Spain - Image by Señor Hans

Spain - Image by Señor Hans

The Kingdom of Spain – A real dreamland on the lovely planet. Famous for its tremendous historic significance. Known for its immense cultural heritage. Praised for its sensational landscape and sceneries. Wanted for its glorified tourism features. And the most of all desired for its diverse but hospitable people.

Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. The name Spain comes from the word Hispania, which means the land of rabbits. Having a population of about 48 million, the country shares its borders with to the north by France and the tiny Andorra and to the west by Portugal. Spain has both the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines. Spain has diversity in the nature of its climate having alpine, oceanic and semi-arid characteristics in its distinctive parts. For its exotic traits, Spain is one of the top visited countries in the world. Main languages include Spanish, Catalan and Galician. Spain is a distinguished land on earth for several unique festivals and activities like La Tomatina,  San Fermin festival of Pamplona, Spain,  Spanish flamenco dance, Spanish fandango dance and many other countless festivities. Almost 43 % of olive production is done in Spain. Spain’s capital is Madrid having almost 3.3 million inhabitants which is also the largest is city in Spain. Spain is the only European country bordering Africa through the straits of Gibraltar. Soccer is the diehard sport for the Spanish people and many cities have massive soccer stadiums. The Spanish cuisine mainly contains potatoes, rice, fish, meat, beans, chickpeas and fruit. Spain has almost 3.7 million foreigners residing within its territory, almost one-third of the nation’s population. The Spanish flag depicts a Coat of Arms which is the exact replica of the original Coat of Arms worn by King Ferdinand. Spain observes its national day on 12 th October, because on the same date in 1492 Columbus set foot in the Americas. Spain has the second highest number of bars per inhabitants in the world. Spanish people while meeting someone, customarily give one kiss on each cheek.

Roman Catholicism was once the official religion of Spain, but the constitution of 1978 established the principles of religious freedom and separation of church and state. As far as forestry is concerned, extensive forests are now limited to the Pyrenees and the Asturias-Galicia area in the north because centuries of unplanned cutting have depleted stands. The main reasons why Spain attracts heavy numbers of tourists include the country’s accessibility, warm climate, beaches and relatively low costs.

See also:

Colors of Frigiliana, Spain

Colors of Zumaia in Spain: Amazing rock strata of the world

Traditional dress of Spain: Colors and history of Spanish culture

In this article, we’ve made a collection of 30 top and most-wanted tourist destinations of Spain for your interest and all of these are listed below in alphabetical order.

1- Alhambra the complete form of which was Calat Alhamra, is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain.  It was originally constructed as a small fortress in 889 and then largely ignored until its ruins were renovated and rebuilt in the mid-11th century by the Moorish emir Mohammed ben Al-Ahmar of the Emirate of Granada, who built its current palace and walls. It was converted into a royal palace in 1333 by Yusuf I, Sultan of Granada.  Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the inspiration for many songs and stories.

Alhambra - by Mario Inoportuno
Alhambra – by Mario Inoportuno

2. The city of Ávila is located in the centre of Spain, in the Autonomous Community of Castile and León. Founded in the 11th century to protect the Spanish territories from the Moors, this ‘City of Saints and Stones’ has maintained its medieval austerity, and is the birthplace of St Teresa and burial place of the Grand Inquisitor, Torquemada. This purity of form can still be seen in the Gothic cathedral and fortifications that, with their 87 semi-circular towers and nine gates, is the most complete found in Spain.

Ávila - Old Town - Image by Carlos Velayos
Ávila – Old Town – Image by Carlos Velayos

3. Benidorm is a coastal town in Alicante, Spain on the Western Mediterranean. Benidorm is popular with tourists from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The town is now very popular with families. Benidorm has three major beaches: Playa de Levante , Playa de Poniente  and Playa de Mal Pas.  Nightlife is very popular and mainly involves cabaret acts and tapas bars.  Benidorm has the most high-rise buildings per capita in the world.

Benidorm Beach - Spain - Image Darren Wilkinson
Benidorm Beach – Spain – Image Darren Wilkinson

4- The Burgos Cathedral is located in the historical centre of the Spanish city of the same name, in the Autonomous Community of Castilla y León, in the northern Iberian Peninsula. Construction on the Cathedral began in 1221 and was completed in 1567. It is a comprehensive example of the evolution of Gothic style, with the entire history of Gothic art exhibited in its superb architecture and unique collection of art, including paintings, choir stalls, reredos, tombs, and stained-glass windows.

Burgos Cathedral. Image by javier.losa
Burgos Cathedral. Image by javier.losa

5- Casa Vicens is a family residence in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), designed by Antoni Gaudí and built for industrialist Manuel Vicens. It was Gaudí’s first important work. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí” in 2005. It was built in the period 1883-1889 and is located at Carrer de les Carolines 24, in the Gràcia district of Barcelona.

Casa Vicens - Image by Viaggiatore Fantasma - Back In London, 7-15 July
Casa Vicens – Image by Viaggiatore Fantasma – Back In London, 7-15 July

6- The City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) is an entertainment-based cultural and architectural complex in the city of Valencia, Spain. It is the most important modern tourist destination in the city of Valencia. The City of Arts and Sciences is situated at the end of the former riverbed of the river Turia. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela, the project underwent the first stages of construction in July 1996 and the finished “city” was inaugurated April 16, 1998 with the opening of L’Hemisfèric.

Ciudad de las Artes - Image by Alessandra Kocman
Ciudad de las Artes – Image by Alessandra Kocman

7- The Mosque–Cathedral of Córdoba, also known as the Great Mosque of Córdoba is located in the Spanish region of Andalusia. The structure is regarded as one of the most accomplished monuments of Moorish architecture. The building is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. The Great Mosque of Cordoba is a prime example of the Muslim world’s ability to brilliantly develop architectural styles based on pre-existing regional traditions.

Cordoba Mosque. Image  by Jameher
Cordoba Mosque. Image by Jameher

8- The Costa del Sol literally, “Coast of the Sun” or “Sun Coast” is a region in the south of Spain, in the autonomous community of Andalusia. The Costa del Sol is situated between two lesser known coastal regions, the Costa de la Luz and the Costa Tropical. The coast shows a diversity of landscapes: beaches, cliffs, estuaries, bays and dunes. The rivers are short and seasonal, while the agriculture is hampered by the lee effect caused by the Baetic System.

Costa del sol. Image  Jimmy Fizz in Alderney
Costa del sol. Image Jimmy Fizz in Alderney

9- Gran Canaria originally meaning “Great Island of Dogs” is the most populous island of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago. Gran Canaria is located southeast of Tenerife and west of Fuerteventura. The island is of volcanic origin, mostly made of fissure vents. This island is called a “Miniature Continent” due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, with long beaches and dunes of white sand, contrasting with green ravines and picturesque villages.

Gran Canaria - Image by El Coleccionista de Instantes
Gran Canaria – Image by El Coleccionista de Instantes

10- Ibiza is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, 79 kilometres off the coast of the city of Valencia, in eastern Spain. Ibiza is the home of the noted port in Ibiza Town, a popular stop for many tourists and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ibiza is considered to be a popular tourist destination, especially due to its legendary and at times riotous nightlife centred on two areas: Ibiza Town, the island’s capital on the southern shore and Sant Antoni to the West.

Ibiza town - Image by davehunt82
Ibiza town – Image by davehunt82

11. The Beach of La Concha is located in San Sebastián (Basque Country). It is one of the most famous urban beaches in Europe. Throughout the long summer months a fiesta atmosphere prevails, with thousands of tanned and toned bodies spread across the sands. The swimming is almost always safe.

La Concha beach - Spain - Iamge by chalo84
La Concha beach – Spain – Iamge by chalo84

12- La Oliva a small town and a municipality in the northern part of the island of Fuerteventura in the Province of Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain. The site has extensive beaches of powdery sand and highly-valuable ecosystems. La Oliva also possesses an interesting artistic heritage. As well as many other attractions, this district has valuable open spaces.

La Oliva - Image by chriscom
La Oliva – Image by chriscom

13- Llanes is a municipality of the province of Asturias, in northern Spain. Stretching for about 30 km along the coast at the extreme east of the province, Llanes is bounded to the south by the high ridge of the limestone Sierra del Cuera, which rises to over 1,100 m. The district contains numerous caves, including a site of archaeological interest at Nueva and the Cueva Bolado. Today, Llanes is still an active fishing port, with its economy boosted by tourism (mostly by visitors from the rest of Spain) in the summer.

Llanes - Image by M. Martin Vicente
Llanes – Image by M. Martin Vicente

14. Marbella is a city and municipality in southern Spain, belonging to the province of Málaga in the autonomous community of Andalusia. Marbella is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, between Málaga and the Gibraltar Strait, in the foothills of the Sierra Blanca. The coast has the Natural Monument site of the Dunas de Artola. The city is especially popular with tourists and is particularly noted for the presence of aristocrats, celebrities and wealthy people.

Marbella Spain - Image by Ard vd Leeuw
Marbella Spain – Image by Ard vd Leeuw

15. Montserrat is a multi-peaked mountain located near the city of Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain. It is part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range. It is well known as the site of the Benedictine abbey and  Santa Maria de Montserrat. The Benedictine Abbey can be reached by road, by the Aeri de Montserrat cable car, or by the Montserrat Rack Railway. The highest summit of Montserrat is called Sant Jeroni (Saint Jerome) and stands at 1,236 meters.

Montserrat by Keith Laverack
Montserrat by Keith Laverack

16. Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon is an aesthetic trend in the Mudéjar style, which is centered in Aragon (Spain) and has been recognized in some representative buildings as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. From the construction point of view, the Mudejar architecture in Aragon preferably adopts functional schemes of Cistercian Gothic, but with some differences. In 1986, Unesco declared the whole Mudejar complex of Teruel a World Heritage Site, which was extended in 2001 to include other Aragonese Mudejar monuments.

Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon - Instant 2010
Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon – Instant 2010

17. The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world’s finest collections of European art, dating from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of Spanish art. The collection currently comprises around 7,600 paintings, 1,000 sculptures, 4,800 prints and 8,200 drawings, in addition to a large number of other works of art and historic documents.

Museo nacional del prado by trioptikmal
Museo nacional del prado by trioptikmal

18. The Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias are six pre-Romanesque constructions all dating from the 9th century. At that time, Asturias was a stronghold of Christianity. A distinctive and innovative pre-Romanesque architectural style developed in this isolated region north of the Cantabrian Mountains. The site is located on San Miguel de Lillo of Oviedo, province of Asturias, autonomous Community of Asturias, Spain.

Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias.Image by Victoriano Rivero
Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias.Image by Victoriano Rivero

19. The Palau Güell is a mansion designed by the architect Antoni Gaudí for the industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell and built between 1886 and 1888. It is situated in Catalonia, Spain. It is currently completely open with all restoration work completed in April 2011. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Works of Antoni Gaudí”.

Palau Güell - Tiseb
Palau Güell – Tiseb

20. The Park Güell is a public park system composed of gardens and architectonic elements located on Carmel Hill, in Barcelona (Spain). Park Güell is the reflection of Gaudí’s artistic plenitude, which belongs to his naturalist phase (first decade of the 20th century). Park Güell is located in La Salut, a neighborhood in the Gràcia district of Barcelo.

Park Guell - Image by Stuart Pinfold
Park Guell – Image by Stuart Pinfold

21. The Plaza Mayor was built during Philip III’s reign (1598–1621) and is a central plaza in the city of Madrid, Spain. The Plaza Mayor is rectangular in shape, measuring 129 m × 94 m (423 ft × 308 ft), and is surrounded by three-story residential buildings having 237 balconies facing the Plaza. It has a total of nine entranceways. The Plaza Mayor has been the scene of multitudinous events: markets, bullfights, football games and other public executions.

Plaza Mayor, Madrid - Image by Patrick Silveira
Plaza Mayor, Madrid – Image by Patrick Silveira

22. PortAventura is a theme park and a resort in the south of Barcelona, in Salou, Tarragona, Spain; on the Costa Dorada. It attracts around 4 million visitors per year making it the most visited theme park in Spain. It is the biggest resort in the south of Europe. PortAventura Park is also the 6th most visited theme park in Europe.

Port Aventura - Image by xavipat
Port Aventura – Image by xavipat

23. The Palacio Real de Madrid (literally: Royal Palace of Madrid) is the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family at the city of Madrid, but is only used for state ceremonies. The palace is owned by the Spanish State and administered by the Patrimonio Nacional, a public agency of the Ministry of the Presidency. The palace is located on Calle de Bailén (Bailén Street), in the Western part of downtown Madrid, East of the Manzanares River, and is accessible from the Ópera metro station. Several rooms in the palace are regularly open to the public except during state functions.

Royal Palace Madrid - Image by R.Duran
Royal Palace Madrid – Image by R.Duran

24. The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The style of la Sagrada Família is variously likened to Spanish Late Gothic, Catalan Modernism and to Art Nouveau or Catalan Noucentisme. Visitors can access the Nave, Crypt, Museum, Shop, and the Passion and Nativity towers.

Sagrada Família by DGaMeFR
Sagrada Família by DGaMeFR

25. San Lorenzo de El Escorial, also known as El Escorial de Arriba is a town and municipality in the Community of Madrid, Spain. The Monastery of El Escorial is the most prominent building in the town and is one of the main Spanish Renaissance monuments. The monastery and its historic surroundings were declared a World Heritage Site UNESCO.

San Lorenzo de El Escorial - Image Arturo R Montesinos
San Lorenzo de El Escorial – Image Arturo R Montesinos

26. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is a cathedral of the archdiocese is in the World Heritage Site of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in Spain. The cathedral is the reputed burial-place of Saint James the Great, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ. The building is a Romanesque structure with later Gothic and Baroque additions. Each of the façades along with their adjoining squares constitutes a magnificent urban plaza. Construction of the present cathedral began in 1075 under the reign of Alfonso VI of Castile (1040–1109) and the patronage of bishop Diego Peláez.

Santiago de Compostela Cathedral - Image J. A. Alcaide
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral – Image J. A. Alcaide

27. The Serra de Tramuntana is a mountain range running southwest–northeast which forms the northern backbone of the Spanish island of Mallorca. In June 2011, the entire mountain range, which has been preserved as an important nature reserve, outstanding in their geology and forest cover and harboring a diversity of plant and animal species, away from rapid urbanization, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Serra de Tramuntana by Wakonda (Emilio Vaquer)
Serra de Tramuntana by Wakonda (Emilio Vaquer)

28. The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See better known as Seville Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Seville (Andalusia, Spain). It is the largest Gothic cathedral and the third-largest church in the world. It was registered in 1987 by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The cathedral is also the burial site of Christopher Columbus. The Archbishop’s Palace is located on the northeastern side of the cathedral.

Seville Cathedral and Alcazar. Image by fantomdesigns
Seville Cathedral and Alcazar. Image by fantomdesigns

29. Toledo is set on a hill above the plains of Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain. It’s known for the medieval Arab, Jewish and Christian monuments in its walled old city, and as the former home of the artist El Greco.

Tolede architecture Spian. Image by Niko Kaptur
Tolede architecture Spian. Image by Niko Kaptur

30- The Tower of Hercules is the only fully preserved Roman lighthouse that is still used for maritime signaling, hence it is testimony to the elaborate system of navigation in antiquity and it provides an understanding of the Atlantic sea route in Western Europe. The Tower of Hercules was restored in the 18th century in an exemplary manner, which has protected the central core of the original Roman monument while restoring its technical functions.

Tower of Hercules. Image  by Yellow.Cat
Tower of Hercules. Image by Yellow.Cat

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