Stunning villages in Spain
As far as charming towns go, Spain has a lot to boast about. You're sure to agree. If you take a trip, especially in rural areas, you'll easily come across towns with narrow streets where you can go for a walk, where there are beautiful monuments in hidden corners, where you'll feel welcome and where you can share their traditions or taste typical products. We have a long list of beautiful towns, but to narrow it down for you, here are 18 we recommend visiting. You'd better pack your bags, because you'll like them so much that you'll want to stay for quite a long time!
You’ll find it in Malaga. It is a pleasure to wander around this traditional Andalusian town and marvel at the views from the New Bridge, standing over a 100 metre drop. In fact, you'll almost always find a photo of the bridge itself in lists of the most beautiful spots in Spain. Take your time exploring its three districts: the former Arab medina, the San Francisco neighbourhood, separated by the city walls, and the Mercadillo, on the opposite bank of the River Guadalevín.©
Turismo de Extremadura
This town is said to be a ‘cradle of discoverers’. Francisco Pizarro (discoverer of what is now Peru) and Francisco de Orellana (discoverer of the Amazon) were born here. You can’t deny this is a good calling card. Heading into the Plaza Major square in Trujillo (surrounded by arcades and containing an equestrian statue of Pizarro) and roaming the side streets is a true pleasure. Make sure not to miss the high part of town where the castle is located to enjoy great views.
This is one of the most charming towns on the Costa Brava. A place where you’ll want time to stand still. This whitewashed town in the centre of a bay charmed bohemian artists in the past like Salvador Dalí (in fact, the nearby House-museum of the artist can be visited). Today visitors can enjoy the coves, walk to the church of Santa María for great views, taste a delicious ‘suquet’ fish stew or cycle around the Cap de Creus Nature Reserve.
Combarro, in Pontevedra, is said to be one of the best preserved towns in Galicia. Once here, you’ll soon discover it is a typical Galician fishing village and be swept away by the fishermen’s cottages, the crosses in the squares and the more than 30 stone raised granaries that lead down to the sea front. Make sure you taste the delicious Galician cuisine and go home with a typical liqueur or pomace brandy from the area.
Albarracín is always on the list of beautiful towns. This magical place is 1,182 metres above sea level. Its narrow streets are lined with reddish houses and lead to improvised viewpoints where you can enjoy the landscape. After exploring Plaza Mayor square and seeing the monuments, you can stop and taste some of the typical dishes. Then you can continue to enjoy the countryside in the surrounding area, in the Rodeno Pine Forest Protected Landscape, or you can discover examples of cave art. If you've got children, there is also a branch of the Territorio Dinópolis theme park nearby.
Now we're off to the highest part of the island of Gran Canaria. The lush green countryside is spectacular, and this town is home to the volcanic rock which has come to symbolise the island, Roque Nublo. This area is perfect for going on nature trails, stargazing, talking a walk down streets lined with traditional houses, or tasting typical sweets like the famous ‘bienmesabe’. Because of all this, and the fact that the weather in the Canary Islands is usually pleasant all year round, it's a place not to be missed!
One of the main tourist attraction in this Majorcan town is its famous Carthusian monastery. It is not a surprise if we take into account the beauty of this monument that housed composer Frederic Chopin and writer George Sand. In addition, this picturesque town is part of the Sierra de Tramuntana mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, meaning we recommend the area’s hiking trails.©
Turismo de Cantabria
Get away from the hustle and bustle and discover this town in the north of Spain. You'll love this charming town with its historic quarter, where you can admire a real Romanesque gem – the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana. From here, you can take a journey back in time as you visit palaces and buildings dating from the 14th to the 18th centuries. When visiting Santillana del Mar you'll also want to see the world-famous cave paintings of Altamira, and take a dip on Santa Justa beach (in Ubiarco).
The heart of this town, and one of its major attractions, is the main square or Plaza Mayor. Thanks to its arcades and green windows, it's definitely one of the most beautiful main squares in Spain. In this square you can discover the famous Corral de Comedias theatre (it's worth going on one of the dramatised visits). It's the only theatre of this kind that has remained intact and that has been operational since the early 17th century. You'll also enjoy the National Theatre Museum. By the way, don't leave without trying some of the typical dishes like ‘migas’ (fried breadcrumbs) or aubergines.
This town is located on the Cantabrian coast, in Guipúzcoa. You will be charmed by a stroll around the old walled town with its cobbled streets. Make sure to soak in the surroundings of emblazoned houses, the castle of Emperor Carlos V, the fishermen’s cottages… You should also head to Txingudi Bay and, in summer, take a dip on the beach and a boat trip. To restore your strength, what could be better than dropping in to any of the town’s traditional restaurants?
Now we suggest stopping in a walled medieval town and getting lost in the cobbled streets. You'll love the palaces and nobles houses that date back to the 16th century, and the remains of its defensive structure, like the walls. For two days in July, Pedraza becomes a fairy-tale town thanks to the ‘Conciertos de las Velas’ (Candlelight Concerts), which fill the town with classical music and candles at night. What's more, here you can taste the best suckling pig and lamb in Spain.
Let's head towards the coast once again – this time to the Mediterranean Sea, an excellent place for a holiday! In Peñíscola, as well as going to one of its stunning beaches, you can discover a medieval town, where the main feature is the Castle of Papa Luna, built by the Knights Templar. Dare to ‘storm’ the castle and then go for a walk round the streets of Peñíscola and discover other monuments like the Parish Church or the ‘Portal Fosc’, and surprising places like the ‘bufador’ (a rock that has been naturally eroded by the sea which flows into the hole and splashes out making a loud noise). If you want to know more about the town's fishing tradition, go down to the port or plan a visit to the Sea Museum.
This town is located in the north of Spain, in one of the greenest parts of the country. Cudillero is a typical fishing village where you can get away from it all. How the houses and streets adapt to the mountainous terrain, creating a kind of natural amphitheatre, is a highlight. There is also a lighthouse, a harbour and, if you can, head to nearby Cabo Vidio to enjoy the views of one of the prettiest vantage points in Spain.
Once you are in this Navarrese town, your eyes will be drawn to its most important monument: the Castle or Palace of Olite. Take a tour inside to see where kings, queens, princes and princesses used to live. It’s then worth wandering the streets to discover the mediaeval churches and heading to a bar to try the rich wines from the area. Sounds appetising, right?
This town in La Rioja is closely linked to Saint James’ Way. The village is said to have grown up around the Pilgrims' Hospital founded by St. Dominic de la Calzada in the 12th century. Today its historic centre is a must-see, especially the Cathedral, where you may be surprised to find a live hen and rooster, reminders of a miracle said to have taken place here. We also recommend taking a trip to the nearby Sierra de la Demanda mountain range.
Located in the south-east of Spain, this town is deemed one of the five Holy Towns in the world and a destination for many pilgrims. A visit to the Vera Cruz Shrine or any of the churches and monasteries is a must. Did you know that Caravaca has some of the best examples of religious architecture in Murcia? If you’re planning on being there in May, you will also be able to enjoy local patron saint feast days.
Located in the centre of Spain, this town is 50 kilometres from the city of Madrid and is home to one of the most beautiful Plaza Mayor squares in Spain. It seems incredible that livestock festivals once took place there. In addition to the charming cultural heritage of Chinchón or the chance to go on dramatised tours, the town offers wonderful local cuisine in its typical restaurants.
A quaint, whitewashed town surrounded by meadows in the province of Badajoz. A marvellous starting point for discovering the world of the Iberian pig and for savouring ‘Dehesa de Extremadura’ Iberian ham. Meander through its narrow streets and discover interesting historic sites, along with Templar castle, which houses a bull ring and a traditional food market.