No one can deny the beauty and cultural value of the majestic cities of Spain. Madrid and Barcelona are steeped in history and full of age-old architecture that leaves you in wonder. When travel resumes, you may want to visit less known destinations where the crowds will be smaller. As you travel through this amazing country, you'll find a whole new world of splendor in Spain's tiny towns and villages sprinkled throughout the nation. From the beautiful Mediterranean coast to the mountainous Basque region, Spain offers charming towns all across the Iberian Peninsula. Here are a few hand-picked picturesque towns that you may want to include on a dream trip to Spain. One you will cherish forever.
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Halfway between Barcelona and Valencia, on the coast of the Balearic Sea, Peñíscola you will find one of the prettiest little villages in Spain. This idyllic fishing village has other names like “Gibraltar of Valencia,” and the “City in the Sea.” It gets the latter title because the striking Templar Castle of Pope Luna and its medieval walls are surrounded by water. Over time, Peñíscola has gone from a quiet fishing village to popular tourist spot with a family friendly list of seaside activities to enjoy. Fans of the TV show Game of Thrones will want to make this a must-see stop because some of the famous scenes from Meereen were shot here.
Cuenca is another gorgeous Spanish gem that just exudes charm and character. Its Old City has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a collection of haunting medieval buildings painted in vivid, earthy hues and perched on a steep outcrop of rocks at the fork of two deep river gorges. These architectural marvels leave you wondering how they don’t crash over the cliffs into the rivers below. But the views from the balconies belong in the picture-books. Some of the casas colgadas (hanging houses) have even been turned into modern art galleries and museums.
Lastly, in southeast Spain, in the province of Almeria, the town of Mojacar clings to a rocky hillside like an ornament hanging over the Mediterranean Sea. This beautiful seaside town is made up of two parts, Mojacar Pueblo (the town) and Mojacar Playa (the beaches) and has the feel of a beach town with the history and scenery of a mountain village. The history of Mojacar goes back 4,000 years and has been populated by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Greeks, and Moors. Even today it still remains an intersection of many cultures. The town’s trademark is its bright white architecture that dates back to the 14th century. If you climb to the top of Torre Pirulico, a 13th-century watchtower, you will get breathtaking views of the coast.
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Lene H. Minyard