Spain is a country famed for its fantastic tapas, relaxing siestas and refreshing sangria, but it’s also a destination alive with thriving markets, which are dotted across the country. To help you prepare for your James Villa holiday of market shopping and bargain bagging, we’ve put together a guide to the best local markets Spain has to offer. From the charming craft markets on the island of Menorca, to the bustling La Boqueria in Barcelona, we’ve got you covered.
La Boqueria, Barcelona
One of the most popular markets in the city of Barcelona, as well as the country, La Boqueria is a foodie heaven. Explore the colourful fruit and vegetable stands, which offer up an array of exotic ingredients, as well as fresh juices. Follow the bright colours of the fruit to the sweet stands, where you’ll find hundreds of gourmet pick ‘n’ mix style sweets, including hand-crafted chocolates.
Away from the sweet scent of fruit and candies, you’ll discover the fresh aroma of seafood and meat in another part of the market favoured by locals and tourists alike. Both fresh and cured meats are sold here – perfect for fans of jamón ibérico and chorizo. There’s even a handful of sushi and paella counters for fans of seafood.
Mercado de Atarazanas, Málaga
Similar to La Boqueria, this indoor market in Málaga houses everything a food lover could ever want from a culinary market. As you wander in, you’ll be greeted by towering piles of shiny strawberries, grapes, cherries and oranges. Just a few steps away from the fruit you’ll find yourself surrounded by heaps of peppers, artichokes and many other vegetables.
As you wander past the butcher counters and fish mongers you’ll have the chance to admire the market’s extraordinary building, including the stained-glass windows, which light up the entire area with a rainbow of colour. Make the most of this amazing piece of architecture by staying a little longer to dig into plates of tapas, or bowls of paella.
Ciutadella Market, Menorca
Located on the Carrer de Pere Capllonch towards the steps that lead to the harbour, is the Ciutadella evening market, open every year between June and September from 5pm until 2am.
During the market’s high season both locals and visitors flock to this part of Menorca to snap up the beautifully handmade jewellery, woodwork and clothing that adorn the stalls. Whether you haggle your way to a brand-new leather handbag, a tuneful wind chime or paper lantern, you’re bound to go away with a brilliant bargain, as well as a glimpse into local life.
Las Dalias – Mercadillo Hippy, Ibiza
Mercadillo Hippy – otherwise known as Ibiza’s Hippy Market – is a part of the large Las Dalias collection of markets and is a renowned hotspot for both locals and tourists. The market has been running since 1985 and opens every Saturday between 10am and 8pm, featuring well over 200 stalls. The vendors and artisans sell a little of everything, from handmade shoes and jewellery, to instruments, books and hammocks – you’ll even find a handful of antiques sellers.
On top of the amazing things you can buy during your visit, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy the market’s restaurants and entertainment. Slurp on freshly-squeezed juices, dig into pizza and dine on plates of tapas as you hum along to the tunes from the live DJ set.