Lifestyle

12 charming off-grid Spanish towns to visit


Dreaming of sangria in warmer climes but still prefer a less crowded path ? We’ve got you covered. Below we’ve rounded up our favourite lesser-known Spanish hotspots.

From a pastel-hued fishing village, to a hamlet on the southern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, there are plenty of (socially-distanced) gems to head to this summer (or next).

Cudillero

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This pastel-hued fishing village is often overlooked by tourists but is the most picturesque spot on the Asturian coast. The soft coloured homes cascade down the hillside directing visitors to its crystalline waters – this one is not to be missed.

Where to stay: a short walk from the seaside, Casona de la Paca is a small boutique hotel that sits just above Cudillero. The renovated nineteenth century manor houses just 19 individually-styled rooms all with views over the countryside.

Rooms from £63 per night, casonadelapaca.com

Villajoyosa

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A brightly coloured coastal town in the Alicante region, Villajoyosa is known to locals simply as La Villa. Sitting at the northern end of Costa Blanca the historical town is complemented by its three kilometres of gold sand beaches.

Where to stay: a beachfront bolthole, Seanema Old Town was formerly a fisherman’s house with rooms that offer glorious sea views.

Rooms from £77 per night, seanema.es

Logroño

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An alternative city break, Logroño is the capital of the La Rioja region. It’s a popular stop for travellers following the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route, but its slew of tapas bars, surrounding vineyards and baroque architecture makes it a destination in itself.

Where to stay: located in a former sixteenth century mansion in the heart of Logroño, Hotel Calle Mayor offers sleek, stylish rooms and modern amenities.

Rooms from £77 per night, hotelcallemayor.com

Pamplona

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Known for its (very dangerous) San Fermin festival (a.k.a ‘The Running of the Bulls’), Pamplona is best visited when the festival is not on to marvel in its quiet beauty. Its restaurants are largely influenced by Basque country while its old town boasts historic sites like the Church of Saint Lawrence which dates back to the fourteenth century.

Where to stay: for a chic and very ‘grammable hotel just a five minute walk from Plaza del Castillo, Pamplona Catedral Hotel will suit any type of traveller.

Rooms from £54 per night, pamplonacatedralhotel.com

Covadonga

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For Spain’s version of Germany’s famous fairytale-like Neuschwanstein Castle, Covadonga’s nineteenth century basilica sits amid lush green forest and is flanked by soaring mountains – a truly spectacular sight. One of 11 parishes in Cangas de Onís, Covadonga is a popular pilgrimage site and known for its rich history.

Where to stay: more inn than hotel, Casa Asprón is a traditional stone house in Covadonga, flanked by surrounding woodland. A truly quaint escape.

Rooms from £59 per night, casaspron.com

Cáceres

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In western Spain’s Extremadura region, Cáceres was founded by the ancient Romans and its old town was named a UNESCO World Heritage City in 1986. Explore its narrow cobbled streets, ancient stone walls and look up to see a skyline dotted with spires and gargoyles.

Where to stay: in the heart of Cáceres’ cobbled lanes, Hotel la Boheme is a boutique offering with individually-styled rooms.

Rooms from £36 per night, hotellaboheme.com

Salamanca

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Known for its unique sandstone architecture, Salamanca was founded in the twelfth century and its old town was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Now a popular hub for both Spanish and international students thanks to Salamanca University, one of the oldest in Europe, its centre is lively and nightlife is vibrant.

Where to stay: set in a palatial building in the centre of Salamanca, Hotel Rector is filled with stained glass windows, a bar for guests only and just 13 luxe rooms.

Rooms from £124 per night, hotelrector.com

Girona

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Beside the River Onyar in the northeastern Catalonia region, Girona boasts Gothic churches and museums among its medieval heritage. Just 45 minutes north of Barcelona, it has a well-preserved Jewish quarter, buzzy restaurants and Game of Thrones fans might be interested to know that some of the series was filmed there.

Where to stay: a family run hotel just a five minute walk from Girona Cathedral, Hotel Nord 1901 Superior boasts the only garden with a swimming pool in the city centre – perfect for cooling off on hot Spanish days.

Rooms from £94 per night, nord1901.com

Toledo

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A charming and picturesque hilltop town, Toledo overlooks the Río Tajo and was historically known as the ‘city of three cultures’ – where Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities were said to coexist peacefully. The result is a culturally rich city filled with stunning mosques, synagogues and a Gothic cathedral.

Where to stay: the former home of Spanish guitarist Paco de Lucia, Entre Dos Aguas Hotel Boutique pays homage to its history in each of its six chic rooms.

Rooms from £90 per night, casaentredosaguas.com

Bubión

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With a population of just 302, the mountainside village of Bubión is one of the most beautiful in Spain. Nestled on the southern slope of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, it has just one hotel – so be sure to book in advance.

Where to stay: the only place you can stay, Villa Turística de Bubión. It’s unpretentious, with modern amenities, an outdoor pool and rooms with mountain views.

Rooms from £50 per night, villasdeandalucia.com

Estepona

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Just a half-hour drive from party-centric Marbella, Estepona boasts a lovely (and usually quiet) beach, flower-filled streets and plenty of tapas bars to indulge in.

Where to stay: Healthouse Las Dunas is a luxury, health-focussed hotel sitting on Estepona’s stunning coast. With two spa centres, several pools, daily fitness classes and medical experts on staff for all your wellness needs, you’ll come back refreshed and renewed.

Rooms from £275 per night, healthouse-naturhouse.com

Almuñécar

Flanked by stunning beaches, the former fishing village of Almuñécar is just down the coast from the popular resort of Nerja. The town is rich in history, too, with the archaeological museum housing ancient Roman and Egyptian artefacts.

Where to stay: Just next to San Cristóbal Beach, Hotel Helios is a 10-minute walk from Almuñécar’s old town where you can find the medieval Moorish San Miguel Castle.

Rooms from £51 per night, hoteleshelios.com

ES Travel recommendations are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.



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