The Fairytale Traveler

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Wandering in Spain: The 6 Most Underrated Destinations

Spain is just one of those places that has a certain magical charm about it. Anyone who has visited the country cannot wait to go back. There are so many reasons why people choose to travel to Spain.  


Between the colorful culture, friendly people, and beautiful streets, Spain is truly the perfect vacation destination. The food is delicious, the views are to die for, and there are so many fun activities to take part in.


In fact, there are just as many educational things to do in Spain as there are leisurely!  There is something for everyone. 


If you’re wanting to travel to Spain sometime soon, there can feel like an overwhelming amount of destinations to choose from and visit. Your brain might automatically think to go to someplace like Madrid, but let’s try something new!


One of the curious things about the country is how many amazing destinations are in such a small area. Much of Europe is like this actually, so don’t fret. 


For a size comparison to the United States or Canada, Spain is around the same size as Texas. That’s just one U.S. state!


That means you have a lot to see, and it won’t be that hard to move around. You can move around by car, train, or plane. There are lots of different options. 


Despite that, Spain is home to 49 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which is the 4th most in the world. This means that there is a lot of world history tucked away in Spain! 


While most travelers want to make it to Barcelona, or Madrid, there are so many other places to discover that are just as fun. 


Head down the Spanish road less traveled and find out what destinations are the most underrated.

travel to spain

6 of the Most Underrated Locations in Spain to Visit 

Travel to Spain… The Arrival 

Luckily, there are fewer travel restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Things are finally starting to open up more to travelers! 


Nowadays, getting into Spanish territory is not as difficult. Depending on where you are coming from, you may be able to drive across the border, no questions asked.


If you are traveling from a country outside the Schengen Area, then you probably have to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver for Spain, starting in May 2023. Check the visa requirements for your country before planning your trip.


However, if you are entering from another country in the Schengen Area, then you only need to present your passport if asked. Just double-check before you leave! 

travel to spain

Off the Beaten Path, Locations to Explore in Spain 

Everyone is familiar with tourist-filled cities like Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona.


Were you aware of the different languages, cultures, and multitude of climates that you can encounter in the country?


Around Spain, you can find places that have ancient Roman artifacts, delicious food, and friendly locals.


The best way to do so is by going off the beaten path. You might learn or see something you never would have thought about! You even have a cool destination to show your friends as well. 


Check out the following destinations to learn about some of the most interesting and lesser-known places around Spain.

travel to spain


First on our list of lesser-known cities in Spain is Merida. This is a small city that absolutely everyone who visits Spain should travel to, and yet almost nobody does, is Merida. 


Merida is about an hour and a half north of Seville. What makes it special is that it was a vibrant city in the Roman Empire.


Modern-day Merida still has so many of its ancient remnants intact, especially the Roman theater. How neat is that! 


Besides its Roman past, Merida has also done a good job preserving the Muslim fortress. If you are a history lover, this city has to be on your list.

travel to spain

San Sebastián

Next up on our list of off-the-beaten-path places is San Sebastián or Donostia, as the locals call it. 


Donostia does receive a fair amount of visitors. However, the city is arguably the most beautiful in Spain, yet doesn’t receive the same hype as Barcelona or Seville. It’s a city that can sometimes feel like it’s been overshadowed. 


If you’re looking to go to the beach, “La Concha”  is one of the best urban beaches in Europe. It is also a great base to explore the rest of the Basque region in Northern Spain and France.


Then you have the food. The food in San Sebastián is just special, the traditional Basque “pintxos” are delicious and restaurants find creative ways to make them. It is truly a hotbed for great food and picturesque beaches! 

travel to spain


Next on our list is Caceres. Another destination from  Extremadura, Caceres is a city that has a lot of charm.


The center of the city has kept its medieval appearance and the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Caceres is also known for its cuisine. Migas, a dish made from leftover bread, and cheese, are particularly popular in the city and region.


Bring your photo camera with you, because you’ll want to take pictures of the beautiful sights in Caceres. 

travel to spain


Next on our list of lesser-known cities in Spain is Ourense. In northwest Spain, the autonomous community of Galicia welcomes millions of visitors each year.


Ourense, however, is often ignored as visitors prefer to travel to the coast, or Santiago de Compostela.


It is a lovely town in its own right and is famous in Galicia, and Spain, for its hot springs. The hot springs of Ourense certainly set it apart from other cities! 

travel to spain


A world-famous city thanks to the Running of the Bulls every July, Pamplona is often ignored for the other 11 months of the year.


Please make no mistake, it’s worth visiting any time of the year. It is a beautiful city with a historic old town and is one of the key stops on the “Camino de Santiago”. 


Pamplona is another city that is famous for its variant of tapas known as pintxos.

travel to spain


In the far north of Spain, just south of the Pyrenees Mountains, you can find this medieval city. Similar to many towns and cities in Spain, an intact old town, but this one is particularly breathtaking.


The 13th-century cathedral in the center of the city is excellent for photos.


If you are into skiing, you will also love the city. It’s great to use as a base for ski trips in the Pyrenees.

travel to spain


To conclude, Spain has so many different cities to visit. Whether you’re wanting to go to the hot springs of Ourense or see the Roman artifacts of Merida, there are so many options to choose from!


By traveling to these lesser-known cities, you can almost guarantee a more authentic experience when you’re traveling through Spain. 


You’ll have a chance to check out authentic food, unique culture, and different sights. Each city on this list has something unique and interesting about it that makes it worth exploring!


From beaches to world-famous food and hot springs, as well as medieval sightseeing, Spain has it all. Next time you’re interested in traveling to Europe, definitely consider checking out Spain. You won’t regret it! 

Satyne Julianna Doner

Satyne Julianna Doner is currently a sophomore studying business management in sunny Tampa, Florida. A born bibliophile, she spends most of her free time curled up in a fantasy book or writing her own. When she isn't studying, reading, or writing, she is an avid equestrian and staunch supporter of rehabilitating retired racehorses. She owns one horse, named Hurricane, who keeps her grounded in all her endeavors.

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