Back in our great grandparents’ day, a holiday consisted of a day trip or a few days at the seaside in the UK. Foreign travel was almost unheard of and flying off to far-flung places was something that they only dreamed of.
These days, of course, we can travel anywhere we like, with flights, ships, ferries and cars taking us to our destination of choice. We can go to the other side of the world, experience new cultures and enjoy meeting people from countries we previously only saw on the television set.
Yet, even with this level of choice, we are still traditionalists at heart, and as holidaymakers we continue to return to Spain over and over again. It remains an extremely popular holiday destination for us Brits. Even in these times of extreme economic difficulties for the country, tourists continue to flock there year in, year out. So what is the big appeal? What makes us return to this country over and over when there is a whole world to choose from?
The warm weather
Part of Spain’s enduring appeal has always been its climate. Warm and sunny without being stifling, the Mediterranean sunshine makes for great sunbathing, sitting outside sipping sangria, or enjoying sightseeing or water sports.
The Spanish islands remain ever popular with travellers. The Balearics (Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza) offer a nearby escape for UK holidaymakers. Those with young families enjoy the fact that there’s no long flight to contend with and within just a couple of hours they are transported to a world of sunshine and fun. Meanwhile, young people and those looking for nightlife continually turn to the vibrant island of Ibiza, renowned all over the world for its nightclubs, DJs and all-night party scene. These beautiful islands are also perfect for those wishing to explore and go off the beaten track, away from the main holiday resorts. You can find hidden treasures in the shape of stunning scenery, wonderful walks and local villages packed with shops and cafes.
The Canary Islands are also permanently popular. A little further away than the Balearics, they boast sunshine most of the year round, making it a destination of choice for those looking for some winter sun. Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote are generally the favourites, with El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera (the other islands) keen favourites for those looking for something a little less crowded.
On the mainland
Beautiful beaches are another feature of Spain, with those in northern Spain offering miles of sand and sea combined with spectacular mountains and countryside.
City breaks are also a big draw for travellers to Spain, with Madrid, Barcelona and Seville amongst the most famous. Explore these ancient cities, absorb the local culture and sample the Spanish food and you’ll see why people return time and time again.
Zoe Hastings is a travel writer who has been to destinations all over the world. She writes regular blogs and travel articles, using companies such as Club La Costa to keep up to date with popular destinations.