Things you can only do in Spain
If you are thinking about planning a trip to Spain, we can give you curious or interesting ideas of things you can only do here. For example, celebrating the unique Sant Jordi festival or seeing truly special animals such as the Iberian lynx. Here is our list of plans. Can you cross any of them off yet?
Try a Valencian paella... in Valencia
It is one of the best-known dishes in Spain and it tastes best in Valencia. We assure you that trying it while taking in views of the Mediterranean Sea will be one of the best gastronomic pleasures you have experienced. The city’s promenade and Paseo Neptuno have a fantastic selection of restaurants where you can enjoy a meal with the sound of waves in the background.And if you would like to make the plan a little more original, you could book an activity. For instance, combining a paella tasting with a boat ride through the Albufera Natural Park. Or spending a day in the Horta of Valencia, and helping to prepare a paella.
Receive a book and a flower as a gift because a knight killed a dragon
Books and flowers are the main protagonists of Catalonia’s most famous festival, Sant Jordi, on 23 April each year, coinciding with Book Day. Legend has it that, one day, a brave knight (Saint George) saved a princess by killing a dragon. A rose bush sprouted out of its blood, and the knight gave the princess a beautiful flower. Meanwhile, the princess wrote a love poem for the knight, and since then on that day men give women a rose, and women give men a book. This day commemorates the death of the saint and patron saint of Catalonia. So if you’re in Barcelona on 23 April, you’ll see the city transformed into a huge open-air book store and flower shop. Walk along Las Ramblas, go to a book signing or a concert... It’s a very special day!
Try the only cider in the world poured from a height: Asturian cider!
Cider in Asturias, in the heart of Green Spain, is much more than just a drink. It’s quite a symbol. And to know how to pour it properly is an art. What is pouring from a height? It is the traditional way of serving cider, which consists of raising a bottle with your right hand and letting the drink fall from a height, hitting against the edge of the glass that you hold in your left hand. Do you dare try it? Furthermore, various “cider tourism” activities are organised in the Cider Region, such as visits to cider houses or the llagares where it is made. And here’s an interesting fact: Did you know that the Natural Cider Festival in Gijón brings together more than 9,000 people who all pour cider at the same time on the beach?
Driving away evil spirits in San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, one of the most legendary locations in the series “Game of Thrones”
In the heart of the Basque Coast, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is one of the settings where the dragons from the famous television series lived and flew - “Dragonstone”. Whether you’re a fan of the show or not, this place is truly spectacular. To reach its beautiful shrine, you have to cross a stone bridge over the sea and climb 241 steps. Once there, as tradition goes, you need to ring the bell of the shrine three times so as to have good luck and scare away evil spirits. And if you can do it at sunset, even better.
Discovering Gaudí through seven of his wonders
Seven of Gaudí's works which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO can be found in Barcelona and its surrounding areas. After visiting them, you will understand why his architecture is said to be reminiscent of natural forms and why he is considered a genius. Specifically, there is Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia, Casa Vicens, the crypt in the Colonia Güell, Palau Güell and Park Güell. Outside Catalonia, Capricho (in Comillas, Cantabria) and Casa Botines (in León) are also highly recommended.
Go to a play in a 17th-century theatre that still puts on Golden Age classics
Corral de Comedias de Almagro is the only 17th-century theatre retaining its original structure and still putting on classic works from the Spanish Golden Age (the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when Spanish culture became extraordinarily rich and innovative). In July it celebrates its International Classical Theatre Festival, but it also organises guided and dramatised tours which are highly recommended. Another cultural secret? The Corral de Comedias de Alcalá de Henares (Community of Madrid) is one of the oldest public theatres in the Western world.
Feel like R2-D2, walking through the Plaza de España in Seville
Created for the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition, this 170-metre diameter square is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Seville. Even if you’ve never been there, it may ring a bell... Padmé, Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2 appear walking through it in “Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.” Seville is therefore a must-visit destination for “Star Wars” fans. But also for the rest of the galaxy.
See other galaxies from various islands of volcanic origin
Did you know that there are several areas declared Starlight Reserves on our planet because their skies are perfect for stargazing? Spain has more than 10, and several of them can be found in the Canary Islands which are of volcanic origin. Specifically in La Palma, Fuerteventura and the summits of Tenerife, you will be able to see the stars like never before. You could visit the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma, stay in a Starlight establishment, go to astronomical viewpoints, take photos of the Milky Way or a meteor shower, walk through a volcano at dusk...
See the imperial eagle or the Iberian lynx
The Iberian lynx is the most endangered feline on the planet. However, it has gone from being on the verge of extinction to around 650 specimens, distributed mainly in Doñana and Sierra Morena, in Andalusia. If you book a guided visit to Doñana and are in luck (not an easy task), you will be able to see this beautiful animal in action. A similar situation occurs with the Iberian imperial eagle, one of our most emblematic and endangered birds. Sign up for a guided tour through Guadarrama National Park (Community of Madrid and Segovia) or Monfragüe National Park (Cáceres) to try and spot them.
Experience first-hand how Iberian ham is made
The ham that is made from the Iberian pig, also known as “pata negra”, is a real delicacy. In addition, its preparation process is so meticulous that it is worth learning about. There are several routes that will allow you to taste this product: Jabugo, Montánchez, Pedroches, Sierras de Badajoz, etc. Through them you can learn how to cut it correctly, pair it with wines, visit meadows, eat in specialist restaurants... A whole world of sensations.
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