After adopting the euro, the Spanish economy initially benefited from sharply lower interest rates, spurring a property bubble. However, with the onset of the global financial crisis, property prices collapsed, causing widespread layoffs, and pushing unemployment to more than 26 per cent by the end of 2012. Spain received a bank bailout from the European Central Bank in 2012. 

Views from the Fuente De aerial tram. Photo: Corbis

Take a hike through Spain's Picos de Europa

Turning off the Cantabrian Highway along Spain's verdant north coast and heading inland to the Desfiladero de la Hermida, you soon encounter an ever-narrowing chasm where the cold, clear waters of the Rio Deva bounce between thickly vegetated rock walls.