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Spain’s smallest wonders of the world

BRIGHT.

From the Costa del Sol to the Cantabrian coast, Spain has some of the world’s smallest landmarks.

Spain has an enchanting portfolio of miniature marvels, a selection of the tiniest attractions in the world, which makes for the cutest additions to your bucket-list. From a local historic building here on the Costa del Sol, all the way to the shores of the Cantabrian sea in the North of Spain, a mix of nature and architecture makes for an interesting adventure in pursuit of these teeny tiny landmarks.

Sophie Gatward-Wicks

Smallest beach in the world: Playa de Gulpiyuri

Playa de Gulpiyuri, 33594 Llanes, Asturias, Spain
Roughly 40 meters in length, and sitting around 100 metres inland from the Cantabrian Sea, Playa de Gulpiyuri is the shortest beach in the world. Being fully tidal due to a series of tunnels carved through the cliffs by the salty sea, allows water to travel from the Bay of Biscay, creating small waves as it reaches the sands of Gulpiyuri. It feels more like being at a lake than being at the sea, particularly as the location is technically within a park, so you are surrounded by green grass, trees and vegetation that populate the cliffs.

Playa de Gulpiyuri, Asturias

The water is visible during high-tide, escaping back through the holes in the cliffs at low-tide. The water never reaches beyond knee-height, so is ideal for kids and those who don’t want to navigate currents. The beach has been deemed a Natural Monument as part of the Regional Network of Protected Natural Areas, and if you go on a rainy day, there is a high chance you may have this beach all to yourself. With blue-green tinted waters against the white sand and greenery of the surrounding meadows, makes this an absolutely gorgeous setting for a peaceful swim.

Note: The nearest town to Playa Gulpiyuri is Naves, with access via a farm track. From here the beach is only accessible via foot. Pets on the beach are prohibited from July 1st until September 30th.

Smallest church in the world: Santa Isabel de Hungria:
Castillo de Colomares

Colomares Castle, Finca la Carraca, Ctra. Costa del Sol, s/n, 29639 Benalmádena, Málaga, Spain
Our local tiny landmark can be found half an hour west of Marbella in the coastal town of Benalmádena. Taking the AP-7 road and turning off at the Butterfly Park, it is just a few minutes further from there.

Castillo de Colomares is a castle-like monument which was built between 1987 and 1994 by Dr. Esteban Martín Martín, a local physician, as a tribute to Christopher Columbus and the historical events surrounding the discovery of the Americas. Within the complex of the monument is a small chapel, which was dedicated to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary who had dedicated her life to helping the most disadvantaged people. The chapel, named Santa Isabel de Hungria, measures just 1.96m² in size, and according to the Guinness Book of Records, makes this the smallest church in the world. The chapel contains everything required to carry out services, and has been consecrated by the Prior of the Monastery of La Rabida.

Castillo de Colomares

In stark contrast, the entire monument covers an area of 1,500 meters, making it the largest monument in the world dedicated to the explorer Christopher Columbus! Being avid fans of Spain’s architectural heritage, we can appreciate the Integration of the various influences seen at Castillo de Colomares, an amalgamation of building styles that have shaped Spain’s history. The monument fuses Byzantine, Gothic, and Mudéjar styles, paying homage to the diverse civilisations that coexisted on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages – Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Notably, the inclusion of a pagoda, a distinctive tiered tower commonly found in Asia, symbolises Columbus’ original ambition to establish trade routes with China and Japan for spices.

Oh, and to make this castle even more of a fairytale experience, you can make it your wedding venue!

Smallest international bridge in the world:
El Marco bridge

El puente de El Marco, 06519, Badajoz, Spain
Measuring 3.2 metres long and 1.45 metres wide, the bridge is used only by pedestrians and bicycles, joining Arronches in Portugal to El Marco in Spain, a Spanish district located within the municipality of La Codosera in Extremadura.

The smallest international bridge in the world located on the border between Spain and Portugal

First built centuries ago, the El Marco bridge was most recently remodeled in 2008 and given modern reinforced supports and handrails. Prior to that, the locals themselves used rudimentary wooden planks to get across the Abrilongo stream, (a tributary of the Gévora River), which would wash away every time there was heavy rain causing the water to rise.

Making its mark as the smallest international bridge in the world, you can hop-scotch between two countries in a matter of seconds!

Smallest window in the world

3 Calle Sillería Toledo, 45001, Spain

Located at 3 Sillería Street in the ancient city of Toledo, this tiny aperture can be found embedded in the wall of the 16th-century Casón de Los López building, amidst Toledo’s historic city centre. This intriguing curiosity from the past holds the title as the world’s smallest window, according to the Guinness World Records, and is no bigger than the palm of an adult’s hand, about the size of a packet of cigarettes. A normal-sized window sits adjacent, highlighting the stark contrast within the building’s facade, and adding an almost comical element to its positioning.

The smallest window in the world

The history of this tiny medieval window remains a mystery, though at its base there is some clue of its significance, with an etched inscription that translates to “Thank you, Allah.” Some suggest the presence of the word “Talaytula,” the former Arabic name for the city, but still nobody really knows why it was included in the building’s original design.