Spain has long been the playground of Europe, and its many assets have been exploited for our pleasure.
There's cosmopolitan Barcelona, with Gaudi's wondrous architecture and a laidback buzz somewhat at odds with its cutting edge style - haute couture is pouring out of Barcelona these days - then there's the glamourous and traditional Madrid, the exotic, moorish architecture in Seville and Granada, and the yacht culture of Marbella.
Yes, there's the sun, sea, sand combo of the anodyne Costas, but equally there's the charm - and glorious seafood - of green Galicia, and the medieval villages and acres of vineyards of La Rioja. Don't miss, either, the elegant hotels along the sweeping bay of San Sebasti√°n, where tapas have been elevated to an art form. Nearby, there's reinvented Bilbao, home to Frank Gehry's masterpiece Guggenheim Museum.
The Balearics, for all their oversaturation, also have surprises in store. Try the hidden jewels off the beaten track, and discover whitewashed fincas nestling amid bougainvillea and fig trees, overlooking rocky coves and the sparkling Mediterranean. And always in Spain enjoy the relaxed approach to dining; al fresco and with an excellent bottle of wine.