FACT FILE — Spain — España :World Cup Winners 2010:

Spanish holiday vacation villas and apartments on the Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Costa Brava and other areas in Spain — Español vacaciones villas y apartamentos en la Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Costa Brava y otras zonas de España

SPAIN : With its sun baked stretched of plateaux, high peaked mountains with fertile river valleys and picturesque coastline, it covers an area of over 195,000 square miles — 505,990 square km and occupies most of the Iberian peninsula. It is borded by water for 88 percent of the periphery. The country has so much to offer, both in the way of natural beauty and of priceless tereasures.

It is officially known as y the Kingdom of Spain — in Spanish: Reino de España.

Administratively, Spain is divided into 50 provinces, grouped into 17 autonomous communities and 2 autonomous cities with high degree of autonomy. These are in "Morocco" on the North African coast — Ceuta and Melilla. The 17 autonomous communities are: Andalusia -Andalucía in the south coast, Galicia -Galiza in the north west, Madrid where the capital in the centre, Extremadura in the south west bordering Portugal, Castile-La Mancha -Castilla-La Mancha south of Madrid, Castile and Leon — Castilla y León north of Extremadura , Valencia and Murcia on south east bordering the Meditteranean, Cataloniain the north east, La Rioja, Principality of Asturias -Principáu d'Asturies in the north, Aragon -Aragón in the north , Basque Country -Euskadi in Basque -País Vasco in the north, Navarre -Nafarroa — Navarra in the north adjoining the Basque Country

Madrid is the capital city and the largest city in Spain, as well as in the province and the autonomous community of the same name. It is located on the river Manzanares in the center of the country.

See also Driving in Spain — The Balearrics and The Canary Islands at insurance4carrental.com

Places to visit in Madrid

EL Rastro — large flea market — The meaning of the name ELRastro is "The Stain". Mixture of cheap clothes, household goods and junk.

Plaza Mayor — Dating back to 1619 it is one od Spain's most beautiful squares.

Museo Del Prado — Art gallery with over 3,000 paintings by the great Spanish artists ans other European artists.

Plaza De Oriente — Is one of the most famous squares in Madrid, It is ocated opposite Palacio Real (Royal Palace), There are statues of medieval kings and the one that takes centre stage is the equestrian statue of Felipe V. The square will have street performers including violinists. You can watch the changing of the guard at noon on the first Wednesday of the month except in July and August.

Parque Del Buen Retiro A very popular place with the locals and visitors, especially on a Sunday, in the heart of Madrid. It was once purely for the Royality. The park has a lake that is popular with people relaxing in rowing boats.

Estadio Santago Bernabéu — The home of Real Madrid football club that was voted the world's greatest football club of all time by FIFA in 1998.

Other Cities and Towns

Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain. It is located in the comarca of Barcelonès, along the Mediterranean coast. It is the location for the Formula One Motor racing Spanish Grand Prix. It was the home of the 1992 Olympics.

Places to visit in Barcelona More detailed information here

La Sagrada Família — Not completed yet, but Spain's most visited sight. Antoni Gaudí's La Sagrada Família Church.

La Rambla — Tree lined pedestrian boulevard with street performers and stretches some 1.25 km.

Carrer De Montcada — One of the wealthiest streets in Barcelona and home to the Museu Picasso.

Museu Nacional D'Art De Catalunya — Built in 1926-29 as a temporary paviliion for the 1929 World Exhibition and now a permanent home to Catalan art.

La Boqueria — A market that is one of Europe's greatest permanent produce fairs selling fruit. vegetables, meat, sweets, nuts and fish.

Circuit de Catalunya — Home of the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix . It opened in 1991 and is loacted north west of Barcelona.

Mont Juïc — Has several fine museums, including the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya and landscaped garden — Jardins de Joan Brossa.

FC Barcelona Camp Nou Stadium — With a capacity of 100,000 in the stadium the club itself was founded in 1899 and is now one of Europe's biggest football clubs.

Park Güell A park on a hill with superb views over Barcelona and out to sea. Antoni Gaudí' designed this park and also lived there for a number of years. The house in now a museum to him. The original plan in 1900 for Eusbi Güell was to convert the 15 hectares of land into 60 blocks for the rich people of Barcelona. By 1914 only three block had been sold. Gaudí' had created 3km of roads and walks including a plazza and two gatehouses. It now remain a Park and is very popular all year round.

Málaga is a port city in Andalucia, southern Spain, on the Costa del Sol coast of the Mediterranean with a large international airport to serve the sourtherm area.

Granada is situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains y and the capital of the province of Granada, in the community of Andalusia.

Bilbao — Bilbo is the largesr city in the Basque Country and the capital of the province of Biscay and is in the north (Atlantic) coast of the country.

Places to visit in Bilbao

Museo Guggenheim Photo on this page and others of cities featured on this page This opened in 1997 and transformed Bilbao with this modern architecture. Designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry and in a way to show the paintings exhibited in their best light.

Casco Viejo — Bilbao's old town full of bars, restaurants and shops. At the centre is the 19th century arcaded Plaza Nueva that hosts a lively Sunday market. The Catedral de Santiago complete with its Renaissance portico is located in this area.

Funicular De Artxanda — This is a three minute ride with breathtaking views over Bilbao.

Museo De Bellas Artes A much older building than the Guggenheim, the museum houses sculptures, clasical art, 20th century pop art and more.

Murcia is a city and municipality on the river Segura located a few kilometres inland in the south east of the country. It is the capital of the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia.The Cathedral de Santa Maria was cpmpleted in the 15th century and is the most impressive monument of Murcia.

Seville is the capital of Andalusia and of the province of Sevilla

Places to visit in Seville

Alcázar This is the residence of many generations of kings that originally foundedas a fort in 913. It is located south of of the cathedral and across the Plaza del Triunfo.

Cathedral & La Giralda Along with the Alcázar, the Cathedral and the Giralda make up the trio of must-see attractions in Seville.The Cathedral was built in the 15th and 16th century in Gothic style on the grounds of an Arab mosque. It is the largest place of worship in Spain, and is the biggest Gothic Cathedral in the world. The Giralda is the bell tower of the cathedral and you can climb this by ramp walkways. It is over 90 metres high.

El Arenal is home to some of Seville's most interesting sights. These include Museo De Bellas Artes — fine arts museum, Plaza De Toros De La Real Maestranza — the bullring and Torre Del Oro — 13th century Islamic river bank watchtower.

El Centro is the centre of Seville. There are numerous narrow streets with picturesque squares. The area includes — Casa De Pilatos a fine mansion, Museo Del Baile Flamenco — Flamenco dance museum, Plaza De San Francisco & Calle Sierpes — is Seville's main square and Plaza Salvador — has a baroque church Parroquia del Salvador that was built on the site of a Muslim mosque. Further south of El Centro will be the Parque De María Luisa — This was transformed in 1929 for the International fair. A very tranquil park with over 3,500 trees. Plaza De España has fountains and minicanals. Antigua Fabrica De Tabacas — was a tobacco factory and is now part of the Universidad de Sevilla.

Granada is the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous region of Andalusia. It is famous for being home to the fabulous Alhambra Palace which is widely regarded as being one of the 10 architectural wonders of the world.

Valencia — València is Spain's third largest city and a port located on the Costa del Azahar.

Places to visit in Valencia

Cathedral — Gothic style is located at the Paza de la Reina.

Ciudad De Las Artes Y Las Ciecias - The city of Arts & Sciences — occupies 350,000 square metres of the old Turia riverbed, being predominately the work of architact Santiago Calatrava. It is an exceptionally moderned buildiing built with a curved roof in part.

Museo De Historia De Valencia — is located in the Calle Valencia. Instituto Valenciano De Arte Moderno (IVAM) — This houses 20th century Spanish art.

Museo De Bellas Artes — Is located in the Calle San Pio (translated means the Fine arts museum) has works by Goya, El Greco, Velázquez, Ribalta and more.

Plaza Del Mercado — This market was built in 1928.

Plaza De La Virgen — Constructed on the forum of Roman Valencia.

Palacio Del Marqués De Dos Aguas — Inside is the Museo Nacional de Cerámica — that displays ceramics from around the world. Torres De Serranos and Torres De Quart — these are the tow twin towered

Andalucia, land of the guitar and flamenco: Castile, with its ruined castles in the heart of Spain and Madrid the thriving capital, are all excellent centres. The Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol are the areas where you will find the majority of holiday home properties.

For the sporting enthusiast, Spain has everything; golf, hunting fishing and plenty of water sports facilities. Further entertainment is provided by the fiestas held annually to commemorate religous and historical events. Finally a very controversial form of entertainment-corrida-the bulfighting, that is held in most main towns throughout the summer.

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THE BALEARICS( Islas Baleares — Illes Balears ): Ibiza, Menorca, Mallorca (Majorca) and Formentera are these islands off the east coast of Spain. The largest is Mallorca with its capital Palma and it has one of the busiest airports of European holiday destinations. Ibiza is famous for its lively nightlife, although this is largely confined to San Antonio in the north. SEE ALSO Fact File Balearic Islands.

CANARY ISLANDS ( Islas Canarias ): Are made up of seven islands. enerife, La Palma, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, La Gomera and Hierro They have an average year round temperature of 23 degrees centigrade making them a very popular location to take a holiday in. SEE ALSO Fact File Canary Islands.

Currency: — Euro (€)

Electricity Voltage: 230v European 2 prong round plug.

Telephone Country Code: + 34 including Balearics and Cannary Islands Telephone Country Code: + 39

Emergency Telephone number: pan-EU Emergency 112 Can be used in all EU Countries and it can be dialled from a locked mobile or a mobile with no sim card.

Population 2006: 40,341,462

Land Area: 504,782 Km2

GENERAL DRIVING TIPS:

Some of this information is supplied by HOLIDAY AUTOS Worlwide Car Hire

Vehicles drive on the RIGHT in SPAIN and The Spanish Islands

Speed limits Towns: 31 mph/50kmh, outside built up areas: 56-62mph/90-100 kmh, motorways: 74mph/120kmh.

Drink and driving: Blood alcohol limit is 80mg — same as in the UK.

On uneven (odd) dates in one-way streets in towns, vehicles should be parked on the side of the road where the houses bear uneven numbers. On the side where houses bear an even number, parking is allowed on these dates.

Drivers in Spain who wear glasses must carry a spare pair with them at all times.

Motorists must carry a set of replacement bulbs.

Stationary trams may not be overtaken when passengers are boarding or alighting

Outside built-up areas, signal your intention to overtake by sounding your horn in the daytime or by flashing headlights at night.

It is compulsory for front and rear seat occupants to wear seat belts if fitted.

Reflective vests are also complusory (like in France, Belgium and Italy) — In Spain you must carry reflective vests for all occupants).

You must also carry two warning triangles.

Credit cards are not widely accepted at petrol stations but their use is increasing.

For Car Rental / Car Hire & Car hire excess insurance — More Information.

If you are looking for a Low Cost Travel Insurance policy visit our Insurance section.

Holiday Home Property Insurance for France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Malta, Cyprus, England, Scotland and Wales — visit our Holday Home Insurance section.

Enjoy your visit to Spain

See also

Tips and Topics in Spain CLICK HERE

Barcelona Fact File . Barcelona Fact File

A Definition of Bed and Breakfast Accommodation in One Place May Not be the Same as in AnotherCLICK HERE Buy to Let Europe CLICK HERE

Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) CLICK HERE

Accepting Payments in Euros can prove Expensive CLICK HERE

Travel in Lanzarote Spain CLICK HERE

The Undiscovered Paradors of Spain CLICK HERE

Spain Facts and Figures CLICK HERE

Taxes in Spain CLICK HERE

A Fresh look at Ibiza CLICK HERE


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