Europe without Spain would be a dark place indeed. Spain is the great cultural conduit of our continent - from the Romans to the Moors to the Catholic Kings, Spanish history is as varied as its landscapes, people and food. You can keep your Costas, they have nothing to do with the Spain we know and love - a Spain which never, ever fails to surprise and delight us. Hopefully you will agree.
If there’s a stereotype of Spain, it’s here in Andalucía: dancing horses, flamenco, sherry barrels, orange blossom, guitars, hot sun, endless olive groves, hanging hams and bullrings. And they are all here, not preserved in aspic but actually part of every day life.
The great cultural highway of Europe has connected north and south Europe for well over a thousand years. The history and community along the Camino gives it a palpable spirit. It is amazing before you add in the landscapes...
La Rioja makes up for what it lacks in size with sheer variety. Mountains, forests, rivers, UNESCO world heritage monasteries, the Camino de Santiago and some of the best cuisine in Spain. Oh, and then there's the wine.
Most people have never heard of the Picos de Europa. Which is no bad thing for those of us who love the peace and quiet of big mountains and deserted beaches. It is very hard to feel stressed in the Picos, it is a place which almost immediately takes you out of the day to day.
Maybe more than anywhere else in Spain, a trip journey along the Pyrenees is a cultural adventure – from the Catalan heartlands of the Mediterranean, via the Spanish speaking high mountains and down again to the Basque country.