5 off-the-beaten-track cities in Spain to visit during that TEFL summer camp
When the whistle goes on the weekend and you are free to hop out of your TEFL summer camp in Spain, be sure to make the most of your time in this enthralling Iberian nation. Yes, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Malaga are all worthy destinations, but there’s also everything from ancient Roman relics to salt-washed surfing beaches waiting in the lesser-known towns of the country. Check them out…
There’s no denying it: Zaragoza is a real looker. Spiked at the top with the domes of a glorious cathedral-castle complex (the ancient Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar), it stands out from the plains of Aragon like a gilded Spanish galleon on the seas. With its 2,000 years or more of history, the relics here go all the way back to Roman times: crumbling archways and remade effigies of Augustus Caesar for good measure. Café culture is booming too, while the municipal university brings in plenty of youthful folk to fuel the tapas bars and beer holes after dark.
Proudly different from the rest of Spain, Vigo is the largest town in the autonomous community of Galicia. Tucked right up in the north-western edge of the country, it overlooks the salt-washed cliffs of the wild Atlantic coast. At heart, it’s a fishing town, which means this is the prime place to come and sample grilled seafood and sardines in between sessions at the TEFL summer camp. There’s more though, with that picturesque Casco Vello historic core concealing sculpted cathedrals, Gothic churches and enthralling museums dedicated to the unique Galician culture.
Calling all wave riders and lovers of authentic Basque Country cuisine, the city of San Sebastian enjoys an enviable location on the edge of the Bay of Biscay and a rep as one of Spain’s culinary kings. It’s washed by Atlantic swells and boasts the enchanting maze of tight-knit streets and cobbled alleys that is the Parte Vieja Old Town. This is where you can taste sizzling shrimp tapas and oodles of regional pintxos (Basque mezze), all after long days of lazing on the sands of the handsome La Concha and La Zurriola beaches.
The princely city of Valladolid probably gets far fewer visitors than its southern compadres on account of its far-flung location, up in the heart of untrodden Castile and León. Make a stopover here on your way to tour the beautiful lands of Galicia, taking some time to wonder at the majestic palaces of Spanish Gothic architecture that dominate the center. The old core is also host to a couple of literary-related sites that are bound to interest any teachers on a TEFL summer camp: the old home of the Spanish Romantic poet José Zorrilla and that of iconic Miguel de Cervantes of Don Quixote fame!
A fine gateway to the wild and mountainous region of Extremadura, Badajoz can often seem just as Portuguese as Spanish. That’s because the town was fought over between the Reconquista knights and the Portuguese kings in centuries gone by. Other influences include that of the Moors, who raised the arabesque Alcazaba on the hill – a must-see! There are wide plazas to sit on with a coffee and some handsome, ochre-hued neoclassical facades, all of which mingle well with the city’s lived-in, industrial character. Yep, this one’s the perfect dose of Iberian authenticity and culture during that TEFL summer camp.
If you have any more off-the-beaten-track cities to suggest our teachers on their TEFL summer camp in Spain visit, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below. Or, if you think it’s time you got qualified and headed to Iberia for your own adventure, be sure to check out our offering of courses…