Spain is not just a great summer destination for the beach and lazing around in the heat sipping sangria, it also makes for a great winter break, with plenty of Christmas markets, winter traditions and even ski resorts. Here are our picks for the best winter destinations to visit in Spain in 2017.
The Andalusian city of Seville is usually associated with sun, flamenco and bullfighting, rather than cold and Christmas, but it can be a great destination to celebrate Navidad. One of the best reasons for this is its excellent Feria del Belén, a special type of Christmas market, dedicated to figurines and sets for the Spanish Beléns – elaborate nativity scenes. Seville has also recently been named Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel top city for 2018, so why not get ahead of the game and visit this winter to see what all the fuss is about?
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This small town in the Alicante province may not seem like a typical winter destination, but if you’re looking for great weather and plenty of culture, then this is a great option. Alcoy is home to the oldest Three King’s parade in Spain, which happens every year on the night of January 5, before Epiphany Day. During the parade, the Three Kings arrive with their huge flamboyant entourage and various floats to give presents and sweets to children.
Spain is not typically associated with snow, however if you truly want a white Christmas, then northern Spain could be a great destination. The city of Segovia is a particularly good choice, and there’s nothing better than seeing the Alcázar de Segovia castle covered in snow. A true fairy-tale palace, it (along with Germany’s Neuschwanstein) was Disney’s inspiration for Cinderella’s castle.
When it gets colder and darker, what you really need to cheer you up is some delicious food – and where has more of that than the foodie city of San Sebástian? San Sebástian has more Michelin-starred restaurants per square kilometre than any other city in the world, apart from Kyoto in Japan, and also has an array of world-class pintxos bars. Find out here why San Sebástian is the food capital of the planet.
Madrid makes for a vibrant city break at any time of year, but particularly around winter, with all its twinkly lights and various Christmas markets. Another reason to visit Madrid this winter is that the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a host of exhibitions, including Picasso-Lautrec from October 17 to January 21. Be sure to visit Madrid’s grand Plaza Mayor while you’re there too, as the elegant square turned 400 years old this year, and there will be numerous free exhibitions and concerts to commemorate the event.
2017 has been an important year for Bilbao too, namely because the famous Guggenheim art museum celebrated its 20th anniversary. The opening of this celebrated contemporary art museum changed the face and fate of this city so much so that it’s not even recognisable to the one it was before. In addition to a number of special events and exhibitions to celebrate this anniversary, Bilbao is also a fun city to spend Christmas and New Year in. Check out our articles on how to spend Christmas and New Year’s in the city to get the most out of it.
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