The First Spanish Seaside Resorts

The tradition of the seaside holiday first originated in the 19th century, aided by some discreet royal patronage. John Walton and Jenny Smith tell the story.

Most British people associate holidays in Spain with the quest for guaranteed sunshine on the Mediterranean beaches. This common north European assumption is based on the package tour boom of the 1960s onwards, which turned tourism into Spain's leading foreign currency earner. But the Spanish tourism and holiday industries have a much longer pedigree than this.

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