Ten last-minute travel plans in Spain for the May long weekend

From relaxing spas to anchovy festivals, here are our tips on how to spend the holiday

Castilla Termal Hotel in Valladolid.
Castilla Termal Hotel in Valladolid.

The May holiday weekend – from April 28 to May 1 (and May 2 in Madrid) – is the perfect opportunity to travel and enjoy the (hopefully) warm weather. Be it relaxing on the beach or venturing to the countryside, there are lots of ways to take advantage of the break. For those who still don’t have plans, here are 10 ideas on how to spend this long weekend. 

1. Indulge at a spa retreat

Enjoy water, tranquility and massages at Castilla Termal Hotels. From €181 per night, two people can stay at one of their baths in Omedo (Valladolid), El Burgo de Osma (Soria), Solares (Cantabria) and at the Valbuena Monastery (San Bernardo, Valladolid). The price includes accommodation, breakfast and entrance to the thermal pools.

2. Festival of the Crosses in Córdoba

In Spain, the coming of spring is celebrated with the Festival of the Crosses, (April 27 to May 1), a colorful festival, rooted in pagan traditions, where crosses are decorated with flowers. From May 1 to 13, visitors can also see the patio festival in Córdoba, an annual competition where people open up their homes to showcase their beautifully designed indoor courtyards. The Madrid-based travel agency Atuaire offers five-day trips (from April 28 to May 2) to Córdoba, which also includes trekking across the Sierra Morena mountain range. Tours start from €266 per person (including transport from Madrid, board in Montilla and breakfast and lunch).

3. Soak up the sun

Beach on the island La Graciosa.
Beach on the island La Graciosa.Sven Hagolani (age fotostock)

La Graciosa, in the Canary Islands, is the perfect place to spend a few days in complete tranquility. Ferries to the island leave from Lanzarote every half hour. The trip takes 20 minutes and a one-way ticket is11. Logitravel is offering seven nights of accommodation (April 28 to May 5), all-inclusive, at the Sol Jandía Mar hotel in Morro Jable, south of Fuerteventura, for 635 per person. Price includes flights. The website Nautalia also has hotel packages at beaches across Spain.

4. Wander Galicia

The tour group Turismo Slow North of Galicia invites visitors to discover the secret corners of the northern coast of Galicia. Visitors can stay at a cottage and enjoy culinary experiences, local culture, nature and outdoor sports. Prices start at €55.

5. Surf in Somo

The Cántabra Surf school is open all year round at Somo beach in Cantabria – a six-kilometer stretch that is perfect for beginner surfers. The school is offering daily, two-hour surf lessons, complete with equipment, and four nights accommodation (from April 27 to May 1) at the Pinar de Somo hotel for 199 per person.

6. Enjoy wine, tapas and horses

Artwork at the 'Itinerarios' exhibition.
Artwork at the 'Itinerarios' exhibition.Belén de Benito

Sherry wine, Andalusian horses, tapas, flamenco and the short stroll to the beach make Cádiz an ideal place to enjoy the start of spring. Visitors can attend the Spring Fair and Fine Wine Festival (April 25 to 30) in El Puerto de Santa María before appreciating the region’s horsemanship at the Jerez Horse Festival between May 5 and 12. Trivago is offering four nights accommodation (April 27 to May 1) at the five-star hotel Duques de Medinaceli for 495.

7. Celebrate art and anchovies

Looking for a delicious excuse to visit Cantabria over the long weekend? Visit the Anchovy and Preserve Fair in Santoña, from April 27 to May 1, a lively fair complete with workshops, wine tastings and a food market. Weekendesk has two-night packages at the El Ancla de Laredo – just four kilometers from Santoña – for 69 a night, breakfast included. And for art lovers, the Botín Center in Santander is hosting the exhibition Itinerarios until June 3 – a showcase of eight artists selected from 700 as recipients of its visual arts grants.

8. Travel back in time

The route Journey to the time of the Iberians takes visitors on a tour of the main Iberian sites in Jaén, including the Cástulo, Giribaile and Puente Tablas ruins. The hiking agency Gente Viajera has four-day packages (from April 28 to May 1) from 349 which include accommodation, food and activities. 

Frías, considered one of the most beautiful towns, in Burgos.
Frías, considered one of the most beautiful towns, in Burgos.Juan Carlos Muñoz (age fotostock)

9. Discover the wilderness of Burgos

The beech woods of Monte Santiago, the Nervión waterfall, the wild horses of the Obarenes mountains and and Frías (one of the most beautiful towns in Spain) can all be enjoyed on a trip across Las Merindades in Burgos. The website Home Away has a list of country homes and hotels in the Burgos province, with many rooms still available for the May holiday.

10. Take a cheese tour

Follow the Extremadura Cheese Route on one of its tours in Guadalupe, Trujillo and Cáceres. Visitors can learn how to make the iconic cheese Torta del Casar and discover the secrets of the region’s local gastronomy.

English version by Laura Rodríguez.

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