Spain is packed full of beautiful towns and villages, ranging from the Arab whitewashed hamlets of the south to slate “pizarra” villages of the north to sandstone pueblos in the Balearic islands and tropical architecture of the Canary Islands. It is near impossible to pick ten, but here is a good start: our selection of the ten most darling villages in Spain, in our most humble opinion.

Feel free to tell us your favorites, too, as there are dozens more gorgeous towns!

You can visit some of these villages with Cellar Tours on a Luxury Food and Wine Odyssey Tour of Spain.


1. Cadaqués, Costa Brava

Cadaques, Costa Brava

A quiet bohemian resort near Spain’s border with France, white-washed Cadaquès is a Mediterranean postcard come to life. A former fishing village is now known as an artists’ hotspot, Cadaquès was the stomping ground of Salvador Dalí and has hosted the likes of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Man Ray… read more.

Cadaqués, Costa Brava

2. Cudillero, Asturias

Cudillero, Asturias

The aptly named Costa Verde or Green Coast is one of northern Spain’s greatest secrets – a succession of attractive sandy coves and dramatic cliffs, punctuated by deep estuaries and numerous fishing villages… read more.

Cudillero, Asturias


3. Hondarribia, Pais Vasco

Hondarribia, Pais Vasco

An inviting, laid-back harbor town sitting a stone’s throw from the border with France and about half an hour from wonderful gourmet San Sebastian, Hondarribia is a popular seaside destination thanks to its charmingly well-preserved old quarter and its French-flavored appeal… read more.

Hondarribia, Pais Vasco


4. Besalù, Catalonia

Besalú, Catalonia

Just over a half an hour drive from the stunning Costa Brava coast, Besalù is a spectacular medieval town. This historic gem was a significant economic and political center in the Middle Ages, which has been beautifully preserved; some of its architectural highlights include the Viejo Bridge (12th century Romanesque), Mikve de Besalù (Jewish bathing area), the Sant Pere Monastery (11th century) and the church of Sant Vicenç. Besalù also boasts some stupendous restaurants, so it makes for an excellent day trip from Barcelona or the Costa Brava.

Besalù, Catalonia

5. Trujillo, Extremadura

Trujillo, Extremadura

This historic town is such a joy to come by, partly perhaps because it comes as a delightful surprise, perched on the hill surrounded by the somewhat flat, barren lands of Extremadura. Its fabulously preserved city wall encompasses a diverse array of architecture (the Romans and the Moors were here), the imposing castle, churches, ostentatious villas, and palaces. The grand “Plaza Mayor” is probably one of Spain’s most impressive and where the enjoyable part can be found; Trujillo’s gastronomy. Brimming with endless restaurants, taverns, and tapas bars serving local, mouthwatering cuisine. Trujillo is home to the celebrated acorn-fed Iberian “pata negra,” pimentón de la vera, and sublimely creamy sheep cheeses. “Migas” is a specialty – paprika-spiced fried breadcrumbs with chorizo are served with a freshly fried egg on top. To help counteract these rich dishes, there is a wonderful variety of fresh produce. And probably the best thing about Trujillo is over 200 miles from Madrid, and in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, far from the coast, it remains untouched by mass tourism. We hope you love Trujillo as much as we do!

Trujillo, Extremadura


6. Pedraza, Castile-Leon

Pedraza, Castile-Leon

The cute little village of Pedraza in the district of Segovia, north of Madrid, was declared a historic-artistic site in 1951 and is famed for having one of the most beautiful main squares in Castilla y Leon. Most probably because amazingly, it remains unaffected by modern architecture; it is set in medieval times, for what looks to be forever. Highlights include the castle, belonging to the Zuloaga family, and a museum of painter Ignacio Zuloaga’s pieces. The medieval prison makes for a terrifying visit, reminding you to abide by the rules or take a stroll around the pretty cobblestone streets; stopping for a coffee or aperitif is a timeless pleasure.

Pedraza, Castile-Leon


7. Ronda, Andalucia

Ronda, Andalucia

The region of Andalucía (Andalusia) is undoubtedly one of Spain’s most varied, enchanting, and captivating. It is often where first-time visitors to this special country decide to begin their travels. Ronda is a spectacularly perched pueblo blanco in Spain’s atmospheric Andalucía, with great wines, quaint museums, and a beautiful old town. Read more

Ronda, Andalucia


8. La Orotava, Canary Islands

La Orotava is a small town in the North of the Canary Island of Tenerife. It is quite unlike what you see throughout the rest of the island, with lovingly preserved colonial townhouses and mansions lining the cobblestoned streets and the pretty squares brimming with flowers and manicured shrubs. This endearing town has been pronounced as National Historic-Artistic Interest, managing to maintain its precious heritage in its architecture, parks, gardens, and traditions. La Orotava is perfectly situated if you are looking to explore the nearby Teide National Park and boasts many pretty coves and beaches, all with one great advantage in common. They are far from crowded and untouched by the masses.

La Orotava


9. Úbeda, Andalusia

This splendid town in the Jaén region of Andalusia is a real treat to visit. It is quite different from the stereotypical Andalusian towns and villages surrounding it, further adding to its charm (except for neighboring Baeza, a clear runner-up for having the finest “old quarter” in the peninsula). The main square; Plaza Vázquez de Molina (includes the Palacio de las Cadenas with its majestic facade), Sacra Capilla del Salvador church (striking Renaissance architecture), and the Palacio del Deán Ortega, now a fabulous Parador Hotel, are just some of the highlights in this heritage-rich town. Just a hundred clicks North of Granada, it is worth the trip.

Úbeda, Andalusia

10. Deià, Mallorca

The small coastal village of Deià really does have the “wow” factor. You will not be surprised to hear that many artists and writers have been drawn here and that the pretty village at the foot of the Teix Mountain has featured (and will undoubtedly continue to feature) in many a novel. Early settlers date back to prehistoric times, living in the caves and coves. Deià’s ingenious drainage and irrigation system are thanks to Arab rule. The Catholic church left its mark in the form of 3 impressive monasteries; Ca l’Abat, Son Rul.lan, and Miramar. Robert Graves (English writer) first made Deià his home in the 1930s. Although he moved to England with his wife (American Poet Laura Riding) at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War, he maintained a family home in this special place until his death, his house now a fascinating museum. The choice of eateries here is exquisite, with a wide range of options, including Michelin starred Es Racó d’Es Teix. No one should leave Mallorca without visiting this pearl.

Deià, Mallorca

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37 thoughts on “Ten Most Beautiful Villages in Spain

  1. Janice says:

    Incredible Towns, I would love to visit all of them
  2. Maria says:

    I would have to say Vejer de la Frontera is missing, such a great little town, great food, great hotels, very beautiful and simple and close to the beach, small ones like Zahara de los Atunes. Also Sepulveda outside Pedraza is very cute I hear, but Pedraza I loved!!! No McDonalds, no H&M, no supermarket, just small, quaint and charming.
  3. Alana Moceri says:

    Nice list! I would add Frigiliana (Malaga)--a perfectly preserved Andalucian white village with lots of rooftop terraces to enjoy a class of vino Malaga, olives and an ocean view...
  4. Sortachef says:

    Wonderful photos. I can live vicariously through you. My wife and I have travelled in the Mediterranean many times, but with teenagers at home now it is difficult to recapture the romance of the smaller villages. Thank you.
  5. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    Other gorgeous Spanish villages include Laguardia in La Rioja, Abarracín in Teruel, Fornalutx in Mallorca, Santillana de Mar in Cantabria (although very touristy), Nerja in Málaga, Grazalema in the south, and Peralada & Peratallada both in Girona
  6. Annie says:

    I agree with Maria - Vejer de la Frontera is missing from your list. Vejer has incredible charm and history. Spectacular views too. In Vejer you can sit enjoying lunch in one continent whilst looking towards another! Fantastic restaurants, several boutique hotels and bars - as well as proximity to the wonderful beach of El Palmar, historic Cabo de Trafalgar, vibrant Cadiz and Sherry coated Jerez. I would recommend visiting Vejer rather than Ronda - Ronda is hardly a village. Ronda boasts a Michelin stared restaurant (although I think it may have lost it's status) as well as a Macdonalds and a fabulous Parador - all next door to eachother - makes a great photo!! However - Ronda wines are great and well worth going out of your way to find. Great vineyards to visit.
  7. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    Wonderful comments, thanks Annie and all of you who have shared your suggestions. I think we all agree Spain has some wonderful villages and towns to seek out!
  8. Gerry Dawes says:

    All these are spectacular, but I would not classify Cadaques, Hondarribia, Ronda, Trujillo or Ubeda as "villages." Under the heading of villages, Setenil, Grazalema, Olvera, Ubrique and Zahara de la Sierra in Cadiz are very special, but several of them are even edging out of the "village" size. I think Getaria is as pretty and spectacular as Hondarribia.
  9. Bernard says:

    Getaria gets my vote, best little village in Pais Vasco
  10. Donna says:

    I'm going to Madrid in less that 3 weeks and can't wait. Your site is feeding the frenzy!
  11. Richard says:

    I would have to agree with Maria about Vejer de la Frontera. It should be added to the list. It's particularly wonderful during feria. Grazalema in Andalusia is another gem.
  12. Randall Van Duyn says:

    Caceres should DEFINITELY be on the list. Another quaint village with a striking setting is Montefrio
  13. kym kamel says:

    Hola Gen! We met in Madrid, ex manager of Scott´s hotel in Galilea. I would like to add Esporles, Mallorca to your list of most charming villages. My husband and I live here and are in heaven. We even have Mallorca´s only certified organic olive oil and wine producer here; ES VERGER, wonderful place to send your clients, and the owner, Miguel Fullana, is my English studentKym
  14. Sally says:

    Could anyone recommend a pretty village by the sea?
  15. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    Hi Sally, absolutely. Cadaques is lovely and is a tiny hamlet. Another beautiful spot and gourmet paradise is San Sebastian on the Atlantic side in Basque Country. Aiguablava on the Costa Brava has delish scenery and snorkeling possibilities, kind of like Carmel in Northern California. There are really countless villages and towns we love on the sea, but these 3 would be faves.
  16. Louise says:

    Great information here. My family and I are leaving this Friday to look at some of these areas to pick one to live for a year. We are going on a sabbatical! Kids 11 and 13. Any ideas where? Looking for a nice small "non sleepy" type town that would have good schools, restaurants, good climate, water view? I'm having a hard time finding "all in one" village great for kids. I'm sure it's out there. Thanks in advance.
  17. Pamela says:

    Hola, Louise, My husband and I are looking for a small town nearish Madrid where we want to live for about 3 months. Our daughter is going to university in Madrid so we want to be as near to her as possible and still not live in a big city. I'm curious as to whether you found a town that worked for you and your family.
  18. Cass says:

    Hi Louise.... how did you go? Which town did you end u choosing? We are looking for a gorgeous town in the north?????? Cass
  19. jennifer england says:

    we (three sisters and me )are looking for a nice small village outside of Barcelona to stay for about 5 days...any suggestions? We like sleepy towns.
  20. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    I suggest> Aiguablava, Cadaques or Begur, all lovely spots, sleepy and gorgeous. Enjoy!
  21. Mixal says:

    There are a few better choices in responses, but still a nice list. On the other hand, Spanish towns and villages can't compare to Italian and French.
  22. Mixal says:

    Btw, Albarracin is a must-see too.
  23. Rachel says:

    So many nice towns and villages here and many more out there too. Impossible task you had so well done. Failure for me I´ve only made 2 out of 10!
  24. Puebling says:

    In adition to these beautiful Spanish villages, please check:
  25. Rachel says:

    According to a recent Spanish poll the Top Ten Best Voted Spanish Towns are
  26. Terri says:

    We only have a few days to travel outside of Madrid as my husband has business there...can anyone recommend any beautiful villages that would be an easy trip from Madrid? Thank you.
  27. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    Hi Terri, oh yes there are many wonderful day trips you can do from Madrid. Toledo is an easy one, yes very touristy but very striking architecturally. There is a fast speed train there and you should have lunch at Adolfo's fine restaurant, well worth it. So much to see and do there. Also lovely is Aranjuez with its Royal Palace and gardens, reachable by train too. If you have a car, you could visit adorable Chinchon with a pretty Parador and main square. Further afield is Cuenca with its hanging houses. And then for a relaxing half day out of Madrid, you could go to the mountain town of Cercedilla for a roast lunch, great asador restaurants there and follow with a gentle hike on one of the pretty well marked trails- again reachable by train. Enjoy!
  28. Lorraine says:

    Will be going to Spain Sat 5th April 2014 are there any nice villages in Northern Spain. Only problem is I am afraid of heights so it cant be accessed by cliffy roads thanks a mill for you advice
  29. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    Hi Lorraine, we would love to make suggestions for you. Which region will you be visiting- Asturias, Basque Country, Galicia, Cantabria, etc?
  30. Marcia says:

    Hello I am wondering if anyone can recommend a nice quaint very Spanish town/village - not commercialized outside of Barcelona within 1 hour or just a tad further. Thanks!
  31. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    Besalu is beautiful and not overly touristy, it is 1 hr 25 mnin from Barcelona. On the coast, Calella is beautiful and small scale, but would be crowded in summer.
  32. John Jairo Duque García says:

    Uff este blog es genial me encanta leer tus escritos. Siga con este excelente trabajo de Hoteles! Ya sabes, mucha gente está buscando en torno a esta información y puede ayudar mucho.
  33. Kate says:

    3 of us will be in ending a work trip in Porto July 8 and want to travel to Spain but only have 3 days and need to be back in Lisbon on the 11 for our flight home on the 12th. Any suggestions? We are not fans of large tourist areas-love the local traffic. Thanks, this is our first visit to Spain.
  34. Kate says says:

    Hi. I am looking for a recommendation where to visit in Spain from either Lisbon or Porto. I only have 3 days. I enjoy local color, quiet, villages, beaches, cafés, old churches. Not. Into big cities. I was planning to take the train from Porto to Lisbon and then travel into Spain for 2-3 days. Any suggestions?
  35. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    From Lisbon you can take a lovely excursion to the fishing village of Nazaré, a treat. Or head inland to the wonderful medieval villages of Alentejo like stunning Marvao. From Porto we would highly recommend the pretty town of Aveiro for nice restaurants, charming canals, etc. Or head into the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, a beautiful small town with great restaurants and a picturesque old town, enjoy!
  36. Avatar photo

    gen says:

    With such little time I would recommend first heading just north of Porto to Galicia, visiting Santiago de Compostela and hamlets on the coast. Then head back into Porto and take the train back to Lisbon. Galicia is located in what is known as Green Spain and won´t be too hot like other areas of Spain in July. There is a wonderful, historic Parador in Santiago, along with many boutique hotels and inns. And if you love seafood, this is the right place!
  37. Anne says:

    We're travelling to Lisbon and then Porto. Can you suggest any smaller places near both of them with good rail or bus links. We might not have a car but want to spend about a week out of Lisbon and a week out of Porto. This would be after a few days in each.

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