The most beautiful villages in northern Spain

Many treasures are scattered throughout Spain, but it’s time to explore the north and look for the most beautiful villages in the area.

Villages in northern Spain that you should visit

Bayona, Pontevedra


Bayona. | Shutterstock

This place is home to the first European port where Christopher Columbus announced he had reached the American continent. This event marked the course of Baiona’s history and started its festivities, such as the Festa da Arribada. The municipality of Bayona is located in Pontevedra, in the southern area of Rías Baixas.

Some of its main attractions are its old town centre, the Fortaleza de Monterreal, the Virxe da Roca, and the lighthouse of Cabo Silleiro. Its mountains, beaches, viewpoints, and, of course, its gastronomy are spectacular as well.

Cudillero, Asturias


Cudillero. | Shutterstock

Cudillero is one of those places you must see at least once. Its layout is its most eye-catching feature: the giant stairs of houses that hang off the mountain and surround the local main square. Besides, its colourful façades, the sea, and its viewpoints create a perfect postcard.

This fishing village is important and popular among tourists. Here, you can find the Quinta de Cudillero, or de Selgas, an impressive nineteenth-century palace bordered by gardens. It houses works by Goya, El Greco, and many other important artists.

Comillas, Cantabria


Comillas. | Shutterstock

Comillas is one of the most outstanding villages in Spain. This village belongs to the autonomous community of Cantabria. Medieval and Baroque buildings can be found in Comillas, but there are many other gems here, such as the works of important modernist authors. Actually, this is one of the few places besides Cataluña where they worked. El Capricho is the perfect example, a modernist palace by the architect Antonio Gaudí whose façade catches every eye.

Near this area, there is another must on every itinerary: the Palacio de Sobrellano, a nineteenth-century, elegant stately building. This was the first home to use an electric light. But there is even more to this city. For instance, you should visit the impressive building that used to host the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas, which is now located in Madrid. Its main cemetery is popular as well, thanks to its Gothic style.

Hondarribia, Guipúzcoa


Hondarribia. | Shutterstock

Every list of the most beautiful villages in Spain must include Hondarribia. This village, which is also called Fuenterrabía in Spanish, is one of the loveliest corners in Euskadi. It sits around 20 kilometres away from Guipúzcoa’s capital, San Sebastián.

Its town centre is bordered by a medieval wall, protecting the beautiful and charming emblazoned houses. You might recognise the colourful fisherman’s houses of La Marina, one of the most colourful neighbourhoods in Spain. Its pebbled streets (particularly, Kale Nagusia) its squares, its fishing atmosphere, and its delicious cuisine, which can be enjoyed in its restaurants and the popular pintxos bars, will delight every visitor.

Elizondo, Navarra


Elizondo. | Shutterstock

The beautiful Elizondo awaits in the heart of the Baztán Valley, on both sides of the Bidasoa River. This village in Navarra is around 55 kilometres to the north of Pamplona, near the border with France.

Its stately buildings are worth a mention, such as the Datue Palace and the Arizkunemea Palace, an eighteenth-century noble house. The latter is Elizondo’s most characteristic building. The Casa Consistorial in Plaza de los Fueros and the Santiago Apóstol Church are mandatory stops in this area. And you should walk by the river to Puente de Txokoto, a spot that offers spectacular views, and the waterfall of Presa de Txokoto. Therefore, Elizondo is one of the villages in northern Spain that should be on your bucket list.

Lanuza, Huesca


Lanuza. | Shutterstock

A route of the most beautiful villages in the north of Spain will definitely lead us to Lanuza, a fascinating locality in the heart of the Tena Valley. It sits on the shore of a lake where the water from the Gállego River is dammed. This gorgeous town of slate and stone houses has been brought back to life thanks to its people’s work since it was sunken in the reservoir.

Among its main attractions, we should mention the Embarcadero Suscañar, the cascade of O Saldo de Escarrilla, and the train of the Tena Valley. Considering that it’s located in the Pyrenees of Huesca, the Estación de Panticosa is a mandatory stop.

Cadaqués, Girona


Cadaqués. | Shutterstock

Cadaqués is one of the most beautiful villages on Costa Brava. It sits in Girona, around 180 kilometres from Barcelona, and it’s the most eastern locality of the Iberian Peninsula. You will love to wander around its town centre. Plenty of craft shops are scattered throughout the narrow streets. You can get to Casa Blaua by foot too. This is an impressive twentieth-century building with characteristic blue ceramic decorations. 

A statue of Dalí and the house where this famous painter lived are some of Cadaqués’ main tourist attractions. But if there is something that attracts thousands of tourists to Cadaqués, it’s its urban beaches, which fill with life in the summer.

You can also read this article in Spanish here.

About the author