5 Misconceptions About Spain

There is no doubt that Spain is a popular vacation destination. In fact, it is the second most visited country in the world with around 83 million tourists a year. Even so, it has been a subject of various misconceptions and myths that remain to be debunked. Here is our take on the top 5 misconceptions regarding Spain.

There is one homogenous culture in Spain

Over the years, many stereotypes about Spain have given people the impression that Spain is one big Andalusia where people play the Spanish Guitar and sing and dance on the streets. While this might be the case in one part of Spain at a particular time of the year, it is far from the whole truth.

Spain is unique in the sense that it comprises 17 autonomous regions, all of which have their own capital, besides the regional and local culture that is unique to them. The deep-rooted multicultural past of each of these regions, have led to their own customs, traditions and a way of life that are sometimes quite different from one another.

Spanish is the only language spoken in the country

Most European countries speak one native language, however, that is not the case with Spain. While Spanish is the official language throughout the country, different regions of Spain have different languages and dialects that have the status of co-official.

 

Some of the other widely spoken languages are Catalan in Catalonia, Basque in Basque Country, Galician in Galicia and Aranese in the Pyrenean area of the Aran Valley in northern Catalonia. There are also some minority languages that are recognised but not co-official, like Aragonese in Aragon, Asturian in Asturias and Leonese in Castile and León.

Spain is all about sun and sand

Although Spain, situated in southwestern Europe, enjoys considerably more sunny days than the rest of Europe, it is not always warm and sunny as one might think. The country boasts of a wide variety of climate and geography. As a matter of fact, Spain is the most climatically diverse country in Europe.

 

The northern regions are much colder and greener than the south, with regular snowfall in the months of winter. The weather also changes from the east to west, experiencing different temperatures, rainfall and humidity. As a result, Spain is extremely unique and diverse when it comes to natural landscapes that go much beyond just beaches and cliffs.

The gastronomy is bland and limited

Contrary to the stereotype normally attached to European food, Spanish gastronomy is quite packed with flavour. To add to it, different regions have their own cuisine, cooking techniques and way of eating and no one dish represents the entire country. However, one must admit that Spanish people do like to indulge in ‘tapas’ or small dishes throughout the day in most parts of the country.

 

Just when you thought traditional food is all this country has to offer, let us tell you that Spain is widely known for its culinary creativity and for pushing the envelope when it comes to haute cuisine. A great quality of local and seasonal produce has attracted many chefs to develop and expand their professional careers here. Not to mention, a myriad of options for perfect wine pairings that Spain offers. 

Everyone in Spain loves Flamenco or Bullfighting

Flamenco has become a trademark of Spain and is internationally known as a Spanish dance form. However, it is not a dance but an art form with many other elements and is part of folklore that originated from the region of Andalusia. Flamenco is not as popular all over the country as one might think and definitely, not everyone loves or knows how to perform it. After all, most of the regions in Spain have their own art and dance forms, like the Sardana in Catalonia, Jota in Aragon and Aurresku in Basque Country to name a few.

On the other hand, Bullfighting is not a sport but a cultural tradition that is becoming less popular everyday as concerns surrounding animal rights gain momentum. In fact, the region of Canary islands has banned it, while the tradition is practically non-existent in many other regions of the north and north east.

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