Whisk away loved ones on an unforgettably romantic jaunt through mountaintop citadels, towns populated with burnt orange and tangerine-tinted buildings, and quiet coastal villages. We’ve put together a list of the Spain's most romantic destinations.*
Begur, Costa Brava
Wander down cobbled lanes and past Moorish homes, all the way to the sea
A medieval village on the tourist-saturated Costa Brava, Begur is a tumbledown collection of lemon and peach-coloured buildings that cling to a steep hill overlooking the ocean. Clamber up to the ruins of Begur Castle, and you’ll be gifted with sumptuous views of the sea and town.
Back in town, winding cobbled lanes loop round both Moorish and colonial homes, which eventually lead to secluded coves at the foot of wooded valleys. Down by the water, expect to find a wonderful selection of restaurants; Hostal sa Rascassa has a quiet, low-lit restaurant and terrace, draped in fairy-lights. Make sure to grab a torch and take a romantic late-night stroll along the beach, until you chance upon the neighbouring village.
Navigate through a maze of arched walkways and narrow stone streets
The easternmost outpost of the Iberian peninsula, Cadaqués might look to Greece for its aesthetic, but it has true Catalan style. Hidden by the cliffs of the Cap de Creus national park, a jumble of whitewashed buildings populate the shoreline, while tucked in between are arched walkways and narrow cobblestone streets that lead past cerulean-blue doors and shutters.
Cadaqués has long served as a creative retreat, the likes of Salvador Dali and Gabriel García Márquez all having used the town as artistic fodder, and it’s not hard to see why. Wonderfully removed but holding onto an ambient buzz, there’s something both intimate and wild about this town. Take loved ones on a moonlit walk and for a seafood dinner, before heading to Hotel Sol Ixent and a late night drink by the pool.
The Puente Nuevo is the largest of the three bridges, built over the Guadalevín River
Perched atop golden cliffs, Ronda is an essential destination for loved-up getaways. One of its major sights are the three bridges – the Puente Nuevo, Puente Árabe and Puente Romano – that tower over the plunging chasm below. While trekking over an 120 metre-deep drop may not initially inspire visions of romance, the views of the bridges and beyond will surely summon them right back.
One of Andalucia’s original pueblos blancos (white towns), the snowy sheen of townhouses, cresting the mountain ridge and basking resplendently in the sunshine, is a little breathtaking. Watch the sunset from Catalonia Ronda’s rooftop terrace while enjoying a house cocktail or tour the historic Arab baths.
Giron is a patchwork of colourful homes that's best enjoyed from the riverside
A constellation of ruby red and clementine mansions, the walled city of Girona is a patchwork of colours and history. Stroll across small footbridges for views of the Onyar waterway – which looks uncannily Florentine in its architecture and colourings – or head to the Passeig de la Muralla for panoramic city vistas.
And romantics know that no walk is complete without a suitable destination (or stop-over) – try the classic Cafe le Bistrot, an authentic show of Catalan cuisine, with a suitably intimate atmosphere. Then wander past the cathedral at night with its Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque features before retiring to the elegant Hotel Nord 1901 Superior.
Segovia, Castile and León
Alcázar castle is said to be the inspiration behind the Disneyland castle in California
In Segovia, grand, romantic gestures are part of the city’s fabric. The aqueduct is a tribute to Roman splendour and cuts through a portion of the city like a great gate of promise, while Segovia’s blue-turreted and washed stone Alcázar is said to be the inspiration behind Walt Disney’s Disneyland castle in California.
Such sights are a magical way to spend the day, while basking in the warm Segovian sun and letting the gentle pace of life take over. Sweeping gestures aren’t out of place in this town, so while you’re here head to lunch at acclaimed Restaurante José María, with its roasted suckling pig, before a nap at the charming 16th-century Exe Casa de Los Linajes.
**The data scientists at Booking.com used internal data to uncover the top destinations for romance in Spain, according to global travellers.