Spain is as diverse as it is popular and beautiful. This southern European destination is inviting and vibrant and has been attracting visitors for many years! From the alluring coastline and the impressive mountains, to the historic towns, charming villages and major city centres; travellers flock to see all that Spain has to offer. They visit to enjoy the fiestas, flamenco, tapas and much more!
However, with travel being affected by restrictions around the world, now is the time to explore the places we call “home”. If you’re lucky enough to call Spain home, then take a look at this list of places you definitely need to visit on your next staycation!
When it comes to top attractions, Spain is in no short supply. Think of the Alhambra and La Sagrada Familia, or the idyllic islands and coastline. While the bustling big cities and tourist hotspots of Barcelona, Madrid, Ibiza and Seville, to name a few, are popular for a reason, there is also a wealth of off-the-beaten-track destinations to discover that will amaze locals. So, if you’ve had your fix of Spain’s well-known spots, it’s time to discover more of this beautiful country.
Here are eight places to visit in Spain that locals will love.
You’ll find this unique, pink-hued historic town in the northeast of Spain, in the Aragon region. Albarracín is often called Spain’s most beautiful village. One visit to this destination will convince you that this spot should be a front runner for the title! Albarracín’s fortifications, churches and narrow, winding cobblestone streets give you a glimpse of Spain from centuries ago. There are only a few inhabitants in the town and beautiful natural scenery, including the dramatic Pinares de Rodeno, surrounds Albarracín. Explore the town to see the mix of medieval and Moorish architecture and learn more about its unique history.
This one is for the wine lovers! La Rioja is a region in Spain famous for its wine-making industry. La Rioja is home to over 500 wineries! Visit this spot in the north of Spain to sample some of the best wines in the country. La Rioja, and its capital Logroño, which is also well-known for having its own style of tapas – a great reason to sample the wine and the food!
Did you know? The village of San Millán de la Cogolla in La Rioja is believed to be the birthplace of the first written words of the Spanish language? The twin monasteries in the town are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ronda is a Spanish city that delivers the drama! The southern city is perched on a mountaintop with the old and new towns on either side of the El Tago Gorge connected by the famous Puente Nuevo (New Bridge). Ronda is also home to one of the oldest bullrings in Spain. This bullring was the location of the country’s first bullfight. This is one of the entries on the list that is popular with tourists. However, the location, sites and Moorish architecture make it well worth adding to your local Spain travel list!
Did you know? American author Ernest Hemingway loved this historic town and spent many hours watching the fights in Ronda’s bullring!
Playa de las Catedrales (Beach of the Cathedrals) in Spain’s northwest Galicia region, is definitely a dream spot for photographers! The Atlantic Ocean crashing into the coast has created a natural wonder. Rock formations of large arches, caverns and caves have been carved into the coastline. At low tide, you can explore the formations along the sandy beach walkways. The natural beauty does make this beach a popular destination. Visit in winter or shoulder season to avoid the crowds.
Travel tip: There is a limit on the number of people who can visit the Beach of Cathedrals each day. Reserve your spot before you visit – don’t worry, reservation is free.
The saying goes that Santillana del Mar is the town of three lies. This is because there is no saint, the town is not flat (llana) and there is no sea (del mar)! This picturesque destination is also lauded as one of Spain’s prettiest villages and boasts a timeless charm! Santillana del Mar is also almost perfectly preserved in its medieval condition. This makes it an incredible spot to absorb the history of the Cantabria region. It’s also home to the Cave of Altamira which is described as the “Sistine Chapel of cave art” as it houses palaeolithic paintings which date back around 36,000 years!
Welcome to the “End of the World”! According to the Romans, Cape Finisterre in Galicia gave the impression of being the edge of the Earth. Visit the dramatic setting complete with towering cliffs and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean stretching out towards the horizon, and you can imagine why the Roman’s believed this was the world’s end. Pack a picnic, explore the cliff sides and be sure to enjoy one of the beautiful sunsets!
Travel Tip: If you’ve completed one of the Camino de Santiago routes, add on the route from Santiago to Cape Finisterre and complete the Finisterre Camino. History shows that pagans would travel to Cape Finisterre to perform prayers as they believed (similar to the Romans) that it was the end of the world and the spot where the sun died and where the worlds of the living and the dead were closest.
This remote fishing village in northern Spain is filled with a colourful charm! It is a picturesque setting; visit to see the colourful houses surrounded by sheer cliffs and great beaches. The postcard-worthy town wouldn’t look out of place on the Italian Riviera! Luckily, it has remained off of the tourist hotspot list, letting this sleepy town retain its ambience. Visit to enjoy fresh seafood, seek out great viewpoints and secluded beaches.
Prepare to have your breath taken away by the magnificent views of Morella! The town appears to be perched on a hilltop, proudly crowned by the Castell de Morella (Morella Castle), and surrounded by fortified walls. The town has been important throughout history and has been occupied by the Greeks, Romans and Moors at different points in history. Today, visit to enjoy the rich history and architecture. Your taste buds are also in for a treat as Morella is also famous for its culinary delights including truffles, cheese and honey!
Whether you are looking for a change of scenery, are heading out on a day trip or want to see more of Spain, these are only eight of the hundreds of places that are just waiting to be explored in your next Spanish trip!
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