- 47 million
How can you go wrong in a country laden with sangria, paella and a never-ending onslaught of tapas?
The popularity of Spain as a destination can be attributed not just to its people’s reputation as sexy and passionate, but also its diverse regions. Barcelona is the ultimate beachside city, where you can promenade along Las Ramblas, eat pizza slices or seafood platters at La Boqueria Food Market, and clamber up the winding staircases at Gaudí’s almost-finished masterpiece, Sagrada Família. In Madrid you can run with hipster elite, have a cold beer at one of the bars around Plaza de la Cebada, hunt for treasure at Sunday’s El Rastro flea market or hang out with the masters at Museo Reina Sofía, where you can see Picasso’s famous Guernica.
Food lovers will want to book a stay on the Bay of Biscay, where San Sebastián has been anointed Europe’s – maybe even the world’s – best gourmet destination, with its full offering from simple pintxos bars to Michelin-starred restaurants.
Then there’s Granada with its palace and fort complex Alhambra, the Guggenheim in Bilbao and skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. While you may party hard in Ibiza, there are other island beauties like Formossa, Santander and Majorca. Festivals such as La Tomatina in Buñol and Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls draw international partygoers. The truth is you could spend months in this beguiling country and never discover all its treasures.