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Hot air balloons over Segovia

4 experiences to enjoy as a group in Spain: beyond the beach


Who says that to enjoy your holiday you need to head for the coast? Get ready to discover some of the alternatives to the beach that Spain has to offer. Four ideas for your group holiday, an unforgettable experience.

A hot air balloon trip to admire the landscape from on high

They say that the best way to really get to know a place is on foot, walking the streets or local country trails. But all too often they forget to say that on essential part of really getting to know a destination is seeing it... from the air. Going up in a hot air balloon is a unique experience that will meet all your expectations, and there are hundreds of places in Spain that provide you with this opportunity to gaze down over the most magnificent landscapes. How about flying over Toledo, in Castile-La Mancha, a city that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; getting to know Segovia, in Castile and Leon, a city with an impressive Roman heritage; or Girona, in Catalonia, where you can unwind as you fly over one of the most beautiful natural parks in the region, the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park.

Hot air balloon over Segovia Aqueduct

Go paintballing on some of the best fields in Europe

After an airborne adrenaline rush from a hot air balloon flight, why not add paintballing to your agenda so that you can have a blast with your feet firmly on the ground this time. Spain makes it easy for you, as there are hundreds of well-equipped fields where you can have a great time with your friends. It’s no surprise that in 2011 a Spanish team won the PSP World Cup, one of the most important international paintball championships. You can play with experts in Girona, Catalonia, where some of the most important tournaments in the whole of the area are held; get to know the prestigious fields in Villanueva de Duero, just half an hour from Valladolid in Castile and Leon, and those of Seville too, a lovely city in Andalusia where you’ll find 20,000 m2 to play on.

Team playing paintball

Travel the historical vías verdes or greenways by bike

The greenways are a real gift for those lovers of nature and bikes. But maybe you’re not yet familiar with them - most are old Spanish train tracks that have been adapted for walking and cycling. There are no less than 120 greenways waiting for you, covering a total distance of more than 3,100 kilometres.  Characterised by gentle slopes and clear signposting, they’re the ideal way to get to know the local flora and fauna. Among the classic greenways are the Vía Verde de Ojos Negros in Teruel, Castellón and Valencia; the Vía Verde del Aceite and Subbética in Jaén and Córdoba; the Vía Verde del Tajuña in Madrid; the Vía Verde de Alcaraz in Albacete; and the Vía Verde de la Sierra in Cádiz.

Cyclist on a Greenway in Extremadura

Immerse yourself in peace and tranquillity with a stay in the countryside

To round things off and give everyone the chance to relax a bit in a peaceful setting, you have lots of rural accommodation options, such as farmhouses, cottages, old manor houses and rural guest houses that are ideal to do just that. In healthy natural settings, near the mountains and well away from urban areas, these are places where you can breathe in the pure air and stretch out in the sunshine. In Catalonia the masías are well-known - these are impressive stone farmhouses located in the mountains with beams made from wood that dates from Roman times; in Andalusia, specifically in Granada, you’ll find cave dwellings, houses that have been excavated in the land, and in Asturias you can sleep in a treehouse, perfect for adding an extra touch of adventure to your trip.

Backpacker with a cow