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Places in Spain to enjoy with all five senses

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Close your eyes and imagine for a moment you’re experiencing a journey fully, with all five senses. What sort of place in Spain do you think would have the most impact on your sense of smell? A field of flowers, perhaps? What type of landscape do you think would have the most visual impact? Sharpen all your senses, because here you can find different ideas on sensory tourism. Because travel should always be like that: experiencing the destination intensely, mindfully, and fixing the memory in your mind. 

  • Left: Lavender field in Brihuega, Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha / Centre: Detail of cherry trees in blossom / Right: Orange trees near the La Giralda tower in Seville, Andalusia

    Smell

    We begin with one of the most relaxing scents there is: lavender. In Spain, the most famous lavender farms are in Brihuega (Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha). Over 1,000 hectares are planted with lavender, and in July they become a incredible sensory experience. There’s even a festival where sunset concerts are held in the fields of lavender. Would you like to go to one?Your nose will also lead you to other famous Spanish flowering seasons, such as the cherry blossom of the Jerte Valley:, where well over a million cherry trees come into in bloom around the end of March.More places with wonderful fragrances? Try the Santa Cruz neighbourhood in Seville with its orange blossom, or the Museum of Aromas in Santa Cruz de la Salceda (Burgos, Castile and Leon), the only one of its kind in Europe.

  • Left: Detail of the Wind Comb in Donostia-San Sebastián, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country / Centre: View of the Finisterre lighthouse in A Coruña, Galicia / Right: Bufones de Pría blowholes, Asturias

    Sound

    The Wind Comb”. Could there be a more evocative name for a sculpture? We don’t think so… In fact, this is a group of three steel sculptures, weighing over nine tonnes, created by Eduardo Chillida. Its location? Also wonderful: where the city of Donostia-San Sebastián ends and the sea begins, and the waves crash against the cliffs. Perhaps you can already hear it.The sound of the sea is always enthralling. You can also visit the Bufones de Pría blowholes in Asturias, to hear how jets of water are propelled high above the rocks. Or maybe you’re looking for quite the opposite: silence. That’s what you’ll find at the Finisterre lighthouse (A Coruña, Galicia), the place where the ancient Romans thought the world ended.Our sense of hearing is also indisputably linked to music. And in Spain, you can enjoy music in different ways. From a visit to the Palau de la Música in Barcelona to the stamping of feet in a flamencotablao in a cave in Sacromonte, Granada. And if you want to experience a centuries-old Spanish tradition for yourself, don’t miss the sounds of any of the Easter Week processions. They are haunting. 

  • Left: Detail of Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid, Region of Madrid / Centre: Entrance to the La Boquería market in Barcelona, Catalonia / Right: View of the Mercado Central in Valencia, Region of Valencia

    Taste

    How many of your journeys were made memorable by a wonderful meal somewhere? A really great dining experience is hard to forget, and Spain has plenty of culinary surprises to offer. For example, did you know that the world’s best chef - at least, according to “The Best Chef Awards 2021” - is Spain’s David Muñoz, who has several restaurants in Madrid?If you’re looking for a real treat for your taste buds, have a wander in the old quarters of the towns in the Basque Country, where the bars are full of delicious pintxos and tapas. Or explore a hundred-year-old food market like Mercado de San Miguel (Madrid), La Boquería (Barcelona), or the Central (Valencia). As well as being located in beautiful buildings, a huge array of flavours is guaranteed.If we’re talking about wine, how about a tasting in one of the wineries of the Ribera del Duero (Castile and Leon) or the Ribeira Sacra, where spectacular vineyards cling to the mountainsides and riverbanks.  

  • Left: The Salto del Nervión waterfall between Burgos (Castile and Leon) and Álava (Basque Country) / Centre: Mount Teide, Tenerife, Canary Islands / Right: Las Médulas, León, Castile and Leon

    Sight

    One way to feast your eyes is through colour. And what colours are more beautiful than those of a sunset? There are some amazing places in Spain where you can see sunsets at their most intense, like the landscape of Las Médulas (León) where the russet tones of the clay left exposed by ancient gold mines glow in the golden hour. Another idyllic place to see a sunset is the little fishing village of Cadaqués, Catalonia, a destination famous for inspiring Salvador Dalí.Speaking of artists, some of the most pleasurable visual experiences come from gazing at the details of an iconic work of art. Try contemplating Las Meninas by Velázquez (Prado Museum, Madrid), Picasso’s Guernica (Reina Sofía Museum, Madrid), or the intricate plasterwork and tiles of the Alhambra in Granada. If you’d prefer an incredible view, climb Spain’s highest peak, the Teide (Tenerife) or see its tallest waterfall, Salto del Nervión, on the border between Burgos and Álava.And if you’re looking for something to make an impression on Instagram, there are photogenic settings like the Red Wall of Calpe. 

  • Left: Maspalomas dunes on Gran Canaria, Canary Islands/ Centre: Naveta des Tudons site in Menorca, Balearic Islands / Right: Detail of the Antequera dolmens in Malaga, Andalusia

    Touch

    Dipping your fingers in the cool waters of a lake, feeling the warmth of a cosy fire, stroking the grass in a meadow… Touch is an essential part of the travel experience. You can feel it when you walk barefoot along a beach, or over the stunning dunes in Maspalomas (Gran Canaria) too.Try to feel the mystic energy of the thousand-year-old stones at Neolithic sites like the Antequera Dolmens or Naveta des Tudons in Menorca.And of course, nothing stimulates the sense of touch like a spa massage. The spa at Archena (set in the beautiful landscape of the Ricote Valley in Murcia) is one of the oldest hot springs resort in Spain. Try a citrusy vitamin C bath, feel the comforting heat of volcanic stones on your skin, or enjoy a chocotherapy massage.And if you feel like stimulating your more creative side, you can try workshops in all sorts of crafts: silversmithing, basket making, pottery, carpentry, weaving, and more. Perhaps you’d like to wrap yourself in the soft, fluffy texture of the famous Ezcaray blankets? Or maybe take a guided tour of the Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid to see weavers at work in a living museum?

Come and smell, see, touch, hear, and taste Spain. Create a real emotional bond during your trip, and heighten your awareness of everything you experience. A whole country is waiting to be discovered. Can you sense it?

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