So you are planning a trip to Spain, are you? Or maybe you are even moving here soon? What do you want to see? What do you want to do? Where do you even begin?!
Don’t worry, I always feel the same way. There is so much to see and do in Spain it can be overwhelming. Some places you imagine to be so amazing that when you get here, it can be underwhelming and almost disappointing, or perhaps you end up somewhere you never intended and fall completely in love with it!
But do you want to know my secret for being both surprised and overwhelmed at the same when traveling? This will be our little secret, shhhhh…..a place with a view! Whether of a city or a landscape, of a village or an ocean. If you go somewhere with a view, 99.9% of the time you are going to lose your breath, take a step back, say, “holy s***” and then take a million photos, in that order.
One of my biggest travel tricks is looking for views. Whenever I am in a city, I always try to get up to the top of the tallest building or even outside on a mountain for a spectacular view of the place itself. The only chance you have of disappoint could be the weather, depending. Sometimes clouds and rainy days make for even more dramatic skylines. It all depends on you!
So here are my top 6 views in Spain, from me to you. Some of them are well-known, some are way off the beaten track.
What are your best views in Spain or around the world? Did I chose any of your faves?
Granada is the jewel of Spain. Tucked in next to the towering Sierra Nevada mountains in the south, this small ancient city packs a punch. Popular with tourists and university students alike, Granada is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain for a good reason. Home to the famous Alhambra moorish palace, fortress and garden complex overlooking the crumbly old city, it has to be my favorite historical site in Spain. I fall in love with Granada every time I visit. The only thing I can’t agree on is if the view is best from the Alhambra palace itself of the old white city and mountains in the distance, or from the Mirador de San Nicolás in the Albayzín looking towards the Alhambra in the distance with the snowy Sierra Nevada mountains in the background.
Montserrat is a famous mountain in Cataluña, near Barcelona. Perched precariously on top of the mountain is a small working Benedictine monastery named Santa María de Montserrat. To get up there you have to take a rather shady cable car through the clouds and mists. As you walk around this thousand year old monastery, taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and landscape, you might never want to leave.
3. San Sebastián
San Sebastián is one of my favorite places in northern Spain. Only a few miles from the French border, it is a cute medieval town on the Basque coast, surrounded by green mountains and forests with a lush countryside. The old town is right next to the harbor and you can climb up to the top of the mountain with an amazing view over the bay, islands and city. San Sebastián is seriously beautiful, making it very popular with Spaniards and tourists alike. It helps that San Sebastián is home to the famous pinchos, northern Spain’s version of the tapa. Delicious!
Most likely the least known place on this least is Ronda, Spain. Located in the south near Málaga and Granada, it an old town beloved by Ernest Hemingway also perched on top of some sheer cliffs, divided by a tall gorge with a river running down into a waterfall. Ronda is not very touristy, which makes it the ideal place to visit if you want to steer away from the beaten path in Andalucía. Really cheap with lots to see and do, it’s the perfect weekend destination, though make sure you are in shape because you are in for a lot of stairs and climbing around. The views from the old bridges and along the cliffs are unparalleled, but it is also worth hiking down below to get some great shots of the city high above.
22 Comments on “My 6 Favorite Views in Spain”
Definitely put Toledo at the top of your list!! It’s amazing! Let me know if you come to san seb, I live near there 🙂 Thanks!!
Hi there! What a great list! I agree Granada is absolutely spectacular (and especially from Mirador de San Nicolas.) And Montserrat is so unique and beautiful! (Reminds me I still haven’t posted from either of those two places yet..) San Sebastian and Ronda is already on my list, but I haven’t heard too much about Toledo. Maybe it needs go on my list? 🙂 Lanzarote is also ‘pendiente’ although I spent some time in Gran Canaria learning that the island is not at all as touristy as I thought. Just one part of the island is, the rest is beauuuuutiful! Have a lovely Sunday evening!
woah I had no idea! I was writing from my own experience-I was in Ronda for a long weekend last December and there were no tourists at all! I’m sure it’s different in summer. I’m really surprised it has more tourists than Córdoba, especially since I lived in Córdoba last year, way too many tourists all year round
Yeah, December would be perfect. Don’t get me wrong – I really like Ronda and if anywhere belongs on a list of great views, it does.
Granada a huge favourite for us as well!
Would have to respectfully disagree about Ronda not being touristy though -it has now overtaken Cordoba as the third most visited town in Andalucia, after Seville and Granada. It’s close enough to the Costa del Sol to attract hordes of coaches full of day-trippers and the sheer volume of tourists in Ronda on any given day in the high season can be a real pain, and it also has an effect, I’ve noticed, on the quality of restaurant options. That said, if you can make an overnight of it, you get to enjoy the place when the coach parties have left.