THE fascinating story of Spain’s king is not often appreciated by the many people who have made the country their second home. But delve into Juan Carlos’ past and present and much of the country’s recent history is laid bare.

In our June issue, Peter Preston’s feature reveals that behind the pomp and circumstance of royalty stands a man who has often endured the pressures of his position in solitude.

Preston’s recently published book, Juan Carlos – A People’s King, looks likely to become the definitive biography. In it, Preston tackles the two central mysteries of Juan Carlos’ life – one personal, the other political.

Our other front feature is a more visual tribute to Spain and the author and poet, Laurie Lee. After reading As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning – Lee’s narration of his walk across the country from Vigo to Granada – photographer Jacob Ainley was inspired to follow in his footsteps, taking pictures of the countryside that Lee so poetically captured in the book. In this month’s issue we publish a selection of Ainley’s photographs alongside extracts from Lee’s novel. Nearly 70 years have passed between the author and photographer’s journeys, yet it seems that once you get off the beaten track, little has changed; and Spain is all the better for it.

This month’s competition is aimed at those in search of a well-earned break. Win return flights for two to Murcia (courtesy of MyTravelLite), pictured, and a three-night break at Las Lomas Village & Spa (courtesy of La Manga Club).

PS Don’t miss June’s fantastic supplement on travelling and living in the Canary Islands (in association with AVRO).