Spain is a beautiful and picturesque country located in the southwest of Europe. Planning a family vacation to Spain we assure you that it’s the ideal place for a family holiday. There is a lot for every age group. Families, kids, youngsters, senior citizens all will enjoy at the fullest in Spain. Youngsters if you are looking out for terrific nightlife, exotic beaches, sports events, then Spain is the best place. Drop all other options from your mind, pack your bags and get ready for best trip of your life.
John Edward Masefield, an eminent English poet and novelist said, “I have seen dawn and sunset on moors and windy hills coming in solemn beauty like slow old tunes of Spain.”
Here is a list of interesting facts about Spain which will surely amaze everyone.
Fact #1 Different Names of Spainds during different Eras
Spain had got different names in its history. The North Africans called Spain, Iberia meaning, “land of rivers”. When Greeks invaded they called it Hesperia, meaning “land of the setting sun” and the Carthaginians called it Ispania which means “land of rabbits”.
The Official name of the country is the Kingdom of Spain. Reino de España in spanish
Fact #2 Spain Geography and Cultural Diversities
Spain is the second largest country in European Union and fifth largest in the Europe. It is located in the southwest of Europe and is full of geographical and cultural diversities. Spain shares its north eastern borders with France. To the west Balearic Islands in the centre of Mediterranean Sea, to the south with Canary Islands and Iberian Peninsula with Portugal.
Northern region of Spain has lush meadows, valleys and snowy mountains. Southern region has some desert zones. Tourists who come to Spain just thinking it to be a place of beaches only are taken back by this surprise. Spain has many amazing wide, exotic sand beaches in the south and west part. Moreover Canary Islands have striking and eye catching black sand beaches.
Spain is a country with rich history and culture. Impressions of Romans, Arabs and Celts can be found in Spain. Majority of Spaniards are Roman Catholic.
Every year millions of tourist visit Spain and is one of the most popular travel destinations of Europe.
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Fact #3 The second biggest country in the EU
Only France is bigger when it comes to countries that are members of the European Union. If you count Russia and Ukraine, Spain comes at fourth place in terms of Europe’s countries overall. The biggest part of Russia is in Asia, though.
Fact #4 One of the World’s Most Diverse Cultures
Another interesting fact about Spain is the fact that the culture is so diverse and divided between the different region. Every region has their own specialties and traditions. Going back in time, the Spaniards come from several different folk groups that have been united into one nation.
Some of them even have their own language and is now wanting their own independence, such as Catalonia and Basque
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Fact #5 Where to go in Spain?
Madrid is the largest city and capital of Spain. Madrid has lots of beautiful tourist attractions and sightseeing’s. It’s a vibrant city with wonderful nightlife and awesome food. You can enjoy fine dine at Botin world’s oldest operating restaurant (1725). It has some very remarkable museums and architecture of the city is simply outstanding. Museo del Prado, Reina Sofía National Museum and Art Center, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum of Art are some the best museums one must not miss. Puerta del Sol, Palacio Real, Plaza de España, laza de Cibeles are some of the prominent places.
Barcelona another vibrant and full of life city of Spain. Barcelona mainly gets its importance because of Gaudi’s architecture and Catalonian people. The Sagrada Familia, Roman Catholic church designed by Gaudí is a major tourist attraction in Barcelona. La Rambla street, Guell park and of course the spectacular beaches cannot be missed out.
Ibiza one the Balearic Islands, is one of the favourite and popular party designation in Europe. Ibiza famous for sun, sand, sea and clubbing throughout the year. Enjoy magnificent music, dance, parties, beach bars and restaurants.
Coming down to south of Spain is Andalusia famous for its Moorish remainders, Flamenco music, dances and beaches. The Alhambra Palace build by Nasrid Sultans in 14th century is a major tourist attraction in Granada at the foothills of Sierra Nevada.
The Mezquita (Mosque) of Cordoba is a great marvel of Moorish – Andalusian architecture. Moreover it is one the finest buildings of the world.
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Facts #6 Famous festivals of Spain – Running of the bulls
Bull running in Spain is a famous fiesta in the honour Saint San Fermin. Every year from 7th to 14th July thousands of people gather in Pamplona, Navarre to celebrate this festival. Thousands of people run in front of dozens of bulls across the street and sing a song “A San Fermín pedimos, por ser nuestro patrón, nos guíe en el encierro dándonos su bendición”, meaning “We ask San Fermín, as our Patron, to guide us through the Bull Run and give us his blessing.”
Fact #7 La Tomatina
Every year in august in Bunol a small town in Valencia, La Tomatina, a food fight festival is celebrated. Thousands of people from all round the world come and participate in this festival. More than one hundred metric tons of over ripe tomatoes are thrown across the streets. Its amazing to know that Bunol has only nine thousand of population and every year almost thirty thousand people from all round the world come and celebrate this festival and the number multiplying every year.
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Fact #8 Spanish Cuisine
Every country offers something different when it comes to food and drinks. Even the styles of cooking differ not only from country to country but within the country also. Likewise, cooking styles and tastes also vary in Spain. Andalusia in south of Spain under the influence of Arabs, the food is hot and spicy. Valencia in the east has Mediterranean cooking style, whereas, western region is famous for ham and sausages. Moreover the northwest region is famous for Pote and Fabada.
Fact #9 Spain Travel Tips
Planning your trip to Spain best months to visit are May, June and September. April and October if you wish to travel south of country. Spain is one of the safest countries to visit in Europe. But petty crimes like pickpocket can happen in metros or tourist crowed areas. So be extra careful while travelling in metros. Keep valuable and costly things in Hotel room. In case of any emergency in Spain call 112. It’s the emergency number and can be dialled from any phone.
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Fact #10 Spanish is the World’s Second Most Spoken Mother Tongue
English is the most widely spoken language in the world overall, but most people have English as their second language. In terms of Mother Tongue, the Chinese language triumph the first place, and Spanish comes in at second.
Travels and conquerings of the Spaniard’s around the world have spread the Spanish language worldwide.
Fact #11 Football is Most Popular Sport
Football is the most popular sport in the country. If you ask any Spaniards about his or her religion most likely answer which you can expect is Football.
Spain is the home of world’s two biggest football clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
Real Madrid is world’s most popular and valuable team. FC Barcelona is national football team.
Fact #12 Spanish New Year’s Custom
There’s a Spanish New Year’s custom where you eat 12 grapes. A pretty unusual but fun tradition which aims to eat 12 grapes with one’s family when the clock turns 12. The goal is to eat 1 grape each time the clock hits a beat. If you succeed, it’s said that you’ll get lucky for the rest of the year.
More than 1 million hectares is dedicated for wine
There’s no shortage of wine when it comes to Spanish wines, and there are lots of variations. Besides regular white and red wine, vineyards are also producing Cava, which is the Spanish equivalent to Champagne.
Worldwide, it’s the red wines that have become most famous!
Some More Interesting and Fun Facts about Spain and Spaniard’s
- Spain is one of the first European countries to ban smoking in public places.
- Personal consumption of Cannabis is legal in Spain. Cultivation is also allowed as long as it’s for personal use. However, it’s not legal to smoke cannabis in public
- Traditionally each person has two surnames. Spaniards have two surnames each one from their parents, isn’t that amazing!
- Spaniards stand on the top in the world for organ donation; this shows their generous behaviour towards the mankind.
- Spain made same sex marriage legal and valid in 2005.
- Spain produces almost 44% of world’s production of olive oil. Andalusia is the region that produces the most Olive Oil.
- There is a legend in Spain that, whenever a child loses his teeth, he keeps it under the pillow for Ratoncito Perez (The Tooth Mouse) to exchange it for a gift.
- Spain has the highest amount of bars in all of the Europe.
- Spain has more than 8000 Kilometers of beaches. If you combine all Spanish beaches into on stretch, it would be 8000 kilometers long (approx. 4 970 miles).
- Spain didn’t officially participate in the world wars, despite being one of the world’s most powerful countries.
- There is no law against public nudity
- The national anthem of Spain has no words
- Spain’s Christmas lottery has the world’s biggest payout – It’s called El Gordo (which translates to the fat one)
- It’s the only European country with cities on African soil – Ceuta and Melilla.
- The Bull is the national animal of Spain
- In 2017, the country had more than 82 million tourists from abroad
- They produce the second largest amount of saffron in the world, after Iran.
- There’s a cable car where you can cross the Spanish-Portuguese border.
- Several artists are of Spanish origins, such as Picasso, Gaudi, Valasquez and Salvador Dali
- Don Quixote, written in 1605, is considered to be the first modern novel.
- Only 13.6% of Spain’s population actually goes to church on Sundays
Spain has 44 UNESCO World Heritage sites. Only Italy and China has more UNESCO world heritage sites.
- Just like Sweden and the United Kingdom, Spain has a king, which is still the head of state, but with little to none power over the country’s laws and regulations. The current King of Spain is Felipe VI.