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Spain

As our official favourite holiday destination, Spain holds a very special place in the hearts of British holidaymakers - and has done since the advent of package tourism in the 1960s. We just love Spain, it seems. So much so, in fact, that according to National Statistics' Travel Trends report of December 2004, a staggering 13.8 million British visitors passed through Spanish ports of entry in 2002 - 89% of whom were visiting purely for leisure purposes. Consider also that the number of British expatriates enjoying life in Spain - which runs into many thousands - is greater than the combined total of all other foreign communities in Spain. It is estimated that around 75,000 Britons invested in Spanish property in 2004, so this is certainly a love affair that grows more passionate with the passing of time.


Why is it that the British love Spain so much? In truth, it is difficult not to fall for this beautiful country, whatever your origins. The climate is wonderful (with an average of 300 days of sunshine a year); the pace of life and cost of living are extremely agreeable; the food is superb (and largely very healthy); the scenery is breathtaking, and the history and culture of Spain are utterly compelling. All of the above could be applied to many countries around the world, of course, but Spain - representing the 'exotic' on our doorstep - has genuinely captured the imagination of the British for four decades, to the extent it seems part of our national consciousness! Increasingly cheap flights to Spain and Spanish property of excellent value and build quality will continue to attract the British for many decades to come, it seems.

The history of Spain is simply huge, but it has been turbulent with enormous social, political and religious upheaval that still reverberates today through Spanish society today. Common thought in the international archaeological community is that there has been human activity in Spain for approximately 1.8 million years; an axe head found in Northern Spain has been dated at 350,000 years old, and there are of course the famous cave paintings of Altamira, estimated as created around 17,000 years ago. And down the millennia, many cultures have shaped the Spain of today: Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Franks, Vandals, Visigoths, Berbers and Moors have all occupied or colonised parts of the country, between them leaving a rich cultural legacy that contributes so greatly to the identity of modern Spain.


After Russia, Ukraine and France, Spain is Europe's 4th largest country at 504,780 square kilometres, but you may be surprised to learn that it is the 3rd most visited country in the world (after USA and France). Comprised of the Spanish mainland (constituting 80% of the Iberian Peninsula, the remaining 20% occupied by Portugal), the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands, Spain boasts over 1,000 miles of spectacular Mediterranean coastline - a naturally huge factor as regards tourism. And as you may have already gleaned, tourism is hugely important to the Spanish economy, representing an average 9% of its gross national product, and also providing jobs for an amazing 11% of the population - around 450,000 people.


In the capital, Madrid; in Barcelona, Seville, Granada, Cadiz, Malaga, Bilbao and countless other cities and towns; on the beaches and in the resorts of the sparkling Mediterranean coast; in the bewitching traditional villages of the rural interior or on the Canary and Balearic archipelagos, you will find an infinite range of natural, historical, cultural and leisure attractions that make Spain the very special country it is. Whether you choose to attend a bullfight, learn Flamenco dancing, party until dawn in Ibiza, gaze in awe at Picasso's 'Guernica' or the Guggenheim Museum; play golf in Malaga or watch Real Madrid at the Bernabeau stadium; munch paella at a beachside restaurant; admire the Alhambra or the Roman ruins of Mérida, you are experiencing a small part of what makes Spain one of the most exciting and diverse countries in the world.


If you are considering investing in property for sale in Spain, please feel free to contact us directly at escapetospain.co.uk with any enquiry you may have. Should you wish to be kept informed of all new Spanish property developments, please subscribe to our free newsletter service. Please use our property search facility to view the extensive range of Spanish property.

 

Balearics Islands | Costa Blanca | Costa Brava | Costa del Sol
Canary Islands | Costa Almeria | Costa Calida

 

Click here for more town and resort guides from throughout Spain.

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