After making an article about the most beautiful towns in southern Spain, we felt indebted to those of the north, which as you can imagine are no less beautiful than those that are closer to Africa than to France.
Catalonia, Aragon, Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia, the Basque Country ... In all autonomous communities There are spectacular towns, so it has been difficult for us to opt for eight that in our opinion should not be left out of an exciting route through the north of the country.
Cadaqués is one of those towns that perfectly reflects what the Costa Brava means. Spectacular landscapes, very characteristic beaches and that way of living life that attracted such illustrious characters as Salvador Dali, who lived and worked in this town in Girona from 1930 to 1982, which is when his wife Gala died. Now that house is a museum considered a Site of Cultural Interest that is managed by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation.
What can you expect from Cadaqués beyond that museum and the beauty of its beaches? Pleasant walks through streets surrounded by white houses that remind us of those in southern Spain. A good atmosphere is guaranteed, and there are no problems in finding restaurants that serve high quality fresh fish.
Recommended article. The most beautiful towns on the Costa Brava.
Santillana del Mar (Cantabria)
A few kilometers from Santander we find this medieval town that is neither holy, nor flat nor has the sea. It grew around the Collegiate Church of Santa María and today it is a magnificent town that receives the visit of thousands of tourists year after year. Stroll through their cobbled streets and contemplating its Renaissance palaces is a highly recommended plan, especially if you want to imagine yourself as if you were living in the Middle Ages.
Talking about Aínsa is also talking about history. Its medieval old town has the privilege of having been declared Historical-Artistic Complex since 1965. You will be amazed by the Plaza Mayor, the Aínsa-Sobrarbe Castle, the church of Santa María and the staggered arrangement of its stone houses, which are undoubtedly worth photographing.
Seafaring towns such as Llanes have lost some charm due to tourism, which has multiplied in recent years. However, you can still breathe that fishing environment that the oldest of the place remember so well. If you take a tour of the plains, you will realize that the sea is not the only thing that extols its beauty, since its old town is a marvel that shows you treasures such as the basilica, the Tower or the walls, which are from the 13th century and they are kept in good condition.
Known for the famous Pact of Estella, with which it tried to end ETA terrorism thanks to the intervention of political parties, unions and associations, it must be said that it is one of the most beautiful towns by far. Estella-Lizarra is halfway between Pamplona and Logroño. Formerly it was known as «Estella the beautiful»And the truth is that it is not surprising. Today it preserves its charms, or what is the same: palaces, stately houses, bridges, convents and buildings by which some refer to it as "La Toledo del norte". In total, some 13,000 inhabitants live and it has a lot to offer tourists, such as its gastronomic and cultural offer.
On a hill we come across Frías, a Burgos town located about 100 kilometers from the provincial capital. It is next to Ebro river and it treasures an incredible history that has been recorded since the 9th century. El Castillo de los Velasco and the Church of San Vicente Mártir explain why its Historic-Artistic Complex is one of the most appreciated in Spain.
Tossa de Mar (Girona)
We return to the Costa Brava, but this time without going so far north. In Tossa de Mar, where beach tourism is the daily bread, you can not only enjoy well-groomed sandy areas, but you can also get lost in its old town and visit the castle that presides over the city offering privileged views of the Mediterranean Sea. The good atmosphere is guaranteed, and luckily it is not one of those coastal towns that have been seduced by the tourism of adolescents that make it impossible to sleep until the wee hours of the morning.
Last, and by no means less beautiful than all of the above, the town of Laguardia is one of the pearls of the Rioja Alavesa, a place of medieval tradition where wineries and caves succeed each other to ensure that we find one of the best wines of the place there.On the other hand, it should be noted that it is on a hillock and that it preserves a wall that centuries ago served to protect the city from enemies.
Recommended article: 10 Spanish towns that will make you fall in love.
Spain's Most Beautiful Villages - A Travel Guide (April 2023)