11 April 2017 by Pippa McCarthy
It's easy to understand why Spain is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe – it offers sunshine, world-class cultural sites, a laid-back approach to life, and some of the best value for money you'll find anywhere. Since Spain's holiday appeal is well-known, it's easy to end up visiting the same sites as everyone else – but we think there are plenty of fresh ways to see this jewel of southern Europe.
Explore Spain with a great railway journey
Elegant Madrid as the sun sets
Spain by Rail allows you to see Spain’s legendary cities while travelling first class on this train journey through Barcelona, Madrid and Málaga. Begin in Barcelona, where a private walking tour will bring you through the Barri Gòtic, or Gothic Quarter, where historic concert halls and Gaudi architecture press up against everyday life in the cobbled lanes and cafe-strewn plazas of the city. Enjoy a sunny rail journey down to Valencia, where the Costa del Azahar will provide landscapes to keep you fixed to the window until you arrive in this modernist gem of a city. On to Seville, where the famed Alcázar, a former Moorish castle, Europe's oldest royal palace and a rich trove of architectural history. End your journey with a stay in historic Málaga on the Costa del Sol.
Wander off the beaten path in Andalucía
The Caminito del Rey walking path along the El Chorro Gorge
Our Walking in Andalucia holiday takes travellers through olive groves, abandoned convents and scenic whitewashed villages. You'll walk the UNESCO-preserved Grazalema Mountains with an expert local guide, as well as the El Chorro Gorge and its precipitous walkway 100 metres above the base of the gorge. Discover Seville and its highest point, El Peñon, where you'll be able to see for miles around this picturesque province. Stay in a traditional farmhouse with access to walking trails, and get the most out of Andalucía's natural beauty.
Soak up both sea and mountain views
Spend two nights here, on the Pantà de Sau, enjoying the watercolour views over the water
Visit some of northern Spain's gems with our Catalonia Coast & Country holiday. This part of the country offers both golden-sand beaches and impressive mountain peaks, offset by the rich cultural history of the residents. Start in the Costa Brava with a seaside escape in a castle dating back a millennium, before heading further north to the town of Figueres to visit the Teatre-Musea Gala Salvador Dali – a museum showcasing some of the artist's most beloved works, as Dali was a native son of Figueres and still a figure of much pride. Next, a visit to the base of the Pyrenees provides a scenic base from which to explore local villages and walking trails before continuing on for a stay at a traditional country home, the Parador de Vic-Sau, where gardens, an outdoor pool and panoramic views offer an elegant retreat in which to relax.
Dive into Spain's rich historic sites
The old city of Salamanca, a UNESCO World Heritage site
If you are a lover of history, then our World Heritage Sites of Spain holiday is an introduction to the country's rich culture. In six days, travel through the central provinces of Spain to view Roman ruins, Gothic cathedrals and the legacy of Moorish influence on architecture, food and culture. We've selected hotels that provide easy access to heritage sites as well as having unique historical character themselves, such as the Palacio San Facundo, where vaulted ceilings and four-poster beds could enchant you to remain all day if it weren't for its convenient location five minutes away from Segovia's Old Town. On this itinerary, travellers will also visit the Toledo Cathedral, the Royal Monastery of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Salamanca, Avila (Mother Theresa's hometown) and the Alcázar.