Spain’s Amazing Diversity
Spain is a very diverse country in terms of basically everything — language, culture, geography, music, and food — and it can be hard to know what to see.
There are so many things to see in Spain from historic sites, to amazing landscapes, to food, culture, and an amazing lifestyle, it’s hard to even know where to begin!
Spain has amazing beaches on every coast — North, South, and East (the West coast is beautiful too, but that’s Portugal)– on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and two sets of fantastic islands — the Balearic islands in the Mediterranean composed of the famous Ibiza and Mallorca and lesser know but stunning Menorca and Formentera, and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic off the Western Coast of the African continent.
The southern region of Andalucia has the rich history of Al-Andalus with its mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian cultures, and the cities of Cordoba, Granada, and Sevilla with their Moorish architecture — the stunning Alhambra (the most visited site in Europe), the unique mosque in Cordoba, the Alcazar in Sevilla. The southern Atlantic coast of Cadiz is amazing and filled with white-washed, hilltop villages like Vejer de la Frontera, Caños de Meca, and Jerez de la Frontera, to name a few.
The city of Barcelona is known for is European vibe and Gaudi’s unique, colorful, and quirky architecture as well as for leading a gastronomic revolution in Spain.
The North coast and the regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, and the Basque Country, have spectacular, world-reknown seafood, and dramatic coasts, amazing surfing, and lush green countryside.
Madrid has a deep Spanish soul is filled with amazing neighborhoods, each with their own flavor, and a pulsating energy that is like no other city. Madrid has three of the top art galleries in Europe — The Prado, The Reina Sofia, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza — a stately park in the Retiro, and old, romantic and windy streets filled with cafes and bars.
5 Spain Must Sees
I picked five must-sees and dos for a first time visitor to Spain. My picks shine a light on Spain’s amazing diversity. I would definitely recommend a trip that stops at all of these spots for a first-time visitor to Spain who wants to see and experience different parts of the country.
- A visit to the unique and romantic city of Granada and the awe-inspiring Alhambra;
- Drinks and tapas along Calle Cava Baja in Madrid any night and during Sunday’s Rastro market to get a sample of la vida madrileña;
- A dip in the ocean at La Concha beach in San Sebastian followed by pintxos and wine in San Sebastian’s legendary casco viejo, or old town center;
- A visit to the lovely city of Logrono in the heart of La Rioja wine country and a tour and wine tastings in surrounding vineyards that produce some of the best wine in Spain;
- See Spain’s most beautiful Cathedral, immerse yourself in the spirit of the Camino de Santiago, and enjoy tapas in the city with the most bars per resident in Leon
(Photo by David Jiménez Llanes –https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31695037)
Of course, these are just some of the must-sees and dos in Spain. Visitors with particular interests, like gastronomy, history, or hiking, or those who are planning a beach vacation, will have different priorities and must-sees.