Passing through the Iberian peninsula and wondering how to spend your short stay in Spain and squeeze everything in a few days or hours? Calm down and wipe away the sweat from your forehead. With more than 30 busy airports and quite developed (finally) high-speed rail infrastructure, Spain is one of the best places for short escapes. Don´t miss out on the vibrant cities, crystal clear water beaches and mountains. Don’t forget to find some time for a little siesta with a glass of tinto de verano or sangria in your hand. Enjoy the list of the best short escapes in Spain for solo travellers.
Time is precious, as we all know. Long vacations and city breaks are what the hearts of travellers desire for but sometimes the time is not on our side. If we stayed as long as we wanted in all countries and places we’d like to visit we would need at least 9 lives. Unfortunately, we’re not cats but solo travellers, aren’t we!
God bless short escapes and heaven bless vibrant Spain which was possibly born for short vacations for solo travellers! Spain is friendly, safe, picturesque and with more than 30 busy airports it seems like the best place for a short but intense stay. Loved for its beaches and praised for its mountains, Spain is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It has everything: vibrant cities, rural villages, passionate culture, stunning beaches and monumental mountains. On the top of everything, Spain has recently improved its high-speed rail infrastructure. Getaway to Spain and escape the rush of big cities to explore more lush places just within a few days.
Short Stay in Barcelona for Solo Travellers
Barcelona is the number one city visited in Spain despite of not even being in Spain (at least according to its inhabitants). Stats can confirm this itself: approximately 32 million of tourists visited Barcelona in 2016, half of them were day trippers. The number could be slowly dropping down in the next year due to the law legalised in 2017.
No wonder that people love travelling to Barcelona. The city feeds you with fascinating history and culture, pleasant districts, amazing restaurant and busy beaches. But the amount of tourism has reached its limits. With the whole respect, about 1.4 million of residents restlessly face all the aspects of crazy tourism 24 hours daily. And the rush may overload you too. Check the city quickly as you can, have a look at Sagrada Familia or Park Guell, take a walk in El Carmel district and possibly avoid crowded and overrated La Rambla where the prices are high, the food is average and pickpockets are quicker than a tennis ball. Then just escape to a quieter place!
Costa Brava & Montserrat
If you fancy beaches take a train or a bus to one of the small villages at Costa Brava. Both transports are cheap and fast and they stop in almost every second resort or village. You only have to decide which one you’ll go to or just take off the train at random. We Solo Travel recommends Tossa de Mar, just about 1 hour 20 minutes away by bus, offering transparent waters surrounded by romantic cliffs and rocks. Places around Calella are also worth going. Try to avoid fanatically popular LLoret de Mar or Blanes, the smaller the place is, the better for you (and the bigger chance to find a secret beach).
Hiking lovers would appreciate a day trip to famous Montserrat. Take a train from Espanya rail station, Linea 5, direction Manresa. From the station Aeri Montserrat you have to take a cable car or rack railway up to the monastery. Both of them will surprise you with stunning never-ending views. Up at the monastery you can just walk around the area filled with historical buildings and rocky views. Adventurous souls may go for a shorter or even longer hiking tour. The longest tour takes around 5 hours. Check out the official website of the monastery for the best routes!
Charming Towns Close to Barcelona
If you have a little bit more time spend it by visiting the towns and cities nearby Barcelona. Picturesque Girona is just 40 minutes away by train, rich in history Tarragona is no longer than 60 minutes, and majestic Zaragoza is situated just 1 hour and 23 minutes by bus. In case you have another 3 hours more to spend for this short stay in Spain, take a train to Valencia, coastline city with Ancient atmosphere, tasty food and busy nightlife. Valencia is onne of the best cities in Spain for solo travellers. You’ll never feel alone there!
Solo Short Escapes Around Malaga
We Solo Travel is pretty sure that there is no better place in Spain for short escapes than Malaga! The reason is quite obvious, you´re just 1 hour 20 minutes by plane from Ibiza, in 1 hour and 45 minutes you reach Mallorca and less than 3 hours takes a flight to Canaries. All of the flights mentioned are quite frequent and mainly cheap – if you´re quick you can pay less than 40 euros for both ways.
The islands give you another option of transport – boat. Give it a try and visit the Caribbean of Spain, Formentera or a small Balearic paradise Menorca. These amazing tiny islands will take your breath away. The water there changes colours from dark navy blue in deeper zones to turquoise green in the shallow bays. There is also a boat taxi from Ibiza to Formentera, if you take it ask to stop by a tiny lovely island called Tago Mago. Be aware of and contagious happiness and jellyfish!
Beaches And Nature Everywhere You Go
Would you prefer staying on the continent nearby Malaga? No problem! This sunny party of Andalusia named Costa del Sol has another charming place waiting for you. Small and peaceful town Nerja, with the most amazing sunsets is just 36 minutes by a car, or 1.20 hour by a bus.
Nature lovers should go to see El Chorro, which is situated less than 45 minutes by train. This place surrounds you with an endless tranquility and peace. El Chorro is a small village and paradise for mountain bikers, hikers and anyone who enjoys a mixture of rocks and turquoise lakes! One of the most famous routes it´s Caminito del Rey, a walkway hang 100 metres above the base of Gorge of the Gaitanes.
Malaga province is covered with dozens of beautiful nature parks and areas. You can choose from big parks as Montes de Málaga, Sierras of Tejeda, Almijara and Almara Natural Park, Sierra de las Nieves, natural areas Guadalhorce River Estuary Natural Area , Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Natural Area, Los Reales de Sierra Bermeja Natural Area, Sierra Crestellina Natural Area, Torcal de Antequera Natural Area, Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural Area or natural reserves Fuente de Piedra Natural Reserve, Laguna de la Ratosa Natural Reserve, Lagunas de Archidona Natural Reserve, Lagunas de Campillos Natural Reserve. Check out more about these treasures at th official touristic page of Andalusia.
Don’t Miss Out on The Rural Places
We haven´t finished yet, there is another short stay in Spain (or two) around Malaga to be mentioned! All fans of rocky views should get sat on a train and travel to unique Ronda, which is a small town built on a huge rock. You can´t avoid the fantastic views over there, even if you would love to! The scenery follows you anywhere you go.
The train to Ronda from Malaga takes 1 hour 45 minutes. Just after Ronda, there is a natural park Parque Natural de la Sierra de Grazalema, natural beauty so precious that it´s declared as Biosphere Reserve by Unesco. More than 54 thousands hectares gives you a splendid puzzle of villages, mountains, lakes, slopes, gorges, unique fauna and flora…
Just in case you still don´t have enough of Andalusian must see places situated less than 2 hours out of Malaga, go to the East and explore Arabic culture ruling Granada a few centuries ago. Enjoy free tapas served with every caña you take and jump on a bus driving to another Andalusian treasure Parque National de Sierra Nevada.
Sevilla and its charming surroundings
Flamenco sounds echoing the Andalusian streets of Sevilla, delicious local wines, fine dining, more Flamenco, monumental cathedral, atmospheric riverside, even more Flamenco and marvellous historical architecture breathing out the Moorish times. Yeah, Sevilla is one of those not large but big places which come and grave into your skin like a tattoo! On the top of everything is another bunch of towns and places close enough to be discovered within a single day trip. What would you say to taste the real and authentic sherry right after a wine tasting in Sevilla? No problem! After 55 minute degustation break spent in a cosy train you get to the home of sherry – Jerez de la Frontera (btw it has its own airport too…). You can either join the sherry tasting guided tours or just pop in to any local sherry pub like El Pasaje or El Gallo Azul – don´t worry there are plenty of them.
Cuba in Andalucia
For all who manage to get to Jerez, spend another 40 minutes by travelling to get to one of the most fascinating towns in Andalusia – Cadiz. The stunning La Caleta beach and its’ sunsets you’ll never forget is a must see. Put on orange bikinis or a swimwear and promenade there like Halle Berry in Die Another Day Bond movie. The scene takes place in La Habana but the truth is that Pierce Brosnan was drinking Mohito and staring at sexy Halle in Cadiz! No wonder that these two places have many things in common. Havana and Cadiz are twin cities. Cadiz’s ocean side looks almost the same as La Habana’s malecon. The tour guides from Pancho tours say that La Habana was built to mirror her older sister grown up in Andalusia! Apart of the Cuba fever in Cadiz and several beaches surrounding the eastern coast, the town is well known for amazing tapas places and plenty of historical buildings.
If your heart beats for even more beaches, go to the southwest! Visit historically rich Heulva mostly known thanks to the fella who more than 500 years ago discovered America. Yeah, this coastal city was the departure point of Columbus, in Spain known under name Cristobal Colon. After exploring the fascinating history of Columbus long journey, get some rest on the beach. Huelva is situated in Costa del Luz where the sun shines all the day and Atlantic ocean is clear and fresh! One of the best beaches around Huelva are El Portil, Matalascañas, Inslantilla etc.
Enjoy the best shortscapes in Spain. If you wonder why we didn’t mention Madrid, we might just reply: that’s another long story… tbc