Oct 21, 2022



Travel Inspiration

12 Must-See Unique Places to Visit in Spain

Fora Author Fora Travel

The Modern Travel Agency

Fora Travel

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There’s nothing wrong with a cookie-cutter vacation to Spain – but if you really want to experience what makes the Iberian country so special, consider visiting the most unique places in Spain.

If you want the lowdown on the most unique places to visit in Spain, connect with Fora. From expert recommendations to free VIP perks (and hotel upgrades), booking with a Fora Advisor is a no-brainer for Spain travel planning.

The 12 most unique places to visit in Spain

These unique places belong on everyone’s Spain bucket list (and a few of these spots are among the best places to visit in Spain for first-timers, too). For easy reference, we’ve grouped them by category, including cities, regions and landmarks. Let’s begin!

Unique places to visit in Spain: cities & towns

Just about everyone’s heard of Madrid and Barcelona, but what about the lesser-known towns and cities? Here are a few of the most unique cities and towns to visit in Spain.

Not sure where to start? Connect with Fora. We'll do the heavy lifting and get you VIP treatment (for the same price as booking directly).

1. San Sebastián

Only about 12 miles from the French border, the coastal city of San Sebastián was named one of Europe’s Capitals of Culture in 2016 because of its unique blend of musical, gastronomical and artistic influences. Along with a gorgeous display of Neoclassical architecture and stunning ocean vistas, San Sebastián is home to many of Spain’s most exciting festivals and events.

Pro tip: check out our San Sebastián luxury foodie’s guide, San Sebastián beach food guide and Insider's guide to San Sebastián for some culinary itineraries. 

2. Girona

Girona is a charming little city built at the meeting point of four Spanish rivers. It’s a favorite destination for day trips from Barcelona because of its chill vibe, architectural appeal and historical significance. 

If you’re visiting Barcelona with kids, Girona may be a fun pitstop. And remember, Fora Advisors know all the best places to stay in Barcelona, Girona included (along with the top boutique hotels in Barcelona and beyond).

3. Ronda

Ronda is one of the more unique places to visit in Spain. Among its notable locations and Neoclassical architecture, the Puente Nuevo bridge stands out. Constructed during the latter half of the 1700s, Puente Nuevo connects Ronda’s two halves over a 120-meter-deep gorge, with stone supports and arches built directly into the chasm walls.

Fun fact: Ernest Hemingway and Orson Welles spent a lot of time in Ronda and many of their works feature the small town.

Unique places to visit in Spain: regions 

It might be strange to think of an entire region as a unique place to visit in Spain…even better, there are four of them.

4. Asturias

Asturias’ lush Atlantic coast and mountainous vistas are as gorgeous as they are adventure-filled. A seven-day itinerary through Asturias will take you through charming port towns with a sampling of some of the best seafood in Europe.

5. Andalusia

Whether you’re looking for a Moorish adventure in the South of Spain or an express tour of the Iberian Peninsula, Andalusia is a must on your Spanish itinerary. Seville – the birthplace of Flamenco – is Andalusia’s most popular destination. But the region is also home to tons of inviting white-hill towns like Setenil de las Bodegas. 

The cities of Córdoba and Granada are also not to be missed, as their Moorish architectural and cultural influences make them some of the most unique places to visit in Spain.

6. La Rioja

If you’re looking for vino (maybe as part of a Spain bachelorette party?), La Rioja is a gorgeous choice with verdant wine fields dotted with castles. 

Our La Rioja wine and tapas guide has more on that, but you can also connect with Fora to get the scoop on the best places to visit and stay.

7. Galicia

Galicia is easily one of the most unique places to visit in Spain because of its Celtic cultural roots, which have managed to survive in part through the rise and fall of the Roman Empire – which has also left a mark – and the civilizations to follow. 

This northwestern-most, rugged and hilly region is sparsely populated and fairly rural compared to the more traveled regions of Catalonia and Madrid, but that’s also part of its charm.

Unique places to visit in Spain: landmarks

We could write volumes on all the unique landmarks in Spain worth visiting, but here are a few of our favorites. 

Don’t forget: your Fora Advisor has the inside scoop on the best landmarks to see (and so much more). 

8. El Escorial

The town of San Lorenzo of El Escorial is most famous for the El Escorial Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since it was constructed during the Renaissance Period, it has served many functions, including as a monastery for the Catholic Church in Spain, the home of King Philip II, a library and more. 

Today, visiting San Lorenzo de El Escorial is a popular day trip from Madrid. And speaking of: a Fora Advisor can help you with planning, like where to stay in Madrid (including the best boutique hotels in Madrid), day trips to places like El Escorial and more.

9. Spain’s amazing (and underrated) castles

The Alcazar of Segovia, La Alhambra in Grenada, the Royal Palace of Aranjuez: from the hills of Galicia to the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea, Spain is filled with old fortresses, castles and palaces representing dozens of cultures and histories.

Exploring castles is just one of the reasons visiting Spain with kids can be so fun. From Gothic to Moorish architecture (and beyond), Spain’s castles are as unique as they are gorgeous. 

10. City of Arts & Science in Valencia

If you’re looking to explore the best of Valencia, you can’t miss the City of Arts & Sciences. This massive complex features a science museum built to look like the skeleton of a whale, an IMAX planetarium, Europe’s largest aquarium, opulent concert halls and so much more.

The “city” is a modern architectural marvel that isn’t just one of the most unique places to visit in Spain, but in Europe at large. It’s definitely worth talking with a Fora Advisor for more details on the city – travel advisors for Spain are a must if you want to make sure you get the best of the best.

11. Rio Tinto Mines, Huelva

The Rio Tinto Mines are a famous attraction near Huelva, Spain because of the nearby Red River. And we say “red”, we mean it: the Rio Tinto is tinged with red and orange hues because of runoff from the nearby mines, which have been running for over 5,000 years.  

The river is actually dangerous to venture into because of its highly acidic composition. But it’s still an interesting and unique sight from afar.

12. The Valley of the Fallen

The Valley of the Fallen memorializes those who gave their lives during the Spanish Civil War. It was built under the direction of the dictator Francisco Franco as a “national act of atonement”, but has since undergone renovations to remove Franco’s more overt influences.

Like the El Escorial Monastery, the Valley of the Fallen is a popular day trip from Madrid (our local’s guide to the best of Madrid or our insider's guide to Madrid and its surrounding cities has more of those, by the way), and it’s definitely one of the most unique places to see in Spain.

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