Article on Spain: Travel or Travellers section
Spain- the lesser known
It is probably fair to say that most people only have a limited knowledge of this large and diverse Country. Everyone has heard of the Balearics, Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol and perhaps Barcelona but few have visited the Rioja, the delights of Valencia and Tarragona or discovered the unspoilt Costa de la Luz or the Tabernas region on Costa Almeria where the famous “Spaghetti Westerns” were filmed. Few have probably visited the famous Monastery in the peculiar but breathtaking mountains of Montserrat or ventured inland from Torrevieja just 30 minutes into the mountains to visit unspoilt Spanish villages now popular with Brits.
My advice to the new traveller of this country as well as the frequent flyer is to stay away from the heavily populated tourist areas and venture into the interiors of Spain itself. Here you will find your own treasures and experience the real Spanish way of life.
Of course if the coast is essentially what you want then lets try and tempt you to a hitherto unknown area rather than into the suburban sprawl.
Costa Calida to the west of its illustrious neighbour the Costa Blanca and to the North of the large Costa Almeria is one of the smallest Costas in Southern Spain, and still boasts many unspoilt villages and coastline. Travel the coast between Mazzaron and Aguilas and there are beaches where man does not daily tread even in July. Discover the villages in this area and find the Tapas bars to tempt the discerning palate.
Travel tip: avoid the end of July to the 3rd week in August. This is when the Spanish take their holidays and clog the roads and hotels in their own quest to find their favourite location.
Spend sometime in the Province of Alicante, but not in the usual haunts occupied by the frequent traveller or holidaymaker. Venture into the inland areas behind the mountains that gently welcome the airborne into Alicante airport.
Here you will find the small medi-evil town of Sax with its ancient castle posturing on the mountain top itself and overlooking the mountain and valleys below it. Wander through the narrow cobbled streets and breathe the rarefied air. Surrounding Sax you can make your way to many other interesting smaller villages that are spread over this unspoilt area with its outstanding night views and excellent local cuisine.