Updated: Jun 15
One of the most beautiful destinations to go to in Europe has to be Spain, and it’s not for nothing that this is the second most visited country in the world, receiving a total of almost 90 million tourists in 2019. However, Spain’s tourism tends to stay in cities like Madrid or Barcelona (don’t get me wrong, these cities have their beauty and deserve to be seen.) However, Spain has much more to offer to those who like to travel. From small towns in the north of Spain surrounded by mountains to small cities full of history, this article will give you a little more information about just a few of the most underrated yet worthy cities to visit.
Located in the province of Castilla y Leon, this city has a lot to offer and is known, mainly, for its gastronomy (it’s the best place to eat lamb) and wine as well as its historical patrimony. There’s a lot to see in this city, but the first thing you should do is visit the city center or “La Plaza Mayor” which is the main point of reunion for the people that live there. Here you will find plenty of restaurants and bars where you can have some “tapas” with fine wine. Some of the restaurants located in the area include:
La Criolla: a typical Spanish restaurant with fantastic food, this restaurant has exclusive salons dedicated to the city’s illustrious people.
Bar El Corcho: another delicious destination located in the city center. Watch out for their famous “croquetas” because you’re going to want more than one.
Cafe El Norte: located in the Plaza center, this is the best place to have a cup of coffee in the city center.
Right next to the Plaza is “La Calle Santiago” where you can find several shopping stores that you can go to. It is also the perfect place to sit on a terrace and enjoy a nice drink like a “Tinto de verano,” surrounded by beautiful architecture. The decoration of this area is simply breathtaking during Christmas time, making it a lovely destination year-round.
There are other places to visit while you are in Valladolid like their famous park “Campo Grande,” which has a gorgeous lake in the middle of the park, the “Plaza de José Zorrilla” with its beautiful fountain monument, and the “Plaza España.”
Cordoba is a city located in the south of Spain, in Andalucía. Known worldwide for its cathedral-mosque, a place with different architectural styles, officially known as “Catedral de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora,” has become a historical patrimony of Andalucía. The city’s historical helmet has also been declared a historic patrimony due to its landmark weight. You will find the outstanding roman bridge that connects two parts of the city in the same location. It is believed that the bridge was built during Augustus’ time.
Another place you cannot miss is the “Calleja de las Flores'' located in “Barrio de la Judería.” This is a no exit lane in front of the Mosque that offers a typical Andalusian street, with white houses full of flowers dripping from their balconies, the essence of Córdoba. Not far from the town hall is a Roman Temple, or what is left of what seems to be a significant temple dedicated to the mythological gods.
3. Potes Cantabria
From the south of Spain, we are going back to the North, more specifically, to Cantabria. Potes is one of the most attractive small towns in this region. This village is surrounded by spectacular mountains, rivers, and tiny streams. Small bridges and monuments traverse the streets of this small town with centuries of history. While you’re there, don’t forget to try their famous cider, very popular in this area.
4. Puente Viesgo
Crossed by the most famous river of the region of Cantabria, El Pas, Puente Viesgo is the perfect place for those looking to surround themselves with nature and a relaxed environment. This tiny town barely has 2 thousand inhabitants. It’s located on one of the most critical sets of prehistoric caverns of the region, a perfect and fascinating activity. In these caverns, you will see prehistoric art that has been preserved for centuries now, this is known as “El Castillo,” “Las Chimeneas,” “Las Monedas,” and “La Pasiega.” For some of these caves, you’ll have to book your place before-hand so keep that in mind.
Since the 18th century, Puente Viesgo has a very famous spa that uses curative spring waters; the thermal waters are unique in Spain. The central hotel that offers this is “Gran Hotel Balneario de Puente Viesgo,” which opens its doors to all tourists who wish to experience the thermal waters and relax. There is also an exciting church build in the 50’s next to the town hall in the small town. So if you are looking for a place to relax, this may be ideal for you.
In the region of Alava, you’ll find one of the most beautiful towns, Laguardia, an essential location of the Alava Rioja, famous worldwide for its exquisite wine. The city’s medieval-style makes it very appealing, as medieval walls surround it. I found it unique that to access the town center, you have to do it on an elevator.
Today, the small town consists of typical medieval town infrastructure, three main streets that cross the village from north to south that join in small squares where you can find somewhere to drink delicious, local wine. The whole town is surrounded by wineries that you can also visit, and the streets are entirely pedestrian. So if you are looking for a city that you can calmly walkthrough, discover its unique landmarks and buildings, visiting some wineries to taste the most famous wine in the world, and also have some exquisite food, Laguardia is for you.
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