Why you should visit these lesser-known Spanish villages in 2024

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The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has named its 'Best Tourism Villages'. Here is our pick of three highlights in Spain

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has named its ‘Best Tourism Villages’. Here is our pick of three highlights in SpainFood-loving cities and sunny Mediterranean beaches might come to mind if you are dreaming of a trip to Spain, but there is also a world of go-slow rural beauty to discover beyond the classic spots in one of the the most enduringly popular countries for tourism.

From drinking in medieval Aragonese architecture in Cantavieja and discovering innovative interior cuisine in Sigüenza to hiking around the invitingly green Basque mountains in Oñati, here’s how to dive into the three off-the-beaten-track Spanish destinations crowned among the Unwto’s 54 winners for 2023.

Walking routes thread through the quiet surrounding countryside, among them the long-distance GR8 path, which links up with the recently developed 39-mile-long Ruta del Silencio , an unbelievably beautiful driving itinerary tracking across Teruel province from Gargallo to Cantavieja. or Teruel’s Unesco-listed Mudéjar architecture . Or fly into Valencia, from where it’s just over two hours by car to Cantavieja.

Further afield, you can go hiking and cycling in the serene Barranco del Río Dulce Natural Park, where golden eagles and griffon vultures fly high above oak forests, seasonally rushing waterfalls and a craggy gorge.

 

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