7 Reasons Spain Deserves A Spot On Your Bucket List

Plus the top sights and to-dos while you’re there

The Vacationeer
Los Cristianos beach on the island of Tenerife in Spain

Spain is the world’s second-most visited country (after France), with an all-time high of 83.7 million visitors in 2019. Wondering why so many travelers visit Spain? Here are seven reasons Spain is a must-see destination, plus plenty of ways to spend an unforgettable vacation in this southern European country.

A view of the sunny beachside town Calella de Palafrugell on Catalonia's Costa Brava in Spain 

1. Stunning Scenery

Beautiful vistas await you wherever you go in Spain. The landscapes are varied, from the subtropical Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean to the ski-worthy slopes of the Sierra Nevada — making it a popular winter destination for beach-goers and snowboarders. Keen-eyed film buffs may recognize the sandy desert of Cabo de Gata from their favorite films, like “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly” or “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.”

Check out six Southern Spain spots with sunny views year-round for a guaranteed gorgeous getaway.

2. Best of Beaches

Tripadvisor ranked several Spanish beaches as among the top beaches in Europe. It’s easy to see why travelers escape to Spain, with more than 3,000 miles of coastline and pleasant year-round weather. Add Playa de Muro, Sotavento Beach, Playa de Las Canteras and La Concha Beach to your beach bucket list.

Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona, Spain 

3. Lively Cities

Spain’s bustling cities are some of the best places to visit. Tour Madrid’s many museums, including the Prado National Museum, Reina Sofia Art Museum and the National Archaeology Museum. Barcelona is full of unique architecture, from the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia and Casa Batllo to the mosaics of the Palace of Catalan Music. Explore Granada through historic walking sites through fortresses like the Alhambra or enjoy the view of Mirador de San Nicolas.

4. Convenient Location

Spain’s lovely southern European weather means the country is open to exploration no matter the season; where to travel in Spain is only limited by your imagination. Plus, Spain is close to Europe’s hot spots — such as London, United Kingdom; Lisbon, Portugal; and Paris, France — and more exotic locales, like Andorra and Morocco.

An overhead view of a wooden table with several Spanish tapas dishes, including ham, mussels and peppers 

5. Savory Food

Foodies know that Spain is a tasty destination with plenty of unique cuisine, from paella to gazpacho. You may have seen a trendy tapas place pop up locally, but Spain perfected the shareable savory dishes. Try Iberian ham or Manchego cheese for an elevated charcuterie.

Then, of course, there’s the wine. La Rioja and the Ribera del Duero are Spain’s main wine regions, with plenty of rolling vineyards where you can sip on delicious vintages. Sherry from Jerez de la Frontera, muscatel from Malaga and Catalonia’s sparkling wine are also worth a try.

6. Adventures Aplenty

Spain is also a great destination if you prefer the great outdoors. Spain contains a whopping 45 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are tons of outdoor walking tours through historical art and architecture to experience.

Keep busy wherever you go — whether you prefer sailing along the coast of Barcelona, skiing in Baquiera or golfing on a course designed by the “Picasso of golf." Spain is also home to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, two of the world’s top soccer teams. Catch a "futbol" match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium or Camp Nou.

Buildings along a road in Pamplona, Spain, home to the festival of San Fermin, also known as the running of the bulls 

7. Vibrant Festivals

Any list of things to do in Spain should include quintessential Spanish festivals. Throughout the year, cities hold fiestas to celebrate different aspects of Spanish culture.

Pamplona is home to the famous San Femin Festival, where people worldwide come to see matadors and the running of the bulls.La Tomatina in Bunol celebrates the harvest with a giant tomato-throwing fight. The San Vino Wine Fight Festival continues a centuries-old tradition of splashing wine on each other, with plenty of wine to drink afterward. The Fallas Festival in Valencia displays ninots, or giant wooden statues of cultural icons, before burning them in a bonfire. La Tamborrada isn’t for the faint of heart, as participants bang drums throughout Seville for an entire day.

Stay tuned for new Hilton Grand Vacations resorts in Spain. In the meantime, see how one HGV Owner used the perks of vacation ownership to travel to Europe.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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