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Itineraries to visit Spain
To visit Spain and get a sense of what it is for those who cannot spend long months a choice is enforced. There is too much entertainment, too many attractions, antiquities, festivals, buildings and events for a pleasing, relaxing tour to encapsulate it all. To avoid a race against time we suggest four two week tours and then re-assess your situation after that.
So a good idea for a visit in August if the visitor is not keen on super high temperatures is the north west of Spain adjacent to The Bay of Biscay where the climate is more temperate.
This takes in The Basque Country, The Cantabrian Coast, Galicia and part of Old Castile.
The visitor will experience the fascinating cultures of San Sebastian, Irun, Bilbau, Santander, La Caruna, Oviedo, Gijon, Santiago, Vigo, Orense, Ponferrada and Leon.
Cathedrals in Santiago de Compostela, León, Oviedo.
This area of Spain is particularly pleasant at the beginning or at the end of summer for those who seek to avoid the peak temperatures but for sun lovers and water sport enthusiasts there is much to appeal even at the height of the summer. So this itinerary is the border with France, the eastern seaboard south to Barcelona, then centrally to Zaragoza and north to Irun.
The holidaymaker will get chance to explore wonderful cities and communities all with amazing histories. So visit and enjoy the entertainment of Irun, Jaca, Huesca, Barcelona, Zaragoza, Tudela, Tafalla and Pamplona.
Here's a wonderful way to spend a couple of weeks especially if Spanish history, her treasures and the artistic heart of this country and her people are of appeal.
So towns and cities with amazing names such as Castile, Burgos, Valladolid, Salamanca, Madrid, Segovia and Toledo will will cause delight and wonder.
Try a springtime break to experience the southern regions around Andalucia with its joyous countryside, astounding buildings, antiquities and an incomparable way of life.
Fill the heart and mind with the wonder of Córdoba, Seville and Granada.
Well there you are then, a way to explore Spain for its entertainment in four slice of cake size chunks.
There is another way of accomplishing this exploration of Spain and that is by tracing a highway route or two which can also be used to link up the itineraries and details of these to follow.
What can the explorer expect to become familiar with? Well the great cathedral in Burgos will fill the visitor with wonder and a wealth of photo opportunities. 'El Cid' is buried in the vault under the central dome.
In Salamanca the university has its origins in the reign of Alfonso IX and given its university status by Alfonso X.
It is the most renowned centre for studies in Spain and is the root cause of the cities economic and cultural success.
The main front of the university completed in 1529 is a stone alter-piece with intricate floral decoration, grotesques, as well as mythylogical allusions and hieroglyphics. Again in Salamanca there is the 'Casa de las Conchas' a truly original building and said to be the most Spanish example of domestic architecture, it is a unique building combining Gothic, Mudejar and Renaissance styles.
Just how good were the early stonemasons and builders, well the aqueduct on the road to Lerida from Tarragona is 217 metres long and attains 26 metres at its highest. No mortar was used in its construction and its still there today.
In Badajoz, the Roman amphitheatre could hold 15,000 spectators who viewed fights between gladiators and wild beasts.
Spain is the traditional home of castles and several fine examples can be found around the country. So try the Alcàzar (Segovia) where the great rectangular keep rises up among gabled towers.
Traditional Andalucian and Spanish gypsy dances are known throughout the world but there are also the 'auresku' and 'zortzicos' from the Basque region. There is the 'jota' from Aràgon with its superb unleashed fury; Catalonia has the 'sardana', Castile has the 'bolero'. Galicia has the 'mûneira' and the war-dances of Santander which retain their purity from the far distant past.
Formerly the summer capital of Spain.
The whole Spanish government and court would decamp to the city every summer. Northern Spain, independent, fiercely proud and protective of their way of life and traditions. Film festivals, music festivals. Great Spanish people.
With its beauty and a well preserved old city built on a hill its centre.
People think that Bilbao is just The Guggenheim, think again . Bilbao is an attractive and vibrant city with a wonderful heritage. Well worth seeing.
Around 3,00 years ago the Phoenicians arrived in Cadiz and populated the area and it is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Since then there have been several different peoples who have controlled the area and they have all had an impact on the buildings, monuments and traditions. On the southern most coast of Spain this important seafaring city has preserved an important historical heritage. Cadiz has excellent beaches and a delicious local cuisine. The Costa de la Luz, divided between the provinces of Huelva and Cádiz, also offers a host of destinations for culture and leisure. The Doñana National Park, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The historic city of Salamanca.
This classic Spanish City has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Salamanca University was the first to be founded in Spain and is also one of the oldest in Europe . It was once regarded as one of the best European universities and was attended by some of the greatest and most famous Spanish thinkers, artists and writers.
Salamanca it is said was the birth place of the Spanish language with the production of the first Grammar of the Castilian Language in the 15th century, which became the template and reason for its ability to spread over the world.
Salamanca is the cross roads of The Vía de la Plata, the old Roman route that links the north and south of Spain, So for the tourist Salamanca is a good base to explore interesting towns and villages nearby, that are also on the path of this ancient road, such as Guijuelo and Béjar.