Spain is regional -17 different regions if we’re going to be exact. With varying landscapes, climate and culture, you’re going to have to move around to get a real feel of the country. And move around you will if you’re on an adventurous holiday in Spain. From mountain biking to kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, Spain is the country that will get your heart racing in every region!
1. Galicia – Camping on the Cíes Islands
The Cíes Islands are just off the coast of Galicia in Northwest Spain. Named ‘The Islands of the Gods’ by the Romans, they are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park and offer the perfect getaway for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Accessible only by sea, you can visit these three islands for a day-trip or you can spend the night camping. Be sure to book in advance as visitor numbers are limited per day to protect the outstanding environment and incredible beaches.
2. Asturias – Moutain climbing
Asturias is an unspoilt region of Northwest Spain, boasting mountains, rivers, and meadows. It’s the perfect location for adventure sports! On offer are a plethora of activities including mountain climbing, canoeing and bungee jumping.
If you’re going to stay in a hotel, it’s likely that they can organise activities on your behalf before you arrive. It’s worth booking in advance, especially in July and August.
3. Cantabria – Surfing
Part of ‘Green Spain’, Cantabria is perfect for both laid-back tourists and adventurers! From snowy mountains to green valleys and coastal bays, this northern region of Spain has something for everyone.
But surfing is where Cantabria really comes into its own. Many of the glorious beaches have surf schools, so if you’ve never surfed before but fancy giving it a go, this is a great place to start!
4. Basque Country – Exploring San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
Basque Country has a perfect combination of culture-rich cities and beautiful coastal beaches. With three of its provinces in Spain and two in France, you may be inclined to think that Basque Country has a mixture of Spanish and French traditions and language. However if anything, it’s neither! Basque Country have their own traditions, history and even their own language!
Basque Country, specifically Bermeo, is home to the island of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Only connected to the mainland by a man-made stone bridge, you’ll need to adventure along narrow paths and climb over 200 stairs to get there! Breath-taking views and an historic church dedicated to John the Baptist will be waiting for you, so make sure you take your camera.
5. Navarra – Skiing
Navarra has four distinct seasons, which is unusual in a country like Spain. It offers a wide range of sporting activities like quad biking, fishing and potholing. However, Navarra is best known for its cross- country skiing and mountain sports! Located in northern Spain, the top half of Navarra is dominated by the Pyrenees mountains which usually provide beautifully fresh snow throughout the winter.
6. Castilla y León – Sight Seeing and Golf
Rich in Spanish medieval history, Castilla y León is known as the ‘Land of the Castles’. Over 300 castles were built during medieval times! This Spanish region, the largest in the country, is also home to six World Heritage Sites. There are plenty of official tours to choose from, or you could hire a car and make use of their excellent road network.
If you prefer something a bit more active, you could try your hand at golf. There are at least twenty golf courses scattered throughout Castilla y León, offering impressive 9 and 18 hole courses.
Castile y León has a rather drastic climate; long, bitterly cold winters and short but unbearably hot summers. This may be something to keep in mind if you’re going to visit this region!
7. La Rioja – Wine Tasting
If you’re into your wine – or even if you’re not – you’ll have probably heard of Rioja. Famous for its wines, La Rioja and has over 500 wineries! Why not book a wine tour and visit some of the traditional aswell as the more modern wineries and vineyards throughout this region? If you’re visiting towards the end of June and feeling audacious, you may want to take part in La Batalla del Vino which, believe it or not, is a ‘wine battle’!
8. Aragon – Skiing
National Parks, ski resorts, glacial lakes and mountain ranges are just some of the natural wonders on offer in Aragon. This region also has some of the richest history in Spain, notably its former princess Catherine of Aragon, who was the first wife of Henry VIII.
Aragon has seven superb ski resorts, some even with artificial snow! Whether you’re a beginner or an expert on the slopes, Aragon has something for everyone. And if you don’t want to ski, many of the resorts offer alternative activities like swimming, ice-skating, and shopping.
9. Catalonia – Water Sports
Catalonia is one of Spain’s most vibrant regions, with tons of history, naturally beautiful surroundings and modern attractions. You can experience the bustling city of Barcelona, enjoy the popular Costa Brava and Costa Dorada beaches, and visit the birthplace of painter Salvador Dali in Figueres.
Ideal for water sports, you’ll find the more extreme ones towards the north of Catalonia in the Pyrenees mountains. Rafting, canyoning and caving to name but a few. If you prefer something a bit more traditional, diving, snorkelling and waterskiing are widely available along the coast.
10. Madrid – Varied Activities
This region, and Spain’s capital city, is right in the centre of Spain. With an international airport and easy transport links, Madrid is really easy to navigate. Full of life and energy, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Madrid, whatever time of year. From strolling around parks and galleries, to hiking and mountain biking.
You might also like to try one of the many flamenco or language classes to really make the most of your time in Spain. Golf is also a popular activity in Madrid. With more than 20 golf courses, you’ll be spoilt for choice! It’s advisable to book in advance though as the golf courses get busy.
11. Extremadura – Bird Watching
This beautiful region located in the West of Spain is characterised by valleys, rivers, nature reserves and National Parks. It’s not a popular tourist destination (yet) so if you’re looking for somewhere a little bit more remote and traditional, this is the place to go.
If you’re an avid birdwatcher, it’s recommended that you take a trip to the Monfrague National Park. With tens of thousands of acres of woodland and pastures, you’ll be able to see eagles, red and black kites, falcons, buzzards, and vultures. There is also plenty of wildlife to look out for such as deer, wild cats and otters.
12. Castilla-La Mancha – Culture and History Lovers
Castilla-La Mancha’s best attraction is the City of Toledo. Famous for its swords and knives, many of the swords used in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ were made here! This open museum is packed full of beautiful old buildings, historical monuments, and stunning cathedrals.
Castilla-La Mancha’s second most popular city is Cuenca. A World Heritage site stuffed with art and culture, it’s definitely worth a visit.
13. Valencian Community – Water sports
One of the most popular tourist regions in Spain, Valencia is host to Alicante, Costa Blanca and of course, Valencia Capital. A truly wonderful region with something for everyone. From beach resorts and shopping, to horse riding and paragliding, there’s always something to do. Why not see the sights on a fun segway tour? Or take a walking night tour to experience Valencia’s active nightlife?
Valencia’s coastline is beautiful and provides an excellent place for water sports, particularly scuba diving and snorkelling. The best time to go is between May and September, when you’ll have great access to clear waters, rocky coves and gorgeous marinas.
14. The Balearic Islands – Varied
The Balearic Islands are made up of four main islands: Majorca, Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera. These islands are one of the most popular holiday destinations in Spain. With breath-taking scenery, beautiful coves and beaches, and lively nightlife, whatever sort of holiday you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it here.
Majorca is great for high-end shopping. With its elegant boutiques and designer labels, you’ll be in heaven on Avinguda Jaume III in Palma. Spend the evenings having romantic dinners, sipping cocktails and watching live music.
Ibiza’s party reputation precedes it, however there’s much more to this paradisical island. From trekking through the coastal mountains, absorbing the culture at World Heritage Site Eivissa (the old quarter in Ibiza town), to witnessing spectacular sunsets in San Antonio, this stunning island has it all.
Menorca is quieter and more low-key than the other islands. You’ll want to take advantage of lazing on the many Blue Flag beaches, going on cruises along the coast, and spending the evenings in family-run restaurants and quaint bars.
Formentera is known as the ‘Last Paradise’. Its sensational white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters will leave you breathless! Snorkelling and fishing are popular, or you could go cycling and see some of the impressive scenery. This is a place to relax, unwind, and recharge your batteries!
15. Andalusia – Motor sport
This southern Spanish region embraces what most of us associate with Spain: a gorgeous climate, tapas, friendly locals, and flamenco dancing! Andalusia is a hive of activity when it comes to keeping you occupied and it is a region most notable for it’s motor racing facilities, with the major ones located in the provinces of Cádiz, Málaga, Granada and Almería. Get your heart racing with a test drive at the Ascari racing track (named after Alberto Ascari, the first world champion to win the Formula 1 race twice) located just outside of Ronda where cars and track can be hired.
16. Murcia – Running & Cycling
With beautifully warm waters and over 320 days of sunshine every year, this small Spanish region is perfect for relaxation and well-being. Miles of sandy beaches, coves, mountains, and fishing towns make this a truly unspoilt region of Spain.
If you need a bit of pampering, this is the place to go. There are a wide range of spa resorts and beauty centres, but if you fancy getting out and about, the well-paved roads and paths are perfect for running or cycling.
17. The Canaries – Varied
A volcanic group of islands off the coast of northwestern Africa, the Canaries have year-round warm temperatures and enticingly varied landscapes. Venture across the Sahara-like sand dunes in Gran Canaria, climb mount Teide in Tenerife, view the lava fields in Lanzarote, party hard in Fuerteventura, explore the forests in La Palma, hike through the mountains in La Gomera, or dive into the sea-life studded waters of El Hierro.