Spain is a land of history, a land of romance, and a land of excitement. You can find all three of these qualities on a Spain honeymoon, where your itinerary can include everything from sightseeing to wine tasting to basking on some of the world’s most famous beaches.
Spain honeymoon overview:
Imagine staying in luxury at an ancient castle, monastery, convent, fortress, or palace. More than 90 of these unique state-run hotels – called the “paradores” of Spain – are found throughout the country. All have been meticulously restored and upgraded with modern amenities. You can stay in one of these historic accommodations, or buy a five-night card that entitles you to visit several paradores, each of which features cuisine typical of its region.
Spain Honeymoon: Tours
And speaking of ancient structures, consider taking a tour of the country’s most famous castles. You can begin your tour in Madrid and span out over the countryside, taking in the sights in Castilla in a week-long excursion. While in Madrid, take in some of the city’s 70-plus museums, including the Prado, which houses the works of Spanish artists Goya, Velazquez, and El Greco; the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, which includes the art of Kandinsky, Matisse, Miro, Degas, and Picasso; and the Queen Sofia National Art Centre Museum, home of Picasso’s Guernica and other modern works. (Picasso aficionados also shouldn’t miss the new Picasso museum in Malaga, the artist’s birthplace.)
To get the most for your money, invest in the Madrid Card, which gets you in to more than 40 local museums and provides discounts on local tours and scores of restaurants, clubs, and shops. And while in Madrid, be sure to stop in some of the local cafes for a delicious selection of tapas and local wines.
There are several tours of the wine regions that include tasting and a look at the wine-making process. One of the most famous routes is through Castile-La Mancha, the largest wine region in the country. This is the land of the fictional Don Quixote, and includes more than 300 vineyards. Other options include routes along the Spanish coast, where you can indulge in the area’s wines while taking in the beaches.
Spain Honeymoon: Barcelona
Another city worth exploring is Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia. A wealth of history, as well as modern art and architecture, are the standouts here. The former home of the 1992 summer Olympic Games, Barcelona is known for its fall Sitges Film Festival and September’s La Merce Festival, which includes more than 500 activities focusing on arts and culture.
Spain Honeymoon: Bilbao
Bilbao is a city for nature-lovers. Surrounded by natural wonders, Bilbao gives you access to the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and other areas considered part of Spain’s “Green Coast.” Hiking, diving, surfing, horseback riding, biking, canoeing, climbing, caving, and birding are all available in these ecological reserves. In the city proper are two of the country’s best art museums: the Guggenheim Museum, which was designed by American architect Frank Gehry and houses a fabulous collection of 20th-century art; and the Museo de Bellas Artes, dedicated to the Spanish masters. While you are in northern Spain, consider a visit to the viewpoints of Asturias, where you can climb to platforms that overlook the beautiful mountains or coastline.
For a Spain honeymoon on the beach, plan on staying in Malaga at the famous Costa del Sol. This area is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, and the western coastline can be especially crowded, especially in summer.
As you might imagine, the restaurant and club scene here is very hot, and there are plenty of luxurious accommodations to pamper you. The cultural offerings are also bounteous, with many music, theater, film, and dance festivals presented throughout the year. Seafood lovers will find the freshest of fare in Malaga, including succulent shrimp and traditional fried fish that is not to be missed.
Many visitors to Spain will tell you that you just can’t do it justice with one trip. Limiting your exposure to one or two regions will allow you to see and experience more of the country, and will leave you with much to look forward to on your next visit.