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What to do in Spain? The Ultimate Checklist!

October 20, 2014


What to do in Spain? The Ultimate Checklist!


Planning a trip to Spain? Having seen more of Spain than most Spaniards I have the ultimate checklist for you!

1) DON'T MISS ANDALUCIA, BUT SEE IT IN FALL, SPRING OR WINTER

Best tips for Andalusia, Spain

Southern Spain is quintessential Spain, ( and one of our homes after 6 years of wintering there) but do like the Spaniards do and head to green northern Spain during the summer months when Andalusia fries in the hot sun.

barcelona - Gaudi's Sagrada Familia


2) GAUDI IN BARCELONA

So much to love in Barcelona, one of the top destinations in Europe,  but Gaudi is Spain's most famous architect and his unique, distinctive style gives Barcelona it's creative Catalan character through his artistic, unusual buildings and designs. Even people not into architecture, follow the Gaudi trail in Barcelona and are amazed.

Horse Fair Jerez Spain


3) DON'T MISS THE HORSE FAIR IN JEREZ

Jerez is famous for sherry, horses and flamenco and you can catch all of this at it's most delightful best during the annual Jerez Horse Fair (Feria de Caballo) which is the most prestigious equine heritage event in all of Europe. This is one of the biggest street parties in Spain ( and these people KNOW how to party) highlighted by the gorgeous clothes and magnificent dancing Andalusian horses performed by the world famous Royal Equestrian School of Art.



GUGGENHEIM IN BILBAO, Spain

4) GUGGENHEIM IN BILBAO

This stunning titanium masterpiece, that is the world famous Museo Guggenheim, absolutely lives up to the hype and still impresses in person, no matter how many pictures you might have seen. It is also one of the most fun museums for family travel! Even for non architecture fans, one can instantly see why it has been called the most important structure of it's time.



The large pieces ( like Richard Serra's massive steel sculptures, Jeff Koon's colorful huge Tulip bouquet on a back deck area and Louise Bourgeois' gigantic mother spider ) interact with the building and landscape in a whimsical way that is provocative, plus there is an amazing playground next to it and Bilbao is a unique Spanish city.

Madrid-  The Plaza Mayor

5) MADRID

Madrid, Spain's elegant capital is known for having the best night life in Europe and possibly the world. The food is exquisite as are it's art museums like the Prado, one of the most important museums in the world and without a doubt the pride of Spain.

Vist Granada and Alhambra

6) GRANADA - ALHAMBRA

Granada's Alhambra, a breathtaking Moorish palace and garden, is the most visited sight in Spain and one of Europe's top attractions.  It dates back to the ninth century and it is  considered a masterpiece of world architecture. Granada is one of our favorite Spanish cities for it's skiiing, churches, flamenco, camping, gypsies, spas, beauty and more.

Galicia Spain - go explore!


7) GALICIA - CAMINO PILGRIM OR NOT

Galicia is much more than just amazing Santiago de Compostela and it really blew our minds, as it is one of the most spectacularly beautiful areas in Europe!



It is very pristine and not crowded, as few seem to be aware of how much startling beauty is here. Summer is the time to visit as it is rainy most of the year.

Seville  - prettiest city in the world?


8 ) SEVILLE - STUNNING AND SUBLIME

We just totally fell in love with Sevilla as it was one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. I was surprised It was so enchanting, sophisticated, alive and original that I was just in awe. I have to agree with the famous poet, Antonio Gala, who once said: "The issue is not that Sevillians think they live in the most beautiful place on Earth... even worst, is the fact that they may be right in thinking so". Don't miss the Flamenco in Seville and everyone should experience the world famous Semana Santa here.


Visiting San Sebastian Spain



9) SAN SEBASTIAN OR DONOSTIA

 Food is what this city and beach resort is about. There are as many highest rated  restaurants in San Sebastian as either Madrid or Barcelona - cities that are almost 20 times larger! June is ideal, when the weather is good ( it has cold,  rainy winters) but the crowds have not arrived yet ( the entire Spanish government moves from Madrid to San Sebastian in July and August). Don't miss the pintxos and sidra!

La Mezquita in Cordoba spain


10) CORDOBA AND  LA MEZQUITA

Charming Cordoba is smaller than it's Andalusian counterparts Seville and Granada, but once was one of the greatest cities in the medieval world. So much to savor, but one MUST visit La Mezquita, it's greatest glory. This sacred massive mosque, built in the 8th century,  covering several square acres, is simply indescribable and astonishing. It is one of those you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it kind of places. No pictures can ever do justice to the experience and it is one that should not be missed. A temple in Roman times, now a Catholic church with daily mass, where most of the architecture is Islamic, built by the Moors!

This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the wonders of Spain and few can see this in one trip, but this country is worth exploring and getting to know deeply! Any questions about travel to Spain?

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Marina from MadeinMoments.com

This is good stuff to know in advance. We are in Spain too, but a little further south in the Canaries :)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much Marina! There is so very much to see in Spain and we miss it when not there.

We haven't even been to the many beautiful islands of Spain yet, but we WILL soon. ;)

Enjoy your month in the Canaries and take your time to slow travel around this magnificent country!

Dane

Killer list!

Samantha

Thank you for this amazing list!! We are off to winter in Spain in 2 weeks (with our caravan) and can't wait to visit Barcelona and head south for the winter :)!! May even look into an apartment for a month or 2 in Andalusia as a nice change as we been in out caravan in the UK for a while too now. Thanks for this amazing list it helps decide where
else to visit. Been looking through your site as we going down through France and my boys want to visit Paris ( thanks found a great site)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much Dane!! We have a bit of an advantage for a killer list by seeing so much of Spain, but it was still very hard to narrow it down to just 10! ;)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Happy to oblige Samantha! ;) So you are very welcome and I'm happy to hear this list will serve you well!

Search my website by country and you can gather LOTS of info and good campsites.

Do NOT miss http://www.soultravelers3.com/2009/06/family-travel-photofrance-puy-du-fou-theme-park-1.html

Most do miss it and it is truly spectacular. Should be easy for you to do coming from UK.

Also LOTS on my website about Paris and France.

Marbella has some great winter campsites ( I list some).

Happy travels!!

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Also Samantha - here are some tips for wintering in Spain via an apartment-

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2009/11/lifestyle-design-a-winter-in-spain-extendedtravel-digitalnomad-miniretirement-4hww-travel.html

http://www.soultravelers3.com/2009/11/whats-a-spain-winter-rental-like-extended-travel-digital-nomad-4hww-vacation-.html

robyn

Jeanne, great list! I have wanted to do the camino, but now I see I will have to spend much more time in Spain. I love studying your site. Full-time rving in the states right now, but looking forward to the day I can head overseas for a few years.

Samantha

Thanks so much for the extra links, love your blog :))!!

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