Many Europeans (Spaniards included) are entitled to go on paid annual holidays for roughly four weeks. But where do Spanish people go on holiday, and what do they do?
Well, for one, they could go on private cruises on South American seas or stay in their home country for a staycation. Studies show that many Spaniards actually prefer traveling in Spain compared to anywhere else, but that doesn’t mean they don’t leave the country entirely.
If you’re wondering where Spaniards spend most of their time on holiday, it is worth discovering what the locals think are the best places to see in Spain.
Where Do Spanish People Go on Holiday In Spain?
An incredibly large percentage of Spaniards love to explore their own country before traveling internationally. These are the top hotspots in Spain.
The Balearic Islands
Set in eastern Spain, this archipelago has two of the best party islands in Spain — Majorca (Mallorca) and Ibiza. So, it makes sense that many tourists flock there during summer for the ultimate bash.
Ibiza is often associated with late nights, early mornings, and lively parties. But that’s not all the island has to offer. Some of the top things to do in Ibiza include lazing on its white sand beaches, visiting its thriving art scene, and plenty of family-friendly attractions.
While Ibiza might be the most well-known, Majorca is the largest island and holds the islands’ capital, Palma de Mallorca. It is here where you can walk along cobbled streets to see the historic old town and ancient architecture, and of course, enjoy the seaside.
The islands also comprise Menorca, Formentera, and Cabrera, which are great options if you want a more laid-back Balearic stay.
The Basque Country is an autonomous community in northern Spain and France. There are three provinces in Spain — San Sebastián, Hondarribia, and Bilbao.
San Sebastián, also known as Donostia, is a resort city popular with foodies. There are 11 Michelin restaurants in the city serving the best Basque cuisine. But you don’t have to visit them for a top-notch dish. Some of the best meals come from hidden mom-and-pop restaurants.
Visit Bilbao if you love food, art, history, and hikes. The most well-known attraction in Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which holds up to 250 20th-century modern artworks. But, if you’re more interested in nature’s artwork, the city is surrounded by green mountains, shores, and cycle paths.
Afterward, stop for pintxos — a local favorite — essentially small savory snacks (similar to tapas) enjoyed at parties or bars. You can find pintxos bars all over the city, usually paired with a Spanish wine or beer.
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are usually high on many people’s lists for places to go on honeymoon in Spain. The most popular destinations here are Tenerife and Gran Canaria. But don’t forget about the archipelago’s other islands, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro.
Tenerife is the largest island known primarily for its massive annual Carnaval de Santa Cruz. It’s celebrated during Lent, and thousands of guests join in on the fun with music, dancing, and elaborate costumes.
If you don’t make it in time for the festival, you can still explore like a local. Travel through small fishing villages for local cuisine, swim in Playa de Benijo beach after a strenuous hike, or taste the unique Canarian Wines in the area.
Did you know that the Valencian Community is the birthplace of Paella? It’s true. Its origins can be traced to the region’s capital, Valencia. Over here, they use duck, rabbit, chicken, pork, or even snails — no seafood. It also needs rice grown from the Albufeira region, or it’s not authentic.
As you may know, there are many things to do in Valencia as it’s one of the most popular destinations in Spain. But, it’s not the only place to see in the Valencian Community — at least according to Spaniards.
Take some time to explore its golden beaches, like Gandia Beach, Levante Beach, and El Portet Beach, sprinkled all over the community for a relaxing afternoon. Its charming smaller villages like Morella, Peñíscola, and Bocairent are worth visiting for their seaside and architecture alone.
Galicia sits in Spain’s northwest region. Its capital is Santiago de Compostela — a pilgrimage site for Spanish Christians and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is the end point of the Camino Walk many people do as part of a pilgrimage hike that can take up to 30 days to complete.
That’s not the only reason people visit. The region is also a wonderful place to visit if you’re a novice history buff, as it has a 2,000-year-old past. The region holds the Roman Walls of Lugo, the Tower of Hercules, and much more.
The region overlooks the Cantabrian Sea and Atlantic Ocean, so you cannot miss its beaches and fresh seafood, too. Its unique seafood dishes include meals like Pulpo Gallego (an octopus dish), goose barnacles, and baby eels.
Where Do Spanish People Go on Holiday Outside of Spain?
Spain sits snugly between France and Portugal, so it’s no surprise that Spaniards will pop over to these countries when they are on holiday. But what other international countries do they go on holiday to?
Italy has some of the best-preserved ancient ruins, like the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. That is why many Spaniards flock to Rome and its surroundings — this and the amazing starch-laden dishes, wine, and art.
Each city you visit in the country has something unique, from the sinking city of Venice, the fashion hub Milan, or the colorful Amalfi Coast. By the time you’re done touring the country, it will feel like you’ve been to a thousand places in one.
France is a popular holiday destination and is the most visited country in Europe, with almost 90 million visitors annually. Spaniards typically come for the ‘City of Light’ — Paris. Many people visit the city for its iconic landmarks, flavorful foods, and just general romantic ambiance.
Although it is common to find Spaniards in the French countryside or along beach towns too. Many people drive for their French holiday, so you might see a few road trips along the French Riviera and Bay of Biscay.
The main language in Portugal isn’t Spanish, but it doesn’t deter the Spaniards from visiting. Sitting right below Spain, Portugal is a great quick escape for an international trip.
The most visited cities by Spaniards are Lisbon, Porto, and Albufeira. Each of these is a coastal city that offers beautiful architecture, mouth-watering food, and beautiful landscapes. If you’re a foodie, you’ll enjoy the country that also has award-winning wines, fresh seafood dishes, and beers.
More of an adventurer? You’ll enjoy the lush Azores islands, countless ancient castles, and endless waves ideal for watersports.
It may be difficult to believe, but some Spaniards choose to take a break from the sunny weather for the gloomy UK.
Many prefer to stop by the metropolis of London specifically. The city gets a lot of flack for often being gloomy and grey, but there are plenty of things to do and a vibrant nightlife to brighten up your day.
The city is also home to the most creative restaurants, cafes, and bars to stand out from each other. This makes it an excellent place to explore. If you have time, consider branching out to other countries in the UK, like Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.
Argentina has a large Spanish population, so it’s no surprise that many Spaniards visit here. During the 19th and 20th centuries, many Spaniards also emigrated to the South American country seeking refuge.
Looking at what Argentina has to offer, it is apparent that it has many things to do. The capital, Buenos Aires, is a historical and foodie hub with delectable local dishes like empanadas and Choripán. It is also the home of Tango dancing, which is very similar to the Spanish Flamenco, helping visitors feel right at home.
On the opposite side of the country, you’ll find the Mendoza province, renowned for its award-winning wines. Its vineyards sit with the Andes in the background, allowing the perfect backdrop while you’re sipping and swirling at your wine tasting.
Final Thoughts on Where Spanish People Go on Holiday
If you’re looking for the best places to have a holiday in Spain, look no further than where the Spaniards choose to go.
When they are on holiday, they prefer beach escapes to islands, cityscapes, and to enjoy the local culture. That is why you’ll often find them near the beach, enjoying local foods, drinking wine, and touring the city.
Now that you know which cities, towns, and countries are most popular among Spaniards, which one will you visit?