First holiday or honeymoon? Milestone anniversary or mum-and-dad-only trip? Spain has something for every couple, in every era of life. And for the busy duo who don’t have weeks to spare for a romantic retreat, it makes for a heavenly short-haul sojourn. From city breaks brimming with beauty to gorgeous getaways on glorious islands, we’ve shortlisted six of the most romantic places in Spain for you to discover with your lover. Get ready to fall head over heels in love all over again.
Seville is one place that appears again and again when researching romantic places in Spain. And it’s easy to see why, as it’s impossible not to be seduced by this sun-kissed city. Orange trees line the streets that lead to charming squares and shaded parks, while majestic architecture abounds; from the decadently-adorned Real Alcázar (a 13th-century palace) and the captivating Gothic cathedral (the world’s largest) to the colourfully-tiled alcoves of the Plaza de España (one for each of the 48 Spanish provinces). Seville is also one of Spain’s flamenco capitals, making it the perfect place to experience the intensity and intimacy of this passionate artform. To see the city at its sweetest, visit between late February and early March, when the azahar (orange blossom) blooms and the scent of citrus fills the air.
For a romantic getaway with fairy tale flair, Segovia is one of our favourites. The blue-turreted Alcázar Palace is said to have inspired the Disney castle where Sleeping Beauty slumbered serenely. And Segovia’s cooler climate once made it a popular summer retreat for Spanish royalty, so this charming city has welcomed real-life princesses too. Another highlight of Segovia is the ancient aqueduct that has dominated the city since Roman times. Climb to the top of this grand monument for panoramic views of the terracotta-hued town and the rolling hills beyond. Since Segovia is only 30 minutes from Madrid by train, you and your better half can easily enjoy the captivating vistas during a day trip from the Spanish capital.
After an idyllic island escape? Let us introduce you to Las Islas Cíes. This lesser-known archipelago off the coast of Galicia is practically uninhabited, with no hotels, no cars and no tourist-tempting beach bars. A paradise of Caribbean-like beaches and back-to-nature serenity, a day spent here is a day spent on your own desert island (at least it will feel that way, as there’s a strict limit on visitor numbers). There might not be a luxury resort where you can lounge by the pool, but there are sweeping stretches of sand backed by pristine forest and lapped by a sparkling sea. In a land crammed with beautiful beaches, you can find some of the most special right here. Like Praia das Rodas, which many consider one of the country’s best. Ideal if your idea of romantic places in Spain involves the holy trinity of sun, sea and sand.
When it comes to breath-taking backdrops for romance, Granada wins hands down. Beneath the snow-tipped peaks of the Sierra Nevada, the opulent Alhambra Palace is the city’s star attraction. This beguiling complex of palaces, courtyards and gardens is bewitchingly beautiful, both inside and out. And although you’re unlikely to have it to yourself, it remains one of the most romantic places in Spain. After exploring the lavish carvings and colourful tiles, make your way to the Generalife gardens, one of the prettiest spots for strolling hand in hand among the fountains and foliage. To unwind after a day of sightseeing, visit one of the Arab baths around the city, where you can savour the rejuvenating rituals of a traditional hammam with your significant other.
If the way to your heart really is through your stomach, San Sebastián should be on your short break shortlist. Sitting pretty on Spain’s northern coast, this small town is home to the pintxo; a bite-sized, tapas-like snack that pairs exceptionally well with a glass of wine. And San Sebastián is a particularly picturesque spot for an evening of foodie indulgence with the one you love. The city overlooks the golden curve of La Concha Bay, with a seaside promenade that’s perfect for a post-pintxo stroll without getting sandy. While Spain’s mountainous Basque Country is often overlooked, San Sebastián is an ideal base for exploring this lesser-known region of one of Europe’s most romantic countries.
Floating off the south coast of Ibiza, the island of Formentera is the Balearic Islands’ smallest sibling. It’s a languid, lo-fi antidote to the all-night abandon of Ibiza; a sun-bleached, bohemian isle of whitewashed villages and blissful beaches. A note about those beaches: they’re some of the finest in the Med, with dazzling water, blonde sand and none of the overdevelopment that has blemished other Balearic resorts. While Formentera is a popular pilgrimage for day trippers from Ibiza (there’s no airport here, so visitors arrive via boat), we also think it’s a divine destination for a few days away from it all with your favourite person.