Land of Contrasts 

Appropriately called the 'Bull's Hide' by Greek geographer Strabo, in 29-27 BCE, the landmass of Spain with its 505,000 sq kms provides the traveller with an opportunity to experience great diversity within its borders; bound by sea except for Portugal to the West and joined to France and the rest of Europe across the Pyrenees to the North-East. Spain forms the principal part of the Iberian Peninsula.

'Iberia' has charmed travellers for centuries, yet it was not until mid last century when Europeans began to explore their region, that Spain came into world recognition, as a fascinatingly diverse and distinct destination for tourism. Théophile Gautier, Prosper Mérimée and Washington Irving were among the many 19th century Romantic writers and artists who wrote extensively on their travels portraying Spain as a mysterious, exotic corner of Europe. One of their contemporaries, Richard Ford, described the country as 'This land of miracles, anomalies and contradictions'.

Following in the footsteps of this fine tradition, our own Lionel Lindsay became enthralled with Spain after the first of 4 visits in 1902. Such was his passion for the landscape and understanding of the nature of the people, an Andalusian artist referred to him as ..'one who sees Spain with our own eyes'..

Spain today embodies all the contrasts of an ancient land of the Mediterranean with its rich and varied culture and language; its 17 autonomous regions offering many unexpected architectural, geographical, cultural, gastronomic and climatic differences, all contributing to the sheer pleasure of the visitor.

Declared by UNESCO as one of the three most important World Heritage sites for humanity, Spain's heritage listings include entire cities and historical regions, such as Salamanca, Toledo, Caceres, Avila and Segovia. The listing also includes cultural and natural values, with National Parks and heritage concepts such as Roman Spain, Moorish Spain, etc.

Once the most powerful nation on earth with far flung dominions able to exert great influence on world political and commercial affairs, the Spain of today is an energetic member of the European Community, with 46 million population and a universally appreciated history, culture, individuality and language.

'La España eterna' - Eternal Spain