The 21st century obsession with Spanish heritage


Spain. It is the European country that gave the world the gift of the siesta. It is the country that colonised much of The Americas, eventually resulting in over twenty countries speaking the language as their native tongue. Over 5,000 miles of pristine coastline make Spain the perfect summer destination, and the warm, welcoming atmosphere and culture make it a popular choice for an all-year-round vacation destination. As well as being charming and beautiful, Spain boasts ease of access, making it the country that seemingly has it all. Most of the cities in Spain – including Madrid and San Sebastian, among others – are, for the most part, easily walkable. You can wander through the Spanish streets and take in the architecture, the natural beauty, and the culture while literally immersing yourself in the experience. Madrid is the heart of Spain, located in its geographical centre, meaning that this is the perfect place to kick start your European escape or your Spanish summer.

While Spain is most famed for its rich culture and awe-inspiring architecture, there are hidden gems that make the European country positively sing in even its most quiet places. As well as the standard camping grounds, hostels, and bargain Airbnb’s that pepper the Spanish horizon are the mountain cabins, and they are every bit as magical as they sound. In the Spanish highlands, no matter which area of Spain you may find yourself in, there is a selection of rustic mountain cabins to please the adventurous free-spirited wanderer. These mountain cabins are as cheap as they are charming, making them the ultimate accommodation for any traveller that loves to immerse themselves in the natural wonder of their destinations, not just the cities in all their perfect chaos.

Seville is a city alight with old world charm in its architecture and new found wonder in its more modern attractions, such as the aquarium and the parks. The buildings that stand tall and intricate tell tales of history long past and spellbinding passions that not only brought the buildings to life, but made them the envy of the world’s architects. To design buildings so astonishing and so beautifully unique, is a true gift and one that continues to captivate not only those in the field of architecture, but the rest of the world as well. While all of Spain is considered to be a passionate destination, it is Seville that screams passion from the very walls of its famed structures. After all, such impossibly intricate yet obviously strong buildings could not have burst into fruition without a fiery passion and determination to bring them into the world, to have them shape the city of lights.

At the sun sinks below the horizon, the energy of Barcelona picks up, giving the beautiful streets a new sense of life as the moon begins to chase the sun across the sky. There are many wonderful restaurants and cafes to go to and countless bars and clubs to dance the night away in, but the real magic in Spain’s sparkling city is the architecture. Casa Batllo is one of architect Antoni Gaudi’s most famed masterpieces, and it is impossible not to see why when you see it for yourself. The stunning and unique curved design of the building, coupled with the kaleidoscopic array of coloured glass and tiles that adorn the now-museum make it stand out on the street. Other delights come to life from Gaudi’s hands include Casa Mila and the infamous ‘unfinished’ church, Sagrada Familia.

The other wonderful thing about Spain is that tourists are easily forgiven for making Spanish mistakes with their attempts at speaking the language, as locals are more than happy to point out the inconsistencies in their attempts, meet them halfway, or explain to them how to speak the language properly. Madrid is one such city. While Seville is known for its architecture and Barcelona for its buildings and its atmosphere as the sun goes down, Madrid is perhaps best known for the food and the flamenco. One cannot experience Madrid if they do not go for at least one or two nights out to see the world’s best flamenco dancers. You can either dine as you watch the dancing, or eat and then walk into any number of bars or taverns to experience the dancing after your meal. And while Spain boasts many of the world’s most beautiful and unforgettable destinations, it is also home to many hidden gems, including La Graciosa, Las Medulas, and El Parque Natural del Cabo de Gata. Do yourself a favour and pepper in the hidden gems in between your must-dos when you visit this magical European country – as is always the case, the hidden gems quite often sparkle more so than the most infamous treasures of the country.

Spain is one of Europe’s most famed countries, and it is impossible not to understand why. Even those that have never stepped foot in the country long to, hearing, seeing, and reading about tales of the kaleidoscopic architecture of Barcelona, and the nightlife that keeps the country continuously moving. If you want to escape to a part of Europe that has it all, from the architecture and the history to the natural beauty and the culture, then Spain is where you ought to go. You will be inspired by the buildings. You will be charmed by the locals and their passion for life. You will fall in love with the natural beauty that pours out of every orifice. The sparkling jewel of Europe, Spain will make you come alive again, and you will never forget it – if anything, you will want to relive it, again and again.

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