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Spanish destinations in Travellers' Choice Awards 2020
13 August 2020 @ 14:39

THIS year's TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Awards are in – and Spain features on almost every list.

Users of the tourism planning platform vote annually in various categories on cities, attractions, beaches, countries, hotels, airlines and other features of worldwide holidays, and the top 25 are highlighted on the site.

Spain's best bits – not all of them, of course, just a tiny handful – appear year after year, and it is frequently one of the most-featured countries in each of the top 25 lists.

In 'Trending Destinations', the Canarian island of Fuerteventura (picture five, by the island tourist board) comes 16th, with recommended attractions mentioned including Sotavento beach, Cofete beach, the Corralejo nature reserve, the Tefia eco-museum, the annual pre-Lent Carnival, Baku water park, and the quaint, pretty town of Betancuria.

It comes ahead of México DF at number 17; Chiang Mai in Thailand; Fes in Morocco; the Hungarian capital of Budapest; Zanzibar Island in Tanzania; Cartagena de Indias in Colombia; Edinburgh in Scotland, UK; Cebu Island in the Philippines, and, at number 25, the Russian capital of Moscow.

In 'Popular Destinations', the Balearic island of Mallorca comes eighth – recommendations include Palma cathedral, Alcúdia old town, Muro beach, Marineland sealife park, the ancient Palma-to-Sóller train, and also refers to famous islanders including artist Joan Miró and composer Frédéric Chopin who spent a winter there with French novelist George Sands – and Barcelona is ninth, with attractions listed as the Bellesguard Tower, the Sagrada Família Cathedral, the Amatller House, the Ramblas with its 'flamboyant street performers', and the colourful Güell Park (second photograph).

The list is, predictably, topped by London and Paris, followed by Crete (Greece), Bali (Indonesia), Rome, Phuket island (Thailand) and Sicily (Italy), although Mallorca and Barcelona have beaten – in descending order – Istanbul (Turkey), Goa (India), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), the Dominican Republic, Bangkok (Thailand), Hanoi (Vietnam), Prague (Czech Republic), Hoi An (Vietnam), Rhodes (Greece), Cuba, Siem Reap (Cambodia), Marrakech (Morocco), Lisbon (Portugal), Tokyo and Kyoto (Japan), and New York at number 25.

In 'Experiences' – which covers full-day tours, frequently off the beaten track and often with unconventional elements to them – Spain comes in at number 12 with an excursion to the spectacular monastery in Montserrat (first picture, by Gyrofrog on Wikimedia Commons), Barcelona province, including lunch and gourmet wine-tasting.

Ahead of the Montserrat tour is a red-dune camel safari in the United Arab Emirates, Tuscan cooking classes in Florence, an Amsterdam canal cruise, Berlin walking tour, Northern Ireland circuit tour, Chicago river cruise, day trip by camel to the Atlas Mountains in southern Morocco, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour in New York, a day trip to the Blue Mountains from Sydney, sea-kayaking and snorkelling in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and an Ancient Rome and Colisseum underground tour.

The Montserrat trip came ahead of a Lisbon walking tour, a Harry Potter 'London for Muggles' tour, a Douro Valley cruise with lunch and wine-tasting in northern Portugal, a Niagara Falls boat trip, a Highlands, Glencoe and Loch Ness tour in Scotland, a traditional village sightseeing trip in Bali, a Prague walking tour with a Vltava river cruise, an Ubud circuit tour in Indonesia, an Auschwitz-Birkenau and Wieliczka salt-mine trip, a Great Ocean Road eco-trip from Melbourne, a Chernobyl and Prypiat excursion in Ukraine, a Dachau memorial site rail trip, and a Teotihuacan tour with an archaeologist and tequila-tasting in México DF.

For the 'Beaches' award, most of those on the list were not traditional package-tour magnets – which included the ones chosen for Spain, Formentera's Ses Illetes in the Balearic Islands, and San Sebastián's La Concha (third photograph), in the Basque Country, at 14 and 15 respectively.

They came ahead of Florida's St Pete beach; the Playa Norte on México's Isla Mujeres; Maho Bay in St John, Virgin Islands; Bavaro beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Woolacombe beach in Devon, UK; Elafonissi beach in Chania, Crete (Greece); Whitehaven beach on Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia; Cala Mariolu in Baunei, Sardinia, Italy; Balos Lagoon in Kissamos, Crete; and the Black Sand beach in Vik, Iceland.

Most of those ranked above Spain were in Brazil and the Caribbean, as well as one each in Florida and India, but the only European beaches ahead of the two in Spain were Italy's Spiaggia dei Conigli, off the Sicilian island of Lampedusa (4), Kleftiko beach on the Greek island of Milos (10), and Luskentyre on the Scottish Outer Hebridean island of Harris, UK (13).



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