Discover the country a different way

Have you been to Spain before, but you’d like to find a different side of the country? Or is it your first time, and you want to discover places off the beaten track? For either case, here are ideas for traveling in Spain, far from the usual locations.

Underwater sculptures at the Atlantic Museum in Lanzarote

This is not just any museum: it’s 12 meters below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, off Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Its sculptures were created by the artist Jason deCaires Taylor, and as they are made of pH-neutral concrete, they are gradually being assimilated by marine life. The experience, an extraordinary dialogue between art and nature, is well worth it.

The Charles V route and the Monastery of Yuste

In 1556, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V made his final journey: 550 kilometers across Spain, from Cantabria to Extremadura, to spend his last days in the Monastery of San Jerónimo in Yuste. You can follow some of the routes the Emperor took or go straight to see the monastery, two kilometers from the village of Cuacos de Yuste. To really feel history come alive, attend the fiesta that commemorates the occasion every February; local people wear period costumes, and there are craft markets and traditional food and drinks.

The sleeping volcanoes of La Garrotxa

We now go to Catalonia and La Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, one of Europe’s most interesting volcanic landscapes, with 40 volcanic cones. The area is also worth visiting for its Romanesque art and picturesque villages in the foothills of the Pyrenees. There are plenty of unusual things to do while you explore this region: go on sightseeing trains and carriage rides, visit farms, practice yoga, go hot-air ballooning with a country feast waiting when you land, and more.

In La Garrotxa, you cannot miss the village of Castellfollit de la Roca, suspended on a basalt wall.
In La Garrotxa, you cannot miss the Castellfollit de la Roca village, suspended on a basalt wall.

Medina Azahara, the palace-city

A trip to the city of Cordoba (Andalusia) to see the Great Mosque is always a fantastic experience. It’s even better to take a side trip to Medina Azahara, just seven kilometers away. Its history goes back to the year 936 when Abd-ar-Rahman III ordered the city to be built as the administrative capital of the caliphate and a luxurious place of residence. Sandstone, marble, pools, gardens…as you walk around, it’s easy to imagine the past splendors of the city. So far, only a third of its 112 hectares has been excavated.

The Flysch Route and the History of the Planet

What if we were to tell you that in Spain, you can see 60 million years of geological history in a single place? We refer to the long coastline between Mutriku and Zuamaia (Gipuzkoa, in the Basque Country), where the rock strata have been exposed to erosion. The marks show some of the most significant events in the relatively recent history of the Earth, such as the extinction of the dinosaurs. You can hike along the coast among the cliffs or take a three-hour boat trip where the secrets of the area will be explained to you.

Discover more of the surprises Spain has in store!
Did you know that this wild landscape was a filming location for Game of Thrones?
Did you know that this wild landscape was a filming location for Game of Thrones? © Ryan Magsino.

Things to consider before traveling

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Some tips to consider while traveling

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