Bitesize Guide to Spain Holidays from I Spy Camping
Our bitesize guide to Spain focuses on where to visit, what to do and see in Spain's most popular camping regions, namely the north east corner of Spain, stretching from Santander along the border with France heading south through the Costa Brava to Barcelona and as far as Valencia in the Costa Blanca.
Then when you have finalised your list of possible Spanish destinations, use I Spy Camping to search for campsites in Spain, compare prices and book your camping holiday with the best operator for you or directly with the camp sites. Incidently, Mobile home holidays in Spain can also be found on I Spy Camping.
We hope that through this guide you will learn something new about the real Spain, its history and life there today. And give you the confidence to explore of Spain and enjoy more of what this country has to offer.
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Featured Article: Creative Spain
Art is woven into the very fabric of life in Spain which explains why its cities and regions ranking among Europe’s top destinations for culture lovers. Whether they start with Picasso’s savage Guernica in Madrid, or with hallucinatory visions of the Dali museum in Figueres, visitors are confronted with a diversity and richness that is hard to match anywhere in the world.
Madrid has long been the place of pilgrimage for art lovers from all over Europe and America, largely because of the Prado museum, which opened to the public in 1819. Before that, the city and its court were a magnet for Spanish genius of all kinds and during the first half of the 17th century boasted a roll-call that included Velazquez, Zurbaran and Murillo. Francisco de Goya was the last artistic giant to depend on the court’s patronage.
That genius continues to this day with various exhbitions across Europe serves as reminders of how much the country has given to the art world.
One of the most compelling intellectual aspects of Madrid is that most of Spain’s great painters worked there, mainly with royal patronage, and more recent maestros such as Picasso and Dali studied there.
Their presence reinforces the Spanish capital’s role as the melting pot of Spain. In 1561 it was selected by Philip II as the new centre for his court as he played the God-King in the nearby Monastery of El Escorial, from where he dispatches the Spanish navy, the Armada to attack Britain.
Madrid is in the geographical centre of Spain, and it has prospered as an administrative centre for Spain hugely different regions, it started to attract an elite of intellectuals from around the country.
They were drawn by the city’s art collections and the revered Bellas Artes (Fine Arts) school near the Prado museum. The areas near the school have changed since Picasso frequented the local bars. Behind Las Letras where both Cervantes and Lopez de Vega wrote, is the Teatro Espanol. But Scandinavian tapas bars discos in old flamenco show the city moving with the times.
Even in Old Madrid around the Plaza Mayor, the huge traffic-free square that is one of the great centres of the capital, trendy interior designers have revamped old tapas bars. Casa Lucas is typical of the new wave of bars with great wines and imaginative tapas. But architecturally Madrid is no Barcelona or Bilbao in northern Spain. There was no industry wasteland to renew in the city centre, as with Barcelona’s old port area, so the dramatic new architecture is found toward the north of Madrid, the new white collar business area.
For more information about Spanish Art visit the Museo del Prado website.