Soaring Gothic cathedrals, the strains of Flamenco guitars, the swirl of a matador’s cape – the sights and sounds of Spain have been inspiring British holidaymakers for years. Just a short hop away, Spain is the land of Blue Flag beaches, ever-warm sunshine and legendary nightlife.
Mainland Spain is known for its Costas. Curving around the southern shoreline, you’ll find the sun-splashed regions of Costa del Almeria, Costa del Sol and Costa de la Luz. Further up the coast, there’s Costa Blanca with its white-sand beaches. And, Costa Brava and Costa Dorada are up north, in Catalonia.
In the Mediterranean, just off the coast of the Spanish mainland, are the Balearic Islands – with their beautiful beaches and scenic countryside. In Ibiza the party never stops and in Majorca family fun is always on tap. Menorca is the place to chill out and Formentera lets you escape from the rest of the world.
Spain’s Canary Islands lie just off of Morocco’s west coast in the Atlantic Ocean. Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria are the most celebrated of the Canaries, while Fuerteventura is beginning to make a name for itself. And, to get away from it all, head to the lesser-known isles of La Palma or La Gomera.
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The Canaries are actually the tips of a volcanic mountain range, which explains the crazy mix of scenery – the islands showcase everything from tropical forests and moon-like lava deserts, to giant sand dunes. And then there are the beaches, which tick off white sandy sweeps and black-sand coves.
Open-all-hours beach resorts and sleepy, whitewashed villages. Cutting-edge restaurants and backstreet tapas bars. When it comes to mixing old and new, Andalucia’s got it just right. It’s got all the mod cons, but without losing the Spanish charm that made it so popular in the first place.
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