Spain has long been one of Europe's leading holiday destinations, full of cultured cities and opportunities to soak up the Spanish sun during a flop-and-drop beach holiday on its sand-fringed islands or along the mainland Costas.
The Spanish seaside resorts have been a popular choice with UK holidaymakers ever since the advent of mass tourism in 1960s and 1970s. A broad choice of flights to a number of regional gateways mean that they continue to be so today - whether for a weekend getaway, a family summer holiday or as a place to get over the winter blues. The Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Ibiza, and the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Lanzarote are a few of the best-known beach destinations, with modern resorts and interesting excursions to be had nearby.
Spain is a country with great regional differences, with distinctive languages and customs and culinary flavours in Galicia, the Basque Country and Catalonia. The country is the home of flamenco dancing, bullfighting and historic pilgrimage routes, but Spain also has plenty of modern attractions as well - including luxury shopping boutiques, great golf and energetic nightlife in its big cities and popular resorts.
Spain is also a country of fine art and architecture, in the surreal Guggenheim in Bilbao; the Moorish influences of the buildings in Granada and Seville; and Gaudí's Modernist masterpieces in Barcelona. Wine is another draw and visiting local bodegas amid the vineyards of La Rioja is a great way to experience a more traditional, rural side of Spain.
Many parts of mainland Spain are well suited to self-drive holidays, with the chance to take in historic cities such as Toledo or the graceful capital, Madrid, or to witness one of the country's many exuberant fiestas along your route. The Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona and Las Fallas in Valencia are two of the better-known Spanish festivals, but there are others to discover in big cities and small rural towns alike.