It’s a Spanish Life – 3 week itinerary of Spain!
Looking to head to Spain and not sure where to go or what to do? Then come on this 3-week trip with us and experience Spain at its finest!
Let’s start in Barcelona, bring your walking shoes as we will be spending a few days walking in the footsteps of Gaudí and Picasso. Barcelona is one of Europe’s most loved and dynamic cities. I would suggest spending 3 – 5 nights in Barcelona where you can walk around, taking in all the sites, the art, the culture, the museums, the Catalan people. It’s so unique and diverse, very different from the rest of Spain.
A must see when you travel to Barcelona is a visit to Gaudí’s architectural icons. One of the most famous being La Sagrada Família, spectacular. You could sit there all day and marvel at his unique architectural style, it’s got a mix of gothic and modern influences, it’s evident in the curvilinear columns and arches. Gaudí died in 1926, and most of his life was spent on this project. This gorgeous building is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s one of those buildings that you’ll stare at for hours upon hours, wondering how it got to where it’s at today.
Wandering along, you’ll find La Boqueria, a colourful public market that dates back to 1217. It’s just beautiful. One of my favourite things to do here is to barter with the market stall holders and to try and practice a bit of my Spanish. Hola! Gracias!!
To end the day, what I love to do is to find a cute bar and take in the gorgeous scenery, ordering my favourite drink Tinto de Verano (Literally translates to Wine of the Summer – trust me, order this one!) with a complimentary side of tapas, a perfect way to relax and unwind from a busy day.
After we say goodbye to Barcelona, our next stop is a beachside town 40 minutes south called Sitges. It’s the most gorgeous, quaint coastal town I’ve ever visited. Cobblestone streets, beautiful little boutique shops, quaint little restaurants with a gorgeous mama or papa cooking you a typical lunch or dinner. Absolutely gorgeous. This town comes to life in summer, but it’s one of those places you can visit all year round. Full of culture, Sitges is my favourite all-time hidden Spanish gem. When you come here, make sure you book at least 2 nights, because it’s a town you won’t want to leave.
Heading south, let’s go to Valencia and spend a good 4 days exploring the city and the region. On the way, stop off in Sagunto, which is just a little bit north. Here we can walk along the zigzagging paths by old Roman theatres, which take you to Sagunto’s impressive ruins castle. Sitting at a crossroads of two Roman trading routes, the castle was a former stronghold and important commercial centre. It dates back to 500 BC. Stunning. When you arrive into Valencia, Spain’s third largest city, it has a unique cultural identity, as well as a wonderful old town centre that is over 2,000 years old. There’s a gorgeous harmonious mix of Roman, Muslim, and Christian influences in its buildings and architecture. This city is one that you can just walk around and take it all in. Don’t forget to stop by one of the many restaurants that serve the most delicious paella.
After Valencia, we are off to Andalusia! Famous for the Andaluz horse, Sherry and the Flamenco! Our first town is Granada where we will spend 4 nights with one day exploring the famous Alhambra Palace which is one of the world’s great architectural masterpieces dating back to the 11th century. For a good 500 years, the Moors ruled the south of Spain, so you’ll find any word that starts with “a” is an Arabic word. Moorish poets described the Alhambra Palace as “a pearl set in emeralds,” an allusion to the colour of its buildings and the woods around them. The Alhambra represents Muslim art in its final European stages. The dominating red fortress towers, the gorgeous palace décor, and the multitude of architectural styles and magnificent gardens of the Generalife, literally meaning “architect’s garden”, are all set in the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. With soothing pathways for you to walk along, gorgeous fountains for you to sit under, and impeccably maintained hedges, this century-old defensive walls provide views overlooking Granada. The Alhambra Palace is certainly very memorable.
The next 2 days I would suggest hiring a car and heading to the beaches of Malaga and then up to the top of the Sierra Nevada, it’s one of the only places in the world where you can be at the beach and then 2 hours later be up skiing and drinking mulled wine.
Now we are heading to the capital of Andalucía, Sevilla, or in English, Seville. It’s famous for its cultural vitality and dazzling architecture. I’d be recommending to you one of the cute hotels in the old town and spend about 3 nights exploring Seville. It’s one of the largest cities in southern Spain and when you get there, there’s so much to see. They have the infamous bull ring, the Plaza del Torro (Bull Ring), even if bull fighting is not your cup of tea, the stadium is very impressive and a must see when visiting Seville. You’ll also see the Alcázar in Seville, a grand royal palace known as one of the most beautiful in Europe. The Spanish royal family still to this day use the Alcázar as their residence in Seville. When you get to Seville, make sure you visit the Plaza de España. It’s one of the most famous plazas in Seville.
After Seville, we are heading to Jerez, a quaint town about 60 minutes south of Seville. I lived in Jerez for a year when living in Spain so it’s a town I am very familiar with. I would suggest 3 nights here as well as even though it’s a small town, it’s got a lot on offer such as its sherry as well as the famous flamenco dance. The word for sherry in Spanish is “Jerez”. Jerez is apart of the Sherry Triangle, the only place in the world you can get sherry is in this part of Spain. Similar to that of the Champagne region in France. Jerez is also famous for its gorgeous Andaluz horses and the flamenco dance. When you get to Jerez, make sure you book yourself into a flamenco show as it’s the most authentic you will see in Spain! Wandering the streets is also one of my favourite things to do as you’ll just get lost gazing around at all the buildings and architecture, it’s quite fascinating to know that Gustave Eiffel also made his mark in this town with having been commissioned to engineer the La Concha Bodega, ask one of the locals to point you in the right direction, it’s a must see!
After Jerez, we are heading to Madrid for our final 4 nights. You can get the train from Jerez straight to Madrid via Seville. It’ll take about three and a half hours in total. Once you get to Madrid, a nice way to spend the afternoon is to walk around and admire the gorgeous buildings, as well as the Royal Palace. The Royal family still occupy the residence there.
You could then take a tour out to Segovia or Ávila. These are two ancient towns just sitting outside of Madrid, something that a tourist probably wouldn’t see, but I highly recommend you go there for the day to take in the most ancient aqua duct you’ll ever see, as well as see the palace that Princess Isabella lived in when she sent Christopher Columbus over to the Americas. Truly fascinating, something that being from Australia, we can’t quite comprehend. That was the castle where Christopher Columbus was ordered to go and discover the world, the Americas. Unbelievable. This town is full of history, like most of the towns in Spain, but I feel like that one extra piece makes it that bit more special.
When you’ve finished up in this town, head back to Madrid, where you can enjoy the beautiful festivities of the evenings and the gorgeous markets that you can eat your way through.
Whether it be relaxing on a beach, trying all the different Spanish foods, drinking sherry, sipping vino, or simply just learning to speak a bit of Spanish, come and visit Spain with us!