Once divided into small kingdoms
Like plenty of other European countries, what we know as today’s Spain was once a collection of smaller kingdoms. That changed in the 15th century when Fernando of Aragon and Isabel of Castile married and united their respective kingdoms. But enough of this boring history, let’s check out what this amazing country has to offer!
From the marvelous trails of the colorful Park Güell to the romantic alleys of Barri Gòtic, from the beachside nightclubs to the city’s dozens of beautiful churches and architectural works of art, this city by the sea seems to attract all: the adventurer, couples, the partier, the culture lover and more, with an overwhelming variety of things to do. You could stay for a few days, but chances are you’ll need a whole week to explore.
In Barcelona, even the beach is bustling, but it’s really the cosmopolitan city that gets all the attention. There is a series of narrow streets and alleys filled with restaurants, nightclubs and a vibrant pedestrian market. But you should also take a tour of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces; Gaudí is responsible for sites like Casa Milà, Casa Batlló and La Sagrada Familia. You also shouldn’t miss out on the shopping scene and the region’s exquisite food and wine. Consider signing up for one of the city’s best guided tours.
Though the sunshine and laid-back lifestyle may attract you to relax your days away, but sure to make time for visits to the parks, gardens and palaces that showcase the city’s compound history and architectural magnificence. If you look carefully, you’ll see “NO8DO” on city benches, buses, bicycle racks and even manhole covers. A rebus for the Spanish phrase “no me ha dejado,” NO8DO translates to “It (Seville) has not abandoned me.” Remember this because it’s likely you’ll adapt this mantra yourself; once you’ve seen the charms of Seville, your experience will stick with you for a while.
Mallorca, the biggest of the collection of islands located off the east coast of Spain, is also the most various of the Balearics. Although it’s true that the same waters that lap Ibiza (its southwestern neighbor) also roll onto Mallorca’s pristine shores, Mallorca’s landscape holds many more values. For example, look no further than the island’s Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, which lines the northern coast and drops into the rocky Cap de Formentor, or the inland’s swaths of green that are draped in olive, almond and carob groves. And its medieval town – Palma – with its transcendent cathedrals and palaces and its quaint streets and squares, are in their own way just as delightful to behold. Couple that with a local culture that has sense for awesome food, good wine and fun, and you’ll start to wonder, why not Mallorca?
Tucked away among the Sierra Nevada Mountains in southern Spain, this Andalusian beauty is awash with an contagious European charm as well as a strong sense of mystery brought on by its storied history. In Granada, churches were once the sites of mosques, bakeries were bath houses and shops primarly served tea instead of tapas. Though the days of dynasties changing are long gone, what’s left is a tangible sense of tradition.
Granada’s history as a former Moorish empire mesmerizes, its age-old architecture enchants and its rich culture fascinates the scores of travelers who make the trek to this small Spanish city. And visitors quickly discover that in Granada, anything is possible. You can catch a flamenco show in caves once inhabited by African gypsies, shop goods that can be found on the streets of Morocco, hike the foothills of Spain’s largest national park and, with Granada’s thriving tapas scene, never pay a dime for dinner. So if you ever find yourself in Granada, embrace the city in all its unique forms and if anything, allow yourself to get completely lost in its splendor, you won’t regret it.