Tourist in a lavender field

Places in Spain that will appeal to all five senses


Close your eyes and imagine for a moment that you are immersed in a journey, with all five senses heightened. Which place in Spain do you think would appeal to your olfactory senses the most? A field full of flowers, perhaps? Which kind of landscape do you think would appeal to your eyes the most? Your senses are about to be engaged through these ideas about sensory tourism. That's what travelling should be all about: becoming immersed in the destination, consciously, and keeping the memory of your experience alive. 

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

    Playing to the olfactory senses

    Let's start with one of the most relaxing fragrances: lavender. In Spain you will find the most famous fields of this plant in Brihuega (Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha). More than 1,000 hectares of lavender become a sensory spectacle during the month of July. There is even a festival with sunset concerts in the middle of the lavender fields. Sounds good, doesn't it?Other famous Spanish blooms are also a treat for the olfactory senses. Valle del Jerte, where more than one-and-a-half million cherry trees blossom at the end of march, .Here are some other places that will delight your senses with their aromatic fragrances. Santa Cruz quarters in Seville with their blossoming orange trees and heady fragrance of orange blossom andMuseum of Aromas of Santa Cruz de la Salceda (Burgos, Castile and Leon), the only museum of its type in Europe.

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

    Something for the ears

    El Peine del Viento”. Could there be a more suggestive title for a sculpture? Probably not! It is in fact a set of three steel sculptures weighing more than nine tonnes designed by Eduardo Chillida. Where is it? Its location is superb: where the city of Donostia-San Sebastián ends and the ocean begins, where the waves crash against the cliffs. You can probably hear it,the sound of the sea never disappoints. You could also check out the Bufones de Pría blowholes, in Asturias, and listen to the jets of water that slip through the rock and reach high into the sky. Or you might be looking for the complete opposite: silence. This you will definitely find at the Finisterre lighthouse (A Coruña, Galicia), where in the old days Romans thought the world ended.It goes without saying that music appeals to our ears. In Spain there are many different ways to enjoy it. We suggest a visit to Palau de la Música in Barcelona or watching the zapateado (foot stomping) at one of the flamenco flamenco tablaos in a Sacromonte cave, in Granada. If you want to experience a centuries-old Spanish tradition first-hand, there is nothing better than the sounds of any Semana Santa procession. There are no words to describe them. 

  • Left: Detail of the San Miguel Market in Madrid, Region of Madrid / Centre: Entrance of the Boquería in Barcelona, Catalonia / Right: View of the Central Market in Valencia, Region of Valencia

    Tickling the taste buds

    Often we come back from a trip and think “How good was the food at that restaurant...”. A positive food experience is not easily forgotten, and in Spain you will be able to surprise your palate more than once. Did you know, for example, that the “best chef in the world” according to “The Best Chef Awards 2023” is Spain's Dabiz Muñoz and that he has several restaurants in Madrid?For a mouth-watering experience, try getting lost in the old quarters of cities in the The Basque Country: bars brimming with pintxos, each one tastier than the last. Or you could venture into a century-old market like San Miguel Market (Madrid), Boquería Market (Barcelona) or Central Market (Valencia). Apart from being eye-pleasing buildings, the variety of flavours is guaranteed.If we talk about wine, you cannot leave without doing a tasting in one of the wineries in the Ribera del Duero wineries (in Castile and Leon) or Ribeira Sacra (in Galicia), with vineyards in the mountains and on the river bank that are unique.  

  • Left: View of the Salto del Nervión between Burgos (Castile and Leon) and Álava (The Basque Country) / Centre: Teide Peak in Tenerife (Canary Islands) / Right: Las Médulas in León (Castile and Leon)

    Through the eyes

    One way of appealing to this sense is through colour. And where can we see more beautiful colours than during a stunning sunset? In Spain you can watch breathtaking sunsets, for example at Las Médulas (in León) where the reddish colour of the clay mountains (former gold mines) intensifies at this time of day. Another idyllic place to experience a sunset is the little fishing village of Cadaqués, in Catalonia, a destination known to have inspired Dalí.On the subject of artists, there is not much that is more pleasing to the eye than the details of an iconic work of art. You could go to see “Las Meninas” by Velázquez Prado Museum in Madrid), “Guernica” by Picasso (Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid) or study the sculptural elements, known as mocárabes, of La Alhambra in Granada. You will find another feast for your eyes at the highest peak in Spain, Teide (in Tenerife) or at the country's largest waterfall, the Salto del Nervión, on the border between Burgos and Álava.Social media fans will love “instagrammable” places like the Red Wall of Calpe. 

  • Left: Maspalomas Dunes in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) / Centre: Naveta des Tudons in Menorca (Balearic Islands) / Right: Detail of the Dolmen of Antequera in Málaga (Andalusia)

    Tactile experiences

    Dipping your hand in the cool stream of a lake, bringing your face closer to the warmth of a fireplace, caressing the grass of a green meadow...our sense of touch is highly engaged when travelling. You can also experience it when walking barefoot on a warm beach, or through dunes as impressive as those of Maspalomas (in Gran Canaria), which have certain access limitations to preserve them: more information at the Tourist Office, contact number +34 928 765 242.Feel the energy when you touch ancient stones at Dolmens in Antequera or Naveta des Tudons, in Menorca.It goes without saying that a massage at a spa will awaken this sense too. The Archena hot springs (in the Valle del Ricote Natural Area, in Murcia) is one of the oldest in Spain. You could also experience a citrus vitamin C bath, feel the pleasant warmth of volcanic stones on your skin or enjoy a chocolate-based massage.How about stimulating your most creative side? Choose from all kinds of artisan workshops: silversmithing, basketry, pottery, weaving, cabinetmaking...or how about stroking one of the famous Ezcaray blankets? Another option is a guided tour of Royal Tapestry Factory in Madrid to marvel at the work of weavers in its living museum.

Come and smell, see, touch, hear and taste Spain. Bond with the country emotionally during your trip and be more aware of everything you experience. A whole country is waiting to be discovered by you. Can you feel it?

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