Secret spots from our community
Spain has always been a popular summer destination, with plenty of sun, tapas and tinto to enjoy. But if you'd prefer to escape the crowds of the more famous cities or beaches, then these secret spots could be perfect for you. Follow Barcelona resident Gina Xifra, from Spotted by Locals, as she shares her favourite foods, hikes and sunset spots along the Mediterranean coast. Then check out some secret spots across Spain from our Interrail community.
Local spots by the Mediterranean ⭐
Spotted by Gina Xifra...
Working with international students at the university makes me realise every day how lucky I am to live in Barcelona, as I hear about their latest favourite spots and discover many of my own. I write all about my favourites for Spotted by Locals Barcelona.
Spain is a destination with a wide variety of different regions and landscapes, from the green hills of Asturias to the arid Andalusia. But my heart belongs to the Mediterranean coast. Follow me to all my favourite spots along it!
Up in the north, a perfect day on the Costa Brava would be spent with a walk along the Camí de Ronda, a coastal trail of winding pathways squeezing between the cliffs and the Mediterranean. You should finish with some food in a unique spot in Llafranc - Far Nomo, a lighthouse converted into a sushi restaurant. The view you'll enjoy as you eat is shown below!
If you pass by the beautiful town of Girona, or decide to stay in Barcelona, you cannot miss the “panet” ice cream at Rocambolesc. It's an ice cream sandwich, consisting of a hot toasted brioche with cold ice cream and toppings inside (impossible to choose which ones!). Thanks to this, you will experience something unusual when eating: warm lips and a cold tongue!
What's more, their ice cream flavours change with the season. So you can enjoy baked apple and pumpkin in autumn, panettone in winter and watermelon sorbet in summer!
Delta de l’Ebre (Ebro Delta), Tarragona
Moving south to the Delta de l’Ebre, El Trabucador beach is stunning. Have the full local experience by trying the typical Paella at La Casa de Fusta restaurant.
Cabo de Gata Natural Park
In the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, close to the port of Almería, Cabo de Gata Natural Park is known for its amazing unspoiled beaches. The perfect spot to view the sunset from is the Arrecife de las Sirenas. Take a kayak onto the vast waters, or watch from the impressive rock formations.
Even if you don’t have the time to visit southern Spain, you can still taste its local delicacies at El Villa! This vermuteria (vermouth bar) in Barcelona's Gracia neighbourhood is inspired by the seafood specialities of Almería. A unique dish to try is the "mojama tapa", a filleted, salt-cured tuna, like the cured-ham of the sea!
Secret spots from our community
Our wonderful Interrail community have sent us photos and stories of secret spots that they discovered while travelling in Europe. In Spain they enjoyed the nature and views from all corners of the country.
You can find all of the secret spots on the map below, along with the Spotted by Locals destinations marked with stars:
Duna de Bolonia
A huge dune just 20 minutes north of Tarifa. At 30 meters high, it'll give you a wonderful view over the bay and the Atlantic Ocean on the one, and wide pine woods on the other side. Best of all, the place is never crowded.
Getting there by rail: the nearest train station is in the port city of Algeciras, which you can reach by rail in 3h 22m from Cordoba, or 5h 25m from Madrid. From Algeciras, you'll need to use the local buses or rent a car to get to Tarifa and the dune.
Basque Country and Alicante
Faro del Monte Igeldo, San Sebastián
This is the view from the Faro de Igeldo lighthouse in San Sebastián, northern Spain. I really love this spot because you are able to see nearly all of the Basque coastline and the sunset is really worth it. It's quite easy to reach and there are not many other people in sight.
Getting there by rail: From Donostia-San Sebastián station, it is a 1 hour walk along the Bahía de La Concha bay.
One of those towns where everyone knows each other. There’s a beautiful castle where you can get a tour for just €1 and there are several hotels you can stay at. Every May they celebrate their "Moros y Cristianos" festival. A must see in Spain!
Getting there by rail: From Alicante, you can reach the nearest train station at Villena in 40 minutes. Then take a 15 minute ride by local bus to Biar.
Poble Espanyol, Montjuïc, Barcelona
Hidden in the hills of Montjuïc in Barcelona is Poble Espanyol, an open-air museum that celebrates the different cultural traditions of each region of Spain. It seems like you’re walking into a new city when you step inside this little village!
Getting there by rail: Just a 25 minute walk from Barcelona-Sants, Barcelona's main station.
Vallter 2000 ski resort, Pyrenees
This breathtaking spot is in Vallter 2000, near to Girona. It's in one of the most beautiful corners of the Pyrenees mountains. I love this spot as it's not too far from Barcelona and it's perfect for hiking in summer and skiing in winter.
Getting there by rail: Take a 38 minute high-speed train from Barcelona-Sants to Girona (Viajeros). Then complete your journey into the mountains by Esquí bus.
If you want to discover more of Spain, then you can find out how to add it to your next Interrail Pass trip, with more destinations and rail travel tips on our main page.
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