7 getaways near big cities you can make without a car

It is common to choose a capital to travel, because big cities offer many possibilities that complete the experience of getting to know a place. Cultural proposals that enrich the days, museums that can provide historical references and a wide gastronomic offer distributed in different places. In short: what a great city is. All this and much more.

But also in many other occasions the restless traveler seeks to know the surroundings of big cities. Enjoying a getaway that, due to its proximity and travel possibilities, is possible and rewarding. So, for those who are thinking of moving to any of these great cities of the Spanish geography, do not forget those places that are just a step from them.

Barcelona from an Iberian settlement

Barcelona big cities

Barcelona from the Iberian settlement. | Shutterstock

The Iberian settlement of Puig Castellar must have been an important settlement while it was occupied, back in the 6th century BC. Today it is possible to visit it starting from Barcelona, a city that can be seen from the hill occupied by the ruins. 4,000 m2 of constructions that were abandoned around the 2nd century BC, perhaps due to the Second Punic War.

These constructions indicate that its inhabitants, dedicated especially to agriculture, belonged to a complex society. The Layetan people, who also inhabited land in the Llobregat valley, built a settlement here which, due to its strategic position, allowed them to observe nearby settlements. As today you can see Barcelona and the sea, views that complete this historic getaway. Because cities are always a great option, but who does not enjoy a great rural getaway?

Landscape and cultural heritage from Bilbao

Oma Forest

Oma Forest and its beautiful paintings. | Shutterstock

Kortezubi is one of the most attractive municipalities of Bizkaia, among other things because it was one of the places where the first Basque settlers settled. This area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the Cave of Santimamiñe, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008. Visiting this cave is one of the reasons why visiting Kortezubi is a good idea. Another is the breathtaking scenery around the town.

A third has to do with the forest that has become so popular: the forest of Oma. Painted by Agustín Ibarrola, the artist’s intention was precisely to connect the prehistoric paintings with the present of art. The result is this special place, one of the most visited in the province of Bizkaia. It can be reached from Bilbao.

From Madrid to the sky of the mountains

Rascafría getaways

Royal Monastery of Santa María de El Paular, in Rascafría. | Shutterstock

Madrid is one of the most stimulating cities in Europe, but it can also cause some stress in the tourist, between traffic, crowds and a sometimes overwhelming offer. The solution: look for a quiet getaway in the surrounding area to leave the capital aside, even if only to return hours later. There are several proposals to do in this regard, but these lines stay with Rascafría.

Because this town is located in the heart of the Guadarrama National Park, surrounded by nature and with many hiking trails, accessible to all, that allow you to approach the mountains. Mountains, forests and also, returning to the village, stone houses in which to take refuge to enjoy the gastronomy and local culture. It is a fantastic getaway that can be reached by taking a bus.

Santiago de Compostela, beyond the Way

Noia getaways

The village of Noia looks like this from a distance. | Shutterstock

Beyond the Way to Santiago and all that Santiago de Compostela means for pilgrim life, just half an hour away, by the sea, awaits the town of Noia. In the northernmost estuary of the Rias Baixas, Noia has an impressive old town and a typical gastronomy that, it is said, offers the best cockle pie in the world.

Noia also has the largest and oldest collection of tombstones in Europe. More than 500 pieces, gathered in the Das Laudas Museum, dated between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. It also has a legend associated with its church of San Martiño, a legend that speaks of curses, and another to the origin itself. It is said that it was the descendants of Noah himself, the biblical character, who founded it. Almost nothing.

A walk through many cultures just a step from Seville

big cities

Carmona from the Alcazar. | Shutterstock

Barely an hour separates Seville from Carmona, a fortified city that illustrates well the passage of time in Andalusian territory. This town is located on a hill about 200 meters high. It was one of the most important enclaves of the Roman Hispania and the traces of the passage of the Empire through this area are still visible. It was also inhabited by Carthaginians and Muslims, all of them taking advantage of the defensive nature of its location.

A Roman amphitheater, mosques and one of the largest Necropolis in Spain await in Carmona. Also known as Puerta de Sevilla, one of the entrances to the city that houses a small but impressive fortress. A walk through Carmona is a walk through history. And it’s one of the best getaways near Sevilla.

The best sunsets in Valencia


It is a pleasure to discover the Mediterranean from this Valencian corner. | Shutterstock

They say that the best sunsets in Valencia are those that are witnessed on the beaches of El Saler, just over half an hour from the capital of the province. This district is located in the south, in a privileged natural environment bordering the Natural Park of l’Albufera, those 21,000 hectares of enormous ecological and scenic value.

The beaches of El Saler are beaches of fine white sand, clean and calm waters, with a gentle breeze. When the sun sets, the postcard is dreamlike. Before marveling at the star hiding, you should take one of the hiking trails that allow you to know the area and enjoy this unique place in the Peninsula. And eat a good paella, of course.

Diverse landscapes around Zaragoza

zaragoza getaways

Sunset from one of the many corners of the Galacho de Juslibol. | Shutterstock

100 hectares make up the Galacho de Juslibol, much less known than the Valencian Albufera but also having a huge ecological value. In those 100 hectares, coexist landscapes and realities as different as the Ebro river, an old meander abandoned by this river, lagoons, orchards and the steppe zone.

The Galacho de Juslibol can be easily reached from Zaragoza, as it is located near the rural district of Juslibol. It is worth the effort to go there, because it is close, and also for the experience it offers. To know this natural space means to know good part of the different ecosystems that the Spanish geography has. Big cities have much to offer, but its surroundings are as well a great option to spend the day.

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