Spa and Wellness Holidays
Spa and wellness holidays are going to be hip everywhere in 2017, but that’s especially the case for Spain, which has many different types of spas and wellness retreats to choose from. Head to the southern region of Andalusia for opulent Arabic bathhouses that take inspiration from their Moorish past, and enjoy traditional rituals with Moroccan black olive and red grape soaps, and kessa massages and scrubs. Granada’s Alpujarras region and Catalunya are renowned for their spas and spa towns, while the Canary Islands are also going to be a favored destination – especially the island of Gran Canaria which is dotted with spa hotels. Thalassotherapy (spas using salt water) is the top trend here, and the island is even home to the largest thalassotherapy center in Europe.
Sustainable tourism is a growing industry all over the world as people are becoming more eco-conscious, and Spain already has many sustainable holiday options. There are many campsites and rural lodgings that offer eco-friendly alternatives to big hotels and, with sites such as Airbnb, you can even stay in places such as yurts, boats, tree houses and cave homes. National parks currently cover 4% of the country, which is also home to Europe’s largest park: the Picos de Europa in the north of Spain. Green Spain – the name given to the country’s northern regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country – is also a top sustainable tourism destination, while tourist tax introduced in the Balearic Islands earlier this year will also partly be used to improve sustainable tourism in the area.
Accommodation options centered around food are going to be big news next year, such as hotels located on farms or with their own kitchen gardens. Spain is of course already home to many rural hotels, located within vineyards, olive and citrus groves, making it a sought-after destination for foodies. We will also see the rise of hotels themed around specific foods and drinks, like those recently opened by the Praktik group in Barcelona – Praktik Bakery, set around a bakery concept with bread baking downstairs, and Praktik Vinoteca, a wine-themed hotel.
Technology has edged its way into our lives enough that it undoubtedly affects the way we travel – from booking flights and accommodation to finding our way around a new city and knowing where to eat. There are now countless apps dedicated to travel, and surely more to come in the future. Barcelona is already a major technology hub and was named one of the top five Smart Cities in Europe. From interactive screens on certain bus shelters, to ‘smart’ parking spaces that notify you if they’re available, and the installation of efficient LED lighting across the city, the city’s relationship with technology is evidently thriving. Host of next year’s Smart City Expo and Mobile World Capital until 2018, Barcelona is the place to be in 2017 if you really want to see how technology can be used to help travelers in a city setting.
Micro-Distilleries and Breweries
According to Lonely Planet, micro-distilleries are the next big thing in travel for 2017, and Spain is of course in on the action. Although the craft beer trend has already peaked in many countries around the world, in Spain it’s still just getting started. Craft beer breweries have recently been popping up all over Barcelona, such as American-style Edge Brewing, and there are also craft beer tours available from companies like Tapas and Beers. Other Spanish cities known for their craft beers are Madrid, Seville, Valencia and Bilbao. Spain’s first gin micro-distillery, SANTAMANÍA, opened just two years ago in Madrid and since then more have appeared, such as LAW Spirits on the island of Ibiza. The towns of Jerez de la Frontera and Sanlúcar de Barrameda, within Spain’s Sherry Triangle, have been known for their sherry micro-distilleries for years but their popularity will likely grow as more people seek out spirit-based travel experiences.