With 60.7 million tourists last year alone (2013), we were quite intrigued as to why it grew that much. But of course, since childhood, aside from the United States, Spain has been one of our dream destination probably because of the rich influence of cultural and heritage they brought in our country. After all, Philippines was named in honor of King Philip II of Spain in 1543 by Spanish explorer Ruy Lopez de Villalobos.
So here are our top 10 reasons why Spain has remained to be on top three most visited destinations in the world and probably, why we should include Spain in our next trip abroad.
Northern Spain has mild summers to rainy and cold winters. One of Spain’s great natural occurrence is that the sun continues to rise even in winter time. For Southeast Asians, the temperature is quite friendly because it is not too clod not like other parts of Central Europe. In fact, this is one of the advantages of Spain as a European destination. In the Southern Spain, the climate is hot and dry summers with cold and dry winters. It’s common to find summers being hot, but Filipinos are accustomed to that because the weather is quite similar here in the Philippines.
2. Spanish Gasrtonomy
Spain has become a gastronomical destination around the world for its iconic traditional foods and modern-innovative dishes such as Paella, Chocolate con Churros, Callos, Tapas, etc. And just like Pinoy dishes, Spain’s basic ingredients are made up of oil and garlic.
Spain is also home to the ‘Best Restaurants in the World‘ and many of the Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs like Ferran Adria, Joan Roca, Paco Roncero, Juan Mari & Elena Arzak, to name a few.
3. Must See Markets in Spain’s Gateways
In Barcelona, the most popular markets are the La Boqueria and Mercat de Santa Caterina.
4. Must See Museums
Prado Museum, Reina Sofia National Museum, and Thyssen Bornemisza Museum which are all perfect for pilgrimage tours are located in a place called the “Art Walk“.
5. Must Visit Churches
In Madrid, you will find San Jeronimo El Real Church, Cathedral dela Almudena, and Sto. Nino de Atocha. There is also the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales which is considered to be one of Spain’s religious museums. Other churches to visit are Avila Cathedral, Segovia Cathedral, Salamanca Cathedral, Zamora Cathedral, Leon Cathedral, Sevilla Cathedral, Malaga Cathedral, Jerez dela Frontera Cathedral, Granada Cathedral, Our Lady of Covadonga Church, Our Lady of Covadonga Shrine, Burgos Cathedral, and Lugo Cathedral.
For those who want an exciting and unforgettable adventure, Camino de Santiago is a different way to discover Northern Spain where you will find the tomb of the apostle Santiago (St. James) whose feast day is on the 25th of July.
6. Brands Made in Spain
Zara, Camper, Desigual, Loewe, Bershka, and MANGO.
Traveling around Spain is usually by trains and service cars for tourists. You must be 18 years of age to drive in Spain.
Room rate in Spain costs less than in other countries. For example, in Madrid, the average price (room per night) costs only $122 as compared in Amsterdam ($148), Rome ($157), London ($176), Dubai ($205), Paris ($247), and in New York ($349).
The best place to stay in Spain is at the Paradores. Paradores are the state-run hotels that can be found throughout Spain. Before refurbishment, most of these are century old palaces, castles, monasteries, and convents. The most popular Paradores are found in Granada, Caceres, and Cuenca.
Running of the Bulls (July 7 -14) in Pamplona; Tomatina (every last Wednesday of August) in Bunol, Valencia; Fallas (March 17-19) in Valencia; Semana Santa (Holy Week); Navidad (Christmas); Los Reyes Magos (January 6), also known as the Parade of the 3 Kings; and Sevilla April Feast.
10. 2014 FIBA Championship
Spain will host the FIBA World Basketball Championship this 2014. Spain will be the center stage of some of the world’s basketball superstars as the first-ever FIBA Basketball World Cup takes place in the country on August 30 – September 14, 2014. The host cities are Barcelona (Palau Sant Jordi), Bilbao (Bizcala Arena), Granada (Palacio Municipal delos Deportes), Gran Canaria (Gran Canaria Arena), Madrid (Palacio delos Deportes dela Communidad), and Sevilla (Palacio Municipal de Deportes).
Spain is also determined to be one of the top prime destinations in Europe for the Thai travelers. The Spain Tourism Board is joined by El Corte Ingles Department Stores, a popular chain of commercial centers in Spain and Across Spain – a destination management company and a Spanish inbound tour operator in promoting Spain’s Product Update.
Spain’s Product Update for the Travel Trade by Spain Tourism Board was held at the Manila Peninsula last February 7, 2014.
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