If you truly want to see a beautiful place, go to the Spanish countryside. In these rural towns, you get to see lots of natural wonders, the idyllic provincial lifestyle, and perhaps even some history as well. Some are located among mountain ranges and valleys, like Setenil de las Bodegas and Albarracín. While others are coastal cities like Fisterra and Getaria that provide that signature Mediterranean magic. But what they all have in common is that they offer a different slice of Spain that you won't see in big cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville. They offer their own bewitching charms that are just as captivating.
Scattered throughout the mountainous range in east-central Spain, the earth-toned town of Albarracín is a magnificent site. The countryside city stands proudly in the Aragon region, boasting its Medieval and Moorish influences even from a mile away. Surrounded by sweeping landscapes, the entire town looks as if it came straight out of a postcard. And of course, you can't ignore its old-world charms and au naturel
aesthetic. Its red and brown hues perfectly contrast the whitewashed towns on the Greek Islands
From one Medieval city to the next, let's go on over to the Catalan countryside to check out Besalú. Imagine what a fairytale town would look like in real life. Think of it like the setting of your favorite Disney film
has come to life. Wouldn't you agree that it'd look something like the beautiful city of Besalú in Catalonia? With its stone bridges and buildings, lush greeneries, and even a moat that surrounds the town, you can't help but be charmed by this place!
At first glance, it's easy to get confused about Cáceres. Located in the beautiful Extremadura region, it's a fairly big metropolis. In fact, if it were more modern, Cáceres could even rival the likes of Madrid and Barcelona
. That's how massive the city is, so how could it still be part of the Spanish countryside? Well, don't you see its rural charms? The preservation of its Medieval influences, the authenticity of its Spanish cuisines, and the generally slow-paced way of life here prove its provincial status.
As this is a list of the best places to discover in the Spanish countryside, you should've expected that a couple of coastal cities would make it here. One such is Fisterra, an absolute gem along the Galician coast. Formerly a fisherman's village, it grew to be one of the most charming provincial towns in the region. But perhaps what makes Fisterra so noteworthy is that it's a staple stop on Camino de Santiago
, a famous pilgrimage that leads to the tomb of the Apostle in the city of Santiago de Compostela.
Among the many islands in Spain, Formentera is a definite must-see. The waters from its scenic coasts shine with such a bright hue of blue, they almost seem unreal. Paired with the island's white sandy shorelines, it couldn't get any more paradisical than this. This is the kind of Mediterranean escape you'd expect on a Spanish island. Or any other island in the region. With barely any hustle and bustle, Formentera offers a special kind of magic from the Spanish countryside.
You've seen the stunning vineyards in Italy
, haven't you? With their sweeping landscapes and idyllic countryside charms, it's no wonder these wineries have become top tourist destinations in their own right. But what does that have to do with the Spanish countryside? Well, it just so happens that the peaceful town of Getaria in the Basque Country is just like those vineyards. With its own local wineries that boast such lush greeneries and cinematic sceneries, there's no way that this town won't leave an impression on you!
Not all the places on this list are countryside towns. Some, like Las Médulas, are natural wonders you simply shouldn't miss. Las Médulas is a mountain range near the town of Ponferrada in northwestern Spain. It became famous as the largest goldmine of the Roman Empire. As such, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And though you can't mine for gold here anymore, you can still bask in its golden natural glory, especially when its eye-catching peaks are bathed in the sunset twilight.
Picos de Europa
Another mountain range in the Spanish countryside is Picos de Europa, which forms part of the Cantabrian Mountains in northern Spain. As its name literally translates to the “Peaks of Europe” in English, this place is more for hikers and adventurers. Though whether they are the highest peaks in the region is still up for debate. There are still the Swiss and French Alps
, after all. Not to mention other mountain ranges beyond the Mediterranean. Nevertheless, this green-filled paradise is an unbelievable sight. It makes all the effort to climb up here worth it!
Setenil de las Bodegas
For this next one, let's go all the way to the beautiful province of Andalusia. It's here where you'll find Setenil de las Bodegas, perhaps among the most unique towns in the Spanish countryside. Also known as the “town under a rock,” this place is known for its very earthy homes... literally! Some of the buildings and residences here are submerged in the rocks and mountains of the area. It's almost as if the town grew out of Andalusia's natural wonders.
And finally, there's Zuheros that's also in Andalusia, Spain. Surrounded by the Sierras Subbéticas mountain ranges, it's easy to spot this whitewashed city from a mile away. The town is so stark white, it can't help but stand out amidst the lush greeneries of the province. And when you finally get to the actual city, you'll realize its Medieval and Moorish influences too. There's a fortress by the outskirts of town and its cobblestone streets look as if they barely changed since the Middle Ages.
You need to see these enchanting places in the Spanish countryside at least once! These are some of the most beautiful destinations in the country, perhaps even in the entire world. You almost couldn't believe that they're real!