El toro translated from Spanish means “the bull.” It’s indeed an appropriate mascot for this southern European country. Filled with passionate and fabled characters, the intensity and desire that Spaniards are known for is at once a generalization and also a profound truth. This spirit has given the world flamenco, Picasso masterpieces and three-hour tapas lunches. It’s created some of the world’s foremost artists, musicians, athletes and architects. In short, if you’re looking for a destination that displays its intense devotion to all of life’s artistic pleasures around every turn, look no further than Spain.
From the Canary Islands to the dreamy Mediterranean beaches and lush wine country, Spain is a stunning reminder of the beauty of the Iberian Peninsula. Though the countryside and beaches are a destination in their own right, Barcelona is a must-see as the region’s cultural hub. Thanks in large part to famed Spanish architect Gaudi, the city’s endless gardens, churches and museums are dreamy and almost fantastical. Though be sure to save up a little energy—Barcelona’s luxurious dinners and steamy, fabled nightlife will be hard to pass up.