Let’s explore Spain with CIT, a country on Europe’s Iberian Peninsula, includes 17 autonomous regions with diverse geography and cultures. Capital city Madrid is home to the Royal Palace and Prado museum, housing works by European masters. Segovia has a medieval castle (the Alcázar) and an intact Roman aqueduct. Catalonia’s capital, Barcelona, is defined by Antoni Gaudí’s whimsical modernist landmarks like the Sagrada Família church.
Spain is a mix of old and new, modern and traditional. Bullfights, massive cathedrals, world-class art, Muslim palaces, vibrant folk life, whitewashed villages, and bright sunshine. Those are justly unique but the real country’s charm lies on their people that’s passionate, sophisticated and devoted to living the good life.
Food and Wine
With infinite local and seasonal variations Spain has such gastronomic variety. Food Markets to wander around, restaurants with pavement tables or great little bars packed with locals. You have to experience tapas in Spain which is very different from what’s offered at your local tapas restaurant back home. San Sebastián’s pintxo scene is world famous, its bars serving mouthwatering food, much of it in bite-sized portions on a slice of baguette. Order a drink in many bars around Spain and receive a free plate of tapas, which an excellent Spain tradition every country should be adopting. Spain is a underappreciated dark house when it comes to wine things. The country is the world’s third biggest wine producer, after France and Italy, has over 2.9 million hectares of vineyards. Major Spanish wine regions include the stunning La Rioja and the Ribera del Duero. Cava, Spanish sparkling wine, is made mainly in Catalonia, while sherry comes from Jerez de la Frontera, in southern Spain.
Rich Cultural History
The Phoenicians, Romans, Visigoths and Moors – all have settled in Spain over the centuries, each leaving their own legacy of culture, architecture and cuisine that has enriched the country and its people. This has seen Spain produce iconoclasts such as Picasso, Dali and Gaudi, each of whom has interpreted the world in their own very unique way. There are lots of monuments, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Castles and medieval towns to discover. Seen above is beautiful Ubeda in Jaen province. Visiting Córdoba’s mosque, one of the best examples of Moorish architecture in the world, you get a real sense of the power and creativity of Spain’s Islamic rulers, and the rich legacy they have bestowed on modern Spain. Spain’s has a fascinating history that is well-preserved in its buildings and museums, everywhere you go is just dotted with historic sites.
Fiestas and Flamenco
The word ‘fiesta’ is one of the best-known words in the Spanish language – life itself is a fiesta here and everyone seems to be invited. Spain has some of the world’s most famous – and wacky – festivals and fiestas, from the San Fermín running of the bulls in Pamplona and La Tomatina tomato throwing festival in Buñol, to La Rioja’s annual wine drenching festival. And as well as these more out there festivals, each Spanish town holds its own fiestas, when locals get together, dress up, eat, drink and celebrate. Perhaps you’ll sense it along a crowded, post-midnight street when all the world has come out to play. Or maybe that moment will come when a flamenco performer touches something deep in your soul. Whenever it happens, you’ll find yourself nodding in recognition: this is Spain.