Between the sun-soaked beaches, vibrant cities, and historic landmarks, Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. However, it can be difficult to escape the crowds, especially at the peak of high season. Malaga, Spain is rapidly increasing as a popular spot.
Fortunately, Spain is home to many hidden gems where you can immerse yourself in Spanish life. If you’re hoping to see a different side of the country, make sure to add these hidden gems to your travel bucket list.
Malaga Spain is one of the hidden gems of European travel. Located on the southern coast of Spain, Malaga is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbors, Barcelona and Madrid. However, Malaga has its own unique charms, from its beautiful Mediterranean beaches to its vibrant Andalusian culture. The city is also home to a number of world-class museums, including the Museo Picasso Malaga, which houses the largest collection of Pablo Picasso’s work outside of Paris. With its sunny weather, tasty food, and rich history, Malaga is the perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation. So if you’re looking for a hidden gem of a destination, be sure to add Malaga Spain to your list.
Calella de Palafrugell
A short 1.5-hour drive up the coast from Barcelona takes you to Calella de Palafrugell. This charming fishing town is dotted with numerous sandy bays and rocky coves. For example, the beaches of Platja d’en Calau and Cala del Port de Malaspina are located right in town. You can also go swimming in the beautiful blue waters of Cala el Golfet, which are 5-minutes away by car. Best of all, everything is far less crowded compared to the other resort towns along the Costa Brava.
Despite being a popular vacation spot for local Spaniards, the resort town of Comarruga is relatively unknown to tourists. It’s located on the Costa Daurada, roughly 40 miles south of Barcelona. In addition to the wide stretch of golden sand, Comarruga also has a small river. The water is crystal clear and supplied by a nearby hot spring. That means it’s warm enough to go swimming any time of year.
Perched atop the towering El Tajo gorge, Rhonda has one of the most impressive locations of any city in Spain. For sweeping views, cross the 390-foot Puente Nuevo, a bridge that connects both parts of town. Rhona is also the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Therefore, you’ll want to stop by the Plaza de Toros de Ronda, the oldest bullring in the country. Best of all, it’s just 1 hour away from Malaga, Spain.
You don’t have to be near the coast or in Malaga, Spain to enjoy the beach. This hidden gem sits on the banks of the Alberche River in the outskirts of Madrid. Its waters are cool and refreshing, perfect for escaping the summer crowds of the city. The surrounding trees are ideal for an afternoon hike or bike ride, although having a riverside picnic is also a good activity.
Somiedo Natural Park
Hidden in the middle of the Cantabrian Mountains sits the wildly lush and relatively unexplored Somiedo Natural Park. The alpine lakes and wooded forests are ideal for hikers and explorers. However, they aren’t the only attraction in the park. If you’re lucky, you might spot an endangered Cantabrian brown bear wandering through the meadows in spring and summer.
Sant Pol de Mar
This sleepy fisherman’s town is the place to go if you’re looking for stunning architecture and quiet beaches. A stroll through the alleys of Old Town takes you past art nouveau buildings and white-washed houses. And as you make your way towards the water, you’ll find half a dozen beaches where you can sunbathe and swim.
Roman Ruins of Acinipo
Dating back to the 9th century BC, this historic site near Malaga, Spain was a flourishing settlement that was home to over 5,000 people. Although some structures have been excavated (including the carved limestone amphitheater), much of the city remains undiscovered. However, you can still enjoy the panoramic views across the nearby rolling hills while learning more about Spain’s ancient history.
Arcos de la Frontera
Walking through the streets of Arcos de la Frontera is like taking a step back in time. Combining both Christian and Muslim architecture, the town has numerous sights that date back nearly 1,000 years. Highlights include the medieval Castillo de Arcos and the Gothic-Plateresque Basilica de Santa María de la Asunción.
Picos De Europa
Picos De Europa is a hiker’s paradise. This mountain range crosses three different regions (Asturias, Cantabria, and León). It also features craggy peaks that rival those in the Dolomites. In addition, the mountains are also home to some of the world’s deepest caves. During your hike, you’ll also encounter remote hillside villages, including Morgrovejo, Sotres, and Covadonga.
With rainbow-colored houses and picturesque tropical beaches, Villajoyosa is an off-the-beaten-path destination in the heart of the Costa Blanca. You could easily get lost for hours exploring the old town or strolling along the waterfront promenade. Villajoyosa also has a long history of chocolate making. So, don’t forget to stop by one of the many chocolate factories, museums, or shops during your visit.
Spain is a vast country with incredible cities, landscapes, and landmarks. Although it’s important to see the major sights, it’s worth venturing away from the crowds to discover something new. Visiting the hidden gems of Spain will allow you to see a whole new side of the country that very few tourists get to explore.