Language tourism is an economic, linguistic and social activity that is becoming increasingly important in recent times. It is a type of tourism that is common in English-speaking countries, but since 2008 is observing a notable increase in Spanish-speaking countries.
Through language tourism, Spanish is not only a linguistic and cultural treasure, but it also becomes an economic engine for the entities and institutions that provide it, enriching the type of tourism in countries like Spain.
Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world and language tourism transports Spanish customs, traditions and culture to every corner of the world. It is well known that tourism is the sector that contributes the most wealth to the economy of this country.
People who travel to Spain generate wealth in the cities where they reside during their stay, accommodating themselves to the lifestyle of the country and spending their time in cultural, responsible, opportunity-generating tourism.
Learning a language is not just about grammar and vocabulary. It’s also about understanding the culture and society in which the language is spoken. Many Spanish schools in Spain offer cultural classes for their students. These classes can include activities such as guided visits to museums, excursions to historical monuments and tastings of food and drink typical of the region. ALSO READ: Spotlight: Why study Spanish in Spain?
The language tourism sector in Spain, therefore, presents great advantages and opportunities in the present and future, due to the leadership factor offered by being the cradle of Castilian compared to other pan-Hispanic countries. Spain is a country rich in history, culture and traditions, which makes it a very popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the world.
If Spain stands out for something, it is for the great variety of places to visit. No matter the city, there is always an interesting monument or place worth spending time on, from museums or cathedrals to parks.
Spain has a great number of centres specialised in teaching Spanish as a foreign language. The Spanish Federation of Spanish Schools for Foreigners (FEDELE) brings together a large number of accredited schools that offer high quality Spanish courses throughout the country.
Study Spanish and make a cultural immersion
Many of the centres that teach Spanish as a foreign language in Spain offer cultural activities in the cities where they are located. In this way, any Spanish course becomes a tourist, cultural and traditional experience that will have you falling in love with Spain.
Barcelona stands out for its architecture, where you cannot miss a visit to the Sagrada Familia or Güell Park. Bilbao, capital of Biscay and located in the Basque Country, stands out for the Guggenheim Museum. If you are looking for natural beauty and amazing views you can go to Galicia, where you will also find the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, a historical monument known for being the end of the famous Camino de Santiago. Additionally, in this same region you can find the Rías Baixas, a natural wonder that you cannot miss.
Study Spanish and get to know the real Spain
Spain is a large, diverse country, and sometimes, getting away from the big cities can offer you interesting alternatives. In this aspect, there are language centres that have visits to villages with few inhabitants to discover the popular traditions and traditional crafts of Spain.
If you are looking for relaxation, you can go to Castilla y León, with its well-preserved cities from the Roman times such as Valladolid, Segovia, Salamanca or Ávila. And where you can find beautiful, isolated villages up in the mountains, and enjoy the pure air and absolute tranquility surrounded by nature.
Study Spanish and visit museums
All destinations have a full agenda of visits to museums and interpretation centres where, thanks to the teachers at the centres, you can get to know the Spanish language and history in a very special way.
Madrid has many palaces and museums, as well as monuments, including one of the best museums in Spain, the Prado Museum. You’ll also find the Royal Palace, the largest in all Western Europe, as well as the Retiro Park, a fantastic place to walk and relax amongst shady trees or go for a row on the lake. Or try the Valencia region, a place full of traditions, with cities of great tourist attraction such as Benidorm. A highlight is the City of Arts and Sciences, located in Valencia; a visit to this architectural and cultural complex is highly recommended.
Study Spanish and enjoy the weather
The good weather means that you can enjoy all seasons of the year if you decide to learn Spanish in Spain. Practising water sports, volleyball, tennis or swimming in the afternoons after studying Spanish in the mornings, is one of the options at many of the centres.
The Canary and Balearic Islands stand out for their great beaches, their great climate as well as their mountain terrain. If you love geology, Mount Teide is an obligatory visit, the third largest volcano on Earth and the largest in Spain, located on the island of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands. If, on the other hand, you are looking for nightlife, luxury and partying, then Ibiza, in the Balearic Islands is your destination.
Finally, travel through the south of Spain through the lands of Andalusia. Its capital Seville surprises with all its monuments and its historic centre, highlighting places such as the Plaza de España, the Cathedral of Seville or the Real Alcázar. The eighth wonder of the world is found in Granada, with the Alhambra. Cordoba also stands out with its great Mosque. Or try the Doñana National Park, a large space that has many marshes for waterfowl and protects an endangered species, the Iberian lynx.
If you are looking for the opposite and want snow, you can find it anywhere in Castilla y León and northern Spain in general. But, if you are also looking to ski, there are the resorts of Sierra Nevada in Granada and Formigal in Huesca, where you can enjoy their ski seasons like a professional.
Study Spanish and cook
The Mediterranean diet, characterised by its variety and quality, stands out with dishes such as Valencian paella, Andalusian gazpacho, Galician octopus, Asturian fabada or Spanish potato omelette. Fresh or well-preserved products together with the great hand of our chefs make Spanish gastronomy, regardless of the place you visit, of great touristic interest as well as personal enjoyment.
We cannot forget the chiringuitos or beach bars, which can be found in every corner of every beach, with the best fresh fish and seafood to enjoy after a great day at the beach with the sea in the background.
And speaking of beaches, Spain boasts the most beautiful beaches, which attract millions of tourists.
Study Spanish and live the traditions
Each corner that we visit in Spain has its own traditions and festivities, very different from each other and at the same time very similar to each other. What they have in common is that they represent the customs of their land with charm and pride.
Valencia stands out for the Tomatina in Buñol and its Fallas, two events of interest that bring together more and more people every year. The carnivals of Cadiz and Tenerife always leave spectacular moments to remember. Continuing in the south, you can’t miss the Feria de Abril of Seville, a whole week that mixes culture, party and tradition.
Goingnorth you may find the festival of San Isidro in Madrid, the classic Ibizan festivals and the Sanfermines in Pamplona as the most outstanding events.
Students can join in the fun and immerse themselves in Spanish culture by participating in all these events. In addition to these activities, Spanish students can also experience Spanish culture through interaction with locals. Spaniards are known for their friendliness and hospitality, which makes tourists always feel welcome and comfortable in Spain.
Do you want to Study Spanish in Spain?
FEDELE brings together a large number of accredited schools that offer high quality Spanish courses throughout the country. These schools are located in important cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Malaga or Valencia, among many other cities spread throughout the Spanish territory. With a total of 105 Spanish teaching centres, FEDELE seeks the highest quality in its language teaching, always seeking the balance between learning the language, culture, customs and carrying out activities that vary according to the city in order to ensure that anyone who comes to Spain enjoys the experience to the fullest and feels just like another Spaniard.
This is a Spotlight Feature in association with FEDELE.