Spain / travel

The Top 5 Places I Still Want to Visit in Spain

I’ve lived in Spain for a total of about 2 years now, and I’ve gotten to see a ton of the country, from the gorgeous capital of Madrid to the amazing university town of Salamanca to the party-happy paradise of Ibiza. I’ve lived in Sevilla, with its old-world charm, and Barcelona, which is a cosmopolitan wonder. But the more I travel around Spain, the more I want to get to know every corner of it! 

Ronda-Andalucia-Spain-countryside

The beautiful Andalucian countryside. Ronda, Málaga

So in no particular order, here are the five places in Spain that are currently on my travel list:

5) Valencia

It’s just a couple of hours away from Barcelona, but I still haven’t managed to make it down the coast yet! Valencia is known as the City of Arts & Sciences, and I’d love to check out the cultural offerings it has. It’s also another region of Spain where they speak Catalan, so it’d be fascinating to find out more about their view of what Catalonia is.

Oh, and Valencia is also the birthplace of paella. Mm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it…

paella-delicious-Spanish-food

Photo credit: Benjie Ordoñez on Flickr

If my trip to Valencia can happen during their huge festival Las Fallas, then I’d be a very happy traveler!

4) Asturias

For some reason, I’ve really wanted to go to Asturias for a long time. Ok, that’s a lie –  I saw it on House Hunters International! It looks seriously beautiful, and I’ve never been to this part of Spain. Everyone has told me it’s amazing, so hopefully I’ll be able to go to Asturias soon. (If I’m lucky, this will be happening much sooner that I thought – fingers crossed!)

spain-asturias-covadonga

Photo credit: Maninas on Flickr – the Basílica in Covadonga

3) Galicia

Asturias’s next-door neighbor. It’s famous for the beautiful Santiago de Compostela – the last stop on El Camino de Santiago (the pilgrimage route across the north of Spain). Even though I’ not religious, I like visiting very important religious sites and getting the feeling of what it was that drew people to it. Anything that convinced people to walk hundreds of miles must be special!

santiago_de_compostela

Photo via elvelocipedo.com

2) Toledo

I’ve seen THE shot of Toledo and sighed in travel-lust – you know, the sunset setting over the castle and the cathedral, set against a backdrop of rolling hills. Sigh. Everyone has told me Toledo is a must-see in Spain…and my family had the nerve to go without me (thanks Mum! 🙂 ) Of course, now that they’ve all been without me, my inner child wants a trip too! My inner adult wants to go because it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Win-win!

Toledo_Skyline_Panorama,_Spain_-_Dec_2006

Photo credit: David Iliff. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

1) País Vasco

Especially San Sebastián or Bilbao. Amazing food, modern architecture, beautiful countryside, and another ‘not really Spanish’ region of Spain = what’s not to love?

San Sebastian – ahh! Photo via LivingSpain

Some other close contenders were the Canary Islands (any of them!), Menorca, La Mancha, Tarragona, Pamplona, and Zaragoza. But right now, I’m pretty taken with the idea of the north of Spain.

Spain is such a fascinating place. Each region I’ve been to so far has truly been something completely different.  My dream is that someday somebody will pay me to travel around the whole country….but until then, I’m loving getting to know it slowly.

Does anyone have any suggestions for amazing places in Spain that I haven’t been to yet?

Besos!

-Jess

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25 thoughts on “The Top 5 Places I Still Want to Visit in Spain

  1. Three beautiful areas in Analucía that I would recommend are ‘the White Towns of Andalusia’ in the provinces of Málaga & Cádiz; the Alpujarras in the provinces of Granada & Almería and the Cabo de Gata Natural Park which is also in the province of Almería. A place that I’ve not yet visited that looks interesting is Cáceres in Extremadura.

  2. Northern Spain is the one for me! All of it stunning. Be sure to go to the Picos de Europa that straddle Asturias, Cantabria and Castile y León.

  3. Ah Ronda! I visited it as a field trip when I was studying abroad in Malaga. It is beautiful! And I haven’t made it to Valencia either. It is probably top on my list right now of places I want to see in Spain. Never been to Asturias but I have been to Galicia (but that was 9 years ago and I would love to go back). I visited San Sebastian and Bilbao with NYU during my master’s and I was so mad we only spent an afternoon in San Sebastian. I wanted to spend the whole weekend there!

    After Valencia, I suppose the Canary Islands would be second on the list. I have seen so many pictures and heard so many good things.

    • Ronda is sooo pretty! I’ll let you know how Asturias is, though I’m pretty sure it’s going to be gorgeous too.

      There’s just so much to see in Spain, isn’t there?

  4. Well, I´m lucky enough to have visited all the places you want to go to – except Asturias. They are all beautiful in their own way, and very different. When you finally make it to Toledo, I recommend taking a side visit to Consuegra to see Don Quixote´s windmills 🙂

    If you get as far as Ronda, then you must come to Málaga (it´s a great city and MUCH more than just the gateway to the Costa del Sol) and then travel east – and I´ll show you around 🙂

  5. I LOVE Northern Spain and am fortunate enugh to spend my summers there. In Galicia, be sure to visit the oft-overlooked Vigo, which is the fateway to the Islas Cies. I also love quirky Coruña (where I live and work in July). My boyfriend’s family is from Asturias, and I fell in love with Cangas de Onís, close to Covadonga. On my list? First and Foremost, La Rioja! It’s the only comunidad I haven’t visited. I’m also dying to see Trujillo, El Valle de los Caídos and most of Cataluña.

    • I’ve heard Alicante has some really pretty towns! I don’t know when I’ll be going to the south of Spain again, but I’ll have to add that one to the ‘to travel list’.

  6. Hi Jessica,

    Interesting blog. There are many places and interestings things to do in Spain. Near Barcelona there is Girona, which from my point of view it is a must see place including the town of Cadaqués and Cap de Creus. Then, if you like the country side you have La vall de Boí, la Garrotxa, Montseny, Montserrat , etcc.

    I hope get to see these places and let me know if you need more info!

    Saludos

    • Hello Carles, and thanks for reading my blog.

      Yes, Catalunya has some beautiful places to see. I’ve been to Girona, Cadaqués, and La Garrotxa so far, and I loved them all. Montserrat is next, I hope! La Vall de Boí is also high on my list.

      Great recommendations!

  7. Hey Jessica, very jealous of your plans to go to Asturias! Spain is my favourite country in the world, and is just so different everywhere you go – the first time I went to Valencia it was Las Fallas time (I didn’t even realise when I booked!) and the city was just magical. San Sebastian has also seduced me a number of times, its food is the best in the world (and I don’t give away that label easily) and the Old Town is just beautiful. Pamplona is completely different depending on when you go – if its during San Fermin it’s out of control, whereas any other time of the year it’s pretty quiet. However one place I wouldn’t recommend from the above comments is Consuegra – I’ve been there a number of times and I just find it quite depressing, though you can then see for yourself how Spain is really hurting in terms of its economy – places like Consuegra look so sad.

    • Spain is really different everywhere you go, that’s one of my favorite things about it! That’s interesting what you say about Consuegra…maybe I’ll wait until a better economic time to go there.

  8. Pingback: My Top 6 Favorite Places In Spain | ¡Hola Yessica!

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