Popular city break destinations such as Barcelona, Madrid, and Rome are synonymous with travelling to Spain, as are beach resorts such as Ibiza, Majorca, and Tenerife, however, the country boasts a wealth of undiscovered cultural gems which are ideal for an offbeat, adventurous escape.
If you’re looking for a Spanish escape with a difference, consider these off-beat places to explore in Spain.
Setenil de las Bodegas, Andalusia
Located deep in a gorge with streets built under overhanging rocks, Setenil de las Bodegas is one of Cádiz’s most delightful pueblos blancos (white towns). Wend your way through the town and explore Nazari Castle, a former Arab fortress built in the 13th century before retiring to one of the town’s many cave restaurants where you can enjoy fresh local produce farmed in the surrounding hills.
Calella de Palafrugell, Costa Brava
The southernmost of Palafrugell’s seaside resorts, Calella is an old fishing town with authentic coastal charm. Here whitewashed buildings line the shores of a scenic bay and small fishing boats sit on the sand, patiently awaiting their captains. Sandwiched between a dramatic mountainous landscape and the azure Aegean Sea, Calella is the ideal place to relax and unwind.
A municipality of two parts, Mijas Pueblo boasts cobblestone streets, historic charm, and a Moorish castle, whereas Mijas Costa offers a taste of modern Spain with acres of golf courses and beach-front holiday rentals. Known for its donkey taxis and endless whitewashed buildings that blanket the slopes of the Sierra de Mijas, Mijas Pueblo has the feel of a rural Andalusian village and one of Spain’s best-kept secrets.
Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava
Typically Catalan in appearance, the old town of Tossa de Mar is all cobbled streets and traditional architecture, there’s even a historic castle and fortified stone walls that surround the Vila Vella (old town). With mountains and valleys to explore nearby, the town is surrounded by some of the most scenic countryside in Costa Brava. There’s even a choice of nearby sandy beaches to retreat to after your adventures inland.
Nestled in a valley surrounded by the grey-green hills of the Serra de Tramuntana, Sóller is a gorgeous little town that has remained relatively untouched by modernisation. Boasting a picturesque plaza bursting with citrus trees and a vintage train and tram rides, here you’ll also find galleries showcasing Picasso and Miró. Make Sóller your base for exploring the west coast and the Tramuntana, it’s the trailhead for some magnificent mountain hikes.
Noted for its panoramic views, the town of Ronda was built on the edge of a dramatic cliffside that falls away into the deep El Tajo gorge which carries the Rio Guadalevín. Enjoy the 360-degree vistas from the 18th century Puente Nuevo ‘new’ bridge, which straddles the 100m chasm below, before taking in the views from the Alameda out over the Serranía de Ronda mountains.
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With a wealth of off-the-beaten-path destinations to explore, Spain is the ideal destination for adventurous travellers who enjoy exploring scenic locations steeped in history.