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Albarracín, Teruel

4 villages in Spain that make for a fairytale getaway

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Brightly coloured villages by the sea, old town walls and tales of medieval times await you. Read on and discover some of the prettiest and most unusual villages in Europe. Perfect for escaping from your daily routine, getting away from the big city and losing yourself on a getaway that’s the stuff of dreams. 

Castellfollit de la Roca, a village perched on a cliff

Located in the province of Girona in Catalonia, Castellfollit de la Roca is a little village that sits on top of a vertiginous basalt cliff that's over 50 metres high. Almost floating and seemingly impervious to gravity, from a distance it's a surprising and impressive sight, and up close it's a place to fall in love with. Flanked by the Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park on both sides, you'll walk along the little streets with their medieval houses and take a journey back in time among ancient volcanic rocks. 

Aerial view of the village of CastellFollit de la Roca 50 metres above Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park, Catalonia

Alcalá del Júcar, a stairway to heaven

Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Castilla-La Mancha, Alcalá de Júcar sits on a steep rocky hillside overlooking the river Júcar. The village of Júcar was declared a national historic and artistic heritage site and cultural asset in 1982, and includes bridges of Roman origin. You’ll go from the sun-soaked streets of white and ochre houses to the cool dark of natural caves like Cueva del Diablo, Cueva del Duende, and Cueva del Rey Garadén. Gradually, you’ll come to the highest point in the village. You’ll pass the chapel of San Lorenzo and the church of San Andrés. At the top you’ll find an imposing fortress, a lovely castle of Almohad origin with an unmistakable Islamic air. All in a unique natural setting. It could be said that while you start off with your feet firmly on the ground, you end up with your head in the clouds! 

Views of the Roman bridge and village of Alcalá del Júcar in Castilla-La Mancha

Albarracín, a walled paradise

Located in the province of Teruel and declared a National Monument in 1961, Albarracín is considered one of the prettiest villages in Aragón. The route begins by taking you around the legendary encircling walls that are a legacy from the 14th century. Keep going upwards, up steps of golden stone. You’ll find fascinating little higgledy-piggledy houses dating from times past. Wander through picturesque streets such as Calle Azagra, known for its tumble of tiled roofs, great wooden doors and traditional archways. Head along the Calle de Postigo, one of the prettiest streets in the village. You’ll come to the Plaza Mayor, where there are views of the gardens of the river Guadalaviar. And you’ll discover the castle of Andador, against the backdrop of the Sierra de Albarracín and the Pinares de Rodeno nature reserve. Get ready to stare down into the deep gorges and ravines that will take your breath away, and leave all your worries behind in the broad green swathes of forest. 

Tourist on a hillside with views of the village of Albarracín, Teruel

Tossa de Mar, a crystalline gem

Situated in the province of Girona in Catalonia, Tossa de Mar is a small town between the sea and mountains, bathed by the warm waters of the Mediterranean. A real paradise for plants and animals, it has imposing walls, broad beaches and coves with crystalline waters. Sink your toes into the sands of the Mar Menuda beach, to the north of the Bahía de Tossa. Prepare to be impressed by the historical legacy of Villa Vella, a spectacular walled enclosure with three imposing defence towers: Des Codolar, Ses Hores and En Joanàs. You’ll discover hundreds of legends. Today at least the coast is pirate-free! You’ll fall in love with one of the few medieval coastal fortresses in Catalonia. Admire the Gothic-style church of San Vicente, and finally explore Sa Roqueta, a pretty fishing district that’ll convince you that you really will have to come back to see it again.  Prepare yourself to get to know the prettiest villages in the region, and discover routes that are like something out of a fairytale. Perfect for making you forget the trials of everyday life, and getting back to the inner you.  

Aerial view of the small town of Tossa de Mar, between the sea and mountains of Girona
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