Pondering on a trip to Spain? We wouldn’t blame you if you’re a little overwhelmed by just where to start. Of course Barcelona will be on your list, but where else in this fine country deserves a little (or a lot!) of your travel time?
Holiday destinations in Spain are abundant and each place has its own story to tell, its own culture to absorb and of course its own unique cuisine to sample.
Taking a look at destinations outside of Barcelona, here are six places you should have on your Spain wish list when you next venture to this wonderfully diverse country.
Seville is most definitely not off the beaten track when it comes to Spain destinations. It is very much a tourist attraction, but this is for very good reason. Walking the streets of Seville you’re pressed with a history that’s stepped through Venetians, Romans, the Moors and Christians.
This presents a city with a culture and architecture so unique and interwoven over the years that you’ll find nothing quite like it across the globe. From the grand Alcazar of Seville, made even more famous by its feature as the set of ‘Dorne’ in Game of Thrones, to the Gothic cathedral of Giralda and of course the famous Plaza de España in the Parque de María Luisa, rich historical sites are not short on offering in Seville.
Walking the streets of Seville the footpaths are ablaze with orange trees and paved with preciously placed cobblestones, making it one of the most beautiful places in Spain. Every second door invites you in for some of the region’s most famous tapas offerings too.
Must try tapas while you’re here is the famous “Piripi” sandwiches or the “boquerones en adobo” from Blanco Cerrillo, a traditional dish of sardines battered and deep fried to salty perfection.
And when visiting Spain one cannot leave without experiencing the flamenco dance culture, which is well and truly alive in Seville. Dress in your best, prepare to put your dancing shoes on and head to one of the many flamenco clubs to witness one of the most hot, heavy and passionate dances the world has to offer.
Nestled into the South of Spain, Granada makes our list of the top places to visit in Spain for its majestic serenity, significant architecture and of course the fact that this region is famous for serving up a free drink with every tapas you order.
Placed at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains the greenery of the landscape here is as rich as its history. The Alhambra and the Albaicin are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites that make up the medieval quarter of Granada. The fortress and residence have captured the hearts of so many it has become the inspiration for many stories and songs over the time of its existence.
Described as ‘a pearl set in emeralds’ by Moorish poets, this is a play on the surrounding lush green bush and the glowing walls of the building that shine out beyond them. For a piece of true Islamic architecture, Granada is definitely one of the top places to visit in Spain.
Oh, and when you’re deciding on those tapas make sure you try the pot of San Anton, or ‘Sanantonada’, a dish of beans, rice and pork sausage that’s both typical and well perfected in the region of Granada.
If you’re seeking out nightlife on your list of things to do in Spain then Salamanca is awaiting your arrival. Famous for being one of the oldest university towns in Spain the best time to visit for a night on the town is September, when the students are on break and ready to take to the streets.
But beyond this, Salamanca certainly has more to offer on your visit to Spain. The history has seen many episodes, including Celtic tribes and the uprising against Napoleon, and in reference to great architecture Salamanca’s Plaza Mayor is touted as perhaps the best in Spain.
The plaza’s baroque style details intricate wrought iron balconies and precious facades and is famously known as the town’s ‘living room’, with locals gathering here at all times of day to meet, greet, relax and socialise.
When planning where to go in Spain, Salamanca will most certainly serve you up plenty of delicious local dishes to taste your way thought too. Don’t go past the “jamón de bellota”, some of the purest ham you’ll try in Spain, or the farinato, a sausage of kidney, bread and onion, it’s a traditionally the poor man’s dish, but is too tasty not to try!
As far as Spain holiday destinations go, Cadiz is one you’ll find on most people’s list. Near to the very southern tip of Spain the temperature here always greets you with warmth and being a port side town you’re surrounded by the North Atlantic Sea, with plenty of coastline and beaches to discover.
Cadiz is favoured as a holiday destination in Spain for many reasons, one being its people. They’re friendly, funny manner welcomes travellers with a smile and they’re culture of moving slowly immediately places you in a relaxed state of being.
Pair this with the incredible cuisine on offer and this makes for an ultimate destination in Spain. Think fresh seafood galore. If you get a chance definitely visit one of the many seafood markets too.
Not far from Cadiz you’ll also discover the famous White Towns of Andalusia, an icon in Spain’s history and architecture.
The colourful city of Girona must feature on a list of places to go in Spain. Placed in Northeast Catalonia, and known as Barcelona’s younger brother, Girona is home to an eclectic collection of tangled streets that connect museums, Spain’s most famous Jewish quarter (the Call), Gothic architecture and the winding River Onya.
Getting to Girona is usually pretty cheap too, plus it’s generally nice to visit throughout the year as a city break destination, making it a great place to visit in Spain no matter the occasion.
How could this gorgeous collection of islands not be on a list of the best Spain destinations? As the most southern destination in Spain the weather here provides you with tropical warmth right through to the end of September and even in the depths of winter it offers respite from the cold with temps of around 17 degrees.
Being the largest of the islands Tenerife is one of the most popular destinations of the Canary Islands.
Explore the beaches, climb the volcanic mountains, go whale watching, swim in the turquoise sea and take your pick of resort towns or secluded coves. The Canary Islands caters to any and all as a holiday destination in Spain.
So when are you booking your trip to Spain? Perhaps you’ll be extending your stay to fit in all of these top destinations. Or at least slotting in a second trip in the not so far away future.