The people you'll meet in Spain will be friendly, helpful and hospitable. If you try to speak their language - even if your attempts fall short in pronunciation and structure - you're likely to get a chuckle, but always a smile and a warm welcome.

Spanish is the main language spoken throughout the country, however you will also hear English, especially in tourist areas.

The majority of the Spanish are Catholic, with other Christian religions following. Different worldwide religions are also represented in smaller numbers.

Spaniards have a real zest for life, and this is reflected in their festivals and "national dance," the Flamenco.
Each region in the country has its own patron saint, and their feast days are celebrated with gusto.
The lively Flamenco is a folklore music style, not the actual dance itself. But who doesn't envision Spain when the unmistakable rhythms and movements of the Flamenco start? Each song tells a story, often of the gypsies who brought the music to the world.

The cuisine of Spain differs across the country, due to differences in culture and climate, but there are some staples you'll want to try. One of the more traditional dishes is paella, originally a peasant's meal of rice and whatever meats and vegetables they had on hand, cooked over an open fire. Today, you can have paella with meat, with seafood, a mix of both, or vegetarian.

Tapas, currently sweeping across the globe as a foodie-favorite, were invented in Seville. The word "tapa" actually refers to the style of eating, not a particular food or dish. Tapas are a variety of appetizers or snacks eaten in small portions. A great way to sample a wide range of foods, without having lots of leftovers!

And if you're eating, you'll need something to drink as well. Spain produces some excellent wines, the perfect accompaniment to any meal. You might want to have a pre-dinner Sangria, a heady mix of wine and fruit.

Cerveza, or beer, might be a good partner with your lunch or dinner, and there are several local varieties worth trying, such as Mahou, Estrella de Galicia or Alhambra.

Non-alcoholic favorites include horchata, a sweet drink made with ground nuts, café (coffee), té (tea) and Cacaolat, found mostly in Barcelona. Chocolate drinks are a lot thicker than their American counterparts. If you want hot chocolate, ask for a Cola Cao.

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