"Plan your Itinerary" Spain Things to Do Tip by DanielF
Spain Things to Do: 1,013 reviews and 1,618 photos
Spain is a large country and covering its diversity, however superficially, requires time and dedication. Classical itineraries include the two larger cities: Madrid, Europe's most fun-loving city and an art-lover's Mecca; and Barcelona, where a decent beach scene meets urban chic like almost nowhere else in Europe. Often, the Moorish trail in Andalusia is also added. Lately, other up-and-coming big cities like Valencia or Bilbao are joining in. Otherwise, beach vacations in Mediterranean or island resorts seem to be the norm. For a more in-depth look into the country, you can start planning with the different and often unexplored regions that make up the country in mind.
With an area slightly smaller than that of Thailand and somewhat bigger than that of Cameroon (about 17 times the size of Belgium), Spain is territorially divided in 17 Autonomous Communities. These regional entities were created by the Constitution of 1978 in order to give satisfaction to the self-rule demands of the different regions and nationalities that compose Spain and that had been brutally repressed under the fascist regime. The Autonomous Communities benefit from a high degree of self-government regarding their own affairs.
On their turn, several Autonomous Communities are divided into provinces. The creation of these provinces predates the establishment of the Autonomous Communities, though. The 50 provinces were established in 1833 and, even if in not all of the cases had they a solid historical basis, they have consolidated themselves as a clear reference of belonging for most Spaniards.
The following tips provide a glimpse of the 17 Autonomous Regions. Ceuta and Melilla, which are neither provinces nor Autonomous Communities, but autonomous cities, are not listed because I have not been there yet.
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