Do you want to uncover Spain’s secrets? Let’s talk about some hidden gems in Spain; places that are often missed by tourists.
You have probably heard about the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, and Seville. These are beautiful places to visit, for sure. Millions of people visit these cities each year (when there isn’t a freaking global pandemic, at least), and are not disappointed.
BUT…you’re a different kind of traveler. Like us, you also want to get off the beaten path in Spain. You know the benefits of checking out smaller cities and towns. You know that you will get a more authentic feel for your destination and avoid the crowds as you do it.
But Spain is such a big and diverse country, how will you choose where to go? Lucky for you, there are plenty of hidden gems in Spain, and we’ve outlined a few of them for you. Add them to your travel plans, and discover some of Spain’s secrets!
Secret Spain – Hidden Gems in Spain
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Calella de Palafrugell
This coastal town is part of the Costa Brava and is only 1.5 hours from Barcelona. You can either make this a day trip or squeeze in a few days here. This old fishing village is chock full of secluded coves, tiny beaches, and well-preserved architecture.
This charming town is easily accessible but you’ll feel like you’ve escaped from the rest of the world. Spend a few hours or days at the beach and explore the coves while you’re at it. While you’re in town you’ll also want to check out the Jardins de Cap Roig.
- Tour Option: If you’re looking for a guided day trip, check out GetYourGuide’s Costa Brava and Medieval Villages Full Day Tour.
- Where to Stay: If you’re looking for a beachside hotel in one of the best hidden gems in Spain, check out Hotel Alga.
This town located in the Andalusia province is just 30 minutes away from Malaga. This is another hidden gem that could be either a day trip or a main itinerary item. Mijas is a small village nestled in the mountains not too far from the coast.
This city is a photographer’s dream, as it’s well-known for its whitewashed buildings contrasted with the vibrant foliage. There are plenty of museums to check out, and you’ll definitely want to head to the beach.
- Tour Option: To explore Mijas while tasting the local cuisine, check out GetYourGuide’s Mijas: Half-Day Tour with Food and Wine Tasting.
- Where to Stay: If you’re looking for a place to stay, check out TRH Mijas, located right between the mountains and the beach.
This village in Huesca is the perfect place to get off the beaten path in Spain for nature lovers. Aguero is surrounded by impressive rock formations and the mountains of Los Mallos. This is the perfect destination for hiking and rock-climbing. Photographers will love it, too.
The village itself is also charming, so be sure to spend some time in the center. Home to a 12th-century church and amazing local food, you won’t be able to get enough.
- Tour Option: If you want to go rock-climbing but you’re not super experienced, check out GetYourGuide’s Huesca: Via Ferrata Climbing Experience.
- Where to Stay: For a place to stay at the foothills of the mountain landscape, check out Casa Mallos de Aguero.
If you want to see some impressive medieval architecture, head to Terrassa. Located just a short drive from Barcelona, this is the perfect day trip if you want to escape the city. Check out the Churches of Sant Pere and the Torre del Palau.
You also won’t want to miss the Castle and Charterhouse of Vallparadis. This is a 12th-century castle that’s now part of the Museum of Terrassa.
Another piece of architecture you’ll need to check out is the Modernist Masia Freixa, which was inspired by Gaudi’s work.
- Where to Stay: If you’re looking for accommodation in the city, check out the unique Don Candido 4.
This city is located in the Granada province at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Known for its caves, some of which are still inhabited, Guadix is one of the best hidden gems in Spain.
The city is largely off the radar, so you’ll barely find any other tourists in town. With beautiful nature and great hiking, this is the perfect destination for nature lovers.
You’ll also want to explore the town itself. There are many historical attractions, including the Catedral de Guadix, Barrio de las Cuevas, and the Alcazaba fortress. You’ll also want to check out the famous Bodega Anchuron winery and try out some of the tapas bars.
- Tour Option: If you’re looking to make this a day trip, check out GetYourGuide’s Guadix and Tabernas Desert Full-Day Tour from Granada.
- Where to Stay: If you’re going to stay the night, check out Hotel Palacio de Onate in the city center.
Located only 30 minutes from the popular destination of Seville, this is the perfect day trip out of the city. Originally laid out by the Romans and incredibly well preserved, Carmona is home to many historic buildings. In fact, there are two entrances to Carmona: the Roman gates at both Puerta de Cordoba and Puerta de Sevilla.
You’ll also find remnants of Moorish architecture, such as the Alcazar fortress. Climb the Tower of Gold at the fortress for one of the best views of the city. Other points of interest in the city include the Necropolis Romana and the Iglesia de San Pedro.
- Tour Option: If you’re looking to make this just a day trip, check out GetYourGuide’s Carmona and Necropolis Tour from Seville.
- Hotel Option: If you’re planning on staying overnight, check out the Parador de Carmona.
Pontevedra is located in the northwestern part of Spain in the Galicia region. This riverside town boasts a lot of history as an important port city. It’s also the perfect home base to explore the rest of the region of Rias Baixas. Head to the beaches of Illas Atlanticas, explore the Praza de Ferraria square, and visit the many museums and churches.
Pontevedra is also home to a lively culture full of sangria and flamenco. You’ll have a blast just wandering the streets and enjoying the vibrant local atmosphere. Pop into one of the many shops, markets, or cafes for a taste of the local cuisine.
- Tour Option: If you’d like to tour the Old Town, check out GetYourGuide’s Pontevedra: Guided Tour through the Old Quarter with Tapas.
- Where to Stay: For a place to stay near the city center, try the Hotel Virgen del Camino Pontevedra.
Setenil de las Bodegas
Located in Andalucia just 2 hours from Malaga, Setenil de las Bodegas is characterized by charming white buildings. The town was basically carved out from the surrounding rocks and caves, making for a unique and picturesque vibe.
Many of the locals actually still live in these cave dwellings. Be sure to explore the many cave restaurants and tapas bars to make the most of your time here.
The city is also home to many historical sites such as the Nazari Castle. The castle was built in the 12th century and has a viewpoint overlooking the rest of the city. You won’t want to miss it and you’ll definitely want to bring your camera.
- Tour Option: If you want to make this a day trip, book GetYourGuide’s Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas from Malaga Tour.
- Where to Stay: If you’ll be staying overnight, check out the Tugasa Hotel El Almendral.
Well, there you folks have it. Some of Spain’s secrets revealed. If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, these are some of the best hidden gems in Spain. Whether you’re looking for day trip ideas or mainstay itinerary items, this list is a good place to start.
Of course, there are many more to choose from and much more to explore. No matter where you choose to go, immerse yourself in the local culture and explore as much as possible!
As always, happy travels, and we’ll see you on the road!