Start planning your off-the-beaten-track trip to Spain
Spain is among Europe's most popular vacation destinations, and with good reason. Expect miles of gorgeous beaches, a sunny climate, and moreish tapas. But it's worth getting off the beaten track in Spain to discover some of the lesser-known gems and tranquil corners.
What’s the best way to travel off-the-beaten-track in Spain?
Getting off the beaten path in Spain is easier than you might think. Although some of the more remote destinations can only be reached by car or private tour, there are good bus and train services throughout most of the country, as well as domestic flights. To reach the remote coastlines of Galacia, visitors can easily catch a flight or a train to Santiago de Compostela and hire a car from there. Equally, the wild mountains of Asturias can be easily accessed from the regional capital Oviedo.
Best off-the-beaten-track activities and experiences in Spain
From medieval villages tucked away in spectacular mountains to wild and dramatic coastlines, Spain's hidden highlights have much to offer the intrepid traveler.
Hike the Picos de Europa
The Picos de Europa is a spectacular mountain range in the north of the country, a region known as "Green Spain". There are a number of fine hiking trails through spectacular scenery, passing by villages where locals still live a largely traditional lifestyle.
See the cave houses of Albaicin
Just outside the former Moorish city of Granada is the hillside town of Albaicin. For centuries, the townspeople have escaped the searing heat of southern Spain by building cave houses carved into the rocky slopes. It’s a fascinating and beautiful place, well worth a stop if you're on a road trip.
Visit the charming village of Albarracin
This quaint village is located on the banks of the Guadalaviar River. This has been called Spain's most picturesque village, thanks to its warm-tinted buildings, fortress walls, and stunning hillside location.
Explore the picturesque villages of the Pyrenees
The Spanish Pyrenees, running between France and Spain, offer lovely hiking through tranquil forests and panoramic hilltop vistas. Visitors can plan their hike to take in stunning medieval towns such as Ainsa and La Seu d'Urgell.
See the spectacular Cathedral Beach in Galacia
The Cathedral Beach, or Praia de Aguas Santas, as it is named officially, is a beach in northwestern Spain. It’s named so for the soaring rock formations, which are reminiscent of the arches in a cathedral. Walk among them when the tide is out.
Tips for planning an off-the-beaten-track adventure in Spain
Getting off the beaten track in Spain typically involves getting outdoors and exploring hiking trails. Trails are generally easy and well-marked, so full trekking gear is not generally required, but be sure to wear good shoes and bring layers for early mornings or late evenings.