|Things To Know
From Pyrenees to Portugal
Diversities of Spain
Cities, Towns and Villages
Traveling in Spain
The Moorish Occupation
There are physical differences between Spaniards from different parts of the peninsula. With a population of 40 million, there's
room for diversity; contrary to popular belief, not all Spaniards are dark-eyed and olive-skinned. The Moorish genetic legacy
is strongest in Andalucia, where many are delicate-featured and dark, personifying the Spanish stereotype.
Spaniards are sometimes thought of as an exuberant, passionate and light-hearted people, much like the Italians, but nothing
could be further from the truth. They are certainly passionate, but there's a strong streak of self-control and melancholy
in the national character. History has given them loyalty and tolerance. Kindness to children and respect for the elderly
are the norm. You will find a tendency to delay until tomorrow (mañana) anything that can wait.
Young Spaniards enjoy a freedom and lifestyle their grandparents could never have imagined, yet society is still in a state of flux, and there are huge contrasts between different regions, towns and rural areas. But wherever you go you'll find the same level of hospitality and friendliness, particularly if you speak a little Spanish. English is widely spoken along the Mediterranean coast and by hotel staff in big cities, but very rarely elsewhere.