Spain is rightly lauded for its stunning range of scenery, dazzling beaches and unmissable cities, each of which have very unique regional characters to entice and enchant all of their visitors. It is little wonder that many Brits are buying holiday villas in Spain, as from the Moorish influences that are still very evident in the southern cities, to the cosmopolitan capital Madrid and the fiercely proud regional centres of Barcelona and Valencia, it is the perfect place to head to enjoy a city break.
Lying in the heart of this great country, Madrid is the epitome of a 24 hour city that never sleeps – largely thanks to their being just so much to see and do! The royal attractions are the obvious place to start, with the Palacio Real (royal palace) offering a glimpse into Spain’s rich regal history. The Botanical Gardens are rightly famous, as too are a great proportion of the over seventy museums that are scattered across the country specialising in almost every topic imaginable. Among the beautiful Castilian architecture are scores of tapas restaurants, bars and nightclubs to cater for any budget or gastronomical taste, and the shopping is rightly considered to be utterly world class.
The beautiful, cosmopolitan and fiercely passionate capital of Catalonia is perhaps the one great city in the world that offers literally everything to the world class standard. In the space of five minutes a visitor could be rambling down the long stretch of the Ramblas, enjoying street entertainment and soaking up the bustling vibe to being relaxing on the sand of Europe’s most beautiful urban beachfront. Situated in a wide cove valley and surrounded by hills, the Olympic legacy lives on through by offering astonishing views over the entire city, while fans of architecture can marvel at Gaudi’s SagradaFamilia, still under construction over 130 years after the foundations were laid. Magnificent nightlife, fascinating museums and home to one of the world’s great football teams – visitors cannot help but be overawed by Barcelona’s splendour.
Steeped in Moorish influences from when this region was under their control many centuries ago, the legacy lives on with some breathtaking North African influenced architecture mixed within classic Spanish styles from the age of empire building. Characterised by great wide open Plazas, be sure to take time to relax in the Plaza de Espana and the Pargue de Maria Luisa to save energy for an evening’s flamenco dancing in one of the cities many nighttime venues.
The capital of the Costa Blanca features many modern attractions, including one of the world’s finest aquariums and is famed for the beauty of its civic gardens and parks. Valencia is a shopper’s paradise with several huge maze like markets where barter and haggling are part of the fun, and has a fantastic range of restaurants showcasing the regions fantastic produce – seafood is a real specialty. Renting a property gives you a good base from which to explore Valencia and also enjoy the sea. Check out this site for some fabulous costa Blanca property.
Famed for being the regional hub of the Basque region in the north of Spain, in recent years Bilbao has been transformed from a city dependent upon heavy industry and docks to one of Europe’s most significant cultural hubs. This is largely thanks to the Guggenheim Museum that has almost singlehandedly created a vibrant tourist industry since it opened in 1997, and provided the impetus for many other contemporary galleries, concert halls and museums to follow in its wake. With a distinct regional feel allied to a forward thinking and progressive ambition Bilbao is set to become one of Spain’s biggest draws in coming years.