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Barcelona, Spain View

A trip to Spain immerses you in the flavors, fiestas, folk music, and football of the Spanish people. Enjoy the tapas, historic cathedrals and architecture, sunny beaches, distinctive sounds and traditional dances while visiting this pleasantly warm paradise. There is much to do while in Spain, depending on your preferences. Enjoy the beaches in Costa del Sol, dance the Flamenco in Seville, run with the bulls in Pamplona, and dine your way through Valencia.

Madrid, the capital and largest city of Spain, lies in the center of the country along the Manzanares River. An important cultural influence, Madrid is home to some of the top art museums in Europe. Visit the Golden Triangle of Art, made up of three of the city’s famous museums, including the Museo del Prado, with a vast collection of art by Goya, Velazquez and many more. Catholicism is an important part of Spanish history and Madrid is home to a significant amount of Catholic churches. Partake in a guided tour of some of the churches, such as Santo Tome, highlighting the turbulent history and incredible architecture spanning the last nine centuries. Enjoy flamenco theaters and tapas bars in Madrid’s energetic nightlife.

Barcelona, just south of the Pyrenees on the Mediterranean coast is Spain’s second largest city. This marvelous city dates back to medieval times and is home to many World Heritage Sites. Barcelona is adorned with a number of botanical and forest parks, as well as nearly three miles of beaches, making it a dynamic destination to enjoy history and nature. Don’t miss Park Guell, a garden complex enhanced with mosaics, viaducts, and grand panoramic views of Barcelona.
Football, soccer to Americans, is more than just a sport in Spain. It is a way of life. Many children grow up playing football in the numerous fields scattered across the country. Dominating the sport, the teams in Barcelona and Madrid have won a number of championships, including the FIFA World Cup. If you visit one of these cities, be sure to take in a game and experience the energy and frenzy of its football fans.

Peniscola Valencia, Spain

Further down the coast from Barcelona, Spain, sits the city of Valencia. Known for its warm climate, fig tree lined avenues, narrow streets, and gothic homes. Valencia is also home to many churches and cathedrals, but is best known as for its culinary inspirations.

Spanish cuisine is full of diverse flavors and bright attractive colors. Valencia’s coastal location, considered the birthplace of authentic Paella, enhances the dish of soft saffron rice with incredibly fresh seafood such as mussels, clams, shrimp, and fish. Other variations include meat, beans, and green vegetables. Tapas, or “small bites,” vary from region to region. Originated in Madrid, a tapas tour is a great way to try a variety of Spanish food in small bites. A little here and a little there and you have a complete meal! Other famous dishes to try in Spain are Jamon, Spanish cured ham; tortilla de patatas, potato omelet; gazpacho, cold tomato soup; and fried calamares, squid, popular at many of the beaches.

Pamplona, Spain Festival

The people of Spain enjoy a good fiesta and the yearly festivals scattered throughout the country are no exception. The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona honors the laid-back city’s martyred saint San Fermin. Each year in July, hundreds young men run ahead of a group of charging bulls. Bullfights and colorful parades round out the weeklong festival. Many Spanish cities celebrate Carnival, in the days before Lent. Look for elaborate costumes, music, festive parades, and an excess of food. The Feria de Sevilla, a spring festival in Seville, is a week of brilliantly outfitted flamenco dancing, lively music, colorful lights, and striped casetas celebrating the culture of the Seville people. While here, tour the Old Town of Seville, the largest in Spain. Home to gothic cathedrals, golden towers, this colorful city mixes Moorish influences with Spanish traditions.

Costa Brava, Spain

With a majority of the country bordered by the Atlantic Ocean or the Mediterranean Sea, Spain has a wealth of beaches to choose from. The Costa del Sol region, “The Sunny Coast” is along the southern coast of Spain’s Andalusia region. The smooth white sand coastline is calm year round. In Malaga, the largest city in this area, find charming streets and monuments in addition to the serene beaches. Travel up the coast of the Mediterranean to Costa Blanca, the white coast. Located near Valencia, these are the go-to beaches for a fun and festive good time. Costa Brava, the rugged coast, is in the northeastern region of Catalonia, from Barcelona to the southwestern corner of France. With the rocky Pyrenees jutting out into the sea, smooth sandy beaches, rivers flowing nearby, Costa Brava is a popular nature lover’s getaway.

Spain is home to a number of mountain ranges, offering a stunning contrast to the natural beaches. The Pyrenees mountain range, separating Spain from France, has a number of resorts popular for alpine skiing and mountain climbing. Find glaciers and waterfalls, mineral and hot springs to enjoy. The Sierra Nevada National Park, in Andalusia, has the southernmost ski resorts in Europe. However, thanks to its high altitude, skiers can slalom through the trails from November until May.

The warm climate makes Spain a pleasant visit any time of the year. To combine a beach and mountain vacation, visit during the earlier or latter part of prime skiing season. Contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com to talk with a Luxe Travel Advisor about embarking on a tour of Spain.