Pure eye candy with Spain's spectacular views
There are places where time seems to stand still, where you could gaze at the horizon for hours, completely oblivious to everything around you. That's the experience you'll have at these viewing points which are so definitely worth a visit –and for which you'll want to stop the car or go up a mountain. We've drawn up a shortlist of some of the viewing points which, by common consensus, are among the most beautiful in Spain. And you can put in a word for any special place we've forgotten (why not tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter?) Get your camera, but above all, open your eyes, because these are views to drink in.
El Fito viewing point
Let's begin with one of the most emblematic viewing points in the north, in Asturias, in the area on the border between Parres and Colunga. On a clear day you can climb up this type of concrete cup and look out over a view of the Picos de Europa mountains and even as far as the Cantabrian Sea. There's a parking area just a few metres from the viewing point so you'll have no excuse...
Viewing points in the Ribeira Sacra
We're still in the north of Spain, but this time in the region of Galicia, and more specifically in the Ribeira Sacra nature area (between Orense and Lugo). Here you'll find some enchanting mediaeval monasteries hidden among the mountains. So you don't miss the best views of the rolling landscapes carved out by the rivers Sil and Miño, there are plenty of designated viewing points: Los Balcones de Madrid, Bolmente, El Duque and Cabo do Mundo. Some stand at an altitude of 500 metres. If you look closely you may even be able to see some water nymphs…
Monte Igueldo viewing point
If we continue on along the Cantabrian coast, we come to San Sebastián in the Basque Country. It's no exaggeration to say that this is one of the loveliest cities in Spain. If you don't believe it, try going to the top of one of its mountains like the Ulía or Igueldo; this last offers some of the most emblematic aerial views of the La Concha bay. You can go up in a funicular railway and visit the amusement park at the top.©
Joan Capdevila. Tarragona Turisme.
Balcón del Mediterráneo
Our tour of the north now brings us to Tarragona, in Catalonia. It's said to be lucky to go up and touch the balustrade of the seafront promenade –although you'll consider yourself exceptionally fortunate as you stand overlooking this view of the Mediterranean Sea, the Port of Tarragona, Miracle beach and the amphitheatre.
El Castillo viewing point
A sea as legendary as the Mediterranean cannot be seen from one single angle. If we go down the coast we come to Benidorm (in Alicante), which also has its own ‘balcony over the Mediterranean’ –a great rock which once housed a fortress as a defence against pirates. It stands in the heart of the historic quarter, and its views of the sea and an island in the distance is one of the most unmistakable in the area.
San Nicolás viewing point
We continue on our journey until we come to Andalusia. This is undoubtedly the most important viewing point in the city of Granada, and one of the best places to savour the monumental sight of the Alhambra in all its splendour. Make yourself comfortable and prepare to observe the Generalife, the Nasrid Palaces, the Palace of Charles V, the Alcazaba –all against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. And you may find someone nearby playing a guitar, just to make the experience absolutely perfect.
Balcón de Europa
Its name –the balcony of Europe– says it all: you'll find this genuine terrace overlooking the sea in Nerja (Malaga). According to legend it was King Alfonso XII himself who coined the name after seeing it. Take a moment to revel in the immensity of the landscape, feel the sea breeze on your face, and imagine yourself in the shoes of the king.
Puente Nuevo viewing point in Ronda
A visit that's well worth making is to the Puente Nuevo bridge in Ronda, Malaga, at sunset. This is certainly the most emblematic point in the whole city, and once you're there you'll immediately understand why. Standing at a height of 98 metres, you'll have unbeatable views from its platforms of the houses suspended on the cliff face.©
Patronato Provincial de Turismo de Cádiz.
El Estrecho viewing point, in Tarifa
We finish our journey through the south in Tarifa (Cadiz), where you can almost reach out and touch the coast of Africa. And that's because Tarifa is the southernmost point in Europe and the nearest to Africa. Its winds make this a particularly attractive place for windsurfing enthusiasts. Get your camera ready to capture the Straits of Gibraltar and the coast of Morocco, because it's only 15 km away.©
Lili Noyola. Diputación de Cáceres.
Meandro del Melero
What about going inland now and making a stop in Riomalo de Abajo (in Cáceres, Extremadura)? On the border of the region known as Las Hurdes you'll find a place where the river appears to contort itself into an almost impossible meander. After enjoying the view you'll want to close your eyes and luxuriate in the peace and quiet of this place.
El Valle viewing point
Next stop? Another of the loveliest cities in Spain: Toledo. After wandering through its alleyways, the best way to get a final glimpse is to climb up to this viewing point to see the city as never before. We could even go so far as to say that the view of the roofs, the cathedral, the Alcázar palace, the Tagus river, the two bridges... is simply perfect. Did you know that great painters like El Greco and Picasso attempted to capture its beauty in their paintings?©
Oficina de Turismo de Pollença.
El Colomer viewing point
Now it's the turn of the islands, and specifically the island of Majorca in the Balearics. You'll find this viewing point on the road to Formentor, in the northwest of the island. After a swim at one of the beaches in the area, your next mission is to enjoy a sunset from this point while you gaze out over the cliffs and the small island of El Colomer. It's absolutely priceless. You'll love it.
Mirador del Río viewing point
We finish with three last recommendations in the volcanic Canary Islands. The first is this viewing point on the island of Lanzarote. Words can barely describe this magical place designed by the architect César Manrique, from which on clear days you can see the island of La Graciosa, Montaña Clara and Roque del Oeste, with Alegranza in the background. The wind blowing here is enough to reinvigorate anyone.©
Alex Bramwell / Lex. Turismo de Canarias.
Roque de los Muchachos viewing point
Second recommendation: this viewing point on the island of La Palma. It's at the highest point, 2,426 metres above sea level. From here you can see the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, and –on a clear day– even the islands of Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro. If you want to see as far as the sky itself, you can also visit the island's famous observatory, with some of the most advanced telescopes in the world.©
Turismo de Canarias.
El Teide volcano
The best and last of this list of viewing points is the highest point in Spain: the summit of Mt. Teide, on the island of Tenerife. You can go up in the cable car to a very considerable height. Dare-devils can go even higher on a route up to the peak, for which you need to request permission online (find out more at www.reservasparquesnacionales.es).