Basketball World Cup - Spain 2014
Marc Gasol (Spain) at the last edition of the competition © Elio Castoria. fiba.com
Official ball of the 2014 World Cup in Spain © fiba.com
The Spanish team © fiba.com
Spanish fans © Elio Castoria. fiba.com
This is the tournament to decide the world's number one team, and is set to take place in Spain between 30 August and 14 September.
Here we tell you the venues and what to visit in each one so you can start planning your trip to the mecca of basketball this summer. Gasol, Durant, Scola, Navarro, Parker, Valanciunas and a long list of international basketball stars have already marked the date on the calendar.
Bilbao, Granada, Las Palmas and Seville, the venues for the group phase
Did you know that the sites where this World Cup will be played and the area around them have as many as six UNESCO World Heritage designations?
For example, Granada (Andalusia), the venue for group A, is home to the spectacular Alhambra, one of its key attractions along with the Generalife and the Albaicín quarter. This will be the first scenario for one of the major games in the group phase, which pits the host, Spain, against the current European champion, France. Serbia, Brazil, Egypt and Iran are the other teams that will play in Granada.
Seville, also in Andalusia, has the World Heritage designation for its cathedral, the Alcázar fortress and the General Archive of the Indies. In addition to the group B matches between Argentina, Croatia, Greece, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Senegal, other attractions in Seville are its lovely historic centre, the chance to enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through the María Luisa park, and sunny squares like the Plaza de España.
The front runner for the title, United States, will play in Bilbao (Basque Country) as part of group C, along with Turkey, New Zealand, Dominican Republic, Finland and Ukraine. The city is particularly well known for its delicious gastronomy, featuring the typical 'pintxos' –gourmet canapés–, and the Guggenheim Museum.
Finally, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Gran Canaria) is the site of group D, which includes Angola, Australia, Korea, Lithuania, Mexico and Slovenia. Its beaches and its natural attractions (almost half the island has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO) are a large part of its appeal. What's more, the city makes a great jumping off point for any of the other six islands in the Canaries.
The final phase will be played in Barcelona and Madrid
Madrid will host the matches between the top-ranking teams in groups A and B, as well as the match to decide the third and fourth place, and the grand final to decide the champion. The sporting attractions are abundantly clear. But in addition, its nightlife is one of the most popular and exciting in Spain, its museums include the famous Prado Museum, and just a few kilometres away you can visit places like Aranjuez and El Escorial, both with monuments awarded the World Heritage designation.
The playoffs between groups C and D will take place in Barcelona, a Mediterranean destination that offers the chance to enjoy the sea in some of the warmest months of the year. The works of Gaudí –among them the Güell Park–, the Sagrada Familia cathedral, the Modernism route and excursions in the surrounding area to explore the coast of Barcelona, the Costa Brava and the Costa Dorada are just a few of the options available.
Things to remember
All the venues have international connections thanks to their airports. What's more, between Madrid, Seville and Barcelona there is a convenient AVE high-speed train service. In short, in all the venues are three hours' travel apart or less.
Below in the 'Don't miss' section you'll find more tourist information about the six sites.
What are you looking for?
Who are you?