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Is Spain The Greatest European Destination?

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I must have been Spain around 8 times in my life and I definitely plan on going back some point soon. When I'm planning a holiday, I try to find an area which can offer everything I'm looking for, such as a beach resort, exciting activities such as quad biking, great views, generally decent weather, a different culture and great food. Spain manages to tick every single box, something I can't say for any other country I have visited so far. Whether I'm going on a 'lad's holiday' or a relaxing getaway, Spain has something for you, so below I will cover each factor and why I believe Spain should be your next destination of choice.

Beach Life

Probably the biggest draw for most of our sun obsessed travellers, Spain offers some spectacular beach resorts. From the secluded picturesque views in Cantabria, to the seven-mile beach in Gran Canaria, the adventure packed beaches of Marbella to the surfing hub Es Trenc in Mallorca.
There are almost too many beaches to mention, so I'd recommend deciding what you're looking for in a beach before picking your destination, as each caters to a specific group. For example, the Genoveses beach in Almeria is perfect for someone looking for a quiet getaway, with no bars coating the coastline, however Costa Azahar will offer the polar opposite, perfect for music lovers. Spain receives around 300 days of sunshine every year, something we can only dream of here in England.

We're Going To Ibiza

You will struggle to find any bigger clubbing locations than what is on offer in Spain and on the surrounding islands. Take your pick from the millionaire's playground in Marbella to the party central of the world Ibiza, the cool and classy clubs in Barcelona or Madrid and the beach parties in Benalmadena.
and
are probably the most well-known clubs in Ibiza, while Privilege holds a world record for being the biggest nightclub in the world!

Festivals

As festivals go, Benicassim is recognised as one of the biggest in Europe, however this isn't the festival I want to highlight. No I'm more interested in the odd and bizarre experiences which you will talk about for the rest of your life. Say hello to
, the tomato throwing food fight which attract over 20,000 people every year. It is estimated just over 1 million tomatoes were thrown last year in this epic battle. Bring out your inner child with this amazing event.

Sports

I would love to say England has the greatest football, but I cannot deny the two best football clubs in the world are both based in Spain. Barcelona and Real Madrid have an unbelievable collection of trophies combined, while neither are showing signs of stopping, with Real Madrid winning the Champions League in 2016. If you find yourself in Barcelona, then you absolutely have to arrange a
. It doesn't matter whether you're a football fan or not, the almost 100,000 seater will leave you stunned as you look out over this giant ground, the 2nd biggest in the world and largest in Europe.

Spain is also fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in Europe for golfing holidays. Hosting over 400 golf courses throughout the country, you can rest assured you should have some good weather and a high quality course.

Culture

For all of you culture lovers, why not take a trip to the world's largest art gallery, based in Madrid.
holds over 7,600 paintings, it gains over 2 million visitors every year and also has expansion plans which should be finished in 2019, expanding the museum by 16%.
You also can't go amiss with an exploration of Gaudi's work, with his architectural work the pride of Barcelona. From the obvious view of La Sagrada Familia to the curvaceous La Pedrera, you could spend a week going through all of his architectural achievements.

Britain loves it

According to data from the
, Spain received just under 13 million visitors from the British shores in 2015, a huge 25% increase on 10.38 million in 2010.
reported that of all visits abroad from the UK of at least one night, the proportion that were to Spain increased from 18.7% to 19.8% over the same period.
That means almost 20% of our abroad holidays are over to this beautiful Mediterranean country, we do seem to have a bit of an obsession!

The Food

I don't know if you've ever tried a tortilla Espanola but you're in for a treat! Tapas allows us to order small dishes so we don't feel guilty about them, until we end up with 8 plates on our table. Some dishes I would recommend include gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp), croquetas de jamon (ham croquettes) and
(octopus seasoned in paprika and served in hot olive oil...it might sound odd but it tastes amazing).
Plus, a trip to Spain wouldn't be the same without ordering a giant plate of seafood Paella. For all you non seafood fans, you can order a Valencian Paella, which trades the fish for chicken and rabbit.
Most restaurants will also have a wide selection of succulent cured meats, such as chorizo, ham and salchichon. Try to find a restaurant that serves their meats from free range and acorn fed pigs (both for taste and because it is the right thing to do).

Attractions

I've mentioned a good few already, but one I can't leave out is the Alhambra palace in Granada, now a UNESCO world heritage site. Beyond this one, some of the most popular attractions include the Palacio Real in Madrid, the medieval city of Cuenca along the cliff edge, the stunning pillars and arches within the Mezquita in Cordoba, the aqueduct of Segovia and the former political centre of the Spanish Empire El Escorial.

Also, if you do decide to head over to the Mediterranean, have a read of my list of things to try while you're out there.