is so much more than just its beaches....
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independent traveller's guide to Spain
When Spain banned large advertising hoardings beside rural roads, one
hoarding was deemed too emblematic to get rid of.....
So many people holiday in Spain; but so few
of them actually visit the
country.For the majority of holidaymakers, Spain is about 1200
kilometres long and a kilometre or two wide, a long beach stretching -
with a few interruptions - from Port Bou on the French border, to
The real Spain begins just a few kilometres inland from the coast
Algiciras in the south. It is a country full of airports, modern
tower-block hotels, housing estates, golf courses, towns, motorways
, theme parks, pubs, bars, restaurant, swimming pools and
In this Spain, the principal tree seems to be
the palm tree, the main dish paella, the main activity leisure, and the
main smell sun-tan lotion. This is a modern Babel where people speak
many languages, among which Spanish and Catalan are just the two most
widely spoken. In this Spain, you can get a meal at any time
day and often of night too, the bars are always full and have Sky TV or
German channels on the telly, the sun is supposed to shine all day long
(though it doesn't), it's never meant to rain, and life revolves round
the three S's, Sun, Sand and Sea - and often a fourth S too.
About-Spain.net is not too much about that Spain. This is
a guide to the real Spain, an incomplete look at what Spain
offer, a guide to the parts of Spain that most tourists never reach,
and how best to take advantage of the fabulous and
travel opportunities that this country provides. With its Roman
its great cathedrals
its Moorish heritage
its mediaeval towns and villages, and its fabulously rich natural
environment, Spain is a country that has it all, for the enquiring
Whereas on the Mediterranean coast of Spain the tourists often
the local population, for the rest of Spain ... and even on some spots
along the coast, that is certainly not the
case. Spain even has some bits of coastline that the Spanish have
managed to keep for themselves - and even then largely for those in the
know. As for inland Spain, it is a whole world waiting to be
discovered. Apart from the area round Madrid, inland Spain is a
sparsely populated area, with a few dozen historic cities, and beyond
them large expanses of agricultural land, prairies and grazing land,
plus hills and mountains with their rivers, streams and lakes.
There's even plenty of space for everyone on the beach, for those who
know when and where to go....
Spain was once the most powerful nation in Europe, and the
world's greatest colonial power. Some of the great names of Spain's
history - Christopher Columbus or Magellan, for example, have left
their names and exploits to posterity. Today's Spain has many memories
and vestiges of the country's golden past - and also of the darker days
and ways of its history, that can be found all over the country, often
well off the beaten track.
The historic heritage and also the natural
heritage of this large country are among the greatest and most varied
in western Europe.
About-Spain.net is for those who
want to learn a bit more about Spain. Not just about the beaches, but
land, its culture, its life, and other bits of useful and practical
information for discerning travellers.
Photo : the
walled city of Avila -