Hi, I’m Alex! I have visited Spain several times and am drawn by its sea-side views. Here are my top picks of calas, beaches, and restaurants throughout three regions of Spain: Catalonia, Majorca, and Valencia. All of these locations have been suggested by locals to ensure a cultural experience!
Catalonia: Catalonia is a region of Northeastern Spain near France. It is home to Costa Brava, which translates to “Rugged Coast”, and it is known for wonderful ocean life off of the Mediterranean. Catalonia has its own dialect which is a mix of Spanish and French, but my mother and I found no trouble communicating since we speak Spanish.
Tossa de Mar
Tossa de Mar was one of my favorite places to visit since it is so unique. Tossa is the castle built alongside the water on top of Mount Guardi. The castle is still in place today and it itself is the city (my family stayed in an Air BnB inside the castle/fort which happens to be one of the only apartments during that trip that offered air conditioning). It had great views and lovely trails along the mountain. It also had a lovely cala which I spent hours on end at and it is even open to night swimming. I highly suggest a trip to Tossa de Mar, and it is not very touristy or crowded, just make sure not to bathe on the main beach, the cala is much more secluded.
Blanes is a town just an hour from Barcelona with calas sprinkled throughout it. Of my favorites are Cala de Sant Francesc: a great place for swimming and jumping off rocks, and Cala Treumal: a gorgeous beach with a fantastic restaurant. If you go to Cala Treumal, follow my advice and order the beans with sausage, it is a classic Catalonian dish and it is very tasty!
Cala Sant Francesc
Majorca is the second biggest Balearic Island. It is important to note it is an 8 hour ferry ride from Valencia. It is totally worth it due to its amazing beaches, food, and people.
Cuevas Del Drach Palma De Mallorca
Visit the caves at Cuevas Del Drach, Palma De Mallorca. Travel down the twists and turns of the cave and end up at the natural pool. There an orchestra in gondallas will serenade you and then invite you for a trip in the gondalls which bring you to the exit of the cave. It was an unforgettable experience!
In Formentor you can find calm beaches, mountains, and lovely views. My family and I had a Spanish style picnic with everything from paella to pan con nutella. Visit Formentor for a very relaxing, and even therapeutic excursion. It is important to note that it is pretty isolated and a drive through windy mountain roads are required to bring you to it’s beaches, though if you keep your eyes peeled on the ride you may be able to spot some mountain goat!
I won’t advise you to go swimming in Palma, instead, take a stroll through the city. I was guided but a local, Javier, from Palma and our first destination was the Catedral-Basílica de Santa María de Mallorca, a gorgeous gothic cathedral at the heart of Majorca’s capital. An interesting fact is that the cathedral lies directly across from an outdoor public theater which was attracting dozens of people. After a tour of the cathedral, we later went to La Bóveda, Javier’s favorite restaurant in Palma. I highly suggest eating there. This was a special meal for me since it was my first (and last) time eating morcilla- a sausage made of pig's blood, rice, and onions. Even though it was not my favorite food, I encourage you to try it. If you have the opportunity, take a peak in Temple Natura, an old Palman mansion in which the courtyard is converted into a restaurant. It is pretty expensive, so if you have the opportunity to dine there it would be amazing, but otherwise, it is an open restaurant and you are welcome to take a look at the architecture of the old home.
This beach is suitable for adrenaline junkies as well as sunbathers. This is one of my favorite beaches. It is a white sand beach with quite a few restaurants along with it, and pretty unusual to Spanish calas, outdoor shower spigots. This is a great place for cliff jumpers as you have many different elevations to jump from which my brother and I enjoyed. You also have the opportunity to scuba dive and take a look at the sea creatures within the water. The clear water was warm and a turquoise-blue color. This beach gets a 10/10 from me!
Other places to consider visiting would include Llucmajor, Manacor, Pollenca, Porto Cristo, and Porto Petro. A very popular beach is Es Trenc, which is a classic white sanded beach, but I did not find it very special. On the other hand, I found it quite crowded and there are many other places I would rather visit.
Valencia is one of Spain's biggest cities. It is known for its modern architecture, rice cultivation, shopping, and of course, my favorite, Paella. You can find Paella anywhere in Spain, but it's not quite as divine as the Valenciano Paella. Valencianos are perfectionists when it comes to the Paella. For example, if their friend in Madrid asks them to come over for a holiday and make them a Paella, they will bring everything from Valencia, down to the water used to boil the rice in. I stayed in Valencia with a friend of mine, Allegra, and her family. The people of Valencia are very patriotic, so seeing a soccer game there is quite an experience. Also, take up shopping on Calle Colón and browse through the European stores. You could also visit La Plaza de Toros de Valencia, or the bull ring. Though I did not watch a bullfight myself, if it sparks your interest you could watch one. It should be noted that they are very controversial.
Like this post? Check out my other blog posts!