Have you ever had the feeling of being in a Unique Places to Visit in Spain that looks like no other? Have you felt like stopping that moment forever? There are places in the world capable of provoking a thrill in you because of their beauty, uniqueness, or the history they contain. Places that you must visit at least once in your life. In Spain there are several, one more amazing than the other, and we want to suggest some of them to you (we promise there will be a second part). In many of these places you will have the feeling of being out of this world. Walk slowly. Open your eyes wide.
17 Unique Places to Visit in Spain:
1. Lanzarote: Mountains of Fire
It is difficult to choose unique places in a destination that is already so special in itself. Lanzarote is the easternmost island in the Canary Islands, and although it is made up of volcanic terrain that seems lunar, life makes its way inside beautifully. You can see it by taking an itinerary among the volcanoes of Timanfaya National Park, visiting the Grotta de los Verdes (which holds a surprise inside) or the Charco de los Ciclos, a lagoon connected to the sea with surprising color. The land of the Fire Mountains never disappoints.
2. Riotinto: Mars on Earth
You may not know that this place has been chosen by NASA and the European Space Agency to carry out their experiments. All because the mining basin of Río Tinto (Huelva) somehow resembles the planet Mars. The landscape, of course, is mysterious: a river, reddish rocks and little vegetation. Yet the diversity of life that populates it is astonishing. The best way to learn about the area is to visit the Riotinto Mining Park, where you can take a train ride, delve into a mine, visit a Victorian house, and learn about the history of the place. Don’t worry, there won’t be any Martians.
3. Bárdenas Reales. An unexpected desert
Unexpected because it is located in Navarre, an area of northern Spain rich in green and mountainous landscapes. However, in the southeastern part of this land stretch 42,500 semi-desert hectares with formations, gorges and reliefs that look like something out of a science fiction story. Because of its rare beauty, the result of thousands of years of erosion, this Nature Park has been the location for such films as “Death Can Wait.” Whether you’re like James Bond or not, you can follow one of the marked routes on foot, by bicycle, horseback or motor vehicle.
4. Cave of Wonders
Its name says it all. This tourist cave in Aracena stretches more than 2 kilometers long (1.2 of which are open to the public), where you can contemplate different types of stalactites, stalagmites and flows. An underground landscape where you can let your imagination soar as you pass by the Cathedral Hall, God’s Crystalleria or the Sultana’s Bath. A guide will accompany you throughout the visit. Do not hesitate to get a little closer to the center of the earth.
5. Flysch itinerary: 50 million years of history
We travel as far as the coast of the Basque Country and stop in particular at Zumaia, Deba, and Mutriku. The cliffs in this area take your breath away, especially knowing that they have more than 50 million years of geological history that the action of the sea has left uncovered. To admire them, you can take a coastal hiking trail or join one of the sea excursions that are organized there. It is not every day that evidence of the great cataclysms of Earth’s history is in front of your eyes.
6. Las Médulas: a mine of the Roman Empire.
The Romans chose this place in the province of León to mine gold, created the largest open pit mine in the entire empire, and transformed the landscape forever. Today it is listed as a World Heritage Site and it is a real treat to visit it at sunset and see how the sun hides among the red hills. A good idea is to start the visit from the archaeological hall, and then of course make a stop at the Belvedere de la Orellán.
7. Las Catedrales Beach
Walk by the sea between the arches of a “stone cathedral.” That’s what awaits you if you decide to visit the beach of As Catedrais (Las Catedrales) in Ribadeo (Lugo). The curious formations produced by wind and water make this beach one of the most beautiful in all of Spain. That is why, when the tide goes out, it is worth taking off your shoes and taking a walk of the kind that puts you back at peace with the world.
8. La Gomera, millennial forests
Back to the Canary Islands, but this time to be enchanted by La Gomera’s magical expanses of clouds. Garajonay National Park (World Heritage Site) preserves a leafy forest of Canary Island laurisilva, an authentic living relic of the subtropical forests that existed several million years ago, during the Tertiary era. And then another natural jewel of this island that can be seen from the sea. The Organs, a cliff of very ancient volcanic rocks that really look like the pipes of an organ.
9. An Enchanted City in Cuenca
It all began 90 million years ago, when this place was part of the Sea of Thetis. When the waters receded, the limestone gradually eroded, creating the curious formations that can be seen today. In a 2.5-kilometer walk you can see an elephant fighting a crocodile, a sea of stone, a convent, a slide… you just have to let your imagination run wild.
10. Caminito del Rey, a trail for the daring.
In its time this Malaga trail was considered the most dangerous in the world. Today you can feel completely safe if you decide to walk it, although you will still have to face some dizzying views. It is no coincidence that the Gaitanes Gorge carved by the Guadalhorce River, and through which you will have to pass, reaches a depth of 700 meters. Will you dare to look below? It’s worth it.
11. Monastery of Piedra
Suddenly, south of Zaragoza, as if it were an oasis, rises this surprise of nature. Although its name refers to a 12th-century monastery open to the public, it owes its fame to a landscape full of waterfalls and caves, some spectacular like Cola de Caballo or Caprichosa. Strolling through its viewpoints, looking for one’s reflection in the mirror of the lake, listening to the sound of the water or watching a falconry demonstration will be part of an experience hard to forget.
12. Volcanoes in Catalonia?
Yes. And not just one or two. The Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park (in Girona) was formed up to 11,000 years ago and today contains 40 volcanic cones (but don’t worry, they’re dormant) and more than 20 lava flows. You’ll find more than 25 routes to travel the area, which, in addition to the hidden wonders within, awaits you with diverse and exuberant vegetation. You will be surprised to see how the 11 localities that are part of this Park integrate with the landscape. An ideal way to visit and appreciate it is by taking a hot air balloon ride. Are you with us?
13. Drach and Can Marçà Caves.
We enter the bowels of the earth again, but this time to learn about two caves in the Balearic Islands. Mallorca’s Drach caves enclose within them one of the largest underground lakes in the world. The best way to visit them is by attending a classical music concert inside them and taking a boat ride on the lake itself. The one in Can Marçà is located in Ibiza. In addition to the light and sound show you can enjoy inside, you cannot miss the impressive views of the bay you can enjoy from here.
14. The legends of Lake Sanabria
More than 100,000 years ago a glacier with an extension of more than 20 kilometers gave birth to this lake. We are in Zamora, facing the largest lake of glacial origin in all of Europe. A place that has inspired writers and about which all kinds of legends circulate, such as that on the night of St. John’s Day you can still hear the bells of the village church that was submerged by the waters in 1959. In summer you can dive on the beaches you find on the shores, practice canoeing, get on a tourist boat… from the mountain, the view of the lake is unique.
15. Caves of the Águila
If you have never missed an “oooh” in front of something beautiful, it will happen this time. It will happen in the presence of the Águila Caves (in Ávila), in the heart of the Sierra de Gredos. This final escape to the underground brings us face to face with a landscape of columns, stalactites, and stalagmites that, strangely enough, was discovered by chance on the evening of December 24, 1963. A route of more than 1 km has been arranged that will take you to vessels reaching 20 meters in height.
16. Tenerife, the summit of Spain
We complete the Canarian triad with the island of Teide. On a list like ours, we could not miss the place that is home to the highest peak in all of Spain: the Teide (said to be the third tallest and most voluminous volcanic structure on the planet and to be climbed by zip line). The peak is part of a larger National Park, which is also on the World Heritage list because it certainly does not lack for beauty. Traversing the area and admiring a lunar landscape, observing animals and plants that exist only in this place in the world is quite a sight.
No. We have not gone crazy. It is not that the mythical Atlantis has risen from the waters. What is certain is that, for example, National Geographic has speculated that the lost city mentioned by Plato (“beyond the Pillars of Hercules”) may lie beneath the lands of Doñana National Park. While trying to solve the mystery, one must be content with the incredible dune and lagoon landscapes of this place in Andalusia.