I remember watching Game of Thrones mesmerized by the amazing palaces and gardens in Dorne. At the time I wondered if it was all a movie set of if such a magnificent place truly existed somewhere. And then I found it, and so much more.. in Spain. The history of Spain, rich and rugged as it is has given the modern world much to marvel at. From architecture and meticulously planned buildings, to whimsical and fantastical feats of art. Cultural festivals like La Tomatina to the Running of the bulls in Pamplona that will leave anyone enthralled. And its beaches and nightlife give you even more to love about it. If you’re planning this trip, I think the Eurail is a great way to explore a country. Safe, reasonably priced and fun too, so you can explore the whole country via the scenic route. So let’s begin our travels..
My hotlist of must do experiences in Spain.. If I only had 7 days to spend in Spain would be:
Day 1 & 2: Barcelona (of course!)
I would start in Barcelona. Get a pulse of the vibrant culture and energy of Spain. Visit the Antoni Gaudi whimsical masterpieces like Casa Batllo building with its fantastical dragon like design, Park Guell and its mosaic covered buildings and of course Sagrada Familia – absolutely breathtaking in its grandeur and design, decades after Gaudi imagined it. I would also not miss the Picasso museum. Tapas is more than food, it’s a tradition in this part of the world. La Rambla is the place to be, to sample the legendary tapas of Spain. I’d stroll around and check out some art, shopping, food and end my 2 day tryst with Barcelona’s famous night life.
Day 3: Valencia
Valencia would be my next stop with its modern architecture and picturesque coast. If you’ve read “the Da Vinci Code” you may find this city of even more importance. The Valencia cathedral here is believed to house the Holy Grail. Now Spain is not only about architecture.
The City of Arts and Sciences is one of the 12 Treasures of Spain and houses a theatre, opera house, oceanography park, planetarium and many more areas of interest. I’m also keen on seeing the Turia fountain which is a great spot for photographs and Playa de Malvarrossa beach too. The Plaza de la Virgen has a whole lot of trendy outdoor cafes and other interesting places to explore on foot.
Day 4: Ibiza
Party island or smugglers cove?
It’s an easy ferry ride to Ibiza from Valencia. You can rent a car and take it on the ferry from Valencia. After experiencing Barcelona and Valencia full of history, buildings and food, I can’t think of a better way to unwind for 3 and a half hours while taking the scenic route to this pretty island. We’re going to Ibiza! For a rocking party scene, Ibiza town or Sant Antoni are the places to be. Ocean Beach Ibiza is known for its happening pool parties and beach club.
But what excites me more are the mysterious caves of Can Marca at Puerto San Miguel. Exploring the caves filled with smugglers markings amid the ancient stalagmites and stalactites and a brilliant sound and light show in its depths. Alternatively, you could indulge in some yoga and island relaxation instead. There are plenty of beaches like Cala Comte and Cala Salada that I would check out if I had time.
Day 5 & 6: Granada
Onward to Grenada, the land of medieval Moorish marvels. First stop is definitely Alhambra’s moorish palace, fountains and the courtyard of the lions. If you are travelling with kids, they would be absolutely thrilled to explore the moorish cave homes recreated at Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte. I bet you didn’t know that you can go skiing in Spain as well. The Sierra Nevada is one of the sunniest ski destinations in Europe and is just 30 minutes away from central Grenada. Their freestyle snow park ‘Sulayr’ is popular for snowboarding. Grenada enjoys a beautiful coastline, so it would be fun to go sailing one evening.
Day 7 : Seville
I’ve kept the best for last. The spark that stoked the flame for Spain itself.. The Dornish water gardens and Sunspear. This majestic location was highlighted so beautifully in the Game of Thrones TV show. I would love to see with my own eyes, the real opulence and grandeur of the Alcazar de Sevilla palace. And who knows maybe from the corner of my eye I may even spot a Martell or a Sandsnake! If you have the fiery spirit of a dancer within, you’ll love the Tablao Flamenco de Arenal flamenco dance shows, so keep some time for that.
All great holidays generally include a healthy dose of wine and cocktails. And on my final leg of this trip, I would go for one of Seville’s Andalusian food and wine tours. Ending this amazing week on a high note.