From coast to culture: 6 best places to explore in Spain
You've made up your mind? Then let's prepare this escapade by discovering 6 best places to visit Spain with free or low-cost visits and activities to enjoy yourself without breaking the bank. Besides, to save money, nothing better than to know the different solutions for free accommodation.
San Sebastián, my favorite city of the 6 best places to visit Spain
I start my list of 6 best places to visit Spain with my favorite one: San Sebastián. What makes me love this city is its cultural dynamism as well as the exceptional landscapes that it offers us. To start your visit, I advise you to discover the old town which shelters atypical districts, but also the church of San Vicente and the basilica of Saint Mary which are two of the oldest churches in the city. You can't miss the famous Constitution Square in the center of the old town. This is where all the festivities and celebrations of the city take place.
Visit the south of Spain through Andalusia
The Andalusian region has a special place in my heart, that's why it was essential that I include it in 6 best places to visit Spain. Andalusia bears the vestiges of the Moorish occupation, which can be seen in its architecture. For the great romantics, you will love the city of Granada where you can stroll in the Arab quarter of El Albaicin or in the Sacromonte, an old gypsy quarter particularly appreciated for its atypical houses and its famous flamenco that will give rhythm to your evenings. As you can see, Granada is a multicultural city that you can only love. In any case, I have validated it.
Direction to the small hilltop town of Ronda, which is one of the oldest Spanish cities. Its originality lies in the fact that it is surrounded by ramparts from which you can admire a panorama of the mountainous surroundings of the city. But what makes the reputation of this ancient city is El Tajo Gorge: a gorge of more than one hundred meters deep crossed by the river Guadelevin. When I went there, I could see the number of cell phones that are at the bottom of the gorge: rather tempting to put your arm through the gates, but be careful not to drop it or you might never see it again!
I have discovered a passion for hiking, which is why I am now considering a solo trip to the mountains of France. But before that, I wanted to tell you about the beautiful hiking trails of the Caminito del Rey which are really worth a visit. Many footbridges and bridges have been built against the cliffs of the Gaitanes Gorge where you can walk and admire the breathtaking landscapes. I still speak about gorge, but this one really appealed to me and I had to mention it in the list of 6 best places to visit Spain. I talked about it so much that one of my colleagues who was passing by the area and who loves hiking, went there and thanked me for having made her discover this corner of paradise. It's good to repeat yourself sometimes.
Immerse yourself into history in Toledo
The former capital of the Spanish Empire, Toledo is full of historical sites and majestic landscapes inspired by the Romans and Moors. To start off your visit of this incredible city, there is nothing better than to visit the Zocodover square. A former market square from medieval times, you can contemplate the old buildings as well as the numerous rows of colonnades. It is a lively place where young and old alike can gather on the benches of the square, shaded by large trees that offer a very pleasant spot of shade. Walking around the city, you will be immersed in an atypical atmosphere between Jewish, Christian and Islamic influences. Toledo is a true cultural encounter that charms us from the first moment.
How to pass by Toledo without discovering the Alcázar of Toledo which is a fortified palace dating from the 16th century. Today, this fortress houses a museum where you can learn more about the history of the Spanish army, but not only that, since you can also visit the medieval ruins inside the castle itself. In addition, the entrance fee is only 5 € unless you come on Sundays when the visits are totally free. At this price, we won't be deprived of a discovery of the famous attraction of Toledo.
A visit to Toledo is not complete without tasting the city's specialty: marzipan. It is a small confection made of almonds and cooked without artificial flavors or even preservatives. A little treat from time to time can't hurt, so I'm going to taste it right away.
Discover the Canary Islands differently in Lanzarote
The island of Lanzarote has an atypical beauty, even lunar. Indeed, it is classified as a natural reserve of the biosphere by UNESCO. It is a black and arid land that is covered with dried lava flows. It's simple, in Lanzarote, nothing grows, except for cacti. There, you can discover many volcanoes by visiting the Timanfaya National Park. It is one of the main attractions of the island and the most popular with visitors. Who knows, maybe it will become your favorite too.
On the island, don't be surprised if you see many villages with white houses. It was the local artist Cesar Manrique who contributed to the development of the island and the promotion of these whitewashed houses. He has had a huge impact on the architecture of the island by integrating the buildings with the environment, done in a very natural and harmonious way. This is also what makes the authenticity of the island. If you are a lover of atypical architecture, I advise you, also, to explore the heart of Paris in the winter.
Lanzarote is the meeting place for cacti from all over the world. In fact, on the island, you can visit the cactus garden. More than 4,000 specimens of 450 different species from five continents are gathered in this garden. If you want to admire a bevy of colors, each more striking than the other, this is the perfect place for you. The green of the cactus creates a contrast with the blue sky and the different black tents of the volcanoes. You can also be surprised by the silence that reigns over this place. A calm moment in the middle of the euphoria of the trip, it is sometimes very restful too. To be even more relaxed during your trip, don't forget to think about the 6 unexpected events to anticipate when you travel the world.
Catalonia is also the Costa Dorada
More than 200 km south of Barcelona, the Costa Dorada is a pearl of the Catalan region, hence its privileged place in 6 best places to visit Spain. Between golden sandy beaches and azure blue Mediterranean waters, it's the perfect place to rest for a while from those intense escapades around Spain. If you are still in need of sun after that, I suggest you discover Menorca, the singular island of the Balearic Islands.
What makes the charm of the Costa Dorada, are its beautiful fishing villages located everywhere. My favorite is Roc de San Gaietà and its architecture inspired by different cultures such as Moorish, Gothic and Romanesque. It is this originality that I liked so much and I spent hours contemplating the Andalusian, Galician and Sardinian houses.
For those who love outdoor activities and greenery, the natural park of the Prades mountains will be your favorite playground. In fact, you will find a lot of wooded areas that many hikers try to cover. If you decide to venture there, you can discover villages that seem to have been forgotten by the rest of the world. A good way to make friends with the locals and share a friendly moment with them.
Galicia, to visit the Atlantic coast of Spain
We change course and we land on the west coast of the country. With a predominantly Celtic heritage, Galicia stands out with its own culture and cuisine based on seafood. It is also a rich region in terms of splendid natural spaces, rivers and forests. Nature lovers will be in paradise.
We take a little height and go up to the north of Galicia where we find one of the highest cliffs in Europe, the Serra de Capelada. Its highest peak is called Vixía Herbeira and is located more than 600 meters above sea level. From there, we can fully appreciate the grandeur and scale of the cliffs as well as the impressive view that is offered to us with an Atlantic Ocean that extends in perpetuity. Just to imagine myself there, I already have chills. I'm doing the right thing, because up there, the wind must be freezing.
Are you ready to discover Spain?
Spain has no more secrets for you now that you know the 6 best places to visit Spain. If for you the solo trip is like a grand journey, there is nothing left to do but to find your favorite bag and to leave to discover these new lands. I hope that this country will fascinate you as much as it did me and that you will come back with lots of incredible memories to tell.
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