Coastal San Sebastián sits in Spain's scenic north, in Basque Country. Known as a foodie hub, you can enjoy the city's culture with walking or e-bike tours and dive into the renowned gastronomy with a cooking class. Get out of the city to visit farms, vineyards, and some of Northern Spain's most popular walking trails within this coveted region of Europe.
Spain Travel Insights
Many argue that Madrid is Spain's most cultural city, as its central location draws people, gastronomy, traditions, and customs from around the country. In Madrid, you can dive deep into Spain's history and culture with walking tours of its diverse neighborhoods, evenings experiencing its distinct tavern culture, and tastes of staples like jamón Ibérico and padrón peppers. Then, peruse the world-renowned Prado Museum, enjoy dinner in the world's oldest restaurant, learn all about Spanish royalty, or take a day trip to one of the nearby historic cities and villages.
A vibrant and modern port city, Valencia is Spain's third-largest metropolis. Valencia's most famous attraction is its City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic building complex hosting a planetarium, oceanarium, interactive museum, and more. In addition, you'll find an idyllic Old Town, Albufera (a beloved wetlands reserve and park), and gorgeous stretches of sandy beaches. Plus, Valencia is home to one of Spain's most famous dishes: paella.
The Costa Brava is a scenic stretch of Catalonia's coastline, extending from the French border in the north to the town of Blanes in the south. Dotted with rugged coves, medieval villages, sandy beaches, vineyards, and the works of Salvador Dalí, many travelers flock to this picturesque region of Spain. Explore the countryside with yacht excursions, e-bike ventures, and kayaking trips, or visit beloved towns and cities like Girona, Cadaqués, and Figueres.
One of the most popular white villages in Southern Spain, Ronda sits atop a dramatic cliff, providing stunning views of its surrounding countryside. In Ronda, you'll find a mix of relaxed vibes and exciting outdoor adventures. Explore the Old Town, listen to Spanish guitar, and learn about ancient winemaking techniques while savoring a glass or two. Then head out into the countryside to climb the Via Ferrata or peruse charming villages.
Known as the "jewel of the Mediterranean," Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands and offers a tropical-like coastline, chiseled mountain peaks, and a vibrant culture. Travelers flock to the island to combine relaxation with adventure. For example, enjoy a catamaran cruise while snorkeling in the Mediterranean, visit idyllic villages while hiking in the mountains, or explore caves while wine tasting. And when you need a break, dive into the island's unique and flavorful culinary scene or walk the streets of buzzy Palma.
Bilbao is known for gastronomy and the architecture of Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum. Combine modern art with the city's world-renown culinary scene, impressive architecture, and quaint historic core. Discover Northern Spain's gastronomy by savoring pintxos, learning how to make wine, or taking a cooking class. Pair a visit to the Guggenheim with a city tour and admire architecture beyond the quirky. Or, explore outside the city center and enjoy the Picos de Europa, a mountain range that rivals the Alps.
Seville is Southern Spain's jewel and the capital of Andalucía. This historic city with the perfect mix of culture, architecture, and gastronomy, as it's the birthplace of flamenco and where tapas reign. Taste your way through Seville with cooking classes, wine tastings, and visits to tapas bars and olive farms. Then, dive deep into the local culture by learning about art restoration, touring historic sites like the Alcázar, and watching the beauty of the flamenco unfold before your eyes.
As the final bastion of the Iberian Peninsula (Al-Andulas) ruled by the Moors, Granada offers a unique mix of architecture paying homage to its many historical influences. The most famous site, of course, is the Alhambra, an imposing Muslim fortress from the 9th century used by the Nasrid Dynasty and as Spain's Royal Court. Besides stunning architecture, Granada also features a vibrant gastronomic scene, the country's beloved flamenco dance, and mountainous countryside.
A bustling, vibrant city with deep Roman and medieval roots, Barcelona offers a little bit of everything. Discover a unique blend of architecture, from 20th-century modernism to avant-garde, while getting lost in buzzy market halls, wandering colorful gardens, and eating your way through the historic Gothic Quarter. Explore Gaudí's famous creations like the Sagrada Familia, spend a day at the beach, attend a Spanish guitar concert, or go wine tasting in the countryside.
Take it easy on this two-week trip around the sunny beaches of Spain! You'll start with a few days in Barcelona, then drive north to the rugged coastline of the Costa Brava, taking your time as you explore quiet coves and small villages by the sea. For the second part of the trip, you'll jet off to the Costa del Sol, basing yourself in seaside Marbella and quaint Ronda as you swim, sunbathe, hike, and relax.
This weeklong adventure offers a wonderful mix of cultural sightseeing and outdoor adventures in and around Barcelona. Start with several days in the colorful coastal city, touring Antoni Gaudí's masterpiece, La Sagrada Familia, and cruising offshore on a sailboat. Detour to the famous Monastery of Montserrat, home to a renowned boys' choir that you'll hear perform. Then spend the last part of the trip hiking between picturesque villages in the Pyrenees Mountains and exploring the rugged coastline of the Costa Brava.
Wine, cheese, tapas, pintxos — this gourmet tour around northern Spain is a treat for foodies! Start in the capital city of Madrid, where you'll go on a tapas tour around local bars to learn the proper way to order small plates paired with drinks. Then hop in a rental car and drive north to the wine country of La Rioja, where you'll tour family-run wineries and blend your own wine to take with you. Continue onward to the culinary hot spot of San Sebastian, sampling pintxos (Basque-style tapas) at traditional bars in the old city. Then finish the trip with a tour of Bilbao and an excursion into the surrounding countryside to see how Basque cheeses are produced.
One of this Basque city's most sought-after hotel amenities is a view of the impressive Guggenheim Museum. Take in its dramatic twisting steel exterior and everything else Bilbao has to offer at one of these equally architecturally interesting spots.
On a shorter visit to the Balearic island of Mallorca, basing yourself in the main city of Palma puts you in the center of the action, while travelers who have a few more days to spend may want to head out to a countryside retreat to get away from it all. No matter what lodging you choose, all of these hotels have a story to share.
Córdoba's hotels reflect the many civilizations that have called the city home. See the city's many influences up close in a luxury hotel atop an ancient Roman villa, from a palace once built for the counts of Colomera, or within houses of Jewish nobles with this list. Read on to learn more about your options.
These hotels will help you get in touch with history and Andalusian cuisine in Granada, with locations close to all the attractions in the historic Albaicín neighborhood, in 16th-century homes, or even within the Alhambra walls.
Lodgings in the capital of Andalusia's "white villages" sit adjacent to top attractions like the famous bullring and dramatic scenic gorge. Take in the city from right next to the bullring, atop the edge of the ravine, a famous poet's garden retreat, or a countryside oasis with these hotels.
Much like the city of Valencia blends the classic with the avant-garde, mixing the cobblestone Old Town and Gothic Valencia Cathedral with the bright white modernist architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences, these hotels take the city's hybrid spirit to a new level. Enjoy the pairings of contemporary decor and Art Deco influences with historical buildings and ancient stone at these top accommodations.
Catch some sun and seafood on the Costa Brava at these hotels, with lodging options atop cliffs, alongside crystalline coves, or in countryside vineyards. From these views, it's easy to see why this region of northern Catalonia has been drawing vacationers and artists to its picturesque shores for decades.
Sitting at the top of the Costa del Sol, the birthplace of Picasso offers plenty of sleeping options alongside its historic spots and vibrant arts scene. Stay in the bustling downtown center for proximity to top spots like the Cathedral, Castillo de Gibralfaro, and Marqués de Larios shopping street, with options ranging from sharp art deco establishments to converted palaces.
With one of the longest and most popular coastlines in Europe and a siesta every afternoon, Spain practically insists on its visitors relaxing. Add in one of Europe's most sensual dances, flamenco, an abundance of that ultimate sharing food, tapas and some devastatingly beautiful architecture, gardens and produce-rich countryside, and it becomes clear why this is among Europe's foremost honeymoon destinations, too. Here are the top places to visit on a honeymoon in Spain, and the top things to do in each.
San Sebastian distinguishes itself with high-end culture, and it offers the hotels to match. Stay at a hip downtown spot, seaside retreat, restored 19th-century villa, or contemporary hotel with this list.
Settle into this Andalusian capital and birthplace of flamenco with a hotel that embraces Seville's history. You'll find features like tile mosaics, modern cuisine, and open courtyards with charm that echoes the Royal Alcázar itself at these spots.
Famous fountains and plazas distinguish Spain's capital city, and you can even sleep alongside them with these hotels. Stay in the heart of the action while also exploring Madrid's arts and architecture, get insider access to spots like the Plaza Mayor, and take in the view from rooftop pools at these accommodations.
Explore the natural wonders of the Canary Islands on this 9-day itinerary that celebrates the beauty of Spain’s remote Atlantic paradise. Your adventure begins on Tenerife, where volcanic mountains, black sand beaches, and ancient woodlands beckon. Continue to the neighboring island of La Gomera to explore its aboriginal culture, see diverse marine life, and discover rare, subtropical rainforests. Return to the mainland to spend a final night in the lively capital of Madrid.
Barcelona's hotels are as varied as the city's many attractions, whether you see it as the city of Gaudí and Picasso or of FC Barcelona and Lionel Messi. Choose a stay that reflects your favorite aspect of the city's scene with one of these hotels, whether that's Gothic Quarter elegance, the artiness of the Raval, or modernism by the Sagrada Familia. Read on to learn more about the best boutique hotels in Barcelona.
There's fun for the whole family on this relaxed 6-day tour of eastern Spain. Starting in Barcelona, you'll ascend Mount Montjuic via cable cars, take a sunset sail around the harbor, and wander the cobbled streets of the Gothic Quarter. After a day trip exploring the wonders of surrounding Catalonia, you’ll head down the coast to finish your trip in Valencia, where all ages can marvel at underwater wonders in Europe’s largest aquarium and sample the city’s signature dish of paella.
From palaces to Picasso, Spain has character to spare—and the lodgings to prove it. Rather than staying in a traditional hotel, explore the range of the country's culture and history with a different kind of stay. Whether you opt for an eco-friendly treehouse, island dome, palatial visit within the walls of the Alhambra, or a cutting-edge glass art stay, these lodgings will add an extra element to your trip.
Enjoy the top offerings of Paris and Barcelona — from historic sites to culinary delights — on this 8-day trip. You'll start your trip in the City of Lights for a visit to the artistic Montmartre neighborhood and a wine & cheese tasting in a medieval cellar. Continue to Spain to see impressive Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture and feast on traditional Catalonian fare.
Explore the highlights and flavors of Spain with visits to the cities of Madrid, Granada, Málaga, Cadiz, and Seville on this 12-day trip. You'll enjoy private tours of the historic old towns, visit ancient religious sites, and taste Spain's best culinary offerings. Start the trip in Andalusía to see the Alhambra in Granada, visit Málaga to learn to cook in a traditional finca, then wrap up the trip in Seville to enjoy a flamenco show.
If food and wine are your passions, then this unparalleled 12-day trip through the heart of Spain's Basque Country has your name on it. You'll see Barcelona's highlights — including the Sagrada Familia — as well as the coastal towns of the Bay of Biscay. Tour family wineries, visit shepherds, and hop from pintxos bar to pintxos bar, grazing until your heart's content.
This 8-day trip covers the archipelago's three easternmost islands. Traveling by road and ferry, you'll discover historic villages, orchards, forests, mountains, beaches, volcanoes, and vineyards to understand just what makes this region of Spain so unique. There will be plenty of free time to explore each isle's capital—especially in the evenings—to round out this fun adventure.
With 10 days and a rental car, you can explore several of Spain's regions to discover local highlights, hidden towns, beautiful nature, and local food and wine. The roads are easy to navigate and a road trip lets you explore in more depth and at your own pace.
Spain is a perfect road trip destination, and with seven days it's best to focus your time on just a few regions. Start in Madrid and spend a week in the north or south, or head to the Canary Islands for a week of nature-focused adventures. We've selected these five driving itineraries to show you the best spots for adventure, world-class gastronomy, and slow-paced small towns.
Madrid or Barcelona? These cities have different character and attractions, and we generally recommend spending time in both places on a moderately-paced trip. But for travelers with less time to spend, Spain's two top cities provide a tough choice. Here are some important things to consider if you have to choose between Madrid or Barcelona.
We interviewed local experts, scrutinized hundreds of actual trips, and considered the feedback of intrepid travelers in order to put together the very best Spain itineraries for first-time travelers. Plan for five days to two weeks with the itineraries below, all crafted by local travel specialists.
This 19-day itinerary allows you to visit three different regions of Spain, including Madrid, Basque Country, and Catalonia, as well as the Balearic Islands and Portugal. Throughout the adventure, you'll enjoy great food, wine tours, a flamenco show, historic Gothic architecture, and even make time for a bit of island-hopping in Ibiza and Mallorca. You'll also fly into Portugal to explore the cities of Porto and Lisbon, as well as the wine region in the Douro Valley and the famous palace of Sintra.
This 2-week trip leads you through Spain's major cities while also experiencing unique nature and beaches in the Canary Islands. Explore the historic city centers of Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville with tapas tours, flamenco dancing, bike rides, and sailing excursions. Enjoy a Jeep safari on the slopes of a volcano, go whale watching, and hike the Caminito del Rey trail, plus tour the famous Alhambra and enjoy a sherry tasting in Jerez.
This 8-day tour takes you through the historic districts of Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona, starting with a tapas tour and visit to the famous El Prado Museum in Spain's capital. Enjoy a day trip to a medieval city near Madrid before driving to the coast and eating paella in Valencia. End the trip in Barcelona by sailing its coastline and exploring its culinary scene.
Discover the culture of Spain's cities on this 9-day trip, starting with a tour through Madrid and an evening of flamenco and tapas in Seville. Then make your way to Granada, passing through the village of Ronda and a winery along the way. You'll explore Granada's famous Alhambra palace and gardens, then fly to Barcelona for a cycling tour of its historic districts, as well as a visit to the sites of Gaudí's.
This 9-day road trip includes stops at some of Spain's most historic locales, including Madrid, Toledo, and the Andalusian cities of Seville and Granada. Celebrate rich Spanish culture as you tour historic Old Towns by foot and bike, all while tasting delicious tapas and enjoying a flamenco show. You'll explore the southern countryside with a tour of an olive oil farm and a hike along Caminito del Rey, and then visit Granada to discover one of the most impressive Moorish palaces in Europe, the Alhambra.
Explore Spain's lively cities and vibrant culture, starting with a gourmet food tour in Madrid and a flamenco show in Seville. Stop in Córdoba to tour the Mezquita, then discover Granada's most popular site, the Alhambra and Generalife Gardens. Meander the historic district of Albaicín with a personal photographer before ending the trip in Barcelona by touring the works of Gaudí and enjoying a day trip.
Explore some of Spain's best cities on this 8-day trip to Madrid and the region of Andalusia, starting with private tours of Madrid's historic neighborhoods and its royal past. Board the train to the city of Seville for tapas and flamenco, as well as a day trip to the town of Ronda and a winery. You'll end the trip with Granada for a tour of the famous Alhambra and Generalife Gardens before returning to Madrid.
Explore the highlights of Spain by visiting the cities of Madrid, Córdoba, and Granada on this 8-day trip. You'll enjoy private tours of the historic old towns, as well as a day trip to Toledo to learn about its historic steel production and marzipan. End the trip in Spain's southern region Andalusía with tours of the Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Córdoba, and the famous White Villages in the countryside.
This 8-day itinerary focuses on Madrid and Seville, leading you through the historic centers of both cities, as well as day trips to Córdoba and Toledo. You'll explore the cities with food and biking tours, visits to tapas bars, and flamenco shows, plus a private tour of the El Prado museum in Madrid. End the trip with a visit to the famous White Villages of Andalucia and the town of Ronda, plus tours of an olive oil farm and a vineyard.
Most travelers will find that 7 to 9 days is perfect for a well-paced Spain trip with stops in both Barcelona and the Costa Brava. It's possible to hit the highlights in 5 or 6 days if you don't mind a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—one of the best-loved trip extensions includes the medieval town of Vic. See more ideas and itineraries below.
Travelers to Spain typically plan a trip for 12 to 14 days when combining Seville, Granada, and Ronda, including a few days in Barcelona and Madrid. If you're not interested in Barcelona and Madrid, 8 days is enough for your Seville, Granada, and Ronda trip. Check out our favorite Seville, Granada, and Ronda trips below.
Barcelona is one of Spain's most beautiful and vibrant cities, and on this six-day tour you can really focus on what makes it so special. With a combination of time in the central city and surrounding areas, focusing on culture as well as natural attractions, you'll experience the best of Barcelona. Learn about its history and iconic architecture, get a taste of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea along the Costa Brava, and take your pick of nearby day trip destinations.
On this immersive 6-day itinerary, you'll get a local's eye view of Madrid as you explore its culture and cuisine with a series of guided walks and excursions. After visiting the capital's landmarks and sampling its best tapas, set out on a selection of easy day trips into the surrounding countryside of Castilla y León. Visit the historic towns of Segovia and Pedraza as you tour and taste your way through cheese farms, olive groves, and wineries, returning to the bustle of Madrid each evening.