7 places to visit in the Spanish countryside

El Castillo-Palacio de Olite. Foto: OSKAR MONTERO

Discover the Spanish regions

The Spanish website toprural.com specializes in rural tourism and offers a wide range of destinations for nature and culture lovers. Let’s take a look at the most popular rural destinations in Spain. 7 ideas for destinations in Spain.

1. Romanesque churches in the Boi valley (Catalonia)

The winner of the « 7 Wonders of the Spanish Countryside » poll is the series of Romanesque churches in the Boi Valley in the province of Lérida. These 9 Romanesque churches in Catalonia have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Jaca citadel (Huesca)

citadelle-jaca

Credit: FABIÁN SIMÓN

In second place is the castle of San Pedro de Jaca. This hexagonal citadel is a fortification built in the late 16th century. It is fully preserved and open to visitors. Access is via a drawbridge.

3. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe peninsula (Basque Country)

San-Juan-Gaztelugatxe

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is nothing more than a small lost rock on top of which stands a small building dedicated to Saint John. Access is via a 231-step staircase. The first mention of this building dates back to 1053. Its construction, however, seems to date back to the 10th century.

4. Castro de Baroña (Galicia)

castro-barona

The Castro de Baroña is a rocky point at sea level in Galicia. It is a Celtic stone fortification. It has two outer walls and some twenty streets for moving around inside. It is thought to have been occupied between 100 BC and 100 AD. J-.C.

5. The Altamira caves (Cantabria)

cueva-altamira

The Altamira caves are famous for having been the first place in the world to identify the existence of Upper Paleolithic rock art. Currently closed to the public for conservation reasons, they are part of a group of 17 rock art caves in northern Spain, all part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, most of which are open to the public. Next to the cave, you can visit the museum where you’ll find faithful reproductions of what’s inside the caves.

6. The enchanted city (Cuenca)

The Enchanted City is a unique geological feature formed by the erosion and run-off of water over rocks. These strange structures are very popular with tourists, making it a great summer destination!

7. Olite Palace (Navarra)

El Castillo-Palacio de Olite. Foto: OSKAR MONTERO

Credit: OSKAR MONTERO

The Royal Palace of Olite was the residence of the Kings of Navarre until its conquest by the Kingdom of Castile in 1512. It was one of the most luxurious castles in Europe. It lies 42 kilometers south of Pamplona. It was declared a national monument in 1925 and occupies a third of the city’s medieval complex. It is one of the most interesting Gothic structures on the European continent.