Spain is one of the most requested tourist destinations by tourists from all over the world. In fact, it is the third most visited country in the world. This is due to its particularity in each of its cities, besides being a country very rich in historical and cultural heritage.
Spain is the ideal destination for a dream vacation! This country is one of the most popular thanks to the charm of many of its cities, such as Madrid or Barcelona. Moreover, people not only visit these cities during their vacations but also choose them as a destination when organizing a study trip, for example. More and more students decide to take Spanish courses in Barcelona, since they prefer to study in cities that offer a great cultural display and tons of fun.
Spain is one of the most visited countries in Europe due to its many important cities, its famous beaches and Mediterranean coasts, its abundant nature, and mountains, not to mention the excellent gastronomy that characterizes the Spanish people. However, there are probably many things you don’t know about this country. In this article, we will describe the unknown curiosities hidden in this wonderful country. Here we go!
#1 Spain is the world’s largest producer of Olive Oil.
You probably didn’t know that Spain produces 44% of the total amount of Olive Oil in the world! More specifically, it is the region of Andalusia that produces the largest amount of olive oil. Many tend to think that it is Italy that occupies this position, but they are wrong!
#2 Spain has more than 8000 kilometers of beaches.
Spain accumulates a total of approximately 8000 kilometers of beaches (if we could put them all together lengthwise). No wonder it is one of the most requested destinations for summer vacations. Several of the best beaches can be found in the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands. It also has paradisiacal beaches on its Mediterranean coast, such as those of Barcelona. It is not surprising that most foreign students choose to take Spanish courses Barcelona in order to enjoy its beautiful beaches (among other things) during their stay.
#3 Spain is home to the Oldest Restaurant in the World.
It may seem unbelievable, but it’s true! It is a restaurant called Botín, which opened in 1725. And because it is still operating, it is a world record. The Botín is located in Madrid, so if you decide to visit this beautiful city, you have to stop by and try the food of this historic restaurant. It is an ideal place to eat a good plate of traditional Spanish food.
#4 Spain has the custom of eating 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve.
The tradition began in 1909 when families decided to eat 12 grapes when the clock struck 12. The goal is to eat 1 grape for each of the twelve chimes the clock strikes. If you succeed, tradition says you will have good luck for the rest of the New Year. This tradition was popularized by the wineries, who had a very generous harvest of grapes that year and needed to get rid of the surplus.
#5 Spain has over 1 million hectares of vineyards.
Spain is the second country in the world with the most vineyards. Now that you know this, it won’t surprise you to know that Spain is never short of wine! Spain produces all kinds of wine varieties, and some are famous all over the world, such as Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Spaniards have wine and beer in their blood and are always ready to have one of these aperitifs in a bar. This brings us to the next curious fact.
#6 Spain is the country with the most bars in Europe.
There are more bars in Spain than in the entire United States. It is estimated that for every 175 inhabitants there is a bar, which gives a total of 260,000 bars.
#7 Spain has 47 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Spain is the third country in the world, after China and Italy, with the more UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some of the most famous and visited are the Alhambra in Granada and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. And that’s not all! Spain also has several natural world heritage sites, such as the Palmeral de Elche, the Teide National Park, the Medulas, and the Pyrenees (Monte Perdido), among others.
#8 Spain is known worldwide for being the birthplace of flamenco.
Contrary to what everyone believes, flamenco is a musical genre and not a dance. This genre is typical of southern Spain; however, the origin of flamenco is somewhat unclear. It is believed that it originated in Andalusia and that the gypsy culture was the one who has contributed the most to the essence of flamenco, both musically and in dance. But it is also influenced by Gregorian chants performed in Jewish synagogues, Arabic sounds, and African rhythms.
#9 Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world as a mother tongue.
While English is the most spoken language in the world overall, most people speak it as a second language and not as their mother tongue. Spanish, on the other hand, is the second most spoken language worldwide as a mother tongue, with Chinese being the first. The Spanish conquests around the world spread Spanish everywhere. The great Spanish colonization made the language spread to different parts of the world. Today, approximately 400 million people speak Spanish in 20 different countries.
#10 Spanish is not the only language spoken in Spain.
In Spain there are many communities with their own cultures and languages, such as the Autonomous Community of Catalonia where Catalan is spoken (in addition to Spanish). Other languages spoken in Spain are Galician, Valencian, Basque, and Aranese; there are also many other dialects.
# 11 Spain is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world.
Each region of Spain has a particular culture (as we have mentioned above with regard to the various languages spoken). Each region has its own traditions; this is due to the fact that Spaniards come from different cultural groups that were united in one country. That is why some of them, besides having their own language, want to regain their independence, as is the case with the Basque country and Catalonia.