Travel highlights Spain
Barcelona is an open-air museum. You can visit it by bus, bicycle or on foot, and enjoy its bustling streets. The architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet left his mark here with revolutionary Modernista buildings. Be sure not to miss a stroll along La Rambla. It is one of the city's landmark sights, a bustling thoroughfare where flower stalls and performance artists jostle for space.The historic centre has a bohemian atmosphere which you can discover as you walk through the Gothic Quarter, and the Ribera and Raval districts. This is one of the world's best-preserved medieval quarters. However, if Barcelona is famous for anything, it must be the buildings in the Eixample. In this city, which overlooks the sea, you can enjoy beaches, the Olympic Marina, Tibidabo or Montjuïc and its surroundings. All in all, it is the ideal city to discover exceptional monuments and surprising places.
Situated in the Territory of Bizkaia, the city is surrounded by fertile landscapes, with forests, mountains, beaches, and steep coasts, that make Bilbao an excellent destination for any traveller. Bilbao is home of the stunning new Guggenheim museum, and a perfect city for art lovers. Ambitious architectural, it also houses the Euskalduna Concert Hall and Convention Centre and the projects by architects such as Arata Isozaki and Cesar Pelli are all examples of the overwhelming vitality that make Bilbao into such a treat.
The walls of the mezquita dominate the town, while the alleyways of Córdoba's old Jewish and Muslim quarters, with their overflowing pots of geraniums, are a delight to explore. Cordoba's medieval quarter, once the home of the Jewish community, a labyrinth of winding, narrow streets, shady flower-filled courtyards and picturesque squares such as La Plaza del Potro. In early May, homeowners proudly decorate their patios with flowers to compete for the city's "most beautiful courtyard" contest.
Granada is simply beautiful, with much greenery and stunning architecture. One of the most brilliant jewels of Granada is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C. This mighty compound of buildings - including the summer palace called Generalife, with its fountains and gardens - stands at the foot of Spain's highest mountain range, the Sierra Nevada, and overlooks the city below and the fertile plain of Granada. At the centre of the Alhambra stands the massive Palace of Charles V, an outstanding example of Spanish Renaissance architecture.
Madrid is a vibrant, atmospheric city, rich in cultural sights. The charm of the old quarters with their tangle of narrow cobbled streets, the blue skies and exquisite sierra light, the superb art collections, these are a few of the attractions of Spain's capital. The mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama are easily accessible from Madrid and are an important center for skiing and winter sports. Puerto de Navacerrada and Valdesquí are the main resorts.
One of the most beautiful resorts in Europe, San Sebastián, close to the French border in northeastern Spain, is elegant and cosmopolitan, and has drawn celebrities and sun lovers to the mild winters and hot summers for generations. No visit to the city is complete without a visit to the old quarter (Parte Vieja) where most of the traditional local life takes place. Its narrow streets are packed with bars and restaurants.
Seville is the very heart of Andalusian culture, the centre of bullfighting and Flamenco music. Amid the grand buildings, chic shops and quaint restaurants there are many traditional Andalusian homes: wrought-iron gates mark the entrance porch and iron gratings the windows; courtyards with fountains and glimpses of Moorish tiles and stunning flowers. The legendary "Don Juan" started from here to conquer the hearts of women across all Europe, while Columbus started from a port close to Seville to discover a new world.
Sitting on a large hill, "Old Toledo" is encircled on three sides by the Tagus River. Walking through its streets one feels like having stepped back into the Middle-Ages. La Mancha's and Spain's historical and cultural heart, is still today the religious seat of the nation. The entire old city is a national monument and listed as part of the UN's World Heritage.
One of the biggest cities in Spain, and among the most livelies. It is located at the Mediterranean sea, with beaches right in the very heart of it. It has fantastic possibilities for any kind of sports and a lively nightlife and is home to dynamic art galleries. Valencia is of course the city where "El Cid", Spain's national hero, fought against the Moors, and popular festivals in the city and many villages around still remind of this epoch.