1954 saw the first ever package holidaymakers to land on the Costa Brava. It’s hard to imagine how things must have changed since then. This pioneering group of travellers stayed in a small village with only a handful of family run hotels. There were no banks or other amenities and one local shop could change traveller’s cheques.
Today Spanish tourism is big business; no other country in Europe entertains so many tourists each year. Almost the entire southern coast has been opened up to the travel industry. In the early 1980’s it was Torremolinos and Malaga which were the fashionable places to visit. Just down the coast road from Torremolinos is Benalmadena, often named by locals as Torremolinos MKII, where Torremolinos was allowed to grow haphazard, Benalmadena had a little more planning. The marina when finished won the award for most beautiful marina in the world for several years running. The famous 24 hour square or Plaza Sol y Mar to give it’s real name still remains a nightlife mecca for young holidaymakers visiting the Costa del Sol.
These days almost the entire Costa del Sol is a tourist haven, many of the original, quickly constructed hotels have been removed and new, modern and luxurious resorts replace them. The Costa Brava has also seen major re-development as the original accommodation erected hastily to house the droves of tourists flocking to the area in the 1970’s have been replaced with some of the best resorts found in Europe.
Who can mention a Spanish holiday without mentioning the Golf? There are over 300 world class courses along the coast, many of them forming part of a resort. Green fees are generally much lower than the UK, although some of the better courses, mostly designed by world famous golfers, reflect their high quality in the price you pay to play.
Spain is not all about sun and sand, the cosmopolitan town of Barcelona positively brims over with character and is an excellent destination for a short city break from the UK. Flights are generally inexpensive and accommodation options are varied. If architecture is your thing then Barcelona is the city for you. Not only will you find Gaudi here but many modernist pieces by such people as Puig i Cadafalch and Domenech i Montaner.
Travelling to Spain is easy and cheap, flights are often less expensive than a train journey within the UK. Amazing deals can be had especially when booking last minute. Almost all major UK tour operators have products to suit a huge range of travellers.
As a prime European holiday destination Spain carries a ‘been there done that’ kind of attitude. Originally making many mistakes as it attempted to cater to the almost overnight bloom in tourism, it has now refined its offerings and once again sits at the top of the list as a European travel destination. No matter what kind of holiday you are looking for Spain has it all, from the bountiful. Idyllic beaches of the Costa Brava, the quant white villages of Andalucía to the heady nightlife of Barcelona and Madrid you are bound to find something to your taste in a Spanish holiday.