Take it from us, this impressive, progressive country's miles beyond iconic but stereotypical bullfights, flamenco, and mass beach tourism, with historic sights reaching back to the era of ancient Greece, wine regions, skiing, some of Europe's most cutting-edge culture; and a gorgeous tapestry of different cultures and languages. ¡Viva España!

Cover photo: Jim Gordon

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A poopy Christmas in Catalonia

  agafapaperiapunta Catalans are traditionally a bit scatological, and they’ve got not one but two traditions to prove it. First is a Christmas log called Tió de Nadal or Caga Tió (“pooping log”), a hollowed-out bit of rustic wood – usually around a foot long – with a smiley face and draped with a blanket. When kids smack it with sticks, they´re rewarded with candies, nuts, turrón (holiday nougat), and little gifts which get “pooped” out of its back end. More explicitly fecal-centered, the…

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Spain's 21 niftiest nude beaches

  MuchoSol.co.uk,   Thinking of coming to the playa in Spain this coming summer? Well, if you're also a fan of all-over tans, nude beaches mark nearly a half century in this country, which has sprouted a whopping 400 where you can swim starkers and sun your bum to your heart's content. Here are nearly two dozen of the top choices!   read post    

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For the 'aves': the art and sport of falconry in Spain

 Tom Meaker  Feet firmly planted on the ground, left elbow out, forearm straight, hand and wrist covered with a thick leather glove, I looked apprehensively at the master falconer standing by my side. He had just sent a magnificent Harris's hawk into the air, soaring into the sky, then swooping down towards me. “He won’t attack me, will he?” I asked. “Not unless he mistakes you for a rabbit,” the instructor deadpanned, “and there is no chance of that”, he grinned. He had placed a piece of…

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  • The best country for road trips? The competition is fierce, since there are so many glorious examples out there. But accordng to Travel+Leisure, one company has pronounced that it´s Spain - and I guess I can´t disagree! https://www.travelandleisure.com/spain-best-country-for-road-trips-...
  • Not surprised at all by this - in my 40 years of visiting and now living here, this country has come a long way culinarily as well as myriad other ways: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/spain-worlds-best-restaurants
  • It´s the holiday season here in Spain- and that´s when our homegrown cava especially sparkles, as the Washington Post recently wrote about: https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2023/12/07/cava-affordable-spar...
  • I´ve been following the 42 new UNESCO World Heritage Sites announced last month, and whilst most visitors come to Menorca for the beaches, its now UNESCO World Heritage "talyots", from the Bronze and Iron Ages, are fascinating for history lovers! https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1528
    Prehistoric Sites of Talayotic Menorca
    Located on the island of Menorca in the western Mediterranean Sea, these archaeological sites are situated in agro-pastoral landscapes. A testimony t…
  • Recently the English-language version of Spain's top newspaper El País took a look at the Sefarad - Jewish Spain: https://english.elpais.com/spain/2023-04-13/synagogues-cemeteries-a...
    Synagogues, cemeteries, and settlements: Spain’s hidden Jewish heritage
    The expulsion of the Jews in 1492 buried homes and synagogues standing for more than a thousand years in the Iberian Peninsula
  • Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso's death, and throughout 2023 Spain is showcasing both sites associated with the painter as well as various exhibitions of his work. Here the UK's The Guardian lays it all out: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2023/apr/06/picasso-pilgrimage-a...
    Picasso pilgrimage: a Spanish art trail marking 50 years since his death
    From Málaga to Madrid, there’s a fiesta of special exhibitions this year in the places where the artist lived and worked
  • Last fall the BBC revisited Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum and how it reinvigorated the city. I’ve visited twice - once before and once after - and I can attest the differences are significant https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63426939
    Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum celebrates its 25th anniversary
    Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum transformed the face and fate of Bilbao when it opened in 1997.
  • It's so good to see this kind of thing, because for too long Spain let its coasts and islands become despoiled by poorly regulated overdevelopment https://www.lonelyplanet.com/news/balearic-islands-to-become-more-s...
    How Spanish islands like Ibiza and Mallorca aim to become a model of sustainable tourism
    The goal is to achieve a more balanced and sustainable tourism model that also protects the islands' natural environment and the needs of the local p…
  • Having a particular interest in good architecture, this piece spotlighting 11 of the top Spanish glass buildings on the website FascinatingSpain.com caught my eye; all are modern except for one: https://fascinatingspain.com/place-to-visit/the-best-of/impressive-...
  • This past summer, travel news website eTurboNews came out with a look at the world's best (and worst) cities for shopping, and some are no surprise, but the ranking of others definitely is - and OMG my current hometown Madrid makes the top 10! Who knew? https://eturbonews.com/the-best-and-worst-places-to-shop-til-you-drop/
    The Best and Worst Places to Shop 'Til You Drop | eTurboNews | eTN
    A new study by Hey Discount revealed what may be the best and worst cities in the world for shopping, with Tokyo crowned the best and Vienna named the
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