Cool Things You Can Only Do In Spain*

 

*This is a collaborative post*

There are a couple of countries that have things that are totally unique to them. And not only are they the reason you should go, but they are the reason that you might eventually choose to stay forever. Spain is one of those places. There is a reason that so many people decide to head there to retire every year - and it isn’t just for the paella!

So what makes Spain so delightful that you might just be searching for Spanish Homes the moment you return home again? Let’s take a look!

Holy Grail

Even if you aren’t religious, or think that you don’t have any affinity with religions at all, you will be familiar with the Holy Grail. It has been the star of many movies, the quest for it, the search and the drama. Well, it might surprise you to know that the Holy Grail is safely tucked away in its own chapel in Valencia Cathedral. The disclaimer here is that it is the only artefact recognised as the Holy Grail by the Vatican. It is set back in a cove in the wall of the chapel and has been a focal point for prayers since the 15th century. 

Old Restaurant 

For people who love a bit of history, then this is the place for you. Spain is home to the oldest restaurant in the world! There are more than a few older and impressive restaurants in Seville and Barcelona. Still, the one you’ll want to go to is Sobrina de Botin right in the heart of the capital. It has been a favourite for the locals and tourists alike since 1725. And if you really want that authenticity, then the 18th-century wood oven they use to cook with, will blow you away. 

Hot, Hot, Heat

If 50% of the reason you travel to new destinations is because of the food, then you need to head to the National Park of Timanfaya. It is situated on the Canary Islands, and you will find the aptly named El Diablo Restaurante. El Diablo is the only restaurant in the word that sources their heat from an active volcano. It was founded in 1970 by a local artist Cesar Manrique. 

Party Hard

Known as the island that never sleeps, Ibiza is the party capital. And it is home to the world's biggest nightclub. So if you are ready to dance the night away, in style the Privilege is the place to go. It actually started as a small bar with a public swimming pool in the 1970s. However the club can now play host to a massive 10,000 people. It has incredible DJs, delightful burlesque parties and the atmosphere is unrivalled. But if you have that friend that wanders off during a night out, this probably isn’t the place to take them. 

Photo by Lars Blankers on Unsplash

Tomatoes

Some people eat them, but during La Tomatina, the Spanish throw them at each other. The festival is held in Buñol. People travel from all over the world to experience the festival too. The locals will spend time using massive plastic covers to protect their houses from the wild, stray tomatoes. The festival takes place at the end of August, and you need to make sure you have official tickets to take part. 

The arrival of huge trucks bring thousands of tomatoes to the city square, Plaza del Pueblo, at 11am is highly anticipated. And if all that wasn’t enough, the festival can’t actually start until someone climbs up the greased wooden pole to grab a piece of ham at the top. The firing of the water cannons signals the start of the chaos. 

You Didn’t Die

So let’s celebrate! This might be one of the weirdest festivals you will hear about. La Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme. The festival is a celebration of surviving a near-death experience. Locals celebrate by putting people who survived something near-death in a coffin and carry them to the city cemetery. This festival takes place in the town of Las Nieves, Galicia. And that area is also famous for witchcraft and paganism - so it might not be all that surprising they would have things. The festival is named after the Saint Marta de Ribarteme. Who was the patron saint of resurrection. 

Walk of Fear

If you like heights and feeling terrified, while still having to walk forward,, then the village of El Choro in Malaga has something for you. It is home to the scariest pathway you might ever come across. At only one meter wide the Caminito Del Rey (King’s Little Pathway) was inaugurated in 1921 by King Alfonso XIII. And even though it is 3,000 meters long, and 101 meters tall, it hangs off the vertical rocks. Over the years there were several fatal accidents, so in the 2000s the pathway was closed for repairs. It is now safe again and is still an enormous challenge.

Desert

Didn’t you know that Europe had a desert? You’re not alone. Most people assume that Europe is the only continent without a desert. However, there is a hidden desert treasure on the southern tip of Spain. Desierto de Taberna is one of the most underrated (read as: tourist light) areas of Spain. Due to the hyperarid climate, if you are a fan of the night sky, then you’re in for a great show here. And although you might not know it, it was the backdrop for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!

Of course, there are many more things that are unique to Spain. But you can also simply take long strolls of beautiful beaches, explore small cafes and restaurants, and watch the sunset night after night. Spain is truly the type of country that you can live the lifestyle that you choose on any given day and has so much culture that you won’t be hard-pressed to find something that really speaks to you. Oh, and the locals are super friendly too.
 
I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends in Spain!” – George Orwell


*Contributed by Sam Jones. *Header photo by Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash


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