Top cities to visit in Spain

So whether you’re a regular on Spanish shores and looking for something a bit different, or whether you’re planning your first ever visit, if you’re thinking about Spain for your holidays this year, let us inspire you with our quick guide to five unique Spanish destinations.

At the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, Granada is most famous (and rightly so) for the majestic and enchanting Alhambra, a palace-fort and a UNESCO World Heritage site that attracts visitors from around the world.
However, there’s plenty more to see and do in Granada to make this city one not to miss.

Granada was the last place in Spain to be-reconquered by the Catholics after hundreds of years of Moorish rule, leaving an interesting mix of architecture and culture. Explore the winding Moorish lanes and traditional houses beneath the Alhambra, then head for the city centre to see the vast cathedral and the adjoining Capilla Real (royal chapel).

As a university town, there is a lively nightlife to enjoy and the city’s tapas culture means that most bars will provide free tapas with every drink.
If you want to explore beyond the city, the Sierra Nevada mountains offer hiking and skiing, whilst the beaches along the Costa Tropica offer long sunny days for water sports and relaxing away from the crowds.

Every July, Pamplona hosts the world famous San Fermin festival, otherwise known as the running of the bulls.         

At 8am in the morning, a rocket is shot signalling the start of the run and six bulls are let loose to gallop down the closed off streets of the city. In front of them, locals and tourists alike run ahead, trying to get as close to the bulls as possible without getting hurt. Participants carry nothing to defend themselves so injury is a real possibility and although rare, there have been several deaths over recent years.

The party starts at 11pm the night before with the debauchery continuing through the night until the rocket sounds the next morning. The whole experience is chaotic, crazy, uncomfortable at times and definitely unique. There is of course much controversy around the festival, with animal rights campaigners pushing for the tradition to be banned. However, it is difficult not to be captivated by the sense of camaraderie and machismo on show, or to resist embracing the celebrations which go on through the night. Whatever your stance, it is an event which has put Pamplona on the map and continues to attract thrill-seekers and party-goers from around the world.

Seville, the capital of the Andalusia region and Spain’s fourth largest city offers a unique mix of romance, beauty and fun-filled festivals and fiestas. 

Wander through the cobbled streets of the Santa Cruz district, breathe in the scent of the city’s famous orange trees, visit the stunning Alcazar Palace and the city’s awe-inspiring cathedral. Let yourself be swept up in the romance of the place; take a traditional horse and carriage, stop to enjoy a flamenco guitarist strumming away in a hidden courtyard. Then throw yourself into a party – famed as the home of Flamenco, this is the best place to enjoy Spain’s traditional dance, in one of its many tablaos (flamenco clubs).

Seville is a year round destination but to see it in its full glory, try catching one of its many festivals. The processions of Semana Santa at the end of March mark the last days of Christ’s life whilst in April, the Feria de Abril celebrates Seville’s great passions such as flamenco, horses and bullfighting

If you enjoy a bit more activity on holiday than your average beach break, Spain’s largest national park – the spectacular region of Sierra Nevada-could be just the tonic.

The rugged landscape comprises of snow-capped mountains, fast-flowing rivers, glacial lakes and diverse flora and fauna. There are around 25 villages dotted around the park which unlike those in the more popular coastal spots are relatively unaffected by tourists, keeping their traditional charm, and offering a peaceful retreat.

In the summer, it is a stunning place for a walking holiday or camping trip and there are plenty of tour operators offering options to suit any age or level of fitness, from gentle strolls to challenging hikes.
In the winter, the region is becoming increasingly well thought of as a ski destination and offers great value for money compared to some of the more popular resorts in countries such as France or Switzerland.

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