infrastructure has resulted in a high-speed rail link that connects Madrid and Barcelona in less than three hours, while the 190-mph AVE express takes just two and a half hours from Madrid’s Atocha station to the Andalusian city of Seville. Although much of the Spanish coastline is overbuilt, the interior is largely unspoiled. A new generation of chefs has revolutionized Spanish cuisine, and the country can now boast a galaxy of Michelin stars, notably in the northwestern Basque region. Spanish wine, too, ranks among the best in the world. The country produces world-class sparkling wine (Cava), dry and minerally whites (Albariño), rich and full-bodied reds (Rioja, Toro), and top-quality fortified wines (sherry), depending on the region.

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