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Travel to Spain

Mention Spain and images of bullfighters, colorful flamenco dancers, and Don Quixote spring to mind, but take a Globus guided tour to Spain and you'll discover so much more. Spain is a country filled with unique architecture, medieval villages, savory cuisine, and important works of art. You might find yourself strolling through the world-famous Guggenheim or Prado Museums…or down the streets of Pamplona, the "City of Bulls." Visit the Mosque of the Caliphs in Cordoba and Granada's Water Gardens of the Generalife, pay respects at the tomb of Columbus, and marvel at Gaudi's extraordinary La Sagrada Familia cathedral…or maybe soak in the sun on the sandy beaches of the Costa del Sol, savor the views from the Rock of Gibraltar, or light a candle and join the procession of pilgrims in Fatima.

Halfway up its Mediterranean coastline sits Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. A combination of the energy of Madrid, the cosmopolitan essence of Barcelona and the friendly atmosphere of Seville, Valencia promises to be a fantastic destination for a city break. Still maintaining its regional character and language, Valencia offers its guests a magnitude of attractions, shopping and nightlife to explore.
Some cities have looks, other cities have personality. The sevillanos – lucky devils – get both, courtesy of their flamboyant, charismatic, ever-evolving Andalucian metropolis founded, according to myth, 3000 years ago by the Greek god Hercules. Drenched for most of the year in spirit-enriching sunlight, this is a city of feelings as much as sights, with different seasons prompting vastly contrasting moods: solemn for Semana Santa, flirtatious for the spring fiesta and soporific for the gasping heat of summer. Like all great cities, Seville has historical layers. Roman ruins testify the settlement’s earliest face, memories of the Moorish era flicker like medieval engravings in the Santa Cruz quarter, while the riverside Arenal reeks of lost colonial glory. Yet, one of the most remarkable things about modern Seville is its ability to adapt and etch fresh new brushstrokes onto an ancient canvas.
The tastefully restored historic centre is a delight: its Gothic cathedral is surrounded by narrow pedestrian streets flanked by traditional and modern bars, and shops that range from idiosyncratic and family owned, to urban-chic and contemporary. Cast your eyes up to enjoy a skyline that reflects the city’s eclectic character; church spires jostle for space with russet-red tiled roofs and lofty apartment buildings while, like a grand old dame, the 11th-century Gibralfaro castle sits grandly aloft and provides the best view of all. The former rundown port has also been grandly rebuilt and cruise-line passengers are now boosting the city's coffers and contributing to the overall increase in tourism to the city.
Read up on your Nasrid history, slip a copy of Federico Garcia Lorca’s Gypsy Ballads into your bag, and acquire a working knowledge of Andalucia’s splendid Moorish architectural heritage – Granada is calling and its allure is hard to ignore. Internationally revered for its lavish Alhambra palace, and enshrined in medieval history as the last stronghold of the Moors in Western Europe, Granada is the darker more complicated cousin of sunny, exuberant Seville. Humming with a feisty cosmopolitanism and awash with riddles, question marks, contradictions and myths, this is a place to put down your guidebook and let your intuition lead the way – through the narrow ascending streets of the Albayzin and the tumbling white-walled house gardens of the Realejo quarter. Elegant yet edgy, grandiose but gritty, monumental but marked by pockets of stirring graffiti, 21st century Granada is anything but straightforward. Instead, this sometimes stunning, sometimes ugly city set spectacularly in the crook of the Sierra Nevada is an enigmatic place where – if the mood is right – you sense you might find something that you’ve long been looking for. A free tapa, perhaps? An inspirational piece of street art? A flamenco performance that finally unmasks the intangible spirit of duende? Endowed with relics from various epochs of history, there’s lots to do and plenty to admire in Granada; the mausoleum of the Catholic monarchs, old-school bars selling generous tapas, bohemian teterias where Arabic youths smoke cachimbas(hookah pipes), and an exciting nightlife that bristles with the creative aura of counterculture. Make no mistake, you’ll fall in love here, but you’ll spend days and weeks trying to work out why. Best idea – don’t bother. Instead, immerse yourself in the splendour, and leave the poetic stanzas to the aesthetes.
One building alone is enough to put Cordoba high on any traveller's itinerary: the mesmerising multiarched Mezquita. One of the world's greatest Islamic buildings, it's a symbol of the worldly and sophisticated Islamic culture that flourished here more than a millennium ago when Cordoba was the capital of Islamic Spain, and Western Europe's biggest and most cultured city. Once here, you'll find there's much more to this city: Cordoba is a great place for exploring on foot or by bicycle, staying and eating well in old buildings centred on verdant patios, diving into old wine bars, and feeling millennia of history at every turn. The narrow streets of the old Juderia (Jewish quarter) and Muslim quarter stretch out from the great mosque like capillaries (to the northwest and northeast respectively), some clogged with tourist bric-a-brac, others delightfully peaceful. The life of the modern city focuses a little further north, around Plaza de las Tendillas, where you'll find a more boisterous vibe with some excellent bars and restaurants. Andalucia's major river, the Guadalquivir, flows just below the Mezquita, and the riverfront streets are home to a growing band of lively restaurants and bars making the most of the view. Cordoba bursts into life from mid-April to mid-June, when it stages most of its major fiestas. At this time of year the skies are blue, the temperatures are perfect and the city's many trees, gardens and courtyards drip with foliage and blooms. September and October are also excellent weatherwise, but July and August can sizzle.
Though one of the smaller of Spain's provincial capitals, Toledo looms large in the nation's history and consciousness as a religious centre, bulwark of the Spanish church, and once-flourishing symbol of a multicultural medieval society. The old town today is a treasure chest of churches, museums, synagogues and mosques set in a labyrinth of narrow streets, plazas and inner patios in a lofty setting high above the Rio Tajo. Crowded by day, Toledo changes dramatically after dark when the streets take on a moody, other-worldly air.
Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque) had a tough upbringing. Growing up in an environment of heavy industry and industrial wastelands, it was abused for years by those in power and had to work hard to get anywhere. But, like the kid from the estates who made it big, Bilbao’s graft paid off when a few wise investments left it with a shimmering titanium fish called the Museo Guggenheim and a horde of arty groupies around the world. The Botxo (Hole), as it’s fondly known to its inhabitants, has now matured into its role of major European art centre. However, in doing so, it hasn’t gone all toffee-nosed and forgotten its past: at heart it remains a hard-working and, physically, rather ugly town, but it’s one that has real character. It’s this down-to-earth soul, rather than its plethora of art galleries, that is the real attraction of the vital, exciting and cultured city of Bilbao.
No city on earth is more alive than Madrid, a beguiling place whose sheer energy carries a simple message: this city really knows how to live.Spain's capital is perfect for a culture break in the sunshine. The best of both worlds, Madrid in the summer has a gorgeous climate and in the winter months is much warmer than other European capitals. Art, dance, food and fun, a Madrid city break offers an excellent getaway. Whatever you’re looking for in a Spain holiday, you won't be disappointed
If you want to explore a vibrant European city on your next holiday, city breaks to Barcelona offer a chance to experience the incredible atmosphere, which combines the mood of its fascinating medieval history with modern cosmopolitan vivacity. Barcelona has many intriguing architectural sights to be explored and plenty of attractions and activities to discover.
Ibiza is one of the Balearic islands, an archipelago of Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. It's well known for the lively nightlife in Ibiza Town and Sant Antoni, where major European nightclubs have summer outposts. It’s also home to quiet villages, yoga retreats and beaches, from Platja d'en Bossa, lined with hotels, bars and shops, to quieter sandy coves backed by pine-clad hills found all around the coast.

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