Spain is the original package tourism destination. Rolled out in the 1960s, and credited with rebuilding Spain’s economy during the ravages of the Franco dictatorship, package holidays on Spain’s coastlines promised affordable sunshine, hotels and Mediterranean beaches – just a couple of hours from home. 50 years on, and with the benefit of hindsight, the high rise hotels can be seen a blight on once-beautiful landscapes, wiping out fishing communities, destroying biodiversity, polluting both the land and sea and exhausting water supplies. Crucial infrastructure was, sadly, not developed at the same astronomical rate as the hotels went up.
But perhaps Spain can take advantage of the fact that its tourism has been so concentrated for so long. At twice the size of the UK, yet with less than three-quarters of the population, there are vast, uninhabited expanses, and some of the country’s most stunning sites have barely been explored by locals, let alone tourists. As the economic crisis shreds livelihoods across the nation and unemployment soars, tourism could once again be the answer to Spain’s financial woes. The key is that this time, rather than revelling in the fry-ups, pubs and roast dinners, tourists are appreciating that maybe the best thing about the country is not that you can get an English breakfast in the sunshine, but that it is, most wonderfully of all, Spain.
* Source: BBC
Be aware that water is precious. The British notion of a drought is somewhat different to Andalusia – don't expect to see water in the rivers! - Richard Needham, from our reviews
Take your own shopping bag(s) as the market people kindly give you a plastic bag for every item. We ended up with several and that was with trying to refuse! - Jude and Ken Mckenzie, from our reviews