If you go to Wikipedia and look up “Spanish Riviera” you won’t actually find an article. And if you just Google it, you’ll come up with differing definitions of what parts of the Mediterranean coast of Spain are actually included. What is consistent, however, is that the Spanish coast between the French and Portuguese borders is divided into somewhere between ten and twelve distinct sections, which make up the Riviera.
Riviera, of course, is an Italian word that simply means “coastline.” And we all know the best thing about coastlines… Beaches!!
Depending on the level of celebration you are partial to, you should choose your destination(s) carefully. You want some nice, peaceful time on the beach? Find a quaint little town and relax your heart out. If you’re looking to explore the party scene, target the larger areas such as Sitges. There are a myriad of options as you move from Costa Brava in the north to Costa de la Luz in the south.
One thing, however, remains consistent no matter where you go: The Food.
All up and down the Riviera, you will be able to treat yourself to delicious fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juices, paella, and some amazing sangria! Visit the street vendors anywhere for a treat like none you’ve had before. And while you are sampling the wares, be sure to check out the olives and citrus coming straight from the groves. You will find guitar players, Flamenco dancers and other street performers pretty much anywhere you decide to settle down to eat, so enjoy the show.
While you make your way south along the coastal highway, watch for cranes nesting on towers in the fields. If you make your way far enough south, near Juzcar, you may even stumble upon a village made up of all bright blue buildings. It’s the Smurf Village painted bright blue by Sony Pictures to promote the Smurfs movie.
As you head inland, take time to stop at Caminito Del Rey (“The King’s Little Road”). It is a 3 mile “walk” made up of wooden walkways clinging to the cliff faces, up to 200 feet above the river. The scenery is stunning and heights are exhilarating! Just be sure to carry plenty of water and buy tickets in advance online!
A bit inland from the coast, you’ll find Seville, a beautiful city, filled with history, architecture and three of Spain’s forty-seven UNESCO sites. It is well worth hiring a carriage for a tour of the city given by one of the locals. Parque de Maria Luisa and Plaza de España are worth an entire day to themselves. Pack a picnic lunch and spend some time exploring.
Seville is a city worth walking. Wandering Alameda de Hercules will bring you to wonderful cafes and the occasional pop-up circus and a multitude of other performers.
Finally, no visit to Seville would be complete without a visit to the largest Cathedral in the world, Seville Cathedral, the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. The Cathedral’s bell tower was originally built as a minaret of the 12th-century Almohad Mosque which the Cathedral was built on top of. It has a very Moorish feel, with a Renaissance style top added by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century. Legend holds that when the Cathedral was being designed, church elders stated, “Let us build a church so beautiful and so magnificent that those who see it finished will think we are mad.”
Whether your goal is to lounge on the beach, dance the night away in nightclubs, or explore history and architecture, the coast of Spain has something for everyone. Reach out to Endless Travel today and let us help you curate the perfect Spanish Rivera trip.
Don Juan Tenorio, José Zorrilla, 1844.
Carmen, Prosper Mérimée. 1845.
El elefante de marfil (The Ivory Elephant), Nerea Riesco, 2010.
Venganza en Sevilla (Revenge in Seville), de Matilde Asensi, 2010.