Spain is very appreciated for its sunny weather and beautiful sandy beaches with crystal water but there is a lot more to discover! Indeed, Spain is the 3rd country with the greatest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites, after Italy and China. It has a total of 44 sites that are places of importance to cultural or natural heritage as described in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, established in 1972.
Here are 10 must-see UNESCO World Heritage sites in Spain:
- Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain
Location: Cantabria, Asturias,Basque Country
The Cave of Altamira has various cave painting dating from the Upper Paleolithic period, ranging from 35,000 to 11,000 BC
- Alhambra,Generalifeand Albayzín
Location: Granada, Andalusia
The three sites are remnants of the Moorish influence in southern Spain.
- Teide National Park
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands
The park contains Mount Teide, a volcano and the highest elevation in Spain
- Monastery and Site of the Escorial
Location: San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Madrid
It is one of several Spanish royal sites due to its history as a residence of the royal family.
- Route of Santiago de Compostela
Location: Aragon,Castile and León, Galicia,Navarre, andLa Rioja
The Route, or the Way of St. James, is a pilgrimage from the French-Spanish border to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the apostle James is believed to be buried.
- Works of Antoni Gaudí
Location: Barcelona, Catalonia
The architecture of Antoni Gaudí is unique, it includes Park Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens, the crypt and nativity façade of Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, and the crypt at Colònia Güell.
- Ibiza, Biodiversity and Culture
Location: Ibiza, Balearic Islands
The island has numerous Phoenician ruins and it is home to posidonia oceanica, a seagrass only found in the Mediterranean.
- Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias
Location: Seville, Andalusia
The cathedral dates to the 15th century and holds the tombs of Ferdinand III and Christopher Columbus.
- Las Médulas
Location: Ponferrada, Castile and León
The Romans established a gold mine and worked the site for two centuries, leaving sheer cliff faces and mining infrastructure that is intact today.
- Historic City of Toledo
Location: Toledo, Castile-La Mancha
Toledo was founded by the Romans and combines Christian, Muslim, and Jewish influences.