There are many things we take into account when choosing a holiday destination, but one of the main ones is the weather. Exploring a city when it’s 35º+ in the shade isn’t quite the same as doing it when the weather is a bit milder. If you’re looking for new cultural horizons, visiting ruins, going to concerts, or outdoor theatre, it’s always better to do it in spring.
The weather influences our feelings about a trip, as well as changing visiting times for many attractions and activities. Visiting the Colosseum in Rome when the temperature is 40º is fairly unpleasant, for example. In fact, in many cities where the thermometer reaches suffocating highs, visiting attractions or even just exploring can be dangerous if you’re travelling with elderly people or young children.
With this in mind, we’d like to propose a few destinations in Spain that are very nice to visit, especially before the intense summer heat arrives.
The capital of Toledo
Toledo is one of the most historically significant cities in Spain, and one of the most historically important in the country. The city is over a thousand years old and still retains much of its patrimonial heritage in near-perfect conditions.
A stroll around Plaza de Zocodover is an essential visit. It’s right in the centre and from there you can check out all of the neighbourhoods in the Old City. The city of Toledo is also associated with the famous painter El Greco, the author of immortal works such as the Burial of the Count of Orgaz and The Nobleman with his Hand on his Chest.
Make sure you visit the Alcázar, the Cristo de la Luz Mosque, the Cathedral, the Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes and the Santa María la Blanca Synagogue. A guided visit that gives some insight into the historical Christian, Jewish, and Muslim neighbourhoods is also recommended and will allow you discover histories and mysteries you never knew existed.
The Emirate of Granada
The cultural and architectural wealth of this area is world-renowned, and the Alhambra is the centre point of it all that never ceases to amaze tourists with its beauty. It was also a finalist in the list of the new Seven Wonders of the World.
Granada is similar to Toledo, in that it is a city whose cultural richness stems from the mix of cultures it has seen throughout history.
Here, some of the main attractions are the area around the Cathedral, the Alcaicería (Bazaar), the Capilla Real (the Royal Chapel) and the mythical and mysterious neighbourhood of Albaicín. Other places of note include Sacromonte, a picturesque neighbourhood that contains houses excavated in the mountain dating back to the 16th century.
Bohemians, flamenco dancers, gypsy families whose roots spring from their ancestral home in Granada…a melting pot of cultures have moulded the character of the city that today make it one of the most authentic origins of flamenco art. Flamenco puts a spell on hundreds of thousands of tourists every year, especially those who come from far-flung places, like the US or Japan, the latter is a country absolutely fascinated by the art of flamenco.
Food is another of Granada’s strong points, especially its “tapas” that are offered for free when you order drinks at any of the city’s many bars and taverns. It’s a city that’s vibrant, young, modern, studenty, bohemian, flamenco, and millenary – but be warned! In the summer, Granada suffers from murderously high temperatures and humidity, so get moving and book your hotel sooner rather than later.