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Ten of Spain’s most romantic getaways for Valentine’s Day

From sunset strolls to fireside cosiness, Spain offers the perfect setting to woo your sweetheart. Here are some of our favourites.

best romatic getaways spain
Spain has plenty of romantic destinations to choose from. Here are ten of the best. Photo: Daniel Nebreda from Pixabay
For the history buffs
 
cartagena spain amphitheatre
Photo: Santiago López Pastor/Flickr  
Cartagena in Spain’s Murcia region is over 2,000 years old. Home to Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Moorish remains, it also has the second largest Roman theatre on the Iberian Peninsula. Atmospheric, off the beaten track and with average maximum temperatures of 17C in February, Cartagena is an insider pick.
 
 
For the stargazers
 

Photo: Alex Sanz/Flickr   
Avoid the tourist traps in the south of Tenerife (Canary Islands) and head up to monumental Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak. Try to book a night at El Parador de las Cañadas del Teide hotel for the best views and proximity from the national park. They offer an amazing service and it’s also the best way to gaze at the Canaries’ star-studded sky, awarded the title of ‘Starlight Tourist Destination’ by UNESCO in 2013.
 
 
For the snow and sauna lovers
 

Photo: Jonas Snow/Flickr 
 
Just a few kilometres from the French border, Formigal, in the Spanish region of Aragon, is renowned for having some of the best slopes in Spain. Pass prices are reasonable (the Spanish use the French word forfait for pass) and Formigal is relatively quiet on weekdays. Formigal’s ski resorts also have some great hotels with saunas to wind down in after a fun-packed Valentine’s Day.
 
For the food lovers
 

Photo: Katina Rogers/Flickr  
San Sebastián, or Donostia as its known in Basque, is famous for its pintxos so this is the perfect Valentine’s getaway for people who want a culinary adventure. Throw in friendly locals, one of the world’s most beautiful city beaches and a delightful old town and San Sebastián is hard to beat.
 
 
For the sheer romance
 

Photo: Parador Spain/Flickr   
Carmona is an easy half-hour drive from Seville but this friendly town of 30,000 people is a world away from the crowds of the Andalusian capital. This town also has great food, an impressive range of Roman and Moorish sights, and one of Spain’s finest paradors, with magical views over the plains of Andalusia.
 
For the sweet tooths
 

Photo: Gustave Deghilage/Flickr   
The Catalan city of Girona is home to one of Spain’s best gelati shops in Rocamboles but also boasts chocolate ‘flies’ as a local delicacy. This intact medieval gem is also one of Spain’s most beautiful cities. After nightfall, the Call, as the historic old town is known, is a romantic labyrinth of narrow alleys and tolling bells. Oh, and one of the local bridges was built by a certain Gustave Eiffel.
 
For the sunset lovers
 

Photo: Luis Irisarri/Flickr
 
On the mouth of Spain’s Guadalquivir River and in the heart of sherry country lies elegant Sanlúcar de Barrameda. This is a place to forget the rest of the world, sip a fine wine and watch magical sunsets. If you do feel the need to explore, Sanlúcar is the starting point for trips into one of Spain’s great treasures: The Doñana National Park. Or perhaps you might fancy a bareback gallop along the beach instead.
 
For the cosiness cravers
 

Photo: Maurizio Consanzo/Flickr  
Head to the quaint Castilian town of Cuenca in central Spain with plenty of warm clothes packed for the chilly month of February. Famed for its hanging houses and cosy restaurants, it’s the perfect place in Spain to have a tranquil walk in the snow and then snuggle up with your loved one under a blanket next to the fireplace.
 
For the Robinson Crusoes
 

Photo: Jose Mesa/Flickr   
If you want to have a pristine white-sand beach all to yourselves without having to go to Thailand or the Caribbean, head to the little-known Canary islet of La Graciosa. February weather is generally mild enough to camp but there is also basic accommodation available on this beautiful, peaceful “rock” just off the coast of Lanzorote.
 
For the wine connoisseurs
 

Photo: Victor Gómez/Flickr   
Spain’s La Rioja region not only has some of the finest ‘vinos’ in the world, its stunning forests and sprawling vineyards will make your romantic experience all the merrier.

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TRAVEL

Ten of the most amazing bike routes in Spain

Here are some of the greatest and most beautiful cycling routes across Spain for avid cyclists, from Don Quijote territory to the green north. Saddle up everyone!

Ten of the most amazing bike routes in Spain

Spain is a great country for cycling, so great in fact that it even has several dedicated cycling routes across the country called vías verdes or greenways.

These greenways were built along old disused railway lines and have now become an environmentally friendly way to explore the country (here is a map showing all the greenways).

But there are other cycling routes around Spain that are just as impressive and can be completed by avid low to mid-level cyclists.

Here are ten bike routes in Spain that will take your breath away (at times in both senses of the word).

The TransAndalus, Andalusia

The TransAndalus trail is a 2,000km (1,240 miles) long circuit specifically designed for mountain bikes. It goes through the eight provinces of Andalusia and gives experienced riders a chance to pass through incredible natural sites, such as the Sierra Nevada, Doñana and Cabo de Gata national parks. There are a total of 23 stages, meaning that you can pick and choose which one or ones you do, without having to complete the entire trail. Less experienced cyclists can choose a specific shorter section. Stage one starts in Seville and is a mostly downhill ride to Chiclana de la Frontera.

The TransAndalus passing through some of the region’s most spectacular scenery. Photo: jbdodane / Wikimedia Commons (CC 2.0)

Vía Verde de Ojos Negros, Aragon and Valencia

Running from the town of Ojos Negros, in the province of Teruel to Sagunto, on the Valencian coast, this is Spain’s longest greenway at 160km. It has been divided into two sections, so you can just choose to do one or the other if the whole route is too long. The first part follows the line of the Sierra Menera mining railway, in the Palancia river valley, while the second part descends towards the Valencian orange groves, on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Cycling along the Vía Verde de Ojos Negros. Photo: Pacopac / Wikimedia Commons

Ruta Don Quijote, Castilla-La Mancha 

Lovers of literature, Cervantes and Don Quijote will enjoy this route following in the unlikely hero’s footsteps. The whole route covers 2,500km (1553.4 miles) and runs through all five of the region’s provinces, but it’s split up into 10 sections, making it easy to select which one you want to do. Declared a European Cultural Route, it travels through two National Parks, six natural parks and six nature reserves, running along a combination of cattle trails, historic paths, riverbanks and disused railway lines. 

Windmills Castilla-La Mancha

See the famous windmills of Consuegra along this cycle route. Photo: JamesHose / Pixabay

Vía Verde del Val del Zafán, Aragon and Catalonia

This spectacular route travels alongside the azure blue channels which eventually end up joining the grand Ebro River. It passes through the regions of Bajo Martín, Bajo Aragón, Matarraña, Terra Alta and Baix Ebre. Punctuated by viaducts, tunnels and protected natural spaces, it’s a pretty straight and easy greenway to follow, with some final twists and turns when you reach the Catalan coast at Tortosa near the Ebro Delta at the end. 

Ebro Delta

This route follows parts of the grand Ebro River. Photo: Future75 / Wikimedia Commons

READ ALSO: Cycling in Spain -12 fines you need to watch out for

Camino de Santiago 

Pilgrims on foot are not the only ones who can enjoy this world-famous voyage. Cyclists can choose whether to complete the full 800km (500 miles) French Way or do the minimum 200km required to obtain the precious Pilgrimage Certificate.

READ ALSO: Top tips to safely enjoy Spain’s Camino de Santiago on foot or by bike

Camino de Santiago

You can also do the Camino de Santiago by bike. Photo: Burkard Meyendriesch / Pixabay

Vía Verde del Carrilet, Catalonia

This route runs for 57km (35.4 miles), linking the town of Olot and the Garrotxa Volcanic Naural park with the city of Girona. Following the banks of the Ter, Brugent and Fluvià rivers, it winds its way between fields, forests and bridges, with the towering ancient volcanoes as your backdrop. The route is well signposted and is also suitable for hikers. 

Via verde Olot to Girona

This route begins at the otherworldly Garrotxa volcanic natural park. Photo: Peremagria / Wikimedia Commons

Vía Verde Tajuna, Madrid

This spectacular bike path offers city dwellers the chance to escape the hustle and bustle without planning ahead. Simply get off at the last stop on Metro line 9 (Arganda del Rey) and hop on to your bici. The route runs along the river of the same name and runs for a total of 49km (30.4), passing through the quaint towns of Carabaña, Ambite, Oruco, Tielmes or Perales de Tajuna and Morata. This cycle path is also equipped for hiking and for people with disabilities or reduced mobility.

Via Verde Tajuna Madrid

You can see the ruins of the old station of Tajuna along the way. Photo: Malopez 21 / Wikimedia Commons

Vía Verde de la Sierra, Cádiz, Andalusia 

This 37km (22 mile) vía verde runs from the village of Puerto Serrano in the province of Cádiz to Olvera, a small village north-east of Ronda. It passes through no less than 30 tunnels and over four viaducts, as well as valleys and river banks. Free of traffic and a relatively easy ride overall, it’s ideal for a family day trip – and if the little ones are too tired, taxis with bicycle racks are available for the return journey.

Via Verde Cádiz

The Vía Verde de la Sierra is ideal for the whole family. Photo: El Pantera / Wikimedia Commons.

Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote, Canary Islands 

Go for a ride through the land of volcanoes in Lanzarote’s Timanfaya National Park. Ideal for mountain bikers, there is even an 8km (5 mile) downhill track through the island’s unique landscapes and lava fields. The archipelago’s mild climate makes it a biking paradise throughout the year.

Lanzarote

Ride through the volcanic landscapes of Timanfaya National Park. Photo: Manfred Zajac / Pixabay

Vía Verde del Plazaola, Navarra and the Basque Country

One of the most beautiful greenways is the 66.5km (41.3 miles) Vía Verde del Plazaola, traversing through the regions of Navarra and the Basque Country, passing through an array of forests and meadows. 41.9km of the route passes through Navarra and 24.6km through Gipuzkoa, so you can choose which section to do. The route also takes you through many tunnels, including the longest tunnel you can cycle through in Spain. The trail takes its name from the abandoned Plazaola mines, you’ll pass along the way. 

Plazaola cycle route

The Vía Verde del Plazaola takes you through many tunnels. Photo: Cherubino / Wikimedia Commons

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