Spain is a multifaceted country, one that mixes rich cultural traditions with the modernity of cities like Madrid and Barcelona. The landscape is beautiful and the Pyrenees make a gorgeous backdrop to a coastline of beautiful beaches. Huge, ornate cathedrals dot the landscape, and the world-famous nightlife of the cities can keep even the most amped traveler satisfied.
If you start in Madrid, check out the Palacio Real de Madrid, where the King of Spain resides. Catch a Real Madrid football match, then head to Cuenca, located between Madrid and Valencia, to see the well-preserved medieval city. In Barcelona, the Sagrada Familia isn't to be missed; its distinctive angles and shapes are the work of world-famous artist Antoni Gaudí. Stay in Hotel Majestic or Hotel Arts Barcelona; the latter sits right on top of the Mediterranean.
Alternatively, head to the Mediterranean coast proper for a beach vacation in the summer. Spots like Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, and Costa de Almeria have an old-world charm that you'll struggle to find in other regions of the world. La Concha in San Sebastián might be the best urban beach in Europe. If you're looking to party, Ibiza with its all-night dance fests is the place to go.
And then there's the food. Many of the world's best restaurants are in Spain, from the El Celler de Can Roca in Girona and Azurmendi in Larrabetzu to the San Sebastian duo Arzak and Mugaritz. If fine dining's not your style, simply go for a wander and walk into any establishment you can find. The home-cooked results are sure to be fresh and fantastic.