We are huge fans of a busy city break or a long weekend of pampering but sometimes our bodies and our brains need a complete change of pace, a place to de-compress from our busy schedules, in a location where time seems to last longer or has stopped altogether. When we need one of those days, we know just where to go – one of the many beautiful walled towns in Spain. That’s where we put all our day-to-day concerns on hold, we step back in time and really absorb the history and the architecture. We’re not talking about sleepy hollows or museum-like communities. Spain’s walled towns are lively places where real families live and go to school and run businesses. Here’s our list of Spain’s most interesting and enjoyable walled towns – perfect for a daytrip or that mid-week break you’ve been promising yourself for ages.
Here at Totally Spain, we organise hotel accommodation for our clients in every nook and cranny across Spain and Portugal and often recommend the state-run Parador network to our travelling couples, families and larger groups too. After much debate in the office and frequent inspection of the 94 locations across Spain, here are what we consider to be Spain’s 12 most impressive Paradores…
Spurred on by the re-opening of the vertigo-inducing Caminito del Rey walking route complete with bridge, we’ve decided here at Totally Spain to pull together our favourite Spanish ‘puentes’ or bridges in Spain. We’ve got a bit of everything in here – Roman bridges, foot bridges, hanging bridges, toll bridges, bridges designed by starchitects and bridges that just have great personality or meaning. Some we’ve crossed this year – others we’re not sure we’ll ever cross (would that be the Caminito??) but they are all spectacular in their own special way.
If there’s one place we recommend our clients visit in every Spanish town, it’s the main square or plaza, often called the Plaza Mayor. Traditionally it’s where bullfights took place and it was often the location for outdoor foodmarkets and theatres too. Today it’s all about the café tables, the buzz, the people and the activities in the square.
We’re no movie buffs but we know that great films, like all creative arts, can inspire. And so we bring you some of Spain’s stunning backdrops that you might have enjoyed on the silver screen plus a few more recent suggestions also. Some are obviously set in Spain but there are a few surprises in there you might not have expected! Grab the popcorn or some pipas (sunflower seeds) if you are based in Spain like us (we’ve been designing bespoke trips to Spain since 2000). And lights, camera, action!