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The Best Places to Visit in Northern Spain

The north of Spain is a land of incredible natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. It is often overlooked, but it really shouldn't be. From the rugged Atlantic coastline to the soaring peaks of the Pyrenees, this region is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in Europe.

But it's not just the scenery that makes the north of Spain so special - this is a land of ancient traditions, delicious cuisine, and warm, welcoming people.

In this travel guide, we'll take you on a journey through the best places to visit in the northern Spain. From the cosmopolitan cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian to the mountains of Picos de Europa, we'll introduce you to the region's top destinations.

So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the magic of this stunning region!


Bardenas Reales

Bardenas Reales is a stunning semi-desert natural park with a very unique landscape. It is characterized by eroded cliffs, clay badlands, and impressive rock formations that has been shaped by centuries of wind and water erosion. 

The park is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of activities such as hiking and mountain biking. But this truly impressive landscape is also a great filming location for movies and TV shows, including Game of Thrones.



Free entrance

Opening hours

From 08:00 AM to one hour before sunset

How to get there

You can explore the park's natural beauty on foot, by bike or by car. Cars and bikes are only allowed to drive on the signed routes. Hikers can use all tracks and paths except for those here it is prohibited.


Overnight camping is not allowed.


You can download the info brochure with map here, or you can get one at the information center. 

San Sebastian

San Sebastian is a charming seaside town that’s famous for its stunning beaches, delicious food, and vibrant culture.

The city’s most famous attraction is undoubtedly La Concha beach, a crescent-shaped stretch of sand that’s often ranked as one of the world’s best beaches.

But San Sebastian is also known for its culinary scene. You should definitely try Pintxos, a traditional Basque dish. These small, bite-sized snacks are like little works of art, each one carefully crafted to be both delicious and visually appealing. The good part: you can try as many as you want and try a lot of different snacks because of the relative small sizes.

To enjoy the most beautiful view over the city, you can take a scenic funicular to the top of Monte Igueldo. This hill offers a stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Biscay and the surrounding mountains.

What to do in San Sebastian


Visit La Concha Beach:

La Concha Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Spain, and for good reason. Its crescent shape and crystal-clear waters make it the perfect place for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing.


Explore the Old Town

San Sebastian’s Old Town (Parte Vieja) is a charming and historic district full of narrow streets, historic buildings, and pintxos bars. Take a stroll through the winding streets, try some local food, and admire the architecture.


Take a hike

San Sebastian is surrounded by beautiful hills and forests, making it an excellent destination for hiking. The Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo are popular hiking spots that offer stunning views of the city and the coast.


Try the local cuisine

San Sebastian is known for its culinary scene, so be sure to try some of the local dishes, especially the Pintxos (tapas-style snacks).


Take the funicular

And enjoy a stunning panoramic view over San Sebastian from Monte Igueldo. Once you reach the top, you’ll find a small amusement park that’s perfect for families with children. But the real highlight of Monte Igueldo is the view. From the top of the hill, you can see all of San Sebastian, including La Concha Beach, the Old Town, and the surrounding hills and forests.
Opening hours: check the timetable at
Prices: Return €4.25 – One way €2,80
Find all information at


If you’re looking for a city that combines traditional charm with modern flair, look no further than Bilbao! This vibrant Spanish city is famous for its stunning architecture, delicious food, and lively atmosphere.

Of course, no visit to Bilbao would be complete without a trip to the world-famous Guggenheim Museum. This iconic building is a work of art in itself, and inside you’ll find an incredible collection of contemporary art that will blow your mind.

But Bilbao is much more than just the Guggenheim. Take a stroll through the Casco Viejo (Old Town) and you’ll discover a maze of narrow streets lined with colorful buildings, boutique shops, and cozy bars where you can enjoy a glass of Rioja and some pintxos (tapas).

What to do in Bilbao


Visit the Guggenheim Museum

The iconic Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a must-visit attraction for art lovers. The museum’s stunning architecture and impressive art collection make it one of the top museums in Europe.


Explore the Old Town

The Casco Viejo or Old Town is a charming district with narrow streets, colorful buildings, and excellent bars and restaurants. You can also visit the famous Plaza Nueva and the Mercado de la Ribera, the largest indoor market in Europe.


Walk along the Riverfront

Stroll along the Nervión river and take in the beautiful views of the city’s skyline. You can also go for a boat ride or rent a bike and cycle along the river and the city.


Visit Bilbao Train Station

The station has a striking modern design, with a large glass facade and a sleek, curved roof that gives it a distinctive appearance.

Picos de europa

Ah, Picos de Europa – the land of rugged mountains, lush valleys, and endless adventure! This stunning national park is a nature lover’s dream come true.

From hiking to rock climbing, skiing to caving, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities to enjoy in Picos de Europa.

But the best part of Picos de Europa? The breathtaking views, of course! Whether you’re standing on a mountain peak, admiring a crystal-clear lake, or gazing out over the lush green valleys below, the scenery in Picos de Europa is truly jaw-dropping.


Perched high atop a cliff in Riaño, overlooking the breathtaking reservoir, there's a swing that offers a thrill like no other. With each swing, you'll feel your heart racing as you soar high above the water, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Las Medulas

Las Médulas is a must-visit destination in the north of Spain for nature and history lovers. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an old gold-mining town and the stunning red cliffs were shaped by centuries of mining activity. The view is truly breathtaking and will transport you to another world.

You can also enter one of the old mining tunnels, called ‘Galerias’ and enjoy a beautiful view from the end of the tunnel, facing the red cliffs.



Free entrance to Las Médulas
To visit the Galarias you have to pay €3 (only cash).

Opening hours

November 1 - March 31: 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM & 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Closed on Tuesday
April 1 to October 31: 11:00 AM - 02:00 PM & 04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Closed on Tuesday

How to get there

We parked at "Parking Mirador de Orellan", from there it's a 10minute walk to the Garalias and the viewpoint of Orellan over the Médulas.


Overnight camping is not allowed.


Galicia, Spain’s hidden gem! This region is known for its stunning coastline, charming fishing villages, and delicious seafood.

It is full of beautiful beaches, like As Cathedrais where you can soak up the sun but it is also home to several excellent wineries that produce some of Spain’s most unique and delicious wines. 

But perhaps the best thing about Galicia is the friendly and welcoming locals, who are always happy to share their culture and traditions with visitors. From traditional folk music and dance to lively street festivals and celebrations, there’s always something going on in Galicia.

Santiago de compostela

Santiago de Compostela is the charming capital city of Galicia! This city is mostly known for its pilgrimage, but also for its stunning architecture, rich history, and lively atmosphere.

At the heart of Santiago de Compostela is the majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world. Legend has it that the remains of the apostle Saint James are buried here, and pilgrims from all over the world flock to the city to pay their respects.

But Santiago de Compostela isn’t just for pilgrims – it’s also a great place to explore the local culture, traditions, history and art. From lively street markets and festivals to many museums and galleries, there’s plenty to see and do for visitors of all ages.

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