The 66 Most Beautiful Towns in Spain

| Sergio Rota / Unsplash
Monica Nastase

Spain is well known for its endless beaches, islands that give the Caribbean a run for its money and city breaks in vibrant destinations like Barcelona, Madrid and San Sebastian. But the country is also home to nearly 20,000 villages, wildly diverse in their architecture, traditions and culture. These are some of the most beautiful towns in Spain that you really ought to explore.

1. Frigiliana, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark

Frigiliana, Spain
Rosy Ko / Unsplash
Andalusia is filled with emblematic white villages dotted around its countryside and Frigiliana is one of the best-kept of them all. Settled on the side of a mountain, east of Málaga, the medieval town is a postcard image of Arab architecture. The old town is preserved intact and displays a typical Moorish center, with a labyrinth of steep, winding alleys climbing the hill and white buildings adorned with colorful flower pots. The 9th-century Moorish Lízar Castle perched on top of the mountain is another vestige of the region’s past.

2. Castellfollit de la Roca, Catalonia

Historical Landmark

One of the most photographed spots in rural Catalonia, the town of Castellfollit de la Roca is set on a narrow basalt cliff at the foot of the Pyrenees mountain range. The unique shape of the cliff is due to the erosion of the two surrounding rivers, Fluvià and Toronell, on the remains of the cooled volcanic lava thousands of years ago. The medieval town is tiny, with less than 1sqkm (247 acres) making up its walkable area. The volcanic-rock houses blend with the Renaissance-style buildings on the narrow pathways of this eye-catching town.

3. Cadaqués, Catalonia

Natural Feature

View of the harbour in Cadaqués, Spain
David Monje / Unsplash
Although far from Andalusia, Cadaqués is another picturesque white village in Spain, located on the Mediterranean rocky coast. Part of the Cap de Creus Natural Park, the town is accessible only through a narrow road, which is probably why its old charm is still intact. Well known as a place Salvador Dalívisited often and which was important to his artistic development, today there is a sculpture of the painter in the town center in front of the sea. The back cobblestone alleys, the stairs going up and down and the Cuban-inspired houses make the unique charm of this small Mediterranean port town. Walking into the sea, along the rocky shoreline, you’ll get a spectacular view of the white town and the colorful boats rocking on the beachfront.

4. Sóller, Mallorca

Hiking Trail, Natural Feature

On the northeast coast of the island of Mallorca sits the town of Sóller and its port. It is connected with the capital Palma via a historic 1912 train line, which whisks you through orange and lemon orchards on a one-hour journey. The town square, with its imposing church, trees, open-air cafes and mountain backdrop, is one of the most beautiful on the island. The port of Sóller has an almost-circular shore where you can soak up the sun before enjoying a plate of grilled fish with garlic sauce and freshly squeezed orange juice, one of the town’s gastronomic delicacies.

5. Mogarraz, Castile and Léon

Architectural Landmark

Naturally isolated between natural parks and mountain ranges, the medieval town of Mogarraz preserves the traditional architectural style and keeps old traditions alive. The town is located in the western part of Castile and Leon towards Portugal and has around 300 inhabitants. Mogarraz has a distinctive urban layout, with influences from the Arab and Jewish worlds, as well as houses with timbered bars and symbols carved in stone. The town’s artisanal tradition is widely known throughout Spain and abroad, especially for their jewellery work, traditional costumes and rustic embroidery. Strolling through Mogarraz, you might spot a few of the 14 water fountains scattered throughout the village, dating from 1600.

6. Ronda, Andalusia

Natural Feature, Historical Landmark


Dramatically set above a deep canyon, the town of Ronda, near Málaga, Andalusia, is made up of two parts; the old Moorish settlement and the 15th-century town. In the 18th century, they were connected by a stone bridge, Puente Nuevo, to form today’s Ronda. The town is filled with history, from the Moorish and Spanish architecture to the massive Moorish city walls and hammams. Ronda’s baths were built at the end of the 13th century and are the best preserved in Spain. A walk down into the gorge along the Camino de los Molinos will offer a stunning view of this grand town and its monumental bridge.

7. Llastres, Asturias

Architectural Landmark

A typical fishing village, Llastres is nestled along the rocky Atlantic coast in Spain’s Asturias region. About a 30-minute drive east of Gijon, the largest city of Asturias, Llastres has a population of around 1,000 inhabitants and a long-standing fishing tradition. From the San Roque lookout point, you’ll get some stunning panoramic views of the town built on the hanging cliffs, with the Sueve Mountains as a backdrop. The old town is filled with historic buildings from Palacio de los Vallados to the famous Clock Tower built on a 15th-century lookout spot. Unmissable is the auction at the fish market, down by the seaside. Asturias is a rather rainy region, so the best months to see Llastres are from June to September.

8. San Vicente de la Barquera, Cantabria

Historical Landmark

Located on the Cantabrian coast, this old fishermen’s town offers breathtaking views of both the sea and the mountains. San Vicente de la Barquera was built on the estuary of the river Gandarilla, with houses on both sides, connected by a 15th-century stone bridge. Dating back from Roman times, it was fortified in the 8th century, when the castle was built as well as a fortress. Part of the Oyambre Natural Park, the town is steeped in lush nature and surrounded by water on all sides. The Picos de Europa mountain range in the back looks like a massive guard for the fishing town. San Vicente also enjoys several kilometers of beaches, among which is the blue flag Merón beach.

9. Alcalá del Júcar, Castilla-La Mancha

Architectural Landmark

The medieval town of Alcalá del Júcar was a Moorish settlement built into the side of a mountain. Its houses are carved into the rocks and several built-in caves have the peculiar feature of being able to preserve a constant temperature year-round, a necessity on hot summer days. The ruins of an Arab fortress, dating back to the 12th century, sit on top of the canyon, with well-preserved houses leading up towards it. The ruins are another reminder of the region’s Moorish past, just like the town’s name, Alcalá, which means ‘fortress’ in Arabic. The bullfighting arena has an irregular shape, unique in Spain, and is one of the oldest in the country. Some of the best views of this charming town are from across the neighboring river.

10. Cudillero, Asturias

Architectural Landmark

Cudillero, Asturias, España
Anyul Rivas / Unsplash

Typical for many Asturian coastal towns, Cudillero sits on the side of the mountain facing the sea. Legend says it was founded by Vikings, but the earliest mention of it was in the 15th century as a fishing village. The main attraction is the town’s colorful houses, stretching out in a semi-circle around the bay, with a backdrop of deep green hills. Be immersed in the local culture and watch the fishing boats come back home in the evening with the day’s catch. The taverns in the old town serve the fresh fish and seafood captured by the locals. A short stroll from the town centre, a lighthouse sits on the cliff’s edge from where you can see the town of Cudillero and the impressive Atlantic coast.

11. Zahara de la Sierra, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark


The whitewashed houses of Zahara de la Sierra, one of Andalusia’s famed pueblos blancos or ‘white towns’, are perched on a mountain overlooking the valley below. The town began life as a Moorish outpost, favoured for its ideal, high location overlooking the valley. You can still visit the remains of the Moorish castle that was built as a fortress. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Segura de la Sierra, Andalusia

This small village, in the province of Jaén in eastern Andalusia, has a dramatic setting on a hilltop, its whitewashed houses seeming to cling precariously to the hillside. It was an important location during the Arab rule of Spain, when Moorish leaders built the walls that surround the town. The jewel in the crown of the village is its Mudéjar Castle, which sits high on top of the hill looking down on the village, surrounded by ancient walls. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Mondoñedo, Galicia

This small town in the province of Lugo, Galicia, is located in a valley in the Cantabrian Mountains. The town is famous for its cathedral, on which work began in 1230. Renovations over the years have given the cathedral an unusual mixture of architectural styles, from romanesque to baroque. The cathedral’s statue of Mary, called the English Madonna, was rescued from St Paul’s Cathedral in London during Henry VIII’s Reformation. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Ledesma, Castile and León

Located in the province of Salamanca, Castile and León, Ledesma’s history goes right back to Roman times, when the town was called Bletisa. The town is set on the Tormes River and has a number of ancient remains that are well worth exploring. Its famous Roman bridge is one of the town’s most famous sights, while nature lovers can explore the nearby Arribes del Duero Nature Reserve. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Briones, La Rioja

The village of Briones in La Rioja has been classed as a Heritage of Cultural Interest in Spain since 1981, for its rich history (its name comes from the Berones, the ancient inhabitants of La Rioja). Located on the right bank of the River Ebro, it is a fascinating place to visit while exploring the wider wine region. The Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción is a 16th-century gothic church and one of the village’s most visited sights. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Lerma, Castile and León

Lerma, in the province of Burgos in northern Spain, owes its grandeur to Francisco de Sandoval, who was the Duke of Lerma during the reign of Philip III. You can stay in the former ducal palace, which is now a parador, one of a group of hotels set in historic and noteworthy buildings in Spain. Strangely for such a relatively small town, Lerma has one of the biggest main squares in Spain. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Bubión, Andalusia

Located in the La Alpujarra mountains in southern Spain, the village of Bubión has incredible views over the mighty Sierra Nevada mountain range. The whitewashed buildings of the village contrast against the lush green surrounding countryside, and its narrow streets and flat roofs are typical of the Moorish style. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Almonaster La Real, Andalusia

This little village, in the province of Huelva in southwestern Spain, is home to one of the few remaining rural mosques in the country. It was built during the Caliphate of Córdoba between the 9th and 10th centuries on what were the remains of a Visigothic basilica from the 6th century. The mosque was declared a national monument in 1931 and provides an interesting glimpse of Spain’s multicultural history. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Mirambel, Aragon

The medieval walled town of Mirambel, in the province of Teruel in eastern Spain, is one of the best-preserved towns in the region. Walking the streets of its Old Town seems to transport you back to medieval Spain, and its sights, such as its medieval walls, baroque church and gothic prison (inside the town hall), showcase the rich architectural and cultural heritage of the town. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Guadalupe, Extremadura

Guadalupe, in the province of Cáceres in western Spain, is famous for the monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, home to several famous scenes in Spanish history. It was founded in the 13th century when a shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary, which had been hidden from Moorish invaders, on the banks of the Guadalupe River. A chapel was built on the site, and over the years was extended into a huge monastery. The islands of Guadalupe in the Caribbean were named after the monastery, and it was here that Christopher Columbus made a pilgrimage after returning from his first voyage to the Americas in 1492. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

Castro Caldelas (Ourense), Galicia

The mountaintop town of Castro Caldelas is located in Galicia in northwestern Spain. It is dominated by a huge medieval fortress that looks out over the town, which has been beautifully restored and today is a cultural centre and exhibition space. Recommended by Jessica Jones.

12. Elche, Valencian Community

Architectural Landmark

Bright green trees in the gardens of Elche, España
Manuel Torres Garcia / Unsplash

Despite its appearance as a mid-size town (almost 230,000 inhabitants) near Alicante, Elche has more history than many big cities. Elche (Elx in Valencian) attracted the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Romans and the Moorish, and every culture left their imprints. El Palmeral, planted by the Carthaginians, is a huge orchard of over 200,000 palm trees. El Castillo de Altamira, built in the 15th century, hosts La Dama de Elche, a stone sculpture from the 4th century. However, it is just a replica; the original sculpture is exhibited in Madrid. In August, the whole region celebrates Los Moros y Cristianos, a typical festival commemorating the battles between the Moors and the Christians. In Elche, they recreate the Christian Reconquest with parades, dances and music. Recommended by Lucia Gonzalez.

13. Tarragona, Catalonia

Archaeological site, Historical Landmark

Tarragona, Spain
Pau Sayrol / Unsplash

Always under the shadow of Barcelona, Tarragona is not one of the best known Spanish cities. However, it is a potential tourist destination thanks to its proximity to the coastline, as well as its Roman ruins. For instance, the amphitheater is well-preserved and near the beach, featuring a wonderful landscape. With regards to religious art, La Catedral is outstanding and features an unexpected cloister. If you want to have a look at some splendid views, then you can’t miss El balcó del Mediterrani. There, you can see the port, the amphitheater and la Platja del Miracle, one of the best-known beaches in the province. According to local custom, touching its railings gives good luck. The most important celebration in Tarragona is Santa Tecla. It takes place on the 23rd of September, when parades, fireworks, castells and local music fill the city with joy. Castells, also known as ‘human castles’ in English, are human towers built all over Catalonia during special occasions or festivals. Castellers can be of all ages, but the higher they go, the younger they are. Recommended by Lucia Gonzalez.

14. Salamanca, Castile and León

Architectural Landmark

Cathedral in Salamanca, Spain
Sergio Otoya / Unsplash
La Universidad de Salamanca has gained an enviable reputation, attracting students from around the world. The façade of the university hides a surprise: a frog. People usually spend a lot of time trying to find it due to its small size. However, it is worth the effort as finding the animal is supposed to bring luck. Moreover, La Celestina, a renowned play written in 1499, is said to have taken place there. La Plaza Mayor, of Baroque style, is the icon of the city, and it is always crowded with students and tourists. La Casa de las Conchas is another important and original building, decorated with more than 300 shells, symbols of the order of Santiago. La Nochevieja Universitaria takes place in December every year, when students have to eat 12 sweets in order to celebrate the new year with their classmates before going back home. Recommended by Lucia Gonzalez.

15. Toledo, Castilla – La Mancha

Historical Landmark

Landscape shot of sunny Toledo, Spain
Wei Hunag / Unsplash

Also known as ‘The Imperial City,’ Toledo used to be home to Muslims, Jews and Christians, who co-existed peacefully for almost two centuries. El Greco, a well-known painter that spent part of his life in Toledo, is the icon of the city. If you ever go to Toledo, you can’t miss his most famous painting El Entierro del Conde Orgaz (The Burial of the Count of Orgaz). Its city center is also outstanding, featuring beautiful structures like the Gothic Cathedral or the synagogue, la Sinagoga del tránsito. Recommended by Lucia Gonzalez.

16. Estepona, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark

Estepona has somehow managed to avoid the tourism-driven changes that have altered so much of Spain’s south coast. Located half an hour’s drive from Marbella, this beautiful little town is one of the Costa del Sol’s undiscovered treasures: its flower-filled streets are some of the most romantic you’ll see anywhere in Andalusia, and it has a lovely (and rarely crowded) beach, too. The place to be for tapas and drinks is the Plaza de las Flores, and the key attraction is the Botanical Garden. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

17. Almuñécar, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark

This former fishing village lies on Granada’s Costa Tropical, and while it’s less than 20 miles (32 km) from the hugely popular resort of Nerja, it is never overrun with tourists. Some wonderful bathing can be enjoyed off its two beaches, both of which back onto a row of funky chiringuitos. Its beguiling old town is split up into sections called manzanas – apples – and extends up the hill to the San Miguel castle. The English poet and Hispanophile Laurie Lee loved Almuñécar and was living here when the Spanish Civil War broke out in summer 1936. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

18. Cazorla, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark

The ancient castillo de la Yedra in Cazorla, Jaén
Christopher Eden / Unsplash

The frequently overlooked town of Cazorla spreads itself out at the foot of the Peña de los Halcones and the castle of Yedra, on one side of a steep and rocky valley. This romantic little town’s obscurity is surprising when you consider that it lies within the boundaries of the Sierras de Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas National Park – the largest protected natural area in Spain. There is some excellent trekking to be enjoyed in the park, which abounds with streams, waterfalls and crystal-clear springs. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

19. Albarracín, Aragón

Architectural Landmark

The historic town of Albarracin, Spain, at night
Angel Santos / Unsplash

No wonder this town has been listed as a National Monument since 1961. As viewed on the approach from Teruel in Aragón, the light pink buildings of Albarracín make for a breathtaking sight: they seem to rise organically from a sun-scorched mountain that towers above the Guadalaviar river. Wandering the town’s cobbled streets, you feel utterly disconnected from the modern world; indeed, looking out from the Torre del Andador, all you can see for miles in every direction are bare, stony mountains. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

20. Mijas, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark

Luscious greenery and whitewashed buildings in the sleepy town of Mijas, Spain
Jakub Uzieblo / Unsplash

Located on Málaga’s stunning coastline, Mijas‘ altitude almost 430 metres above sea level enables you to survey the blue expanse of the Mediterranean as well as the mountainous landscape that rolls away in every other direction. Mijas’ spectacular location means you’ll find plenty of tourists here, but it hasn’t lost its typical pueblo blanco charm, as you’ll find out if you have to use a taxi. Upon reaching the rank, a row of donkeys rather than cars will await your fare. Mijas is divided into two residential and tourist areas: Mijas pueblo sits on the hilltop, whilst Mijas costa is where you’ll find the beaches. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

21. Altea, Valencian Community

Architectural Landmark

Altea, Spain
Alejandro Hikari / Unsplash

The attractive town of Altea is one of the Costa Blanca’s unspoilt gems – which is remarkable when you bear in mind that the major restort of Benidorm lies just six miles to the south. The old town was built on the hilltop in the 16th century and walled-in to protect it from attackers: today, two of the original entrances to Altea remain – the Vell Portal and Portal Nou. Take the “Mestre de la Música” steps up to the centre (you’ll need a bottle of water for the climb) and admire the distinctive blue-and-white tiled domes of the “Lady of Solace” church, which is surrounded by some excellent restaurants with Mediterranean views. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

Tossa del Mar

One of the most sought-after destinations on Catalonia’s coastline is Tossa del Mar, a charming medieval town that spreads itself up a verdant hillside with the famous Villa Vela castle looking out to sea. The medieval town is still surrounded by the original defensive walls and is a delightful place to stroll, glimpsing sea views in between the centuries-old buildings as you go. The views out to the Mediterranean from the castle’s turrets and the beachside bars are wonderful: no wonder the artist Marc Chagall called Tossa a “blue paradise”. Recommended by Mark Nayler.


Located about an hour’s drive from the fascinating city of Almeria, Mojácar is a dense cluster of typically whitewashed Andalusian houses clinging to a sea-facing hillside. Despite the fact that it has one of the largest expat populations in Spain, Mojácar has never lost its old-school charm, and its Moorish quarter is a delight to explore. The town sank into depression after WWII and lacked running water as late as the 1960s, when its entrepreneurial mayor started offering free land to people who wanted to restore its oldest buildings or construct new ones. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

Priego de Córdoba, Andalusia

Though frequently named as one of the most attractive towns in Spain, Priego de Córdoba is still very much a place for the off-piste traveller. It is famous for being home to some of the most beautiful Baroque churches in the country, which are scattered throughout the winding, pretty streets of Barrio de la Villa, Priego’s oldest quarter. This centuries-old neighbourhood sits precariously on a clifftop from which you can survey the wild expanses of the Subbéticas National Park. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

Pedraza, Castile and León

A walled medieval town an hour north of Madrid, Pedraza is one of central Spain’s best-kept secrets, a place which truly gives you the sensation of being transported back in time. Stone houses with flower-filled little balconies and gnarled wooden doors line the town’s narrow streets; sooner or later, they all end up in the ridiculously attractive Plaza Mayor, which becomes a bullring in the summer. Take a little wooden stool on one of the terraces and admire a square unscathed by the past few hundred years. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

Villanueva de la Concepción, Andalusia

The charming whitewashed village of Villanueva de la Concepción is only about a 45-minute drive inland from Málaga, but it’s well off the tourist track. It boasts a spectacular location at the base of El Torcal (the weird karst landscape of which was once the ocean floor), surrounded by rolling fields and olive groves. On a clear day, you can see all the way down to the Mediterranean from its south-facing viewpoints. For superb and amazingly cheap tapas, head to Bar Meson Torfa, where you’re likely to be the only foreigner. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

Archidona, Andalusia

Archidona is one of those towns that dot the Málaga countryside like giant snowflakes but which are so easy to drive past. But it is well worth stopping off here, not least because you’re likely to be the only traveller exploring its lovely old neighbourhood if you do. Particularly attractive is the eight-sided Plaza Ochavada, which is sanded over and converted into a bullring during the summer fiesta; surrounded by typical Andalusian townhouses and sunny terraces, it’s also a perfect place for a long, lazy lunch. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

Écija, Andalusia

Not for nothing is Écija – an enchanting town just an hour’s drive from Seville – known as La Sartén de Andalucia (The Frying Pan of Andalusia): summer temperatures once reached 52°C (125.6°F) here. In spring or autumn, though, Écija is a great day trip from the Andalusian capital, boasting a charming old town, ornate church towers decorated with glazed ceramics and some gorgeous 18th-century mansions. The must-see buildings are the Palacio de Peñaflor and the Parroquia Mayor de Santa Cruz, once the town’s main mosque. Recommended by Mark Nayler.

22. Besalú, Catalonia

Architectural Landmark

Besalú, Girona, España
Jesus Esteban / Unsplash

This ancient town was once a major trading point in Catalonia and the capital of its own province. Besalú’s cobbled streets and old stone houses seem unchanged since the Middle Ages and are these days home to artisan workshops selling leather, ceramic and other hand-made crafts. Be sure to admire the view from the 12th century Romanesque bridge and look out for the remnants of the historic Jewish quarter with its miqveh ritual baths. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

23. Cuenca, Castilla-La Mancha

Architectural Landmark

While Cuenca might not be a small town, this doesn’t stop it oozing rustic charm and feeling like a well-kept secret as far as international travellers are concerned. The old town of Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage Site owing to its great historic value with monuments such as the Cuenca Cathedral, the St Paul bridge and the Church of our Saviour stealing the show. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

24. Peñíscola, Valencia

Architectural Landmark

Seaside views in the Valencian town of Peñíscola, Spain
Mikel Landa / Unsplash

The seaside town of Peñíscola looks like something straight out of a fairytale and it’s no surprise to learn that the town has been shot in numerous films. Locally referred to as ‘the City on the Sea’, Peñíscola is built on a rocky headland which juts out against the shoreline and is linked with the mainland by a narrow strip of land. At the top of the town stands the castle, built by the Knights Templar in the late 13th century along with the fortifications which still guard the town today. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

25. Combarro, Galicia

Architectural Landmark

If the seaside doesn’t seem like an obvious choice for a winter break, the breath-taking beauty of the Galician coastline at this time of the year will make you change your mind. This old fishing village is famous for the great number of old hórreos which can be seen here – the typical granaries made of stone and elevated from the ground. Enjoy a romantic stroll along the waterfront before warming up with hearty Galician feast in a local seafood restaurant. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

26. Hondarribia, Basque Country

Architectural Landmark

Frontages of the Basque Country, Hondarribia, Spain
Eric Prouzet / Unsplash

Explore the charm and authenticity of this wonderful Basque country town in the midst of winter and you’ll find that Hondarribia has plenty to offer those who are willing to brave the cool weather. Located on the border with France in the bay of Hendaye, Hondarribia boasts a delightful Old Town with colourful wood-framed houses and even the remnants of a Medieval fortress. After a stroll along the harbour, replenish with some traditional Basque pintxos in the Marina neighbourhood. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

27. Chinchón, Community of Madrid

Architectural Landmark

Vista de Chinchón, España
Josefina Di Battista / Unsplash

Located a mere 40 kilometres away from Madrid, Chinchón is famous for two things: the stunning main square and its fiery local liqueur, the Anis de Chinchón. The winter is a particularly charming time to visit as the square is decked out in bells and holly to bring seasonal cheer to this village, which was voted as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Chinchón is also known for its cuisine, rich in wine, garlic and oil making it all rather hearty and warming, while a glass or two of the Anis de Chinchón will provide a nice digestive aid. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

28. Arcos de la Frontera, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark

Perched on a sandstone ridge overlooking the Guadalete Valley, Arcos de la Frontera is bordered by the Guadalete river on three sides. The town got its name as a result of the 13th century battle between Christian Spaniards and Arab Rulers who fought for the town and surrounding land. Unsurprisingly there are a number of noteworthy landmarks such as the 11th century Castillo de Arcos, a Muslim fortress, and the Basílica Menor de Santa María de la Asunción which has elements of Gothic and Baroque architecture. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

29. Olite, Navarra

Architectural Landmark

Towers in the castle of Olite, Navarra, Spain
Des Mc Carthy / Unsplash

Located some 40km from the town of Pamplona, famous for its San Fermin bull-running festival, Olite is a charming old town renowned for its wine-making tradition. The Castle-Palace of Olite is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in the region and was once the seat of the royal kingdom of Navarra. Its cobbled streets, Roman walls and Medieval houses make Olite a picture-perfect destination for history lovers. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

30. A Guarda, Galicia

Architectural Landmark

This coastal Spanish town sits right on the border with Portugal, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the Miño river. A Guarda is famous for its seafood and in particular, its locally caught lobster which is still brought in by small boats in the harbour. Brightly coloured houses line the waterfront and give A Guarda its unquestionable charm. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

Miranda del Castañar

The province of Salamanca abounds in picturesque villages and the area around the Sierra de Francia mountain range is particularly remarkable. This is where you’ll find Miranda del Castañar, a small village tucked away between the hills which gives an impression of being cut off from the rest of the world, especially when the snow blankets the countryside for as far as you can see. Recommended by Tara Jessop.


A village with a rich history dating from Neolithic times and encompassing the times of Moorish conquests, Montefrío was named as one of the most scenic villages in Granada by the National Geographic. From atop the ruins of the Medieval castle which dominates the skyline, admire the countryside roll on for miles around you before warming yourself up with traditional Montefrío biscuits dipped in a rich hot chocolate. Recommended by Tara Jessop.


If you’re looking for the full mountain experience – snowy peaks dotted by stone cottages with smoking chimneys – the Vall d’Aran in the Pyrenees is the perfect destination. Located on the border with France, in the far west corner of the province of Catalonia, Vielha is ideal for a romantic getaway if you’re a fan of cozy nights in front of the open fire and walks along the snowy valley. Recommended by Tara Jessop.


Looking to escape the winter blues with a little sun and Mediterranean scenery? The Balearic Islands are postcard-perfect anytime of the year thanks to their turquoise waters, gorgeous palm trees and white-washed houses dotted along peaceful fishing villages. Located slightly inland, the picturesque village of Deià is renowned for its artistic and literary scene as well as having become a favourite retreat of celebrities such as Richard Branson. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

Agua Amarga

If you’re something of a snowbird looking to flee the cold and gloom, the small seaside village of Agua Amarga will make you forget all about the winter in no time. With line upon line of white houses, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d landed in Casablanca – in fact the area has starred in its own fair share of spaghetti Westerns and old movies. Get comfortable on a sun lounger with a blanket to hand if needed, lose yourself in your favourite book and you might even trick yourself into thinking it was summertime. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

Valverde de los Arroyos

This tiny village situated in Castilla La Mancha appears to be made of one seamless blanket of bricks which unites every house and monument within it. Located on the green slopes of the Guadalajara province, it is surrounded by natural beauty which can be explored by foot or bike – except for when the snow covers the tracks. The picturesque town centre harbours a charming square where it’s not unusual to see children playing old-fashioned games as if frozen in time. Recommended by Tara Jessop.

31. Haro, La Rioja

Architectural Landmark

Inside of the wine fermentation room at Bodegas Roda in Haro, Rioja valley
Mario La Pergola / Unsplash

One of the main towns within Spain’s famous La Rioja wine region, Haro is both home to and located within a short distance of many of the area’s top wineries. Some of the best bodegas to visit within Haro itself include the historic Bodegas Muga, Bodegas López de Heredia and the Bodegas Bilbainas. Haro is also the home of the famous Batalla del Vino wine fight which takes place on June 29th each year. La Rioja is known for its deep reds with fruity flavours, which are predominantly made from the native Tempranillo grape. Recommended by Esme Fox.

32. Jerez de la Frontera, Andalusia

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

The small town of Jerez de la Frontera is located in Andalusia, approximately a 1 hour 15 minute drive south of Seville. Part of the Sherry Triangle, along with Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María, it lies at the heart of Spain’s sherry producing area. The town is full of small sherry bodegas, where you can buy a glass straight from the barrel. Read our feature on ‘The Best Sherry Bars in Spain’s Sherry Triangle‘ to find out where to go. Recommended by Esme Fox.

33. Vilafranca del Penedès, Catalonia

Architectural Landmark

Birds eye view of a vineyard in Vilafranca del Penedès, Spain
Aleix Ventayol / Unsplash

The Penedès wine region is the largest wine-producing area in Catalonia. Located around 55km (34 miles) west of Barcelona, the small town of Vilafranca del Penedès is the most important wine town in the area. The Penedès region produces a wide variety of wines, from dry whites and reds to sweet dessert wines, sparkling wines and rosés. They are primarily made from the Xarel·lo, Macabeu and Parellada grape varieties. Make a side trip to Sant Sadurní d’Anoia, where you’ll find Caves Codorniu, the birthplace of Spanish Cava. Recommended by Esme Fox.

34. Aranda de Duero, Castilla y León

Architectural Landmark

The small town of Aranda de Duero lies within the heart of Castilla y León’s principal wine region: the Ribera del Duero. The vineyards here are found along the banks of the Duero River and on the high rocky plateaus of la maseta. Originally wines were made here from vines imported from Bordeaux, France, but now the area has become one of Spain’s premier red-wine producing regions. Two of the best wineries to visit in Aranda de Duero are Bodegas Historica Don Carlos and Bodega y Viñedos Martín Berdugo. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Puente de la Reina, Navarre

Puente de la Reina is a charming little town, located right on the Camino de Santiago. In fact, the Camino goes straight through the town’s main cobbled street. It has picturesque caramel-coloured buildings with wrought-iron balconies, and gets its name from this elegant stone bridge at the edge of town. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Ujué, Navarre

Ujué lies a half hour drive to the northeast of Olite and sits on top of a lush green hill, offering spectacular views across the valley. The village is topped by the incredible church-fortress of Santa María de Ujué. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Roncesvalles, Navarre

Another village sat directly on the Camino de Santiago is Roncesvalles, it’s actually the first place you reach in Spain, after crossing the Pyrenees from France. It’s famous for the huge monastery and pilgrim hospital. Today, this grand monastery is actually an albergue for pilgrims, so you can spend the night here. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Sanguësa, Navarre

Sanguësa lies along the River Aragon, it’s very green and is surrounded by mountains and pastures. Look closer and you’ll see that it’s filled with architectural treasures, the most impressive of which is the Romanesque-style Santa María church, which has been declared a National Monument. Sanguësa is also an important stop on the Camino de Santiago. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Estella, La Rioja

Estella used to be known as ‘La Bella’ in medieval times, because it was so beautiful. It’s located along the pilgrim route and is set along the Fiver Ega. Along the river, you’ll find an array of spectacular Roman and Gothic monuments. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Javier, Navarre

Even though the centre of the village of Javier was only built in 1960, it made our list because of its magnificent castle and smattering of other interesting buildings, such as the 18th century church and a medieval mill. The castle is where San Francisco de Javier was born in the 16th century. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Corella, La Rioja

Corella is located on the edge of Navarra and La Rioja, and is on our list for its elegant array of religious buildings. There are two convents – the Carmelite convent and the convent of Nuestra Señora de Araceli, the baroque hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Villar, and the baroque churches of San Miguel and Rosario. Besides its religious architecture, there are also a number of charming old houses and two sparkling lagoons nearby. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Monforte de Lemos, Galicia

The capital of the Ribeira Sacra wine region, Monforte de Lemos is located in the Galician province of Lugo. The vineyards here are situated along the banks of the Cabe, Sil and Miño rivers, a picturesque area dotted with medieval villages, dramatic gorges and charming churches. This wine region may not be as well known as some of the others in Spain, but in fact, winemaking here can be traced as far back as Roman times. Both red and white wines are produced here, although the red Mencía grapes are the most predominant. They are fresh and crisp and have more of an herby than a fruity flavour. Some of the best places to visit here include the Riberia Sacra Wine Centre, Bodegas Alvarez Piñeiro and the Bodegas Losada Fernandez. Recommended by Esme Fox.

Pontevedra, Galicia

The Galician town of Pontevedra is the best place to base yourself to access the wine regions of the Rías Baixas. An area where four estuarine inlets meet the Atlantic Ocean, it’s a fertile place which has become known for its excellent dry white wines. Floral and fruity with notes of peach and apricot, the wines go well with the region’s quality seafood. Recommended by Esme Fox.

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