As with anyone who has lived abroad in Spain for an extensive amount of time, I have been asked this question countless times:
“What is your favorite place you’ve been to in Spain?”
And every time I have been asked, I have found that this question is basically an impossible task to answer.
As my two years in Spain are coming to a close, I have decided to compile a list to answer this impossible question.These are the five places in Spain that have literally took my breath away. I am not joking when I say I gasped when I saw these places for the first time.
Which leads to my disclaimer: This whole country is breathtaking, and I could have listed many more than just these five. A lot of these had to do with whom I was with at the time, or how everything seemed to align perfectly at that moment in time.
So, here goes nothing friends. My top five places I have seen in my adopted second home that have stood out to me the most.
5. Parque del Oeste in Madrid
This park houses the Temple of Debod, which should be reason enough to come here. This temple was given to Spain as a gift from Egypt, and was transported here in 1968. The temple was originally built in 200 BC, and is probably the oldest monument I have ever seen.
You also get some of the best views of the city, especially of Madrid’s Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral. If there is anytime to come here, it definitely should be at sunset.
I also might be a little biased about this one, because the first time I came here I witnessed a freaking rainbow shoot out of the dome of a cathedral…
….but I digress. This park is a must see, and a perfect place to escape from the buzz of the big city.
4. The Beach of Sopelana
Who would have thought some of the most amazing beaches I have been to would be on the North Coast of Spain?! Sopelana is a city in the Basque country, and is only a short metro ride from the city of Bilbao.
The first time I came here, my friend and I were studying abroad and were both experiencing our first wave of homesickness. My friends host family decided to take us here that day, and it really could not have come at a more perfect time.
This beach comes out on top as one of the most beautiful I have seen, and will absolutely take your breath away the first time you come here.
3. The Village of Ronda
Located in the province of Andalucia, Ronda is a town that I immediately added to the “must come back to” list in my head.
I first came here with my parents, and it was a city that all of us were absolutely captivated by.
This place was so unbelievable that I wrote a whole blog post on it, which you can read here.
2. The Alhambra in Granada
With about 2 million visitors per year, the Alhambra is Spain’s most visited monument. Clearly, this is for good reason.
The Alhambra is an ancient palace and fortress built during the Moorish occupation of Spain, around 1250 AD. The details of the palace make you really wonder how places like this can actually exist. Every corner of the palace is impeccably designed and well taken care of.
The Alhambra itself is enough to take your breath away, but the surrounding area is really what made it for me. The backdrop to the Alhambra are the Sierra Nevada mountains, along with an unreal view of Granada, one of Spain’s most gorgeous cities.
1. The Village of Urueña
Located in the provence of Valladolid, this village tops my list for many reasons. It was a combination of surprise and complete awe. Honestly, these pictures do not do it justice. It was one of those places that lingered on me for a while, and one I truly missed when the moment was gone.
The only reason I found out about this place was because I was visiting a friend who is from Valladolid. He drove myself and my other friend that came with me here, and our jaws were dropped the entire time we there.
Oddly, Urueña is listed as an “International Organization of Book Town”. These are towns in which second-hand book shops are concentrated, and they are usually located in villages with outstanding scenic beauty. So, if you are a lover of books, this also can be of added interest to you.
While walking around, I felt like Urueña had been untouched, and it encompassed everything I love about Spain.
And if there is one place in the world where you should watch the sunset, it should be here.
While we were watching the sunset, my friend turned to me and said, “Isn’t it crazy that this happens everyday?” That was so strange for me to think about. I agreed, and I was grateful to be there. This country is truly breathtaking, and Urueña symbolized that for me.
Traveled to or have lived in Spain? What places in Spain have stuck out to you the most? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂