Spain is an amazing country in all respects that boasts a rich history, ancient culture, bustling cosmopolitan cities and distant tiny villages. Among the most amazing places in Spain are not only famous tourist attractions, but also quite distant places that attract attention with their unusual and scenic views.
Cathedral Beach, Lugo Province
An amazing place called the Holy Water Beach (Praia de Augas Santas) is located 10 km from Ribadero in Galicia. Among tourists in Spain and far beyond its borders, it is known as the Beach of the Cathedrals (Playa de Las Catedrales). Despite the religious name, there are no cathedrals here, and all the buildings located here are the result of the work of the most talented architect, Nature.
For millions and thousands of years, huge stone pillars of wind and salt water carved tunnels, caves and arches that descend directly into the Cantabrian Sea (Spanish name for the Bay of Biscay). If you come here at low tide, which passes early in the morning and late in the evening, you can walk directly under the 32-meter cliffs on the white sand and appreciate the beauty of this magnificent place, which is associated with Gothic cathedrals.
Park Guell, Barcelona
Spain surprises not only with natural masterpieces, but also with the creations of human hands. In 1910 in Barcelona, the great architect Antonio Gaudi was able to turn the unsuccessful project of the industrialist Güell to create a garden city into one of the most amazing places in Spain.
Each element here is the embodiment of the ideas of Gaudi, who, as you know, was categorically against smooth lines and right angles in architecture, preferring smooth and inviting curves to them. Non-standard shapes and proportions of bright colors turned Park Guell into an amazing place. Starting from the entrance, two gingerbread houses that look like real sweets attract attention. Then, through the main staircase of the park with numerous animal figures and the main symbol of Barcelona - the mosaic salamander - the road leads to the Hall of a hundred columns, of which there are actually only 86. On the upper terrace of the park there is a famous winding bench styled as a long sea serpent, from which views of the city.
Village of Setenil de las Bodegas, Cadiz Province
In the Andalusian province of Cadiz is a village, which is considered to be one of the most amazing places in Spain. The houses of the inhabitants in the lower part of the village here literally support the basalt rocks and seem to be embedded in it. The site for future buildings in the form of a wide canyon in the rocks in ancient times was formed by the Guadalporkun river. Residents have successfully used this space for the construction of new housing: as a result, amazing snow-white houses appeared, the roofs of which were protruding rocks.
Above the streets and alleys hang multi-toned mountain vaults that protect Setenil de las Bodegas from piercing winds in winter and provide a cool cool even on the hottest days in summer. At first glance it seems that they are now just crush the village, but for the 8-century history of its existence, not a single building here has been destroyed.
Rio Tinto, Province of Huelva
In the south-west of the country in Andalusia from the mountain peaks of the Sierra Morena flows the amazing river Rio Tinto, whose waters are painted in different shades of red. This place in Spain since ancient times was famous for mining copper, iron, gold and silver. For a long history of mining in the waters of the Rio Tinto constantly fall salts of iron and other metals from spent mines, with the result that the water artery has become a "dead" river.
The acidity index of Rio-Tinto ranges from 1.7 to 2.5 pH, which is much higher than the pH of a household bite or concentrated lemon juice.
Such a composition makes the waters of the "bloody" river categorically unsuitable for swimming, but does not interfere with walking along the banks and capturing unusual views of the camera. The Rio Tinto River attracts the attention of not only tourists, but also NASA scientists who are trying to understand how its only inhabitants survive in such extreme conditions — extremophile colonies of bacteria that oxidize iron and are considered a possible cause of such high acidity of the local waters.
Alhambra, province of Granada
The architectural and park ensemble of the Alhambra is considered one of the best examples of Moorish art in Western Europe. It was built during the stay of the Arabs on the Iberian Peninsula, who wanted to leave in the territory of the conquered Granada a reminder of their power and a particle of the East.
Today, at first glance, the usual fortress harbors amazing beauty behind its walls. Numerous courtyards with arches, columns, fountains and pools are decorated with unique stone and wood carvings, ceramic tiles, and intricate floral ornaments. The Alhambra that has existed for centuries is admired by tourists who come to Spain from all over the world. No wonder this place is called the eighth wonder of the world.
Alcazar, province of Castile and Leon
The royal palace of Alxasar is another amazing specimen of Arabic architecture, located in the historical part of Segovia. It amazes with luxurious decorations of ceilings and walls, rich stucco, friezes and tiles. This is a place with a rich history, which over the years of its existence suffered several times from destruction and fires and was restored as many times.
Originally built as a defensive fortress, the Alcazar managed to be the residence of the kings of Castile, state prison, artillery school and military academy. Today, it remains the current residence of the royal family of Spain, where its members stop during their visits to Seville. The rest of the time, the palace is open to the public.
During the filming of the series "Game of Thrones" Alcazar with its famous gardens became the residence of the Martell family.
Ronda, Province of Malaga
113 km from the city of Malaga in the province of the same name in the south of Spain is an amazing city that has a history of its existence since the times of the ancient Romans. The uniqueness of this place lies in the fact that the city literally hangs over the steep cliffs of the 100-meter canyon El Tayo, which divides Ronda into two parts.
Ronda is considered the birthplace of Spanish bullfighting, since it was here in 1784 that the very first bullring of the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza was built, which to this day remains the largest in diameter.
Another highlight and symbol of Ronda is the New Bridge, built in the narrowest part of El Tayo Canyon, which connects the old and the new parts of the city. The new bridge can only be called conditional, because it was built in 1755-1793. According to legend, the architect who led the construction crashed to death when he wanted to see the quality of the construction work.
City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
Although Spain is famous for its ancient architecture, examples of modern architecture are no less amazing. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is a vivid example. In 1996, the construction of a futuristic architectural complex under the direction of architect Santiago Calatrava began on the site of the drained river Turia. As in the present city, there are own squares and streets with various museums, monuments, greenhouses and restaurants. There is the Museum of Sciences of Prince Philip with the ability to touch the exhibits, the Palace of Art of Queen Sofia with the Opera Theater, the Planetarium "Hemisphere" and the unique Oceanarium, where all the ecosystems of the planet are represented.
The incredibly white buildings of the City with fantastic outlines and walls bent at different angles are impressive at any time of the day, but at night they look especially impressive in the light of artful lighting.
Where is it?
Valencia is a Spanish city that is the center of a province and autonomous community with the same names. In terms of population, Valencia ranks third after Barcelona and Madrid. The city is located at the confluence of Turia in the Mediterranean Sea.
The history of Valencia begins in the second century BC, and it was founded by the Romans, although there were settlements in this place before. A little later, Luzitans captured the territory, and they almost destroyed all the buildings. But the Roman consul rebuilt the settlement and called it Valentia. Further, the city was besieged by the Visigoths and the Moors. Residents often had to face difficulties, and yet Valencia survived and continues to exist and flourish to this day.
Nature and climate
The climate of Valencia is subtropical, Mediterranean. The sun shines here almost all year round, so, having arrived here, you will get into a real sunny paradise and get an even dark tan. It rains very rarely, in most cases they are short.
The air is rather humid, but not suffocating, since there is almost no strong heat in Valencia. In the summer months, the thermometer rises to 28-30 degrees. At night it becomes even cooler - 17-20 degrees. The winter is mild and not cold: the temperature varies between 12-15 degrees during the day and 6-10 at night.
The nature of Valencia is also impressive. Although the city is quite densely populated, there are many magnificent landscapes and stunning places. These are white beaches, and endless sea horizons, and lakes, and hills, and rivers. In addition, there are many green parks, in which locals and numerous tourists are happy to rest.
Where to stay, how to move around the city?
The urban public transport network is well developed, so the tourist will be able to get to almost any point of Valencia. Buses run around the city from 4 am to 2 am, so there will be no problems. You can also move around using the metro. If you have international rights, you can rent a car in one of the rental offices and ride it. And for budget and active tourists rent a bike.
There will also be no problems with housing: hotels in Valencia are numerous and designed for tourists with any income. Among them are both expensive and comfortable, working on the system "all inclusive", and budget. You can also stay in one of the hostels. And it is better to find a home away from the center, it will save and get away from the daily bustle of the city.
What's so interesting?
What to see a tourist on vacation in such a wonderful place like Valencia? Be sure to visit the following attractions:
- The City of Arts and Science is just a huge entertainment and cultural complex, which has a gallery, an opera house, an oceanographic park, a science museum and a planetarium. You need to come here for the whole day, and even this time may not be enough.
- Large Albufera National Park. Here you can relax, enjoy the fresh air and greenery and just relax.
- Connoisseurs of aesthetics and beauty should definitely go to the gardens of Alameda, Jardines de Viveros or Jardines de Monforte. Also visit the original open-air museum of flowers - the Royal Gardens.
- Gothic city center - is the area of St. Virgin Mary.
- Pay attention to the Serranos watchtowers.
- Visit the Town Assembly Square.
- Enjoy the magnificent view of the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
- Cathedral of Valencia.
- In the park of Turia you can see the incredible size statue of the famous character Gulliver.
- Being next to the Torre del Miguete Tower, be sure to climb its viewing platform to enjoy the magnificent panoramic views.
- The National Museum of Ceramics will open for you a lot of interesting and luxurious exhibits.
- The silk exchange called La Lonja, as well as its luxurious gothic building Lonja de la Seda.
- If you want to learn a little about the culinary specialties of Spanish Valencia, then visit the Rice Museum.
- The History Museum of Valencia will let you know this town better and understand how it existed.
Traditions and events
The most important and respected tradition by all the inhabitants of the city is the Spanish siesta known all over the world. This is a real sacred ritual, which begins at about 14:00 and ends at 17:00. At such a time, city dwellers relax and have a rest, and tourists have to put up with it, since almost all places are closed, and life literally calms down and stops.
All Spaniards greatly respect the national traditions of their country and therefore often organize all kinds of celebrations and festivals. One of the most important holidays is Fallas, which takes place in March and lasts almost three weeks. This is a real celebration of fun and fire, during which parades are held, fireworks, contests, bullfights, pyrotechnic shows are held. The July Fair is considered a holiday of flowers, and October 9 is the day of the city, as well as a local peculiar day for lovers.
What to do in Valencia?
In Valencia, everyone can find something for everyone. The most inquisitive can visit one of the many city museums or go on an excursion. Lovers of measured rest will be pleased with numerous lively urban and quieter and secluded marginal beaches with white sand and incredibly clear sea water.
Fishing lovers can enjoy a good catch. And if you are lucky, you will plunge into the bright, sometimes carefree and diverse life of Valencia, visiting one of the fun holidays, which are held here very often and capture literally all residents and tourists. Connoisseurs of outdoor activities will be able to experience the joys of sports tourism, as well as try their hand at most of the existing water sports.
The cuisine of Valencia is interesting and colorful. Spaniards are anxious about food and for its preparation they use fish, beans, meat, vegetables. But the most basic component is rice. By the way, the city is the birthplace of paella, and then it is prepared from a variety of products. Seafood, vegetables, chicken, pepper, green beans are added to the rice.
A popular drink is “orchata”, which is made from tiger nut. Also, the locals are very fond of "the water of Valencia", which is an interesting and fresh mix of wine and orange juice.
If you are lucky enough to visit Valencia, then enjoy the beauty and diverse life of this city to get new bright impressions.
4. Ciudad de las Artes y Las Ciencias - City of Arts and Sciences
One of the most romantic walks in Valencia is a walk through the night City of Arts and Sciences. The submerged buildings of the Palace of Arts, Queen Sophia, Hemisferik, and the Museum of Prince Philip surprise, delight, delight the eyes and heart. In summer and autumn in the reservoirs you can ride a boat and feel the romantic atmosphere of this place even more.
Travel time: 40 minutes
Albufera Reserve is famous for Spain’s largest freshwater lagoon and variegated flocks of birds - come see the black stork and the little grebe. Ever since the days of ancient Rome, they have been fishing here and picking up rice for appetizing paella - the taste has literally been tested for centuries. To taste the local cuisine, go home paella - in El Palmar. Besides the most popular Spanish dish, try Ali and Pebre freshly caught eel in butter, almond, garlic and pepper sauce. Still worth a try arroz a gang ("Rice aside") - a dish of fish and seafood with steamed vegetables, served with a side dish of rice cooked in fish broth. And after a generous dinner, rent a boat to admire how the smooth surface of the lake reddens embarrassed by the amber rays of the sun.
Travel time: 1 hour
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If you want to swim in refreshing fresh water, go to Pou-Klar gorge - literally "clean pool". The reservoirs lost among the emerald mountains have names: check the temperature of the Frozen basin and work to swim over the Horse. Take with you a basket with food and a blanket: there is no better place for a romantic picnic around Valencia.
In Spain, there are toll roads. The cost depends on mileage, car and travel time. On average, it is about 7-10 euros per 100 kilometers.
You can choose - to go for money on the highway or a detour, winding through the towns, but for free and along the sea. Traffic signs warn in advance that there is a toll road ahead and offer a detour option. The same information is in Google Maps and on maps of GPS-navigators.
The system is standard: at the entrance you are given a voucher, when you leave you pay for travel by cash or credit card, in the machine or from the operator.
Travel time: 1.5 hours
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The Natural Park Desierto de las Palmas has occupied an unusually successful place - in the middle of the mountains with a beautiful view of the coast. If you want to be alone with yourself, go from the noisy Valencia just here. Чарующая природа, удаленность от всего мира — все здесь располагает к мыслям о вечном. Наверное, именно поэтому орден босых кармелитов построил здесь свой монастырь. Слово desierto, кстати, не означает пустыню в прямом смысле. Кармелиты под ним имели в виду, что поблизости — никого.
Планируя вылазку в этот удивительный заповедник, забронируйте столик в ресторане Desierto de las Palmas, который славится блюдами из морепродуктов. On the site, order a glass of wine, and to it - oysters or cuttlefish and admire the ruins of the monastery in the rays of the setting sun.
Travel time: 2 hours
Travelers visit the tiny village of Guadalest with two hundred inhabitants almost as often as in Madrid with Barcelona. Guadalest, ingrown into granite rocks, looks down on a plain rugged by a river. Winding along the winding road towards the village, just manage to take pictures of each other more wonderful.
Arriving at the place, first of all, go through the rocky tunnel to the old city and get into the stone-clad fortress of San Jose. It consists of two parts: the former treasury of Castillo del Rey, where the Spanish rulers kept the collected taxes, and the observation post - the white tower-bell tower of Peñón de la Alcala, at the very top of the mountain. From here there is a stunning view of the almond groves and the azure lake.
Travel time - 2 hours
At the top of Mount Bencantil, at 166 meters above sea level, stands the medieval fortress of Santa Barbara. She has everything that is necessary for a decent fortress: cannons, a palace, towers, a moat, the ruins of a small church and an observation tower. From any wall fantastic views open - it will be a crime not to capture yourself against the backdrop of the Gulf of Alicante or the ancient city. And when you get tired of moving back and forth up the steps, take a break in one of the cafes in the shade of pine trees.
You can get to Santa Barbara on the way for free, but for the ascent by the elevator you have to pay 2.5 euros. When you go down to El Postiguet Beach, you can see the face of the Moor in the outlines of a rocky ledge right under the observation tower.
Travel time: 3 hours
Cartagena is an ancient seaside town where Hannibal went on a campaign against Rome. Connoisseurs of history and antiquities will like it: ruins of the Punic bastion, Roman antique amphitheater, Roman colonnade, Necropolis, 12 museums, churches - it takes at least two days to see all the sights.
Book a hotel and enjoy a leisurely vacation in a city that is half a thousand years old. Ride a catamaran in the port and admire the luxury ships. Cruise ships often moor here, so right in front of the port is the starting point of the Citibas Bus Turistico, which will roll you for 45 minutes along the main city attractions. And from here you can also go for a walk on the Barco Turistico boat and explore the fortress from the sea.