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The Best travel Experiences in Spain

Spain is one of the most diverse and visually stunning nations of Europe. As you begin to plan your trip, you may find yourself overwhelmed with so many fascinating sights, beautiful landscapes, and charming towns to fit into your limited time. So let us give you a hand. We’ve scoured the country in search of the Best places and experiences, and we’ve chosen our very favorites below, admittedly very personal and opinionated choices.

Sitting in Sol or Sombra at the Bullfights:
With origins as old as pagan Spain, the art of bullfighting is the expression of Iberian temperament and passions. Detractors object to the sport as cruel, bloody, and savage. Fans, however, view bullfighting as a microcosm of death, catharsis, and rebirth. If you strive to understand the bullfight, it can be one of the most evocative and memorable events in Spain. Head for the plaza de toros (bullring) in any major city, but particularly in Madrid, Seville, or Granada. Tickets are either sol (sunny side) or sombra (in the shade); you’ll pay more to get out of the sun.

Feasting on Tapas in the Tascas:
Tapas, those bite-size portions washed down with wine, beer, or sherry, are reason enough to go to Spain! Tapas bars, called tascas, are a quintessential Spanish experience. Originally tapas were cured ham or chorizo (spicy sausage). Today they are likely to be anything—gambas (deep-fried shrimp), anchovies marinated in vinegar, stuffed peppers, a cool, spicy gazpacho, or hake salad.

Getting Caught Up in the Passions of Flamenco:
It’s Best heard in some old tavern, in a neighborhood like the Barrio de Triana in Seville. From the lowliest taberna to the poshest nightclub, you can hear the staccato foot stomping, castanet rattling, hand clapping, and sultry guitar sound. Some say its origins lie deep in Asia, but the Spanish gypsy has given the art form, which dramatizes inner conflict and pain, an original style. Performed by a great artist, flamenco can tear your heart out with its soulful, throaty singing.

Seeing the Masterpieces at the Prado:
One of the world’s premier art museums, it’s home to some 4,000 masterpieces, many of them acquired by Spanish kings. The wealth of Spanish art is staggering—everything from Goya’s Naked Maja to the celebrated Las Meninas (The Maids of Honor) by Velázquez (our favorite). Masterpiece after masterpiece unfolds before your eyes, including works by Hieronymus Bosch, Goya, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, and Botticelli.

Sipping Sherry in Jerez de la Frontera:
In Spain, sherry is called jerez, and it’s a major industry and subculture in its own right. Hispanophiles compare its complexities to the finest wines produced in France and make pilgrimages to the bodegas in Andalusia that ferment this amber-colored liquid. More than 100 bodegas are available for visits, tours, and tastings, and most open their gates to visitors interested in a process that dates from the country’s Roman occupation.

Wandering the Crooked Streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter:
Long before Madrid was founded, the kingdom of Catalonia was a bastion of art and architecture. Whether the Barri Gòtic, as it’s called in Catalán, is truly Gothic is the subject of endless debate, but the Ciutat Vella, or old city, of
Barcelona is one of the most evocative neighborhoods in Spain. Its richly textured streets, with their gurgling fountains, vintage stores, and ancient fortifications, inspired such artists as Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró (who was
born in this neighborhood).

Going Gaga Over Gaudí:
No architect in Europe was as fantastical as Antoni Gaudí y Cornet, the foremost proponent of Catalán modernisme (aka modernismo). Barcelona is studded with the works of this extraordinary artist, all of which UNESCO now lists as World Trust Properties. A recluse and a celibate bachelor, as well as a fervent Catalán nationalist, he lived out his own fantasy in his work. Nothing is more stunning than his Sagrada Família, Barcelona’s Best-known landmark, a cathedral on which Gaudí labored for the last 43 years of his life. The landmark cathedral was never completed, but they’re still working on it. If it’s ever finished, “ The Sacred Family” will be Europe’s largest cathedral.

Running with the Bulls in Pamplona:
Okay, maybe it’s smarter to watch, rather than run with, the bulls. The Fiesta de San Fermín in July is the most dangerous ritual in Spain, made even worse
by copious amounts of wine consumed by participants and observers. Broadcast live on TV throughout Spain and the rest of Europe, the festival features herds of furious bulls that charge down medieval streets, sometimes trampling and goring some of the hundreds of people who run beside them. Few other rituals in Spain are as breathtaking and foolhardy. And few others as memorable.

Following the Ancient Pilgrim Route to Santiago de Compostela:
Tourism as we know it began during the Middle Ages, as thousands of European pilgrims journeyed to the shrine of Santiago (St. James) in Galicia in
northwestern Spain. Even if you’re not motivated by faith, you should come to see some of the most dramatic landscapes and the grandest scenery in Spain by crossing the northern tier of the country—all the way from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela. Some of the country’s most stunning architecture can be viewed along the way, including gems in Roncevalles, Burgos, and

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