When you talk to most people who have yet to travel Spain extensively, the first place they want to visit is Barcelona. After that, there’s Madrid and, sometimes, Seville and Granada. Other than that though, many cursory travellers don’t both to visit the many other Spanish cities and towns! There’s so much diversity in Spain’s history, which makes it an incredibly interesting country to visit. If you’re planning on visiting, here are some more off the beaten path destinations in Spain and why you should add them to your itinerary.
5 stunning off the beaten path destinations in Spain:
Home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Salamanca has had a more youthful reputation for centuries. If you ever want to enroll in a Spanish immersion program, then enroll in Salamanca. You’ll want to spend your free time roaming around and taking in the sandstone architecture. From the Old and New Cathedrals of Salamanca to the Plaza Mayor and Casa de las Conchas, you’ll have plenty to see. Don’t miss the Fachada de la Universidad de Salamanca. Bonus points if you can find the astronaut in all the different designs.
Segovia is a great day trip from Madrid. Just an hour away by bus, you can spend an afternoon wandering around this sleepier town. First, you’ll want to visit the Roman Aqueduct, which, trust me, is more incredible than it sounds on paper. All of its 25,000+ granite rocks are held together without any sort of mortar and it’s just a little under 30 metres high. Next, you’ll want to continue on to the Alcazar. It’s one of the inspirations for the Disney castles everyone knows about today. Climb down to get a view of it from the bottom park and then climb up its tower to watch the sunset. Before you go, don’t forget to try the Segovia Ponche too.
Don’t skip Cordoba on your trip down to Andalusia. It’s an easy day trip from either Seville or Granada and the town is beautiful. Everything seems to be painted with that warm golden colour and it’s easy to walk around to the different landmarks. Not only is the Mezquita- Catedral one of the best examples of Spain’s Islamic architecture, you should also check out the Puente Romano, the Synagogue and the Alcazar of Sevilla. Most of the old architecture is in the Jewish Quarter.
One of the places I’m making a priority to visit when I return to Spain is Rhonda. I didn’t know it existed when I went! The city sits high up on a cliff in El Tajo Gorge. It’s split between its ‘new’ town and ‘old’ town. Perhaps its most famous feature is the Puente Nuevo, a bridge that connects the two sides and sits 98 metres above the Guadalevín River. Definitely not a place for those terrified of heights!
Girona is a charming city in Catalonia, the same autonomous community as Barcelona. It once had one of the strongest Jewish communities before the Spanish Inquisition, which is why its Jewish Quarter is one of the best preserved in Europe. You won’t want to miss crossing the Eiffel Bridge (yep, you read that correctly!), taking in the views from the city walls and snapping photos of the colorful buildings along Onya River. Oh, and if you’re a Game of Thrones, fan, then you’ll definitely recognize the steps leading up to the Girona Cathedral. Hint: it involves some Cersei shaming.
Looking for more posts about travel in Spain? Read these next:
- A Beginner’s Guide to Andalusia: 10 Things to Know Before You Go
- 9 Underrated Things to Do in Madrid
- 5 Charming Things to Do in Segovia
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What other off the beaten path destinations in Spain would you add to our list?