Unarguably Spain is one of the most visited countries of Europe. With pristine beaches, lot of sunny days, rich culture, and fascinating history, Spain beats any other tourist destination with an edge. IT is also home to numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites, if you want to check the official status of its touristy spots. There are only few nations that can stand against this mega traveler’s hub. But there is also a fun side to Spain, things that make it even more unique.
In this blog we have listed some of the most fun, some of the most bizarre facts of Spain. In case you are travelling to Spain then this all you need to know to spark a conversation with some local and beat them with knowledge about their own home country.
1 – Spain boasts of being more than 40% of world’s total olive oil production. The main region in Spain popular for Olive Oil is Andalucia. In Spain olive oil is often referred to liquid gold.
2 – Spain is home to most number of blue flag beaches in the world. It is estimated that it houses more than 720 blue flag beaches. The certification of blue flag beaches is given on the criteria of cleanliness, safety and accessibility. It is right to say that Spain houses 15% of the world’s entire blue flag beaches.
3 – The national anthem of Spain has no words, and only music. This might be the most bizarre fact about Spain. It is only one of the four countries in the world with national anthem without lyrics. Earlier it had, but no one uses them now. Spanish national anthem is also one of the oldest.
4 – Spain is the second most widely spoken native language in the world. It is estimated that there are more than 570 million Spanish speakers in the world. It is only second to Chinese Mandarin. Majority of the South America speaks Spanish. Total number of countries that speak Spanish are 21.
5 – Then flat crowned hat was designed and invented by the shepherds of the Basque country in order to protect themselves from rain and cold. Yes it was not a French invention. Some of the other things that were invented in Spain were pencil sharpener, wheel chair, and the mop. So we have to agree that Spanish people are genius who made our lives just easy.
6 – The black market economy of Spain is so huge that is consists of the 20% of the country’s entire GDP. It is not just the illicit businesses and crime activities, but majority of the Spanish Businesses are unregistered to evade the tax system of the country.
7 – Real Madrid is the world’s richest football club with an estimated worth of more than 2.5 Billion Euros, and annual turnover of beyond 600 million Euros. It will not be wrong to say but football is like a religion in Spain. Also FC Barcelona owns the world’s largest private stadium with a seating capacity of more than 100,000. It is one of the touristiest spots of the city.
8 – Spain holds the record of having maximum number of bars and restaurants per capita than any other country in the world. It is estimated that for every 132 people there is a bar or restaurant in Spain. In fact, the region Andalucia alone has so many bars and restaurants that it can beat the total number of bars and restaurants present in many countries.
9 – Spain is home to 46 UNESCO World heritage sites, which is the third largest number recorded for any country. It is one of the major reasons why Spain always tend to be a hot tourist destination.
10 – World’s first modern novel was written by a Spanish Author. It was Don Quixote, which was written by Miguel de Cervantes in 1605. It was about a story of a man who was too fascinated and read many tales about the knights, and chivalry.
11 – Everybody assumes that Spain is all about beaches, but there are mountains too, and in fact a lot of mountains. Spain is the second most mountainous country in the entire Europe just behind Switzerland. This might sound weird, but to support some of the mountain regions of Spain are Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada, and Montserrat ranges.
12 – Spanish people have a strange tradition when it comes to new year eve. They end the year by eating 12 grapes. It is eaten after dinner and when the clock strikes 12. It is supposed to bring good luck in the upcoming year. So if you are in Spain celebrating new year, remember this.
13 – Greenwich meridian passes through Spain, so technically Spain should be in UTC 0 Time Zone. But in World War 2 the then dictator of the Spain Francisco Franco adopted the central European time, to match that of Nazi Germany. The war ended and nobody cared about the clock timing and time zone of Spain. This is also the reason why Spain has late meal times.
14 – The Moorish people or say the Arabs of Northern Africa, had occupied majority of Spain for a very long time. It is the reason why there is Moorish influence in the culture, music, and architecture of people of Spain.
15 – Madrid is home to the world’s oldest restaurant as recognized by Guinness World records. The name is Sobrino de Botin and it has been operating since 1725. If you are a lover of history and a lover of food then this place must be on your bucket list.
16 – Sublimotion is a restaurant in Ibiza, Spain which is recorded to be the world’s most expensive restaurant. It charges around 2000 Dollars for a 20 course tasting menu. It is operated by a two star Michelin chef, and takes help of laser lights and virtual reality to enhance dining experience.
17 – Spain is also home to the world’s biggest lottery. The name is Spanish Christmas Lottery and it happens annually around Christmas. It was started in 1812, and is also the second longest running lottery in the world. The total prize fund of the lottery exceeds 2 billion Euros, now that is too much.
18 – In Spain nudity in public is legal. Yes that means you can run all naked on the streets, but there are some unsaid general rules. This is the reason why Spain is home to so many nude beaches. You can also go naked in a non nudist beach.
19 – There is a small town in Spain called Coria del Río near Seville where more than 700 people have a surname Japon. This is because of a samurai diplomat in 17th century who made a visit here. These all people are the descendants of the samurai.
20 – Spain has had many names throughout the history. It was once called Iberia meaning river. It was also once called Hesperia meaning the land of setting sun. It was also called Ispania meaning the land of rabbits. The most recent one that gave it the name Spain was Hispania.
21 – A small village near Valencia claims that they were the inventor of Coca Cola. There is an evidence that a Spanish drink called Nuez de Kola Coca existed before the official launch of Coca Cola in Atlanta. Evidently the owner of Destilerías Ayelo got that recipe to Philadelphia and sold it to Americans in 1884.
22 – Spain also has one of the lowest marriage ages in Europe. Before some official laws were made, girls could marry at 14 and boys could marry at 16. Now with the regulation the minimum marrying age is 16 with parental consent and the standard is 18.
23 – Siesta is an old tradition of the Spanish people. As per Siesta Spanish people take a short afternoon nap of 20 minutes between 2 to 5 PM. It is the time when most of the stores and establishments in Spain are also closed only for the siesta time.
24 – Spanish people have longer names. In most of the cases the first name has two words. They are also one of the people to have two surnames. One is comprised of the parental surname and the other is comprised of the maiden name of the mother.
25 – Gulpiyuri Beach which is located in Northern Spain is the world’s smallest beach. It is only 40 meters long and it is only 15 meters wide. Its also an inland beach which is connected to the Cantabrian Sea through a cave. You can only reach there by foot.
26 – The first ever psychiatric hospital of the world was opened in Spain in the city of Valencia in the year 1410. It makes Spain a pioneer in mental health space. It was named as Hospital de Los Inocentes which meant hospital of the innocents. IT has been locked down in present times.
27 – It is estimated that around 1 million hectare of land in Spain is used for wine making. Some of the most popular wine making regions of Spain are Priorat, Rioja and Rueda. It is also estimated that Spain is the world’s second largest producer of wine.
28 – Mercado Central a market in Valencia is the Europe’s largest fresh food market. It was constructed in 1914, and is built over an area of 8000 square meters. In present times it has around 900 stands selling fresh foods from meat to poultry to olive oil and fresh veggies.
29 – The only desert of Europe is in Spain. It is named as Tabernas Desert which is located in the North of Almeria. It gets an annual sunshine of 3000 hours. The temperatures here are above 17 degree Celsius and it receives under 250 mm of rain every year.
30 – Spain is the second most visited country in the world. In fact the number of people that visit here or travel here are just double the actual population of Spain.