Exploring Spain with Spain Buddy. In 2019, when the world was normally functioning and the travel industry was burgeoning, as usual, Spain was the second most visited country after France, with 84 million visitors in 2019 itself. However, the country was one of the worst hit places by COVID-19 with an alarmingly high number of COVID cases and deaths.
As a result, Spain imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe during spring 2020, followed by a state of emergency from November 2020 to May 2021. However, the restrictions are slowly being lifted now. Those who are fully vaccinated can now travel to Spain without a negative COVID test report.
Exploring Spain is back on!
With this, many tourists are already planning a long-due trip to this Mediterranean country and rightfully so. The country flaunts gorgeous beaches, hiking spots, scenic islands, national parks, lip-smacking cuisine, and a lot more. However, there’s a lot more to Spain than its crown jewels like Barcelona, Madrid, Canary Islands, and others. Several unexplored parts of Spain will appeal to many, more than the popular tourist spots.
The best part about these spots especially those in Southern Spain experience pleasant weather involving year-round sunshine and warm temperatures well into November.
You can check the weather in any location mentioned in this article on a weather forecast website and plan your trip. If you can’t visit during the peak summer months, you can still enjoy the mild climate during autumn but make sure to check the weather forecast. Let’s take a look at some of the great destinations in Spain.
La Vera is a small Mediterranean region located between a few national parks in Extremadura. The place is a small green region that gets more rain in an otherwise dry Extremadura. It is away from the hustle and bustle of urban Spain and offers a natural escape to its visitors.
There are no major hotel chains or urban hubs here. But visitors can stay at cosy village guesthouses or the Parador de Jarandilla de la Vera, which is a hotel situated inside a historic castle.
The main attractions in La Vera include Garganta Mayor with many small waterfalls, Monastery of Yuste, Parque Nacional de Monfragüe (UNESCO world heritage site), and the Salto del Gitano, which is ideal for hikers and bird watchers. Lastly, it would be a cardinal sin to leave La Vera without trying the local spiced paprika.
Menorca is a dreamy island that is one of the Balearic Islands (also including Ibiza and Mallorca). Since it’s shadowed by Mallorca’s accessibility and Ibiza’s happening party scene, it’s the least populated of the three.
This is exactly what makes Menorca an ideal location for couples looking for privacy and families wanting a quiet and serene experience. From hidden beach coves to stunning sunsets and crystal clear waters, Menorca has got them all.
Menorca is home to plenty of beaches and it’s advised to visit a different beach each day during your stay here. Don’t miss the trek to Cala Escorxada to discover more serene and least crowded beaches. While you’re here, you can experience the Ibiza and Mallorca hip party scene at the Cova d’en Xoroi, which is a club located on the side of a cliffside rock that overlooks the sea.
The actual name of this place is Cantabria Azul y Verde, which literally means green and blue referring to the abundance of greenery and crashing sea waves. The region experiences cooler weather than the Mediterranean climate of the country, which makes it an ideal spot for those who don’t like summer heat.
Those visiting Cantabria can head to Oyambre National Park to experience the greens and blues of the region by hiking the cliffs, exploring the forests, and scenic beaches. Other attractions are prehistoric cave paintings in Cuevas de Altamira, and the 7-mile coastal route called Costa Quebrada lined by beach and rocks.
The northern Spanish region of Asturias is a complete package offering beaches, mountains, culture, cuisine, and more. It’s advised to start exploring the region on the eastern side of the Picos de Europa mountain range through an adventurous route towards Lake Enol, Lake Ercina, and the lakes of Covadonga. From here tourists can head to Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga, a pink monastery with a stunning mountain backdrop.
Next up, head up along the coast to explore monuments, botanical gardens, museums, and more in towns like Oviedo or Gijon. In Asturias, tourists will find gorgeous beaches everywhere, however, the local favourites include Playa de Cuevas del Mar, Playa del Silencio, and Gulpiyuri. The last one has a naturally-formed flooded sinkhole in an inland beach, which makes it a unique beach experience.
Villages of Andalucía
Andalucía is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain known for its attractive cities, culture, stunning beaches, and the famous Feria de Abril festival of Seville. However, not just the usual spots but lesser popular destinations are also interesting. The beach town of Tarifa is one such place popular with surfers for its ideal weather and wind conditions.
Another hidden gem is the white village of Arcos de la Frontera located on a hill that was named among the prettiest villages in Europe. Ronda is another pretty Andalusian village but more of a town, which is known to be the favourite spot of Ernest Hemingway. These villages will give you an unadulterated insight into the Andalusian culture, beauty, and cuisine.
No wonder, Spain was perched on the second spot in the most visited countries list back in 2019. However, as we know by now, there’s more to exploring Spain than what meets the eye. If you are looking for a quiet time and less crowded places to best enjoy your downtime, head to the places mentioned in this article and you’ll be in for some dreamy experiences for sure.