, is popular with locals and travelers during the summer months. Cádiz, capital of Cádiz province, boasts a scenic coastline and rich culture.
  • Alhambra-landscape-Spain - A scenic view of Alhambra, the historic royal palace and fortress — originally constructed in 889 and rebuilt in the mid-11th century — in the city of Granada in the Andalusia region of southern Spain.
  • Cedida-por-Turespana-Cordoba-Spain - A view of pretty Cedida por Turespaña at night in Cordoba, southern Spain.
  • Cordoba-tabernas-Spain - One of the most popular ways to enjoy the rich cuisine of Córdoba, southern Spain, is by spending time at one of the many terrace eateries.
  • Torre-del-Oro-Seville - Torre del Oro, or the Gold Tower, in Seville, southern Spain, was variously used as a store house, prison and fortress since the 13th century.
  • Teatro-Romano-Cartagena-Spain - The ancient Roman Theatre in Cartagena, Spain, was completed in the year 1 BC and only discovered in 1988. Because it was concealed underground so long, a large amount of the original building materials are still visible today.
  • Ciudad-de-las-Artes-y-las-Ciencias-Valencia-Spain - City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is a display of arts, culture and architecture featuring eight buildings as well as scenic areas throughout. It's one of the most popular attractions in Valencia, Spain.
  • Heroes-de-Cavite-Square-Cartagena-Spain - Plaza de Heroes de Santiago de Cuba y Cavite, originally called Plaza de Aduana, is a memorial in Cartagena, Spain, to Spanish soldiers and marines who have died in combat.
  • Cordoba-Spain-greenery - Many residents of Córdoba in southern Spain take advantage of the region's subtropical Mediterranean climate by creating botanical beauty of their own.
  • Tapas-Benidorm-Alicante-Spain - Locals and visitors in the coastal town of Beniform, in the province of Alicante, Spain, enjoy conversation and tapas, delicious small-plate dishes.
  • Taberna-Flamenca-Seville-Spain - In the taverns throughout Spain, you can hear live music and join in the singing. You might even catch a traditional Flamenco dance.
  • Patio-de-los-Leones-Alhambra-Spain - Patio de los Leones, part of the fortress and palace complex of Alahambra in Granada, Spain, has beautiful fountains and an ornate structural design.
  • Patio-de-los-Arrayanes-Granada-Spain - These clear waters at the Court of the Myrtles (Patio de los Arrayanes) are located in the palace complex of historic Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
  • La-Mezquita-mosque-Cordoba-Spain - In Córdoba, Spain, home to a culturaly rich heritage, you can visit La Mezquita mosque and its famed red striped arches.
  • Mirador-del-Castillo-Benidorm-Alicante-Spain - Along the promenade at Mirador del Castillo in Benidorm in the province of Alicante, Spain. There you can see what's left of an abandoned castle built on a rock separating two beaches.
  • Fallas-Valencia-Spain - One of the more than 350 amazing satirical sculptures made of wood placed thoughout the neighborhoods of Valencia, Spain, during the city's biggest festival, Las Fallas. It's held every March during the Feast of St. Joseph, who was the patron saint of carpenters, after all.
  • Torre-del-Oro-Seville - Torre del Oro, or the Gold Tower, in Seville, southern Spain, was variously used as a store house, prison and fortress since the 13th century.
  • SeaDream-in-Seville-Spain - SeaDream ships are slim enough to sneak up Rio Guadalquivir and call on Seville in southwestern Spain and its stunning Moorish architecture.
  • Giralda-Seville-Spain - Built by the Moors between 1184 and 1197, this minaret Giralda tower in Seville, Spain, was repurposed and became a bell tower after the Christians' conquest in 1568.

Spain: Vibrant modern culture meets ancient traditions

our guide

The vibe

Spain, Western Europe’s second largest country, evokes images of whirling flamenco dancers, ritualistic bullfights, medieval Moorish palaces and sunny beaches. Located on the Iberian Peninsula, next door to Portugal, the partying pais — the Spanish word for country — is known for its relaxed lifestyle, late-night meals and all-night party scene. But there is more to the country than clubbing and siestas.

Spain is home to art that spans millennia, from prehistoric cave art to portraits by Velasquez, the proto-modern work of Goya and the stylistic versatility of Picasso. Travelers will be fascinated by the architecture here, including the Roman aqueducts and churches, the cave homes of northern Andalusia, the fantastical Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona and the sinuous lines of Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum.

The diverse landscape is punctuated by the rugged Atlantic coast and the gentler waters of the Mediterranean, five snow-capped mountain ranges that draw skiers and mountain bikers and marshes and deserts. In the interior, shepherds still watch over their flocks and the famed black Iberian pigs wander freely, feeding on the acorns that give them their distinctive flavor.

Visitors to Spain need never miss out. In a single country they can find romance, history, natural beauty and some of the finest food in the world. Ole!  

Top reasons to go

  • The modernist cuisine of Barcelona and San Sebastian, the seafood paellas of Valencia, and the famous hams, gazpacho and olives.
  • The wild Costa Brava, the historic and temperate Costa Verde (Green Coast), and the party-happy string of resorts that is the Costa del Sol.
  • The beaches, boutiques and prehistoric sites of the Balearic Islands, which attract jetsetters and nature lovers alike.

Top things to see & do in Spain

Historic sites

Spain has the second largest number of UNESCO Heritage Sites and the largest number of World Heritage Cities of any nation in the world.

In the south of Spain, Andalusia holds many reminders of old Spain. Cadiz is regarded as one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in western Europe, with remnants of the Roman settlement that once stood here. Nearby, Ronda is a beautiful town situated atop steep cliffs and noted for its gorge-spanning bridge and the oldest bullring in Spain. 

El Tajo, the historic bridge in Ronda in Spain's province of Málaga.
Courtesy of Tourist Office of SpainEl Tajo, the historic bridge in Ronda in Spain's province of Málaga.

Cordoba and Granada hold the most spectacular reminders of the nation's Muslim past, with the red-and-white striped arches of the Mezquita in Cordoba and the stunning Alhambra palace perched on a hill above Granada. Seville, the cultural center of Andalusia, has a dazzling collection of sights built when the city was the main port for goods from the Americas, the grandest of which being the city's cathedral, the largest in the country. And in Barcelona, check out its pseudo-medieval Barri Gòtic neighborhood.

Art museums

Spain's two largest cities hold the lion's share of Spain's most famous artworks. Madrid's Museum Triangle is home to the Museo del Prado, the largest art museum in Spain with many of the most famous works by El Greco, Velázquez, and Goya as well as some notable works by Italian, Flemish, Dutch and German masters. Nearby sits the Reina Sofía, most notable for holding Picasso's Guernica but also containing a number of works by Dalí and other Modernist, Surrealist and abstract painters.

One of the more than 350 amazing satirical sculptures made of wood placed thoughout the neighborhoods of Valencia, Spain, during the city's biggest festival, Las Fallas.
Cristina Candel / Courtesy of Tourist Office of SpainOne of the more than 350 amazing satirical sculptures made of wood placed thoughout the neighborhoods of Valencia, Spain, during the city's biggest festival, Las Fallas.

Barcelona is renowned for its stunning collection of modern and contemporary art and architecture. This is where you will find the Picasso Museum, which covers the artist's early career quite well, and the architectural wonders of Antoni Gaudi, with their twisting organic forms that are a delight to look at. A day trip from Barcelona is the town of Figueres, noted for the Salvador Dalí Museum, designed by the Surrealist himself.

Family friendly

The historic cities of Spain are drenched in the past, but offer modern amenities. If you're a cruise passenger, the only way to see the capital, Madrid, is with a visit before or after your cruise, but it's worth the trip. Madrid has open plazas and top art museums, from the Prado to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. Seville, the capital of the province of Andalusia, has more than a trace of its Roman past and Moorish occupation, and it is the location of the largest Gothic cathedral in the world.

In Granada, buy tickets in advance for the popular Alhambra, an intricately designed palace/fortress built in the 13th to 14th centuries. Valencia is famous for its orange groves and enormous vegetable market. See Don Quixote’s windmills in La Mancha.

Highlights of Barcelona are its Gothic Quarter, Seu (old cathedral) and Las Ramblas, the main shopping and dining thoroughfare. The Balearic and the Canary islands are also part of Spain, as are Ceuta and Melilla.

Spain’s Mediterranean beaches are its top attraction. The resort areas lining the Mediterranean coastline through Catalonia and Andalusia are Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Costa Brava.

Rodas Beach in Vigo, Spain.
Jose Luis G. Grande / Courtesy of Tourist Office of SpainRodas Beach in Vigo, Spain.

Best bets for dining & drinking

Along the seacoast, fresh seafood is widely available and quite affordable. Other popular choices include gambas ajillo (garlic shrimp), pescado frito (fried fish), buñuelos de bacalao (breaded and deep fried cod) or the ever-present paella dishes.

The entry level to Spanish food is found in bars as tapas, which are a bit like starters or appetizers but are instead considered side orders to accompany your drink. Some bars will offer a wide variety of different tapas; others specialize on a specific kind (like seafood-based). A Spanish custom is to have one tapa and one small drink at a bar, then go to the next bar and do the same. 

Spain is a country with great wine-making and drinking traditions. The most famous reds come from Rioja region, less known but also important come from Ribera del Duero, Priorato, Toro and Jumilla. The varietel Valdepenas offers good value for the money, and Belondrade y Lurton is regarded as the best white wine in Spain.

Best time to go

The best time to visit nearly all of Spain is in the spring and fall. The Atlantic coast may be an exception to this as it experiences heavy rains in October and November. Overall, in terms of weather and crowds, the best months to visit are May and October. 

Need to know

Documents: U.S. and Canadian citizens need a passport to enter Spain.

Language: Spanish is the official language of Spain; however, in major tourist cities such as Barcelona and Madrid, and near major cruise ports, English is widely spoken. 

Currency: The Euro.

Safety: Spain is a safe country, but you should take some basic precautions in public places. Beware of pickpockets in public, and don't leave valuables in a rental car.

Your take

Have you been to Spain? Please share a story, tip or discovery. What was the highlight?

WikiVoyage contributed to this article.

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