Spain is a country with a long and rich history as well as a wealth of natural resources and scenery that is unmatched in Europe. Spanning over 3,000 miles, the country has a variety of landscapes, from the snow-capped peaks of the Andes to the lush, green valleys of the Costa del Sol, along with the Atlantic and Mediterranean Coasts. Most people have heard about the beauty of the big cities of Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville– but there’s so much more. Let’s explore some of Spain’s “off the beaten path” parts.
The Asturian Mountains, which run parallel to the Atlantic Ocean, are an impressive range with peaks reaching up to 2,000 meters. The Sierra de Gredos is a protected area located in the eastern part of the range. The Sierra de la Demanda is home to a series of gorges and valleys carved out by the River De La Demanda. The region is known for its cave paintings as well as being host to the capital city of the principality, Oviedo. It is also home to some of Spain’s most famous villages and coves, such as Santander and Gijon.
Bordered by the Cantabria Region to the north, the Asturias Region to the east, and the Basque Country Region to the south, the Galicia Region is located in the north-central region of Spain, and takes its name from the Gallaeci, the Celtic people living north of the Douro River during the last millennium BC. It is home to some of Spain’s most iconic landmarks, including the Galician Coast, the Río Miño Valley, and the Asturian Coastal Range. You’ll also find open-air petroglyphs dating from before the Bronze Age in this region. Anyone who’s walked the Camino de Santiago can tell tales of the beauty of northern Spain.
Basque Country Region
Located in the north-central region of Spain, the Basque Country Region is a melting pot of cultures. It has a rich history that can be seen in its architecture and traditions, including its love of gastronomy. The region is home to some of Spain’s most iconic landmarks, including the Gasteiz Valley—famous for its hot springs—the Ebro River Valley—home to several UNESCO World Heritage Sites—and San Sebastián—the birthplace of Don Quixote de la Mancha. It is also known for its fertile valleys, rolling hills, and its thriving agricultural industry.
The Basque Country Region comprises the three provinces of Gipuzkoa, Biscay, and Álava. Gipuzkoa is home to the capital city of Bilbao, while Biscay is the most populous province in the region. Álava has two major cities: Vitoria and Zaragoza. The region’s landscape ranges from rugged mountains to lush valleys and green fields. It is bordered by the Galicia Region to the north, the Cantabria Region to the east, and the Iberian Peninsula to the south.
As you can see, Spain has many treasures left to discover once you venture out across the country. I’ve shared information on the different wine regions in the country to whet your appetite even more. I’ll be here when you’re ready to chat about your Spanish holiday.