When you think of Spain, you probably think of its rich history, or the two most famous cities in Spain – Barcelona and Madrid. The truth is that Spain is so much more than just these two cities, and its countryside is littered with charming villages and picturesque towns. The country has several provinces, each with its own culture, dialect, and architecture.
Spain enjoys warm Mediterranean weather, spectacular views, and a unique culinary culture, making it a popular tourist destination. For those who like to stray off the beaten path, consider visiting these 15 beautiful towns.
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One of Spain’s most gorgeous villages is part of the autonomous community of Aragon in the Teruel province. Famous for its wooden houses, decorated with pink plaster, it’s reminiscent of southern Italy. The village is nestled in a meander of the Guadalaviar River, with the Sierra de Albarracin mountain range towering over the south of the village.
2. Puebla de Sanabria
This charming little town is home to 1,571 people and is located close to Spain’s border with Portugal, in the North-Eastern province of Zamora. The town is a maze of Medieval alleys, built around a 15th-century castle. The quiet cobblestone streets can make you feel as if you’ve traveled centuries back in time.
Another beautiful Medieval village, located at the top of a hill that overlooks a modern city with the same name. Ainsa is one of Aragon Province’s jewels, its houses are all made of the same type of rock and it is home to only a few hundred people. The village offers many jaw-dropping views of the surrounding Pyrenees Mountains and green countryside.
4. Santillana del Mar
Santillana is a perfectly preserved historical town, which is also home to some 4,000 people. Located in the autonomous Cantabria province, it maintains the same look it had centuries ago.
In the North-Eastern part of Cádiz province lies the Andalusian village of Grazalema. The residents of this old village produce honey, blankets, and unique local dishes. This village is also the host of an adrenaline-filled bull festival. There is even a textile factory that still uses traditional weaving techniques.
6. Sos del Rey Católico
This dark-stone Medieval town is home to about 650 people and located in the Aragon province. The spectacular ancient houses and the labyrinth of cobbled streets will have visitors expecting to see armored knights walking down the streets.
This tiny village is home to 355 residents, many of whom are cheese and sausage makers. If you’re traveling in the Granada province, make it a point to stop there and check out the fine leather, textile, and ceramics that are locally made.
8. Port Cudillero
Legend says that Vikings founded Port Cudillero, but this colorful place, located in the Asturias Principality of North-Western Spain, is now a charming fishing village.
Head south of the city of Zaragoza, and you’ll find the sleepy village of Daroca. An old fortification wall, now crumbling, zigzags around the surrounding hills, defining the small town’s edge.
Surrounded by walls and featuring a lordly castle at the center, Morella stands atop an elevated plateau. It’s located in Castellón province, and the locals make traditional sweets called flaons and mantecadas.
11. Valverde de los Arroyos
In the province of Guadalajara, there is a distinct little town that enjoys an uncommon style of architecture. This small town of 102 residents is also close to a splendid 80m (262 ft) waterfall that is a popular tourist attraction.
12. Lucainena de las Torres
This Spanish village with its white-washed walls is full of welcoming locals. The village’s name indicates its Moorish past, as “de las Torres” means “The Towers”, referring to the seven towers that once defended the village.
Keeping its Medieval history alive, Ayllón’s inhabitants are warm and cheerful people. The town’s terracotta colors provide a beautiful contrast to the surrounding green countryside.
Alquézar’s proximity to the descenso de barrancos canyon draws many thrill seekers and extreme-sport enthusiasts. They enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, rappelling, swimming, and even diving. Its name derives from the Arabic word for castle or fort.
With its impressive castle, the skyline of the town of Olite reminds you that in Medieval times it was the home of the royal court of the kingdom. Olite is definitely one of the best examples of the beauty of Gothic architecture in the whole of Europe.