People often think of Spain as beaches, matadors, tapas and paella, flamenco and sunshine. This country is of course much more: a nation of huge variety, meriting many, extended visits. Its landscape, culture and climate are amazingly diverse, ranging from the hot dry plateaus of the central plain, the mediterranean olive and orange groves of Andalucia and Valencia, to the towering snow-capped peaks of the Basque Country in the north. More importantly, Spain has discreetly modernised over recent years without losing its essential character, and now boasts a diverse and dynamic industrial and export sectors, with possibly the most advanced long-distance public transport system anywhere: Spain has over three thousand kilometres of high speed rail track.
Spain’s history over the last thousand years has been tumultuous, from Roman, then Arabic invasion, to Inquisition, autocratic monarchy and empire, multiple coup d’etats, the destructive and tragic Civil War of the 1930s, military dictatorship then finally evolving in to the stable democracy we know today. Economically, Spain still suffers the worst after effects of the credit free-for-all of the early part of the last decade and the international banking crash: but Spaniards are struggling with success to emerge from the resulting vortex of debt, youth unemployment and low growth. Spanish recovery, as with other Southern European economies, is of course hampered by continued membership of a dangerously (for Spain at least) over-valued European single currency.
Spanish people know how to have a good time, and enjoy one of the best lifestyles and quality of life in Europe or indeed the world. Happier and more family-minded than their neighbours to the North, for Spaniards hospitality is an all important tradition: it is the warmth of the Spanish welcome, as well as the sun, that has contributed to the development and success of Spain's massive tourism infrastructure.
Madrid can claim to be Europe’s most vibrant, fun-loving, while culturally rich, capital city. Less formal than London, more grandiose than Rome, while lacking the self-consciousness of Paris. The city boasts some of the world’s greatest museums and palaces outside Italy. But its nightlife is what takes visitors’ breath away. Countless bars and restaurants line Madrid’s streets serving every kind of regional food and wine.
To register please CLICK HERE to download the registration form. Complete and email the registration form to us as soon as possible. In view of prevailing economic uncertainties we will be careful in the volume of accommodation to which we are committed, so early reservation is important.