Spain is the holiday destination of choice for people from all over the world, particularly Europe. The country offers spectacular scenery, thousands of years of culture and tradition, and, in most areas of Spain, fantastic weather. Whatever you look for in a vacation, you’ll find it in Spain. These are some of the top vacation spots.
The Catalan regional capital has something for everyone – beaches, bars and cafes, shops and historic monuments. To make the most of your time in Barcelona, tour the city on the Bus Turistic. The double decker bus has 44 stops around the city, and with your tickets, you receive a book of discount vouchers for entrance to attractions and money off shopping and meals.
At the time of writing – August 2010 – a one day adult ticket costs 22 Euros, while a 2 day consecutive adult ticket costs 28 Euros. As the discount voucher booklet offers savings of up to 180 Euros, the Bus Turistic is an easy, cost effective way to see all that Barcelona has to offer, and you can save 10% by booking your tickets online.
Majorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands, and a wonderful place to take a vacation. The capital, Palma, is a delightful mixture of ancient and modern, and if you don’t want to drive, it’s possible to travel around the island by bus. Be sure to visit the Cathedral at Palma and the spectacular Caves of Drach at Porto Christo. Take the train from Palma to Soller in the north of the island for one of the most scenic railway journeys in Europe.
Okay, Benidorm on the Costa Blanca may be some people’s nightmare destination in Spain, but millions of holidaymakers can’t be wrong. If you want cheap and cheerful, with beautiful beaches and theme parks for the children, you can do a lot worse than Benidorm. Take in the huge market on Wednesdays and Sundays, and wander around the beautiful Old Town, or head to The Benidorm Palace for an unforgettable night out.
If you love to holiday in the city but want to get around easily, try Alicante. There’s all the shops you’ll ever want or need, as well as a fantastic marina, wonderful beaches, and the beautiful Santa Barbara Castle, which stands guard over the city. It’s one of the largest mediaeval fortresses in Europe, offering great views over the city. Near the castle is the Old Town, with it’s beautiful monuments and wide variety of eating places.
Most people visit Granada to view the Alhambra Palace, the beautiful 13th Century Moorish citadel which was home to Spanish royalty, but there’s lots more to see and do in the area. The nearby Sierra Nevada mountains offer stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. The Mediterranean Sea is close by, and the Granada coast is known as the Tropical Coast due to it’s 300 days of sunshine each year.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and a great year-round holiday destination. For those who find the heat of the Spanish summer too much, Tenerife may be the answer. The Passat Winds maintain a comfortable temperature all year round, and the island offers dramatic contrasts between the green north and the sunnier, warmer south. Visit Mount Tiede National Park and view the spectacular extinct volcano. The crater is 48 kilometres in circumference, and Mount Tiede rises majestically from its centre.
Tossa de Mar
Situated on the Costa Brava, this lovely resort is much quieter than it’s bigger, brasher neighbour, Lloret de Mar. Visit the beautiful walled Villa Vella (Old Town) and take in the sea views, watch artists at work, or enjoy a wonderful Spanish meal. Enjoy safe bathing on the beach, or take a boat trip to one of the neighbouring resorts. Tossa really is the jewel of the Costa Brava.
This lovely city is one of the best kept secrets of the Costa Blanca. The cobbled streets of the Old Town are home to stunning churches and museums, and there’s a Mediaeval Market in February, as well as Semana Santa (Holy Week) processions at Easter, and the Moors and Christians fiesta in July. Orihuela is steeped in history, and it’s also home to a bustling market on Tuesdays and a host of interesting, individual shops. The golden beaches of Orihuela Costa are just a short drive away.
Santander is the capital city of Cantabria in northern Spain. It’s easily accessible by ferry or train, and there are 11 safe, sandy beaches in the surrounding area. The city itself boasts an enviable collection of parks and museums, and the stunning Picos de Europa Mountains are only a short drive away. From Santander, it’s possible to follow the Pilgrim’s Route to Santiago de Campostella, and the Basque town of San Sebastian is not far away.
This town on the Costa del Sol boasts beautiful sandy beaches and prestigious golf courses. It’s also home to the Sohail Castle, a Moorish Citadel which many people claim is even more beautiful than the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Fuengirola is a little more upmarket than other resorts on the Costa del Sol, and there are lots of activities available, from watersports to horse riding and parasailing.
As you can see, a vacation in Spain can be whatever you want it to be, or need it to be. Come to this vibrant, friendly country soon, and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.