There is so much information about “A trip to Spain”. I am disclosing a summary with the more important informations for me:
It's always a good time to travel to Spain. That's because this country in southern Europe has all the ingredients to make your visit an unforgettable experience. Cities which bear the marks of a rich mixture of cultures, monuments and natural spaces awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO, some of the world's most important museums, beaches to suit everybody, a pleasant climate all year round, the healthy Mediterranean diet, typically Spanish traditions such as flamenco and bullfighting... You'll find it very easy to get here thanks to the multitude of international connections available in Spain. Come and be captivated by the Mediterranean character and by the openness and friendliness of its people. Surrender to the magic of its streets. This is a place where life is always enjoyed to the utmost.
Before you come
Most of the territory of Spain (over 47 million inhabitants and with its capital in Madrid) is located on the Iberian Peninsula, although the country also has two archipelagos (the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands) and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, on the coast of Africa.
All these areas are perfectly connected by means of a wide-ranging and comprehensive transport network (you can reach Spain and move around once you're there by plane, train, boat, car…) which means that in very little time you can get to major cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, Nerja …
Spain is one of the warmest countries in Europe, and has over 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. The Canary Islands, due to their geographic location, have an annual temperature of 22°C on the coast.
Remember it, Spain is more than beach, sun, flamenco and bullfighting
In the south east of Europe
Spain covers an area of 505,955 square kilometres, which places it amongst the fifty largest countries in the world.
The largest part of the territory is located in the Iberian Peninsula, the remainder, approximately 12,500 square kilometres, are islands, -Balearics and the Canary Islands- plus 32 square kilometres that are accounted for by the cities of Ceuta and Melilla, situated on the coast of Africa. The situation of the Iberian Peninsula in the extreme south west of Europe and only 14 kilometres away from the African continent, endows Spain with a great strategic value: projecting into the Mediterranean on one side and acting as an intersection on the path to Africa and America on the other. The fact that a large part of Spain is peninsular also explains the length of its coastline, which runs along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. As a result of its position, between 36 and 43 degrees North latitude, the climate ranges from the mild oceanic climate in the North, to the continental Mediterranean in the centre and the Mediterranean in the East and South, factors which combine to create a wet Spain in the North and mountainous areas, green Spain with luxuriant forests and a dry Spain in the Mediterranean.
Nearly 47 million inhabitants
The Spanish population now stands at nearly 47 million, and the country has an area of 505,986.36 square kilometres.
To this we must add the fact that life expectancy in Spain is one of the highest in the world (82.29 years). Life expectancy for Spanish women, at 85.13 years, is also one of the highest in the European Union.
Spain is a non-confessional state, and freedom of worship is recognised in its Constitution. However, most Spaniards profess the Catholic faith, which is deeply rooted in society.
Castilian/Spanish is the nation's official language. There are also officially-recognised languages in the following Autonomous Regions: Catalonia, Galicia, the Basque Country, Valencia and the Balearic Islands (where they speak a particular variety of Catalan).
Spain in the European Union
On January 1 1986 Spain entered the European Union as a full member.
Spain: mosaic of cultures
Originating in its rich historical flux, the Spanish culture has played an important role throughout time.
Spain is, above all, a mosaic of cultures. Heterogeneous. Old and modern. Refined and popular. Holy and secular. Plural and diverse. The variety of its cultures attracts. The historic heritage dazzles. The vital power of its people fascinates. Spanish culture is extremely rich and touches upon all forms of artistic expression. From literature to painting, music to architecture, the theatre to sumptuary arts.
Cultural tourism is becoming an alternative to sun and beach tourism, as a result of the wealth and quality of the museums, monuments, fiestas and traditions, not to mention the expositions and various cultural displays.
Concern for the environment
Spain, although it can be considered a mountainous territory and semi-arid in many aspects, is home to a fauna and flora of great richness and biodiversity.
Spain is a habitat with over 8,000 plant species. Forests account for around 30% of the territory, although these do not always correspond to native species. Traditional reforestation practices carried out particularly in the late 19th century have lead to an overall presence of pine and eucalyptus stands. Spain's environmental conservation policy was launched many years ago, and has been considerably enhanced in recent years. One of the fundamental pillars of this government policy has been protection, by means of initiatives such as the National Parks, Nature Reserves and Game Reserves. However, most of these competences have now been transferred to the Autonomous Regions, who have enacted a range of different protection models. The most important threats to the environment are deforestation (forest fires), erosion, desertification and contamination of river water. This problem is common to the whole of Europe, and the positive balance between agriculture, rational exploitation and conservation of the environment is one of the most important issues for the country. Therefore both agriculture and tourism (which also affects the state of environmental conservation) are today strictly regulated, in order to allow these sectors to prosper and grow without affecting the environment. For all these reasons, Spain is a country with a strong –and increasing– commitment to conserving the environment.
TO BE CONTINUED: PRACTICAL TIPS