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Spain-Summer Holiday Ideas Away From The Costas.

Updated: Jul 17, 2020

For a long time, I have championed the lesser travelled areas of Spain, here are a few of my favourite spots. These are the places that I would personally be heading for post corona lockdown-check them out.

Spain's Golden Coast Has A Whole Host Of Devotees, Could You Become The Next?

The North Western coastline of Galicia is wild, rugged and totally charismatic. Galicia is how, as a teenager, I imagined Spain should be, it's coastline is rugged and dramatic with wide, unspoiled sweeping beaches which are presided over by sky-high cliffs. The food scene here is more than notable, magnificent in fact with World-class seafood and crisp Albarino wines topping the charts.

Galicia is located in the green and lush northwestern corner of Spain. Geographically, Galicia is situated just above Portugal and faces both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mar Cantabrico. The landscape of Galicia is lush, mountainous, and peppered with forests of pine and eucalyptus, but just like the rest of the Iberian regions, it has a high level of autonomy and provincial self-determination. This ensures that whilst the population are Spanish, they see themselves primarily as "Gallegos" - so when the Galicians talk about nationalism, they are generally referring to the "nation of Galicia", rather than the nation of Spain!

To a tourist, the biggest difference between Galicia and the more commonly visited southern Spanish resorts will be the landscape and climate.

Firstly, the predominant colour of the landscape is green, and not the parched or burnt green you see in the Southern parts of Spain. The scenery varies between the hills and fells found in the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District and the more mountainous vistas found in the Scottish highlands.

Accommodation wise there is a stack of choice from rambling countryside mansions, farmhouses, and boutique boltholes to more contemporary city hotels.

You’ll find family-owned wineries offering tastings in centuries-old bodegas, ancient pazos (mansions) with splendid gardens, and some of Spain’s finest fresh seafood (always accompanied by a glass of albariño). For a taste of Galicia’s dreamiest beaches, sail out to the protected Illas Cíes near Vigo.

Travel wise, if like me you border on the adventurous, and, if you have the time you could always get the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo and drive through France stopping off in Bordeaux and the buzzing Basque city of Bilboa. Once in Bilboa, you will find extraordinarily modern architecture juxtaposed between old cobblestone streets where low lit bars and fabulous eateries jostle to entice the spoilt for choice locals. Whilst you are going that way you should definitely drop in at Frank Gearys Titan clad Guggenheim Museum, it won't disappoint!

If, its just Galicia that tickles your fancy then you can get a ferry straight into Santander or you can fly from London directly into A Coruna.

Relais & Chateau A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa - Santiago de Compostela

Entering A Quinta da Auga is to arrive in a world of sensations where you immediately feel at home. This ancient paper mill from the 18th century has been lovingly restored by its owners. Embracing traditional Galician architecture, all of the 51 rooms provide views over the beautiful gardens. The property boasts a stunning spa and wellness area where guests are invited to relax. Its treatment menu combines oriental and occidental rituals using high-quality natural cosmetics. At the Filigrana restaurant, food lovers will savour a contemporary cuisine with Galician influences, with a special presence of fresh local products and regional wines. In 2003, captivated by the scenery surrounding the abandoned warehouse which, in 1790, was the Laraño paper factory, the architect María Luisa García, her husband, José Ramón Lorenzo, and their daughter Luisa Lorenzo left everything behind in to embark on their most personal project: A Quinta da Agua. A magical hotel, the result of the family’s care and passion, whose main virtue is offering travellers an unforgettable place to stay and relax, and learn what it is to do nothing. A Quinta da Agua has 51 different rooms, all with natural light, soft beds, warm duvets filled with down feathers and soft bedding made of Egyptian cotton. It also has three charming suites with large living spaces, a study and a jacuzzi, designed to offer maximum comfort in an exclusive, luxury setting. The melody of soft jazz, the dim light of the candles, a delicious aroma and the warmth of the fireplace in the cold winter months are the finishing touches of this hotel which, in addition to a spa and restaurant, has a reading room and a social room plus a bar in the style of a French bistro.

Costa de la Luz, the ‘Coast of Light’ & Andalusia

The Atlantic coast of Andalusia has some of the most spectacular beaches in Spain, with perfect conditions for waters ports and, with a string of low-key family resorts it's easy to see why this destination is a big hit with Spanish holidaymakers.

The Costa De La Luz winds upwards from Spain's southernmost point just west of Gibraltar to the border with Portugal. I love this area mostly for its un-spoilt beaches but the evident Moorish influences, just give Andalusia that extra punch. This region oozes passion, and dare I say more than its fair share of testosterone. Everyone identifies Spain with flamenco, beautiful white Andalusian horses and the Matadors of yesteryear.

To travel to Andalusia is like being on a supercharged film set of the movie Zorro, picture the scene!

The Costa de la Luz ( Coast of light) offers a great opportunity for, water sports enthusiasts as well as families seeking a more laid back beach holiday away from the Costas. First-timers to this area are sure to love the balance of a road trip which appeals to the parents as well as the children.