Welcome to our Spanish football travel guides section. Starting with the country’s biggest football hotbeds, we aim to get around Spain’s 17 autonomous communities and bring you the lowdown on football in each one. Each guide will feature info on all the clubs in the top three divisions as well as tips for getting around, buying tickets and things to do away from the football. We aim to make it the most complete guide for groundhoppers and anyone planning a football trip to Spain.
Note – league listings below relate to the 2021/22 season. However most guides were written prior to that and feature LaLiga, Segunda División and Segunda B clubs at the time of writing. The Segunda B has since been replaced by the new Primera División RFEF (third tier).
Spanish Football Travel Guides
Madrid is not just the capital of Spain but it has been described as the capital of European football in recent years with Atleti rising to become a genuine continental force. There’s plenty going on away from the big two though with a trip to Vallecas always popular with visitors to the city while the sport is also thriving in the South Madrid region with Getafe and Leganés having both featured heavily in the top flight in recent years.
The Madrid Clubs
LaLiga: Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Getafe, Rayo Vallecano
Segunda: Alcorcón, Fuenlabrada, Leganés
Primera RFEF: Internacional, Rayo Majadahonda, San Sebastián de los Reyes, Real Madrid Castilla
FC Barcelona may be the symbol of Catalan football and in many ways the symbol of Catalonia but there are a host of smaller clubs in the region. Indeed there are many in and around the metropolitan area of Barcelona but our guide also gets around the other three Catalan provinces, taking in the best football options in Girona, Tarragona and Lleida.
The Catalan Clubs
LaLiga: Barcelona, Espanyol
Primera RFEF: Cornellà, Gimnàstic Tarragona, Sabadell, Costa Brava, Barcelona B, Andorra*
*Not technically in Catalonia but the world’s only Catalan speaking country!
In many respects, the real birthplace of football in Spain, the Basque Country and its clubs were instrumental in the emergence of the sport in the early 20th Century. Despite occupying less than 1.5% of all Spanish territory, the tiny Basque autonomous region continues to punch well above its weight to this day with a host of top flight clubs, some of the best academies in Spain and a stubborn determination to continue doing things the Basque way.
The Basque Clubs
LaLiga: Athletic Club, Real Sociedad, Alavés
Segunda: Eibar, SD Amorebieta, Real Sociedad B
Primera RFEF: Real Unión, Athletic Club B
Spain’s most populous region is home to more clubs in the top three tiers than any other. The Andalusian capital hosts Spain’s fiercest city derby with Real Betis and Sevilla fighting to be the pride of Seville. Malaga are largely viewed as the other big Andalusian club although there are a number of other sizable teams with Granada currently the best of them. Historic clubs like Recreativo Huelva and Cordoba are currently languishing in the 4th tier.
The Andalusian Clubs
LaLiga: Real Betis, Sevilla, Granada, Cadiz
Segunda: Malaga, Almeria
Primera RFEF: Betis Deportiva, Sevilla Atlético, Linares, San Fernando, Atlético Sanluqueño, Algeciras, Linense
The Valencian Community is another major Spanish football hotbed. Valencia CF are the traditional main force but Villarreal have risen to become a major player, not just in the region but in Spain and at times Europe, in recent years. There are also a host of other reasonably sized clubs that have at some point or other appeared in the top flight and with 350 km of sunny coastline, the Valencian region is a great location for a football trip.
The Valencian Clubs
LaLiga: Valencia, Villarreal, Levante, Elche
Primera RFEF: Castellón, Villarreal B, Alcoyano
Tucked away in the northwest corner of Spain, Galicia is a coastal region with a long history, Celtic heritage and a unique relationship with the sea. The Galician Community is home to several football clubs that are located right on the coast including beach-side Deportivo La Coruña, the only team from the region to have won a major trophy. It’s Celta Vigo that have featured in more top flight seasons though and both sides compete for the right to be the pride of Galicia.
The Galician Clubs
LaLiga: Celta Vigo
Primera RFEF: Deportivo La Coruña, Racing Ferrol, Celta Vigo B
This cider loving region of northern Spain is home to all kinds of unique cultural traditions as well as some of the most dramatic scenery in all of Iberia. Its two main cities (which are separated by just 30 km) enjoy a fierce rivalry on and off the pitch with Real Oviedo and Sporting Gijon battling it out for regional pride.
The Asturian Clubs
Segunda: Real Oviedo, Sporting Gijon
Primera RFEF: –
Known primarily as a winter sun holiday destination, many might be surprised by just how high football passions run in the Canary Islands. Las Palmas and Tenerife, the two biggest clubs have a fierce rivalry and the islands have produced a whole of host of talented footballers through the years, with more recent examples being David Silva, Pedro and Juan Carlos Valerón, as well as current Barcelona star Pedri.
The Canarian Clubs
Segunda: Las Palmas, Tenerife
Primera RFEF: –
The other major set of Spanish islands also has a relatively lively football scene with plenty of action to be found in both Mallorca and Ibiza. RCD Mallorca may be top dogs but they aren’t the only team in the city of Palma and although small, football is suddenly starting to flourish on the party island of Ibiza which will host second tier football for the first time in 2021/22.
The Balearic Islands Clubs
Primera RFEF: Atletico Baleares
Spain has 17 Autonomous Communities in total and we’ll be adding more guides at some point in the future.
The other 8 regions are Castile and León, Castilla-La Mancha, Murcia, Aragon, Extremadura, Navarre, Cantabria and La Rioja.