Basic Information About Spain

Basic Information About Spain
Spain, which shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal in southwest Europe, boasts some of the best beaches, warmest climates, and most beautiful art and architecture in Europe. With its diverse terrain--from beaches to mountains--Spain has the world's second-most World Heritage Sites, designations of artistic, cultural and historic contributions. Its most popular cities include Madrid (capital), Barcelona and Seville.

Considerations

While it snows in the mountainous regions in the winter, Spain has some of Europe's warmest temperatures year-round. To visit its award-winning beaches, plan a trip from April through November. Beaches on the Canary Islands, which face the African coast, are warm enough for water sports at any time.

Features

Cities such as Madrid, home of the government and the Royal Palace, and Barcelona, a port city known for Antoni Gaudi's whimsical architecture, offer plenty of wide avenues, parks, outdoor cafes, museums, architectural and historic sites, shopping, concerts, theater, wineries and professional sports.

Sports

Southern Spain's clean beaches, especially those on Tenerife, Canary Islands, are considered among the world's best for surfing and wind surfing. Skiing is popular in the winter in locales such as the Pyrenees Mountains along the French-Spanish border and the mountains of Sierra Nevada, and soccer is the national pastime.

Entry Requirements

U.S. citizens must hold a current passport and may visit Spain for 90 days before other requirements kick in. While no immunizations are required, a vacation rich in outdoor activities calls for an updated tetanus shot.

Miscellaneous Facts

The official language of Spain is, of course, Spanish. However, other languages, such as Catalon in Catalonia and Valencian in Valencia, are widely spoken. The currency is the euro.

Expert Insight

Generally, Spain's people are warm, welcoming and family-oriented. You'll find yourself dining at 10 in the evening at an outdoor cafe and spending much more time outside in this high quality-of-life country.

Article Written By Debbie Selinsky

Debbie Selinsky is an award-winning writer based in North Carolina. Selinsky is the former senior editor of "Success Magazine" and deputy director of the Duke University News Service. She has written about travel for many years and specializes in cruise travel, having sailed on more than 100 cruises. Selinsky attended North Greenville University, Oregon Institute of Technology and the Poynter Institute for Journalistic Excellence.

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