From the enchanting atmosphere of Ibiza, to the bustling beaches of Barcelona, there’s so much to enjoy about the jewel in the crown of the Iberian Peninsula. Spain has become Europe’s worst kept travel secret, with millions of tourists descending on these shores year in, year out.
With so many people picking Spain as a holiday destination, we’ve come to learn a lot about this beautiful country over the years. By now, we’re all familiar with their tomato-tossing traditions, and their shrewd love of siestas. But did you know these three unique facts about Spain?
Home to the world’s oldest restaurant
It’s no secret that Spain is home to some of the finest culinary establishments around, with some of the world’s most heralded chefs hailing from these shores. And Spain’s gastronomical influence is nothing new. Restaurants, chefs and dishes have been earning awards and international acclaim for many years – but there is one unique record that may not be beaten for centuries, if ever.
Located in the capital, Sobrino de Botín has been recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest continually operating restaurant in the world. The revered restaurant opened in 1725, and the traditional flavours upon which its legacy was built remain a key feature of the menus perused by peckish patrons today.
Spain has the third-most UNESCO sites
Exploring some UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a new country is a great way to get a deeper understanding and appreciation of its history and culture. If you’re looking to add a sprinkling of UNESCO-inspired charm to your Spanish holiday itinerary, you won’t be short of choice, no matter which part of the country you visit.
With 44 sites across the mainland and surrounding islands, Spain sits third in the list behind China and Italy. There is a mixture of manmade and natural sites spread all across the nation, but you’ll find the densest concentration of sites in the Andalusia region, where there are seven in total. These include the Historic Centre of Cordoba, and Doñana National Park – one of three national parks inscribed on the list.
Spain has the most valuable nightlife industry in Europe
From the cheap thrills on the Magaluf Strip, to the exclusive clubs of Ibiza’s Playa d’en Bossa, there’s little doubt that Spain remains the beating heart of Europe’s party scene. This sector remains an integral part of the country’s economy, with bars, clubs and the nightlife industry generating revenues in excess of €18 billion.
This income rockets Spain to the top of the nightlife rich list, bringing in more money from this industry than any other EU economy. With so many bars to stock, it’s a good job that Spain is the third-biggest producer of wine in the world. More than 1 million hectares of land is devoted to viniculture in Spain, and they’ve firmly established themselves amongst the wine-making elite on the global stage.
For many hedonistic holidaymakers, supporting the nightlife industry is the primary aim of their trip to Spain, and despite the COVID-induced blip, the growth of this sector shows no signs of slowing.