Off the beaten track: Ten of Spain’s most charming seaside towns

You've heard of the partying capitals in Mallorca or the gastronomic hub of San Sebastián - but what about the other lesser known seaside towns in Spain where tourist don't usually go?

Off the beaten track: Ten of Spain's most charming seaside towns
Descover less visited gems like Lastres, in Asturias. Photo: Nachosuch/Depositphotos

Most began as humble fishing villages; others, as inimitable fortified seaports.  Their wars may have ceased, but the castles still stand, providing great vantage points for tourists to take in the seaside views.

Take a look at some of our off the beaten track favourites for a taste of what these charming towns – spanning from the Basque Country all the way to the Balearic and Canary islands – have to offer. 

Altafulla, Catalonia

Photo: Kassandra2/Depositphotos

A quietly beautiful town where you can take in some of the Catalan region’s historical heritage as well as enjoy a peaceful day by the sea. Festivals throughout the year, however, ensure that this little piece of Catalan tranquility doesn’t get too sleepy.

Barbate, Cádiz

Photo: ArenaphotoUK /Depositphotos

Relatively unknown to foreign tourists, this is a holiday favourite for the Spanish in-the-know. Since the Romans put the town on the map for their fish-salting industry, it’s been a hotspot for great seafood – all cooked with that special Andalusian twist.

Es Grau, Menorca


The calm, shallow waters make this a perfect seaside destination for families with young children. For the grown ups, enjoy the local speciality of Calderata de Langosta (Lobster Soup).

Hondarribia, Pais Vasco

Photo: Fani014 /Depositphotos

Wave to Spain’s French neighbours from the Hondarribia coastline as you sip a glass of Txacolí (Basque sparkling wine ) and devour pintxos in the harbourside bars and restaurants that  rival those found in neighbouring San Sebastian. Explore the cobbled streets of the walled old town after a visit to the 800meter long sandy beach.

La Aldea de San Nicolás, Gran Canaria

Photo: Maugli /Depositphotos

One of the most delightful of the cavernous beaches in Gran Canaria, it is far from the tourist hordes of the south of the island and is surrounded by nature reserves where you can stand in awe of the island’s flora and fauna.

Isla de la Toja, Galicia

Isla de la Toja, Galicia Photo: Galicia Tourism

 An island off the coast of Galicia that is protected from urban development and is famous for being a thermic centre in the region. Be sure to stop by and take a picture of the little church that is covered head to toe in local sea shells.

Peñíscola, Castellón


The impressive castle is surely the top attraction of this fortified seaport. Built by the Knights Templar, pull yourself back to the age of crusading and reconquering as you attempt to conquer your oversized portion of paella. It also happens to be a location used in Game of Thrones.

Lastres, Asturias

Photo: Naturasports /Depositphotos

With a coveted spot in the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain, this seaside fishing village clings to the verdant hills of Asturia’s Atlantic coast. Explore the steep winding cobbled streets and alleys and admire the backdrop across the sea to the snow dusted peaks of the Picos de Europa beyond.

Salobreña, Granada

Photo: Benkrut/Depositphotos

Just because you’ve always wanted to see the Alhambra doesn’t mean you have to miss out on a beach holiday – the seaside town of Salobreña is only an hour away! A classic white-washed Andalusian town with an enormous castle casually towering over it all.

San Vicente de la Barquera, Cantabria

Photo: Cineuno /Depositphotos

Another fishing port on Spain’s northern coast, San Vicente de la Barquera sits at the mouth of a wide river estuary within the Parque Natural de Oyambre, just on the border between Asturias and Cantabria It is been declared to be of Cultural Interest because of its array of historical monuments.


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Six beautiful villages and small towns which are close to Barcelona

Barcelona is an exciting city to live in, but it's also great for weekend getaways. Here are six of the most beautiful villages and small towns within a one or two hours' drive from the Catalan capital.

Six beautiful villages and small towns which are close to Barcelona

Whether you prefer hiking in the Pyrenees or strolling on the beaches of the Costa Brava, there are plenty of lovely places to visit just a short drive or train ride away from Barcelona.

In fact, if you live in the Catalan capital, you are spoilt for choice when it comes to ideas for weekend getaways. Here are six of the most stunning pobles (villages in Catalan) that are definitely worth a visit.


Sitges is a popular weekend seaside destination for Barcelonans and foreigners alike, and for good reason. The town has plenty of restaurants and shops as well as a beautiful seaside promenade and beach. Don’t miss a visit to the Maricel Palace, one of the most emblematic buildings, which also houses a collection of painting, sculpture and medieval art.

A beach in Sitges. Photo: sytpymes/Pixabay

2. Castellar de n’Hug

Located on the southern slopes of the Pyrenees, this village is near the waterfalls that are the source of the Llobregat river, which reaches the Mediterranean just south of Barcelona. Its well-preserved cobbled streets and stone houses are typical of the region, and if you board the Tren del ciment (the “cement train” that used to lead to a former cement factory) you can visit the nearby Artigas Gardens, designed by none other than Antoni Gaudí.

The awe-inspiring vistas of Castellar de n’Hug. Photo: Josep Monter/Pixabay


3. Begur

Begur is one of the Costa Brava’s most picturesque villages and its turquoise beaches attract many tourists in the summer. Surrounded by rocky cliffs and pine forests, the town has a colourful historic quarter dating back to the 15th century, but it’s also known for its grand colonial built in the early 20th century with a distinctive Indies style.

Begur is a sight to behold. Photo: Enquire/Pixabay

4. Miravet

Nestled on the slope of a hill and on the banks of the Ebro river, Miravet is a tiny village of just 700 inhabitants in the province of Tarragona. It strategic location meant it was occupied by a long series of settlers, but its 12th century Templar castle is the main attraction. The warm springs of Fontcalda are a 40-minute drive away and well worth a visit.

Miravet is as picturesque as villages come. Photo: Ryan Hogg/Pixabay

5. Peratallada

Just 22km east of Girona, this picturesque village takes its name from its stone buildings (the Catalan words pedra tallada mean ‘carved stone’). As one of the most significant centres of medieval architecture in Catalonia, it was declared a historic-artistic monument.

Find peace and quiet in Peratallada. Photo: Jaime Alcolver/Pixabay

6. Besalú

If there’s one place that exudes the Catalan middle ages, it’s probably Besalú. This town’s rich medieval legacy includes the 12th century Romanesque bridge across the Fluvià river, the Cùria Real and the residence of Cornellà, with its vast arcaded gallery, as well as several churches. A trip to the village could be followed by hike in the Volcanic Zone of La Garrotxa Natural Reserve, which includes 40 dormant volcanoes.

Travel back in time during a visit to Besalú. Photo: Adolfo Rumbo/Pixabay