Sports & Rugby Tour to Spain
Written by | SOPHIE WEBBER, BA
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Why go on a Rugby tour to Spain?
Renowned for its gorgeous beaches, cool city breaks, spirited nightlife, and laid-back culture, Spain has something for everyone. Without a doubt, a rugby tour to Spain is a great choice for adventurous and relaxed travellers alike.
In this guide to the best Spanish destinations, we’ll explore Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, San Sebastian, and Bilbao. Starting with an overview of the cities, we’ll delve into what do to and see and finish with the best places to party. Regardless of which city you pick, you won’t regret choosing a rugby tour to Spain. The locals know how to enjoy life, staying up way past sundown, taking sweet siestas through the day, and basking in the glorious sunshine.
Sports & Rugby tour to Spain | Barcelona
Barcelona is one of the most popular European cities to visit and there’s little doubt as to why. Located in the Catalonia region, it boasts stunning architecture, sandy beaches, and lots to do.
Particularly known for its stunning art and architecture, Barcelona is a breath-taking city to walk around. Meandering through the maze of cobbled streets you will see why this charming city is one of the top choices for a rugby tour to Spain. Moreover, there’s lots to explore for free – like walking around the stunning Gothic quarter. Alternatively, you can trace the steps of Antoni Gaudi – the famous Barcelonian architect responsible for La Sagrada Familia.
The Low Down on Barcelona:
- The flights to Barcelona are well-priced
- Barcelona is a short 2-hour flight from the UK
- Barceloneta Beach is only 10 minutes from the centre of Barcelona
- There is lively and vibrant nightlife with many events across the city
- Breath-taking architecture waiting to be explored
What to visit on a rugby tour to Barcelona
As you wander Barcelona’s narrow streets, you’ll discover the city’s impressive structures. The Sagrada Familia and Park Guell are both products of Gaudi’s work and are a must-visit when in Barcelona. Additionally, Barcelona’s very own little oasis can be discovered at the Hospital de la Santa Creu. The tranquil gardens are a hidden gem within the bustle of the city, and the perfect place to visit for a respite.
Although Barcelona is renowned as a city break, it also boards the sea. Barceloneta Beach is only a 10-minute trip from the centre of Barcelona. It’s a popular destination, however, there is plenty of space for everybody. You can play some beach volleyball and tennis, or just relax and get that sun-kissed tan you’ve been dreaming of all winter.
The best Bars and Clubs in Barcelona
Most of the bars in Barcelona are located on one street, making it bar hopping a favourite activity for every rugby tour to Spain. When on the hunt for the best bars, head to Las Ramblas, one of Barcelona’s busiest boulevards. This area promises a buzzing atmosphere and abundance of bars to make the best night out.
The Gothic Quarter
If you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, head to The Gothic Quarter. This is where you will find all the quirky bars, ideal for a drink and social night with the group.
Eclipse at W Hotel
In order to experience Barcelona’s beauty after the sun goes down, spend a night in Eclipse at W Hotel. From the club, it is possible to view the lights of the whole city – an experience not to be missed.
The 13 Best Clubs in Barcelona
An ‘early night’ doesn’t exist in Spain, so rest up in the day and get ready for some lively antics after the sun goes down and the Spanish come out. Check out the 13 best clubs in Barcelona here.
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Sports & Rugby tour to Spain | Valencia
Valencia is a mesmerising city of contrasting views. Its unique combination of fairy tale architecture and modern art buildings offer a great balance between culture and entertainment.
As a slightly smaller city, Valencia has a cosier feel than Barcelona. Thanks to this, you will truly get to experience the Mediterranean lifestyle. The city is effortlessly beautiful in the day and comes to life at night.
The Low Down on Valencia
- The flights to Valencia are well-priced
- The flight is only 2hrs 30 mins from the UK
- Valencia is a smaller city with a big personality
- The city is close to some of the most stunning and natural beaches
- You can view beautiful architecture and visit sharks in the same city
What to do on a rugby tour to Valencia
A trip to the beach
One of the most desirable things in a rugby tour to Spain is going to the beach. Valencia has untouched natural beaches just a short journey from the city. A rugby tour to Valencia offers the perfect opportunity to get that sun-kissed glow the Spanish are blessed with. Check out the top 7 beaches in the city.
The City of Arts and Sciences
Additionally, Valencia is home to the City of Arts and Sciences – a group of futuristic buildings designed by local architects. It’s a stunning complex that houses exhibitions and cultural events all year round. Located just outside Valencia city centre, it’s easy to access by bus and by walking. Another enjoyable activity in the City of Arts and Sciences is to visit L’Oceanografic, which is home to a huge aquarium.
Visit the Plazas
Valencia’s plazas are a beautiful part of the city and are well worth a visit. The Plaza de la Reina is perhaps the most beautiful square in Valencia and is the perfect escape from the heat of the sun. Another one not to miss, The Plaza Redonda is a quirky plaza, which shows the diversity of the city.
The best Bars and Clubs in Valencia
Valencia keeps up the reputation of a lively Spanish nightlife. In fact, it is often referred to as Spain’s party city.
You can dance the night away on the summer terraces, spend the night in the eclectic nightclubs and stay up until sunrise. As well as that, there are plenty of great bars where you can sip on Spanish wines and enjoy a chat with mates.
For example, El Carmen is the perfect place for a big night out. The lively area is known for its variety of buzzing bars, clubs, and restaurants. There is surely a place for everyone and every kind of night out in this area.
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Sports & Rugby tour to Spain | Madrid
Located at the heart of Spain, Madrid is the bustling Spanish capital with a lot of character.
Madrid’s energy is undeniable. It is a passionate and trendy city, making it perfect for a rugby tour to Spain. The rooftop bars, lively clubs, beautiful gardens, and impressive museum exhibitions are just a few of the reasons to visit.
The Low Down on Madrid
- Flights to Madrid are well-priced and quick
- It is the trendy and happening gem of Spain
- There is a diverse range of exciting daytime excursions and activities
- The city never sleeps or tires
- The opportunity to watch bullfighting
What to do on a Rugby tour to Madrid
As the capital, Madrid has something for everyone. Not only is it world renown as the home of some of the best football teams in the world, it’s also home to some of the best museums in Europe.
Visit Santiago Bernabéu Stadium
Watching football in the Spanish city is a surreal experience. The Spanish are renowned for their passion for the game and are skilled football players. Whilst in the city it would be an incredible experience to feel the buzzing vibe of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and watch the match with your own eyes.
See world-renown artists
Explore Madrid’s parks
In spite of its busy streets, Madrid is a great city for leisurely walks. Wander around the Parque del Buen Retiro – the park’s paths, fountains, and monuments are stunning. When you’re in this park you’ll forget you’re even in a city – it’s Madrid’s peaceful paradise.
Eat like a local
If in search of local cuisine, don’t miss the Mercado de San Miguel. More than just food stalls, the market has restaurants, bars, and lots of free tasters for visitors.
Where to go out in Madrid
Be warned – no one in Madrid heads home early from a night out. With bars and clubs open late, nights out on a rugby tour to Spain are endless. Traditionally, the Spanish don’t head out dancing until 2 AM and don’t return until the early hours of the following day.
If you need a bit of help deciding where to go, then try these places:
Huertas: Huertas is the liveliest of areas, it is the most popular place to head for late-night entertainment, and promises an energetic vibe, flowing drinks, and a social evening.
Malasaña: This is the area with an alternative bohemian atmosphere and quirky bars.
La Latina: For a more laid-back night, head to La Latina to discover an array of bars and restaurants.
Kapital: The place to go in Madrid, popular with travellers and locals alike. Kapital is a buzzing club, which is built in an old theatre and covers seven floors, all with different environments.
Sports & Rugby tour to Spain | San Sebastian
San Sebastian is the Spanish city that will make you fall in love the moment you set eyes on it.
Located on the Bay of Biscay, San Sebastian offers the best of a city-break and a beach holiday. It boasts beautiful white sandy beaches and a lively nightlife full of Spanish energy.
The Low Down on San Sebastian
- Great cross-border connections to Biarritz
- The ideal combination of stunning beaches and city vibes
- Beautiful surrounding scenery to explore
- The city offers a diverse nightlife with something for everyone
To begin with, head to the lively Parte Vieja to find the most popular pintxo bars, all serving delicious food and drinks. Once you’ve grabbed a bite to eat, enjoy a walking tour around the city. Meet your guide in the Gros area of San Sebastian and hike your way out of town to reach Ulia Mountain. The mountainside has a centuries-old walking trail that was once a Christian pilgrimage route to the town of Santiago de Compostela, where St James’ remains are said to be buried. It’s evidently a great way to simultaneously get physical and learn some history.
While on a rugby tour to Spain, trying the local food is a must. Get a taste of the best Spanish cuisine at the Antonio Bar – a locals’ favourite with plates of tantalising seafood such as octopus, anchovies, and sardines. It’s enough to make your stomach rumble just talking about it.
Where to go out in San Sebastian
The beautiful Spanish city comes alive after the sun goes down. Here are the best 3 places to try when heading out:
This lively bar is the hotspot for the younger crowd. There is a wide range of drinks at low prices. The classic chart music is ideal to party the night away.
Altxerri Jazz Bar
This jazz bar is cool and quirky and ideal for a different night out. Climb down a stony stairway and you’ll also discover a gallery.
Situated just on the port, at this venue you can take drinks outside and take in the breathtaking views over the ocean. It is extremely popular among locals and one of the best gay-friendly bars in the city. The quirky interior and the music are dominated by rocky vibes or electronic beats.
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Sports & Rugby tour to Spain | Bilbao
Also located in the Basque Country region, Bilbao is a city packed with impressive architecture and surrounded by lush green mountains.
Although once known for its industrial activity, Bilbao is now an up-and-coming place to visit. It’s undoubtedly the best place for a rugby tour to Spain if you want to experience the Basque way.
The Low Down on Bilbao
- It is home to the Guggenheim Museum, which is an absolute must-visit
- The city has the best places to get your tapas fix
- The nightlife is lively after the sun sets
- Bilbao is unique to the other Spanish Cities
- San Mames Stadium – home to Atletic Bilbao and host of the 2018 European Rugby Champions Cup final
What to visit on a Rugby tour to Bilbao
Albeit its industrial past, Bilbao’s atmosphere is one of excitement. It’s quirky architecture and cultural gems make it well worth the visit. The character and soul of the city is just patiently waiting to be discovered. We’ve made a list of some of the must-do things in Bilbao:
The Guggenheim Museum
In the first place, The Guggenheim Museum is one of Bilbao’s greatest attractions. Designed by the Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, it is a masterpiece inside and out. Moreover, it has become an impressive international symbol that is well worth a visit when in Bilbao.
Bilbao’s Old Town
Another must-visit is The Casco Viejo – the Old Town and heart of Bilbao. Its colourful buildings and narrow streets are packed with places to grab more pintxos. Additionally, as the cultural centre of the city, it’s formed of the seven streets which originally made up the medieval infrastructure.
The best bars an clubs in Bilbao
The bustling city carries on its energy into the night, making it a great choice for your rugby tour to Spain. To help guide you through your night out in Bilbao, here are the 5 places to hit:
Fever: Fever is the disco nightclub to go to. The club hosts the best DJs and exciting international artists.
Kafe Antzokia: One of the best know bars in Bilbao, its popularity promises a great night out. Antzokia is spread across two floors and has many bars, allowing space for large crowds and a lively evening.
Residence: For a bit of a different night out, Residence is the place to go. Its décor is tasteful, and the choice of drinks is vast. There is live music every Wednesday, and it’s most popular with slightly older generations.
Sir Winston Churchill Pub: This distinctively quintessentially British pub as the name suggests serves a mean gin and tonic. This institution is just a short walk from an even larger institution – Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames Stadium.
Las Siete Calles/Casco Viejo: Love pintxos? Love hopping from bar to bar, drinking and chatting away on busy Basque cobbled streets? Then this is the place for your tour! The young crowds of Bilbao gather in this neighbourhood late at night to eat, chat and enjoy the warm Spanish evenings.