We’re big fans of Spain and have been to many parts of the country – from city to coast, and countryside. So when Spanish Tourism asked me to share my favourite photos of the country as part of their #SpaininMYheart campaign, finding great images should have been simple. But not so, Spain refuses to be honed down to a handful of images.
But, that is the task at hand for you if you’d like to enter their competition to win a snazzy new Canon G7 X digital camera. You’ll find details of the competition below, but first let me explain why I struggled with this project and share some of my favourite images with you.
Spain in my heart, mind and spirit
To me, Spain is red. A deep scarlet that not only flutters in the wind from every flag post, but swirls and twirls in ruffled skirts to a flamenco rhythm.
It’s a fiery red that runs with passion through the veins of the Spanish psyche. It revels in all that’s good in life – family, friends, laughter, music, great food and wine, and fun.
In Spain, every small white town knows how to let its hair down
Then there’s yellow – the golden heart of the nation’s flag that could represent the rays that bathe Spain in light, and reflect back from sandy beaches along its magnificent coastline.
But it also encapsulates the whimsy of its people, their confident spirit, love of life, and determination to enjoy every minute of time here on Earth, with a fiesta for every occasion.
From Santander to San Sebastian to Madrid, east to Barcelona and Girona, south to Valencia, Málaga, Jerez, Seville, and Granada, then across the sea to the Canary Islands or the Balearics, Spain is a land that knows how to party.
It’s not just in the big cities, or party-hard tourist resorts, every small white town knows how to let its hair down. And you can’t help but get involved too. Watching, waving, walking alongside Easter and Three King’s parades; disco dancing with carnival divas, tossing tomatoes at La Tomatina, enjoying the spirited zing of a zambomba.
History and religion run deep with the festivities, but modern merriment also takes its turn in the limelight at music festivals like Benicassim, while the White Isle of Ibiza delivers for every party animal.
But even Ibiza has its quiet side. And it’s this, people who know the island well, love the most; alongside golden beaches that sink into a Mediterranean Sea shimmering from indigo to lazuli, azure to aquamarine.
A little way across the water, Majorca spreads yet more joie de vivre, while Menorca takes you deeper into Balearic life, wrapping you in its cosy traditions.
Culture and history are at the heart of the Balearics, and even the Canary Islands – a feature oft overlooked by the idle beach-babe. But dig deeper and you’ll unearth the creations of masters. There’s the modern masters – Lanzarote’s Manrique, Málaga’s Picasso, Figueres’ Dali.
Architecture lovers marvel at the work of Calatrava in Valencia, Gaudi in Barcelona and Gehry in Bilbao
But artistry stretches its fingers across many mediums in Spain – take the Basque Country’s Cristobal Balenciaga, whose designs made women feel like no other woman existed (according to Diana Vreeland). Then there’s Girona’s famed chefs – yes, Ferran Adrià and the Roca Brothers whose restaurants have all enjoyed the title of best in the world.
And that’s not to mention San Sebastian, a city with more Michelin stars per square mile and culinary prowess in even the most simple of eateries than seems fair to the rest of the world.
Spain holds its own with history too. The Moors leaving their mark on the south with masterpieces like Granada’s Alhambra, La Mezquita, in Córdoba, the Alcazaba in Málaga, and La Giralda in Seville.
Architecture lovers also rightly marvel at the modern work of Calatrava in Valencia, Gaudi in Barcelona and Gehry in Bilbao.
And it’s not only the built environment that enriches the senses – Spain’s natural landscapes offer up wonder in the form of volcanic islands, rugged mountain peaks, wild plains and wetlands home to a rich mix of wildlife.
But this is still the tip of the iceberg with Spain’s cultural, social and natural appeal, and the reason I’ve struggled to narrow my focus and show you just a few of my favourite photos of Spain.
Now it’s over to you…
Share your favourite photos of Spain before April 30 on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the #SpaininMYheart hashtag and one lucky Spain fan will win a Canon G7 X digital camera – one of the best compact cameras around.
Each image uploaded counts as one entry into the competition, so the more you share the more chance you have of winning. See more information in the terms and conditions below.
I’ll also be hosting a Twitter chat on Thursday, April 6, at 3.30pm GMT where we’ll be talking about all the things we love about Spain and sharing yet more photos. I hope you follow the hashtag and join us.
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II digital camera: Terms & Conditions
The promoter of this competition is the Spanish Tourist Office whose registered office is at 64 North Row – 6th Floor London, W1K 7DE. Users will need to post their images of Spain and use the hashtag #SpaininMYheart to enter the competition. Entrants must be 18 or over and be based in the UK to be eligible to win. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition. Closing date for entry is 23:59, 30 April 2017. After this date no further entries to the competition will be permitted. The winner will be chosen by a panel appointed by the Spanish Tourist Office. The winner will be informed via DM on Social Media by the Spanish Tourist Office by Friday 19th May 2017. If a winner does not accept the prize within 14 days of being notified of winning, then the winner’s prize will be forfeited and Spanish Tourist Office shall be entitled to select another winner. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions. The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current [UK] data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent . No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.