Spanish Coast from North to South | Finnair Hungary
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Explore the Spanish Coast from North to South

From bustling cities to quaint little towns and from historical monuments to the newest in culinary adventures, the Spanish coast has it all. If you have time, you can travel all the way from Barcelona to Málaga, or just do a part of the journey. The whole length is suitable for driving and most of the trips can be done by train or bus.

From Barcelona to the beachside towns

Begin your journey in Barcelona. Before you set off, make the most of the city’s amazing food scene to fuel you for the road. Grab some dinner in one of the restaurants around the Gracia neighbourhood, favoured by locals and offering options from traditional tapas to Mexican street food. For the coming road trip, stock up on snacks such as olives, cheese and fruit from the food markets. Apart from the most famous Mercat de Santa Caterina, try out Mercat de Sant Antoni and La Llibertat.

From Barcelona, head down the coast southwards, stopping at the small and cute coastal towns of  
Sitges and Tarragona. Both offer lovely seaside scenery and great cafés and restaurants. There are also many options for a dip in the Mediterranean with Sitges boasting 17 sandy beaches and Tarragona being most famous for its super fine, golden sand. Tarragona also has well-preserved Roman ruins to explore if you are a history fan.

Further south, crossing into the county of Valencia, you will find many seaside resorts to relax in. Benicarlo and Peniscola are good options with chilled-out vibes and beautiful, partly almost deserted beaches. Your next stop should be at Serra d'Irta Natural Park. The park offers seriously impressive coastal views, fragrant pine groves, and small coves to explore.

Stop at Valencia and head down to Alicante

After the beach life and nature experiences, you will be all set up for some more urban life in the City of Valencia. If you want to see something truly modern check out the City of Arts and Sciences, a museum area of cutting-edge modern architecture, even seen in several science fiction films.

For more city life head to the neighbourhood of Russafa, packed full of cafes, restaurants, and cute little shops. You can also stock up on snacks again at the Mercat de Russafa. Make sure to buy some tasty empanadillas de pisto (little tuna pasties) and try the Valencian orange coffee.

Leaving Valencia, make a pit stop in one of the many cute seaside towns. If you just want to hang out at the beach, choose Denia or Gandia, but if you want something that feels more authentic and picturesque, go to Altea. The white-washed town offers many narrow alleys and amazing mountain and sea views from a hilltop.

Your next destination is Alicante. Make sure you stay for long enough to explore Alicante's historic old town. There is a great walking route covering all the main sights on the Alicante town website. Make sure you take regular coffee breaks in the cute cafes dotted around the narrow streets.

Make your way to Málaga through Cartagena

From Alicante, you can head towards the fortress city of Cartagena famous for several interesting historic sights. Start at the fortress of Castillo de la Concepción which offers a blast of local history as well as a panoramic view of the city. Museum lovers will also appreciate the Roman Theatre Museum, a restoration project of a genuine Roman theatre and Naval Museum, showcasing Cartagena's maritime heritage.

On your way down south, pause for at least a day in the lovely small town of Mojacar. It has lovely beaches and further up on a hill an incredibly idyllic old town with stunning views and lots of great places to have lunch with Andalucian flavours.

Driving towards Almeria you can make a pit stop in the natural park of Cabo de Gata known for its impressive rock formations jutting out of the sea. Before the drive to Málaga stop at the seaside promenade of Almeria to grab a drink or a bite to eat, maybe something with the tomatoes that the area grows in abundance.

Finish your trip to the coast in Málaga. If you still have energy left, explore the Moresque architectural wonders such as the fortresses of Alcazaba or the Gibralfaro. The best way to recuperate is however to head straight to one of the Málaga beaches. If you want to reward yourself, enter a beach club such as Trocadero Arena or Opium Marbella where you can simply lay in a daybed holding a cocktail by the pool. 

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