Spain’s most picturesque villages

122728-puebla-de-sanabria-vaya-nevada  Puebla de Sanabria

Spain’s most picturesque villages

While Spain’s modern cities beat with an intensity that has made its street life the envy of the world, its villages offer slow, beauteous glimpses back in time. The villages in Castilla y León feel like Spain before mass tourism and the modern world arrived, while in Andalucía you will find the famous pueblos blancos (white villages) with their ruined hilltop castles, geranium-filled flowerboxes and small somnolent churches standing like ancient sentinels on a once-volatile frontier. Aragón has numerous finalists in the competition for Spain’s most beautiful village, among them Aínsa, Sos del Rey Católico and Albarracín, whose 9th-century castle was an Islamic military post and along the coast you will still find working fishing villages huddled around an arc of sand. Wherever you go in Spain, be sure to seek out these humble communities – this is where Old Spain lives and breathes.

Albarracín

Albarracín, 38km west of Teruel, is one of Spain’s most beautiful villages.

Puebla de Sanabria

Close to the Portuguese border, this captivating little village is a tangle of medieval alleyways that unfold around a 15th-century castle and trickle down the hill.

 

Cadaqués & Around

If you have time for only one stop on the Costa Brava, make it Cadaqués.

Aínsa

The beautiful hilltop village of medieval Aínsa (L’Aínsa in the local dialect), which stands above the modern town of the same name, is one of Aragón’s gems, a stunning village hewn from uneven stone.

Santillana del Mar

They say this is the city of the three lies, since it is not holy (santi), flat (llana) or by the sea (del mar)! Some good-looking liar! This medieval jewel is in such a perfect state of preservation, with its bright cobbled streets and tanned…

Grazalema

A true mountain ‘white town’, Grazalema looks like it has been dropped from a passing spaceship onto the steep rocky slopes of its eponymous mountain range.

Sos del Rey Católico

If Sos del Rey Católico (or simply Sos to its friends) were in Tuscany, it would be a world-famous hill town.

Pampaneira

The lowest village in the gorge has a lively plaza, and ham-curing operations lurking in its back streets.

Castilla y León

Castilla y León region is Spain without the stereotypes
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