The Best Sights in Spain at a Glance
Spain is on the Iberian Peninsula. No wonder the country is blessed with thousands of miles of diverse coastline. The regions of the kingdom with its 47 million inhabitants are characteristic: in Catalonia, the metropolis of Barcelona attracts visitors to Castile in the capital Madrid. In Galicia, the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela is worth a visit. You can visit proud cities like Seville in Andalusia, where dreamlike palaces of the Moorish rulers await you. The archipelagos of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands in the Atlantic are blessed with magnificent nature. You can hardly imagine a more diverse country.
Sagrada Familia: The Pearl of Barcelona
Part of the myth of the Sagrada Família is that it is a permanent construction site. Initially neo-Gothic, the ingenious Catalan artist Antoni Gaudí built the church in a uniquely ethereal style. 8 of 18 towers are standing so far. The mystical, sublime, monumental interior with its colored glass windows is a must-visit. Nearby, Park Güell seems to have sprung from a dreamland.
El Teide National Park: Active Volcano on Tenerife
Snow on the Canary Islands? You can witness that, but only in winter! The highest mountain in Spain is Tenerife. Mount Teide is 3,715 meters high and surrounded by a crater rim 16 kilometres wide. Named after Mount Teide and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the national park offers an awe-inspiring, alien landscape. Below the summit, there are many pristine forests to explore. A total of 38 hiking trails are available here.
Old Town of Valencia: Fortified Walls of a Proud Port City
The old town of Valencia bears witness to the history of this city on the Mediterranean Sea. You can guess that when you enter through the massive medieval city gate Torres de Serranos. The cathedral bears witness to the changing times: built on ancient foundations, then a mosque- it has Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque portals.
Gaztelugatxe: Cinematic Monastery in the Bay of Biscay
The Basque monastery of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is located on an island in the Atlantic. It is connected to the mainland only by a stone causeway and can be reached by a staircase. A hermit used to live here, guarding the church and monastery. He was assassinated and the church was burned.
Voilà: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe was one of the locations of the “Game of Thrones” series and has been a top photo spot ever since.
Alcázar: Graceful Royal Palace in Seville
On the Andalusian coast lies Seville, the city with the great seaport of the discoverers of America. The core of the medieval royal palace Alcázar goes back to Moorish influences. The enchanting arcades are still used as a residence by the Spanish royal family when they are in Seville. Visit the lovely courtyard, Patio de las Doncellas, and experience the unique Mudéjar architecture embedded in a wonderful Garden of Eden. The huge cathedral with the Giralda, the former minaret, is definitely worth a visit.
Timanfaya National Park: Volcanic Landscape in Lanzarote
You won’t find the town of Timanfaya because it was buried by lava flows in 1730. At that time, the earth tore open, and flames licked out of the gap. The volcanic island of Lanzarote is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In the national park, you can sense the extremely hot power of the earth’s interior: water boils immediately and sprays out of crevices like a geyser, hay catches fire, and you can even barbecue in some holes in the ground. The landscape, characterized by cooled lava, red volcanic rock and volcanic cones is unforgettable.
Guggenheim Museum: Postmodern Art Gem in Bilbao
The Basque metropolis Bilbao is an extremely important industrial city. Located on the Nervión River, the Guggenheim Museum was built to showcase contemporary art. The museum’s biggest attraction is the building itself: shiny silver and elegantly curved, it is reminiscent of a sailing ship gliding on the waves in the wind. Frank O. Gehry, the architect, has created a work of art from glass, titanium and limestone that you should not miss.
Torre des Savinar: Pirate Watchtower in Ibiza
The western Balearic island of Ibiza is known for its international club scene. But those who are looking for peace and nature are also in the right place here: Ibiza offers a unique world of flora and fauna and fantastic sunsets. There are great hiking trails that lead along the rugged banks. If you hike on the south coast, you can get to the Torre des Savinar watchtower. From there, you have a wonderful view of the two rocky islands Es Vedra and Es Vedranell, where you can take the perfect photo.
Es Trenc Beach: Caribbean Flair on Mallorca
Don’t feel like Ballermann? For those who want to avoid the party stronghold on Mallorca, there is an alternative: Es Trenc beach is relatively secluded in a nature reserve. That’s why it’s not shaped by big hotels but by pure nature. If you love long walks on the beach, you can hike three kilometres here. You can marvel at the crystal clear water, which meets the white, fine sand. The nature-protected dunes and pine forests complete the idyllic picture perfectly.
Alcazaba: Moorish Palace Complex in Malaga
You can escape the cold winters in Malaga. In summer, it gets very hot in Andalusia on the Costa del Sol. A visit to the imposing Alcazaba is worthwhile all year round. The Moorish palace complex from the 11th century towers high above the city. Equipped with defensive walls on the outside, beautiful courtyards with playful arcades open up inside. Directly below the Alcazaba, you can see a building from even earlier times: the ancient Roman Theatre.
El Jable dune: A Touch of the Desert on Fuerteventura
On the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, you are closest to the coast of southern Morocco. Africa and the Sahara are close. Maybe that’s why a 20-square-kilometre dune has formed on the beach near Corralejo. All traces are quickly blown away by the wind, and the dune constantly changes its appearance. Observe this fascinating natural spectacle on the enchanting sandy beach with a view of the Atlantic Ocean, several volcanic cones and the island of Lobos!
Our Final Word
Spain is like a dream, filled with incredible scenery, history and a welcoming people. We prefer to fly into Portugal and drive as you never know what you can discover, and the roads and highways are good. Think of Spain for your next holiday.