Spain is one of the most visited countries in Europe, but the most popular destinations in Spain aren’t the only ones that make excellent travel destinations. Along with discovering some of the best Spanish cities and soaking up the sun at the hugely popular coastal resorts and islands, don’t be afraid of getting off the beaten path and exploring further to find some hidden gems you will love.
When you think of Tenerife, you might think about beaches and package vacations. But this Canary Island has so much more to offer. The volcanic peaks and lunar landscapes are out of this world. You should definitely take the time to visit Mount Teide; the highest peak in Spain which can be found within the Teide National Park. Here, you can also explore some of Spain’s most unique geological gems in the form of ancient lava flows and peculiar crater landscapes.
The second city of Spain is a huge favorite with visitors from all around the world, thanks to its stunning Mediterranean location, gorgeously iconic architecture and cosmopolitan atmosphere. You can’t visit Barcelona without spending some time admiring the world of Gaudi at the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.
A fantastic destination for a weekend break in the sun, art lovers will enjoy Madrid. Visit the golden triangle of art galleries to take in some of the most famous works on the continents including Picasso’s Guernica. There are plenty of historical sites to explore, too – the city is home to the Royal Palace, the biggest in Europe in terms of area. Around every corner, you can discover a huge range of things to do.
Travel from Madrid to Seville by high-speed train to explore the capital of Andalusia in southern Spain, best-known for its thriving flamenco culture. If you’re a flamenco fan then you’ll love it here; take in a show at one of the intimate flamenco bars.
If paella is up there with your favorite foods then definitely put Valencia on your bucket list. Head to a beachside restaurant and enjoy this iconic rice dish for lunch, washed down with a local cocktail or glass of sangria.
This city was the most important during the Moorish rule of Spain in the Middle Ages. The city’s cathedral was once the Grand Mosque of Cordoba and still retains much of its original islamic design. Cordoba’s old town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to charming cobbled streets, fascinating architecture and the famous Roman Bridge.
8. San Sebastian
Located on the Basque Country coast, San Sebastian is a must-visit for food lovers. While you’re there, be sure to sample the pintxo; a Basque take on tapas that typically involves delicious models paired with crusty bread. Concha Beach is a gorgeous, shell-shaped cove perfect for families, while surfers love Zurriola beach.
The soaring rocky peak coupled with sea and sunshine makes Alicante one of the most popular Spanish coastal destinations. Alicante itself is definitely worth exploring; the port city is home to a huge, busy beach overlooked by the dramatic Mount Benacantil, a massive rocky peak with Santa Barbara Castle on the summit.
Granada feels like you’re in a Disney fairytale, Explore the gorgeous ancient fortress, winding cobbled streets, and snow-capped peaks. Be sure to visit the Alhambra, one of Spain’s most famous attractions.
Europe’s only desert region may resemble the American Wild West more than Spain, but it’s definitely worth the visit. Be sure to spend some time at the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park; a gorgeous coastal area complete with pristine beaches whitewashed fishing villages and salt flats.
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