My first travel ebook on Spain
Spain, at a glance
Spain is a fascinating assortment of color, flavor and culture. It is lush green to the north but dry to the south, thus offering a unique combination. In southwest of Europe, it has covered almost 85 percent of the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal. Others are Andorra in the Gibraltar and Pyrenees to the south coast. SpEbro, Tajo and Guadalquivir are its three main rivers. To its east coast, there are Balearic Islands (1,936 sq mi; 5,014 sq km) and Canary Islands (2,808 sq mi; 7,273 sq km) that are located in the west side of Africa. The region covers the land area 192,819 sq mi.
Spain is taken from the word, “Espana” which is derivation of the word Hispania from the Roman Empire. Most important regions within the modern Spain are Galicia, the Catalan-Valencian-Balearic and Basuq Country. Each of these regions has their own unique identity and language. The country is divided into fifty states (provinces). They are grouped into seventeen independent regions.
Historically, Spain was the land of Iberians, Celts, Basques, gypsies and moors. They are called Spaniards. They depict great diversity which becomes prominent when it comes to Basques and Catalans. Although Castilian (Spanish) is standard language; but Basque, Galician, Catalan is also spoken and written.
Sun rays cover Spain all over the year, making it one of the warmest European country. With a variety of landscapes and geography, it has different temperatures and experiences extreme weathers around the region. Spain temperature reaches forty degree during summers and lowers to two degrees in winters.
Details about the variety in climates of Spain are: the southern side and eastern coasts has Mediterranean climate. It is arid partially in the Murcia and east Valencia regions. Continental around the mainland and mountainous in some other parts such as the Pyrenees. Climate of the country is oceanic in some parts such as Galicia and north coast etc.
Spain is regarded as world’s one of the richest countries in terms of traditions and culture. Its customs are unique, legendary and totally different. Some of the most famous traditions of the Spaniards are:
Interestingly, bullfighting is more popular outside of Spain than for the Spaniards nowadays. However, this tradition is still alive as the world loves to see how a real bullfight looks like. And all cities, towns and places in Spain have bullfighting rings and these fights are organized at national level. “Running of Bull” is probably the most famous of the bullfighting culture.
“Tapa” means a small portion of any dish or food. And going tapas is a fun tradition that everyone loves at Spain. In it, people hop from bar to bar for eating a small portion of food. It is not about eating a lot, but hopping a lot for food.
Flamenco of Spain is probably the most popular dance. But it is widely misunderstood also. Basically, it is not a dance; however, it does involve dancing. It is special guitar music, a particular rhythm with some vocals, spontaneous dance and a pretty dress; all of these things in combination make flamenco.
Throwing tomatoes may be a sign of disrespect around the world but not in Spain. It is part of their tradition. La Tomatina reflects the craze, fun and uniqueness of the country. The tradition originates from Valencia where thousands of Spaniards and tourists meet every August to throw “tomatina” at each other.
Els Elfarinats, Festa Mejor de Gracia, Semana Santa, La Raima, Wine Battle of Haro, and Las Fallas are some of the other notable traditions and festivals of the country.
In short, Spain is a lively and vibrant country which grabs attention and casts spells towards it. Spain allures tourists year round not only because its places are worth a go but also its climate, people, festivals, traditions, food are all interesting and attention-grabbing.