Barcelona is the cultural heartland of Spain, yet its first language is Catalan, the native tongue of the proudly independent Catalonia region. Stroll down the shady, tree-lined Ramblas between street musicians and elegant bistros. Then perhaps visit the venerable Gothic cathedral, Picasso Museum or enjoy the architectural genius of Antonio Gaudi's Church of the Holy Family.
The major island in the chain known as the Balearics, Mallorca is Spain's sunny outpost in the Mediterranean. The town of Palma boasts a shady plaza near the Gothic Cathedral. Visit the Roman ruins and the Drach Caves nearby, or journey to the enchanting village of Valledemosa. Leave time to shop for lovely majolica faux pearls and hand-made lace.
...The weather almost never becomes too hot or uncomfortable, and the sights and smells of the land are marvelous...It is also Spain's main naval base...The landscaped squares of Cartagena are so magnificent that you can spend hours just sitting and looking...The buildings and religious structures of the city add to its wonderful culture, and a walking tour of Cartagena is great fun.