Spain is truly one of the most fascinating countries in the world because of the diverse cultures that exist there. When visiting Spain, it is imperative that you go to the different diverse regions that the country has to offer. Here is a list of five great destinations in Spain for travelers and expats;
Granada is truly one of the most incredible cities in Spain. Granada has an impressive cultural mixture of the Spanish and Moorish culture that have influenced the city for centuries. As far as tourism, the Alhambra is one of the most sensational preserved Moorish palaces that the traveler can explore for both a day and night tour.
Additionally, Granada is the city that created the delicious Spanish Gazpacho soup, which is ideal with a glass of Cava in the summer time. Spain’s white wine Sangria and Cava also originate from cities in Andalusia, which makes this region excellent for both dining and wine tasting. Granada is a great place for an expatriate to invest in who is looking for that wonderful old world Spanish style type of life.
Santiago de Compostella
Santiago de Compostella is one of Spain’s gems. In fact, it is the ending site of the long Camino de Santiago that begins in Arles, France. Within the city, there is an impressive cathedral that the Saint Santiago is said to be buried in. What makes Santiago de Compostella so special is that is located within a part of Spain called Galicia.
In Galicia, the locals speak Gallego, which is a language that has Celtic roots and when you listen to the traditional music, you will see the locals playing bagpipes and using shells for castanets. The shells are used as castanets due to the respects from the Saint Santiago whose symbol is said to be the shell. Pertaining to cuisine, Galicia has some of the most incredible beaches in Spain and is home to one of Spain’s best tapas called Pulpo.
In Santiago de Compostella, travelers can enjoy some of the most exquisite Pulpo while sipping on the region’s local beer called Estrella de Galicia. Santiago de Compostella truly represents how diverse Spain is because it has preserved its own dialect along with speaking Spanish for centuries.
A close neighbor to Galicia is San Sebastian, which is located in the Basque Country. San Sebastian is your ideal tranquil beach city that has exceptional food. If you want to relax for a month in the Spanish sunshine and eat well, San Sebastian is your locale of choice. What makes San Sebastian so special is that the locals still speak Euskai, which is a language that is thousands of years old that no scholar can tell where it originated.
The Basque culture is quite distinct to the Spanish culture, which is particularly reflected in their cuisine. For the ultimate night out in San Sebastian, it is recommended to go Pincho-hopping. Pinchos are the Basque version of Spanish tapas. San Sebastian has several standing Pincho bars where you can order incredible wine and go from place to place. This is particularly sensational when there is a Spanish football game happening. The fans are yelling while eating cuisine that is served in Michelin restaurants. San Sebastian has several Michelin restaurants and many of the chefs also prepare Pinchos at these tapa bars in the downtown of San Sebastian.
All in all, San Sebastian provides the traveler or expat with a culinary enclave that has excellent beaches and a view of a culture that has been preserved for thousands of years first hand.
Cordoba makes this list because it is truly one of the most underrated cities in Spain. In fact, many travelers pass it while taking the AVE train to Seville. Historically speaking, Cordoba is exceptional because it is one of the only places in the world in which the Jews, Christians, and Muslims coexisted together peacefully for centuries.
This cultural interaction is seen in the architecture in Cordoba. The best example of this is seen in the Mesquita. Within the Mesquita, you can see a mosque, synagogue, and Catholic church combined in architecture. The Mesquita served the various religions over the ages and is a wonderful architectural sight to witness first hand. Another aspect of Cordoba that is incredible is the old Jewish quarter.
Here you can see some of Spain’s oldest synagogues. And after viewing the synagogues, you can stop by one of the Arab style tea houses where you can enjoy hookah, Arab tea or coffee, and their traditional pastries. In the evening, there is nothing like a local Flamenco show in Cordoba where you can sip on a complimentary Sangria as you listen to Spanish guitar and watch Flamenco dancing.
Cordoba, is one of the most culturally rich cities in Spain and is a wonderful place for travelers and expats to explore while they are visiting Spain.
Salamanca is a two-hour train ride from Madrid and is one of the best examples of small town Spanish life. Salamanca is also home to one of the oldest universities in Europe.
The university’s architecture is a joy to wander through and to see the libraries where some of the most intelligent scholars in Europe have studied over the ages. Salamanca has one of the best Plaza Mayor’s in Spain where one can sip on a coffee and observe the Spanish families taking their paseo (nightly stroll) in the evenings.
When sitting in Salamanca, one can truly relax while admiring fine Spanish architecture and consuming great food. Salamanca is also home to exquisite cathedrals and monasteries that the traveler or expat can explore. Salamanca is a charming smaller Spanish city to explore and to truly witness the Spanish slow paced old world way of life that is something precious that is still preserved in Spain today. Thus, if you are looking for a beautiful locale that still allows you to take a two-hour siesta during the day, Salamanca is your ideal choice!