Spain has got to be one of the best loved holiday destinations in Europe. It regularly boasts around 82 million foreign tourists per year, so it certainly appeals to holiday makers. Whether you opt to visit the wonderful cities of Barcelona or Madrid, its beautiful historic capital, or you choose the delightful Balearic Islands which include Ibiza, Menorca or Majorca, Spain appeals to the masses. Spain’s history dates back to the Middle Ages and by the 16th century, it was a force to be reckoned with, becoming the most powerful country in Europe. Originally called Iberia, it was re named by the Roman’s to become España or as it’s known in the UK, Spain.
The Balearic Islands are of course renowned for their beaches and the sizzling Mediterranean climate. The famous Costa’s are found along Spain’s east mainland coast and include Costa Blanca, Costa Calida and Costa del Sol. Here you will find pretty villages, small towns and cities all along this coastline serving up authentic Spanish life with abundant sunshine. It’s not just picturesque beaches Spain is famous for. Its culture, historic monuments, art galleries and museums are just a few of the attractions as to why we love it so much. Music and dance has always played a major role in Spanish culture and it is still thriving today. Spain is a year round destination with sightseers visiting not only for their annual two week holiday at the beach, they visit for long weekends too, taking in the many sights. In fact, many tourists who visit Spain yearly, often invest in property in Spain to use as a holiday getaway or a permanent residence, which means they are able to visit for extended holidays and weekend breaks.
It’s not just beach bunny’s that enjoy spending their free time in Spain, it also appeals to avid sports fans of all ages. Tennis is huge in Spain as is the wonderful game of golf and let’s not forget about all the water sports attractions along its glorious coastline. The weather helps of course meaning that these popular past times can be played year round in abundant sunshine and mild/warm days even in the winter months. The southern and east coast of Spain is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. To the north is the Bay of Biscay and on the west coast is the Atlantic Ocean. The Strait of Gibraltar separates Gibraltar from Morocco, with France to north of Spain and Portugal to the west. The population of Spain to date is 46.72 million.
There are many international airports scattered throughout Spain which means they are close to major resorts. Transport links throughout Spain as a whole, are excellent. On mainland Spain there are superb high speed rail links which link important cities together, great for tourists wanting to explore as much of the mainland as possible. If you prefer to travel by road, there is a very good long distance coach service again linking major cities and towns together. The most affordable method of transport is the bus service which links the main resorts, coastal towns and villages.
The climate in Spain has three different types as one would expect, due to the sheer size of the country. On the south and eastern coast, Spain boasts a Mediterranean climate with sultry hot and dry summers and mild winters. Central Spain has a continental climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters. North western Spain has a temperate climate with its coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. Here the climate is cooler with some rain and the further south you travel, the warmer and sunnier it becomes. The climate in the Balearic Islands is a firm Mediterranean one, as the three islands are surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Hot, dry and sunny summers with mild winters are the norm, however the wonderful sea breeze brings a welcome relief.
Spain has some of the most fascinating places to visit including The Alhambra in Granada, The Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona and The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. As most tourists want to visit the beaches, the most popular resorts are found along the south eastern coast along any one the Costa regions. Alicante, La Manga del Mar, Torrevieja and of course Marbella are all popular with holiday makers and property, buyers who wish to have a permanent base in Spain.
Golfers will opt to holiday or buy in the golfing resorts, either close to any of the championship golf courses or actually in the villas on the greens. These types of properties offer the best of both worlds for all the family. Golfing for the keen golfer and nearby beaches flanked by promenades and the usual gift shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. For those who enjoy spending the day at a beach club you won’t be disappointed as there are many dotted all along the coast in virtually every resort. Let’s not forget entertainment and fine dining at the golf club house along with the usual facilities of spa and wellness found in many of the resorts.
The flights from the UK to Spain are short haul making it a real advantage for families especially with young children. Flights form the UK to mainland Spain take just 2 hours and 30 minutes and also from the UK to the Balearic Islands is the same. Transfers to resort are usually within 1 hour or less via shuttle bus, private transfer, private car hire or taxi.
The Balearic Islands are most popular for holidays with the three islands offering the tourist something different:
Majorca – is the most popular holiday destination for Brits, most likely due to the fact it’s superb for families. Eating out and entertainment are family orientated, however it’s also a great destination for couples and groups who want days at the beach and the evening to go on forever.
Menorca – is more peaceful and laid back than Majorca and it’s great for families and the older generation who love to sit in the village square and enjoy a meal or a few drinks. Beautiful beaches and scenery you can admire whilst taking an evening stroll after dinner and simply enjoy the calm atmosphere.
Ibiza – has a party island tag to it, which is somewhat unfair. Yes, there are the resorts on the island where the young and single go to party all night and dance to the tunes of the guest DJ. However, once again on the other side of the island, families can enjoy delightful beaches in picturesque surroundings and it’s a truly beautiful place to be.
Spain is so popular because it’s a one stop destination. The cities are magnificent and history buffs will delight in all that Spain has to offer to feed their inquisitive minds. Culturally it’s intriguing, with its festivals and fetes, music, dance (including the ever popular flamenco) bullfighting, drink and amazing food. The weather helps obviously and its just one reason why so many people take their holidays there year round, or decide to up sticks and move there permanently. For those who enjoy sports there are many you can take advantage of. Walking along the coast allows you to take in the landscape and get fit at the same time.
Throughout Spain you will find a large expat community. Many Brits in particular, have made Spain their home and who can blame them! Are you thinking of retiring soon and looking for a new adventure? If so, maybe beautiful Spain could be just for you.