María Dueñas is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Time In Between, which was translated into 25 languages and inspired a television series of the same title. She holds a PhD in English philology and lives in Murcia, Spain where she is a professor at the University of Murcia. Her newest novel, The Heart Has Its Reasons, is out now from sister company Simon & Schuster and available wherever books are sold.
The Mediterranean Sea caresses the Spanish coast for hundreds of miles. Deep blue, it is rich in history and legends, and the birthplace to artists, pirates and scholars. Olive, lemon, orange, and palm trees color its shores along which you will find a myriad of cities swamped with art, outdoor fun, and exquisite gastronomic picks. Here are five places bathed by the sea that you must visit.
Full of contrasts, Barcelona preserves the soul of one of the oldest yet intensely cosmopolitan and modern cities in Europe. Its fascinating architecture dates back centuries, and it hosts a lively nightlife.
Travel Tip: The Barcelona Office of Tourism organizes several guided themed tours around its most charming locations, some of which are at night: Medieval, Modernista and Contemporary.
A lovely city full of light and the scent of orange blossoms. The continent's best oranges as well as its most famous rice dish, the paella, come from here. You must visit the Oceanográfico and the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum at the modern City of Arts and Sciences.
Travel Tip: Purchase the Valencia Tourist Card beforehand for special offers and discounts in public transportation, and admissions to museums and monuments.
With enjoyable temperatures year-round, Alicante is one of Europe's most emblematic destinations. The Santa Barbara Castle is an impressive medieval fort with a magnificent view of the bay.
Travel Tip: Take a boat from the Marina Alicante and visit the enchanting island of Tabarca.
Cartagena is a city of Roman origins and a 3,000 year old history. Recently a large part of its rich archaeological heritage was restored and is now open to visitors: theater, monuments, old homes, and a beautiful museum recreate the classical era.
Travel Tip: Less than 30 minutes away you will find Cabo de Palos, a small fisherman port where you can sit and enjoy delicious rice dishes and fresh fish by the sea.
Palma de Mallorca
The capital city of this beautiful island opposite the Mediterranean coast can be reached by either boat or plane. Because of its serene and tranquil nature it is also known as "island of the calm." Over time it has attracted artists, writers, celebrities, hippies, and millionaires from all parts of the world.
Travel Tip: Rent a car and travel the island. You will find some of the most wonderful beaches in Europe.
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