Close your eyes and think of Spain. Did you see rolling plains dotted with olive trees, a little white town in the distance? Maybe you heard flamenco music, clapping hands or clicking castanets?
Or did you see….. Lush green hills and hear bagpipe music? A castle perched on an inaccessible crag? Seaside cliffs sheltering a little cove backed by pine trees? A farmer leading an ox-drawn wooden cart piled with fresh grass? High mountain pastures speckled with wildflowers and surrounded by rocky spires? A tiny church carved out of a limestone bluff? Night life in a vibrant modern city?
When they think of Spain, many people see only the first scenes. And that’s a real shame, because Spain is also all the other scenes, and a lot more. Above all, Spain is a land of contrasts. Contrasts in scenery, architecture, culture. Contrasts between old and new ways of life. Contrasts that will surprise and delight you every day of your stay in this fascinating country.
Many of those contrasts are because of Spain’s long and complicated history, others because of the incredible variety of scenery and environments in a relatively small space. Put that all together and you have enough quirks and contradictions to keep you wondering and observing for a long time – and a great place for slow-track travel.
So what’s to see? The world famous “big” cultural sights include monuments representing historical periods from pre-history to yesterday – but the “minor” cultural sights are just as interesting: villages seamlessly united with the surrounding countryside, the traditional evening stroll in a small city, a country lane between stone drywalls, human statues and mimes in the cities, an old man making wooden clogs, a herd of cows in a green pasture, a shepherd playing the flute, fishermen pulling their wooden boats up onto the beach, or country people coming to town on market day. Just business as usual for locals, but for an observant and respectful traveller, all these are wonderful opportunities for a unique experience.
Spain is all that and a lot more. All that and a climate that lets you walk or bike most of the year, if you know how to pick your destinations. All that in a totally modern country with excellent health care and communications systems. All that in a country that has many, many more things to discover than you can possibly imagine.
Come explore with Puente, your bridge to Spain.
This page has a lot of information to explore. Walking is always our first suggestion, click HERE to get started, then continue with ideas for walking in Madrid city or Madrid countryside. Armchair traveling for now? Don’t miss the photo galleries (more than on this first link, see above). Coming to Spain soon? check out the Hot News – and ask us about the Madrid walks scheduled for the time you’ll be here.