Top Ten Spain Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures
Once the haunt of smugglers, pirates, and the occasional shipwrecked fisherman, the tiny Islas Columbretes, which lie 30 nautical miles off Spain's eastern coast, are now a nature preserve. Steep-sided and volcanic, they're a vital stopover for birds such as bee-eaters, Audouin's gull, and the rare Eleonora's falcon, which flies in to feed on young birds on their first and last migratory flight. The clear blue waters lapping the largest island, Columbrete Grande (which is only 180 feet wide at its broadest point), seethe with such rare marine life as the Mediterranean red coral. Hire a boat from Castellan or join one of the weekend trips from Peqiscola (the boat owners will sort out a permit for you) and feel privileged to be one of the only 250 daily visitors.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication