Yeah, you’ve heard of Barcelona and Madrid, and maybe even Seville, but Spain is such a wonderful and diverse country that there is far more to it than just those two cities. If you’re planning on heading to Spain, here are 10 hidden gems in Spain that you absolutely need to visit!
But first, here they all are in a map!
If you like color, this is certainly the place for you. Villajoyosa is an extremely colorful city right along Spain’s southern coast. Like many other colorful towns in Europe (such as the Instagram famous Cinque Terre), the buildings are painted bright colors so fishermen trying to find their way could see them. These days the bright color is good for not only that but also great instagram shots. The location on the coast also means that there’s a gorgeous beach with silky smooth sand. All in all, it’s a great vacation spot.
Ronda is intriguing because of its precarious position right on the edge of a cliff. As a result, to get across a large chasm in the middle of the city, the locals built an enormous, awe-inspiring bridge which is the main tourist attraction of the city. Like a cherry on top, there’s a small waterfall at the bottom of said bridge. Aside from the cliffs, the city also has a cute and quaint atmosphere and tons of small shops to peruse. It’s in the Andalusia region of Spain and is a quick day trip from Seville.
3. Playa de la Granadella
Often referred to as “the most beautiful beach in Spain,” it’s easy to see why. Although the white pebbles that make up the shoreline are not comfortable to walk on, they are picturesque, and the secluded location of the beach (nestled among cliffside) is also near ideal. At the beach you can swim in the refreshing turquoise waters, rent a kayak and kayak out to sea caves, or lie on a chair and sunbathe. Located near a town called Javea/Xabia on Spain’s Southern coast.
I like to call Altea the Santorini of Spain, because when I show people pictures they often ask me which Greek island I’ve taken them at. Just like the famous Greek islands, Altea has white washed buildings as far as the eye can see, beautiful flowers dripping everywhere, and gorgeous ocean views. The only difference is that it’s located in the South of Spain instead of Greece. Also like Santorini, the main tourist activity in this town is snapping photos, although there are a bunch of small shops in the town and a number of good restaurants too.
Read more: Altea, the Santorini of Spain
Juzcar is the cutest little town in the Andalusian region of Spain because it’s completely blue! It was known as Smurf Village because of the bright blue color and because of all the smurf statues scattered around the town. In fact, Sony literally contacted the village about promoting the Smurfs 3D movie, which means that this village is actually officially Smurf Village. If you have any friends who love the Smurfs, you have to take them here!
Read more: Juzcar, Spain’s Smurf Village
6. Port Saplaya
Port Saplaya is actually a small part of the city of Valencia; and while I wouldn’t consider Valencia a hidden gem I’ve heard of almost no one talking about Port Saplaya. It’s the port of the city, and like Villajoyosa, is painted in a myriad of different colors, making it an absolute playground for photographers. Along with that, it also has a great beach as well and a ton of beachfront restaurants to choose from.
7. The Pink Lake of Torrevieja
The actual name of this lake is Laguna Salada de Torrevieja but what’s interesting is that due to the salt mines in the area, an entire lake in the town of Torrevieja is bright pink. Not only that, but this is only one of two brightly colored lakes in town, the other being bright turquoise. This is obviously a great place for photos, but also the mud here is said to have beneficial properties, so tourists are often seen slathering it all over their skin before rinsing it off in the most colorful bath ever.
8. City of Arts and Sciences
Also located in Valencia, this architectural marvel is criminally underrated. Started in 1998 and completed in 2005, this complex is made up of seven different buildings (an eighth one has been put on hold) and is considered one of the 12 treasures of Spain! There’s plenty to do here, as each of the buildings is not only aesthetically pleasing but holds a purpose. One of them is a concert hall, another is a museum, another a sports venue, and one a planetarium. You can also rent clear-bottom kayaks to paddle around the shallow pool surrounding the complex.
Calp is a totally normal Spanish town until you see the huge rock rising 300 meters straight from the sea. This “rock” is actually the Peñon D’Ifach and you can hike all the way to the top, resulting in spectacular views of the city. Not only that, but there’s also saltines located smack dab in the middle of the city, and its inhabited by flamingos! It is an extraordinarily multifaceted city that is well worth the visit.
Read more: A Guide to Calp
Zahara is a small town perched on the edge of a hillside, surrounded by the most gorgeous turquoise reservoir you ever did see. Like Altea, all the buildings in the town are white. While in Zahara, you can take a ton of pictures, explore the ruins of a Moorish castle, and eat delicious food while enjoying a spectacular view.
So tell me have you been to any of these places? Which one would you visit first? Let me know in the comments below!