Although Spain is renowned for sun and heat, it is actually a land of contrasts, where visitors can enjoy different climates. Of course, tourists are attracted by the summer weather, but any time is good to visit Spain because the warm temperatures continue all year round in places such as the Canary Islands. And for those visitors who seek cooler temperatures, the north of Spain never disappoints. Winter sports lovers can also find snowy environments in different parts of our country.
Spain’s unique heritage features myriad treasures of incalculable artistic, historical, and cultural value. Our rich heritage is endorsed by UNESCO: its World Heritage list includes more than 45 cultural and natural gems in Spain, including the cave paintings of Altamira and the Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James). Our country also has more than 15 elements on its Intangible Cultural Heritage list, such as flamenco and the Valencia Fallas festivities. Apart from natural sites, castles, palaces, cathedrals, and festivals and other traditions, Spain has wonderful, world-famous museums (Prado, Reina Sofía, Guggenheim Bilbao, etc.) and such stunning examples of the architectural avant-garde as the Guggenheim Bilbao and Barcelona’s Agbar Tower, among many others.
Spaniards and their visitors enjoy a safe environment in Spain. According to UN data, our country is the sixth safest in the world. Moreover, it has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe, ranking as the third safest in the EU. According to the Legatum Properity Index, Spain ranks 15th worldwide with regard to national and personal security.
Forests, deserts, steep mountains, vast plains, dormant volcanoes, rough seas, beaches with calm waters... Spain offers landscapes full of contrasts, where you can find beauty everywhere. In our country, visitors have many options: taking the funicular railway to the top of the Teide, climbing in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountains, walking the Caminito del Rey, enjoying the colourful Irati forest or the greenery of Ordesa or Garrotxa, being fascinated by the Biosphere Reserves of Doñana or Urdaibai, swimming in the turquoise waters of Menorca, or relaxing on the Canary Islands’ beaches.
The Spanish infrastructure network allows you to move around our country quickly and comfortably, whether by car, bus, or train, including high-speed railways. Moreover, Spanish ports and airports are more than prepared to receive the millions of tourists who decide to visit us every year.
Spain has 195 restaurants with stars in the prestigious Michelin Guide, and 11 of them have three stars, its highest accolade—all numbers indicating the international recognition of Spanish food. In addition to our high-end cuisine, pintxos and tapas are world famous, and our traditional recipes are also highly appreciated. The secret of Spanish cuisine is our wide variety of high-quality products including olive oil, cheese, wine, Iberian pork, fish and seafood.
Spain is a real shopping paradise: clothing, shoes, and accessories of national and international designers; from haute couture to major chain stores; from top brands to small boutiques. You can also find local crafts and culinary delights when visiting our traditional food markets and street markets.
Spain boasts a pantheon of star athletes, and sports play an important role in our society. The “king” is, of course, football, as shown by the success of matches among Spanish League teams, including Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. However, basketball, tennis (for instance, the Mutua Madrid Open or Conde Godó tournaments), motorcycle racing (circuit of Jerez or Cheste, among others), sailing, surfing, golf, and skiing—among others—all have major sporting events.
The top national and international groups and soloists always have Spain on their concert tours. Some of the most attractive festivals are Benicàssim (FIB), Bilbao BBK Live, Sónar, Primavera Sound, Mad Cool Festival, Viña Rock, Jazzaldia, and Starlite. But no matter what their favourite style of music, it is safe to say that every month of the year, music lovers can come and enjoy a good concert in Spain.
In every Spanish town, there is a festivity to celebrate. Some of the best-known events are the festival of San Fermín in Pamplona, the Fallas in Valencia, the Tomatina in Buñol, and the April Fair in Seville. There are also religious events, such as Holy Week in Andalusia (especially in Seville and Malaga) and Castile and Leon (Valladolid and Zamora), the Mystery Play of Elche, and the Chant of the Sybil in Majorca—these last two both on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.