There are innumerable outstanding villages to explore in Spain, most of them inland, small-scale towns and villages, once grand, now hardly significant.
Nobody can argue that Spain is an amazing travel destinations for a cross-peninsula road trip. Obviously, you can’t leave without visiting some of the big cities – Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla – but the good thing is that when you are crossing the country by car you can get to see a whole other side of the Iberian peninsula – the small historical villages. You may come across a beautiful whitewashed Andalusian mountain village just because you’re heading for a nice traditional restaurant, or a dreamy Galician fishing village catching your eyes as you round the corner of a smal coastal road. Well, while a little bit of happenstance and a good ration of serendipity can bring you to these little hidden gems, we have collected the top 10 villages in Spain according to Spanish travellers, worth visiting not just as regular pit stops, but as main destinations.
The number one is Ronda, no surprise, is that charming town of Malaga settled on a deep gash excavated by the river Guadalevin, with the always looming historical center. Then comes Pastrana, the proud capital of the region of La Alcarria, in the south of the province of Guadalajara. And the third would be Albarracín, a beautiful town in Teruel whose old town stands on the slopes of a mountain and is surrounded almost entirely by the river Guadalaviar. After Pastrana and Albarracín is Cadaqués (Catalonia), Santillana del Mar (Cantabria), Alcalá de Júcar (Castilla-La Mancha), Cudillero (Asturias), La Alberca (Castile and León), Trujillo (Extremadura), Frigiliana (Málaga), Hondarribia (Basque Country), Colmenar de Oreja (Madrid), Altea (Comunidad Valenciana) and Vejer de la Frontera (Andalusia).
The motives stated by those travellers surveyed vary from the landscape and the architecture of these towns (30.67%) to the experiences lived there, from adventures with friends to beautiful romances. Some other reasons to come back to these villages: The gastronomy of the place and the quality of its popular festivals. Andalusia is the region that more villages (five) places in the top 25. It is also the place where, according to a higher percentage of participants, you can find better gastronomy, followed by Galicia. Basque Country and Asturias. A general perception that has a generational nuance: travellers older than 56 years prefer the north and place the Basque Country in the top. Andalusian seems to be preferred among younger travellers, and one of the main reasons for this is the amount of fiestas which take place in those destinations. But one couldn’t say that there are fiestas happening only in Andalusia, as there isn’t a single village in the country which doesn’t honour its local saint, some particular Virgin, bullrunning, fireworks, re-enacted historical battles, some ancestral rite or a romería (mass pilgrimage).
Our luxury tours in Spain feature some of these outstanding locations, so in case you start to feel the village call, don´t hesitate and get in touch, we would love to customise a handcrafted holiday according to your needs and preferences.