SPAIN TRAVEL GUIDE
Plan your trip to Spain
Good weather, delicious food, incredible landscapes, peace and tranquility… There are many reasons why Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world. Many tourists visit Spain in search of fun and relaxation. This is possible thanks to the incredible atmosphere, people’s friendliness and all the leisure, cultural and gastronomic opportunities.
If you are planning a trip to Spain, it will be difficult for you to choose which places to visit since Spain has a wide variety of cities, towns, islands and nature destinations. In addition, it is a country with a great historical past. The Visigoths, Byzantines, Romans and Arabs have all conquered Spain in the past. This is apparent in the country’s architecture.
Many visitors love the cultural diversity in Spain. Apart from Spanish, there are regions of Spain where Catalan, Basque and Galician are spoken. The gastronomy also varies a lot depending on the area of the country you visit. Although there are dishes that you can find anywhere in Spain, in each region you can try traditional foods and deserts.
Everyone knows that Spaniards like street life. Do not forget to enjoy this beautiful part of Spanish culture and have some tapas in any of the terraces that you will find in every corner of the country, take long walks through the main avenues of the cities and, of course, get to know Spanish nightlife. You won’t be disappointed!
Are you convinced of visiting Spain? Keep reading my Spain travel guide to discover the most beautiful places to visit in each autonomous community.
PLACES TO VISIT IN SPAIN
Tips for every destination
Us, Spaniards, take great pride in saying that we have everything: beautiful cities, great food, nice weather, awesome beaches, incredible mountains, charing cities, and more. Honestly, I think the pride is justified!
Spain has thousands of kilometers of coastline. In the north of the country you can find wild and secluded beaches and beautiful cliffs. There are also sandy beaches ideal for swimming. If you are looking for coves with white sand and crystal clear water, visiting Spain will be perfect for you as well.
In the same token, Spain has beautiful mountain ranges where you can enjoy the snow and an incredible mountain getaway. Some of the best destinations are Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe), the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada. There are also volcanoes! If you are interested in visiting volcanoes, you have to take a trip to the Canary Islands.
As for cities, Spain has interesting destinations like Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, San Sebastián, Seville, Salamanca, Córdoba or Toledo. All these cities offer unique historical and cultural heritage.
If you are looking for a more rural getaway, the Spanish geography is full of little towns that you will surely enjoy. Some of the most beautiful towns in Spain are Albarracín, Cadaqués, Ronda, Cudillero, Santillana del Mar, Aínsa, Frigiliana, Alquézar, Vejer de la Frontera or La Alberca.
Thanks to this Spain travel guide you will be able to discover the places that you are most interested in visiting. You will have plenty of options regardless of the type of trip you want to do.
In Andalusia you can find art, rich history, sunny days, good food and friendly people. This region made up of Huelva, Sevilla, Cádiz, Córdoba, Málaga, Jaén, Granada and Almería provinces is full of treasures. Cities like Seville, Córdoba and Granada, with some Arabic influence from the past, will leave you speechless.
When you visit Andalusia, you shouldn’t only focus on visiting the main cities. This region in Spain is full of very charming towns, such as Ronda, Frigiliana, Setenil de las Bodegas, Vejer de la Frontera or Mojácar. Get lost in the streets of these small towns to discover the most authentic Andalusia.
In terms of nature, Andalusia offers incredible coastline, snow-capped mountains in Sierra Nevada (Granada) and the desert in Almeria. If you are looking for unique sites, you must visit the following places: the Cave of Wonders, Doñana National Park, Bolonia Beach, Caminito del Rey, Torcal de Antequera and Cabo de Gata.
Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel are located in Aragon. Each of these provinces offers something very different. Huesca is a great destination if you feel like goin on a hike to the mountains. The Aragonese Pyrenees is a real beauty! You can also visit beautiful towns like Aínsa or Alquézar.
Zaragoza is the capital of Aragon and a city that is perfect for a short getaway. The people of Zaragoza are very prideful about the impressive Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar. In October, the Fiestas del Pilar, which is a local holiday, are celebrated. It is a good time to visit the city if you want to get to know it full of life. If you prefer a more peaceful environment, I recommend visiting the city at another time.
Finally, Teruel, one of the least popular provinces in Spain. This doesn’t mean it has nothing to offer. This province is home to one of the most beautiful towns in Spain: Albarracín. Don’t forget to visit the city of Teruel.
Asturias is a green paradise in Spain. It is a place where the coast and mountains complement each other perfectly to guarantee an unforgettable trip. Wild beaches, beautiful cliffs, lakes located between mountains, viewpoints with incredible views, etc. Asturias is also home to some of the most picturesque towns in the country.
When you are visiting Asturias, do not forget to visit Oviedo and Gijón. You should also visit towns like Cudillero, Ribadesella, Llanes, Cangas de Onís and Lastres. In terms of nature, some of the best destinations are Playa del Silencio, Covadonga Lakes, Gulpiyuri Beach, Torimbia Beach, Ruta del Cares, Cabo Vidio and the Bufones de Pría.
The Balearic Islands is one of the most popular places to visit in Spain. This archipelago is made up of the islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, Cabrera and various islets. You can expect to visit spectacular paradisiacal coves with white sand and crystal clear turquoise water that will blow your mind.
The beaches and nightlife are two of the main tourist attractions in the Balearic Islands; however, these amazing islands have more things to offer. Get ready to discover endless landscapes with views to the Mediterranean Sea, charming villages and tasty food. You have to try ensaimada!
The Canary Islands are located more than 1,500 kilometers from the Iberian Peninsula. The volcanic archipelago is made up of the islands of Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, La Graciosa, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro. All of them are unique and wonderful.
The Canary Islands hide some of the most spectacular natural landscapes to visit in Spain. You can expect to visit impressive volcanoes, laurel forests, natural pools, amazing beaches, cliffs, etc. The Canary Islands are a true natural paradise and a perfect destination if you feel like going on a small road trip.
The Canary Islands are a very peaceful place. It seems that on these islands time slows down and life is much more calm. Traveling to the Canary Islands is synonymous with enjoying small pleasures. One of those little pleasures will be eating! Potatoes with mojo (a traditional sauce) and grilled cheese are my favorite dishes.
Cantabria is a region that offers a perfect combination of mountains and coast. If you can’t decide between the beach and mountains, that is ok! You won’t have to choose here. You can enjoy both every day during your trip. Picturesque fishing villages, incredible green valleys ideal for hiking trails, charming beaches where you can spend hours and hours…
Some of the best places to visit in Cantabria are Santander, Santillana del Mar, Comillas, Castro Urdiales, Fuente Dé, the Cueva El Soplao, the Costa Quebrada, the Sequoia Forest of Cabezón, Asón River mouth, Horse Santoña Lighthouse, Bárcena Mayor and Oyambre Beach.
CASTILLA Y LEON
Castilla y Leon is one of the largest autonomous communities in Spain. The provinces of León, Segovia, Valladolid, Salamanca, Burgos, Palencia, Ávila, Soria and Zamora are all part of Castilla y Leon. This region hides wonderful places: impressive cathedrals, natural parks, archaeological sites, etc.
Some of the main tourist attractions in Castilla y León are Salamanca and Segovia, considered to be two of the most beautiful cities in Spain. If you prefer to discover a charming town, I recommend La Alberca (Salamanca), Frías (Burgos) or Orbaneja del Castillo (Burgos).
As for nature, you must visit Las Médulas (León), the Valporquero Cave (León), Las Calderas (Burgos), the Laguna Negra (Soria), the Hoces del Río Duratón (Segovia), the Sierra de Gredos (Ávila ) or the Melero Meander (Salamanca).
If you are familiar with Spanish literature, It is impossible to think of Castilla-La Mancha and not have Don Quixote de la Mancha come to mind. Don Quixote is a character created by Miguel de Cervantes whose adventures take place in this Spanish region. One of the structures that became very popular thanks to his work is the windmill, which you can find in the central area of the region.
Castilla-La Mancha is made up of the provinces of Toledo, Guadalajara, Cuenca, Ciudad Real and Albacete. The cities of Toledo and Cuenca are a real wonder. Other awesome places to visit in Castilla-La Mancha are Sigüenza (Guadalajara), Mundo River mouth (Albacete), Alcalá de Júcar (Albacete), the Ruidera Lagoons (between Ciudad Real and Albacete), the Consuegra Windmills ( Toledo), the lavender fields of Brihuega (Guadalajara), the Chorreras del Cabriel (Cuenca) or the Source of the Cuervo River (Cuenca).
Catalonia is one of the most complete autonomous communities in Spain. In it you will not only find the incredible city of Barcelona. Catalonia has charming towns, both on the coast and inland, and amazing natural parks spread across the provinces of Tarragona, Lleida, Girona and Barcelona.
Enter the Sagrada Familia, try the Catalan cream, take a tour of the towns and coves in Costa Brava, discover some of the treasures of the Catalan Pyrenees, visit the Montserrat Monastery, enjoy the sunsets of the Ebro Delta, lose yourself in La Garrotxa, runs through the Congost de Mont-rebei. Catalonia is full of authentic treasures.
The best known Spanish dish, paella, originates from Valencia Community! This region is made up of the following provinces: Castellón, Valencia and Alicante. It is a very attractive destination if you want to enjoy the sea, Mediterranean food and nature. Throughout the coast of the region you will find a wide variety of towns perfect for spending a vacation by the beach.
Some of the best places to visit in the Community of Valencia are the city of Valencia, the towns of Altea and Jávea (Alicante), the Castle of Xàtiva, Guadalest, the Rock of Ifach in Calpe, the town of Peñíscola (Castellón), the Castle de Chirel and Barranco de la Encantada. There are also impressive beaches such as Playa de la Granadella or Cala del Moraig.
Another popular tourist attraction in this region are the festivals, known by both foreigners and locals. Two of the most famous are Las Fallas, held in Valencia in March (officially they start on the last Sunday of February), and La Tomatina, held in Buñol (Valencia) on the last Wednesday of every August.
Get lost in the streets of Merida, get to know the beautiful town of Trujillo, discover the incredible meadows in Extremadura, visit the cities of Caceres and Badajoz, enjoy the rich gastronomy, watch starry skies and connect with nature in one of its three Biosphere Reserve. Extremadura offers plans for all types of travelers.
Other places to visit in Extremadura are the towns of Guadalupe, Hervás, Cuacos de Yuste, Jerez de los Caballeros and Garrovillas de Alconétar. As for nature, you must visit Garganta de los Infiernos Nature Reserve, the Monfragüe National Park and Los Barruecos.
Galicia is a land full of cliffs, granaries and stone crosses, wild beaches and beaches with crystal clear waters, land of the best seafood in the world, land of mysticism… I admit it: I love Galicia. If I had to describe this Spanish region with one word, that word would be: magical! If you end up visiting this region, I am certain that you’ll feel the same way.
The following provinces make up the autonomous community of Galicia: A Coruña, Pontevedra, Lugo and Ourense. Each of the provinces are unique and special. Some of the best places to visit in Galicia are the Cíes Islands, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the Beach of Las Catedrales, the Tower of Hercules in A Coruña, Costa de la Muerte (Death Coast), the Ézaro Waterfall, Ribeira Sacra and the beautiful town of Combarro. The list goes on and on.
La Rioja is one of the least touristic regions in Spain. However, it has a lot to offer. It is a perfect destination if you are a wine lover. The fields are full of vineyards and wineries. It is part of the personality and culture of La Rioja. I highly recommend booking a wine tasting. I was able to make it at Bodegas Campo Viejo and it was quite an experience.
If you travel to La Rioja you must visit Logroño, the capital of the region. It is a small and charming city where you can eat nice local food. Don’t forget to go for tapas on Laurel street! I also recommend visiting Sierra de Cebollera Natural Park, the Leza River Canyon Viewpoint and towns such as Ezcaray, Laguardia, San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Arnedo and Haro.
We continue with this Spain guide with Madrid. There is an expression that the people of Madrid love and that is “De Madrid al Cielo”, which means “from Madrid to heaven”. It is a way for them to say that there is no place in this world like Madrid. And I think they are right! There is something about this city that makes you fall in love with it. The truth is that its fascinating neighborhoods, friendly people, bars and restaurants, green spaces, museums, terraces and its street life, will blow your mind. A trip to Madrid never disappoints. Trust me!
Beyond the Spanish capital, the Community of Madrid has many other places to visit. Every place is fairly close to the city, therefore, visiting some of these destinations is a great idea if you’re looking to go on a day trip from Madrid. I recommend visiting towns like San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Chinchón, Aranjuez, Alcalá de Henares, Buitrago del Lozoya, Patones de Arriba and Manzanares el Real and its castle.
If you feel like going on a nature getaway, you can visit Laguna Grande de Peñalara, La Pedriza, the Hayedo de Montejo, the Finnish Forest of Rascafría or the Purgatorio Waterfalls. The best time to visit all these sites is during the fall.
The Region of Murcia is not as well-known as the others. However, this region is very charming. Murcia has 250 kilometers of Mediterranean coastline where you can enjoy the sun and the sea. In addition, it is an ideal destination if you like outdoor plans and water sports.
Some of the best places in the region are the old town of Murcia, Minas de Mazarrón, Erosiones de Bolnuevo, the Roman Theater of Cartagena, Cehegín, Mount Arabí, Salto del Usero, the Salinas y Arenales de San Pedro del Pinatar Regional Park, the Almadenes Canyon, Arboleja Strait, Lorca and Calblanque Regional Park.
Navarra is an autonomous community that is not as explored as it should be. Starting with the beautiful city of Pamplona, world-renowned for the San Fermín Festival, which begins every year on July 6th, to the various natural landscapes that you can find throughout the region. If you visit Pamplona, be sure to explore the Casco Viejo and try some delicious pintxos.
Some of the best places to visit in Navarra are the Bardenas Reales, the Irati Forest, the Urederra Spring, the Javier Castle, the Royal Palace of Olite, the Roncal Valley, the Foz de Lumbier, the Foz de Arbayún and the Zugarramurdi Caves, among many other places. As you can see, Navarra is a natural paradise. I recommend visiting this region in the fall.
The Basque Country is one of the best places to visit in Spain. This region may become one of your favorite destinations. Trust me! You’ll be able to enjoy places that will leave you speechless, delicious food, cities with endless plans, dense forests and charming towns. Not to mention its rich and interesting culture. Did you know that the origin of Euskera is unknown?
I recommend visiting the beautiful town of Hondarribia, getting to know San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, eating as many pintxos as possible, surfing in Zarautz, visiting the Butrón Castle, entering the Oma Forest, bathing in Playa de la Concha (San Sebastián), visiting the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and visiting a winery in Rioja Alavesa. Not to mention the Zumaia Flysch! There are many places to visit in the Basque Country!