Living in Spain
Spain in a nutshell
Spanish, or Castilian, has the official status as the language of Spain with about 99% of the population speaking Catalan. There are other co-official languages spoken in Spain such as Catalan in Catalonia, the Balearics and Valencia, as well as the languages Basque, Galician and Aranese.
Spain’s landscape matches its demographic, wonderfully diverse with much to offer. From Galicia’s wild cliffs, to the calm coves of the Mediterranean, the Spanish beaches are amongst Europe’s most beautiful.
After Switzerland, Spain is Europe’s most mountainous country, with the likes of The Pyrenees, The Picos de Europa and, rising from Andalusia’s sun baked landscape, Sierra Nevada providing some of the country’s best skiing.
Between the ages of 6 and 16, education is free and compulsory for children and is supported by the national and state governments. Primary education is offered between the ages 6-12, followed by four years of compulsory secondary education (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria or ESO). Between 16-18, high school is offered for those that want to further their studies.
Art and Culture
Arguably best known for Flamenco and bullfighting, Spain has also given the art world the creative minds of Diego Velázquez, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso with Madrid holding a great number of the country’s top museums.
From tasty tapas to sumptuous seafood the cuisine of Spain varies regionally but is packed with flavour and character across the board.
Lunch is traditionally the biggest and longest meal of the day, with businesses taking two or three hours for the meal. The Spanish government has recently been taking action on this however, in an attempt to shorten the working day.
The Iberian Peninsula is home to incredible architecture, with civilisations that have risen and fallen and have undoubtedly left its mark through Roman and Islamic ruins scattered throughout the country. Barcelona is notably home to Antoni Gaudi’s most famous architecture, including Sagrada Familia, attracting tourists from across the world.
Being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe Spain is well connected to the rest of Europe and the world. Most major cities have an international airport with transport links into the city centres.
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