Spain, that is to say, the country between Portugal, Morocco, and France, may not have the cachet of its northern neighbor or the culinary fame of Italy, but this monarchy has a richer and more diverse history than perhaps any other nation on earth. From Moorish occupation to its glorious time as a global superpower that colonized much of the new world, from the continued fight for the liberty of almost-independent Catalonia to Ibiza becoming the planet’s de facto party capital, a lot has happened in Spain, and because of it, too. Not everything about this country is quite as rosy as it may seem: there were inquisitions and wars, and bullfighting is still legal in most parts of the country. But then there is, of course, that famous passion and lust for life that Spaniards excel at, along with natural products – olives, ham, and cheese, for instance – to be enjoyed in the irresistible form of tapas. From the peaks of the Sierra Nevada to the shores of the Costa del Sol, Spain is full of life and will make you feel truly alive. Whether it is architecture, fine art, dance, or molecular cuisine, Spain is waiting for you to immerse yourself.

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