With our impending move to Berlin, we’ve both been very busy focusing on that, and I’ve had little time to dream about possible future travels, so now I’m indulging myself and making some time for just that!
Spain is a country I know reasonably well, having made seven separate visits in the last fifteen or so years, and having lived there for three months in 2012 to teach English. However, there are still many parts of the country I have not been to, and so many that are on my wish list for the future.
Since I’ve been to many of the typically touristed cities of Spain (Madrid, Bacelona, Seville), I am now more interested in perhaps rural but generally lesser known parts of the country.
So I present, in no particular order, some places I’d like to visit in Spain.
The Canary Islands
This might seem to be a very traditional destination for many people and indeed it appears that there are plenty of places that are overrun by tourism on the Canary Islands, but there is an equal number of places untouched by it. The islands of La Gomera and El Hierro in particular look like good contenders in this regards. The other islands are also extremely diverse.
From Gran Canaria with its old walled capital, beautiful beaches and natural diversity, giving it the nickname of ‘the mini continent’ to the lunar landscapes of Lanzarote and the endless, desert-like sand dunes of Fuerteventura, this group of islands off the coast of Morocco, but which are very much culturally and politically part of Spain, has a lot to offer. The fact that it has a year-round temperate climate and some great and accessible hiking opportunities puts it high on my list.
After visiting neighbouring Asturias and Cantabria on my own in 2011, I was delighted to finally see that Spain is not all arid farmland and olive groves, but also lush, green forests and harsh, pebbly beaches that make me think more of Scotland than Spain.
Galicia may be one of the wettest and coldest parts of Spain due to two Atlantic coasts, but the rich verdant landscapes that result are what this region in the extreme north-west of the country is pulling me in to experience more of.
While I lived in Mérida, Extremadura, I visited Seville a couple of times, as well as Córdoba and Cádiz on the coast, but never got any further east. I considered several times making a weekend trip to Granada, but it was just that little bit too far away to justify it.
I’d love to go back and see what this part of Spain’s largest region has to offer, especially Granada and Jaén but also the natural beauty of the Sierra Nevada National Park, which boasts a large variety of unique flora and fauna. Also, because much of the park is at high altitude, it is often covered in snow, giving it a remarkably different appearance to the rest of this region of Spain.
It’s no secret that Zab and I are very much city boys, and after hearing independently about the dynamism and vibrancy of this Mediterranean city from both of our mothers (an unusual but very welcome source of travel inspiration for us!), we think it would be a great fit for our particular interests of quirky and unique architecture, café culture and creative spirit that we like about other cities of a similar size. Being right on the Mediterranean coast and having some excellent street art doesn’t hurt either.
Have you been to any of these places? Where else would you recommend visiting in Spain?
In case you’re curious, the places I’ve already visited in Spain are: Mallorca, Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid, Toledo, Valladolid, Ávila, Salamanca, León, Oviedo, Gijón, Picos de Europa National Park, Santander, Mérida, Seville, Cáceres, Monfragüe National Park, Córdoba and Cádiz.