Spain has long been associated with beaches, crowded resorts, and cheap beer. No sooner has the weather turned that airlines start advertising cheap flights to various resorts on the Spanish mainland and surrounding islands.
For most people, it’s usually a case of book and go, healthcare (available here), and holiday wardrobe in tow. However if you put just a little more thought into it, you could elevate your holiday from being monotonous and mediocre to luscious, even sublime.
Just minutes away from Spain’s crowded resorts lie untouched beaches, rugged cliffs, and storybook villages, awaiting the inquisitive explorer. Car rentals are cheap in Spain – rent a car and drive around. It’s usually the best way to discover hidden gems and get away from the crowds. Here are some of our favourite destinations for curious sun-seeker.
Travelling to the Canary Islands is extremely affordable now. Most tourists limit themselves to the island’s beaches. With great weather all year around, we can’t really blame them for converging at the beaches when the rest of Europe is covered with snow. But if you want to truly experience everything that the island has to offer, make sure you explore the rugged volcanic panoramas of Lanzarote. Go for a camel ride on lava rocks and volcanic ash, crawl into lava tubes, or marvel at entire houses carved out of lava.
Malaga is definitely the strong-hold of THE sun-seeker and holiday-maker. But drive out of the resort areas and you will discover the ‘real’ Spain in no time. Malaga city-centre is full of historical treasures, crumbling ruins, and art galleries. You could also visit the renowned Alhambra in Granada. Make a day trip out of it but do make sure to leave early in the morning (it’s a long drive!) and reserve your tickets in advance. Pack a picnic as there are dozens of opportunities to devour a meal in idyllic surroundings along the way. If you aren’t keen on long drives just hop over to the dozens of Andalucian villages surrounding Malaga. Spend lazy afternoons hunting for hidden beaches and tapas bars.
Aah Costa Brava – the focal point of holiday resorts in Spain. Despite its popularity as an affordable, all-inclusive holiday destination and development in recent years, parts of Costa Brava still retain their original charm. Drive out of the resort areas to discover ruins that tell tales, coves that hide azure beaches, and villages where time stands still. If you’re visiting Costa Brava during summer months, especially July and August, keep a lookout for its trademark sunflower fields. It’s hard to miss them as they are in full bloom (and absolutely stunning) during that time of the year.
A list of typical holiday resorts would be incomplete without a mention of the Balearic Islands. Mallorca, one of the Balearic Islands, is nothing short of paradise. There are stunning beaches at every corner (quite literally!) but there is a lot for culture-vultures and history enthusiasts as well. The Cathedral that occupies pride of place in Palma de Mallorca, the capital city, is nothing short of spectacular. Further inland, the small village of Deia in the Tramuntana Mountains boasts of a vibrant community of artists. Along the way, you will find dozens of tiny villages and settlements with tapas bars, panoramic points of view, and white-washed houses. Of course you need to stop for the scenery. Besides, nobody will judge you for sipping on sangria at breakfast and who can argue with that 🙂