History Of Spain

By Marcelle Dubois

Spain is a big country of over 500 000 square kilometers, ranking 51st in the world by area. It borders to the west of Portugal, north bordering is to France, Andorra and the Bay of Biscay in the east to the Mediterranean and to the south of Gibraltar and Morocco.

It is customary to divide Spain in four different climatic zones - the area on the Mediterranean coast, inland, the northern Atlantic coast and the Canary Islands. The area around the Mediterranean Sea has mild winters, a subtropical climate and high rainfall in spring and autumn. Barcelona is a city located in this climate zone.

Inland climate is more extreme, with relatively cold winters with much snow in the mountains, and very hot summers. In the north, the Atlantic coast (Bay of Biscay), they have quite a lot of precipitation, but mainly in winter, and fairly cool summers. The Canary Islands have a subtropical climate. Fine and mild weather with temperatures between 18-24 degrees Celsius all year.

Spain is quite mountainous, the highest peak in the kingdom is in Gran Canaria (Teide, 3718 m) but on the mainland its the Mulhacn, 3477 m.

Barcelona is a romantic city that attracts many tourists every year. This coastal city is the second largest in Spain and offers many attractions, museums, activities, shopping and sunbathing opportunities.

Gran Canaria has long been associated with sunbathing, swimming and relaxing charters. And that is really what the island offers. Very sunny and a warm sea all year round with many fine restaurants.

At the end of the 1800s, Spain lost its last major colonies (Cuba and the Philippines) after a very short war against the United States.

Lanzarote is the easternmost island of the Canary Islands with approximately 100,000 inhabitants. It is a lovely island that attracts a lot of charter tourists every year with sun, sand and fine restaurants.

Spain has over 600 indigenous varieties of grapes, but 80% of the production comes from about 20 varieties. The best known are Tempranillo, Albario and Palomino. The most widely planted grape is the Aire, also known as the white wine.

During the 60s and 70s the country experienced good economic growth. 1975 dictator Franco died and the Bourbon dynasty came back as monarch Juan Carlos. Since then it has overall been good for Spain.

With regards to food in Spain, it is considered to be one of the world's healthiest. You eat a lot of locally caught fish and large quantities of locally grown vegetables. Spanish cuisine is renowned worldwide for its paella, Calamares a la Romana (fried squid), Gazpacho (cold tomato soup), seafood, Tortillas, and their meat dishes of lamb, beef and pork.

Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands and has plenty to offer for those looking for a typical charter vacation. Beautiful beaches with sand and sea, dozens of restaurants, bars and a good nightlife.

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