Toledo is a thoroughly medieval city with exceptionally well preserved synagogues, cathedrals and mosques and one of the most amazing cathedrals you’ll ever park your eyes on. Not one to miss if you are a fanatic of El Greco.
A university town built in the shadow of the snow-capped mountains of the Sierra Nevada and boasting the Alhambra – one of the most photogenic monuments in all of Europe. Bustle around the Moorish influenced winding and cobbled streets and drink mint tea in one of the many Moroccan teterias.
Santiago de Compostela
Definitely a contender for most beautiful city in Spain, Santiago de Compostela was fairly recently declared a World Heritage site in its entirety. Almost entirely hewn from granite, the city is home to some unbelievably attractive buildings and is the final destination for the famous pilgrimage – Camino de Santiago, due to its wealth of delicious religious buildings, statues and monuments.
Yet another beautiful city, not on a par with Barcelona but cosmopolitan and immediately likeable all the same – the Valencians are so friendly you might be afraid to ask them directions in case they try to adopt you. Home to a bunch of fantastic buildings, Valencia is industrious and colourful and famous for its lively nighteries and is also within walking distance of some good beaches.
Although the thought of Spanish costas might strike fear in the hearts of the discerning traveller, Spain has some breathtaking beaches. In the north around Galicia and along the Asturian coast and in the south around Cadiz and Tarifa, you can find beautiful uncrowded beaches without a football-supporting, package holidaying English tourist in sight.
Spain is one of the most mountainous countries in Europe. Both the Picos de Europa (Cantabria and Asturias) and the Pyrenees in the north of Spain are spectacular, as are the Alpujarras in the south.
Santillana del Mar, Morella, Besalu, Tossa del Mar, Cadaques, Banyoles and its gorgeous lake and Begur, the surfing mecca of Tarifa, Zahara, lovely Ronda, Guadalest and Segovia could all be considered unmissable. If you’ve got the time, don’t miss out on some of the prettiest and atmospheric towns in Europe.
Return to part 1 of where to to in Spain