Everybody's got their favourite city in Spain. Whether it be the bustle of Barcelona, the magic of Madrid, or the sheer sizzle of Seville. Join us in exploring other metropolises.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
On first view, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria's unlikely to win any beauty contests. It is, after all, a working city with one of the country's busiest container ports. The largest city of the Canary Islands, it's the ninth most populated in the whole of Spain.
Imagine Las Palmas like a sandwich. Except that the filling is on the outside. For the most interesting parts of the cities are its extremities.
The south of the city will be the first you'll see of LP if travelling from the airport or its famous resorts. Here you'll find the historic quarter of Vegueta which once put up Columbus as he repaired his ships on his way to discovering America. Its neighbour Triana's equally olde-worlde and is one of the city's more fashionable shopping areas.
Over in the north of the city, you'll discover truly one of the world's greatest beaches, Las Canteras. A 2.8km stretch of golden brown, it's popular with sunbathers and surfers alike. Here the vibe is more South American or even Caribbean with tightly-packed streets evoking a Mid-Atlantic Havana.
Say hello to Roman Spain. In fact, Tarragona's strategic position had already seen it colonized by Iberian tribes such as the Kessetani and the North African Carthaginians. The Romans, though, called it Taracco and used it as a base for their subsequent conquest of Hispania.
A port was developed, an ampitheatre built to celebrate the Roman's famous games, and a temple to worship their gods. Augustus even made the city the capital of the Roman empire in 27BC. The Visigoths arrived in 469AD before the city came under attack by the Moors in 716.
Nowadays, Tarragona is the capital of the province of the same name. Most tourists favour a visit to nearby Barcelona if they're visiting Catalonia. But there's a Rambla to, erm, ramble along too with the Rambla Nova affording fine views of the Mediterranean.
Another good place to stroll around is the Part Alta. Roman walls surround the old city on three of its four sides. Here you'll be able to visit Tarragona's main historic buildings.
With a population of 809,000, Valencia's the third-largest city in Spain. Yet its popularity with tourists is nowhere near that of Barcelona or Madrid's. The Moorish influence is felt keenly here, it was under Muslim control for five centuries, and today you feel you're in Catalonia more than Castile, especially as the locals speak Valenciano, a dialect of Catalan.
You'll certainly eat well in Valencia. This is, let's not forget, the birthplace of paella. Another typical dish to try is all i pebre de anguilas, eels served with a spicy, garlicky sauce.
Go native and make your way to the Mestalla. Here you'll be able to cheer on local heroes, Valencia C.F. One of Primera Liga's biggest sides, they're affectionately known as Los Che.
Elsewhere, there's fun for all the family at Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències. The space-age City of Arts and Sciences houses an Imax Cinema, Planetarium, and interactive museum. You'll find Valencia's premier tourist attraction at the end of the former riverbed of the river Turia, which was drained and rerouted after 1957's disastrous flood.