Sorry to break your notion that Spain is all about beautiful beaches, radiant sun, and mouthwatering cuisines in the backdrop of Spanish guitar! Spain is far more than that. Once in that country, if you do not indulge in Spain’s best experiences, your trip is far from being complete!
So, what are some of the most exceptional experiences in Spain that you must indulge in? We have a list for you and trust us, some of these aren’t for the faint-hearted!
Top 15 BEST Experiences in Spain You Must Not Miss!
1. Walk the world’s scariest footpath
The name says it all! Head for the Caminito del Rey – a walkway that has been dubbed as the world’s scariest footpath and rightly so for a reason. Five people lost their lives walking this footpath during 1999 and 2000.
Because of the unfortunate incident, the path remained closed for over a decade. After intense repair work, it was reopened in 2015. This 3 km footpath hugs the walls of a steep gorge located in Malaga’s El Chorro province.
The flimsy-looking footpath is by far one of the most dangerous experiences in Spain. For some, it may not be worth the risk, but for adrenaline junkies, the story is quite different. So, do you have the adrenaline rush?
2. Visit La Alhambra
El Ahmar, the first Nasrid king, chose the Alhambra as the location to host his court. Overlooking the city of Granada, Alhambra is a sight to behold.
Enhanced and albeit, altered by successive rulers, this amazing complex of palace and fortress is all set to lure you with its lofty halls, marble fountains, grandiose ceilings. pomegranate gardens and royal baths that will make you feel like royalty. Guided tours will reveal the secrets of this historic gem that is often referred to as the world’s eighth wonder!
3. Ride the Only International Zip Line
This is perhaps the most thrilling way to cross an international border and that too, without any fear of being shot at! Behold the Límite Zero – the world’s only cross-border zip line that will allow you to land in Portugal from Spain.
You zoom down the 720-meter wire at a speed of 70 to 80 kilometers across the Guadiana River to land an hour behind in Portugal. And, all the while you zip down the wire, you will appreciate the olive groves accentuating the area surrounding the river. It is thrilling!
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4. Visit an Underwater Museum
Housing the first underwater museum of Europe, Lanzarote rose to fame in 2016 when Jason deCaires Taylor – a British artist came up with the famed The Museo Atlántico (in English – The Atlantic Museum).
The Museo Atlántico is located off the southern coastline of Lanzarote and remains submerged at a depth of 12 meters. The best way to enjoy the museum is to go scuba diving, but if you are a bit scared of it, you can take a glass-bottom boat ride and see it from above. The first option is way better!
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Lanzarote
5. Dine at El Botin
How about dining at a restaurant that has been serving meals for 300 years straight? Yes, Sobrino de Botín is the oldest restaurant in the world that opened its doors in 1725.
The restaurant has its Guinness World Record certificate proudly displayed in the window. Once there, don’t forget to enjoy the restaurant’s specialty dish of roasted suckling pig. Oh, do reserve a table in the wood-paneled dining room!
6. Attend the Festival of the Near-Death Experience
Yes, Spanish people are a bit crazy, reflecting in the form of some of the world’s craziest festivals celebrated in Spain. Take this one, for example. It is the festival of the near-death experience.
This annual festival is celebrated in a small town called Las Nieves, located in Galicia. The town has an age-old tie with paganism and witchcraft.
It is all about celebrating those locals who had a near-death experience in the previous year. All they do is carry those few (playing dead) in coffins to the Santa Marta de Ribarteme Church and from there, all the way up to the cemetery! That’s crazy to us, but for them, it holds some significance. Go and find out!
7. Tour La Sagrada Familia
Barcelona’s most famous tourist destination, La Sagrada Familia, is the magnum opus of Antoni Gaudi – the Catalan architect. It is a culmination of his entire life’s work. Gaudi spent 40 years of his life on this project, and it still remains incomplete and a work-in-progress!
It is estimated that the work will be completed in 2026 – on the death centenary of Gaudi. The almost 150 years of La Sagrada Familia is compared to the 200 years of the Great Wall of China and 20 years of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Undoubtedly, a tour to La Sagrada Familia is one of Spain’s finest experiences, and you should never miss it!
8. Visit the Melon Museum
Spain is home to the Guggenheim and Prado – the two world-class museums! But there is something more, something less famed and yet something we all cherish! Don’t forget the Melon Museum, located in the town of Villaconejos.
It is the world’s only museum that is dedicated to this refreshing fruit that we all enjoy during the summers. Villaconejos has a long history of melon cultivation, and the Melon Museum is all dedicated to that rich farming history and the people involved.
Visit this museum to learn the history of melon farming and harvesting. Just in case you are there in autumn, enjoy the annual melon festival.
9. Get Lost in the Madness of Las Fallas Festival
Hearing about the craziness of the Spaniards is one thing, and experiencing it first hand is another. Behold the Las Fallas Festival, which made it to the UNESCO list of ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.’
It takes place in Valencia with the official dates being 15th March to 19th March every year. Still, the Valencians just crank it up for the whole month when the commemorate Saint José – the patron saint of carpentry!
The regional costumes display, the dazzling fireworks, and the towering cartoon-like installations called the fallas are the centerpieces of this annual festival.
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Valencia
10. Enjoy a Drink in the Only Ice Bar on the Beach
An ice bar on a beach – does it make sense? It doesn’t, but it is real. It exists and you can literally enjoy a drink in that icy cold bar in the middle of a beach!
Yes, Barcelona’s El Somorrostro beach is the home to the world’s only ice bar, the interiors of which are made entirely of ice with an ambient temperature range of -2 to -10℃.
Whether you want to take a break from the sun’s scorching heat or whether you simply want to get hold of one of the finest experiences in Spain, the Icebarcelona (the name of the bar) is always there to serve you!
WHERE TO STAY? Best hotels in Barcelona
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11. Dance in the World’s Biggest Nightclub
If you are in Ibiza, Spain’s de facto island for the party-goers, you need to step into the famed ‘Privilege.’ It holds the Guinness World Record of being the world’s largest nightclub with a capacity of a whopping 10,000 people at once! Do we need to say anything more?
12. Devour Some Tapas in San Sebastian
Tapas is famous all over Spain but what’s so special about San Sebastian? There you don’t call it Tapas. People will get offended. There you call those little snacks by a different name – Pintxos. Difficulty pronouncing? Here is how you do it: pin-choss!
Unlike in the rest of Spain, where Tapas is given as a free snack whenever you order a drink, Pintxos in San Sebastian is not free. Pintxos is not just a snack in San Sebastian. It is a small dish prepared with extreme care, and people there meet with family and friends over pintxos!
The chefs who prepare pintxos, go to great lengths of laborious methods, making these little dishes absolutely mouthwatering. Unless you have tasted pintxos, your experiences in Spain remain incomplete.
13. See the Holy Grail
Perhaps just a rumor, but it is believed by many including Christian theologians and historians that Valencia Cathedral houses the authentic Holy Grail.
There is another theory floating in a book titled ‘Kings of the Grail,’ according to which the real cup that Jesus Christ used during the Last Supper has been, for a 1000 years, located in Basilica of San Isidoro.
We will perhaps never know what is true, but if the Holy Grail is there in Valencia Cathedral, you can get close to it!
14. Visit the Only European Desert
The only true semi-desert in the whole of Europe is the Desierto de Tabernas. It is located in Spain’s Almeria province.
The desert remains bounded by Sierra de Alhamilla, Sierra de Los Filabres, and the Sierra Nevada. The dramatic lunar landscapes and hyper-arid climate of the desert make it a stunning beauty that you have probably seen in many movies including ‘A Fistful of Dollars,’ ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,’ etc. A visit to this desert is undoubtedly one of the best experiences in Spain.
15. Watch a Flamenco Show in Andalusia
Never leave Spain without watching a Flamenco show in Andalusia. This is where some 500 years ago, this traditional Spanish folk music took birth, and today, this colorful and seductive art is known worldwide.
The unique polka dot-patterned dress worn by women with their tight buns and high heels adds a whole new dimension to the mysterious art form. Of course, these skilled female dancers are accompanied by male singers and guitarists wearing dark suits.
You can come across a Flamenco show anywhere in Spain. You must be in Seville or Granada or Malaga if you are to experience the authentic Andalucian tradition.
Yes, we agree! This isn’t the complete list of best experiences in Spain. The country has much more to offer. Going prepared with a book of do’s and don’ts don’t always make a sense! Sometimes, you need to unearth the hidden gems. So, tell us what you have experienced and would like to call it one of the best experiences in Spain!