The unique diversity of landscapes in Spain is formed by countless natural wonders that you absolutely need to see with your own eyes. Pink and green lakes, endless deserts and steaming volcanoes, ancient trees, and peculiar rock formations – there´s so much to explore that you might have ever anticipated. Check this ultimate list of otherworldly landscapes in Spain to inspire your next trip!
While Spain is mostly known worldwide as an ultimate holiday destination with amazing weather and great sights, I can assure you that nature lovers might be unexpectedly spoilt for choices while visiting the Iberian Peninsula. The flat plains of Central Spain adventurously transform into magical forests and foggy mountains once you head north, or unpredictably turn into chilly palms and white sands once you make your way south.
But the most unexpected thing about the unique diversity of landscapes in Spain is that this country is full of places that look like they are from another planet. Pink and green lakes, endless deserts, steaming volcanoes, ancient trees, and peculiar rock formations – there´s no shortage of otherworldly things to explore in Spain. Much to explore that you might have ever anticipated.
Therefore, in addition to my posts Fairytale Places in Spain, Dreamy Spanish Castles, and Game of Thrones Filming Locations in Spain (all of which are full of fantasy locations) I’ve curated for you a full list of the otherworldly landscapes in Spain. Let´s experience unique sceneries created by Mother Nature that look absolutely supernatural.
Top Otherworldly Landscapes in Spain
1. Las Tabernas Desert in Almeria
Did you know that many of the top Hollywood Westerns were actually filmed in Spain? – Las Tabernas Desert is Andalusia´s iconic Wild West. You might have already had a brief preview of Almeria´s wide and dry expanses, back when I shared the Game of Thrones filming locations in Spain. This is where GoT Season 6 scenes depicting the land of Dothraki´s were filmed.
Moreover, Almeria is the only place in Europe where you can channel your inner cowboy while walking the streets of a Wild West Town.
Almeria´s desert is one of the top otherworldly landscapes in Spain – no wonder it has a long history with international filmmakers. To name a few top movies featuring Las Tabernas Desert: Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Cleopatra (1963), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Dance of the Vampires (2001), Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014).
2. Rock formations of The Enchanted City of Cuenca
Although The Spanish Province of Cuenca borders with a few well-known Spanish regions, like Madrid, Toledo, and Valencia, it is still Spain off the beaten track. 28km from the city of Cuenca, hidden by the local forests, you´ll find The Enchanted City (or La Cuidad Encantada in Spanish).
The Enchanted City of Cuenca is such a natural phenomenon. By and large, it is a circular route full of impressive rock formations, sculpted over the centuries by ice, wind, and water.
A walk through The Enchanted City really feels like something supernatural and mystical. Especially, due to the fact that all the rock figures look like humans, objects, or animals. This is where you let go of normal directed thinking and liberate your imagination. How about “A fight between an elephant and a crocodile” or “The lovers of Teruel“.
There are more hidden gems in Cuenca, like Cañon de Talayelas, that nature lovers can’t miss. Also, let´s not forget the peculiar rocks of Montserrat near Barcelona. I´ll leave you the list of the additional suggestions at the end of this post.
3. Lunar Landscapes of Teide in Tenerife
While you currently can virtually travel to the moon, The Canary Islands might give you a similar experience in real life. The impressive and unique landscapes of these exotic Spanish islands deserve a separate post. But one place pops into my mind first – Teide National Park in Tenerife and Spain´s highest mountain Teide (over 3,700 m).
Another similar location in The Canary Islands is Lanzarote´s Timanfaya National Park. Both Teide and Timanfaya National Parks have volcanic origins and will stark you with their surreal lunar landscapes.
4. Europe’s Highest Cliffs in Galicia
You can find Europe’s Highest Cliffs in the Spanish province of Galicia. Finisterre is one of the most freedom-infused landscapes in Spain. Romans called it “finis terrae” (which means “end of the earth”) because back then the west coast of Galicia was where the known world literally ended.
For more dramatic cliff landscapes in Spain head to Los Gigantes in Tenerife. Located in the west of the island, a small resort of Los Gigantes is famous for the giant 800m-high cliff formations. Sailing or kayaking in the area will provide you with the views of a lifetime.
5. Millenary Olive Trees in Castellon
Another big unknown on this list – The Millenary Olives in the province of Castellon. Some of the trees in small off-the-beaten-path village Canet Lo Roig are more than 2000 years old and have been present in the region since the times of the Roman Empire. While olive trees in Crete are estimated at over 3000 years old, the millenary olives of Canet lo Roig will astonish you with their large number and variety! A walk through 200-year-old olive trees grove is quite an experience itself. In addition, in some local shops, you can buy a bottle of local millenary-olive oil.
6. Sand Dunes in Fuerteventura
Aside from my favorite Tarifa, there’s another epic place in Spain for endless beaches and unimaginable sand dunes – Parque Natural de las Dunas de Corralejo in Fuerteventura.
Technically, The Canary Islands are much closer to Africa than they are to Europe. However, despite a popular belief that all this sand was blown from the Sahara desert, Fuerteventura sand dunes were actually composed of the local shells. It is one of the stunning landscapes in Spain with an unmatched otherworldly feel.
7. Enchanted Forests of Anaga National Park in Tenerife
One of my favorite Spanish scenaries is Parque Rural de Anaga in Tenerife. While we all love walks with nature, some places make you feel the magic flowing through your system more than others. After all, who said the enchanted forests don´t exist in real life?
Sendero El Bosque Encantado is such an epic hike, but you´ll need to ask for a permission to visit online (in advance), as local authorities limit daily visitors to preserve the area. However, Anaga´s most-visited trail Sendero de los Sentidos (nearby a parking lot and visitor´s center) does not require any previous permissions and it is suitable for kids (even partially adapted for disabled and baby strollers).
Dreaming of more magical forests? – Check Bosque de Oma and Hayedo de Otzarreta in The Basque Country, or Fragas do Eume in Galicia.
8. Green Lake in Lanzarote
Lago de los Clicos (also Charco de los Clicos) is a green lake formed in a crater of an old volcano on the Spanish island of Lanzarote. It owes the spectacular color to the type of algae that grows there. The lake is still connected through the underground with an ocean, which maintains the level of water.
Landscape lovers, can you imagine the contrast of deep green with emerald-blue and volcanic black?!
More otherworldly landscape in Lanzarote you can’t miss – Lunar Vineyards and Los Hervideros.
9. Caribbean Blues in Formentera
It’s hard to beat Formentera when it comes to the Caribbean island experience in Europe. While the Mediterranean has quite a few turquoise water spots, like the Blue Lagoon of Cyprus or trendy Ibiza beaches, the paradise coastlines in Spain are forefronted by the Island of Formentera.
We all need to re-center and refresh our mind every once in a while and there’s no better way to do this than through catching some waves and rays in the middle of a magical natural setting. The bluest waters in of Formentera have a bewitching effect on every visitor and will make you experience a Caribbean Paradise in the heart of the Mediterranean.
10. Pink Lake in Alicante
One of the most unexpected Spanish landscapes – Alicante´s Pink Lake or Las Salinas de Torrevieja. The amazing color is generated by bacteria and algae. Although the exact hue of the lake highly depends on the season and the moment of the day – in real life it is not always as brightly pink as you might see across the social media. Moreover, while many claim you can swim in Alicante´s Pink Lake, during my visit in April there were a few people from government patrolling and asking you not to touch the water.
Due to its unique flora and fauna, Torrevieja Natural Park is visited by pink flamingos during the breeding season.
11. Palm Grove in Elche
The largest palm grove in Europe is located in a small Spanish town of Elche, Valencia Province. With 200 000 palms, El Palmeral has been a part of Elche´s unique urban landscape for over 1000 years.
The origins of the Palm Grove of Elche date back to the X century when the Arabs relocated the city to its current site. The Moorish cultivation methods employed in Elche centuries ago have survived to the present day. El Palmeral was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
You might expect to come across an oasis while heading to the Middle East, but seeing with your own eyes 200 000 palms in Elche, Valencia is not something easy to forget.
12. The Zumaia Beach in The Basque Country
The filming of Game of Thrones has brought a lot of international attention to the divine nature of Northern Spain. While the most eye-catching location was the spectacular isle of Gaztelugatxe, The Zumaya Beach doubled for the Dragonstone surroundings, which weren’t any less impressive. A series of strata formations rise vertically from the sea while creating an ultimate unearthly effect. Usually, layered rocks form when particles settle from water or air.
In summer Zumaia beach gets crowded and make sure you visit at low tide (many rocks are submerged under the sea every time the tide comes in). Plus, you should also check The Muriola Beach (Barrika), another GOT filming location in Spain doubling for the Dragonstone surroundings.
More otherworldly Spanish landscapes
Want to discover more otherworldly Spanish scenaries? – You can find more suggestions on the list below. A few of them are still on my Spanish bucket list, like Las Medulas, Garganta de los Infiernos, La Laguna Negra de Urbion or Rio Tinto.
- Las Medulas / Leon
- Bardenas Reales / Navarra
- Erosiones de Bolnuevo / Murcia
- Rio Tinto / Andalusia
- Playa de Aguila / Fuerteventura
- Hayedo de Otzarreta /The Basque Country
- Timanfaya National Park / Lanzarote
- Torcas de Palancares / Cuenca
- Lunar Vineyards / Lanzarote
- Los Gigantes / Tenerife
- Los Callejones de las Majadas / Cuenca
- Garganta de los Infiernos / Extremadura
- The Painted Forest of Oma / The Basque Country
- Montserrat Rocks / Catalonia
- Cuevas de Zugarramurdi / Navarra
- La Laguna Negra de Urbion / Soria
- Piramides de Güimar / Tenerife
- Fragas do Eume / Galicia
- The Most Beautiful Cathedrals in Spain
- The Prettiest Flower Fields and Blossoms in Spain
- 10 secret villages in Spain you´ve never heard of
- The Most Colorful Villages in Spain