From one of the world’s most popular megacities, Barcelona, to the rustic beauty of the verdant mountain villages, Northern Spain is a mixture that has something for every traveler. While the water of the Atlantic Ocean in the west is rarely warm enough for a comfortable swim, the beaches around Barcelona in the east are a reminder of the city’s proximity to the French coast, a Mediterranean flair that is not just geographical in nature. Traditions are still held sacred in this part of the world, and the semi-autonomous Basque Country is a distinct national and cultural entity that clings with fierce independence to its unique identity that sets it apart from any other region in Spain. Northwestern Spain is a series of rainy landscapes, and the ancient granite buildings wear a blanket of moss reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands. Swirling fog and heavy mist help keep local folktales of the supernatural alive. As rich in contrast as the red wine of its Rioja region, Northern Spain welcomes visitors with a down-to-earth serenity that is refreshing in its authenticity.
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