Aside from the major cities and top tourist attractions, make sure to include a few of these enticing villages on your Spain tour. Here’s where to avoid crowds, explore rural life, and learn about Spanish history.
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Nerja, pronounced ‘Nair-ha,’ is a hidden gem of a Spanish village on the stunning Costa del Sol in southern Spain. It is located right on the turquoise Mediterranean Sea.
While strolling through the village, make sure to stop at the Balcony of Europe (Balcon de Europa) in the heart of the village. Nerja’s balcony offers a perfect introduction to the village and Instagramable ocean views. Caletilla Beach is to your right, and Calahonda Beach (also known as Hotel’s Beach) is to your left. However, beach access in Nerja is not easy. Visitors who aren’t staying at a beachside hotel will have to walk a short distance to reach the beach.
If you’re seeking a break from the beach, Mijas is one village in Spain you can’t afford to miss. Mijas is a municipality made up of many different parts. However, visiting the whitewashed hillside village in the mountains between Benalmadena and Fuengirola is a must. This charming village has provided curious visitors with breathtaking views and an insight into authentic rural life for many years.
You will not be disappointed whether you arrive during the day or in the evening. But the best view awaits for the sunset that makes this charming village heavenly. Among the popular activities of Mijas include taking a horse carriage ride through the cobblestone streets, sampling local dishes, and browsing the souvenir shops.
Sos Del Rey Catolico
The Sos is what comes to mind when you think of a stereotypical red-roofed Spanish village. This small town is located on the Pyrenees border, 1.5 hours north of Zaragoza. The town dates back to 907, was once part of the Kingdom of Aragon, and served as a fortress. Hence, this small town is steeped in history and brimming with charm.
Spend the day wandering through the cobblestone streets, medieval market, and town hall. Like many villages in Spain, Sos is deserted in the early afternoon, allowing you to stroll through the streets and admire the flower boxes without seeing another soul. The town also has several charcuterie shops and small churches that are ideal for detours.
Ronda is located in the enthralling Andalucia region of southern Spain. It only takes a walk through the streets of Ronda to understand why it attracts visitors from all over the world.
The El Tajo Gorge, a 100-meter-high chasm topped with a bridge that connects the two parts of town, is the top attraction. From Puente Nuevo, you can look down into the gorge from the bridge. Also, you can hike down to look back up at the bridge.
Visiting the Arab Baths is another wonderful thing to do in Ronda. These 13th-century baths have star-shaped vents in the vaulted ceiling that let in shafts of natural light. The Cuenca Gardens, perched atop a craggy gorge, are another highlight. These gardens offer a welcome respite from the heat of the day or a place to rest tired feet.
Arcos de la Frontera
This iconic little town in Andalucia is one of the region’s renowned Pueblos Blancos or white villages. The charm of this quaint village is that it is unspoiled by crowds of tourists, which adds to its authenticity.
The village retains a blend of its Arabic, Gothic, and Spanish heritage, and the old town in the center has been designated as a Property of Cultural Interest. Visit the Ducal Castle, a 15th-century Muslim fortress, and the 13th-century Basilica of Santa Maria de la Asuncion, which is declared a Historic-Artistic Monument.
Las Alpujarras is a mountainous region in southern Spain known for its scenic and historic white villages. Pampaneira is one of the most famous villages in the Granada area of Alpujarras.
The Alpujarras villages in Spain are known for their unique houses, square-shaped, flat roofs, and distinctive round chimneys. The streets are narrow and winding, with freshwater running down the middle.
Pampaneira has a population of just over 300 people. Still, there are numerous restaurants and craft shops selling locally made rugs, ceramics, and clothing.
Bulnes, with a population of 34 people, is likely one of Spain’s smallest villages. It was only accessible by hiking on mountain trails. There is now a funicular to take you up the mountain.
The beauty of the stone houses and the raw nature will take your breath away as soon as you enter the village. Bulnes is nestled in the heart of the Asturias mountain range, surrounded by towering peaks, including the world-famous climber’s paradise El Naranjo de Bulnes (aka Picu Urriellu). Bulnes is the ideal Spanish village to visit if you want to get away from the crowds and bustle of the city.