Spanish Trip Awards – where should you visit?

Anyone ever wondered where to visit in Spain?

Over the last few years I’ve travelled to many different places in Spain so I decided to classify the best (and worst!) by allocating them awards. Here are the categories and their respective winners:

 

Most Impressive

Winner – Granada

I didn’t know much about Granada before I visited because a friend had suggested it to me last minute (cheers Charles). I rocked up with no expectations and got blown away by its architecture, friendly nature and thriving tapas scene. It really took me by surprise – so much so in fact, that my 2-night stay ended up being too short. Here’s what you should get up to in Granada.

Runner-upRonda

Granada’s cathedral

 

Most Of A Let Down

Winner – Cartagena

I’d done some brief research and from the pictures Cartagena looked quite impressive. I couldn’t wait to see the large Roman Theatre and then relax on the beach in the afternoon. However, it didn’t even get close to meeting my expectations – the Roman Theatre was smaller than the pictures made out and the beach was so far away that I only had 20mins there. These are the reasons why you shouldn’t visit Cartagena.

Runner-upPlasencia

Cartagena’s marina – I’ve seen better…

 

Best Internal Architecture

Winner – Zaragoza

Zaragoza is home to the Palacio de la Aljafería and Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar – both of which show off some incredibly detailed carvings and artwork. The Basilica in particular has been designed and decorated to perfection, but you really have to see it to believe it! Here’s what to see and do in Zaragoza.

Runner-up – Montserrat

The basilica towering over the river in Zaragoza

 

Best External Architecture

Winner – Segovia

There’s just something about Segovia’s aqueduct that makes you stand back and go “woooow”. I think it’s the sheer uniqueness that makes it so special. But the architecture in Segovia doesn’t stop there – it’s also home to an enormous cathedral and a hilltop Alcazar that resembles Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies. This is a link to Segovia’s top sights.

Runner-up – Barcelona

Segovia’s aqueduct

 

Best City Overall

Winner – Barcelona

Barcelona is just one of those cities that has it all – sandy beaches, delicious food, exquisite buildings, large parks and an amazing football team. Not forgetting the buzzing nightlife, multiple marinas, museums, zoo, shopping centres, viewpoints and world class hotels. It really is an epic city! Wait, did I miss something? Here’s a guide to the top sights.

Runner-up – Madrid

The magnificent Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

 

Best Food

Winner – San Sebastián

Tapas are the name of the game in Spain and nowhere does them better than in San Sebastián. The flavours are rich & delicious and the ingredient combinations are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Honestly, these tapas are to die for – you simply must try them! There are some other pretty cool things to do in San Sebastián too.

Runner-up – Granada

Delightful tapas in San Sebastian

 

Best Beaches

Tarifa

Spanish beaches are met by the Mediterranean to the southeast and the Atlantic to the southwest & northwest. Choosing your destination based on the cool, powerful waters of the Atlantic – perfect for watersports – or the warmer Mediterranean can be a tricky decision, but what if you could have both? Well in Tarifa you can; it has a beach on either side of the official ocean border so you really can enjoy the best of both worlds (and trust me, there’s a noticeable difference despite being only metres apart). Read more on Tarifa here.

Runner-up – San Sebastián

Tarifa – Atlantic on the left, Mediterranean on the right

 

Best National Park

Winner – Monfrague

This rugged and rather unknown National Park is a real hot-spot for wildlife. Whilst hiking around the hills and lakes you can easily spot wild deer – including stags with some pretty fierce looking antlers! But it’s the abundance of interesting bird species, such as vultures and peregrines, that really attract people to Monfrague – bring a pair of binoculars and you’ll be in for a treat! Here’s a guide to visiting the park.

Runner-upOrdesa y Monte Perdido

Spotting a mighty stag whilst hiking in Monfrague

 

*these awards are just based on the places I’ve visited. I’m sure many will be up for debate so let me know your opinions and experiences in the comments below!

 

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