The picturesque, sun-kissed beaches of the south are a magnet for thrill-seekers and beach lovers from around the globe. However, many foreign tourists have yet to discover northern Spain.
Green Spain or Secret Spain is a place full of charm and surprising discoveries. It is also home to hordes of tourists and is filled with sunshine.
Everything changes when you drive towards the Bay of Biscay from Madrid. The air is cooler, the landscape becomes greener, and the Moorish become less common. This corner of Spain may seem strange to those used to Spanish stereotypes. It encompasses four beautiful provinces that are rich in history and natural beauty, Galicia (Pais Vasco), Asturias (Cantabria), and Galicia (Asturias).
Here are some of the top places to see in northern Spain.
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela is probably the most well-known tourist destination in northern Spain. This cathedral marks the end of one of the most popular pilgrimage routes, the Camino de Santiago. This Spanish capital has more to offer than spiritual experiences and religious culture. Galicia’s capital has a lot of charm, small-town charm, and a cool university atmosphere. The charming Old Town, with its medieval streets and charming squares, makes for a great backdrop for leisure walks and the artisan shopping.
San Sebastian in the Basque Country’s jewel. It boasts one of Europe’s best city beaches (La Concha), a stunning restaurant scene in Spain and elegance that rivals any European capital.
Donostia is the local name. It lies on the Bay of Biscay and offers visitors a sophisticated blend of Belle Epoque refinement and urban beach life.
It is renowned for its Michelin-starred cuisine, vibrant cultural scene, and elegant architecture. This makes it a great destination for those who want to enjoy a holiday rich in art and history and gives them a taste of Spain.
Bilbao is the largest city in Basque Country. Although it may not have the same appeal as San Sebastian, Bilbao offers plenty. It’s a charming city with lots to offer, including world-class art, culture, beautiful green spaces, distinguished gastronomy and lively nightlife.
Bilbao is home to Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, and the flux in avant-garde architecture that it brought are its main attractions. But the city’s innovative gastronomy draws hundreds of thousands of tourists each year.
The Museo de Bellas Artes also houses works by Murillo and El Greco; the Euskal Museoa, Basque Museum, offers insight into Basque culture and history and La Ria Maritime Museum has impressive indoor and outdoor exhibitions that showcase the city’s maritime heritage.
A visit to La Rioja in northern Spain is a must. It is the second-smallest autonomous community in Spain and its most famous wine region.
La Rioja offers a unique Spanish experience with magnificent monasteries and quaint old villages. There are more than 500 wineries scattered around the stunning landscapes.
Picos de Europa
The Picos de Europa Mountains and their spectacular protected surroundings make up the original Spanish National Park. They are located in three provinces of northern Spain – Asturias and Cantabria. The region is now a haven for mountaineers and travellers, offering a wide range of fauna and flora, adventure opportunities and breathtaking landscapes.
The area offers beautiful scenery and great outdoor activities. There are also many charming remote villages that you can explore.