* Getting Caught Up in the Passions of Flamenco in Sevilla: Whether you watch an artful performance at the flamenco dance museum or join the rowdier crowd in a Gypsy bar in Triana, you’ll find yourself walking down the street to a syncopated beat.
* Watching Children Light Up when They See Las Meninas in Madrid’s Museo del Prado: Diego Velázquez may have been the quintessential Spanish court painter, but his portrait of the Infanta Margarita and her retinue charms small children who imagine themselves in the painting.
* Seeing the Homes of Moorish Royalty and Commoners in Granada: The Alhambra palace was the crowning artistic glory of Islamic Spain. Once you’ve seen how the royals lived, wander the medieval warren of the Albaicín.
* Joining a Tapas Crawl Around Madrid’s Plaza Santa Ana: Whole legs of air-dried mountain ham (jamón serrano) hang over every bar. Try it, along with bites of smoked trout, anchovies, potatoes with bravas sauce, or nuggets of sausage, on your evening outing.
* Gaping at the Gaudís in Barcelona: The Catalan language has the perfect verb to describe seeing the Modernisme buildings of Antoní Gaudí, including his Sagrada Familia basilica. Badar means “to walk around with your mouth open in amazement.”
* Celebrating the Basque Renaissance in Bilbao: The bold architecture of the Guggenheim Museum set a new bar for design and sparked a chain of civic improvements. Between the new waterfront promenade and the architecture that aspires to Frank Gehry’s achievement, Bilbao struts its stuff with pride.
* Sunning on the Beach at the Foot of History at Tossa del Mar: The ruins of a medieval coastal fortress crouch on one of the two headlands that bracket the sandy cove on the often-rocky Costa Brava.
* Admiring the Faith of Pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela: For nearly 10 centuries Christian pilgrims have trekked across northern Spain to the holy shrine of St. James, or Santiago. For the devout, walking into the great cathedral is an earthly taste of the gates of paradise.