Miles of beaches, big-name cities, world-class theme parks – holidays to Spain give you a to-do list as long as a tapas menu.
Designer boutiques rub shoulders with Moorish castles in Spain. On a cruise and stay holiday, you can try traditional dishes at one of the cosy tapas bars in Marbella’s old town. Or, visit Fuengirola in August for the popular Medieval market – held in its 10th-century castle. In Majorca, Palma’s trademark cathedral stands proudly in the bar-filled historic quarter. And walk beyond Alcudia’s chunky city walls to explore the Roman amphitheatre.
The sands are anything but ordinary in the Canary Islands. There’s a choice of stretching out on volcanic black strips or golden-tinted sweeps. Plus, Gran Canaria’s Maspalomas is home to the famous Saharan-sized dunes, where you can play ‘spot the camel’. Over in Spain, the beaches come with Blue Flag credentials. Nerja, for example, has a double helping, and Marbella boasts seven award-winners.
High-end boutiques, huge department stores and souvenir-filled markets are all part of a day’s shopping. In the centres of Playa del Ingles, shops mingle with bars and pubs, so you can browse from day to night. Alternatively, head to Ca’n Picafort’s promenade, where there’s a twice-weekly market. Pick Marbella and the shops are as upmarket as they come in Puerto Banus, while El Corte Ingles has the big-name chains.
Hike among wild flowers, pines and one of the world’s biggest volcanoes at Tenerife’s Teide National Park. In Los Cristianos, you’ll see how the port town got its name – meaning Giant Cliffs. They shoot out of the Atlantic, and a walk along them promises 360-degree views. Or, in Gran Canaria, take a trip from Playa Taurito to Puerto de Mogan – aka Little Venice. Here, canals and bridges lead up to a picturesque marina.
Places To Stay In Spain View all places to stay »
Just like the bird they share their name with, the Canaries sing to tourists. More than 9 million people take their holidays on these islands in Spain every year. Tenerife takes the lion’s share of visitors, followed closely by Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura.
The beach resorts alone are worth shouting about – and no wonder, when they total 600 sandy miles altogether. If you’re going to tick two beaches off your list, the Playa de Los Genoveses in Almeria and Zahara de los Atunes in Cadiz are top-notch. The first is truly unspoilt and often footprint-free, while the latter’s lined with restaurants and is a favourite with A-list celebrities.
The biggest of Spain's Balearic Islands, Majorca has long been a favourite with the world’s travel pack. It’s got extremely good looks on its side, after all. We’re talking tiny inlets, sweeping bays and sandy coves, all lapped by turquoise waters. And away from the coast, it’s a case of sweet-smelling pine forests, hidden hamlets and jagged mountain peaks. Not to mention almond groves that burst to life with powder pink blossom each February.