Barcelona and Madrid are synonymous with Spain but there's more to this Iberian country than just the big cities. Discover some of the most underrated and exciting places Spain has to offer in this top 12 list of hidden Spanish spots.
While it might not be a tourist mecca like Madrid or Barcelona, Tenerife is one of the most unique and eye catching locations in Spain. In particular, the otherworldly rock formations within the Teide National Park call to mind lunar landscapes. Carved by lava flows, it's also home to Spain's highest peak, Mount Teide.
The Golden City takes its name from the way light emanates off the sandstone buildings at sunset. Filled with architectural marvels, including Catedral Vieja and Casa de las Conchas, Salamanca is a university town at heart, with students and free spirits buzzing around Plaza Mayor every hour, meaning merriness with drinks, dance and song.
Not the first name on every tourist's lips, Bilbao hides many wonders behind the industrial facade. Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao Museum houses more than 100 modern art pieces within its curvy, metallic confines. There's also the historic Old Quarter, several of Spain's most famous churches, some dating back to the 1300s, and the Zubizuri bridge.
Spain is a country with a history of conflict, expansion and occupation. No clearer is this on display than a visit to Girona. Located in Catalonia, Girona is a medieval city that bears the moniker 'The City of One Thousand Sieges’ thanks to its ability to withstand occupation.
A visit to Girona is like delving into Spain’s past. Moorish bath houses, Gothic Churches and Roman defenses. A maze of narrow alleyways populate the city, and getting lost in their labyrinthine twists and turns is all part of the appeal. Must dos include visiting the Girona Cathedral to see the Tapestry of Creation and enjoying lunch on the main promenade, the Rambla de la Llibertat.
When it comes to European skiing the Pyrenees is an underrated alternative to the Alps. Come summer, there's hiking, hearty local cuisine and mountain villages like something out of a story book.
The burial home of El Cid, Burgos is rich with Spanish history. Restored Gothic cathedrals, towering spires and an Old Quarter that is rich with greenery and parklands right down to the banks of the Arlanzón River.
The oldest bullring in Spain is located in the mountaintop village of Ronda. Known as the home of El Tajo gorge spanning Puente Nuevo bridge, you'll also find Spain’s oldest building. Hemingway spent a lot of time in Ronda. Inspiration seekers are sure to find it here.
Known more as an airport designation for coastal towns further afield, the marina area around Alicante boasts a terrific ambience is a bustling nightlife and great tapas. If the weather’s warm, you can also head down to the city beach for some sun and surf, all set against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Benacantil.
There are three things you need to know about Longroño:
If you're a fan of beautiful gardens, fine dining and history, a visit to Logroño will open you up to the real Spain.
If your interests run particularly to the Moorish rule of Spain then Cordoba is a must see. It was perhaps the most important city in Spain during the Middles Ages, and today it retains much of its history and charm through the city cathedral's Islamic design and old town Roman Bridge.
The charming Jerez de la Frontera has a history dating back three millennia, though its biggest attraction is the Alcazar, built in 1255 and housing a mosque, baths and delightful gardens. Along with fine wine (sherry in particular) there's also a number of interesting museums, including one on clocks and another on flamenco dancing.
A food lover's delight, San Sebastian is where you'll find the region's best pintxo, a Basque style of tapas usually balanced as top bread. There's also Concha Beach which is popular for families and sun seekers while Zurriola Beach is made for surfing.
Get away from the crowds and charter your own flight to hidden gems just waiting to be discovered. Why follow when you can lead. Chart your own Spanish Conquest today. Talk to ExecuJet about how we can help you make the most of your trip to Spain.