Now that we have a roadmap out of lockdown, Spain is once again one of the most hotly searched summer destinations online by British holidaymakers.
There are many reasons why Spain is so popular: stunning coastal scenery, picturesque countryside villages, culture, it’s superb climate and excellent food.
Every tourism-dependent destination undoubtedly deserves a boost for 2021, but if anybody needs an additional incentive to visit Spain from this summer onwards, here are some of the best places for sun, beach and more.
HOLIDAYS IN SPAIN – Discover the wild coasts of the Costa Cálida (Region of Murcia)
With an average of over 300 days sunshine each year, the Costa Cálida (translated as ‘warm coast) is true to its name. The rugged coastline west of Cartagena is scattered with small coves and unspoilt beaches and Calnegre and Cabo Cope Regional Park offers 17km of wild and dramatic coastline. Known for its fauna and flora, the area is ideal for nature enthusiasts looking for an authentic slice of Spain. On the coast, twitchers can observe gulls, cormorants and shearwaters whilst closer towards the interior offers sightings of larks and curlews. Ideal to be explored by car, visitors can combine dips in the sea with walking along the pretty coastline and exploring caves from the Neolithic period.
Stay at La Manga Club – Villa Las Brisas Calidas which offers a private terrace and garden, as well as access to a shared pool and various leisure facilities including tennis courts and a spa. Jet2Villas (jet2holidays.com/villas) is currently offering seven nights departing on 3 July for £955 per person, inclusive of flights (from Birmingham), car hire and accommodation on a self-catering basis (ATOL protected). www.murciaturistica.es
HOLIDAYS IN SPAIN – Explore sun-kissed Cádiz and the surrounding area
The Andalucían city of Cádiz stakes a claim as Europe’s oldest city with archaeologists discovering walls that date back to the 8th-century BC, however nowadays it is a holidaymaker’s dream with its year-round sunshine, stunning art and architecture, seafood tapas, and the beauty of its surrounding areas. Visitors to the city can explore the historic architecture, relics of the Phoenicians and Moors, or kick back in a chiringuito (beach-side bar) tucking into delicious seafood tapas caught just off the city’s coastline that same day. Excursions to the neighbouring Doñana National Park offer swooping wetland landscapes in an internationally important area for wildlife such as the endangered Iberian lynx and for birdlife including species migrating from Africa to Europe. Doñana is a natural spectacle that is different each season, between the Andalusian provinces of Huelva, Seville and Cadiz. Alternatively, Jerez, just 30 minutes along the coast, is the home of sherry and has a multitude of world-renowned Sherry bodegas offering tasting sessions and the chance to learn more about one of Spain’s most famous exports.
Holidaymakers can now travel to Andalucía with the extra peace of mind that the “International Travel Insurance for Andalucía” brings, offering non-residents up to €4,000 worth of insurance cover in the case of a COVID-19 infection including medical costs, costs associated to an extended stay and repatriation costs. www.andalucia.org/en/travel-assistance-insurance
Love Holidays (loveholidays.com) offers a seven-night holiday staying at the 4* Senator Cádiz Spa Hotel with return flights from London Stansted to Seville for £467 pp based on two adults sharing a double room on a room-only basis. Departing 19 August 2021.
HOLIDAYS IN SPAIN – Escape to the stunning tiny island of Formentera
The smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera, is one of the Mediterranean’s best kept secrets with Caribbean-style white sandy beaches and sleepy villages with white-washed houses, all surrounded by turquoise waters. The lack of an airport or large-scale holiday accommodation on the island works in its favour and ensures that Formentera remains a tranquil, uncrowded and slow-motion kind of place all year round.
Formentera boasts laid-back hippie charm and exotic energy making it the ideal spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and recharge their batteries this summer. In the island, there are many spots to consider when looking for peace and quiet such as Playa Migjorn located on the southern coast of the island. The beach offers many isolated corners and coves surrounded by sand dunes and pine trees. There are also seaside chiringuitos (beach bars) where visitors can enjoy the breeze of the sea with a cocktail in their hand after a long walk across the island.
FirstChoice.co.uk offers a four-night all-inclusive stay at the three-star Insotel Club Maryland in Formentera, located by the picturesque Migjorn Beach, priced from £706pp. The offer includes return flights from London Gatwick to Ibiza and transfers between airport and the hotel. Based on 30 August 2021 departure for two adults sharing. No deposit required and the trip is ABTA and ATOL protected. www.formentera.es/en
HOLIDAYS IN SPAIN – Enjoy the Mallorcan luxury with a heritage twist
Palma’s excellent cuisine, combined with awe-inspiring architecture, such as the vast gothic-style cathedral, La Seu, tree-lined shopping boulevards, enchanting cobbled streets and world-class museums including contemporary arts museum, Es Baluard, make the Mallorca’s capital an ideal destination for a summer escape. Thanks to being home to an array of stylish and modern hotels, Palma is also a great option for those seeking a bit of luxury.
For those who want to combine the coastal urban city of Palma, with and rural escapism, staying longer to explore the rural town of Pollença is a great choice. Pollença is one of the ancient jewels of the Balearics, an hour away from Palma. Nestled at the eastern end of the Serra de Tramuntana mountain range, this charming Mallorcan town includes remnants of Moorish invasions, Roman conquests and Christian rule, all of which have left a mark on the town’s culture and architecture. Besides narrow streets and honey-coloured stone buildings, which now serve as boutiques, galleries and crafts shops, some of the key landmarks include an ancient Roman bridge and the 18th-century Mare de Deu dels Angels church with a famous rose window.
Bidroom (bidroom.com) offers a three-night stay at the four-star Son Sant Jordi hotel in Pollença, Mallorca, from £381 per couple (based on 1 July 2021 check-in). This family-run boutique property, conveniently located in the town centre, consists of a cluster of seventeenth-century villas that have been refurbished to provide the ultimate relaxation in an authentic Mallorcan setting. Book with Bidroom and get unlimited Wi-Fi and free cancellation. Travellers can experience Bidroom for free, following a simple registration. Alternatively, upgrade to the premium membership for £49 per year to unlock further hotel deals, bigger discounts on bookings, money off even more membership partners and share benefits with friends.
HOLIDAYS IN SPAIN – Take in the spectacular volcanic landscape of Lanzarote with a local tour guide
Head to Timanfaya National Park, on a magical volcanic journey with local guide Eros who has extensive knowledge of the island and years of experience leading tours across the globe. The immersive tour is completely customisable which allows travellers to choose from the luscious green north of the island, to the spectacular volcanoes and the expansive desert down south.
Take a look around a special volcanic cave and sunken garden which was inspiration for the famous artist Cesar Manrique or hop on a bike to discover remote spots and hidden corners, that can only be found with the expertise of a local guide. End of the tour with a treat for the senses on an epic gastronomic experience tasting local food and delicious wines.Tuck into Lapas, also known as limpets which are a real delicacy in Lanzarote or try Papas Arrugadas, Canarian potatoes which are traditionally served with a chili pepper garlic sauce, called mojo rojo. For those with a sweet tooth, popular Bienmessabe is a rich dessert made with ground almonds, honey and egg yolks and is certainly not to be missed!
ToursByLocals (www.toursbylocals.com) the world’s leading online marketplace for private tours, enriches the travel experience with 4,800 expert local guides leading tours in 190 countries. The full-day customised tour of Lanzarote is priced at £752 per tour (for up to eight people) and includes seven hours of exploring with a guide.