Some Noteworthy Facts about Spain
Facts about Spain will help you understand the culture, country and what you'll be visiting. Spain is a destination that’s compelling for a variety of reasons. Its rich culture, friendly people, delightful regional cuisines, absorbing history, and varied topography are more than enough to capture the attention of just about any traveler.
It’s easy to come up with a lot of noteworthy facts about Spain. Here are just a few to pique your interest:
- Some countries have a homogenous culture, but not Spain. The rich Spanish culture varies from region to region. Travelers in southern Spain’s Andalusia will have an entirely different experience than travelers in Leon, Castile, or another Spanish region. One of the most interesting facts about Spanish culture is the way it so heavily draws on historical influences – at one time or another, ancient Phoenicia, pre-Roman Celts, the Roman Empire and the Moors all occupied large portions of the Iberian Peninsula. The legacies of these civilizations can still be seen in many Spanish cities and in the countryside even today.
- As a general rule, Spain’s people are warm, welcoming and charming, eager to share their beautiful country and its traditions. Travelers visiting Spain are almost universally welcomed with open arms – in some cases right into a Spanish home to share conversation and a family meal!
- Spanish food is incredibly delicious. Why else would so many tapas restaurants be popping up around the world? Much like the country’s cultural traditions, Spain’s traditional foods vary from region to region. However, tapas (hot or cold appetizers from which an entire meal can be made) and paella (a type of casserole which originated in Valencia but is often considered Spain’s “national dish”) are two of the most widely known types of Spanish cuisine. But even paella has several regional variations: the classic Valencian version adds meat (typically chicken, rabbit or duck), green vegetables, ground snails, beans and spices to the base ingredients of rice, saffron and olive oil. Seafood paella, which is often served in Spain’s coastal areas, typically leaves out the beans and other vegetables and uses seafood instead of meat. “Mixed” paella can be any combination of these ingredients. Any paella is scrumptious!
- Historically, few countries have had a larger impact on the world. We all know some facts about the far-ranging Spanish explorers. Christopher Columbus (yes, he was Italian by birth, but his expeditions were financed by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain) was just one of many renowned Spanish explorers and conquistadors. The list also includes names like Balboa, Ponce de Leon, de Soto, Coronado, and Cortez. Together, they explored and conquered a vast portion of the world and brought it under the control of the far-flung Spanish Empire. They also brought Christianity to countless millions of people. Although the Spanish Empire is long-gone, Spain’s imprint on the globe remains to this day.
- The topography is widely varied, ranging from the warm, welcoming waters and beaches of the Costa del Sol to the mountains, plains and fertile valleys of the Extremadura. And that’s not even mentioning the Pyrenees – the soaring peaks that stand guard over the border between Spain and France. One of the interesting but little-known facts about the Pyrenees Mountains is that they’re actually older than the Alps.
- The last facts about Spain- No matter what type of experience you seek, you’ll find it in Spain. Spain’s larger cities (Madrid and Barcelona, for example) are vibrant and host a variety of restaurants, nightclubs, museums, festivals and other urban events. The rugged mountains of Andalusia’s Sierra Nevada soar over 11,000 feet in elevation and are home to one of Europe’s most southerly ski resorts. And tucked within the foothills of the Sierra Nevada is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities – fabulous Granada, with its magnificent Alhambra and other Moorish influences. The Mediterranean coast and its warm temperatures, sparkling waters and abundant sunshine aren’t far away from Granada. The Costa del Sol welcomes millions of tourists every year and is the home of thousands of expatriates, many of whom originally hail from the UK. You won’t have any problem communicating there even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish.
These are just a few of the noteworthy facts about Spain that make it such a compelling destination – with a little research you’ll find many more.
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