Spain is brimming with so many exciting places for a European short break. With Barcelona’s extraordinary architecture, Madrid’s culinary delights, Malaga’s coastal escapes and Marbella’s super-chic status – there’s no wonder, in our recent travel trend survey, 40% of you said Spain was your favourite destination for a short break!
We thought we’d follow up this interesting little stat and take a look at some of the lesser known tourist destinations in Spain we recommend you visit this year.
Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Seville, Granada and Bilbao on a European city break… which one would you most like to visit?
SuperBreak’s Head of E-Commerce, Khalid describes Seville as a ‘beautiful city with a laid back feel’ and he’s not the only one who thinks so. Seville quietly sits in the shadows of Madrid and Barcelona as the fourth largest city in Spain, and enjoys a wealth of tourism from across the globe each year.
Although bigger in size than Barcelona, Seville has a much smaller population and does a marvellous job at retaining its small town feel. Steeped in history and age-long Spanish traditions from Flamenco to Bullfighting, the capital of Andalusia is both culturally fascinating and incredibly entertaining.
Seville’s quaint winding lanes are perfect for discovering the spectacular Seville Cathedral and La Giralda Tower by day, and the many friendly bars at night offer you the chance to sample delicious tapas and sherry – a must-try foodie experience in Seville!
The city enjoys many festivals throughout the year including the hugely popular post-Easter April Fair. Dancers, music, parades, food and laughter take over the streets for a whole week to make up this exciting traditional Spanish Fiesta.
Situated of the banks the impressive Guadalquivir River and boasting a superb choice of hotels, historical sites and museums, Seville really is a beautiful city for a short break.
With an enviable location at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada makes an impressive case for being a top Spanish short break destination. Rich in both history and culture, this unique city is beautifully influenced by its Moorish heritage with plenty of sights to see too.
A stroll round Granada will reveal the city’s many signature cármenes houses, gardens and fountains making every corner a treat to explore. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Granada, the Albaicín, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Alhambra and Generalife – each offering awe-inspiring views of the city.
Alhambra’s fortress was first constructed in 889, with the palace and walls added in the 11th century by the last Muslim leaders of Spain. Complemented by the magnificent gardens of Generalife, the medieval Islamic palace draws crowds from around the world each year, all hoping to discover one of Spain’s most popular attractions.
Granada’s Moorish roots are set deep within the city’s foodie traits, along with exotic tones from the nearby Costa del Sol. The many bars and taverns make it easy to sample the city’s traditional tapas along with authentic local wine and beer.
For those who love the great outdoors and all the activities that go with it, Granada is the perfect place to be. Between the mountains of Sierra Nevada and the Costa Tropical, you can try your hand at anything from skiing and horse riding to cycling and hiking!
If its arts and culture you want (and a bit of sunshine), Bilbao is Spain’s leading lady. Embracing everything from contemporary art to stand-out modern architecture, this vibrant cosmopolitan city is definitely one for culture vultures on a short break.
Founded in the year 1300 on an ancient settlement, Bilbao has long been at the heart of industrial Spain… until recently that is. Hailed as the most important structure of its time by architect Philip Johnson, The Guggenheim Museum was built in 1997 and saw the city rapidly transform into a thriving hub of arts and culture. Made with titanium, glass, and limestone, the structure houses various permanent and guest exhibitions, celebrating modern art from the mid-twentieth century to the present day.
The Guggenheim isn’t alone in its successful attempt to regenerate Bilbao as an urban paradise for artsy folk. Architectural feats such as The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, Zubizuri Bridge, Norman Foster’s Underground and many more also reflect the dedicated efforts this city has gone to over the last 20 years.
That said, Bilbao is not without its historic sights. Visit Casco Viejo for a trip through the city’s charming old town and explore the gothic 14th century Santiago Cathedral. Complete with lively bars and restaurants, plus plenty of boutique shops, this quarter of Bilbao is the perfect place to sample pintxo Basque tapas – delicious little snacks eaten with toothpicks and accompanied with local beer and wine.
Can you recommend any other Spanish destinations for a European short break? Perhaps you’ve experienced Seville, Granada or Bilbao first hand? Let us know using the comments box below.