6 alternative Spanish cities for a peaceful getaway

As the rollout of the vaccine allows international travel to wake up from its slumber, it is natural for travelers to seek more calm, crowd-free alternatives to some of Europe’s most popular destinations.

Spain in particular is blessed with hidden gems to visit all over its continent and its islands.

And these six spots pack this Spanish culture we all know and love, with an added slice of serenity. Disfrútenlo!

6. Formentera, not Ibiza

Formentera is far from its unruly neighbor. Devoid of great clubs, superstar DJs and super expensive beers, this is the island where you let it all hang out – literally.

Clothing has been optional on its long stretches of pine-backed sandy beaches since the 1960s, and all debauchery is abandoned in favor of serenity; Think of him as Ibiza’s hippie cousin.

Exhausted revelers can hop on a thirty-minute ferry ride to access the island where a whole new world of peace awaits them. Splendid isolation indeed.

5. Toledo, not Madrid

Madrid is a grand size, teeming with people and can be a bit difficult to navigate. That’s not to say it should be avoided – it’s one of Europe’s most magnificent capitals and an important cultural destination after all – but we do think neighboring Toledo is worth a trip on its own.

In Toledo, the entire city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of cultural sites like the fortress, the Alcazar of Toledo. Built in Roman times, it is the earliest example of a square fortress and today houses a fascinating military museum.

Visitors should also take time to visit the bright courtyard of the Santa Cruz Museum, a former convent converted into an exhibition hall, and the astonishing large Santa Iglesia Catedral Primada de Toledo (Toledo Cathedral) which is one of the most fine examples of Gothic architecture in Spain.

4. Seville, not Barcelona

Seville might not run along the coast like Barcelona, ​​but it is certainly a noble alternative for city break aficionados. From its famous scorching flamenco dance to the vivid orange trees that line its streets, Seville is an underrated cultural center that offers just about everything for lovers of history and food.

Plaza de España is undoubtedly the highlight of Seville: like Barcelona’s Parc Guell, its exemplary Spanish architectural styles and pops of color draw tourists to their hallways… but not so much, of course.

Instead of beaches, Seville’s Guadalquivir River winds through the heart of the city and offers the possibility of swimming. We recommend a night cruise before setting off to taste tapas and sangria in the popular Triana district.

3. Tarragona, not Valencia

While many visit Valencia as a quieter alternative to Barcelona, ​​let us suggest an even quieter one: Tarragona. About 110 km from Barcelona, ​​this picturesque city with Roman ruins can be reached in a third of the time it takes to get to Valencia, and its charm is arguably more alluring.

Here you’ll find a compact coastal town that wouldn’t feel too out of place in Italy: think cobbled squares, labyrinthine alleys, amphitheater ruins, and secluded beaches all within walking distance.

It is the perfect city for a mini break which, like in Valencia, offers several types of vacation in one. For all the charm of Tarragona, there is no airport, but Reus Airport is only 11 km away.

2. La Gomera, not Tenerife

Despite its proximity to Tenerife, only 1% of all visitors to the Canaries make it to La Gomera. This natural paradise – the second smallest of the seven islands in the archipelago – offers over 600 km of marked hiking trails, epic driving routes and black sand beaches with crystal clear sea speckled with dolphins rewarding those who make the trip. fifty minute ferry crossing.

Due to its rare vegetation, including one of the largest laurel forests in Europe, the whole island has been declared a biosphere reserve and its subtropical rainforest, Garajonay National Park, is also a heritage site of UNESCO.

On top of that, La Gomera’s climate (a year-round mild average of 22 degrees Celsius) is one of the best in the world; it’s no wonder that Christopher Columbus ended up staying here for a month before finally setting out to explore the Americas.

1. A Coruña, not Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela may welcome tourists as the end point of the ancient pilgrimage route el Camino de Santiago, but its nearby port city, La Coruña, is certainly worth a visit on its own.

Just 75 km north of the capital of the region of Galicia, La Coruña is another of Spain’s Romanesque-style towns and its old town is home to an exquisite collection of medieval squares and churches.

At the northern tip of the La Coruna peninsula is its national symbol, the 2nd century Tower of Hercules, which is the oldest Roman lighthouse still in use today. Seafood is of course a hot topic at this historic fishing spot, with local catches including velvet crab, barnacle, and langoustine high on the menu.

About Thomas Thorton

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