MADRID – International organisations present their offerings at the Fitur tourism fair. To mark the occasion, the fair presents a top 10 must-visit places in Spain. Some are predictable, but many are unexpected and new places to discover in Spain.
On January 19, the 42nd edition of the international tourism fair Fitur started in the Ifema fair in Madrid. Although travel still requires some preparation in times of pandemic, the interest and attendance at the tourism fair show that travelling and discovering new places is still in our blood. Among the items presented during the fair are the ten most trendy and interesting destinations in Spain at the moment:
Año Xacobeo 2022
Año Xacobeo, or the Holy Year, has been spread over 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic. Therefore, this year, the second Holy Year will be celebrated in Santiago de Compostela. A year is considered sacred if the holiday on which Saint James is honored falls on a Sunday. Furthermore, this is the case in July, which is why people in Galicia celebrate ‘Año Xacobeo’. Also this year, the region expects tens of thousands of pilgrims to make the journey to the famous place, which attracts between 200,000 and 300,000 visitors each time.
This city seems to be taking over the popularity of Barcelona. This year the city has been declared World Design Capital, which means that additional activities are planned throughout the year. Also, Valencia was recently named European City of Intelligent Tourism 2022 and the Goya Awards will be held on 12 February in the Palau de les Arts.
Alfonso X of Castile ‘The Wise’ in Toledo, Seville and Murcia
On November 23, it will be 800 years since Alfonso X, King of Castile, was born. He was born in Toledo, lived in Murcia, and died in Seville. Therefore, in these three places in Spain, various celebrations and exhibitions are planned throughout the year in honor of his birthday. Furthermore, these can all be found on this Spanish-language website.
Exhibition ‘Las Edades del Hombre’ in Plasencia (Extremadura)
The 26th exhibition ‘Las Edades del Hombre’ (The Age of Man) will take place this year in the cathedral of Plasencia. Artworks about man through the ages and the transformations that are undergone are central to this exhibition. A visit should not miss the city’s medieval historic quarter, the Alcazar, and the 15th-century palace.
The Spanish capital is increasingly focusing on luxury tourism. This is evident from the opening of various luxury hotels such as the Four Seasons in 2020 and the recently opened or renovated hotels Mandarin Oriental Ritz Madrid, Rosewood Villa Magna, and the Santo Mauro Luxury Collection. A new hotel, the Madrid Edition of the Marriot chain, will open in 2022. More and more starred restaurants with the most exclusive courses are establishing themselves in the hotels.
Sanlucar de Barrameda (Cadiz)
This southern Spanish city was chosen as the Spanish culinary capital of 2022. For the first time, a non-regional capital bears this title. This Spanish-language website presents a special offer of dinner during a boat trip along the mouth of the Guadalquivir River.
La Palma after the volcanic eruption
The Canary Island wants to resume life as soon as possible after the volcanic eruption at the end of 2021. In this context, a special visitor centre was recently opened at the Roque de Los Muchachos observatory. From both a scientific and a touristic point of view, this centre offers one of the best places to observe the sky and see the consequences of the eruption.
Corta Atalaya in Riotinto (Huelva)
The mines in the Riotinto area have a history of more than 5,000 years. Around the 19th century, this area was exploited to the maximum by the English and is now being reclaimed. Last July 1, this area was opened to visitors where this special place, which feels almost otherworldly, can be seen by tourists.
Alfonso XIII in Las Hurdes and La Alberca
In 1922 King Alfonso XIII visited two of the most desolate areas of Spain, Las Hurdes (Cáceres) and the nearby and then prosperous La Alberca (Salamanca). The centenary of that visit is being celebrated this year with numerous activities in these places, including a visit from King Felipe VI.
The Memory of Nebrija (Seville)
In 2022 it will be 500 years since Elio Antonio de Nebrija, the first and most influential Spanish humanist, died. He wrote poetry and other literary works. He lived in eighteen cities in and outside Spain, including Lebrija (Seville), Salamanca, Coca (Segovia), Zalamea de la Serena and Villanueva de la Serena (Badajoz), Brozas (Cáceres), Seville, Medina del Campo (Valladolid), Logroño and Alcalá de Henares (Madrid). All cities are organising a tour or exhibition this year in memory of Nebrija.