Guidebooks often provide the visitor with a list of sights to see and places to visit when venturing overseas to a brand new country, but this list of top 10 experiences to have in Spain provides the visitor or new expatriate living in Spain with some slightly more unusual alternatives!
If you consider yourself a more adventurous tourist or you’re just bored of the same old same old spouted by tired tourist guides read on for an exciting Spanish itinerary.
1) The Seville Fair – we all know that the Spanish are party people and they party well, but if you’d like to experience the biggest, liveliest and most exciting party of all consider visiting the Seville fair which is seven days of pure, unadulterated fun!
2) Surfing and Snowboarding – from riding the Biscay swell at Guernika in the Billabong Pro to snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada – whatever form of extreme sport you’re into Spain has the unique natural landscape to satisfy you!
3) Breathtaking Views – from standing atop the piste with views of Granada to driving the N340 highway with the coast of Morocco so close you can almost reach out and touch it – Spain not only has the most breathtaking natural scenery, it affords you a wealth of unique views to die for.
4) Drink Sherry & Drink Rioja – drink sherry in Jerez, drink Rioja in La Rioja – say no more!
5) Clubbing in Ibiza – take a week and visit one of the seven main clubs in Ibiza each night of the week and be prepared to party until the sun rises and your feet can dance no more! It has to be done!
6) Bull Fighting and Bull Running – bull fighting may be ritualised killing and many people’s idea of extreme cruelty, but to others the experience of a corrida is to take a breathtaking and dramatic glimpse into the Spanish psyche. The Pamplona Bull Run on the other hand is possibly the very last thing you’ll get to do in Spain! We’d advise anyone crazy enough to charge ahead of a mad bull down the narrow cobbled streets of Pamplona to get their life insurance in order before they set off – alternatively, join the crowds of spectators and simply witness this (possibly?) once in a lifetime thrill!
7) The Alhambra At Sunset – the Alhambra, the most incredible and enduring legacy of Moorish Spain is worth a hundred visits…but if you want to experience the true majesty and understand why the Alhambra was the physical manifestation of the Moorish concept of paradise, climb up to St. Nicholas Square at sunset and see how the ancient wonder glows golden against the stunning snow-capped backdrop of the peaks of the Sierra Nevada – and be prepared to feel seriously moved if not a wee bit emotional!
8) Art & Culture – The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is a work of art in itself and worth visiting even if you’re not interested in the wealth of art and artefacts contained therein. The museum is an incredibly daring structure built from titanium, glass and stone, and it beats at the heart of this city of contrasts. Madrid’s Reina Sofia Museum is tame in architectural comparison but it houses one of Picasso’s greatest works, in fact, possibly one of the greatest works of 20th Century namely Guernica…if you want art and culture, Spain has it in heaps and every city, town or region you visit will offer you a whole host of opportunity to experience the Spanish cultural riches.
9) World Heritage Sites – The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is dedicated to ensuring future generations inherit the treasures of the past by working to protect both cultural and natural sites of significance worldwide. Spain has over 35 sites that have been flagged as world heritage sites – we challenge you to visit them all!
10) Tomato Fighting – not fighting tomatoes (that would be silly), but fighting with tomatoes in Valencia in August. Yes, one of the strangest of all Spanish festivals and carnivals is La Tomatina where upwards of 30,000 semi-naked people gather to throw tomatoes at each other before getting washed down by the hoses of the local fire brigade…it is truly an experience worth…well…experiencing really! If only to say ‘been there, done that.’
Spain is different! It is a country which effortlessly and seamlessly combines a plethora of fiestas, indefatigable nightlife, stunning and diverse natural scenery, supposedly impossible to achieve levels of synergy between ancient and modern architecture and artistic culture, fun and fascination, beautiful people, incredible cuisine, sun, sea, sand and sangria – to create a variety and spice of life you will never experience outside of Spain.