The Spanish do a lot of things very well: revolution, paella and SUNSHINE! With its sun soaked beaches, lofty climbs, and vibrant cities, Spain continues to invite sun seekers from near and far. We want to take you along to visit three of our favorite locations for the perfect holiday in Spain. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Let’s start our sun seeking tour at the heart of Southern Spain, Barcelona. Barcelona’s mix of style, art, and warmth beckons sun seekers. One of the central figures of the city is the renowned master architect Gaudi. His thumbprint is all over the cityscape. Barcelona is home to one of his masterpieces which is a sun seekers dream: Park Güell. For the “un-Spanished” the word Güell is pronounced “Gwell”. The park is actually an abandoned upscale housing development envisioned by Gaudi which included villas, an elaborate water collection system, shops and the highlight, the gardens. Gaudi’s talent was injecting animals and nature themes into his designs. The park is filled with little touches that create interesting finds at every turn. The focus of the park is its outlining benches. The tile benches surround the city facing portion of the park. Gaudi elected to use a snake like theme, which creates these small intimate bends and nooks for sitting with your loved one enjoying the sun.
Getting to Park Guell is a little bit of a chore. By Metro, Take the green line to the stop “Lesseps”. From there follow the signs that lead to the entrance of the park. It is a roughly a 20 minute walk. It is located at the top of a steep hill. The effort is well worth it!
The next stop on our Southern Spain sun tour is the mountaintop location, Santa Maria de Montserrat. This wonderful Benedictine abbey is located 30 miles west of Barcelona. It is perfect for a daytrip outside the city. From this wonderful perch you can take in one of the most amazing views in all of Catalonia. There are a number of small hikes that you can take from the abbey. This is going to sound a little crazy, but the food at the cafeteria of the abbey is actually really good. There is not an entrance fee to the Monastery but if you wish to visit the museum the entrance fee costs €6.50 for adults. Of course, you are there for the sun. Pack a picnic and take a walk across the smooth stones of the mountain top and take in the glorious sunshine.
Getting to Montserrat is half the fun. Shrug off the easy way and forgo the cram packed tour bus. Simply catch the Line R5 train headed toward Manresa at the Espanya rail station. Tickets are very affordable. I don’t think we paid over $20. It takes about an hour to get from the Espanya station to the Montserrat stop. Once there, enter the ticket office and purchase your tram ticket. Pick a spot to stand near the windows and make sure your camera is set, because the ride up to the top is simply amazing!
The grand finale in our sun seeking adventure is heading up the coastline to wonderful Costa Brava or “Wild Coast”. The Costa Brava stretches from Barcelona all the way to the border of France. If you are into sun, sand, and seclusion this is your place. Unlike its twin sister Nice, France further up the coast, Costa Brava continues to be one of the great under-discovered locations.
Some of the best beaches on the Costa Brava are near Palamos. The Platja de Castell with it’s warm sand and relative seclusion is one of the areas finest. The sapphire colored water is so inviting! You can also follow the old smugglers trail to a wonderful ocean viewpoint on the east end of the beach. Bring or rent a sand chair, open a good book, and soak up as much sun as you like.
There are a number of different accommodations levels, everything from wonderful resorts like the Rehana Royal Beach Resort to more rustic abodes. Access to the beach is the key. We highly recommend you have a car for traveling the Costa Brava region. Public transport is scare and unreliable.
So these are our recommendations for sun seeking in the South of Spain. Tell us, what is your favorite places to seek the sun? Island destinations? Swanky resorts? Leave us a comment below.