Spain is a country with a rich cultural heritage and a penchant for fun. No matter what kind of getaway you’re looking for, Spain has something to offer. Check out these can’t miss destinations.
The Great Mosque of Cordoba
When the Islamic empire was at its Zenith, it spread further than the Romans. One of the areas they conquered was southern Spain, leading to the construction of the Great Mosque of Cordoba. Now it is a Catholic cathedral and one of Spain’s most beautiful landmarks. Fashioned over centuries into the monument it is today, the mosque at Cordoba has many stunning features, such as it’s hall of double arched columns with dazzling rows of red and white stripes, or its plethora of intricate mosaics. Scores of people come to visit the Great Mosque of Cordoba, as it is as rich in decoration as it is in history.
The Historic City of Toledo
Found a few miles outside the capital city of Madrid, Toledo has an intimate old world charm. Also, did I mention that it is world famous for its crafting of swords? That’s right, this city has everything. Your ninja loving daughter can watch the sword smiths at work while your wife enjoys the old world charm of the side streets. Meanwhile, you can check out the melting pot of architecture the city has to offer.
A La Liga Football Match
If you have never experienced football (sorry, soccer) outside of the United States, then nothing can prepare you from participating in a match. I don’t mean getting out on the field; in Spain a La Liga match is a community experience. Even if you can’t score tickets, head to a pub near the stadium and join fans as they watch on television. Be aware though, now is not the time to crack jokes about “the beautiful game” or draw excessive attention to yourself as a foreigner. Most will be happy to have you join in the festivities, but some will not tolerate dishonor during a football match, especially if it is an important game.
This famous mountain can be seen from Barcelona and is a treasure trove for outdoor adventurers and history buffs alike. Ride the tram up the mountain to see the famous monastery, the Santa Maria de Montserrat. This Benedectine Abbey has been around for centuries and houses a breathtaking basilica, a Medieval era publishing house, and one the Black Madonnas- icons of the Virgin Mary that have turned black over the years. Mountain climbers also love Montserrat for its many stone formations and breathtaking views. Keep an eye out for the Cavall Bernat formation, or L’Elefant which looks like, you guessed it, an elephant.
Science Park in Grenada
This mega museum isn’t just for science nerds. The massive complex hosts so many different attractions, you could plan a whole vacation around just visiting the park. Inside they have huge galleries featuring temporary exhibits, movie theatres, a planetarium, and endless exhibits on scientific principles and the rich culture of the region. The fun doesn’t stop there, however; outside is a whole other world of fun and enrichment. Take a stroll through the butterfly park or be amazed by the astronomy garden. There’s even an observation tower so you can get that postcard worthy snapshot to commemorate your trip.
The Temple of Debod
Get a little taste of Egypt- in Spain! Donated to the country from Egypt in the late sixties as a sign of gratitude for all of Spain’s help in preserving the rich Egyptian culture, the Temple of Debod was flown in pieces to Europe and carefully reconstructed in the city of Madrid. It is a fascinating sight in the daytime, but at night, the temple really shines. As the sun sets, the stonework is lit up and reflects off the surrounding pool. The affect is truly stunning and must be appreciated in person.
Beautiful Beaches in Ibiza
Spain’s beaches are some of the most beautiful and enjoyable in the region. Consistently referred to as the cleanest beaches around, the water wonderlands of Ibiza are a perfect destination for those who want to unwind, as well as those seeking a little late night fun. Depending on which side of the beach you gravitate to, you can find rows of bars blasting music at all hours, or you nestle into an isolated cove with nothing but the waves to lull you into zen mode. The choice is entirely yours.