Spain's beautiful beaches and enchanting cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Sevilla attract millions of visitors each year, making it one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide. However, even in this well-explored country, there are numerous hidden gems that remain largely undiscovered by international travelers. If you seek to explore the places that locals prefer to keep secret, here are some lesser-known spots in Spain that often go overlooked by tourists. Let's get to it!
Are you ready to discover these Spanish treasures?
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Although many tourists from Madrid choose to visit Toledo and Segovia, the city of Salamanca is often overlooked. However, this vibrant university town has a lot to offer visitors. Its university, established in the 13th century, is the fourth oldest in Europe and the presence of today's students adds to the lively atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. During the day, it's essential to take a rooftop tour of the Old Cathedral, which allows you to explore the bell tower and the roof, providing a unique perspective of the city. The Clerecia Towers are also worth a visit, despite the physical effort required to climb them. On street level, the Casa de las Conchas, a 15th-century mansion adorned with approximately 300 intricately carved scallop shells, is not to be missed.
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Cazorla, a charming village in Andalusia, serves as an excellent starting point for exploring the magnificent limestone mountains and gorges of the Sierras de Cazorla and Las Villas National Park. However, Cazorla itself is a destination worth visiting. Its whitewashed houses provide picturesque views of serene olive groves, while the Virgen de la Cabeza hermitage and the ruins of Castillo de la Iruela tower above. The town's old quarter is full of character, with notable attractions, such as the Moorish castle of La Yedra, the dilapidated Santa Maria church, and the vaulted arches of the Bóvedas Del Rio. For a truly breathtaking experience, be sure to hike the trail up to Peña de los Halcones, a hill that offers panoramic views of Cazorla and the surrounding countryside.
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Extremadura, the neighboring region of Andalusia, combines breathtaking natural beauty with captivating cities. There is a wealth of historical sites to immerse history enthusiasts, from the Roman ruins scattered in Mérida to the significant conquistador heritage found in Trujillo. The impressive stone walls of the Ciudad Monumental in Cáceres enclose a variety of architectural styles, which led to its designation as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Start your exploration with a coffee in the expansive Plaza Mayor, then ascend the steps that will lead you to a charming web of alleys and squares. Beyond the urban areas, the Extremaduran countryside is equally enchanting. Marvel at the unique granitic formations in the Los Barruecos Natural Monument or, during spring, be captivated by the breathtaking Jerte Valley adorned with cherry blossoms. At Monfragüe National Park, find a perfect spot at the Salto del Gitano lookout and admire the vibrant emerald waters of the River Tajo while black vultures gracefully circle above you.
4. The Picos de Europa
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The Picos de Europa are a part of the Cantabrian Mountains located in the northern region of Spain. One of the must-see destinations is the medieval town of Potes, which is surrounded by stone buildings at the meeting point of the Quiviesa and Deva rivers. For those who enjoy driving, the thrillingly narrow Desfiladero de la Hermida offers a unique adventure. There are countless opportunities for day trips in the area. Put on your hiking boots and take on the trail that follows the breathtaking Cares Gorge. Take a ride on the underground funicular in Poncebos and arrive in the charming farming village of Bulnes. Explore the stunning glacial lakes of Covadonga, including Lago Enol and Lago Ercina. Make your way to Sotres, the highest village in the Picos de Europa, and try the famous Cabrales cheese. Experience the beauty of the Fuente Dé cable car, which provides access to various hiking trails set amidst delightful mountain and forest landscapes.
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Paratallada can be easily reached from the Catalonian cities of Barcelona and Girona. The name itself, "Peratallada," derives from the term "engraved stone" in Catalan. The village has been inhabited since the Bronze Age, although most of the structures you see today originated from medieval times. This well-preserved fortified village proudly showcases an 11th-century castle, complemented by a beautifully designed garden created by an architect in 2015. Additionally, there are several other stone buildings from centuries past in close proximity. Just outside the ancient walls, you'll discover the 13th-century church of Sant Estève. Being a significant historical site, locals enthusiastically mention that their village served as one of the filming locations for Kevin Costner's 1991 movie, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. If you plan your visit accordingly, you can experience the vibrant Festa Major in August or the captivating medieval festival held every October.
6. Salto del Nervión
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Spain's Salto del Nervión holds the title of being the tallest waterfall in the country. This remarkable display of water descends a stunning 728 feet into the Delika Canyon below. However, there is a slight drawback to its grandeur. The waterfall only flows for a few months each year due to limited rainfall in the area. Despite this, the karst landscape that surrounds the location is worth exploring, especially during autumn when the beech trees adorn themselves with captivating hues of russet, bronze, and gold. On occasion, you may even catch a glimpse of golden eagles, peregrine falcons, and Egyptian vultures soaring through the sky. With numerous hiking trails available, one can truly appreciate the immense expanse of the area by visiting the elevated viewpoint known as Mirador de la Esquina de Rubén.
7. La Graciosa
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La Graciosa is one of the Canary Islands in Spain that receives the lowest number of visitors. It offers a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere, making it the perfect destination for relaxation. Situated near the northern tip of Lanzarote, it's just a short distance away from its larger neighboring island. As soon as you step off the ferry, you will feel transported back in time. La Graciosa has not yet been affected by mass tourism, as it has no airport and no paved roads. Instead of large hotels, you will find charming guest houses and apartments available for rent. To explore the island's untouched beaches and hidden coves beyond Caleta de Sebo, the only settlement, you may need to hike or bike. Many visitors also enjoy boat trips around the Chinijo Archipelago, as La Graciosa is part of the largest protected marine reserve in Europe. If you book a diving excursion, you may have the opportunity to observe the critically endangered Angel Shark and the vibrant corals of Bajo de Las Gerardias. Due to the limited tourism infrastructure, it's recommended to brush up on your Spanish before arriving in order to navigate this stunning island paradise more easily.
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In addition to our ultimate travel guide, we would also like to provide you with one helpful tip. This information will be handy for those who prefer to travel by air.
If you get to the airport by car, you always need to find a good parking space for your vehicle to leave for the period of a trip. In most cases, airports have special on-site parking for that purpose. However, such a parking lot is pretty costly most of the time, and people aren't ready to spend a lot of money at the beginning of a trip. So is there any solution?
The best way to solve this problem is to choose off-site parking. Why, you may ask? We will explain.
There are many reasons which can prove the benefit of this parking type. Here are some of them:
- Affordable Rates. Depending on the duration of your trip, you can choose between short-term and long-term airport parking. Anyway, an off-site airport is much cheaper, so you can save your money and spend the most considerable amount on things you really want to see or try while traveling.
- Fast Service. In contrast with on-site airport parking, which can take quite a long time, off-site parking offers you the convenience of driving directly to the entrance and having a staff member pull your luggage out of your vehicle and load it into the shuttle. Then they will park your car for you. After your baggage is loaded, you can take your seat in the shuttle, which will bring you and your bags to the airport. It is a hassle-free option that is usually faster.
- Convenience. When people travel, they may be stressed about making it to the airport on time. If you use off-site parking, you will definitely make your travel experience more convenient, as you use the service of a private company. Even though you may be able to park on-site at the airport in a short-term or long-term airport parking lot, consider using an off-site parking lot service.
We are glad to say that our booking platform, ParkingNearAirports.io, offers travelers online reservations for parking just outside airports that are convenient and affordable. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing travelers parking options at over 100 airports in the US and Canada. The app allows customers to search and compare parking rates at up to 70 percent savings compared to the cost of on-site parking at all major airports.
With our platform, it only takes a few clicks in the app to reserve a parking spot. Guests receive a booking confirmation and a guaranteed parking space upon arrival at the off-airport parking. In addition, the app helps customers locate the most convenient lots to the airport. Cancellations are easy if plans change with hassle-free, refundable cancellations.
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