10 BEST Places to Visit in Spain

Some cities get more attention than others, but there are many great places to visit in Spain. The country has a lot to offer. You'll find everything from wonderful beaches to wild mountains, from large metropolitan cities to historic small villages, and everything in between. In other words, Spain has something to offer for any kind of traveler, and it's always interesting to look into the various destinations.

Spanish artists invented surrealism in the first place, thanks in no small part to many surreal landscapes, which looks like real alien planets. Among the best places to visit in Spain, we will begin with five major cities - the most obvious places to visit - and then move on to some smaller places that are less touristy destinations, off the beaten path places, but equally worthy of being visited.

Best Places to Visit in Spain

Secluded in some of the most non-touristic parts of the country, if you want to go off the beaten path and experience a dream-like experience, these are your spots:

1. Formentera


Spain is filled with amazing beaches with its widespread coastline of more than 5000 miles. At every beach you will find people and one cannot blame the popularity! The sand and the blue view is a delight to the eyes and soul. This destination is perfect for wanderers who want to experience a peaceful beach day.

The beach is coated with white sand and sparkling water on the shore. The soft dunes of the sand contrast the darker hues of water. You can hire a yacht and go around the sea, jet skiing is also a great option. Cala Saona, a smaller beach in Formentera is a place if you are craving for a sun bath. Lastly, you cannot just ignore the views of this amazing place!

In Ibiza, you have bohemian vibe and only a 30-minute ferry ride from Ibiza is the tranquil island of Formentera, known as the Spanish Caribbean with Europe's finest beach Playa Illetes. Only 40 minutes by boat from Mallorca's south coast, visit the island and the National Park Cabrera - Balearic smallest island with only 20 inhabitants? Only 200 people will visit the protected natural area per day, so make sure you book a place in advance!

2. Alicante


Want to experience Spain in brilliant colors? Just 170 kilometres away from Valencia, you will find Alicante. A smaller city in all regards, but still a city that gets plenty of tourists all year around. In March, the country's fruit trees are in full bloom. An hour from Alicante in areas of Cieza, Planes and La Vall de Gallinera, flowering almond, peach and cherry in white and pink.

The reason for Alicante's popularitiy is the great weather and the beautiful coastline. The city is located on Costa Blanca, known as the white coast in English, and it's an awesome place to be. Alicante also offers great local food, and its history should not be discounted - the city was founded by the Greeks in 324 BC and it was a very important city during the Moorish rule of Spain.

To enjoy La Tomatina festival you have to get to Buñol in Valencia at least the day before. About 11 o'clock in the morning a firecracker announces the beginning of La Tomatina. At that moment, trucks loaded with tomatoes enter the scene and cross the streets of San Luis and Cid as well as Plaza Leyana and Plaza del Pueblo.

The neighbors that go on the trucks are in charge of throwing tomatoes to the crowd and when the dump trucks release their cargo the moment of madness arrives. La Tomatina has also reached mobile phones through a Pokemon Go game.

3. Tarragona


South of Barcelona is the Costa Dorada (Gold Coast), best known for the city of Tarragona, small fishing villages, sandy beaches and delicious seafood dishes. The seaside resort Cambrils attracts with tapas in every nook and family park Port Aventura. Costa Dorada is known for its long and fine sandy beaches. Here Suns olive trees between sea and mount Montserrat. Not far away is the wine region of Priorat.

4. Balearic Islands


The Balearic Islands offer beautiful landscapes with turquoise waters and idyllic beaches. Of course, another option is to follow your route to 'eat' through Menorca, an island that will also surprise you outside the summer season. Menorca is a more quiet and untouched version with fewer tourists - the site of the real nature lover.

Balearic tranquil haven, with over 200 turquoise bays, green landscapes and some of the island group's best diving experiences. Get around by bike or on horseback along the Cami de Cavalls, the road that winds around the island.

5. Asturias


One of the hidden secrets in Spain, Cudillero is a very small fishing village, but it might be the most beautiful place in the entire country. According to the legend, Cudillero was founded by the Vikings around a thousand years ago. Today it is mostly a tourist town where people to go to relax and get away from the busy, modern-day lifestyle.

The village provides a perfect view of the ocean. Swimming and fishing are great things to do in Cudillero, and you should also check out some of the restaurants. They serve typical Asturian seafood, such as octopus, sardines and oysters. Be sure to order a cider as well. The region is famous for its cider and surprisingly, the bottles are not even that expensive.

6. Santiago de Compostela


Maybe you have heard of the famous pilgrimage Camino de Santiago. Each year, thousands of people walk to Santiago de Compostela from various locations. The most common route is the one that starts in the French pyrenees, where you walk throughout Northern Spain with this city as the final destination.

Pilgrim or not, Santiago is a great city to visit in any case. The most famous attraction is the cathedral. According to the legend, Saint James the Great is buried here. But be sure to see all of the historic sights in the old part of the city. There is a very special mood and some interesting architecture from the Middle Ages.

If you’re interested in learning more about Santiago de Compostela before going, watch the movie “The Way” by Emilio Estévez, or read the book 'The Pilgrimage' by Paulo Coelho.

The border area between Galicia and Portugal has a lot of charm. The river Miño in its final stretch makes natural separation between the two countries.

In the province of Pontevedra there are two routes of very interesting water mills. One is the set of the natural park of Ría de Barosa and the other that of the mills of Picón and Folón. They are declared as cultural interest as an ethnographic legacy of this region of the Bajo Minho.

Viveiro is one of those towns in the north of Galicia that goes unnoticed by the great majority. Located in the heart of the Mariña de Lugo area, it is not the typical fishing village. Lugo is a province that you have to visit if you are thinking of traveling to Galicia. The views from Valença are unique and Tui is full of fantastic streets and art.

Casa Grande de Xanceda is in the town of the same name in the province of A Coruña. One of the caves enabled to receive visitors is the Cueva do Rei Cintolo. It is very close to the town of Mondoñedo. The Isla de San Simón is located in the interior of the Vigo estuary. It belongs to the parish of Cesantes, in the municipality of Redondela. As much as you think you know it, the Rías Baixas always have the capacity to surprise you.

September is the end of the high season for walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrims trail through northern Spain. It’s 800 kilometers, and you can insert a few legs by bus if you don’t have the time to walk it all. It’s perfectly doable for anyone, as a lot of oddly shaped people keep on proving.

7. Segovia


Instead of going to Toledo, you can also opt for Segovia. It's another historic city close to Madrid, and you can go there for a very small price. A ticket with the AvanzaBus from Madrid's Moncloa station usually costs around 5 euros, and a train ticket from Atocha will set you back 12 euros.

Segovia is an old Roman city that still has its famous aqueduct. It also has a majestic cathedral and a castle, Alcázar de Segovia. Most visitors consider the castle to be the absolute highlight. Go to the northwest of the city and you won’t miss it. Entry is just 5.50 euros, but even looking at it from the outside should be enough to give you a lasting impression.

The charming city of Segovia has both small corners as the Azoguejo (small souk) and the neighborhood of the Canonjías, which have to be discovered walking quietly, as the most popular and overcrowded monuments of the Aqueduct and the Alcázar. It is therefore a city that lives with two rhythms completely antagonistic.

There is the hurried and bustling hordes of weekend tourists traveling to Spain everywhere and the quiet of the weekdays as a small capital of the Castilian province that is.

While people usually deride Castilla y Leon as a flat, uninteresting, depopulated region, its sheer size and long history has blessed her with some of the most amazing places to visit in the country. Salamanca has some of the oldest European Universities and is full of life. Burgos has some of the most beautiful Gothic Cathedrals, Segovia is one of the best 1 day trips from Madrid.

Castilla’s natural parks are full of scenic, epic landscapes that wouldn’t look out of place in the US. Northern Castile is full of endless grain fields on both sides of the road, with horses and cows here and there and small rivers cutting through the yellow-wheat plains.

Northern Castile is the region with the most UN heritage sites in the world. Spain as a country is third after China and Italy, but Northern Castile concentrates more than any region in China and Italy. Lost in the wheat fields in small medieval towns is the history of the old kingdom of Castile, the best preserved Roman aqueduct in the world is in the city of Segovia.

The first treaty dividing the planet between two empires was signed in the small town of Tordesillas. Charles V's court and Philip II's birthplace is in Valladolid. One of the main three heroic poems of medieval Europe El Mío Cid takes place in Palencia and Burgos. The most relevant university of the Spanish Empire is in Salamanca. The symbol of Celtiberian resistance against the Romans is Numantia in Soria.

The main gold mines of Roman Spain is in Astorga in León. The hometown of queen Isabella is in Arévalo in Ávila. The birthplace of Roman Emperor Theososius as well as emperor Arcadius and Honorius is in Coca in Segovia.

8. Toledo


And southern Castile is the land of Don Quixote. The city of Toledo is also a place one should visit - it really looks amazing and historical and there is a bus tour around it which takes you to the panoramic view of the whole city - which by itself looks really medieval and trapped in history.

The land of Toledo is the historic capital of Hispania, the City of the Three Cultures, the birthplace of standard Spanish (Spanish is from northern Castile, but the standard form was the one from Toledo as the de facto capital). The city of Toledo concentrates the best of Spanish Renaissance and Golden Age architecture along with Seville (and to some extent Habsburg in Madrid).

The city of the Greco and all his artworks, is a medieval city intact to the modern age with Mosques, Synagogues and Cathedrals in the same square, with Hebrew inscriptions on the walls and the floor, with knife and sword makers in the streets, with Visigothic and Roman ruins all beneath the city.

The hanging houses of Cuenca (Conca), is with houses coming out of vertical mountain sides overlooking the plains, the Roman ruins of Segobriga, the dry fields with the white villages and windmills of Don Quixote. Segobriga is an abandonned Roman city in southern Castile. The city was not a big city in Roman Spain, but the ruins are very complete and well preserved. It is lost in the middle of countryside so it's probably one of the best Roman ruins in Spain.

You can visit Toledo from Madrid by different means of transport such as train or bus. The historic center of Toledo sits on a hill that, with the imposing mass of the Alcázar, descends to the banks of the Tagus River. There, Muslims, Jews and Christians lived together for centuries, whose multiple legacy is still perceptible wherever you look, from its monuments to its gastronomic delights.

Called since then the City of the Three Cultures, these overlapping layers of history have turned the current capital of La Mancha into an enclave of impressive heritage.

Toledo is known as the city of three cultures. It used to be the capital of the Visigothic kingdom, a state that existed prior to the creation of modern-day Spain. Toledo is famous for its architecture, which has influence from three different cultures, since Christians, Muslims and Jews all lived there. Due to this, the whole city of Toledo has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

In more recent years, Toledo has enjoyed political influence as the local capital of the Castilla-La Mancha region. It’s also a famous city when it comes to the production of weapons. There are many cultural sights to see, and going to Toledo feels like stepping back into the past. Walking through its cute streets, it is impossible not to smile.

Although it is quite small by modern standards, Toledo can be called an ancient Museum because there is a huge number of places that are worth seeing. Toledo is located relatively close to Madrid, and there are frequent bus and train connections. It takes just around an hour to travel between the two cities, so many tourists in Madrid decide to go for a one-day trip to Toledo.

The most underrated Spanish region is none but Extremadura with an incredible treasure trove of heritage (best roman ruins outside of Italy), amazing, surreal natural parks (Valle del Jerte and Los Barruecos) and it also boasts of the best cured ham in the entire country. So what the hell are you waiting for? It’s just a 3 hour drive from Madrid. Go visit Extremadura!

Mérida was founded by Octavian or Augustus — thus Augusta — for his retired generals — thus Emerita and was part of all the building projects that emperor Octavian carried across Spain. Octavian founded a dozen cities across Spain, two of them major local capitals such as Emerita Augusta (Mérida) and Caesar Augusta (Zaragoza), but also many others of smaller size such as Asturica Augusta (Astorga) which he built during the wars in northern Spain and served to exploit the large gold mines right outside the city.

Emerita Augusta was a large city, one of the subdivision capitals of Spain, with a a theatre, aqueduct, amphitheatre, a temple to the goddess Diana of the Moon/Hunting/Virginity. Caesar Augusta and Emerita Augusta were also granted Roman citizenship upon foundation by Octavian, this remained relevant to make the two cities grow quickly and prosper until emperor Vespasian granted Universal Latin Right to all Spain (the same bottomline that Italy and Sicily enjoyed since the Latin Wars and since Julius Caesar respectively).

In an attempt to gather Spaniards' support and tax money. This comprativly privileged status for Spain was lost when Caracalla granted full rights to all provinces in an attempt to gather any money he could. Either way, Octavian also re-enforced the two main roads in Spain: the Via Augusta that connected Gades through all Mediterranean Spain with Rome (formerly called Via Heraclea) and the Via Argentia that connected the metal mines in Asturica Augusta with precisely Emerita Augusta. It was an older route for Tartessos but it became established as the route for silver and gold from the mines north under Octavian.

9. Ronda


Ronda is a city some 100 km west of Malaga - and it mostly famous for the 3 bridges (Puente Nuevo, Puente Romano and Puente Viejo) which give you extremely wonderful views once you are on them. Aside from the bridges which are the main attractions, you can go around the city’s narrow streets and visit the Mondragón palace, Museo Lara, La Casa del Rey Moro, Alameda del Tajo and Casa del Gigante.

10. La Gomera


A tropical forest shrouded in mystery, Garajonay national park is home of an extremely surreal weather condition: Horizontal rain. Due to its particular mist water condensation, water gets suspended, floating in the air rather than falling down like regular rain, so you “bump” into raindrops as you move.

Conclusion

We hope that this article has served as useful inspiration. There are plenty of interesting Spanish cities to visit, and if you visit one of these, it will certainly give you some unforgettable moments.

And remember that one destination doesn't rule out another: From Madrid, you can easily visit Toledo or Segovia as well. Due to the close proximity between Alicante and Valencia, a lot of travelers also combine these two cities during the same trip.
Kalyan Panja