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Spain

Spain has hundreds of fine beaches, and plenty of sun, but has much more than this. It has fine and colourful culture to explore – flamenco dancing, bullfighting and beautiful architecture.

Away from the coastline, there are the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to enjoy in any season – skiing, hiking and amazing wildlife. Andalucia shows off its quaint white villages, and elsewhere there are castles and medieval towns to enjoy.

The food is tasty, sometimes spicy, but always delicious. The Tapas bars and fruit-filled jugs of Sangria are a must. Paella, at its best in Valencia, is the national dish. Spanish resorts come alive in the evening, having had their siesta during the heat of the day. Spanish music abounds, but other genres are also easy to find.

If shopping is your pleasure, then Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao will suit you.

The Basque Country in the north of Spain, has a more rural atmosphere, with its own version of Tapas, pintxos, to enjoy with its cider.

Climate

Central Spain has scorching, dry summers and cold winters. Andalucia is marginally wetter, with temperatures of 35°C-plus not unknown. The Pyrenees gets most of the cold northern airstreams, bringing more moderate temperatures and heavy rainfall. The Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands get a little more rain than Madrid, but also the warmest waters (27°C in August). Snow can fall on the mountains from as early as October. Some mountains remain snow-covered year round.

When to go

May, June and September are the best times to visit Spain, to avoid the searing heat of the summer, and to enjoy the variety Spain can give you. April and October are additional good months if you’re intending visiting the south of the country. June to August are ideal months if you wish to visit the mountainous regions, as the cooler air here is refreshing, although showers of rain can also be expected. Even December through to February is mild on the south and south-east coastline, with skiing in the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada adding value to the Spanish tourist destinations.