Journal – Features

Andalusia

The country’s most pop­u­lous region is also invari­ably the one to which people’s minds turn when they think of Spain. Andalu­sia has long rep­re­sent­ed to the out­side world all that is seen as “most Span­ish”: the sen­su­ous grace and bravu­ra of fla­men­co, the machis­mo and verve inher­ent in bull-fight­ing, a scorch­ing sum­mer cli­mate…

The Rest of Spain

The two prin­ci­pal cities, Madrid and Barcelona, illus­trate in them­selves just how diverse Spain is – these two are the nation’s half-broth­ers, each quite dis­tinct but with a shared pedi­gree that nei­ther quite wants to admit. While the cap­i­tal, Madrid, has a rep­u­ta­tion as some­what haughty and aus­tere — no doubt its Aus­tri­an Hab­s­burg parent­age…

Granada

Give him alms, woman, for there is noth­ing like the grief of being blind in Grana­da”, so says the city’s mot­to, from the verse of Fran­cis­co de Icaza. Despite being rather over-the-top and melo­dra­mat­ic, to say that Grana­da is a delight to the eyes is no idle boast…

Seville

Seville is unique. Its char­ac­ter, his­to­ry, bravu­ra – all mark it out as excep­tion­al. Although at times it gives the impres­sion of already know­ing this, most vis­i­tors are won over by its radi­ant self-con­fi­dence and unde­ni­able glam­our. To start with, it has an his­tor­i­cal pedi­gree that few cities in Europe can match…

Córdoba

Cór­do­ba — city of Roman gov­er­nors and Mus­lim emirs and caliphs — is undoubt­ed­ly one of the most impres­sive in Europe in terms of the length and impor­tance of its his­to­ry. Poets and philoso­phers such as Seneca and Lucan adorned the seat of pow­er of Roman “Cor­du­ba”…

Rural Andalusia

The Andalu­sian coun­try­side abounds in nat­ur­al bless­ings, from snow-topped moun­tains to fer­tile plains, vast dune beach­es to delta marsh­es teem­ing with birdlife. The region has the high­est pro­por­tion of its ter­ri­to­ry ded­i­cat­ed to pro­tect­ed nation­al and nat­ur­al parks of any in Spain (num­ber­ing 26 in total) as well as the great­est bio­di­ver­si­ty…

Barcelona

Barcelona is dif­fer­ent” could be the con­tem­po­rary echo of the famous tourism cam­paign slo­gan of the 1960’s which told the rest of the world that “Spain is dif­fer­ent”. The dis­tinc­tive­ness that Spain was trad­ing on back then is even more keen­ly felt these days in the Cata­lan cap­i­tal…

Madrid

Lon­don may be big­ger (twice, in fact), Rome more ancient (just the 2359 years head start), Berlin more impos­ing, and Paris more chic, but of the five big Euro­pean nations, it is cer­tain­ly Spain’s cap­i­tal city, Madrid, that wins most plau­dits as a live­able city, for vis­i­tors and res­i­dents alike.

Rural Spain

Spain, as Europe’s sec­ond most moun­tain­ous coun­try after Switzer­land, has a topog­ra­phy that hides many secrets and dis­cov­er­ing these is one of the true plea­sures of trav­el­ling in the vast inte­ri­or of Spain. In terms of land­scapes there is an incred­i­ble vari­ety to be found, from marsh­lands to tow­er­ing moun­tains…

Camino de Santiago

The his­to­ry of the Camino de San­ti­a­go (“Way of Saint James”) dates back to the year 813 AD when the bish­op of Iria Flavio informed King Alfon­so II of Asturias that a tomb had been dis­cov­ered con­tain­ing the remains of the apos­tle San­ti­a­go (St James).