I have been in Spain for a long time, over half my life, and I consider myself well travelled within Spain having lived in the North of the country and also in Valencia now for the last 16 years. However there are places in Spain that I still haven’t visited, so this year I thought I would try to get to some of them. These are the places that have always attracted me to visit but for one reason or another I have never got round to going to.
So here in no particular order are some great places to visit in Spain in the next year or two. Many of these places may surprise you but remember if you suggest “No Barcelona, No Madrid etc…” in a horrified tone, I have already been there 🙂
Mérida is little known outside of Spain (Go on tell me you have heard of it.) However as you can see in this post it is definitely somewhere you should be looking to visit. Some of the most stunning collections of Roman remains viewable in the whole of Europe are here and nobody has heard of the place.
This is a bit of a cheat as I have been there. Well, when I say I have been there I have got off a train there and got onto another one on the same platform after gleefully and rather deliberately bumping into a PP politician and making him drop all of his papers on the floor. (A pyrrhic but important victory I think) So unless they have moved the Mezquita to the station platform then I haven’t really visited the place in any real sense.
A friend of mine went to Cadiz a couple of years back on my recommendation and commented that he didn’t like it at all. It turns out he didn’t actually manage to find the centre of the town and the harbour areas so in effect he didn’t see it. I am determined to visit just to see what is so bad about it. Lisa has been there of course and the province is well worth a visit too. Take a look at her thoughts on Family Life In Spain here.
The Smurf Village (Júzcar)
Self explanatory really. A really terrible film was made a couple of years ago and this village was used in the filming. In order to do it the whole village was painted blue. After the filming ended the village took a vote and decided to leave it that way so it became a tourist attraction (Villages in the area are traditionally all whitewashed) Oh let us visit and view the horrors of Smurf related tourist tat.
The most expensive place to live in Spain (See our post here) is another place that I have sort of been to in the past but didn’t quite manage. I was once travelling to Asturias and arrived in San Sebastian late in the evening to stay the night. Unfortunately I couldn’t get in as it was closed, ETA had blown up a postman that evening and all roads in and out were shut down. So as yet I haven’t visited the wonderful Playa de La Concha beach and seen why it is so darned expensive.
“The End of the Earth” is the westernmost part of Spain in Galicia. No other reason to go than to see what it is like as it will probably be raining, windy and cool. I have been to Land’s End in England though for similar reasons and it was raining, windy and positively cool in August.
A day trip from Valencia and in 16 years I have never been, so this year will be different I am sure especially if I manage to get an AirBnB sorted. Morella is a walled city in inland Castellón. It is very cold in the winter and therefore the food tends to be hearty stews and broths which should make it a compulsory visit just on its own.
Not Spain exactly but still Spain if you know what I mean. The banking paradise of the Catalan business and political class, Andorra is also a skiing paradise but in the summer it is absolutely lovely too. Awesome mountain scenery and private banks make it a mini-me Switzerland. However it is duty free and doesn’t cost the Earth unlike Switzerland which last week made itself even more exclusive by consciously decoupling from the Euro (“It’s complicated” said Switzerland on its Facebook status)
Santiago de Compostela
If only to laugh at all of the people who have done a bit of the Camino de Santiago and therefore think they are rather morally superior to the rest of us I would drive or fly to Santiago and not crawl across the square for the last leg of my pilgrimage. My atheistic moral superiority would win out as I managed to go through the rest of the week without blisters.
It’s windy. I want to feel the wind in my hair. And maybe, just maybe, try kite surfing, proper surfing or just sitting around watching everybody else fall off a surfboard into the raging swell. Yep that sounds much better. A glass of Tinto by my side would help too. Much more relaxing.
So that’s my ten. Lisa will be along in time to give you ten more places that maybe are even more less well known as she has never been there.
© Graham Hunt Connect up with me on Twitter @grahunt