Explore the Beauty of Northern Spain and the Basque Country
Fancy a change from the Costas this year? Let us take you on a journey through some alternatives which will have you reaching for the passports and the flip-flops in no time.
For decades, thousands of us have flocked to Spain’s popular coastal resorts and they continue to draw sun seekers like a magnet. Sure, they tick a lot of boxes where the average holiday is concerned. Many of us simply want to dump the bags, hit the beach and lie there soaking up the sun for two weeks and that’s fine. However, there seems to be a change in the wants and needs of holidaymakers who want to add a splash of culture to their itinerary or at least get off the sun lounger for a day or two and actually see some of the place.
Doing some sightseeing from a beach resort in northern Spain is really easy as so many fabulous towns, cities and attractions are within easy reach.
Two places that we’ve been chatting about at tripsology recently which are on our bucket (and spade) lists for this year and we hope you’ll join us!
First up is Santander, the atmospheric capital of the Cantabrian region and this port city is one of the most beautiful spots in northern Spain. It’s so easy to combine city break activities with sun, sea and sand as Santander stretches across a wide bay of pretty beaches. You know what it’s like – you want to hit the beach but your travelling companion wants to tour the historical sites and explore every nook and cranny. Well, Santander is the perfect compromise if you want the best of both worlds.
There is a selection of great beaches to while away a day or ten under the sun. Choose from Los Peligros, which despite its name (translates as Beach of Hazards), the area has calm waters and blue flag status. Or, stretch out on the sands of Playa La Magdalena which takes its name from the Royal Palace of Magdalena which stands proudly over the peninsula and has great views of the city as well as loads of facilities for bathers. Or soak up some rays on Bikini Beach – yes, you read that right! Apparently, it was named after this piece of swimwear because it was here that one was first seen, many many years ago and their use was restricted to this area – allegedly this caused quite a stir in the 1950s – or so were told.
Santander is sure to bewitch and seduce any holidaymakers who step on her shores. The historical old town is steeped in history and folklore while the beaches provide endless fun in the sun for all ages. Plus, if, like us, eating out is a big part of your holiday then this place will not disappoint. As a sea-faring city, you can expect fabulous seafood but you’ll also find mouth-watering local dishes and Spanish classics on the menu as well as tasty tapas to set you up nicely for the days and nights ahead.
A real hidden treasure of a holiday destination – this was once the summer playground of Spanish royalty – hence the need for a palace by the sea. Don’t forget to visit the Royal Palace of Magdalena which sits on the highest point of the peninsula. This was once the holiday home of monarchs, Alfonso XIII and Victoria Eugenia, so go on; live it up like kings and queens on your next trip.
Next on our agenda is the fascinating Basque Country which nestles on the border between France and Spain and this autonomous region has a strong identity which is celebrated in all she has to offer; in culture, music, food and festivals. The heart of the Basque region is arguably, Bilbao which has become a haven for art lovers who flock to the famous Guggenheim and The Fine Arts Museum. This is a modern and vibrant city which undergone a huge transformation and offers visitors a great choice of nightlife as well as its cultural highlights.
Roughly an hour away from Bilbao is San Sebastian, where you can relax and top up the tan on one of its stunning beaches like La Concha, Playa de Gros or Playa de Ondaretta. However, there’s a lot to see in this enigmatic city and it might be a god idea (if you’re feeling energetic) to join up with a walking tour in San Sebastian, complete with expert guide. These informative tours take in all of San Sebastian’s great sights, monuments and architecture.
If any of these exciting destinations are taking your fancy why not take a look at some of these great partner deals available when you book via tripsology? We’re always keen to hear from any of our members who have been already. It’s great to share your hints and tips with our community and show off your travel knowledge. Update your profile today and let us know where you’re off to.
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