You won't need to go far beyond the Alhambra
of Granada and the streets of Barcelona
to find the real Spain. Step away from the crowds and you'll find that this destination has retained its depth—centuries of history linger in hilltop villages, and wild landscapes abound from the craggy Pyrenees
to the Mediterranean coast. This is where you come to revel in the good life, whatever that means to you: hiking through Galicia,
embracing the architecture of Bilbao,
or eating your way through the Basque Country
. When is the best time to visit?
Generally, April-June and September-October offer the most pleasant weather and fewer crowds than peak summer months. One exception is northern Spain, where springtime sees more rain than in other parts of the country; here, June-September is your best bet. July and August are the hottest months of the year—for sun worshippers, this could be the perfect time to visit. Learn More Where should I go in Spain?
If you're heading to Spain for the highlights, you'll want to start with Madrid, Barcelona, Granada,
. Not your first trip? Consider San Sebastián
, Santiago de Compostela
, and Valencia
. And if you truly want to venture off the track, craft your itinerary from the literal road less traveled—hike through the Pyrenees to hidden villages, drink wine in La Rioja
, explore Mérida
and the Extremadura
region, and the list goes on. How many days do I need?
While it's possible to have a fun trip to one of Spain's cities over a long weekend, we recommend at least 5 days
if you really want to experience a region. Madrid makes for a great base for taking regional day trips, and the same goes for Barcelona—medieval coastal villages and hiking trails in the Pyrenees are all within driving distance.
If you have 10 days
, choose between northern and southern Spain to minimize travel time. A southern route could include Madrid, Mérida (or another stop in Extremadura), Seville, and Granada. Travelers interested in the north can hit Barcelona, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Oviedo, and Santiago de Compostela. With two weeks
or more, geography is no longer an issue—just connect the dots to form a country-wide itinerary. Learn MoreGetting around Spain
Most travelers fly into either Madrid or Barcelona, and short, domestic flights are a convenient way to hop between major cities. Flying is also the best option for reaching the Canary Islands, Ceuta, and Melilla. For areas without airports, Spain’s high-speed AVE trains are fast and comfortable. Driving is another good option, as cities are mostly connected by well-maintained highways. Learn more
Looking for inspiration? See our top Spain itineraries
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