Spain’s Absolute Musts
Most Beautiful Nature Spot
Spain is so beautiful that choosing only one “most beautiful” spot, for our Spain‘s absolute musts guide, was a hard task. We are mountain lovers, so for us it would have to be Picos de Europa, a jaw-dropping mountain range located 20 km from the northern coast across the communities of Cantabria, Asturias and Castile y León. Their highest point, Torre de Cerredo, reaches only 2,650 m so they are not too high and can be climbed by people who are out of shape as well.
Spectacular walks and stunning scenery guaranteed! The paths are well marked and the park is very well organised with a helpful tourist information booth whose staff speak fluent English, German and French!
Picos de Europa National Park has had a UNESCO Natural Biosphere Reserve status since 2003.
There are many access points to the park. During our stay we camped at the La Viorna campsite near Potes.
You can find all the walking tours on this useful website.
Best City / Town
Spain has an abundance of beautiful cities, towns and villages. You would be surprised how many unknown and forgotten medieval villages with cobbled streets we passed on our way. Places such as Sos del Rey Católico, Ainsa, Torla and Santillana del Mar remain relatively unknown and besieged by tourists, while if they were to be in any other country they would be the main attractions.
However, the most amazing city in Spain and most definitively one of Spain’s absolute musts (and some would say even in Europe) is Barcelona, our home for nearly three years now. Stunning architecture (both Gothic and Modernist), direct access to the Mediterranean Sea and the beautiful mountain range of Collserola, a vibrant party scene and some of the best clubs in Europe, numerous parks, museums and art galleries are just a few reasons to fall in love with the Catalan capital. Besides, Barcelona is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
It’s a lively, well-organised European metropolis with an efficient transport system and many cycle paths. Living here is really comfortable and hassle-free, and there is always something going on.
The city will simply blow your mind! We’d never known that we’d stay here for such a long time but we simply cannot leave. Barcelona is magnetic!
Best area for hitch-hiking
The easiest areas for hitch-hiking in terms of the roads and the time it took us to get a lift were Aragón and Navarre. People in these two regions proved to be really friendly and many times went out of their way to help us. There aren’t that many motorways either and you will mostly find yourself on country and mountain roads, which is probably both good and bad, as in low season you might need to wait longer.
The scenery is truly stunning with the lovely Pyrenees on the horizon.
We’ve been living in Spain for nearly three years and during this time we’ve heard many good things about the supposedly gorgeous San Sebastián. Its landscape and architecture amazed everybody we spoke to and many people told us that we would certainly fall in love with its food and the friendliness of its people. We entered San Sebastián with our hopes raised to the top and expected to see one of the most beautiful places human eye has ever seen. Indeed, at the first glance the town looked charming. Its fin-de-sicele architecture and the soaring Gothic cathedral drew our attention from the very first minutes after our arrival. However, the longer we spent in San Sebastián, the quicker the first positive impression faded away. To our utter surprise, we realised that under this façade of lovely buildings there was nothing else that could make us wish to stay there for more than two days. We visited the churches and the castle dominating one of the hills, we walked along the beach and finally admitted to ourselves that that was it. There was nothing more to the place than a couple of pretty streets. Everything else was just very expensive boutiques and restaurants. The prices were so high that we couldn’t even try the famed pinchos. We weren’t the only ones, though. The long and never-ending queue outside McDonalds suggested that it wasn’t only us who couldn’t afford to eat out in San Sebastián. Apart from that there were hardly any bars or cafés, so after you’ve done all the sightseeing possible, there was nothing else to do.
We hitch-hiked in Spain as part of our ‘A dedo por La Península Ibérica‘ (The Iberian Peninsula by Thumb) trip in 2012. Furthermore, we’ve been living in Barcelona for nearly three years now.
When hitch-hiking in Spain we covered 4026 km and got picked up by around 90 drivers from 14 different countries!