Spain is the land of sun, siestas, fiestas and gastronomical delights. There’s something for everyone! You’ll find something different at every turn during summer in Spain, from the golden beaches of San Sebastian, to the cosmopolitan hubs of Madrid and Barcelona, down to the rolling mountains and rivers in the Andalusia region. The country is a world unto itself with new cultures arising at every turn.[related_articles]53161,53060[/related_articles]
With so much to experience we’ve done the hard work for you and come up with these top destinations for a summer in Spain.
Beaches And Pintxos In San Sebastian
San Sebastian’s picturesque beaches will lure you in but the food, art and architecture will make you fall in love with this resort town. Unlike the unrelenting heat across the south, the average summer temperature falls around 23°C here.
Soak up the sunshine at the famous Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta beaches and marvel at the art nouveau buildings, detailed bridges and cobblestoned streets by day. As the sun sets it’s time for pintxos – the local variety of tapas this region is known for.
Barcelona’s Gaudì And Dancing
The Catalan capital is home to some of the most diverse and mind blowing architecture on the continent. From Roman-era columns and city walls to 14th century cathedrals and brickwork across the Gothic Quarter to the colourful modernist masterpieces of Gaudí, it’s impossible not to marvel at every twist and turn. Perhaps the most enthralling of all is La Sagrada Família – a medieval cathedral which has been under construction since 1882.
The city transforms at sunset. Grab some tapas and head to a flamenco bar or club if to dance the night away.
The Golden Light Of Madrid
This city is full of energy but be warned, you may just fall in love when the golden light of sunset spreads far and wide across the skyline. There’s no shortage of rooftop bars to witness this magical time of day from, try The Hat in the La Latina neighbourhood or Bar Mirador Centro Centro.[related_articles]53161,53060[/related_articles]
There’s no shortage of activities here from the Museo Del Prado for the artistically inclined to the grandiose Royal Palace. When you get peckish head to Mercado de san Miguel, this marketplace has food delicious enough to satisfy the fussiest of eaters.
The Old And The New In Valencia
Here the new and old collide. Valencia is famous for its City of Arts and Sciences but head to the Old Quarter and it will feel like you’ve been transported into a fairy tale town. It’s also the birthplace of paella so prepare to loosen your pants because this is something you can’t go past. In keeping with the country’s incredible food offerings, Mercat Central is the perfect spot to sample a little of everything.
Head here around the last Wednesday of August and you’ll be surrounded by thrill seekers. Every year people descend on the city before travelling to the small town of Buñol to pelt tonnes of tomatoes at strangers. It’s one of the messiest and most memorable morning’s we’ve ever experienced – more commonly known as La Tomatina, the world’s largest food fight.
Architecture In Cuenca
With houses jutting out over sheer red rock, a rolling river gorge and winding laneways, Cuenca feels like another world.[related_articles]39062,59614[/related_articles]
Not to miss are UNESCO World Heritage–listed Hanging Houses. From the outside they look weathered and precariously balanced but step inside and you’re transported into a world of modern art. Soak up the medieval atmosphere from atop the stone wall fortifications, inside the gothic cathedral or wander across the Saint Paul Bridge to take in the spectacular landscape in all its glory.
Feel The Heat In Seville
Temperatures regularly hit 40°C and higher during July and August so afternoon siestas are essential to stay cool. Seville isn’t to be missed, Game of Thrones fans can head to the Alcázar, a magnificent palace which was also the filming location for the city of Dorne. Of all the cathedrals to scale across the country, Seville’s may boast the best view. Or, you can head to the Metropol Parasol, or “Mushrooms of Seville” to enjoy a drink and unrivalled view of sunset.
If you want to trade Seville’s searing temperatures for an ocean breeze and salt water dip without straying too far, Cadiz is the place for it.[related_articles]41208,59481[/related_articles]
The town is full of meandering, romantic streets, quaint village squares and ancient watchtowers. The air is heavy with the smell of the Atlantic and you’re never too far away from the sound of waves crashing against eroded seawalls. Cadiz is considered Europe’s oldest continuously inhabited settlement so it’s a treat for history buffs.
Island Peace On Majorca
If you want to trade the mainland for sun and fiestas, skip Ibiza and head straight to Majorca. Even in the hustle and bustle of summer you can find pockets of tranquillity whether it be in the streets of small villages, among the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, or in a deserted cove surrounded by clear-blue waters. What better place to spend summer in Spain than on an island surrounded by beaches?
If you’re thinking of taking a time out to spend summer in Spain, make sure you check out our guide the cheapest European destinations for the hot months.[qantas_widget code=LHR]Check out Qantas flights to London[/qantas_widget]
(Lead image: Deyvis Tejada / Flikr)