Five of the top destinations in Spain for a friends getaway
Stunning scenery, breathtaking beaches, fantastic food, colourful cities, wonderful weather – it’s impossible to list down all the reasons that make Spain stupendously spectacular.
But if there’s one thing that makes your Spanish getaway more stellar, it’s the people you travel with. Drink sangria in Seville, party in Ibiza, get lost in Barcelona and do it with your best pals to double the adventure. Let’s take a look at five of the best destinations in Spain for the ultimate trip with your friends.
Tiny and secluded, Formentera offers a quiet and serene escape from the noise and crowd of the larger Balearic Islands. Instead of high-rise buildings or fancy clubs, a long stretch of pristine coastline, turquoise waters, and white-washed villages await you on the island.
The first thing to do when you arrive is to explore Formentera’s postcard-perfect beaches. Head to the remote cove of Caló d’ Es Morts and sunbathe on its rocks. Drink cocktails at a seaside café in Cala Saona, scuba dive in Ses Illetes, look for hidden coves in Playa de Migjorn.
If you want to witness untouched natural beauty, visit Salines Natural Park, a marine reserve that provides nesting grounds for flamingos and peregrines. Then climb up Babaria Lighthouse to watch the sunset or have a sundowner at Mirador de la Mola.
Make sure to immerse yourself in the bohemian vibe of the island. Shop at the hippy markets in Sant Francesc, go boating in the harbour town of La Savina, stroll the promenade in Es Pujols and wander around the sleepy villages of Sant Ferran, Sant Agustí and El Pilar de la Mola. Don’t forget to satisfy your craving for seafood paella at Es Calò.
Although Ibiza’s reputation as a party hub peaked in the late 80s and 90s, hordes of people still visit the island to partake in its heady nightlife. It is, after all, home to some of the world’s most popular super clubs, including Eden, Pacha, and Amnesia.
Most of the after-sunset action happens in San Antonio, Playa d’en Bossa and Ibiza Town, the island’s capital. The rest of the island is surprisingly calm and laidback, almost bucolic even. There’s more to Ibiza than its sensational clubbing scene. There are quiet beaches to laze on, buzzing markets to shop at, cutting-edge galleries to explore, and intriguing historical sites to discover.
Walk around the cobblestone streets of Dalt Vila, Ibiza’s fortified old town, and marvel at its 14th-century cathedral, castles, stone statues, and Gothic architecture. If it’s beaches you want, soak up the sun in Talamanca or take a dip on the warm waters of Cala Comte.
Are you looking for adventure? Sail to the mystical Island of Es Vedrà, take a tour of the C’an Marça Caves, kayak in pristine waters of Cala Xarraca and climb the highest point on the island, Sa Talaia. For a bit of art and history, see the artworks at the Museu d’Art Contemporani or descend into the ancient tombs of Puig des Molins. Don’t forget to pamper yourself at Atzaró Spa before enjoying a dish of bullit de peix, the famed local fish stew.
Whether you’re partying all night or gallivanting around all day, you need a comfortable place to rest after your adventures. Consider staying in any of the large luxury Ibiza villas with pools for a truly rejuvenating holiday.
Beautiful and bustling, Barcelona is a seamless mixture of the medieval and the modern. Picture awe-inspiring architecture, avant-garde art, iconic parks, city beaches, and phenomenal cuisine.
Saunter along Barcelona’s most famous boulevard, La Rambla, and be fascinated by the jumble of flower stalls, gelaterias, bird-sellers, living statues, and street performers. While you’re at it, sample some crema catalana from one of the candy stands. Admire the city’s most iconic landmark, the La Sagrada Familia, the world’s largest unfinished basilica. Take in the sights, sounds and aromas of La Boqueria, a 200-year-old urban market filled with stalls of fruits, vegetables, cheese, cold meats and various kinds of olive products.
Wander around the landscaped gardens in Park Güell before heading to the Casa Museu Gaudí to learn about the architect’s life and works. Revisit the past at the Barcelona History Museum, then head to Montjüic to marvel at the masterpieces of the National Museum of Catalan Art. Don’t miss the spectacular light and fountain shows at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc.
If you feel like soaking up the sun, go to La Barceloneta. The place usually teems with sunbathers and beach lovers, but it’s the perfect setting for people watching and gorging on fresh seafood and tasty tapas. Or, if you want something more bohemian, go to the neighbourhood of Gràcia, where you’ll find a multitude of artsy cafes, fancy bars, and quirky shops.
Whether you’re looking for cliffside villages, boisterous nightclubs, or secluded coves, you’ll have no trouble finding them on the island of Mallorca.
Palma, the capital city, is home to high-end shops, outdoor cafés, posh restaurants and stunning Spanish architecture, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, an imposing 14th-century Gothic church, and the famous Bellver Castle.
The picturesque seaside town of Sóller boasts an old-world charm, with its Spanish cottages, cobblestone alleys, ice cream stores, and vintage wooden tram that runs from the main plaza to the harbour. To see as much of the scenic countryside, drive along the Sa Calobra Road or cruise through Serra de Tramuntana.
Head to the dreamy coastal town of Puerto Pollensa for a truly relaxing beach holiday. The resort has everything you could ask for – endless stretches of sandy beaches fringed by pine and palm trees, an assortment of cafés and restaurants, a picturesque marina, and cobbled streets flanked by quaint stone houses. Don’t miss a romantic sunset stroll on the iconic Pine Walk, a tree-lined pathway along the waterfront.
Make the best of your vacation by renting a Puerto Pollensa villa. At Puerto Pollensa, you will never run out of options, from one-bedroom homes with a breathtaking sea view to self-catering houses with a swimming pool.
Seville never ceases to amaze with its fabulous flamenco performances, elegant monuments, orange-scented gardens and flamboyant fiestas. You can start your exploration with a tour of the Seville Cathedral, the largest gothic church in the world and the most visited landmark in the city.
Once you are in the complex, you get the chance to see La Giralda, the bell tower of the cathedral, with its 24 bells. A short walk from the basilica is Réal Alcázar. The 14th-century palace features the unique mudéjar architectural style, a fusion of Islamic and Christian art distinct to Andalusia.
If you are looking for the historic heart of Sevilla, go to Barrio Santa Cruz. Navigate your way through the district’s twisting medieval alleys, centuries-old neighbourhoods, orange tree-lined plazas, lively flamenco bars, and cafés serving tapas. Hang around Plaza de España and admire the arcades, bridges, fountains and tile benches. Better yet, rent a boat and row across the canals.
Climb to the top of the whimsical Metropol Parasol, ramble along the banks of the Guadalquivir River, buy some cheese and cold cuts at the market in the Triana District. Do not forget to enjoy a refreshing glass of sangria.
Photo by Henrique Ferreira