“Travel is the only thing that you spend money on that makes you richer”. Any wanderluster would agree. If you so happen to be planning to travel in Spain this summer, you’ll find that your options to explore the country are not only endless but also very different a lot from each other. Every region from Spain is very distinct with its own typical food, drink, sights, weather, music and even languages. In this two-part post, you’ll get a taste of the top places in Spain that are perfect to visit.
NORTH OF SPAIN
San Sebastián is one of the most famous destinations in Spain where you will hear people speak both Spanish and Basque, the most ancient language in Europe. People are attracted to its history that lies down in the metropolitan area. You can enjoy a relaxing day at the most famous urban beach of La Concha. Another attractive place is the Urgull hill which is located in the heart of the basque city. Besides visiting the beautiful beaches of San Sebastián you can also enjoy the mines of Arditturri and the Ekain cave.
San Sebastián has been blessed with stars, Michelin stars that is. Its amazing rich culinary culture has earned them three out of the five, three Michelin star Spanish restaurants and in total the city holds 16 Michelin stars. Besides high quality restaurants, you can find typical pintxos bars and miniture culinary art restaurants that will help keep more money in your pocket.
El Camino de Santiago
El Camino de Santiago, Spanish for ¨The Way of Saint James¨, is located in the north-west of Spain in Santiago de Compostela. This famous large network of routes is known as ancient pilgrim paths stretching through Europe. A popular path that many visitors take is the Camino Frances but there are other options as well such, for example the Via de la Plata, Camino Portuguese, Camino del Norte and the Camino Ingles. Depending on how much you are willing to walk there is a route for you, you can design it to be as long or short as you’d like. You can also do it by bike. Read the guide if interested in walking one of the Camino de Santiago routes.
Do you enjoy secrets? Well Spain does, and you can discover one of its secrets by visiting the province of Asturias. This hidden gem has many natural attractions such as mountain landscapes, beaches, camping, adorable rural houses, and incredible medieval and roman architecture. The capital Oviedo is featured in Vicky Cristina Barcelona since it’s one of Woody Allen’s favorite places in Spain. If you are craving beach time, you can go to Gijón or Llanes, also great for camping. You don’t want to miss the Picos de Europa which is a place to enjoy the amazing scenery of mountains. When it comes to gastronomy, Asturian food is rich, the most famous dish being Fabada. Also, it’s know for its seafood, natural cider and as the land of dairy with cheese like Cabrales and Afuega´l Pitu.
Located in the beautiful Southern region of Andalucía, Cádiz is one of the oldest towns in Europe. The Phoenicians founded Cádiz in the year 1100BC and at the time the town was called GADIR (reason why people from Cádiz are called “Gaditanos”). The small town is rich in culture, food and history that you wouldn’t want to miss. Some points of interest in Cádiz are “ La Torre de Tavira” which is a tower built for keeping an eye on trading ships. After having a great view of the town give yourself a treat and have an enjoyable walk at the beach. Playa de la Caleta is an isolated beach that inspired many poets and musicians, the sunset is breathtaking and well-worth your time. You can also enjoy visiting the market at Plaza de las Flores buying and enjoying local produce. Check out the links below to get more on what you can do at your time in Cádiz.
If you are looking into more attractions near the beautiful Costa del Sol, Málaga is the place for you. Famous poet Vicente Aleixandre described Málaga as “A paradise between the sky and the earth”. From beaches to wildlife to sightseeing, Málaga is perfect whether traveling alone or with family. The beach restaurants and bars known as chiringuitos are the best way to enjoy the iconic pescaíto frito (deep-fried fish), typical food that you can find in Málaga. You cna find some websites here to guide you on your trip to Málaga.
Last but not least, the astounding place of Granada is an absolute must visit. The first settlements in Granada began when the Muslims took over the Visigoths in 711 with the aid of the Jewish community. Many believe that the name Granada, Spanish for “pomegranate”, was derived because the fruit appears on the city’s coat of arms. Enriched with ancient history, there are monuments you can visit the Moorish palace ‘Alhambra’ considered to be one of the wonders of the world. (Pro-tip: book ahead your entrance tickets to the Alhambra because they fill up several days in advance and are impossible to buy the same day). Another attraction you might be interested in visiting is the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel which is known for the burial place of the Catholic Kings and is right next to the Cathedral. Besides these amazing historical places, this is THE free ‘tapas’ capital of Spain. You can’t order a drink at a restaurant without getting a delicious tapa with it for free. Even though it holds many ancient relics, the city has a young vibe, hosting one of Spain’s most important universities with great nightlife.
Don’t forget to check in next week to find out which places make it in the second part of where to travel in Spain! We’ll talk about the Mediterranean region, as well as, places near Madrid that are travel musts.
Ready to make your trip even more interesting? Take some Spanish classes with LAE Madrid. Get all the info here.