As much as I love Barcelona, enjoyed Madrid, and bad a blast getting my surf on in Fuerteventura, even I know that there is more to Spain than sun, sea, and surf. That’s why I’m dedicating this blog post to five of the country’s underrated cities (I wrote about another in this post): Santa Eulalia Del Rio, Valencia, Sant Josep de sa Talaia, Adeje, and Palma. While European tourists may be very well acquainted with a few of these places, my North American compatriots may not be as well-informed!
Hold on tight while we explore some of these underrated cities in Spain – for North American travellers!
Santa Eulalia del Rio
Saint Eulalia is a very important character in Catalan history—the 13-year old was tortured and persecuted during the reign of Diocletian for her Christian beliefs. Santa Eulalia del Rio sits on a river that travels through the countryside to the sea at the western side of this town in Ibiza. But don’t think that island town closes up shop during the winter! In February you can celebrate the carnival season in the name of the brave Saint Eulalia. Dress up in costume and parade around the streets for a local cultural experience.
Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city and is home to some of the country’s most unique architecture, both new and old. Valencia has a Mediterranean feel with striking Gothic and Renaissance buildings. In the winter, it doesn’t get too cold and you can sit outside in mild temperatures while enjoying a coffee in a plaza or drinking wine. Valencia is full of lively bars, great shops, and interesting museums.
Sant Josep de sa Talaia
Sant Josep de sa Talaia—this city on the Balearic Island is quite the mouthful! But that’s what you get when you visit these Spanish cities during the off-season: quality food without the cliché British tourists, loud music, and densely packed restaurants and bars. Try the romantic location of Restaurante Sa Soca at a time when you can actually get a table!
While I may have gone to Fuerteventura for my surf trip, Tenerife is the true surf capital of Spain’s islands. Costa Adeje is a new resort area in Tenerife and a great place to try out windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing, or wave surfing. Wintertime is a great time for this when the Atlantic is kicking up a storm—it means good waves and small crowds.
Palma de Mallorca is known as a jewel of the Western Mediterranean. While it gets most of its visits during the summer months, there is plenty of fun to be had in the winter. Hike the Tramuntana, Mallorca’s mountain range and UNESCO Heritage Site, without suffering in the winter sun. Winter is also a great time for cycling around the island and checking out Mallorca’s wine industry. From January to February, check out the winter blossom of the islands almond trees—it’s a sight to behold!
When it comes to visiting Spain in the winter, most places are underrated! It’s a great time of year to experience the best of Spain’s food, architecture, and culture.