Though technically in Europe, Spain is one of those countries that really lies on the border between many different continents and the varied ethnicities that make them what they are. With historic and cultural ties related to North Africa, Europe, and the Middle East, Spain’s heritage, cuisine, and architecture reflect these amazing influences, making it a truly unique destination. Though Madrid and Barcelona are full of important and often-visited tourist sites, the rural and coastal areas are full of equally important history and some amazing natural scenery as well.
Horse Dance at Jerez de la Frontera. Andalusia is world-famous for its exotic landscape and culture, but also for the amazing horses that are bred and trained there. This 90-minute show is accessible for those in wheelchairs and will provide an amazing display of fluidity, grace, and choreography that’s incredible by human and animal standards. The ballet-like show is accompanied by traditional Spanish music and costumes from the 17th and 18th centuries, giving it an added layer of splendor. Each show consists of a variety of displays by the horses and their riders. It’s really one of the things that shouldn’t be missed in when you’re in Andalusia. The tour costs 21 EUR.
Half-Day Excursion to the Caminito del Rey. If walking along wooden footbridges hundreds of feet above a rocky canyon floor sounds like a great way to spend a few hours, then a half-day trip to Caminito del Rey in Málaga should be on your Spanish itinerary. Famous for its safe but precarious mountain walkways, Caminito del Rey and the Gaitanes Gorge are areas of natural beauty that should be on the to-do list of nature lovers visiting the area. This exciting tour is offered in English and Spanish, and since it requires more than a little walking, it’s best left to the relatively fit and healthy. You’ll learn lots of interesting historical and geological tidbits from your local guide. The cost is 25 EUR.
Skip-the-Line Alhambra & Generalife Guided Tour. The Alhambra complex and Generalife Gardens are often busy with tourists, but with this skip-the-line guided tour, it won’t matter. Your professional local guide will give you the historical rundown on this site that’s nearly 600-years-old and has been an official UNESCO World Heritage Site since the ‘80s. In centuries past, Alhambra was home to Sultans and the opulent palaces where they resided with their families. In the 1500s, the grounds that are now Generalife Gardens were relaxing getaways for Moorish royalty who needed some time away from the stresses of court life. They’re full of beautiful plants, trees, and flowers that create a tranquil oasis of beauty. The cost is 13 EUR.
Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba Tickets with Guided Tour. This brief 1.5 -hour guided tour is great for those on a tight schedule, or who just want to play the rest of the day by ear. The tour’s centerpiece is the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour is wheelchair-friendly and available in English and Spanish. You’ll marvel at the structures, scale and dramatic blends of Moorish and Byzantine architecture, which were popular when it was built in the 8th century. The cathedral’s interior is comprised of numerous towering arches and amazing domed ceilings hundreds of feet above. The cost is 25 EUR.
Guided Tour of Alhambra Surroundings. Alhambra is full of amazing history, natural wonders and some of the region’s most breathtaking architecture. This guided tour to Alhambra and the surrounding area will visit such icons as the palace of Carlos V, the Puerto del Vino – which means wine port in English – and the Alhambra Forest. Tours are offered in English, Spanish or French, last just a few hours, and include a professional guide who’ll be knowledgeable and enthusiastic about this amazing area and its rich history. Another great idea for those on a tight schedule, the tour meets at Puerta de la Justicia de la Alhambra. The cost is 15 EUR.
Medina Azahara 3-Hour Guided Tour Córdoba. This three-hour guided tour will be like a leap back in time as you explore and discover the amazing history of the centuries-old palaces of Medina Azahara de Córdoba. This is a great tour for those who are interested in learning about the country and region’s history, which is a unique mix of influences from Europe, Africa, and Middle-Eastern cultures. Your local guide will be particularly knowledgeable about the complex and buildings within, which include House of Ja’far, the remains of the Pórtico de Medina Azahara and Salón Rico – where ancient royalty relaxed and entertained special guests. The cost is 17 EUR.
Madrid: Bernabéu Stadium Tour with Direct Access Tickets. If you’re a diehard footballer, this stadium tour at one of Spain’s football meccas is just the thing for you. You’ll get amazing access to many areas of the stadium that are typically off-limits to visitors, like the Presidential Box, which is usually the exclusive domain of club owners and their VIP guests. The tour also includes a trip to the room where the team’s trophies are kept on permanent display to celebrate their accomplishments. A movie documenting the team and league’s history is also included, as is a tour of the actual pitch, which is surrounded by a dizzying array of seats. The cost is 25 EUR.
As almost everywhere else in Europe, there are also plenty free walking tours in Spain. All you have to pay is a tip of your choice.