Spain the World’s Greatest Holiday Destination

1. The sun, sun and sun

The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain, if indeed at all, as the country is statistically Europe’s sunniest. The coastal resorts of the Mediterranean enjoy, on average, more than 300 days of sunshine each year – well into the autumn and winter months.

Costa Blanca has been recognised as the healthiest region to live by the World Health Organization (WHO). With more than 300 days of a year of sunshine, you can enjoy agreeable temperatures the whole year through. The annual average temperature is 18º, which means that in the summer the temperature isn´t extremely high, and the temperature in the winter will be relatively warm.

These temperatures come because of the microclimate in the area. The Costa Blanca is cloaked by the warm Mediterranean Sea to the east and mountains just a few kilometers inland to the west. Both are string forces in keeping the good weather in and the bad weather out! More of that later.

2. The best beaches in Europe

“With more than 5,000 miles of coastline, Spain has thousands of beaches, from tiny rocky coves to long strips of golden sand,” writes Telegraph Travel’s Spain expert Annie Bennett. “Blue Flag status was awarded to more than 577 beaches around the country and the islands last year, guaranteeing not only water quality but also, in most cases, access for people with disabilities. That number means Spain tops the global ranking, handing the country the accolade of best beaches on earth. Galicia has the most Blue Flags, with 131 awarded to its spectacular Atlantic beaches.”

3 .Safest , cleanest and cheapest

Spain has just been named the safest, cleanest, and cheapest place in the world for tourists, after the World Economic Forum released its annual Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report

The report, which is produced every two years, looks at the health of tourism sectors in 136 countries worldwide.

4. Its enviable cities

BarcelonaMadridValenciaSevilleMalaga. Too many of the world’s must-visit cities are found in Spain, from the cultural majesty of the capital, Madrid, to the trendy, proudly-Catalonian air of Barcelona, visitors plotting a trip are spoilt for choice.

Not to forget, Granada, where the Alhambra is found. “The beauty of this Moorish palace and gardens, named in Arabic for its reddish walls, truly does have to be seen to be believed; set high on a hill with views over the city of Granada,” writes Telegraph Travel’s Rachel Cranshaw. “It’s a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions – book your tickets for first thing in the morning (and arrive in plenty of time) to minimise crowds, queues and sun in high summer.”

5. To see one of the world’s greatest ancient sites

According to historian Mary Beard, that is. “Go to Segovia for one single stunning Roman view, and a spectacular piece of Roman engineering,” she says. “The huge aqueduct, built at the end of the first century AD, on a series of double-decker arches almost thirty metres tall, still comes right into the middle of the modern town, dominating the central square. There is little else Roman to be seen, but Segovia is a World Heritage Site, not simply for the aqueduct, but also for its medieval architecture, from palace and cathedral to monasteries and taverns.”

6. There’s the food

“Many of us are now popping chorizo and ibérico ham into our shopping baskets, as well as manchego cheese and, of course, a bottle of Spanish wine,” writes Annie Bennett. “You could spend a very happy holiday indeed exploring the regions where your favourite foods and wines are produced.

“The best hams, for example, are made in the west of the country, in SalamancaExtremadura and the Sierra de Aracena in the north of Andalusía. Every region has its specialities. Around 40 artisan cheeses are produced in Asturias, while you could spend a fortnight in Galicia eating a different sort of seafood every day.”

Indeed San Sebastian has a good claim to being the world’s best city for foodies.

7.Seven Enchanting Wine Regions

Discover the exciting world of Spanish wines: an industry booming with unprecedented quality, diversity and value.

Explore our wine regions, styles of wine and detailed maps of the unique geography, climate and soil. Taste our grapes with names like Albariño, Tempranillo and Verdejo.

Robust reds or crisp whites, refreshing rosés, sparkling cavas or luxe sherries – you’ll find plenty to choose from along with food parings, and tasting notes. Spanish wines are aged at the winery so they’re ready to drink right now!

Spain topped the list because of how much it prioritises its own tourism industry. The country got high scores for air transport, tourism services, cultural resources (things like museums, stately homes and popular attractions) and business travel.

France came second, with strong scores for cultural resources, port and ground infrastructure, followed by Germany, which had the highest health and hygeine score out of any other country.