This self-assured region with its own language stretches from the Pyrenees in the north to the rice fields of the Ebro delta in the south, taking in vineyards which produce the famous cava sparkling wine.
The futuristic Museo Guggenheimhas put the city of Bilbao on the map and introduced the Basque Country to a wealth of new visitors, and its two neighbouring regions attract tourists in search of rural Spain.
The northwest corner of Spain is the wettest and, because of this, also the greenest region of the country. The medieval city of Santiago de Compostela draws large numbers of visitors as it stands at the end of a legendary pilgrimage route and centres on an aweinspiring cathedral.
This lively southern city on the Guadalquivir River combines the glories of Moorish and Christian Spain in its great cathedral and La Giralda, its bell tower, and in the lavishly decorated royal palace of the Real Alcázar.
For most people, Barcelona is synonymous with Modernisme, and in particular the enchanting buildings of Antoni Gaudí. It is also famed for its innovation and design, and leads Spain in contemporary art and architecture.
Spain’s capital has three of the world’s greatest art museums within an easy stroll of each other: the Museo del Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Centro Reina Sofia. Art can also be seen in Madrid’s three magnificent royal palaces, two of them – the Escorial and Aranjuez – involving pleasurable day trips into nearby countryside.