Known for its crazy festivals, impeccable cuisine and warm climate, Spain is a staple of European travel. So, opposed to retreading what many country guides would have explained before, we’ve decided to include some lesser-known destinations and activities in our guide to the Iberian country.
Before you join us on our figurative journey across Spain, ensure that you’ve renewed your EHIC to ensure that if you ever do visit, you do so safely.
Places To Visit
The nation’s literal, culinary and artistic capital, few cities boast as much pedigree as Madrid. With an array of art galleries, restaurants and historical architecture, you’ll never have an empty itinerary while staying in Madrid.
However, the time when the city really comes to life is when the sun sets. Madrid citizens are referred to as ‘gatos’ (literal translation: cats) for their tendency to stay out late at night.
Many of the city’s bars, clubs and pubs stay open until the early hours of the morning. As for a recommendation, we suggest, the Discotca El Son, a hotspot for traditional Latin dance, you’ll be to enjoy a night out the Madrileños way.
Toledo was Spain’s original capital and is still said to be, by many, the cultural epicentre of the country, due to the fact it has been inhabited by Christians, Jews and Muslims, earning it the name, ‘City of Three Cultures’.
These three religious influences can be seen across the city, with a cathedral, synagogue and mosque all present within Toledo’s confines.
Perched on a mountaintop in the centre of Spain, Toledo also has a wide variety of historic regalia, including streets that date back to medieval times, as well as architecture and art from the Roman Empire.
The Canary Islands are some of the most beautiful in Europe with alluring beaches, a phenomenal climate and a number of natural attractions they entice thousands of holidaymakers every year.
Each diverse and unique in their own way, there’s an island fit for everyone’s preference. Whether they want to visit the Maspalomas Dunes in Gran Canaria or perhaps want to travel to the summit of the dormant Teide Volcano in Tenerife, we’re sure the Canaries will suffice.
Spain has more than 3000 miles of coastline, and as you can imagine some of the best beaches in the world as a result.
Named as one of the Guardian’s ‘25 best beaches in Europe’, Los Genoveses in Almería is more than a kilometre long, filled with golden dunes and surrounded by clear and calm sea water.
So remote that there are no buildings, roads or urbanization insight from the sea edge, Los Genoveses provides the perfect haven for relaxation, reflection and repose.
Things To Do
Pamplona Bull Run
The Pamplona Bull Run is an event that involves running in front of a group of cattle in a sectioned off area of Pamplona’s streets, crazy we know!
It is a seminal part of a summertime festival, honouring the Catholic Saint Fermin and is staged from the 6th to the 14th of July every year.
The now infamous event dates all the way back to 1592, but it’s not for the faint-hearted, with between 50 and 100 injuries occurring to runners every year.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to mix it with the very best food fighters out there, then La Tomatina is where your skills need to be tested.
The famous food fight festival is held on the last Wednesday of every August each year, in the town of Bunol situated just outside the city of Valencia.
With over 200,000lbs worth of tomatoes thrown annually, upon your arrival you’ll notice that shopkeepers have covered their storefronts with plastic to protect them from the chaos about to ensue.
However, due to the town’s size, the festival is limited to just 20,000 lucky participants, so you’ll have to reserve your place well in advance.
Home to arguably the greatest footballer of all time, Lionel Messi, you’d be foolish not to at least try and catch a game at Barcelona’s Camp Nou, when visiting Catalonia.
The largest football stadium in Spain and Europe, the Camp Nou, has a seating capacity of 99,354 and has been the club’s home since 1957.
Tickets are very reasonable in price compared to English football clubs, with match day experiences costing as low as low as 69 €.
Sobrino de Botin
The oldest restaurant in the world, as certified by the Guinness Book of Records, Sobrino de Botin, has been operating in the heart of Madrid since 1725.
Located in the centre of Madrid near Plaza Mayor, the beloved restaurant still uses an 18th-century wood fire oven to cook some of its meat.
With a timeless décor still resembling that of the 18th-century build, their signature dishes include roast lamb, suckling pork and a variety of homemade desserts.
How Will I Travel Across Spain?
Public transport is commonly found amongst the majority of Spain’s cities, villages and towns, ranging from high-speed train network rails to buses and coaches.
Of course, in Spain’s major cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao and Valencia you’ll find sophisticated underground metro networks to use.
Otherwise, if you wish to drive, there are affordable car rental companies, including Centauro Car hire, easyCar and of course Europcar.
Where Will I Stay In Spain?
Due to the fact that Spain is a common holidaymaker’s destination, there are a variety of options for you to choose from when it comes to accommodation.
Luxury hotels, B&B’s, hostels, rentable villas, apartments and lodges are all available, but Spain also offers some more unique accommodation options in the form of Parador hotels.
A parador hotel is an establishment located in a natural or historical site of distinct beauty, such as old castles, palaces and monasteries, all modified with 21st-century interiors.
Hopefully, this guide has given you an insight into the beautiful country that is Spain. Whether you are looking for a long romantic weekend away, or a fun-filled family holiday, grab your passport, renew your EHIC, and jump on the plane, to a country that is bursting with personality, excitement and history.
For more information about renewing your EHIC, don’t hesitate to contact us, today.