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12 Must-Visit Small Towns in Spain

Photo by Luca Dugaro/Unsplash

Forget the crowded streets of Madrid and Barcelona—Spain's real treasures are in its charming small towns! Here are twelve hidden gems brimming with history, culture, and stunning landscapes, offering an authentic Spanish experience.





Albarracín, Aragón

Photo by Eduardo Casajus Gorostiaga/Unsplash

Nestled in the mountains of Aragón, Albarracín is a medieval town that feels frozen in time. With its narrow, winding streets, fortified walls, and terracotta-coloured houses, Albarracín is one of Spain's most picturesque locations.


How to get there: Albarracín is best reached by car from Zaragoza or Valencia, approximately two hours away. The scenic drive through the mountains adds to the experience.


Highlights:


Cathedral of Albarracín: This 16th-century cathedral is a Gothic and Renaissance architecture masterpiece.


Castle: Explore the remains of the castle that once defended the town.


Museo de Albarracín: Learn about the town's history and cultural heritage.


Pinares de Rodeno: A nearby natural park perfect for hiking amidst unique red sandstone formations and pine forests.


Local Tourist Office: Albarracín Tourist Office





Ronda, Andalusia

Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos/Unsplash

Perched on a plateau, Ronda is split by a deep gorge that offers dramatic views. This Andalusian town is famous for its Puente Nuevo bridge, which spans the El Tajo gorge and provides breathtaking scenery.


How to get there: Ronda can be accessed by train or bus from Málaga, about an hour and a half away.


Highlights:


Puente Nuevo: This iconic bridge offers stunning views of the gorge and the surrounding countryside.


Plaza de Toros: One of the oldest bullrings in Spain, with a fascinating museum dedicated to the history of bullfighting.


Palacio de Mondragón: A beautiful palace with lush gardens and interesting exhibits on Ronda's history.


Arab Baths: Well-preserved baths from the Moorish era near the old town.


Local Tourist Office: Ronda Tourist Office








Cudillero, Asturias

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A hidden gem on the northern coast, Cudillero is a picturesque fishing village. Its colourful houses cascade down the hillside towards the harbour, creating a stunning visual effect.


How to get there: The nearest major city is Oviedo, from which you can take a bus or drive (about 45 minutes).


Highlights:


Cudillero Harbor: The heart of the town, bustling with fishing boats and seafood restaurants.


Mirador de la Garita-Atalaya: A viewpoint offering panoramic views of the town and the Cantabrian Sea.


Lighthouse at Cabo Vidio: A short drive from the town, this lighthouse provides spectacular coastal views.


Santa María Church: A beautiful example of Gothic architecture in the town centre.


Local Tourist Office: Cudillero Tourist Office





Cadaqués, Catalonia

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Cadaqués is a charming coastal town on the Costa Brava, known for its whitewashed buildings and artistic heritage. Salvador Dalí often visited this idyllic town, drawing inspiration from its beauty.


How to get there: It can be reached by bus from Girona or by car (approximately two hours from Barcelona).


Highlights:


Salvador Dalí House-Museum: Located near Portlligat, this museum offers a glimpse into the artist's life and work.


Santa Maria Church: A beautiful church with a striking Baroque altarpiece.


Cap de Creus Natural Park: A stunning natural area perfect for hiking and enjoying the rugged coastline.


Art Galleries: Cadaqués has numerous galleries showcasing local and contemporary art.


Local Tourist Office: Cadaqués Tourist Office








Frigiliana, Andalusia

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Frigiliana, with its whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets, is one of the most beautiful villages in Andalusia. Its Moorish heritage is evident in the town's architecture and layout.


How to get there: A short bus ride from Nerja or a drive from Málaga (about one hour).


Highlights:


Historic Old Town: Wander through the narrow, winding streets and admire the beautifully preserved Moorish architecture.


Archaeological Museum: Learn about the region's history from prehistoric times to the present.


Rio Higuerón: A nearby river with scenic hiking trails and swimming spots.


Local Crafts: Frigiliana is known for its pottery and ceramics, which make great souvenirs.


Local Tourist Office: Frigiliana Tourist Office





Morella, Valencia

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Morella is a historic walled town on a hilltop in the Valencia region. Its impressive castle and ancient walls dominate the skyline, offering a step back.


How to get there: It is best reached by car from Valencia or Castellón de la Plana (about two hours).


Highlights:


Morella Castle: Explore the castle ruins and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.


Santa María la Mayor Basilica: A stunning Gothic church with intricate details and beautiful stained glass windows.


Aqueduct: A well-preserved medieval aqueduct that once supplied the town with water.


Museum of Dinosaur Time: Learn about the prehistoric creatures that once roamed the area.


Local Tourist Office: Morella Tourist Office








Setenil de las Bodegas, Andalusia

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Setenil de las Bodegas is renowned for its unique houses built into and under large rock overhangs. This unusual architecture makes it a fascinating place to visit.


How to get there: A short drive from Ronda (about 20 minutes) or an hour from Málaga.


Highlights:


Cave Houses: Wander through the streets with houses built into the cliffs.


Nazari Castle: Explore the remains of this Moorish fortress that overlooks the town.


Local Cuisine: Enjoy tapas and regional specialities in one of the many cave bars and restaurants.


Ermita de San Sebastián: A small hermitage offering beautiful town views.






Vejer de la Frontera, Andalusia

Photo by Juan Francisco Santos Relinque/Unsplash

This hilltop town offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside and the coast. Vejer de la Frontera is known for its narrow, winding streets and whitewashed buildings.


How to get there: A short drive from Cádiz (about 45 minutes) or Jerez (one hour).


Highlights:


Vejer Castle: Explore the castle and its well-preserved towers and walls.


Plaza de España: A beautiful square with a central fountain and plenty of cafes and restaurants.


El Palmar Beach: A short drive from Vejer, this beach is perfect for surfing and relaxing.


Local Cuisine: ry the local tuna dishes, a specialty of the region, in one of the many excellent restaurants.









Aínsa, Aragón

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This stunning medieval town is nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees, offering breathtaking views and a beautifully preserved old quarter. Aínsa is a hidden gem, where history and nature intertwine, making it a perfect destination for those seeking both cultural and outdoor adventures.


How to get there: Aínsa is best reached by car from Zaragoza (about two and a half hours) or from Barcelona (about three hours).


Highlights:


Plaza Mayor: The picturesque main square is surrounded by historic buildings and offers charming cafes and shops.


Aínsa Castle: Explore the remains of this 11th-century castle and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and rivers.


Eco Museo: Learn about the local wildlife and natural history at this fascinating museum.


Hiking and Outdoor Activities: Aínsa is a gateway to the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, perfect for hiking, bird watching, and adventure sports.


Local Tourist Office: Aínsa Tourist Office





Peñíscola, Valencia

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Famous for its historic castle overlooking the Mediterranean, Peñíscola is a coastal town that blends stunning beaches with rich history. Its picturesque old town, charming streets, and beautiful seafront make it a must-visit destination.


How to get there: Peñíscola is accessible by car from Valencia (about one and a half hours) or by train and bus connections from major cities.


Highlights:


Peñíscola Castle: Visit this iconic castle, which was once the residence of Pope Benedict XIII, and enjoy stunning views of the sea and town.


Old Town: Wander through the narrow, winding streets lined with whitewashed houses, shops, and restaurants.


Beachfront: Relax on the beautiful sandy beaches or enjoy water sports along the coast.


Parque Natural de la Sierra de Irta: Explore this nearby natural park, perfect for hiking, cycling, and enjoying the coastal landscape.


Local Tourist Office: Peñíscola Tourist Office








Pals, Catalonia

Photo by Never Ending Story

Pals is a beautifully preserved medieval town in Catalonia, perched on a hilltop and surrounded by rice fields. Its cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and panoramic views make it a captivating destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.


How to get there: Pals is best reached by car from Girona (about 45 minutes) or from Barcelona (about an hour and a half).


Highlights:


Torre de les Hores: Climb this 11th-century Romanesque tower for stunning views of the town and surrounding countryside.


Gothic Quarter: Stroll through the narrow streets and admire the beautifully preserved medieval architecture.


Platja de Pals: Just a short drive away, this beach offers golden sands and crystal-clear waters, perfect for a relaxing day by the sea.


Local Cuisine: Enjoy traditional Catalan dishes in one of the charming local restaurants, known for their use of fresh, local ingredients.


Local Tourist Office: Pals Tourist Office





Villajoyosa, Valencia

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Villajoyosa, known for its colorful beachfront houses and rich chocolate-making history, is a vibrant coastal town on the Costa Blanca. With its beautiful beaches and historic old town, Villajoyosa offers a perfect blend of relaxation and cultural experiences.


How to get there: Villajoyosa is accessible by tram from Alicante (about 30 minutes) or by car (about 40 minutes).


Highlights:


Chocolate Museum: Visit the Valor Chocolate Museum to learn about the town’s chocolate-making tradition and sample delicious treats.


Old Town: Wander through the historic center with its brightly painted houses and charming streets.


Playa Centro: Relax on the town’s main beach, known for its golden sands and clear waters.


Santa Marta Fiesta: If visiting in late July, experience the vibrant Moors and Christians festival, celebrating the town’s history with parades, music, and reenactments.


Local Tourist Office: Villajoyosa Tourist Office







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