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As one of the biggest countries on the continent, many assume they know everything about Spain if they have visited Madrid or Barcelona, but the truth is the authentic and real Spain lies in its smaller towns, preserving the traditional culture and the unique laid-back style of life of the Spanish. The destination occupies most of the Iberia Peninsula in western Europe, between France, Portugal, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, also including several beautiful islands. The country has one of the most diverse landscapes, from the Pyrenees Mountains in the north to the popular beaches of the south, mixing everything in between. Another great feature is the cultural diversity, with every region having its own traditions and beliefs.
Any visitor to Spain should definitely start with the two major cities, the capital of Madrid and the magical Barcelona. The royal city of Madrid is truly amazing, with a variety of interesting landmarks and attractions. The true charm of the city comes mainly from its wide boulevards and exquisite architecture, the parks and the museums. There are many things to see in Madrid, but the most important ones include the Royal Palace, El Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum, Almudena Cathedral and many more museums and monuments.
On the other hand, Barcelona is more extravagant and fascinating, with its holiday spirit, its nightlife and beaches. It also features its own set of great sights, the most interesting and popular being the Rambla Boulevard, Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Placa de Catalunya, the Montjuic Castle and Park, Maritime Museum, Picasso Museum and many more parks, museums, modernist monuments and so on.
The more authentic charm of Spain comes from its small towns and villages that still preserve their regional character. From Galicia to Murcia and from Catalonia to Extremadura, these historical provinces have their own distinct and traditional features.
Spain is also a great destination for an active holiday, with a great variety of hiking and cycling routes, adventure sports and beach destinations including the ever-popular Balearic Islands, with the incredible Mallorca or the crazy Ibiza, not to mention Lanzarote, Mallorca, Menorca and Tenerife, which are all great for a holiday.
All this and much more, like exquisite cuisine, vibrant nightlife and so on, make the Spain that every traveller surely grows to love.
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