Spain is one of the most visited travel destinations in Europe thanks to its rich culture, stunning natural scenery, and diverse cuisine. But there is more to Spain than Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, and Seville! In fact, Spain offers a lot of hidden gems waiting to be explored. In this article, we’ll show you why it’s a good idea to explore Spain off the beaten path. We are sharing underrated places that are relatively unknown to a lot of travelers, but are absolutely worth visiting.
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Spain Off The Beaten Path
León is a city of about 125,000 people located in Spain’s northwest. It’s part of the Camino de Santiago, and those who have hiked this pilgrim route say it is one of the most beautiful places in Spain off the beaten path. León has a wealth of historic buildings and many cultural activities to keep entertain its visitors. Its climate is oceanic continental, characterized by hot summers and moderately cold winters.
June – September is the busiest time in this city in northern Spain, but if you don’t mind cooler temperatures, the shoulder seasons can be a great time to go, too. While León has a tiny domestic airport, the best way to get there is to fly into Madrid, and then take a bus or train, which takes 4.5 hours or 3.5 hours, respectively. Or, you can rent a car in Madrid and go for a road trip!
Things to do in León
- León Cathedral
- León Walking Tour
- Barrio Gótico
- Wine Tasting
- Plaza Major
- Convento de San Marcos
- San Isidro Basilica
- Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y León
- Centro Comercial Espacio León
- Egyptian Lyceum Museum
Located in northern Spain, in the autonomous community of Castile and León, and only about 115 miles from León lies the city of Burgos. It has 180,000 inhabitants and is part of the Camino de Santiago. Burgos isn’t just home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also boasts many Roman ruins and monuments. Since it is so close to León, the best time to visit is the same as mentioned above. The same is true for the best way to get there, via bus from Madrid.
Things to do in Burgos
- Burgos Cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site)
- Burgos Castle
- Arco de Santa Maria (main gate to the old city)
- Monasterio de las Huelgas
- Museum of Human Evolution
- Burgos Museum
Another beautiful hidden gem in the Castile and León region of Spain is Salamanca. It’s especially known for its sandstone architecture. The best time to visit is similar to that of León and Burgos. The best way to get there is by high speed train or bus from Madrid..
Things to do in Salamanca
- Plaza Mayor
- Walking tour
- Salamanca University
- The historical Casa da las Conchas building
- Los Arapiles (Battlefield of Salamanca 1812)
- Museo Art Nouveau y Deco
- Bike tour
- Old Cathedral
- New Cathedral
- Clerecía Church
- Discover the unique wine and villages of the Sierra de Salamanca
- Night Out tour
Yet another one of the hidden gems in Spain is also in Castile and León: Segovia. Lovers of history and architecture will rejoice. The cultural heritage of this city includes a Roman aqueduct with more than 160 arches, medieval walls, a Gothic cathedral, and more. Walk through the narrow streets of Segovia, this city in northern Spain with old world charm. The Old Town and the Aqueduct are a UNESCO World Heritage Site! The best way to get there is, you might have guessed, by bus or train from Madrid.
Things to do in Segovia
- Plaza Mayor
- Segovia Cathedral
- Church of San Martín
- Antigua Sinagoga Mayor (Corpus Christi Church)
- The Aqueduct
- Casa de los Picos
- Antonio Machado House
- Casa de los del Río
- Torre de Juan II
- City walls
- El Azoguejo
- La Judería (old Jewish Quarter)
- Esteban Vicente Museum of Modern Art
- Hot air balloon ride
- Day trip from Madrid
Located in northern Spain, Logroño is most famous for being a stopover on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage and for its red wine, the famous Rioja. While it doesn’t have UNESCO World Heritage Sites and other famous attractions like a lot of the destinations in Spain off the beaten path, this small town has lots of charm. Any time between early June and late September is great for a trip to wine country.
However, the very best time to go if you are a wine lover is towards the end of September when Logroño puts on the Rioja Wine Harvest Festival. The main day of the festival is September 21. The closest airport is in Bilbao. From there, you can take a bus. Or you can fly into Madrid and take a train or bus form there.
Things to do in Logroño
- Museo de la Rioja
- Casa de las Ciencias (House of Science)
- Iglesia de San Bartolomé
- Catedral de Santa María de la Redonda
- Parque del Espolón
- Puente de Piedra (Stone Bridge)
- Sala Amós Salvador Cultural Center
- Bodegas Marqués de Murrieta Winery
- Go Tapas Bar hopping
- Buy local wine at Vinos El Peso
Covadonga, located in northwestern Spain, is a municipality within the province and autonomous community of Asturias. If you want to experience nature in Spain off the beaten path, Covadonga is the place to go. This small town is situated in the Picos de Europa National Park, and as picturesque as it gets. It’s also a pilgrimage site, and has a lot of history to offer, having been the site of a historic battle in the 8th century that initiated the Reconquista of Spain.
June through October are the warmest and driest months, and thus the best time to visit. Covadonga is a destination truly off the beaten path in northern Spain. The closest airport is in Oviedo, and from there you can rent a car and drive. Or, take a bus from Bilbao (which in itself is worth exploring) to Arriondas. Another alternative would be to Take the train from Santander to Belmonte.
Things to do in Covadonga
- Lakes of Covadonga
- Santa Cueva de Covadonga
- Beautiful village of Covadonga
- Tomb of King Don Pelayo
- Fountain Los Siete Caños
- The Three Crosses
- Queen viewpoint
- Statue of Pelayo
- Museum of Covadonga
- Church of Our Lady of Covadonga
San Sebastián is one of the more popular destinations in Spain off the beaten path. Located in Basque country, northern Spain, this little resort town is best known for its gorgeous beaches and excellent Basque cuisine. Fun fact: it boasts the second most Michelin stars per capita in the world!
Peak tourist season is from May to July, when temperatures range from anywhere in the mid 60s to the low 70s. There are 3 airports within 60 miles of the city: one in San Sebastián, one in Bilbao, and one in Biarritz. All three airports offer shuttle services to San Sebastián, making the journey easy and convenient.
Things to do in San Sebastián
- La Concha Beach
- Ultimate San Sebastian pintxos & wine tour
- Old Town
- Small-group electric bike tour
- Romantic Area
- Hondarribia and Pasaia (San Pedro & San Juan) tour
- Mount Igeldo
- Mount Urgull
- Basque history and cultural shared tour by bike
- Peine del Viento
- Local food tour
- Ondaretta Beach
- Zurriola Beach
- Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture
- Sailing tour
- Walk along the River Urumea and discover the beautiful bridges such as Zurriola Bridge
- Paseo de Francia
- Rioja Wine private tour
- Hop on -hop off sightseeing tour
Just like San Sebastián, Durango is located in Basque country, and a destination in Spain off the beaten path. It has a varied cultural and architectural heritage, and is close to the Urkiola Nature Reserve, which is one of the most unusual ecosystems in Basque Country. Durango is also a great base to explore the surrounding cities.
This area of Spain doesn’t get super warm, which is why the nicest time for a visit is from the end of June until the end of September. Durango is very close to Bilbao, and it’s easy to get there by bus, train, or by car if you are planning a road trip through Spain. From Bilbao you can reach Durango in about 30 minutes by car.
Things to do in Durango
- Tour the historical quarter
- Visit Urdaibai Natural Park on the coast
- Visit Urquiola and Gorbea Natural Parks in the mountains
- Visit the small town of Arrigorriaga
- Explore the medieval town of Elorrio
- Check out the Oma Forest and the Santimamiñe Cave
- Go hiking
- Go horseback riding
- Go biking
Getxo is another small town in Basque Country that makes for a fun destination in Spain off the beaten path. Located a meager 20 minutes from Bilbao, which makes it easy to get to, Getxo offers some of the best beaches in the area. It’s also a hub for traditional Basque cuisine, and its stunning setting by the Nervión River Estuary lends itself to plenty of outdoor activities. Visit between the end of June and the end of September for the best weather.
Things to do in Getxo
- Acantilados de Azkorri, a zone of the Euskera coast perfect for hiking, walking, or biking
- Vizcaya Bridge
- Faro de la Galea lighthouse
- Palacio Lezama Leguizamon
- Puerto Viejo
- Visit the beaches: Las Arenas beach, Ereaga beach, Arrigunaga beach, Gorrondatxe-Azkori beach, Barinatxe-La Salvaje beach
- Bike & pintxos tour
- Basque Country tour
Another can’t miss destination in northwestern Spain off the beaten path is Ourense. Located on the banks of the river Miño, it’s most famous for its hot springs and historic sites in the old city. And, of course, Galician food! While the temperatures are mild during the winter, mid June to mid September feature the warmest, driest, and least cloudy weather, which makes it the perfect time for a trip to Ourense. The best way to get there is to fly into A Coruña and then take a bus, or rent a car and go for a road trip. You can also take a high speed train from Coruña or Santiago de Compostela.
Things to do in Ourense
- Walk over Puente Mayor and the other 4 bridges spanning the river Miño
- Stroll through the old city
- Bath in the hot springs
- Catedral de Ourense
- Stroll along the Rúa do Paseo to La Plaza Mayor
- Eat pulpo (octopus)
- Explore Abastos Square food market
- Take in the rock formations of Sil Canyon
Zaragoza is a city located in northeastern Spain, in the Aragon region. It is known for the Mudéjar Architecture of Aragon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but it’s a charming town that has lots to offer. It is not Barcelona or Madrid, and that’s okay. If you want to have a more local experience in Spain off the beaten path, Zaragoza is the ideal place to visit. Anytime between May and October the weather is nice enough to do all the sightseeing you want, and it’s easy to get to Zaragoza. From Madrid, the train will get you there in about an hour.
Things to do in Zaragoza
- Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar
- Plaza del Pilar
- Private tour with a local guide
- Catedral del Salvador
- Palacio de la Aljafería
- Old Quarter El Tubo
- Kayaking in Zaragoza on the river Ebro
- Goya museum
- Museo de Zaragoza
- Museo del Teatro de Caesaraugusta
- Museo del Foro de Caesaraugusta
- Museo de Pablo Gargallo
- Puente de Piedra
- Central market
- Calle de Alfonso
- Roman ruins near the market
Extremadura is an autonomous community and region located in southwestern Spain, on the border to Portugal. It is not only known for some of the finest ham in the world, but boasts a total of three UNESCO World heritage sites! You’ll have plenty to explore, from Roman ruins to medieval towns. The scenery is spectacular, and popular with birdwatchers and hikers alike. Extremadura is a hidden gem in Spain you should not miss! Spring and winter are the best times for birdwatching in Extremadura. It’s a great destination all year round, with fairly mild winters and hot summers. To get here, fly to Madrid first. Rent a car there and go on a road trip!
Things to do in Extremadura
- Mérida, capital of Extremadura, with its Roman ruins, Plaza de España, and the National Museum of Roman Art
- The medieval city of Cáceres and its narrow streets
- Castillo de Trujillo in Trujillo
- Guided tour in Trujillo at Sunset “El Collector de Atardeceres”
- Game of Thrones tour in Trujillo
- Plasencia and its most popular attraction, the Cathedral of Plasencia
- Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe in Guadalupe
- The old plazas in Badajoz
- Horseback riding in Hervas
Setenil de las Bodegas
Located in southern Spain, Setenil de las Bodegas is a small town known for the whitewashed houses (also known as a pueblo blanco) that were built right into the cliffs. These unique cave houses and rock buildings were built in the 12th century by the Moors, using the cliffs and rock formations as a natural protection. This extraordinary sight is one of the hidden gems of Spain.
June through September is the hottest time in Setenil de las Bodegas, with temperatures soaring in August. It’s also the driest and most sunny time of year, which makes it ideal for a visit. The nearest major city is Malaga, and from there you can easily rent a car and go for a daytrip.
Things to do in Setenil de las Bodegas
- Ronda & Setenil Villages Guided Tour from Costa del Sol
- Wander around the narrow streets covered by rock
- Arab Castle
- Visit the five churches
- Visit the ruins of Acinipo, located only a 10 minute drive from Setenil de las Bodegas
Close to Setenil de las Bodegas and Malaga, southern Spain, in a quite dramatic setting on top of a gorge, you will find the mountaintop city of Ronda. Ronda is one of Spain’s oldest towns, and the birthplace of bullfighting. The gorge separates the old city (built some time during the rule of the Moors, which was between 711and 1086 AD) from the new city (built in the 15th century).
July and August are the best time to visit Ronda, when its Mediterranean climate keeps the temperatures soaring while providing the perfect weather for a dip in the pool. For sightseeing, any time between early June and mid September is great. From Malaga, take a bus or rent a car to visit Ronda.
Things to do in Ronda
- Puente Nuevo spanning the El Tajo gorge
- Private guided tour
- Puerta de Almocábar & Old Town
- Arab Baths
- The House of the Moorish King
- Historical walking tour with bullring entrance
- Plaza de Toros
- Iglesia del Espíritu Santo
- Iglesia de Santa María La Mayor
- Alameda del Tajo park
- Wine tasting on the wine route of Ronda
- Palacio de Mondragón
- Museo Lara
Located on the Costa Blanca, in southern Spain, you will find another hidden gem in Spain: the small town of Torrevieja. This coastal resort town is set between two salt lagoons in the province of Alicante. if you love beaches and waterparks, Torrevieja is the place to be! Again, the Mediterranean climate makes this a year round destinations, but if you are coming to splash in the water, come in the summer months. Fly into Alicante and take a bus, train, or rent a car. Renting a is great if you want to explore the other small towns in Spain off the beaten path in the area.
Things to do in Torrevieja
- La Mata Beach
- Surfing Lesson at La Mata Beach
- Playa del Cura Beach
- Acequión beach
- Los Náufragos beach
- Piteras cove
- Ferris cove
- The pink Laguna de Torrevieja
- Aquapark Flamingo
- Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción
- Plaza de la Constitución
- Dique de Levante breakwater with a view
- Delfín Submarine Museum
- Vía Verde scenic path
- Palmeral of Elche UNESCO World Heritage Center, 30 minutes drive from Torrevieja
The city of Córdoba is located in Andalusia, one of the beautiful southern parts of Spain. It has a rich history, dating back to the middle ages when it played an important role in the Roman empire. It’s the birthplace of the famous Roman philosopher Seneca. It is the only city in the world to have four UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Córdoba is often overlooked for its better known neighbors of Granada and Seville, but it shines just as bright as these two cities, making it a a hidden gem in Spain. Summers can get very hot, but the shoulder seasons (May – June, and October – December) are a lovely time to visit. The best way to get to Córdoba is by train. It’s only two hours from Madrid with its international airport.
Things to do in Córdoba
- La Mezquita (The Great Mosque)
- Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos Moorish fortress
- The Old Jewish Quarter
- Mosque and Jewish Quarter guided tour with priority access
- Medina Azahara archaeological site
- Calleja de las Flores (Alley of the Flowers)
- Guided tour to the popular patios
- Cordoba Monuments Intensive Tour
- Palacio de Viana
- Iglesia de San Lorenzo
- City sightseeing hop on hop off bus tour
- Puente Romano (Roman Bridge) and Calahorra Tower
- Iglesia de San Miguel
- Flamenco show at Tablao el Cardenal
- Museo Arqueológico (Archeological Museum)
- Walking tour of the Patios of San Basilio
- Puerta del Puente gate
- Arabian Baths Experience at Hammam Al Ándalus
- Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of the Fine Arts)
- Museo Julio Romero de Torres (a renowned Symbolist painter)
- Bike tour of the city
- Jardín Botánico (Botanical Garden)
- Las Ermitas (Hermitages of Andalusia)
- Evening Wine Tasting
Olive oil tasting
This beautiful hidden gem in Spain is located in Andalusia and is most famous for the Alcazaba, an imposing Moorish fortress which overlooks the city. It also offers tranquil beaches which are often completely unspoilt. On top of that, Almería offers exciting nightlife. The Mediterranean climate offers mild winters and hot summers, making this town a good year round vacation spot.
It is also the driest spot in Europe, so no matter when you go, you don’t have to worry about rain. Almería has an airport, but the better option for getting there is to fly into Malaga or Alicante, then take a bus or train from there, or rent a car.
Things to do in Almería
- La Alcazaba, the Moorish fortress
- Almería Cathedral
- The prehistoric small town of Los Millares
- Museo Refugio de la Guerra Civil, a network of tunnels built in 1936 at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War
- Museum of Almería
- Centro Andaluz de la Fotografía
- Day trip to Cabo de Gata Natural Park
- Guided kayak and snorkel route through coves of Cabo de Gata Natural Park
- Sunset on sailboat in Cabo de Gata
- Mini Hollywood theme park
- Shop at Central Market Paseo de Almería
- Central Market
- Canyoning in Almería
- Casa del Cine
- Plaza de la Virgen del Mar
- History, culture, and art: guided tour of the museums
In the mountains of east-central Spain you’ll discover Cuenca. It is best known for Las Casas Colgadas, The Hanging Houses, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These houses were built on a rock overlooking Huécar River and are quite a sight to see. The stunning mountain scenery is another big attraction for visitors to Cuenca. The best time to visit is between May and October, with July being the most popular month for tourists. Cuenca is an easy day trip from Madrid. You can take a train, or, if you prefer a road trip, rent a car to get there.
Things to do in Cuenca
- Panoramic tour on the hop on hop off tourist train
- See the Casas Colgadas (Hanging Houses)
- Excursion to the Enchanted City
- Catedral de Santa María la Mayor
- Iglesia de la Virgen de la Luz
- Santuario de Nuestra Señora de las Angustias
- Convento de las Carmelitas Descalzas
- Museo de Arte Abstracto Español (Museum of Abstract Spanish Art)
- Museo de Cuenca (Museum of Archaeology)
- Museo de la Semana Santa de Cuenca (Semana Santa or Easter Week Museum)
- Museo Paleontológico de Castilla-La Mancha (Paleontological Museum)
- Enjoy the the view from San Pablo Bridge
- Túneles de Alfonso VIII (underground tunnels serving as passageways for pedestrians)
The city of Requena is located in eastern Spain, near the much better known city of Valencia. Back in the day Requena was a Moorish fortress, and you can see excellent examples of medieval architecture here. It is also renowned for its red wine, make sure to take some time for wine tasting! Any time between late May and late September is good for a trip to Requena. The distance to Valencia, which is a much bigger city and easily accessible, is only 40 miles. Take a train or bus, and you’ll arrive in Requena in no time!
Things to do in Requena
- Murviedro – Bodega Histórica
- Cuevas De La Villa
- Museo de Arte Contemporáneo “Florencio de la Fuente”
- Templo de Santa Maria
- Bodegas Lupanda
- Bodega Honda de Vera de Estenas
- Rafting and wine tour
- Casa del Arte Mayor de la Seda
- Iglesia del Salvador
- Palacio del Cid
- Fortaleza de Requena
- Museo Municipal
- One day tour from Valencia
If you are the outdoorsy type, Montanejos with its numerous recreational activities is one of the hidden gems in Spain you do not want to miss. Located roughly 1.5 hours North of Valencia, Montanejos is easy to reach by car, bus, or train. It is recommended you either go in January, April, or July, since these are the driest months and therefore best to be out in nature.
Things to do in Montanejos
- Fuente de Los Baños hot springs
- Bridal Veil Waterfall
- Dam of Arenoso
- Hiking: Sendero los Estrechos de Montanejos, Sendero la Bojera, Montanejos a Pista de Morron, Barranco, Maimona
Pro tip: If you enjoy hiking in Spain off the beaten path, check out this article about 10 great hiking spots in Spain!
La Gomera is one of the Canary Islands, an island group off northwestern Africa. While islands like Gran Canaria and Tenerife get all the hype, La Gomera is one island in Spain off the beaten path. But you will not regret a visit to this small volcanic island, with its dense forest, great hiking trails, black sand beaches, and the small whitewashed village of La Calera.
La Gomera is a year-round destination. Temperatures are generally mild. The hottest month is July. It doesn’t rain much, and most rain falls between October and March. There’s no airport, so the only way to get there is to fly into Tenerife and hop on a ferry to La Gomera.
Things to do in La Gomera
- Hiking in the Garajonay National Park
- Hike the canyons
- Northern Coast hiking tour
- Visit Playa de Santiago, the black sand beach
- Forest of Fables National Park Tour
- See the views from a glass walkway above the ocean, the Mirador de Abrante
The same facts that apply to La Gomera apply to another one of the Canary Islands: Lanzarote. While it is less Spain off the beaten path than La Gomera, it’s still less frequented than some of its neighbors. Here you will learn that, while all fairly close in distance, the Canary Islands boast vastly different landscaped. Lanzarote is the polar opposite of the lush forests of La Gomera.
The rocky volcanic landscape isn’t ideal fore tree lovers, but it has an otherworldly kind of beauty. If you want it hot, plan your trip between June and September. But this island is the perfect destination any time of year. It has an airport, so getting there is a breeze. If you want the skinny on all things Lanzarote, we’ve got it covered here.
Things to do in Lanzarote
- Visit the small towns of Puerto del Carmen, Playa Blanca, and Teguise
- Visit the beautiful village of Haria
- Learn how to surf
- Aqualava Waterpark
- La Graciosa island cruise
- El Golfo, the green lake
- Los Hervideros, the rugged volcanic coastline
- South Lanzarote and Timanfaya National Park tour
- Enjoy the views from Mirador del Rio
- Catamaran Cruise to Papagayo beaches
- Jameos del Agua, a series of lava caves
- Cueva de los Verdes lava tubes
- Learn how to scuba dive
- Jardin de Cactus, the cactus garden designed by famous artist César Manrique
- Bird Watching guided half day tour
- Go to the markets. Weekends offer markets in different areas of the island.
- La Geria Vineyards small group walking tour
- Visit the capital Arrecife
- Go jetskiing
- Walk the coastal walk between Puerto Calero and Puerto del Carmen
La Palma is the most north-westerly island of the Canary Islands, Spain, and it is known for how lush it is. it is, in fact, named “isla bonita”, beautiful island, and is the greenest of the Canary Islands. It is dotted with volcanoes. Caldera de Taburiente National Park boasts waterfalls, pine forests, and a 5 mile wide crater, the Caldera de Taburiente.
Santa Cruz de la Palma, its capital, is a small town full or narrow streets made of cobblestones. Like the other Canary Islands, la Palma can be visited and is pleasant year round. It does rain between October and March, not so much to ruin a full vacation day, but enough to keep the island lush and beautiful. And remember, rain brings rainbows! It has an airport, which makes getting to the isla bonita very easy and convenient.
Things to do in La Palma
- Visit the capital city of Santa Cruz de La Palma
- Roque de Los Muchachos Route, highest point and best view point of the island
- Caldera De Taburiente National Park and La Cumbrecita view point
- Palomas lava tube
- Tour of the latest eruption, which occurred in 2021
- Fuencaliente de La Palma and Fuencaliente salt fields
- Hike to Lomo de las Chozas
- Hike Cubo de la Galga
- Hike through Bosque de los Tilos
- Proís de Candelaria
- Ruta Sur Volcanes
- San Antonio volcano and San Antonio Volcano Interpretation Center
- Go whale watching from Tazacorte
- Playa de Nogales, a black sand volcanic beach
- Go to Charco Azul, a natural pool
The Cíes Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia, are a nature reserve, and a hidden gem in Spain. There are three islands: Monteagudo, Do Faro, and San Martiño. The first two islands are connected by a breakwater and a beach, Playa de Rodas. Mountainous landscapes, numerous caves, but also woods and nine white sand beaches await the eager visitor.
A good time to visit is anywhere between April and September. You can camp on the islands, but for that it’s better to wait until the weather is nice and warm in July, August, and September. The Cíes Islands can be reached by boat from Vigo, Baiona, and Cangas. Note that you need to have authorization to enter this nature reserve and to camp there. While there’s a visitor center and a supermarket, there are no garbage cans and visitors are expected to carry out their trash. This is a destination in Spain off the beaten path.
Things to do in the Cíes Islands
- Full Day Cruise to the Cíes Islands
- Playa de Rodas, declared the ‘best beach in the world’ by the British Guardian
- Ruta de O Alto do Príncipe, 2 mile out and back trail with spectacular views
- Hike Faro Mountain route
- Hike Agudo Mountain route
- Hike A Porta Lighthouse route
- Go camping (in designated campgrounds only, no wild camping)
- Water sports such as swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking
When you think of the Balearic Islands the names that come to mind are most likely Mallorca and Ibiza. But did you know the Balearics actually consist of 151 islands, 5 of which are inhabited? And while some of them get all the fame, Menorca is often left out. Yet it is stunningly beautiful, and has its own claim to fame: in 1993, UNESCO declared the whole island a biosphere reserve.
Unless you like really hot weather, which can be had in July and August, plan your trip to Menorca for May and June, or September and October. The island is easy to reach by ferry from ports on the mainland such as Valencia and Barcelona. But there’s also an airport there, so flying is an option if you aren’t into boat rides.
Things to do in Menorca
- Private Walking Tour in Mahon
- Visit the historic fishing village of Binibeca
- S’Albufera des Grau Nature Reserve
- Santa Maria Cathedral
- Half day boat tour along the south coast of Menorca
- Cala Galdana beach
- Cala Turqueta Beach
- Kayak tour in the marine reserve
- Ciutadella Old Town
- Torre d’en Galmés archaeological site
- Ses Pedreres de s’Hostal, a former sandstone quarry that now houses a cubical amphitheater, gardens, and labyrinths
- Small group diving adventure in Menorca
- Monte Toro, highest mountain on Menorca
- Torralba d’en Salord Talaiotic Village
- Diving experience from the north of Menorca with guide
- Cova d’en Xoroi cave bar
- Horseback riding in Cala Mitjana
- Museum of Menorca
- Museo Etnologico Molí de Dalt
Customs & Etiquette In Spain
Whenever you travel to a foreign country, you need to familiarize ourselves with that country’s customs and etiquette. That’s part of the Girls Who Travel Promise which reminds us to be respectful, kind, and self-sufficient when we travel. Those customs and etiquette may be vastly different from what you are used to from your home country, so to ensure you won’t accidentally step on someone’s toes, we collected the basic information you will need to be a good traveler in Spain off the beaten path and elsewhere.
Address anyone you are unfamiliar with formally with Señor for men and Señora for women, and their surname if you know it. Firm handshakes are the way to go in professional settings or with people you aren’t closely acquainted with. Once you get to know someone, there can be hugs and kisses on the cheeks. In the morning, greet people by saying buenos dias, after lunch use buenas tardes, and in the evening the appropriate greeting is buenas noches. Hola is a less formal greeting, appropriate to use all day long. A greeting is often followed by a how are you. ¿cómo estás? is the informal way to ask, while ¿cómo está? is used in formal settings.
Unless you are visiting Spain for business, there is not a cultural emphasis on being “on time.” Being 10-30 minutes late is considered normal and not impolite. If someone you are meeting is late and apologizes, answer with no pasa nada – it’s not that important.
Tipping in Spain is optional. People sometimes leave a bit of small change on the table, but it’s not expected. However, if you got outstanding service and feel like you want to leave a tip, you can do so without offending anyone.
Spaniards prefer to socialize in public places. if they do invite you to their house, they don’t expect you to bring a gift.
Don’t try to go out to dinner at 6 pm when visiting Spain. While restaurants in major tourist towns cater to visitors and serve dinner according to the guests’ schedule, you might find yourself out of luck in smaller places. It’s normal to eat dinner at 9 pm, and some restaurants may not open until 8 pm or later. This is true for all meals you’ll have in Spain, unless you cook them yourself.
Jenny grew up in Germany. All she ever wanted out of life was to leave and have adventures. Jenny always traveled as much as the budget would allow, and when she met her husband traveling became a full-time thing. You can follow Jenny on her blog and Facebook.