10 Spanish holiday destinations for football lovers

Attractive for its sun, beaches, gastronomy, culture and history, Spain also boasts some of the best football experiences in the world. Here are 10 destinations where visitors can combine a relaxing holiday with the beautiful game.

The Canary Islands: Home of the most southern team of Europe’s top five leagues

With the Canary Islands located at the same latitude as the Sahara Desert and boasting consistently sunny weather, tourists flock to the Spanish archipelago all year long. As well as the sun and hospitality, the Canary Islands can also offer its visitors a unique footballing experience, as UD Las Palmas are the most southern team of Europe’s top five football leagues. Those visiting Tenerife can also take in a football game during their trip, with CD Tenerife playing in Spanish football’s second tier.

Madrid: The city with six LaLiga teams

Spain’s capital is the city which welcomes the most tourists per year. Known for its museums, parks, shopping, shows, nightlife and much more, Madrid is one of the best spots for a city break, especially if you’re a football fan. The city has four top-flight teams in Real Madrid, Atletico de Madrid, Rayo Vallecano and Getafe CF, plus second-division sides CD Leganes and AD Alcorcon. Furthermore, Madrid is also the home of LEGENDS, a seven-story site at Puerta del Sol that houses the most complete collection of historical football pieces. 

Barcelona and the Costa Brava: Football on the shores of the Mediterranean

Often ranked as one of the very best cities to visit in the world, Barcelona is also a football fan’s paradise. With two historic clubs in FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol, the Catalan capital is a city of football fans and both clubs’ stadiums are worth visiting just as much as the marvels of Gaudi. For those staying just outside of Barcelona on the Costa Brava, one of the most popular coastlines on the Iberian Peninsula, Girona FC is another option if looking to catch a LaLiga match while on holiday. The Estadi Montilivi is easily reachable from resorts such as Tossa de Mar, Lloret de Mar and Blanes. 

Cádiz: The Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, a stadium 200m from the beach

The port town of Cadiz is a unique holiday destination, as the southern city is a narrow slice of land surrounded by sea. There is still space for a football stadium, though, and the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla, home of Cadiz CF, is located just 200 metres from the Victoria Beach. There are few places in the world where the seaside and football are so close together as in Cadiz. 

San Sebastian: The city of beaches, gastronomy, cinema and Real Sociedad

Spain also boasts beautiful coastlines in the north and one of the most stunning seaside cities is San Sebastian in the Basque Country. As well as the beaches of Ondarreta, Zurriola and La Concha, the city is also famous for its gastronomy, in particular its pintxos, and for the San Sebastian International Film Festival that takes place every September. For all these reasons, there are always many tourists in this city and the football enthusiasts can take in a LaLiga game at Real Sociedad’s Reale Arena. 

Elche: Visit the Palmeral and Elche CF 

The Palmeral of Elche is one of the most impressive sights in all of Spain, with this orchard of over 200,000 palm trees named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the largest palm grove in Europe and one of the main attractions on Spain’s east coast. As well as that unique landmark, the city is also home to Elche CF, who play at the Estadio Martinez Valero, an imposing 31,000-seater ground. 

Granada: The Alhambra and the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes

While most of the major Spanish holiday destinations are found on the coast, there are some inland cities that stand out too. Granada is one of them, as millions of tourists visit the Alhambra palace and fortress every year, taking in the beauty of one of the most well-preserved examples of historic Islamic architecture. Any visit to the Andalusian city to see the Alhambra can be paired with a trip to the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes, the stadium of Granada CF, who just returned to the top flight of Spanish football.

Valencia: The seaside home of the oldest stadium in Spain’s top flight 

As the third-largest city in Spain, Valencia is another of the country’s most important tourist destinations. From the charm of the historic old town to the futuristic architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences, there is so much to see in this coastal city. For football fans, Mestalla is another landmark worth checking out, as Valencia CF’s home ground is the only stadium in Spain’s top division that is 100 years old. It’s also worth visiting Levante UD’s Estadi Ciutat de Valencia, located next to one of Valencia’s most modern shopping malls. 

Palma de Mallorca: Football in the Balearics

With its turquoise blue waters, the Balearic Islands welcome millions of guests every single year. The largest of this group of islands is Mallorca and this is home to a top-flight football team, with RCD Mallorca based in the capital of Palma de Mallorca. As such, a sunny stay in this part of the world can be combined with a visit to the Estadi Mallorca Son Moix, which has recently undergone a major redevelopment and which boasts cafes, bars and leisure spots even on non-matchdays. 

Almeria: Passion for football in the province of beaches

Ask Spaniards where the best beaches in the country are located and many will point to the province of Almeria. Located on the south-east corner of the Iberian Peninsula, this long stretch of coastline is home to some of the most natural beaches of the Mediterranean and there is an abundance of resorts and hotels too. In the centre of the Gulf of Almeria is the city of the same name, home to UD Almeria and the Power Horse Stadium. Over recent years, it has become one of the most atmospheric grounds in all of Spanish football, so is well worth a visit.

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