Leisure activites in Spain
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Updated 2 months ago

When many people think of Spain, they conjure up images of sun-kissed beaches, and while these are a huge draw and very popular, there are plenty of other ways to fill up your leisure time. Explore natural parks, visit ancient castles and medieval churches, discover Roman ruins and wander through museums and art galleries. You will definitely not be bored during your stay in the country.

History and culture in Spain

Spain has been home to many civilisations during its long history, including the Romans, Visigoths, Phoenicians and Moors. Glimpses of the ancient past can be seen in medieval old towns and the architecture of centuries-old cathedrals, churches and other buildings. Tour Madrid, Seville, Barcelona and other major cities are known for their well-reserved monuments from times gone by.

Among the country's famous cultural attractions are:

  • Madrid - the Prado Museum, Centro de Arte de Reina Sofía: Contemporary Art Museum and the National Archaeological Museum.
  • Barcelona - La Sagrada Familia and other buildings by Antoni Gaudi and the National Art Museum of Catalonia.
  • Bilbao - the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Bilbao Basque Museum.

World Heritage sites in Spain

Spain has more than forty locations and attractions inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. They include Cordoba's historical centre, Burgos Cathedral, the Old Town of Avila, Routes of Santiago de Compostela, the Alhambra, Generalife and Albaicin in Granada and the Old City of Salamanca.

National parks in Spain

Nature lovers will not be disappointed. Spain and its islands have many natural treasures with gorgeous green landscapes, mountains, lakes, valleys and volcanoes. National parks and nature reserves are spread across the country. They contain a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including rare and endangered species. The showcase of national parks includes the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia, Timanfaya in Lanzarote, Islas Atlanticas in Galicia, the Picos de Europa, stretching over the Asturias, Cantabria and Castile-Leon, Doñana in Andalusia and the Cabrera Archipelago on the Balearic Islands.

 Good to know:

Top skiing locations in the winter are the Spanish Pyrenees, close to the French border and the Sierra Nevada in Andalusia. In the summer after the snow has melted, go hiking in the mountains of both these locations.

Beaches and islands in Spain

When it comes to beaches and islands, Spain is blessed with a rich bounty of sunny and sandy destinations. Sunbathe, stroll, dine in seaside restaurants, enjoy water sports and party through the night in vacation hotspots. They include the Costa del Sol, the Costa Brava, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and the white sandy stretches of the Galician coastline.

 Good to know:

Some of the seaside destinations are also popular with hikers during the spring and autumn. For example, there are well-established hiking routes on Mallorca and La Gomera (Canary Islands).

Amusement and theme parks in Spain

Whether you're after thrills and spills or gentle rides and attractions, you'll discover plenty of amusement and theme parks across the country offering hours of family fun. They include:

  • Isla Magica, Seville
  • Water World, Lloret de Mar
  • Terra Mitica, Benidorm
  • Tibidabo Amusement Park, Barcelona
  • Mini Hollywood, Almeria
  • AquaBrava, Girona

Urban attractions in Spain

Towns and cities have all the fun and exciting attractions you would expect, such as tapas bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas, shopping malls, food courts and nightclubs.

Spanish festivals 

Spain knows how to throw a good party, and every month there'll be a huge local, national or regional festival going on somewhere near you. Popular festivals include Moors and Christians, Three Kings, Semana Santa, Las Fallas in Valencia and carnivals during February.

 Useful links:

Spain Info
Madrid
Barcelona

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