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SPAIN – More to explore than you think
It’s true that millions of people travel to Spain each year with only sunshine, sand and sangria on their minds. However, if you think that’s all there is to this Mediterranean wonder, you’re much mistaken, and if the typical triple-S trail is the only thing you wish to follow while you’re on holiday in the country, then you’re missing out. Delve a little deeper and you’ll unearth an array of cultural, historical and artistic delights.
So if you’re exploring the country and want to do more than just bronze yourself on the beach when you’ve stepped off the various flights to Spain, take a look at the attractions below and soak up some culture instead.
Costa del Sol
Initially, the touristic Costa del Sol might not conjure up images of cultural gems, but this part of beautiful southern Spain is in fact packed with attractions suitable for culture vultures, such as the Roman ruins in Malaga, one of the main cities of Andalusia. Meanwhile, the city’s impressive cathedral, the construction of which started in the 16thcentury, showcases elements of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Malaga is also home to the Picasso Museum. Situated in the heart of the old town just a few minutes from where he was born, it charts the Spanish painter and sculpture’s works from the late 19thcentury throughout his life. The city also boasts the Carmen Thyssen Málaga Museum. Housing the collections of the widow of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, a noted art collector, it is the perfect place to see Andalusian art. Romero de Torres, Sorolla and Zurbarán are among the artists featured.
Up the coast in the Costa Blanca, there are also plenty of notable visitor spots. In Alicante, you’ll find the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante. Housed in the 17thcentury Casa de la Asegurada, it showcases a superb collection of 20thcentury Spanish art. You can find works there from the likes of Dalí, Sempere and Picasso.
Meanwhile, in the city of Denia, look out for the Castillo de Denia. This impressive centuries-old construction dominates the skyline and offers an insight into the region’s history. If you’re in Denia in June, you might catch the festival of Hogueras de San Juan, during which hundreds of huge papier mache sculptures are brought out into the street. These mesmerizing creations represent anything from celebrities and politicians to hot topics of the time.
The Costa Brava is not short of cultural draws either. Just outside the coastal town of L’Escala, you’ll find the ruins of what was once a major Greek and later Roman settlement. One of the most important archaeological sites in the whole of Spain, it contains an amphitheater, floor mosaics and more.
Another highlight is the Salvador Dali House Museum. Situated close to the town of Cadaqués, this complex of converted fishermen’s cottages served as the artist’s home for half a century.
Of course, this is just a smattering of the attractions you can see when enjoying a sojourn in Spain. There are plenty more for you to explore.