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With 2024 approaching, there is no better moment to reflect on my favorite things to do in Spain. Let me share all the unique travel experiences and adventures that took place in 2023!

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My 2o23 in Review

After creating my 2022 Review with Favorite Travel Experiences in Spain, I started a new tradition for myself – reflecting on my Spain Bucket list every year.

This 2023 was quite challenging, yet it was full of unique travel experiences in Spain. Without my pneumonia in February, I would definitely be able to complete my 2023 Bucket List shared on Instagram. Nevertheless, I am stilly happy how this 2023 has turned out and grateful for all the unique things that happened in my travel life.

spain street art murals
Street Art in El Grau de Castellon

Here´s the sum up of my 2023 travel schedule:

From my initial 2023 travel plan, I was not able to turn into reality a new road trip across Galicia and walk a part of El Camino de Santiago. Also, while I partially visited the regions of Tarragona and Zaragoza, I could cross off my bucket list way less than I expected.

2023 Favorite Things to Do in Spain

My Favorite Trip – The Pyrenees of Catalonia

family weekend in the pyrenees of catalonia
Favorite things to do in Spain – Visiting the Pyrenees of Catalonia

The second year in a raw The stunning Pyrenees come first in the ranking of my favorite destinations in Spain.

Last year my absolute highlight was The Aragon Pyrenees Road Trip and this 2023 – an adventurous weekend in the Pyrenees of Catalonia. Also, it was my first getaway with my parents in years and all of us enjoyed this trip to the fullest.

To be fair, there were two our epic trips in 2023: One week in Ireland and Solo Weekend in Paris, but since this list is focused on my favorite thing to do in Spain – the Pyrenees of Catalonia have managed to overshadow the rest.

Favorite Hike – Pasarelas del Vero in Alquezar

pasarelas alquezar hike spain
Favorite things to do in Spain – Pasarelas del Vero in Alquezar

While Alquezar always appears on the lists of beautiful Spanish villages and top medieval towns in Spain, this year it has surprised me with an epic hiking trail Pasarelas del Vero (also called Pasarelas de Alquesar).

Thinking of it now, I could state with all certainty that walking the metalic pathways in Alquezar has been one of my 2023 favorite things to do in Spain. It was on my Spain Bucket List ever since my first trip to Huesca Region. However, back then my girls were just babies – so we were only dreaming of hiking in the Pyrenees with them one day.

The trail Pasarelas del Vero is one of the most unique hikes in Spain and Top Pyrenees Hikes, which slightly reminds me of the famous El Caminito Del Rey, one of Andalusia’s top landmarks. The route begins in the small town of Alquezar and takes one through the stunning gorge of Sierra y los Cañones de Guara Natural Park. The whole itinerary was 3,37 km and it took us 2 hours to complete it with kids.

The hike was a must-stop during our 2023 Aragon road trip. If I were to recall other unique hikes that deserve a place on my list of favorite things to do in Spain this year, I’d need to mention Santa Maria de La Murta (while hiking in Valencia), the Bosque de Carlac trail (one of the most beautiful places in the Pyrenees) and Camino Natural del Rio Guadalaviar (one of my favorite secret hikes in Spain, located near Teruel).

Favorite Landmark – Vall de Boi Churches

romanesque churches vall boi
Favorite things to do in Spain – Visiting ancient churches in Vall de Boi
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Favorite things to do in Spain – the unique show at Sant Climent de Taull

While Spain is known for a large list of Unique National Landmarks and tones of beautiful churches and cathedrals, I doubt I have ever seen something similar to the Romanesque Churches of Vall de Boi.

These 9 stunning churches from the XIth century are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List for a reason. During my weekend in the Catalan Pyrenees, I got to visit three of the churches: Sant Joan de Boi, Santa Eulalia d Erill la Vall, and Sant Climent de Taull. The last one is known for a unique video show which explains the evolution and the process of wall painting.

Unfortunately, only some of the 9 churches were open in October, so I would love to return to Vall de Boi in the summer months.

Favorite Museum – Museo del Palmito

fan museum spain valencia
Favorite things to do in Spain – Museo del Palmito near Valencia

One of the most unique museums I got to visit in 2023, was the tiny Museo del Palmito near Valencia. It is entirely dedicated to Spanish fan artisans and houses a unique collection of artsy fans. Check out the full photo gallery in this post.

The museum is small, but really gorgeous – it absolutely deserves it´s place on the list of secret museums in Spain.

Favorite Village – Sos del Rey Catolico

sos de rey catolico spain
Favorite things to do in Spain – visiting Sos del Rey Catolico

During this 2023, visiting the medieval village of Sos del Rey Catolico has been one of my favorite things to do in Spain. While it was a stop on my Aragon Road trip, we drove a few hours to finally cross this place off the bucket list. While forming part of the Aragon autonomous community, this small town is actually located closer to the Navarra landmarks.

While Sos del Rey Catolico often appears on the list of top Spanish small towns, it has still managed to overcome my initial expectations.

Favorite Historical Sight – Guadalajara Palace

guadalajara palace spain
Favorite things to do in Spain – Palacio del Infantado in Guadalajara

The Spanish Historical Sight that has impressed me the most this year is Palacio del Infantado of Guadalajara, visited during our Cuenca Road Trip.

This palace is considered one of the most unique buildings in Spain. It was created by the architect Juan Guas and the sculptor Egas Coeman in 1480 at the request of the duke Iñigo Mendoza. Both Christians and Muslims worked on the project, so this architectural marvel is a mixture of Renaissance, Gothic, and Islamic decorations. Also, throughout Spanish history, Palacio del Infantado was chosen by the kings Philip II and Philip V for their wedding celebrations.

We also enjoyed the museum inside: the entrance was free and the staff gave us complimentary activity books for the kids. I wish all the landmarks in Spain were as child-friendly as Palacio del Infantado. Funny enough – this palace was simply a casual stop on the way to the Spanish Christmas Park of Torrejon de Ardoz. But we end up enjoying it more than the final destination.

Favorite Romantic Moment – La Caldea

caldea spa andorra
Favorite things to do in Spain – Spa in Andorra

My Favorite Romantic Moment of 2023 took place during our trip to Andorra over the Valentine´s weekend. While Andorra is an independent state, it is nestled in the Pyrenees, right in between Spain and France. Therefore, many visitors actually come to Andorra on a day trip from Spain. Therefore, I often include it into my Spainish itineraries.

One of the popular places to visit in Andorra is Caldea Spa, the largest spa in Southern Europe. The Complex has a family-friendly area and the adults-only Inúu Spa section.

I used to have mixed feelings about Caldea Spa: it usually gets so crowded in winter that it sometimes feels more like an amusement park. Nevertheless, this 2023 we had a great time at Caldea. Mainly because we got in around 9 am and were able to enjoy the place with no crowds around. For a while, there were just the two of us, me and my husband, soaking inside Caldea’s panoramic outdoor pool.

For more details, you can check out my Andorra IG Stories.

Favorite Spanish Dish – Cachopo

cachopo spanish food
Favorite things to do in Spain – trying a delicious Cachopo

Enjoying snow in Spain with kids is a must-do plan for us every year. This 2023 we had a fun day trip to Valdelinares (in Teruel) in search of some winter inspiration. After playing with the snow for a while, we headed to the small town of Villarroya de los Pinares. I was aware of the fact that the local restaurant Asador Villarroya ranked high for its cachopo dish, but I honestly did not expect it to be that good.

Cachopo is one of the most typical dishes in the Spanish region of Asturias. It consists of two large veal fillets, ham, and cheese – these are breaded in eggs, breadcrumbs, and then fried. You can try cachopo in different parts of Spain, but this one at Asador Villarroya was somehow tastier than the one I had while exploring the beautiful villages of Asturias.

You can read more about the best foods I try on the go in my blog series Traditional Foods in Spanish Villages.

Favorite City – Tortosa

tortosa things to do travel guide
Favorite things to do in Spain – visiting Tortosa

Visiting the city of Tortosa has been my biggest travel discovery of 2023 in Spain.

While constantly traveling across the region of Catalonia, this small town has occasionally popped up in my itineraries, but it would just never grab my attention.

Tortosa is still relatively undiscovered by international visitors, but, in my opinion, it belongs on the list of the coolest places to visit in Catalonia. You can check all the amazing landmarks of Tortosa in this post.

Favorite Exposition – Sorolla Exhibitions in Valencia

sorolla exposition valencia
Favorite things to do in Spain – Exposition “Sorolla una nueva dimensión

If I were to sum up all the artsy experiences of 2023, one of my favorite things to do in Spain this year would be the Sorolla exhibitions.

The Valencian painter Joaquin Sorolla is considered one of the most famous Spaniards ever. This 2023, the city of Valencia housed lots of unique temporary expositions (in honor of 100 years after his death). My favorites were “Sorolla a través de la luz” at Fundación Bancaja and “Sorolla una nueva dimensión” at La Marina de Valencia.

By the way, if you enjoy Spain Coffe Table Books, there are quite a few unique ones with Joaquin Sorolla artworks.

Favorite Spanish TV Show – La Otra Mirada

favorite spanish tv shows
Favorite things to do in Spain – discovering new Spanish TV Shows

This 2023, I shared with you lots of Spain-themed ideas to fuel wanderlust from home: Inspiring Spain Documentaries, Top Spain Virtual Tours, Unique Spain Coffee Table Books, and Best Contemporary Spanish Books and Writers.

But what I mostly enjoyed was discovering a few unique Spanish TV Shows to Binge Watch. One of my top picks of 2023 was La Otra Mirada, set in my favorite Seville (you can get a 30-day Amazon Prime Free Trial to watch it right now).

Favorite Book – Great Spanish Stories

Favorite things to do in Spain – discovering new Spanish writers

This 2023 was full of unique inspiring reads (you can check some of my favorites via this IG Highlight).

If I were to pick one book on Spain that I enjoyed the most, I´d go with Great Spanish Short Stories, a new dual-language edition by Penguin Random House UK. It includes 10 unique short stories from different regions of Spain (some originally written in BasqueCatalan, and Galician). This cute little book helped me to discover new Spanish authors for my List of Top Contemporary Spanish Novels.

Another current favorite of mine is this unique illustrated Spanish edition of Hemingway´s Fiesta.

Favorite Place to Visit With Kids – Aitana Safari Park

aitana safari park spain
Favorite things to do in Spain – Visiting Aitana Safari Park

One of my 2023 favorite things to do in Spain with kids was our visit to Aitana Safari Park, a must-see place for any family holiday in Alicante. You can check this IG post or TikTok for the details.

Aitana Safari Park offers a unique experience of safari without flying to faraway Africa. You access the park with your own car and drive around while making stops in places where the staff is present (otherwise you are not allowed to leave your car). They also organize private tours, for those seeking a more exclusive wildlife experience.

But by and large, it was something we had never done before and it felt cool to try. No wonder Aitana Safari has made it to our Favorite Places to Enjoy Spain with Kids. Our second favorite this year was Paterna Fun Park while exploring Valencia with the kids.

Favorite Experience – SUP Yoga Class

Sup Paddle Board Spain Travel

While last year my most adventurous experience in Spain was a zipline Tirolina Valle de Tena, this year I enjoyed my first Paddle Board Yoga Class during our Benicassim Beach Getaway.

From my article on Healthy habits that changed my life, you will already know that yoga is an important part of my lifestyle. Nevertheless, I have never tried SUP yoga (even though I bought my own paddle board after trying it in Lanzarote).

In a nutshell, it is a simple yoga class, but it takes place on a puddle board somewhere in the middle of calm waters (like lakes, bays, or harbors). It all looks much easier than it feels. Keep the balace takes a good bunch of practice and concentration. My class took place at Surfers Castellon Club and I’d love to repeat it next summer (not to mention that I would love to learn surfing).

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