Spain, officially the Kingdom of Spain is a European country located in Southwestern Europe with some pockets of Spanish territory across the Strait of Gibraltar and the Atlantic Ocean. Its continental European territory is situated on the Iberian Peninsula.
Spain's geographic location, popular coastlines, diverse landscapes, historical legacy, vibrant culture, and excellent infrastructure has made the country's international tourist industry among the largest in the world.
Summer resorts and beaches
The most popular Spanish mainland coasts are on its Mediterranean side, and include, from north to south clockwise:
- The Costa Brava, the Costa Daurada and the Costa del Maresme, in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, very popular with visitors from France as well as inland Spain, with notable resorts like Salou and the city of Barcelona.
- The Costa Blanca, (one of the most developed coastal areas of Spain, extremely popular for tourists from the United Kingdom and Germany, with Benidorm as the leading summer city of Spain) and the Costa del Azahar are both in the Valencian Community.
- The Costa Cálida in the Region of Murcia and the Mar Menor, a lagoon by the Mediterranean sea.
- The Costa de Almería, the Costa Tropical, the Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz, all in the community of Andalusia. Some of the summer destinations here are renowned worldwide, such as Marbella in Málaga Province or Sotogrande in Cádiz province
Cultural tourism, business tourism
Spain offers a number of historical cities and towns. Major destinations include Spain's two largest cities: Madrid and Barcelona, which stand as two of the leading city destinations in Europe. Both offer a matchless number of attractions and their importance in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, sports and arts contribute to their status as two of the world's major global cities. Thirteen Spanish cities have been declared World Heritage Cities by the UNESCO: Alcalá de Henares, Ávila, Cáceres, Córdoba, Cuenca, Ibiza, Mérida, Salamanca, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Santiago de Compostela, Segovia, Tarragona and Toledo. As of October 2016, Spain has 45 total sites inscribed on the list.
Most festivals turn around patron saints, legends, local customs and folklore. Among the most singular ones stand out the Seville Fair (Feria de Abril in Spanish), the Romería de El Rocío in Almonte, Huelva, the world-famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, the Fallas in Valencia, the Tomatina in Buñol, Valencia and the Fiestas del Pilar in Zaragoza.
The Carnival is also popular all over Spain, but especially in the Canary Islands (Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife) and Cadiz. There are renowned movie festivals all over the country, the most recognizable being the famous San Sebastián International Film Festival, the Málaga Spanish Film Festival, the Seminci (Valladolid International Film Festival), the Mostra de Valencia and the Sitges Film Festival.