Seekers of peace and quiet might want to avoid Hellin, in Castile-La Mancha, when 10,000 drummers play for several days.
Those of a nervous disposition might steer clear of Ribarteme, in Galicia, when survivors of near-death experiences parade through the tiny village in open-top coffins.
When wild horses are corralled in Sabucedo, wine flows all night during La Rioja's grape harvest or flamenco singers carouse into the early hours during Seville's Feria de Abril, you know you can only be in Spain.
7. Under every church lurks a mosque
Bell towers crowning Spain's churches and cathedrals may appear Catholic, but if you look closely you might discern the form of a minaret, especially in places such as Seville and Cordoba.
Iberia's convoluted history brought a succession of invaders and religions, meaning many places of worship were rebuilt using the stones and structures of their predecessors.
Roman temples lie deep below, later overlaid by Visigoth churches, then Islamic mosques and, finally, after the total reconquest of the peninsula in 1492, Catholic churches.
The ultimate symbol is Cordoba's eighth-century Mezquita-Catedral, one of the largest mosques in the world, with a cathedral parachuted into its heart.
8. Easter is more important than Christmas
Easter week (Semana Santa) is easily more important than Christmas in Spain.
The whole country shuts down for four days from Holy Thursday at 1 p.m., a rare example of punctuality.
Day and night, swaying processions of impassioned penitents in tall hoods and flowing robes advance to a hypnotic drumbeat, carrying crucifixes and weighty life-size statues of agonizing Christ figures and weeping virgins on pasos (floats), while flickering torchlight adds to the electric atmosphere.
Andalucian pageants are more animated, with stirring saetas -- spontaneous wails of passion.
In the north, although the pattern of parish brotherhoods is similar, the atmosphere is more solemn.
9. There are many layers of ham
Ham scams have become so widespread in Spain that recent legislation introduced new definitions for ham quality.
Jamon is a gastro-passion throughout Spain, inspiring fierce rivalry between producers.
The most velvety, expensive and sought after variety is jamon Iberico de bellota, from acorn-fed, indigenous black pigs reared in four specific regions: Jabugo, in western Andalucia; Extremadura; Guijuelo, near Salamanca, and Los Pedroches, north of Cordoba.
At the bottom of the table is jamon serrano, produced industrially from white pigs yet still palatable.
10. Catalonia may not be part of Spain much longer