The best tours to take round Spain (without leaving home)

The best tours to take round Spain (without leaving home)
You won't be taking selfies in front of Spain's monuments but that doesn't mean you can't 'visit'! Photo: AFP
A year after the pandemic began and the coronavirus crisis is still making travel impossible but that doesn't mean you can't use your freetime to explore new places, enjoy Spain's rich cultural history or just revist old favourites.

Many of Spain's top sites are offering virtual tours that you can enjoy from your armchair. The Local has put together a list of the best (Click on underline name of place for link to virtual tour).

Welcome to Madrid Virtual Tour

The capital and cultural heart of Spain, Madrid is where many tourists begin their vacation, so it makes sense to start your virtual tour of Spain here, too.

This great interactive tour is hosted by a knowledgeable expert on Madrid who can tell you about the amazing history of the city, as well as guide you through popular landmarks, such as the Royal Palace of Madrid, the famed Prado art gallery, and many more.

The best thing about this tour is the great variety you'll get to experience. Instead of the tour focusing on one museum or area, it feels more like a typical walking tour in Madrid. You'll get to see plazas, hear stories, and browse through museum galleries – all from the comfort of your own home.

Prado, Madrid

Spain’s national art museum offers a live lectures by its art historians on Instagram, also available on Facebook, every day at 10:00 am and lasts for one hour. But you can also explore the vast collection on its website. The Prado boasts works from artists diverse as Rembrandt, El Greco and Goya. 

 

Thyssen Museum, Malaga

You probably didn't get the chance to visit the Thyssen in Malaga in 2020 for the exhibition dedicated to Rembrandtbut you can still see the highights online through a virtual tour. You can browse 80 previously unseen paintings directly on your screen. 

You can also revisit the permanent collection in Madrid or browse through their current exhibition of German Expressionism.

Picasso Museum, Malaga

The famous Palacio de Buenavista houses the Collection of Museo Picasso Malaga, a collection of 285 Picasso pieces but also Roman and Moorish remains dating back to the seventh century BC. 

Picasso Museum, Barcelona

If the last visit has given you a taste for Picasso, then head up to the opposite end of the country for a stop at the Museu Picasso de Barcelona, home to the most extensive Picasso collection, which also offers virtual tours. 

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

No visit to Barcelona would be complete without a stop at Gaudi's as yet unfinished basilica, and by taking the virtual tour you won't have to join the crowds at the city's most visited monument. 

Plus you get a chance to get a really good look at all those features not visible from the ground. 

Walk around Barcelona’s Park Güell

The Park Güell is one of Barcelona's most famous parks and is filled with fantastic architecture created by Barcelona's renowned architect, Antoni Gaudí. His signature surrealist style creates a sort of magical fairytale land within the park.

On this virtual tour, you can explore the various landmarks and natural areas thanks to the 360-degree panoramic view. It might not be quite the same as getting your own photographs while on vacation, but it’s certainly the next best thing.

 

National Museum of Sculpture, Valladolid

The Museo Nacional de Escultura houses Spanish sculpture from the Middle Ages through to the 19th century and includes a range of sculptures (altarpieces, choir stalls, funerary monuments, processional statues) and materials (wood, bronze, stone, clay and ivory). Three of Spain’s most influential Baroque's sculptors, Juan de Juni, Alonso Berruguete and Gregorio Fernández each have their own dedicated areas. 

Dali museum, Figueres


Photo: AFP

The Dalí Theatre and Museum, in his home town of Figueres, Catalonia not only showcases the works of the great surrealist but the artist himself is buried in a crypt below the stage. This fantastic virtual tour takes you through the museum's rooms and explores some of the works and objects exhibited there. 

 

Camino de Sanitago Northern Spain


There is need to make the pilgrimage in person. Photo: AFP

An app will allow wannabe pilgrims to experience the Way of St James without leaving the comfort of their living room.

For centuries the faithful have been drawn to make the 780 km (nearly 500 miles) trek across northern Spain to reach the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela  and pay homage to the shrine of St James.

And once you've completed the pilgrimage you must spend some time exploring the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela itself with this ONLINE TOUR.

Located in Galicia, Spain, the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela may be one of the most-visited landmarks in the entire country.

The cathedral is most famous for being the endpoint of the pilgrimage path known as the Camino de Santiago. Within the cathedral, legend has it that the remains of St. James are buried, which has turned it into a site of great religious significance.

The cathedral is known for its intricate artwork, incredible stone carvings, and high arches, all of which can be viewed in the 360-degree panoramic images of the tour.

Navigate your way through the rooms, explore the imposing exterior of the cathedral, and take your time to appreciate this architectural splendour of Spain.

 

Museo de las Artes y de las Ciencias, Valencia


Photo: AFP

If you have visited Valencia you will know how difficult it can be to get tickets to Valencia’s Museum of Arts and Sciences. So with this virtual tour you can not only  beat the queues and explore the exhibits inside.  If you are interested in knowing more about the architecture and the design of the complex itself then check out this tour too. (LINK HERE)

 L'Oceanogràfic, Valencia

While you are here, you probably don't want to miss the incredible aquarium housed within the complex showcasing different marine habitats. 

Catedral-Mezquita, Córdoba

One of the truly amazing sites in Spain, the Mezquita (which is now a Cathedral) is the earliest example of Muslim architecture in Europe and few visitors fail to be impressed by its vast interior of arches, its patio full of orange trees and bell tower.

This week you won't need to buy tickets in advance just take the virtual tour in the comfort of your armchair.  

The Alhambra, Granada

Spain's most visited tourist site is deservedly the Granada's Alhambra, the vast Moorish palace and sumptious gardens with snow dusted caps of the Sierra Nevada as its backdrop. There are several virtual tours on offer, so choose between a look inside the palace or a stroll though the gardens.

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Aqueduct, Segovia

This tour offers you the chance to explore the outstanding work of Roman engineering in the perfectly preserved aqueduct in Segovia, stone by stone. The interactive tool allows you to fly to the very top of this emblematic monument in the city of Segovia with the UNESCO World Heritage designation, and to zoom in on all its secrets. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't offer you the chance to dine out the city's famous roasted suckling pig afterwards. 

List compiled by Conor Faulkner with additions from Marco Santos who writes the blog Travel-Boo.


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