Spain is an incredibly diverse country with a unique blend of cultures, cuisines and landscapes that make for a fascinating mix. Whether it’s your first time visiting or you’re returning for more, there is always something new to discover about this dazzling part of Europe.

It is a peninsula and archipelagos in southwestern Europe that reaches out into the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Its landscape varies from lush forests to arid deserts and spectacular mountain ranges. The coast stretches to nearly 8,000 kilometres and boasts an extraordinary diversity of beaches, coves and cliffs.

Poignantly windswept Roman ruins and incomparable jewels of Islamic architecture speak of great civilizations that rose, flourished and fell here. Moreover, the country also produced rebellious spirits like Picasso, Gaudi and Dal who gave Spanish art its own inimitable style.

In Spain, fiestas are celebrated with the most exuberant fervor – and often the loudest music – in all of the world. And the nation’s gastronomy is perhaps the finest in all of Europe, with tapas bars and restaurants where a night out begins at sunset.

The proximity of Africa explains why the country has more African species of wildlife than other Mediterranean peninsulas, and it is also home to Europe’s highest mountain, the snow-capped peak of Teide on the Canary Islands. Its other natural wonders include the glistening white sands of the Balearic and Canary Islands, and the eerily barren landscape of the Sierra Nevada, with its jagged peaks and deep canyons.

It is easy to get around Spain by train or bus, and many of the major cities are served by international airports. The national carrier, Iberia Airlines, and its low-cost brand Vueling offer reasonable fares if you book well in advance. If you prefer a more leisurely and scenic option, consider taking a cruise or ferry from the main coastal cities and to major islands such as Barcelona (Catalonia), Valencia, Alicante and Mallorca.

Car-sharing services such as BlaBla Car are popular in Spain and can be a cost-effective and convenient way to travel long distances, especially to smaller regional towns where the bus service is less comprehensive. However, they can be a slower and less comfortable way to travel and may not cover all routes.

Spain’s superb bus system, Renfe, is operated by several companies and offers local services as well as fast intercity connections, known as Larga Linea. Buses are also the preferred mode of transport for budget-conscious Spaniards, especially on longer journeys. The buses are generally very comfortable and have reclining seats, wifi on board and more.

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