For centuries pirates have looked for treasure on far-flung islands. But we’ve found our riches here in Spain; seven exceptional treasures, which offer far more than economic wealth… These are places that give us the beauty of their architecture or of nature itself. They are the veritable ‘Seven wonders of Spain’.
The Alhambra, Granada
A wonder inherited from Islamic culture, to which Renaissance figures and romantics then gifted their contributions over 600 years. It’s a grand palace and fortress complex that was home to the Nasrid kings of Granada. The coolness of its gardens and the gentle sound of its fountains isolate you from the noise of the city, while the towers, gates, fountains and patios make a visit truly a privilege for the senses.
Listen, breath deeply, observe and feel.
* The Alhambra, Granada.
The Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Antoni Guadi’s masterpiece, it is the finest example of Catalan modernist architecture. Started in 1882, with a neo-gothic style, today it’s still under construction, thanks to the recovered plans and the donations the project receives. One of the building’s most impressive features are the towers, which offer you incredible views over Barcelona from the top.
The basilica has three different façades: the Nativity façade, the Passion façade and the main one, the Glory façade. Each represents a moment in the life of Jesus Christ.
* Basilica of the Sagrada Familia. / Photo: Mosingenieros.com
Altamira caves, Santillana del Mar, Santander
For many, this is the Sistine Chapel of cave painting. It is pre-history’s greatest treasure in Spain. The Altamira cave and its ancient works of art were discovered in 1876 by Marcelino Sáenz de Sautuola, in Santillana del Mar in Cantabria
On the walls of the cave nomadic people painted the animals of the time, such as bison, primitive lions or cave-dwelling bears, even simulating herds of animals by using the curves of the wall itself and painting one animal on top of the other.
* Altamira Cave. / Photo: museodeltamira.mcu.es
The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid
Of all the works undertaken by Felipe II this is his most important and the only one that has been conserved to these days as it was designed. Located in the Autonomous Community of Madrid, the complex is made up of a palace, a basilica, a mausoleum, a library and a monastery.
The Royal Site of El Escorial astonishes due to its enormous size and the design by Juan de Herrera, all located in a natural setting of great beauty, the Sierra de Guadarrama. The complex is irredeemably linked to the Spanish Golden Age and to the ideology of the Catholic Counter-Reformation of the 16th century. Today it is one of the must-see landmarks of any visit to Madrid.
* Site of El Escorial. / Photo: Wikipedia.org.
Cathedral of Seville
This is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. It was constructed after the demolition of the old mosque in Seville, the legacy of which can be seen in the minaret, known as the Giralda, and the Patio de los Naranjos (the Orange tree Courtyard), the only two elements to be preserved.
The Giralda is the jewel in the crown of the cathedral; it is now a bell tower that can be seen from much of the city. After the earthquake in 1365 the gilt bronze balls that had crowned the tower were lost and a statue, representing the triumph of the Christian faith, was ordered to replace them. The statue is called the ‘Giraldillo’.
* The Giralda of the Cathedral of Sevilla.
Teide National Park, Tenerife
This is the highest part of Tenerife and is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. In this natural landscape lies Teide Volcano, the highest peak in Spain at 3,718 metres, and the world’s third tallest volcanic structure in the world at 7,500 metres above the ocean floor. Pico Viejo, next to Teide, is the second highest mountain in Spain, also over 3,000 metres.The park has great historic value, as well as a wide range of flora and fauna, including many species native to the Canary Islands. It has also become a place of world scientific interest due to the similarity of the geological conditions to those on Mars. It’s part of Tenerife you have to explore!
* Teide National Park, Tenerife.
City of Arts and Sciences, Valencia
Science, nature and art come together in Valencia, to produce one of Europe’s most important sites for science learning. Built in the old riverbed of the Turia River, its size and modern architecture are breathtaking.
The City of Arts and Sciences is made up of six sections: the Hemisfèric (an IMAX cinema and digital projections), the Umbracle (a landscaped vantage point and car park), the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, the Oceanográfico (the largest aquarium in Europe with over 500 marine species) and the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía. Finally, the Ágora is the complex’s multifunctional space.
It’s a place that brings together the best in architecture, learning and entertainment in Valencia.
Stay at a Vincci Hotel
Vincci Hotels has places to stay close to each of these seven wonders.
We have two hotels in Granada, but if you want to immerse yourself day and night in the magic of the Alhambra and Moorish culture then opt for the Vincci Albayzín 4*. The indoor patio, the wonderful rooms, and most of all, the incredible decor, will take you back to the jewel of Granada.
We have three hotels in Barcelona. If you’re coming to see the Sagrada Familia we’d recommend the hotel Vincci Gala 4*, so that in addition to Gaudi’s masterpiece you’ll get to know another artist: Dalí. The hotel, located in the heart of Barcelona, takes its inspiration from the artist and his wife, Gala.
In Santander, close to the Altamira cave, we offer you the Vincci Puertochico 4*, while in Madrid you can pick any of five hotels we have in the heart of the capital, and in Seville, just five minutes from the cathedral there is the Vincci La Rábida 4*. From its restaurant ‘El Mirador’ you can look out over the Giralda.
If you want to explore the Teide National Park you can choose from one of our three fabulous hotels on Tenerife, while finally, in Valencia, we’re proud to offer the Vincci Lys 4* and the Vincci Palace 4*, both in the centre of the city.