Please sign in to post.

Cool places to visit

Hi all !
I have planned a long trip to Spain this summer where I will be staying a bit more than 3 months(I am European-just added that so that there's no confusion on my 90 day status- although thanks for mentioning guys!). Hopefully the whole thing with corona won't be much of a burden (my trip begins July). Love the language too, already started learning it, hope I will be able to at least get some of the basics. Frankly looks rather easy learning the basics and being that I am relatively familiar with italian, there's quite some resemblance there.

I have planned to visit various locations, namely Murcia, Marbella and Sevilla. These are going to be long stays of about a month on each place and I have also booked some in between travels to Ibiza and Gran Canaria(on some nice hotels there).

I am a single guy(early thirties) and I wanted to pick your minds on some cool places/restaurants/fun things to visit around those areas. I am not really interested in museums or sightseeing, but I absolutely love beach bars(private beaches etc) and the sea, natural beauty and fancy/nice shops/restaurants. I wouldn't mind spending money for nice experiences/purchases as well. I am also open to potentially booking a nice resort that would be worthwhile visiting on a nearby location. I like going around places, but not having been in the country at all yet, I think it would be easy to miss potentially awesome places and experiences worth having.

Thus, I thought it would be a good idea to ask all of you guys :D Please do not hesitate to bring up your ideas on this thread. They would absolutely be appreciated and I will definitely look to be working my way towards fulfilling a lot of your interesting suggestions.

Stay safe and Thanks a lot !! :)

Posted by
3206 posts

Assuming you’re from the U.S., Spain may not yet be open to overseas tourists in July, or, the U.S. may not yet be allowing overseas travel. That being said, if you don’t care to sightsee or visit museums, any coastal town would suit your needs. I’m not certain what exactly you’re referring to when you say purchase nice experiences, since that means different things to different people. To me it means sightseeing tours which you don’t seem interested in. I suggest you research some of the national parks in Andalucia and some of the Vias Verdes (old train routes converted to walking paths) in the areas you want to visit. Some small towns have scenic walks around the town. When you have an idea of where you want to visit, look at sites like TripAdvisor to see if the towns you intend on visiting have outdoors companies that offer experiences. With 3 months (be careful not to go past the maximum numbers of days allowed, which I believe is really 89 days), I’d move around and not spend a month anyplace, unless you really do just plan on sitting around and hanging out. To me, Murcia city would be boring after 2 days.

EDITED: link to Vias Verdes in Andalucia. No idea if there is an English version: https://www.viasverdes.com/vvandalucia/pdf/VVAndalucia_folleto.pdf
All Vias Verdes:
http://www.viasverdes.com/pdf/Folleto_ViasVerdes_Mayo2020.pdf

Posted by
16 posts

Assuming you’re from the U.S., Spain may not yet be open to overseas
tourists in July, or, the U.S. may not yet be allowing overseas
travel. That being said, if you don’t care to sightsee or visit
museums, any coastal town would suit your needs. I’m not certain what
exactly you’re referring to when you say purchase nice experiences,
since that means different things to different people. To me it means
sightseeing tours which you don’t seem interested in. I suggest you
research some of the national parks in Andalucia and some of the Vias
Verdes (old train routes converted to walking paths) in the areas you
want to visit. Some small towns have scenic walks around the town.
When you have an idea of where you want to visit, look at sites like
TripAdvisor to see if the towns you intend on visiting have outdoors
companies that offer experiences. With 3 months (be careful not to go
past the maximum numbers of days allowed, which I believe is really 89
days), I’d move around and not spend a month anyplace, u less you
really do just plan on sitting around and hanging out. To me, Murcia
city would be boring after 2 days.

Hi ! Thanks a lot for your response :D I have lived in the US for years, but I am in Europe at the moment(Germany). I think I should be fine travelling in Spain around July really. With spending money on experiences, I am potentially referring to things like resorts, boat trips, beachside activities or other fun things to do that may not be known to a new traveller there.

By the way I am european, so I don't think the 90 day rule applies to me. I basically booked some apartments in the areas i mentioned in my previous post, and look to be moving around from there potentially. I did book Murcia as well because i wanted to spend some time in July on a more sllent and relaxing spot. Then I will be moving to Marbella, which i think i will like a lot, since i do enojy this kind of vibe.

I was aware of Andalucia, but not Vias Verdes. I am already taking a look at it. It does look like a nice cyclist spot, beautiful natural place. Cycling or hiking is not really my thing, but since I will be renting a car for at least some days, it may definitely be worthwhile visiting the beautiful scenery there.

Again, thanks a lot for the suggestions !!

Posted by
18869 posts

Yes, if you're traveling on a US or Canadian passport (or many others), you are limited to a maximum of 90 days in the entire Schengen Zone (of which Spain is a part) unless you obtain a long-stay visa, which is not a trivial task. Both your arrival day and your departure day count. Overstaying that limit is likely to incur a substantial fine, and you may also be banned from re-entry in the Schengen Zone for a period of years. If you already have an airline ticket that commits you to more than 90 days, I suggest planning a mid-trip break in a country that is not part of the Schengen Zone. Three obvious possibilities are Morocco, Ireland and the United Kingdom. I'm unable to find an EU document showing the Schengen Zone, so here's something from Wikipedia, which I realize is not an official information source.

Most of Southern Spain is likely to be miserably hot at the time of your July arrival, and it may not be much better even in September. Are you sure you want to spend all your time in that part of the country?

You can check out actual, day-by-day historical weather statistics on the timeanddate.com website.

Posted by
16 posts

Hi acraven, thanks for the response :D

I am actually Greek, which is probably hotter than Spain over the summer actually haha :) Thanks a lot for the information, I don't think it applies in my case, but yeah it can be tricky for US citizens.

I have also lived in California for about 5 years, and nothing beats Las Vegas sizzling temperatures over the summer :) I do love the strip though I have to say and always had a great time there, fantastic hotels and great atmosphere.

Posted by
1246 posts

If you mean Murcia city then you are, of course, inland, so will need to travel to get to the seaside. Will you have a car or be using public transport? If the latter, it is certainly possible to get to the sea, but not so easy to get to the isolated coves and you may need to concentrate on the urban beaches (e.g. around Cartagena) and around Mar Menor. There's a link below to some options, but it depends what sort of experience you are after. If it's "party beaches" then I don't think there is anything equivalent to Ibiza, but La Manga and Águilas are built up with lots of beach/water services and bars, etc.

Luckily, the southeast is about the hottest part of Spain. The other places you mention will also be scorchio. You are pretty much guaranteed fabulous weather throughout your visit. But it can be too hot to rush around in the afternoons. You have plenty of time, so do any sight-seeing in the morning and learn to relax in the afternoon over a long lunch.

Murcia city is (in more normal times), one of the gastronomic capitals of Spain and has a lively evening scene with a lot of younger families. However, there's not many tourist sights to see in Murcia city, perhaps a day's worth, two if you take it slowly. Cartagena city has a higher concentration of nightlife and day-time sights (including a Roman theatre and a small piece of Punic wall), but again not many "wow" sights, there's nothing like what you'll see in Sevilla or Granada for example. On the other hand, it doesn't seem like you're going just for the usual sight ticking-off exercise that many on this forum specialise in.

Most of the people you meet will be locals or Spanish tourists (plus some British expats), except at a few points on the cruise ship visitor circuit and at the golfing resorts. I'd spend some time inland in the mountains and national parks if I were you. But for this a car is essential really.

https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/beaches_special/

Note, there are currently bans/restrictions on accessing beaches - even when these go, there probably will be some social distancing rules for quite a while.

To Add Other towns within day-trip distance of Murcia city which you might want to look-up include Lorca, monastry at Santa Clara, Elche and, just doable, Alacant.

Posted by
16 posts

If you mean Murcia city then you are, of course, inland, so will need
to travel to get to the seaside. Will you have a car or be using
public transport? If the latter, it is certainly possible to get to
the sea, but not so easy to get to the isolated coves and you may need
to concentrate on the urban beaches (e.g. around Cartagena) and around
Mar Menor. There's a link below to some options, but it depends what
sort of experience you are after. If it's "party beaches" then I don't
think there is anything equivalent to Ibiza, but La Manga and Águilas
are built up with lots of beach/water services and bars, etc. This is
about the hottest part of Spain, but you have plenty of time, so do
any sight-seeing in the morning and relax in the afternoon.

Murcia city is (in more normal times), one of the gastronomic capitals
of Spain and has a lively evening scene with a lot of younger
families. However, there's not many tourist sights to see in Murcia
city, perhaps a day's worth, two if you take it slowly. Cartagena city
has a higher concentration of sights (including a Roman theatre and a
small piece of Punic wall), but again not many "wow" sights, there's
nothing like what you'll see in Sevilla or Granada for example. On the
other hand, it doesn't seem like you're going just for the usual sight
ticking-off exercise that many on this forum specialise in.

Most of the people you meet will be locals or Spanish tourists (plus
some British expats), except at a few points on the cruise ship
visitor circuit and at the golfing resorts. I'd spend some time inland
in the mountains and national parks if I were you. But for this a car
is essential really.

https://www.murciaturistica.es/en/beaches_special/

Note, there are currently bans/restrictions on accessing beaches -
even when these go, there probably will be some social distancing
rules for quite a while.

Thank you Nick ! I will more than likely be using a combination of both renting a car and public transportation. Likely will be having a car for a long time, to be able to go around easily where i want. Maybe not the whole 3 months, but a few weeks for sure.

Yeah, I definitely wouldn't expect party beaches or anything of that sort in Murcia, i basically booked my first month there as a means to relax. This is why my next stop would be Marbella, Ibiza and Gran Canaria, which is definitely aimed towards a more party-like atmosphere. Regardless though, even for Murcia or any of my other stops, good suggestions are always welcome :) Fun and interesting things to do do are nice everywhere.

I have heard about good food in Murcia, it's 100% what I am going to be trying. I am a big coffee lover as well and i do enjoy good wine and whiskey(though i am not a drinker by any means). Tourist sights are really not my thing though, so I don't mind that there are not many there :) I much prefer taking a walk down the old city than visiting museums. Definitely not a sight ticking-off kind of person myself haha. In fact, in all of my 3 months in Spain, it is extremely unlikely that i will go sightseeing for anything, just not my thing. I love enjoying the place itself, interacting with people and culture, having fun with various activities, but not sightseeing and endlessly walking around the city :D A national park or mountains is different though, I do like natural sights, and I wouldn't mind at least passing by.

Really want to be learning more of the language though i have to say. Will be spending some time on it for sure, have started already. Looks and sounds relatively easy to grasp, which is nice to see. Love the way it sounds too :)

Beaches are definitely one of my things, especially organized ones. Hopefully they will be open soon, at least for the most part.

Thanks again for the response, that helps a lot !

Posted by
3206 posts

If you’re into wind surfing, Punta Paloma near Tarifa is very popular. It has a very pretty, sandy beach. Since you plan to have a rental car for part of your trip, it isn’t too terribly far west from Marbella and would be easy to get to. I haven’t been there in a number of years, so I’m assuming it’s still popular.

Posted by
200 posts

I am going to skip all the pandemic- related warnings and aspects of your plan and just highly recommend the northwest Basque region. Travel is so subjective. But you do list beaches, bars, restaurants, nightlife and natural beauty. I stayed just over a week in San Sebastian and St.Jean de Luz. I made easy day trips by train or bus to Biarritz ( listed on world class beaches), Bilbao and some of the small towns in the mountains. When I was there, in late June, it was cool and sometimes the "marine layer" to which we are accustomed in the NW US- so if you look at historic weather patterns and absolutely must have guaranteed hot and sunny with your beaches, maybe not. I also had a personal interest in the culture and history and it later gave me a deeper understanding of Barcelona and the political issues there. Lucky you to be able to plan and go- safe travels!

Posted by
2207 posts

Hello, if you are an EU citizen currently living in Germany, then I think it's highly likely you'll be among the first to be welcomed back, when international tourism opens up again in July, specially on the Balearic and Canary Islands.

You mention Gran Canaria, I have some family living there so I know the area a bit. You'll find plenty of info online about the beach resorts, I personally go with the Iberostar resort chain, it's the top Spanish choice. Though know that las Canarias have much to offer, outside of beach resorts, for example the island of Gran Canaria is nicknamed the "Miniature Continent" because of the diversity of landscapes, from sand dunes to green ravines. It's a paradise if you are into hiking and nature. Gran Canaria also has quite a few picturesque towns like Arucas or Firgas that are worth checking out.

From a cultural standpoint, the next door island of Tenerife should also do the trick, its home to the second largest carnival in the world, so it's always in a festive mood. The charming town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a UNESCO Heritage site, makes for a nice day trip too. And one can also check out Teide National Park, another World Heritage Site, which is home to Mount Teide, the third highest volcano in the world. Not to mention all the unique and fascinating history and culture of the local Guanche people.

Posted by
16 posts

I am going to skip all the pandemic- related warnings and aspects of
your plan and just highly recommend the northwest Basque region.
Travel is so subjective. But you do list beaches, bars, restaurants,
nightlife and natural beauty. I stayed just over a week in San
Sebastian and St.Jean de Luz. I made easy day trips by train or bus to
Biarritz ( listed on world class beaches), Bilbao and some of the
small towns in the mountains. When I was there, in late June, it was
cool and sometimes the "marine layer" to which we are accustomed in
the NW US- so if you look at historic weather patterns and absolutely
must have guaranteed hot and sunny with your beaches, maybe not. I
also had a personal interest in the culture and history and it later
gave me a deeper understanding of Barcelona and the political issues
there. Lucky you to be able to plan and go- safe travels!

Hi ! Thanks for the response.San Sebastian looks beautiful and watching some videos, pretty fun too. Lots of bars etc, very nice ! I was actually thinking of Bilbao when choosing the main places to go to in Spain. Will definitely be taking a look, thank you ! :D

Posted by
16 posts

Hello, if you are an EU citizen currently living in Germany, then I
think it's highly likely you'll be among the first to be welcomed
back, when international tourism opens up again in July, specially on
the Balearic and Canary Islands.

You mention Gran Canaria, I have some family living there so I know
the area a bit. You'll find plenty of info online about the beach
resorts, I personally go with the Iberostar resort chain, it's the top
Spanish choice. Though know that las Canarias have much to offer,
outside of beach resorts, for example the island of Gran Canaria is
nicknamed the "Miniature Continent" because of the diversity of
landscapes, from sand dunes to green ravines. It's a paradise if you
are into hiking and nature. Gran Canaria also has quite a few
picturesque towns like Arucas or Firgas that are worth checking out.

From a cultural standpoint, the island of Tenerife should also do the
trick, its home to the second largest carnival in the world, after the
one in Rio de Janeiro. The charming town of San Cristóbal de La
Laguna, a UNESCO Heritage site, makes for a nice day trip too. And one
can also check out Teide National Park, another World Heritage Site,
which is home to Mount Teide, the third highest volcano in the world.
Not to mention all the unique and fascinating history and culture of
the local Guanche people.

Yeah, that's what I thought to, should be fine going there in July, things seem to be getting better in Spain every day, glad to see that. Gran Canaria is really up my street, place looks beautiful, I have already actually booked 3 days in lopesan baobab, the place looks stunning ! Not unlikely that i will end up staying for more days in Gran Canaria though, so it's not unlikely that i will end up booking a different hotel if i decide to(or even the same one). I have seen quite a few nice ones when browsing, it's just that baobab looks really nice to me and in a nice location.

I looked into your suggestion about Iberostar too. Man, Iberostar Selection Sabila looks really really nice, don't know maybe it's worth spending a couple of days there too. Stunning place :O Hiking is not really my thing but getting to natural landscapes to enjoy nature definitely is. Nice to hear that Gran Canaria has that.

Haven't thought of Tenerife but i guess it would also totally make sense to get there since i am gonna be in the island next to it. I am assuming that there must be some nice boat rides to that as well. Very nice, awesome suggestion :D

Thanks a lot, great stuff !

Posted by
4866 posts

My favorite cities in Spain are Seville, Toledo, Granada, Barcelona and Salamanca.

Costa del Sol was a bit of a disappointment. Sorry, wasn't impressed with the beaches, since they were not as nice as most in Florida.
Marbella was beautiful, since it is a draw for the very wealthy. That never draws me, since I look for authenticity.

Posted by
10344 posts

The Moorish architecture in Andalucia is, uhm, amazing.