4th country of destination by international tourist arrivals in 2012
57.7 million visitors per year (+1.5)
TOP TRAVEL DESTINATION: Spain (Reino de España)
Spain is one of the most important countries of the Europe and is among the top travel destination for the tourists as it is having the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, after Italy, and the largest number of World Heritage Cities. It is situated on the western part of the Mediterranean Sea. Spain is also known for its large geographical and cultural diversity, often a surprise for tourists who are expecting to find a country mostly known for beach tourism.
Spain is considered as an exotic country due to its friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, its cuisine, vibrant nightlife, and world-famous folklore and festivals. Among many places worth visiting, Spain includes a great cultural diversity and features a rich heritage. The Spanish cuisine is one of the world famous international cuisines.
Spain is a beautiful country and is preferred as top travel destination by the tourists. There are three main climatic zones which can be separated as per the geographical location and orographic conditions:
The Mediterranean climate is featured with dry and warm summers.
The Semiarid climate is in the south-eastern part of Spain, especially in the region of Murcia and in the Ebro valley. In contrast with the Mediterranean climate, the dry season extends beyond the summer.
The Oceanic climate is in north part of Spain, especially in the region of Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and partly Galicia. In contrary to the Mediterranean climate, winter and summer temperatures are influenced by the ocean and have no seasonal drought.
Apart from the above mentioned types the other sub-types can be found, like the alpine climate in the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada and a typical subtropical climate in the Canary Islands, these are more than enough to call it as the top travel destination in the world.
The Culture and Religion
Spain is known for its culturally diverse heritage, having been influenced by many nations and peoples throughout its history. Spanish culture has its origins in the Iberian, Celtiberian, Latin, Visigothic, Roman Catholic and Islamic cultures. Spanish culture is extremely rich and touches upon all forms of artistic expression. Spain’s culture plays very crucial role in make it the top travel destination by many travellers.
Though Roman Catholicism is the major religion in Spain, nowadays Spain’s second largest religion comprises of Muslims and Sikhs are also there among the Spain population. Taken together the Muslim and Sikh population form zero point three percent of the total population in Spain. The major religions of Spain includes: Roman Catholic, Islam, Jewish and Sikhs.
Places to tour in Spain
Andalusia – Andalusia is located in the southern part of Spain. Andalusia is famous for its religious fervor of people, beautiful beaches and picturesque villages and of course for being the cradle of Flamenco music and dances.
Cordoba – Cordoba is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in southern region of Spain.
Costa de la Luz – Costa de la Luz includes the points of attraction like the sea fortifications, the ‘old’ and ‘new’ cathedrals and the tower, Torre Tavira, worth the climb for the sweeping rooftop views.
Costa del Sol – Costa del Sol beaches have been for years the favorite destination of travellers.
Leon – León was recaptured from the Moors and now, the architecture reflects its long history under Christian rule.
When to go
To visit this top travel destination anytime is ideal but most of the tourists gathers during the spring and fall nearly all parts of the Spain. With the possible exception of the Atlantic coast that experiences heavy rains in October and November. May and October are the best months, in terms of both weather and crowds.
Travelling in Spain
Spain is a member of the Schengen Agreement. As per this agreement there are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented the treaty – the European Union Iceland, Norway and Switzerland (except Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom). Accordingly, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty. Spain, the top travel destination can be toured by the following modes:
By plane – Domestic flights are available for city to city travelling.
By train – Long-distance trains always get in time and so the short distances trains (called Cercan'as).
By bus – The easiest way to get around most parts of Spain is by bus. Most major routes are point to point, and very high frequency.
By boat – Private yacht helps one to enjoy gorgeous scenery and distances from the inevitable crowds of tourists that flock to these destinations.
By car – Getting around by car makes sense if you plan to move from one city to another every other day. It also doesn't hurt that the scenery is beautiful and well worth a drive.
Major Airports in Spain
The most important airports in Spain are: