Spain is a country of many faces and offers up numerous holiday options whether you are looking for a culture-filled short break or a two-week spell in the sun...
And one factor that makes the country so appealing is the Spaniards' passionate love for life; it can be seen during the many fiestas held throughout the year and every day in the bars, restaurants and clubs.
Barcelona is a great choice for lovers of culture as the city has world-class museums, winding alleys and stunning architecture - including Gaudi's spectacular Sagrada Família. If sightseeing gets too tiring, the city's 4km of beach, tempting shops and selection of restaurants offer plenty of opportunities to unwind too.
The beaches and blue skies of the Costa Blanca are popular with families who take advantage of up to 330 days of sunshine a year, and who enjoy the endless entertainment options for both children and parents. Benidorm is the place to head in this area for a cheap fun-filled package holiday while smaller resorts such as Alteaoffer a quieter base just up the coast.
The weather varies across Spain, but good times to visit to avoid the crowds are late spring, early summer and early autumn...
If you enjoy high temperatures, and don't mind being surrounded by fellow tourists, summer is a popular time to visit mainland Spain with temperatures reaching a sweltering 35C in Seville in July and August.
The Canary Islands are a safe bet for year-round sun - even in January temperatures reach a pleasant 18C on Tenerife and 20C on Gran Canaria.
For year-round sunshine, plenty of water-based activities and some great-value hotels, the Canary Islands are a fantastic place. Possible ways to keep entertained when there (other than lounging on a beach) include whooshing down a slide in Tenerife's Siam Park water park, visiting Cesar Manrique's creations on Lanzarote and enjoying Gran Canaria's leisure park and funfair, Holiday World.
Other possible holiday destinations include Madrid, the country's capital with endless buzzing nightlife options and a variety of cultural attractions; a hedonistic week on Ibiza moving from club to club by night and taking in the beautiful landscape by day; and a trip to Valencia, Spain's third largest city and home to Europe's largest cultural centre, La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias.
There's always something going on in fun-filled Spain from family parades to food and music festivals. Here's our pick of some of the best annual events...
The Three Kings Parade; 5 January; throughout Spain - The Three Kings are the equivalent of Father Christmas to Spanish children as on 6 January every year they deliver presents during the night. To mark their arrival, every town and city in Spain has a procession on 5 January where floats with the Three Kings on pass through the streets throwing sweets to the crowds.
Tenerife Carnaval; February; Santa Cruz and Puerto de la Cruz hold the biggest celebrations - This larger than life celebration, held just before Lent every year, is the chance for one last big indulgence. A flamboyant opening parade is followed by the “burial of the sardine” - a ritual that originally marked the end of celebrations but now is only the mid-point. Festivities then continue in the form of the High Heels Marathon - a male-only race in which the competitors dress in drag - and conclude with glitzy closing parades. Throughout Carnaval, locals and tourists party hard into the night.
Semana Santa (Holy Week); throughout Spain- In the week leading up to Easter every year, religious processions pass through the streets of Spain. The biggest parades are in Seville and Malaga.
Benicàssim International Festival; July; Benicàssim - This music festival held in July attracts world-famous acts who perform in glorious sunshine. And, instead of trudging around in a mud bath in a field in the UK, festivalgoers have a beach and a waterpark to relax in between acts.
La Tomatina; August; Buñol - This huge tomato-based food fight takes place on the last Wednesday of August in the industrial town of Buñol. Crowds gather in the morning to watch a few members of the group compete to climb to the top of a greased-up pole to reach a ham at the top. When this has been claimed, the tomato fight can begin.
Spain really has something for everyone whether it's a family holiday, romantic getaway or a trip with friends. Take a look at our top picks of how to make the most of your Spanish holiday...
Best for Spain holidays...
Shopping: Madrid won't disappoint those in need of a little retail therapy with its variety of shopping areas such as the pedestrianised area between Gran Via and Puerta del Sol. Bargain hunters will be able to get their hands on unusual finds at Madrid's bustling, famous outdoor flea market, El Rastro.
Romance: Seville is the perfect destination for a romantic city break. Home to no less than three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, you can wander around the winding medieval lanes and plazas, mingle with the locals in the Old Town and choose from numerous tapas bars to round your day off.
Grown-up families: Experience the magic of Gaudi in Barcelona as you take in a day of sightseeing. Be sure to visit the Sagrada Familia, Park Guell and the Gothic quarter. The vibrant and lively boulevard of Las Ramblas showcases the energy of Barcelona with a variety of entertainment, attractions and street artists.
Nightlife: Partygoers and clubbers need look no further than the Balearic party island of Ibiza. Warm up during the day on Bora Bora beach before heading to Café del Mar in San Antonio to watch the sun set. Then take your pick from the numerous bars and world-class clubs such as Pacha, Space and Es Paradis.
Active types: Catch some waves and show off your surfing skills at locations around Spain such as San Sebastian, the Costa de la Luz and Laredo. If dry land is more your preference, golf enthusiasts can get their fix at one of the superb golf courses on the Costa Brava.
Relaxing: Those needing time out to unwind should head to beautiful Lanzarote with its dramatic landscape and laid-back vibe. Playa Blanca, once a small fishing village, is one of the more relaxed resorts where you can catch some rays on the miles of white sands, or take a dip in the turquoise waters.
Kids and teens: For a fun-filled family adventure, Port Aventura in Salou on the Costa Dorada will keep the kids (and adults) entertained for hours. Thrilling rides, a waterpark, attractions and plenty of restaurants make for an exciting and action-packed day out or break away.