Set on a pretty bay in the Basque Country, northern Spain, San Sebastián (Donostia in Basque) has a grand old charm mixed with a buzzing social scene centred around the city’s great love: food. Its old town is jam-packed with pintxo bars (Basque-style tapas are lined up on the bar, buffet style and you choose whatever takes your fancy) while the city has three of the seven restaurants to hold three Michelin stars in Spain.
Playa de la Concha, recently voted Spain’s best beach, is a beautiful cove, while the promenade, edged in its famous wrought-iron, is the ideal place for a romantic sunset stroll.
What could be more romantic than stepping into a real-life fairytale? Granada will take your breath away with its stunning Alhambra, a hilltop fortress that looks like it came straight from a storybook. Explore the narrow streets of the Albayzín, the original Moorish neighbourhood and don’t miss the whitewashed cave homes of Sacromonte, the old gypsy neighbourhood where flamenco first flourished.
Seville is one of the hottest destinations in Spain right now and for good reason. This southern gem has it all: history, culture, cuisine and tradition (visit in April for the famous April Fair, when local women don flamenco dresses and dance the night away). Don’t miss the world’s largest Gothic cathedral or a chance to explore the local tapas scene over the river in Triana. The city is known for its ceramics so make sure to hit the shops for some memorable souvenirs.
Valencia is like the cooler younger sister of its northern neighbour, Barcelona. It has the beach, the history, the nightlife, but is less tourist-packed and less mammoth to tackle, making it an ideal romantic city break. The birthplace of paella, Valencia has a bustling old town and a futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex that is home to Europe’s largest aquarium. The El Carmen neighbourhood is full of cool bars and restaurants for a romantic night out.
This university city in northwest Spain is a beautiful location for a romantic break and is home to one of the most beautiful Plaza Mayors (main squares) in Spain, as well as the country’s oldest university. The golden buildings of the old town provide a wonderful backdrop for romantic strolls and the city’s many buzzing bars and restaurants mean your nights will be packed with fun. Don’t miss trying to find the tiny frog hidden somewhere on the exterior of the cathedral: just look out for the crowd of people craning their necks and squinting for the location.
Follow in the footsteps of literary and musical greats with a trip to the beautiful coastal village of Deià, set in the mountains of northern Mallorca. The English poet Robert Graves settled there after the First World War and over the years, the village has attracted writers and musicians for its laid-back charm and wonderful setting among orange trees and olive groves overlooking the Mediterranean.
Spain’s La Rioja region is world-famous for its wines, and a holiday exploring its vineyards is a sure-fire romantic winner. The pretty town of Haro is home to some of La Rioja’s oldest wineries such as R. López de Heredia Viña Tondonia, a family-run vineyard that has been going strong for over 140 years. And for the ultimate romantic experience, Bodegas Muga offer hot air balloon rides over the vineyards. Stay in what has to be the region’s most unique hotel, the Hotel Marqués de Riscal Elciego, which was designed by acclaimed architect, Frank Gehry.