Definitely the most romantic city in Spain, and quite possibly the world, is sultry Seville. Here you walk arm in arm with your partner through fountain-filled plazas, down tiny windy alleys with the sounds of Spanish guitar floating through the air, and enjoy a horse and carriage ride around the city. But that’s not all, Seville’s fascinating mix of opulent Moorish architecture and colourful Andalusian houses makes it so photogenic that you’ll come home with a whole album full of romantic shots.
There’s nothing quite like the ancient charm of Granada, strolling along the quaint cobbled streets and looking up to see the ancient Alhambra palace set against the jagged peaks behind. It’s the perfect Valentine’s destination – cold, but sunny, not too busy, and made even more special by the view of snowy peaks framing the Alhambra. Spend your time here dining out on free tapas, sipping fragrant brews in the teahouses of the Moorish Albaicín neighbourhood and watching flamenco performances in the traditional old caves of Sacramonte.
With its honey-hued architecture, the UNESCO World Heritage city of Salamanca is quite a sight to behold. Festooned with Romanesque, Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture, there’s no shortage of romantic-looking buildings here. Those waiting on a proposal from their partner may want to take them to the old university buildings, as legend has it that if you’re able to spot the small stone frog on the intricately carved facade, you’ll be set to marry within the year. End your Valentine’s trip with a drink in the magnificent Plaza Mayor with its arcaded galleries – one of the most impressive in the whole of Spain.
What could make a more romantic destination than the city that is home to Cinderella’s castle? A true fairytale getaway, it is said that Cinderella’s Disney castle was inspired in part by the city’s Alcázar Palace, along with Neuschwanstein Castle near Munich. Though the castle may be its crown, Segovia is packed with romantic architecture at every turn, from graceful old aqueducts to narrow cobbled laneways and the magnificent spiked Segovia Cathedral.
The ancient city of Toledo lies just 73km south of Madrid, but it couldn’t feel further away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Sitting on a hilltop, filled with ancient wonders and monuments, it’s known as ‘the City of Three Cultures’, due to the fact that Christians, Muslims and Jews lived here together for many centuries, and each left their mark behind. There surely is nothing more romantic than exploring its palaces, mosques, fortresses and old synagogues together, hand in hand.
Located in the region of Castilla y León, Ávila has earned the nickname of ‘Town of Stones and Saints‘, and is said to have the highest number of Romanesque and Gothic churches per capita in the whole of Spain. Hemmed in by a mighty turreted city wall, you’ll feel as if you’re truly staying in an fairytale kingdom and a land of far, far away.
Located in the mountains above Malaga, Ronda is a world away from the touristy beaches of the Costa del Sol. Perched on a series of dramatic clifftops, there are romantic views to enjoy in Ronda, wherever you look. Stand atop Ronda’s famous Puente Nuevo Bridge, which spans a 120-metre-deep gorge and the Guadalevín River below, for that envious couples’ shot.
Córdoba often gets overlooked in favour of its more famous neighbours – Seville, Malaga and Granada, but choose this seductive city for a romantic break and you certainly won’t leave feeling like you wish you’d gone somewhere else. Córdoba always feels like its dressed in its finest and ready to celebrate, which makes it the perfect destination to impress your partner. The golden gleam and lavish interior of La Mezquita shouldn’t be missed, nor should the grandiose Moorish Alcazar de los Reyes.
Jerez de la Frontera
A city whose very essence embodies what many see as some of the major symbols of Spain – flamenco, horses and wine – Jerez de la Frontera is sure to make for that romantic Valentine’s break. Enjoy your time here sipping sherry in age-old bars and exploring underground wine cellars, strolling around its postcard-perfect historic centre and watching a magical performance of dancing horses at the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian Art.
Santillana del Mar
Located in northern Cantabria, Santillana del Mar may not be a well-known Spanish destination, but it’s the perfect one if you want somewhere a little off the beaten track or under the radar. This romantic medieval town will take you back in time to a more chivalrous era, past Renaissance palaces and the striking collegiate church of Santa María.
The Catalan city of Girona is the gateway to the stunning villages and hidden beaches of the Costa Brava, but it is of course an amazing city break destination in its own right. Think, getting lost among the alleyways of the historic Jewish quarter, ducking into opulent churches on every other corner, and marvelling at the picturesque multi-coloured houses hanging over the River Onyar.
For more Spanish travel inspiration take a look at our article on The 15 Best Destinations to Visit in Spain in 2018.