Even though it’s famous for its beaches, Spain is a diverse country full of cultural and historic sites, buzzing cities, stunning national parks, world-class festivities, and vibrant nightlife that make it perfect for a honeymoon.
Located at the western end of Europe, Spain shares the Iberian Peninsula with Portugal, has France to the east, the Mediterranean Sea and Morocco to the south, and the Bay of Biscay and the United Kingdom to the north. It’s the country with the third-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (only after Italy and China) and with more than 80 million tourists every year, it’s not hard to see why it’s the second most visited country in the world after France.
Spain has an attractive mix of friendly inhabitants, relaxed lifestyle, renowned cuisine, exciting nightlife, and beautiful cities, making it an amazing destination for any kind of honeymoon. Some of the must-sees here are Madrid and Barcelona, Seville, Granada, and Córdoba with their Islamic architecture in Andalusia, and Galicia, Basque Country, and La Rioja in the north.
Where to Go For Your Honeymoon in Spain
Spain is much more than just a beach destination and has a lot to see: Madrid and Barcelona are two of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Andalusia is full of historical sites and beautiful towns, the north features stunning landscapes and amazing beaches, while the Balearic Islands are an ideal place to enjoy the sun and the sea.
The options are endless but your time is limited so here we’ll have a look at the places you should visit when you go to the land of flamenco and sangría.
Madrid is usually in the shadow of Barcelona and sometimes even skipped by tourists altogether. Even though it doesn’t have a unique building such as the Colosseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or something that stands out, the Spanish capital has a lot to offer and shouldn’t be missed.
In the historical center, you’ll find the Plaza Mayor with its 200+ balconies, Sol Square, San Miguel Market, the Almudena Cathedral, the Royal Palace, the famous Gran Via street, and many squares where you can sit down, have some tapas and people watch.
This area isn’t big so you can walk around without the need to take a metro or bus. Not far from the center there’s also the Retiro, a 350-acre park where you can go for a walk or have a picnic surrounded by nature, and Real Madrid’s stadium, called Santiago Bernabeu, the perfect place for soccer fans.
If strolling around an art gallery sounds romantic to your, Madrid has three of the best art museums in the world: Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen-Bornemisza, with thousands of paintings and sculptures.
More than sightseeing, Madrid is a city that you have to experience. Apart from going to tourist places, exploring the historical center and wandering around Malasaña, Salamanca or La Latina neighborhoods, just go to a bar or plaza, get some tapas and people watch together. The vibe this city has is one of a kind and that’s what makes it unique.
Madrid also has some great day-trips. Within 70 miles, Toledo, Segovia, and Avila are three of the best medieval towns in Spain and they’re all just a bus or train ride away.
Madrid Honeymoon ACCOMMODATIONS
The Spanish capital isn’t as big as other cities such as London and Paris so if you stay in the city center, you can get to most places on foot. There are thousands of accommodation options for every type of traveler but considering location and value for money, some of the top choices are Soho Boutique Congreso, a 4-star hotel where rooms start at $120 per night, Amor de Dios 17 Boutique Hotel with rooms for $130 per night, and Gran Via Centric that offers apartments for $150 per night.
Barcelona is the second biggest Spanish city and arguably the most famous one. With its amazing Mediterranean weather, distinctive architecture and cosmopolitan atmosphere, the capital of Catalonia has been attracting tourists for decades.
Attractions here are more spectacular and landmarks tend to be more famous than in Madrid. You can visit some of the buildings designed by Gaudí such as the outstanding Sagrada Familia, the famous Park Güell, and Casa Batlló, walk around Gracia, Gothic, Las Ramblas and Barceloneta neighborhoods, go to Mount Tibidabo to enjoy the fantastic views of the city, enjoy some art in the Picasso Museum or MACBA, or take a tour in the Barcelona Stadium (Camp Nou). If you’re a beach lover, you can either go to some of the beaches in the city or take a train and go to Ocata, Sant Pol de Mar, Caldes d’Estrac or Tossa de Mar, all of them reachable within 80 minutes.
Barcelona Honeymoon Accommidations
Barcelona has thousands of hotels for every budget. Some of the best in terms of value for money are Magatzem 128 with rooms that start at $130 per night, Cien Hotel where you can stay for $170 per night, and Park Hotel that offers accommodation starting at $150 per room.
Located in southern Spain, Andalusia was occupied by the Moors for 800 years so it’s full of Islamic architecture and cute towns. This sun-kissed region is the birthplace of flamenco and where people enjoy the beaches and life to the fullest.
With more than 33,000 square miles, Andalusia is the second biggest region in Spain and it has many beautiful places to visit. Some of the ones you can’t miss are:
The capital of Andalusia is famous for its flamenco scene. Additionally, it has a beautiful historic center where you can take a trip to the Real Alcázar, visit the Cathedral, and the famous Plaza de España, where part of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones was shot.
Seville is a popular Easter destination and it gets very busy during the ferias, a local festivity that takes place in April.
Some of the best hotels here are Hotel Don Paco with rooms for $90, and Hotel Cervantes where a night starts at $120.
Granada is a city famous for its diverse culture and history, influenced by Moorish, Jewish, and Christian traditions, and its huge tapas. Located 150 miles east from Seville, Granada is home to the spectacular Alhambra, a Moorish palace that’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Other highlights are Sacromonte, the gypsy neighborhood, and Albaicin, the Moorish neighborhood. Being a university city, Granada is full of young people and there are plenty of bars that serve huge tapas.
Only 20 miles southeast of Granada, there’s Sierra Nevada National Park, another must-see. This UNESCO World Heritage site is very popular for skiing and hiking and can be combined with a visit to the Alpujarras, a fascinating collection of white villages.
Located 90 miles east of Seville and 90 miles northwest of Granada, Cordoba was one of the main cities in the Iberian peninsula during the Moorish era. The biggest legacy of those times is the marvelous Grand Mosque of Cordoba, which nowadays is a cathedral with Islamic designs. Additionally, this city is famous for its beautiful gardens, the Roman Bridge and its charming old town which is a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Some of the top accommodation choices in Cordoba are Cordoba Center that offers rooms from $70 per night, and Maciá Alfaros with rooms for $90 per night.
Basque Country and La Rioja
The north of Spain isn’t as famous as the south but it well deserves your time. On the northeast of the country 12 miles from the French Border, San Sebastian is one of those places that shouldn’t be missed. La Concha is a 0.8-mile beach in the city and it’s said to be one of the best in the world. Additionally, San Sebastián has a beautiful old town, a world-class gastronomic scene and it’s famous for its delicious pintxos making it an ideal place for foodies.
San Sebastián has a wide variety of accommodation options. Considering value for money, some of the top choices are Zenit San Sebastián with rooms for $90, and Hotel Astoria7 where a night starts at $120.
If you’re in the area, don’t miss Bilbao, the capital of the Basque Country with the famous Guggenheim Museum, and San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a small rocky island located 22 miles north of Bilbao that served as Dragonstone in the famous Game of Thrones series and offers amazing views of the sea.
For those who like wine, La Rioja is the place to go. Located nearly 90 miles south of Bilbao, this region is full of wineries that offer tours and tastings. The city of Logroño, the capital of the region, is a good base to explore some towns such as Haro and Ezcaray, and try some of the best wines in Europe.
In a country with as much tourism as Spain, finding hidden gems is a real challenge. Galicia is one of the favorite places for locals but pretty unknown to foreigners.
Located in the northwest, during centuries Galicia received Celtic, Roman, Visigoth, Muslim, and Spanish influences. With its green, lush forests and amazing beaches, it’s home to some of the most impressive landscapes in Spain and it’s said to have the most delicious seafood in the country.
Some of the must-sees are Cape Finisterre, which was believed to be the end of the world in Roman times, the stunning Playa das Catedrais with huge rock formations, Rias Baixas area where you should visit the Dunas de Corrubedo Park with unspoiled nature, O Grove, and Sanxenxo city, and the Cíes Islands, a nature park located only 1.7 miles off the coast that is home to some incredible beaches.
A visit to Galicia won’t be complete without a night in Santiago de Compostela, the capital city with the famous cathedral where most of the pilgrims finish the famous “Camino de Santiago” (others prefer to walk until Cape Finisterre).
Most travelers use Santiago as a base to explore the region. Hotel AC Palacio del Carmen, with rooms for $90, and Eurostars Araguaney, where a night costs $75, are excellent choices for accommodation.
It’s worth noting that Galicia isn’t very well connected by public transportation so the best way to get around is to rent a car.
If all the above isn’t enough and you want to explore Spain even more, the Balearic Islands are a fantastic option. Go to Menorca for amazing beaches and crystal clear waters, Ibiza for a vibrant nightlife, or Mallorca if you want a mix between beach and nature. There are cheap flights from Madrid and Barcelona so you can easily add a couple of days on the island that suits you best.
Climate & When to go on your Honeymoon
Spain is famous for its sunshine but the weather isn’t the same in the whole country. The south has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild and rainy winters. The center has a more continental climate characterized by hot, dry summers and cold winters, and even heavy snowfalls in high altitudes. The north has a maritime climate, with cool summers, mild winters, and more rain than any other region.
However, all in all, Spain enjoys mild weather compared to other European countries. July and August are usually the busiest months especially in Barcelona and the coast, and temperatures can reach 105ºF in some areas. The low season runs from November to March, when days are short and there’s more rain. That’s why if you want to avoid the crowds, find cheaper accommodation and enjoy warm but agreeable temperatures, May, June, September, and October are the best months to visit Spain.
Getting Around During Your Honeymoon
Being a popular tourist destination, it’s very easy to move around Spain. Buses go virtually everywhere and they tend to be cheaper than the train but also slower.
Trains are reliable and comfortable and they’re an excellent option to move between big cities and some towns. However, services in Galicia, the Balearic Islands, and some other regions aren’t great. Spain has an excellent speed train service called AVE that connects the main cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, or Seville among others.
To go to the Balearic Islands or travel long distances, flying is the top option. There are several airlines that fly within Spain for a cheap price.
If you’re planning to visit the Galician coast or the Balearic Islands, renting a car is your best choice. Public transportation isn’t reliable and sometimes even non-existent so a car will allow you to have more flexibility and make the most of your trip.
Final Thoughts on a Honeymoon in Spain
All in all, if you’re looking for a balanced mix of rich culture, historical sites, beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, charming towns, a relaxed way of life, and world-class gastronomy, Spain is a top choice for your honeymoon. Regardless of whether you go south, north, east or west, you can be sure of one thing: Spain won’t disappoint you.