World Cup holiday guide: Spain

They shed tears on the Moscow turf as a nation rejoiced around them. Spain have dominated international football for years but they say that all good things must come to an end. While it may be the last time we see Andres Iniesta, David Silva and Sergio Ramos at a World Cup, it will never diminish our love for Iberian holidays.

Spain has been the go-to destination for British holidaymakers for generations. We are lured to this corner of the Mediterranean by the promise of sun, sea and sand. We sip sangria on promenades; explore the cosmopolitan cities and party until dawn in the iconic nightclubs. In short, we love Spain.

So why should you make this your World Cup holiday destination? Here are just a few reasons.

Why we love it

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When we want guaranteed sunshine and somewhere we can spend a relaxed week on a golden beach Spain is the place that we rely on. It is the holiday destination that you can tailor to your own preference. You can spend a long weekend wandering the streets and taking in the unique atmosphere of cosmopolitan cities such as Barcelona and Malaga or unwinding in an unspoilt paradise such as Formentera.

Away from the major cities, Spain has one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe populated with charming towns and resorts. The coastal regions of Costa del Sol, Costa Brava and Costa Dorada are long-time favourites while hop across the sea and sample the delights of the Balearic Islands. Travel a little further and you’ll meet the fascinating landscapes of the volcanic Canary Islands.

From couples to families, groups to solo travellers – Spain is a destination that can create amazing holiday memories that you will talk about for years.

What you cannot miss

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It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to ticking off the very best bits of a Spanish holiday.

If you are heading for the coast then the beaches are going to be calling you from the moment your plane touches down. The Balearic Islands offer some of the best in the country with the pinnacle being the tiny peninsula of Formentera. A short hop from Ibiza, Formentera is home to the kind of beaches you paint pictures of in your dreams. The standout is undoubtedly Ses Illetes – a perfect horizon of white sand, azure ocean and cloudless skies.

Go a little further from the mainland and discover the rustic charm of the Canary Islands. The main quartet of islands is Lanzarote, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura and each offer incredible views over unique landscapes. There are a host of resorts dotted around these shores but the star attraction is El Teide – a huge dormant volcano in Tenerife. Explore the volcano and Teide National Park to truly experience these incredible islands.

Holidays in the mainland are split into beach or city breaks and in Barcelona you can do both. The capital of Catalonia is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world with iconic landmarks such as Sagrada Familia – the towering, Gaudi-designed cathedral – and La Rambla, arguably the most famous street in Europe. You can sample tapas and sangria in the Gothic Quarter and then spend a lazy afternoon by the city beach. If you’re looking for something a little different then opt for the birthplace of Pablo Picasso – Malaga.

Eat like the locals

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Prepare yourself for gastronomic feast as you chow down on the very best delicacies has to offer. Spanish cuisine differs from region to region but there are a couple of staples that taste so much better in their homeland.

Originating from the Valencia region, paella is a delicious rice dish which combines a variety of vegetables, runner and butter beans with either chicken, rabbit or a range of seafood. If you’re wandering the streets of Barcelona you will not be able to move for tapas restaurants and you simply have to try gambas al ajilo. These delicious sizzling prawns are doused in garlic, chilli and olive oil and an absolute must.

Pair this with classic patatas bravas and tostas de tomate y jamon – thick slices of Iberico ham on toast with garlic and tomato – and wash it down with a glass of sangria for the ultimate Spanish feast.

Spain may be saying goodbye to the 2018 World Cup but you could be saying hello to this sunkissed destination this summer. Check out our latest package deals on Spanish holidays at www.sunmaster.co.uk.