Spain is a large European country that is almost twice as big as the United Kingdom and more than double the size of the US state of Oregon. Most of its national territory is on the Iberian Peninsula, which it shares with Portugal and Andorra. The Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands and two small enclaves in North Africa — Ceuta and Melilla – are also part of Spain.

The Spanish Civil War of 1937–39 spawned massive political violence, both on the battlefield and in city streets. During this conflict, Nationalist forces including ultra-reactionary monarchists (Carlists), fascists and traditional conservatives launched a campaign against the Republic’s supporters, depicting them as godless Jews and Bolsheviks. Antisemitic propaganda, including the notorious fictional work The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, circulated widely throughout the Nationalist-controlled territories. The Nationalists also sought to combat Basque and Catalan nationalism, which were viewed as a threat to national unity.

On the ground, Spain’s landscapes are as diverse as its people. In the north, lush green meadows and leafy evergreen forests characterise Green Spain, while the arid lands of La Mancha and Extremadura are dotted with scrubland and xerophilous plant species capable of surviving summer droughts. In the south, the region’s Moorish and Islamic heritage comes to life in places like Cordoba and Cadiz with stunning Almohad architecture and cuisine. And on the coast, vibrant cities such as Madrid and Barcelona combine a modern vibe with historical Royal Spanish culture.

There are many ways to explore Spain, but if you want to experience the best of the country, consider traveling around on a train. Trains are comfortable, affordable and a great choice for long journeys across the country. Renting a car is also an option, but it may be more practical to take the train if your itinerary covers a wide geographical area.

Spaniards are known for their warmth and generosity, which can make it a pleasure to spend time with them. Talk to the locals and try to learn some of their language as it will help you immerse yourself into the culture and feel at home during your trip.

Getting to know Spain is an exciting and rewarding adventure. The country is a culturally rich and dynamic place, full of unique charms that make it a truly unique destination.

Share this blog post: