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Spanning the majority of the Iberian Peninsula and bordered by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, Spain has long been a favourite beach getaway for the Brits. A way to swap cold and rain for sand and sunshine within a short flight. To stay only by the beach though is to seriously miss out on the culture and beauty of Spain, also home to mountains, valleys, vineyards and buzzing cities, each with a distinct flavour and character.

Spain tours tend to focus on certain regions, such as coastal Galicia and the Basque Country in the north, both renowned for top quality seafood and some of the country's most picturesque beaches. Other routes included in most Spain travel guides recommend visiting the small cove beaches of the Costa Brava in northeastern Spain or making your way through sunny Andalusia in southern Spain, known for flamenco dancing, bull fighting and religious festivals.

It would though be impossible to completely ignore the beaches of Spain with nearly all of the Spanish coast offerring impressive spots to sunbathe. Among the most popular beach destinations are Cadiz and Marbella in the south, and San Sebastian in the north. When the mainland beaches aren't enough, you can also opt to visit the Spanish Islands. Experience the year-round warmth of the Canary Islands, or the white sand beaches of the Balearic Islands. Flights to Spain are available to nearly all regions, making it as easy to visit the warm Mediterranean Sea as the cool Atlantic Ocean.

Beauty abounds from the beaches to the bars

Despite its popular coastlines, Spain also boasts some of Europe's most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities. Barcelona and Madrid are both full of character and offer some of the most impressive Spanish museums, architecture, monuments, markets and cuisine.

Barcelona is a port city and its residents are proud of their small urban beach and close proximity to the stunning Pyrenees Mountains and impressive beaches of Costa Brava. Their renowned Catalan cuisine is celebrated by Michelin star Spanish chefs, and the area is home to what is regarded as the second best restaurant in the world.

The Spanish capital of Madrid is full of amazing museums such as the Prado and the Reina Sofia. Its central park, El Retiro, is the city's backyard, and a wonderful place to take a walk or rent a rowboat. Locals dive in to traditional specialties such as fried pig ears and piping hot ham croquettes while football fans are well catered for as both cities possess numerous professional teams.

Whether you visit Spain for its world class beaches and sunny Mediterranean climate, or for the history and culture of its major cities, a Spanish holiday will undoubtedly leave you wanting more.

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