It’s still winter, but many of us are already looking forward to the summer holidays and starting to come up with ideas for destinations. One of my favourite countries in Europe is Spain. It’s affordable, has great weather, and there are loads of wonderful destinations across the country, as well as festivals to take part in.
Here are some coastal places you might want to consider, but before planning your trip, be aware that a new EU Travel and Information Authorisation System (ETIAS) has recently come into effect and some travellers will need to apply for a visa waiver via an ETIAS application for Spain.
Barcelona experiences gorgeous Mediterranean sunshine for much of the summer. The city itself has a few beaches, from which you can take a boat tour. There’s a vibrant night scene, as well as plenty of art and culture. Four or five days in the city should be enough time for you to sample some delicious cuisine, walk along the medieval streets and experience the Gothic Quarter.
Top tip: For shops, cafes, and cute stalls, don’t miss Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s pedestrian-only street.
Murcia provides the ideal city trip for those who don’t like bustling locations. More like a small town, it’s centred around multiple plazas, meaning you can wander through the connecting streets without a map and not get too lost.
Not only will you witness stunning architecture, you will also have the opportunity to visit its popular tapas bars, explore its mountains and relax at one of its thermal spas.
Top tip: Strolling through the historic Old Town will introduce you to some of the city’s most iconic sites, so make sure it’s on your itinerary!
Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia, is another fantastic location worth considering. Boasting a long stretch of beach, a delightful culinary scene and thriving nightlife and culture, there’s something to suit everyone.
This cultural hub is home to a number of great museums, as well as a gorgeous old quarter. Top attractions include the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencas, a 350,000 square metre complex that occupies an opera house, a 3D cinema and an aquarium.
Top tip: Don’t forget to sample paella while you are there; it hails from Valencia.
Bursting at the seams with places to explore, Malaga has established itself as a culturally dynamic and fun city. Its gallery scene, gorgeous port and old cathedral are only some of the reasons why Malaga should be included on your must-visit list. Its neglected neighbourhood of Soho is also home to some fantastic street art, where some of the world’s leading graffiti artists have come to spray-paint images.
When you’re tired of exploring, why not hit the beach? The pretty city has stretches of sand just a ten-minute walk from the port area, meaning you can cool off easily after you’ve done some sightseeing.
Top tip: Make life easier after you’ve arrived in Malaga by booking your transfer from the airport to your accommodation in advance.