The hot things to see and do in Spain, from bike rides around Benidorm to a food trail in Extremadura

Mallorca’s new seaside resort

With spaces for adults and families, the new Tui Blue Sensatori Biomar will open in Sa Coma on the east coast of Mallorca in late spring. In addition to the seven restaurants and five pools, there will be hot tub suites and pool rooms, while standard rooms will be chic in pale hues and blond wood. A spa, yoga pavilion, kids’ club, and tennis courts round out the vacation package. A week all inclusive from £932 pp with flights, tui.co.uk

The artistic district of Malaga

Witness the transformation of Malaga’s Soho neighborhood on a walking tour. Since Malaga actor Antonio Banderas reopened the Teatro del Soho in 2019, the neighborhood has come alive with laid-back restaurants, galleries, artist studios, bars and colorful street art, all led by inhabitants. £130 for up to 10, toursbylocals.com/StreetArtMalagaSohoPrivateTour

A majestic heap in San Sebastián

A converted villa commissioned by the landed gentry of the 19th century, Hotel Villa Soro is set to open in San Sebastian in April. Built in “British style” – gabled roofs, chimneys, stained glass depicting family lineage and landscaped gardens – the large stake would not be out of place in an episode of Succession. Zurriola beach is within walking distance, as are the town’s many pintxo bars. Doubles from £210 B&B, hotelvillasoro.com

Alternate path

With the Pope extending the Holy Year of the Camino until 2022 given the effects of the pandemic, there is added resonance to a long-distance pilgrimage through Galicia. A new self-guided challenge has been introduced on the historic 9th-century Camino de Santiago, following the “Portuguese Way”, which includes a unique journey by river boat. The scenery is uplifting – forest tracks, riverside paths and country lanes – as the road progresses north from Tui to Santiago de Compostela. Ten nights from £1,190 pp with most meals but no travel, inntravel.co.uk

Walking tour of the Pyrenees without flight

Embark on a hike by taking the ferry to Bilbao or Santander. Once in Spain, the gorges, valleys and waterfalls of Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park are the highlights of a self-guided, yet accompanied, walking tour of the Pyrenees. Medieval towns, welcoming inns and local products punctuate the activity. Eight days from £1,320 pp with most meals but no travel, pura-aventura.com

Ibiza’s new quiet retreat

Overlooking the turquoise waters of Santa Eulalia beach, the Riomar hotel was designed with serenity in mind. Live acoustic music provides the soundtrack in the hotel garden each evening, and activities include morning yoga and bike rides. Doubles from €161 (£135), hotelriomar.com

More than Travel

A hut perch in Andalusia

New to the Canopy and Stars portfolio, the Magic Ranch 2 Stilts cabin overlooks the waves of Playa de Palmar, south of Cadiz. There’s a communal saltwater pool on-site, a yoga deck, a vegetable garden, and organic cooking classes. The white town of Vejer de la Frontera and La Breña Natural Park are both nearby. From £111 for four, canopyandstars.co.uk

The taste of Spain

The Andalusian town of Sanlúcar de Barrameda, known for its cellars filled with Manzanilla sherry and the history of the 15th-century conquistadors, has been awarded the title of Spanish Capital of Gastronomy 2022. Overlooking the Atlantic, its restaurants specialize in fish fried and shrimp caught in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Cadiz, while the wider city will host special events throughout the year, showcasing local produce which also includes chamomile. capitalspanoladelagastronomia.es

Design in Valencia

In the birthplace of paella, gastronomy takes precedence over design this year, as Valencia assumes the role of world design capital in 2022. From the avant-garde complex of the City of Arts and Sciences to the treasures of the Art Nouveau such as the Colón Market, the city is known for incorporating modern architecture among its ancient sites. In addition, a new cultural space, the Caixa Forum, will open this summer in a futuristic building in the City of Arts and Sciences. The World Design Street Festival will host exhibitions, conferences, workshops and design journeys from September 19 to 25, visitvalencia.com/en

Culinary immersion in Andalusia

Famous chef José Pizarro will open a new villa on the Costa de la Luz this spring. Guests of Iris, in Zahara de los Atunes, will be taken to visit the market and eat intimate dinners prepared by the chef around a communal table. Details to be confirmed soon, josepizarro.com/iris-zahara

Low cost rail services

Several new high-speed, low-cost train lines are launching in Spain, including the Avlo service from Madrid to Valencia, with fares from €7 (£5.85) and a journey time of one hour and only 40 minutes, which raises the prospect of a twin train. city ​​break, or city break and beach break, more and more attractive. Ouigo recently launched a Madrid-Barcelona service, with some trains continuing to Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí, with single journeys from €9 (£7.50). avlorenfe.com, Ouigo.com

Several new high-speed and low-cost train lines are launched in Spain

On the road of gastronomy in Extremadura

Producers, restaurants, shops and cultural institutions have collaborated on a new initiative that guides visitors along four gastronomic routes in the southwest region of Extremadura. The Extremadura Cheese Route involves 110 businesses, including factories and farms, restaurants and shops, while the Petroleum Route highlights producers and suppliers. There is also an Iberian Route celebrating the region’s famous cured meats. turismoextremadura.com/en

The designer digs in Barcelona

Opened this spring in the trendy neighborhood of Poblenou, where warehouses now house technical offices and the Barcelona Design Museum draws a discerning crowd, The Hoxton will feel right at home. All 240 rooms will have a mid-century feel with Spanish touches such as terra-cotta floors, and larger options will come with kitchenettes. The crowning glory of this cool image will be a taqueria and a rooftop pool. Room rates to be confirmed, thehoxton.com

Rooms with draft beer in Madrid

Open this weekend in the Spanish capital, Ocean Drive Madrid is bright and contemporary and well located opposite the Opera House in Plaza de Isabel II. The rooftop skybar and pool offer captivating city views, while the restaurant will draw attention away with a menu designed by former El Bulli chef. Rooms all have floor-to-ceiling windows and Eames LCW chairs, and some even come with photo printers, record players, and beer taps. Doubles from €200 (£167), od-hotels.com/ocean-drive-madrid

North and South Routes

Low-cost airline Vueling is launching two new routes from Gatwick to either end of the continent in April. They will serve the cities of Granada, Andalusia, and the historic fishing port of La Coruña, Galicia, whose focal point, the Tower of Hercules, has served as a lighthouse since the 1st century. vueling.com

Vueling launches a line to Granada

Benidorm becomes bike-friendly

Perhaps best known for its skyscrapers and British cafes, the former fishing village of Benidorm on the Costa Blanca is in the process of converting many of its streets into cycle lanes. He is now on the verge of completing 134 km of roads painted red. They are part of the El Moralet Green Circuit, which feeds into the mountains and forests of the Serra Gelada Natural Park above the town. benidorm.org

Posh base in Tenerife

On Tenerife’s Costa Adeje, the new Mynd Hotel encourages island exploration. It also supports a local foundation that helps preserve the Canarian forests and has its own renewable energy sources. The restaurant serves local produce throughout the day and bicycles are available for hire to explore the area. Surfing and hiking trips can also be arranged. Doubles from €130 (£108) B&B, myndhotels-adeje.com

Reviving the center of Spain

About a third the size of Wales, Campo de Montiel in Castile-La Mancha is a landscape of Mediterranean forest and scrub that has joined the Rewilding Europe network. The work to restore the territory will promote the development of the Iberian lynx, the otter, the roe deer and the imperial eagle, while protecting it from intensive agriculture and mining. Nature-based businesses will be encouraged in the area, with the aim of bringing back species such as Bonelli’s eagle. rewildingeurope.com

Conservation of whales in the Canary Islands

Europe’s first whaling heritage site has been designated in the Atlantic stretch between the islands of Tenerife and La Gomera. Alongside a resident population of pilot whales is a highly diverse collection of other whale and dolphin species – from killer whales to humpback whales and minke – which attract over a million tourists to the area. The new designation will cap that number to help with conservation, encouraging responsible tours such as those offered by members of the South Tenerife Cetacean Association, including Atlantic Eco Experience. atlanticecoexperience.com

Prehistory of Menorca

Menorca’s Talayotic culture is under consideration for Unesco World Heritage status this year, represented by 25 prehistoric archaeological sites around the island, from megalithic tombs to necropolises and settlements, worldheritagesite.org

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