From Basque beauty, to the Cantabrian coast, from ancient Asturian architecture, to gorgeous, green Galicia: join us on a journey along the north coast of Spain, and get planning your next holiday!
Spain: more than just tapas and sangria
Although Spain is a hugely popular holiday destination, many often aren't aware of the beauty that the north holds. Of course, the south and east coasts have everything you need for a classic trip, with long, sandy beaches, all-inclusive holiday resorts and great party scenes. However, you can still find all these things and more hiding in the north, coupled with a rugged, green landscape and usually fewer tourists. Here are just some of the places along the north coast that make this slightly forgotten region extra special.
Situated just a half hour's drive from the French border, San Sebastián is a stunning coastal city in the Basque Country, and is hugely popular both among Spanish and foreign tourists. It's known locally as Donostia, its Basque name, and is packed full of things to do, with everything under the sun including a hilltop adventure park, surfing, and incredible seafood. Don't forget to try pintxos, northern Spain's answer to tapas, which usually consist of small pieces of toasted bread with various toppings.
Next on our tour of the north is Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque Country and 10th largest in Spain. Bilbao is known for its modern architecture, most notably the famous Guggenheim museum situated at the river's edge. The city has undergone a huge change in the last 30 to 40 years, upgrading it from a neglected industrial port to a modern metropolitan hub. Make sure to take the funicular to Mount Artxanda for breathtaking views over the city and a lovely spot for a picnic!
We're crossing the border into the region of Cantabria now, and our first stop is its capital city, Santander. This beautiful little city isn't just the home and namesake of Spain's largest bank, it's also home to the royal Palacio de la Magdalena, situated on a dramatic peninsula which stretches out to the east of the city. The palace is surrounded by stunning beaches and was often featured in the popular Spanish television series Gran Hotel.
Also in Cantabria, the quaint town of Comillas is situated just west of Santander and is known for the beautiful buildings of its old pontifical university. Although this town is very small, it has a rich history, and was even the capital of Spain for one day in 1881! Make sure to visit the secret villa, El Capricho, situated just south of the town and designed by none other than the famous Antoni Gaudí. Find more designs by Gaudí in the incredible Sobrellano Palace nearby before hitting the road and heading to your next destination.