These are five of the most beautiful (and unknown) villages in Spain.
It is well known that Spain is dotted with places steeped in history, culture and stunning landscapes. Many of these villages are even included in the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain and have been recognised as Sites of Cultural Interest. However, they are still unknown territories for many tourists. As holidays are the perfect excuse to discover new places, here is a list of five of the most beautiful villages.
1. MADERUELO (SEGOVIA)
This village in Segovia stands on the banks of a reservoir, making it a privileged spot. The municipality sits between the Serrezuela de Sepúlveda and the Ayllón moorland, making it one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Among its main attractions is the Arco de la Villa, the emblematic entrance to Maderuelo, which still conserves the locks, the postern and thick armoured wooden doors, with 15th century decorations and armour-plated polychrome. Also noteworthy is the spectacular viewpoint that extends under the porticoed atrium of the church of Santa María. The square of San Miguel is surrounded by tall buildings that preserve the medieval atmosphere, with two Romanesque doorways and a Gothic doorway with a Rococo-style coat of arms. This historic town also preserves some architectural remains unique in Segovia from the Muslim period. On the outskirts, the grandiose hermitage of Castroboda, where the patron saint of the town is venerated, and the late 11th-century Vera Cruz hermitage, will leave no one indifferent.
2. AGULO (LA GOMERA)
Known as the bonbon of La Gomera for its beauty and placed at the top by the English newspaper The Times – after it was selected as the most beautiful village in Spain – Agulo is an immense viewpoint tinged by the green of its crops overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Its cobbled streets leading to the beautiful church of San Marcos, with its white domes, contrast with the reddish tile roofs of the houses. It has one of the smallest but also one of the oldest villages on the island of La Gomera. Its privileged views of Tenerife and its imposing volcano El Teide surprise anyone. Its old quarter is one of the best preserved in the whole archipelago. Its heritage includes the church of San Marcos, a primitive hermitage founded in 1607 which was transformed into a church years later. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was demolished to build the current neo-Gothic church.
3. MOGROVEJO (CANTABRIA)
This small hamlet, located in the municipality of Camaleño, has the flavour of a traditional village and its houses look like something out of a painting with the peaks of Picos de Europa in the background. In fact, in Mogrovejo you can see large ashlar and masonry houses, with wrought iron balconies from the 16th-18th centuries, which are impressive for their level of preservation. These houses are of the “lebaniego” type, with the upper floor often open to the outside and walls of interlaced rods, lined with mud roofing that delimits a space generally used as a hayloft. Apart from its popular architecture, attention should be paid to some unique buildings, including the medieval tower from the late 13th century, the adjoining manor house, which was remodelled in the 19th century, and the parish church. Situated in an idyllic location and surrounded by extraordinary forests of oak, holly and chestnut trees, it is also the starting point for several very accessible and beautiful routes.
4. SAJAZARRA (LA RIOJA)
This pretty village in La Rioja Alta, whose Arabic name is Laguna de las Flores, is located in the district of Haro, around the confluence of the rivers Aguanal and Ea. Surrounded by a landscape of extensive vineyards and other crops, it is interspersed with buildings of great architectural and cultural value, which will surprise anyone who comes to see them with their secrets. Among its most impressive postcards is its 14th century castle, one of the best restored in the region. One and a half kilometres from the village is the 13th century hermitage of Santa María de Cillas. In this Romanesque-style temple, a large number of the faithful congregate at the end of August for the patron saint’s fiestas in honour of the Virgin. For those who are thinking that Sajazarra could be their next destination, this could be a good time to plan a trip. During these celebrations, a pilgrimage is held to the hermitage and once the route is over, participants are rewarded with a tasting of buns, wine and zurracapote, a refreshing drink made with red wine, cinnamon and peaches.
5. PAMPANEIRA (GRANADA)
This pretty village in Granada, with its steep slopes but also its charm, is the lowest of the three villages that make up the Barranco de Poqueira. It stands out for its extraordinary architecture, which preserves the Alpujarran tradition of flat-roofed white houses with chimneys and the typical “tinaos”. The small square of Pampaneira is a meeting point for all the villagers who mingle with the tourists in the cultural events and concerts that take place there. The town is also known for its wealth and variety of handicrafts, ranging from all kinds of ceramics to fabrics such as jarapas and other typical objects of the region. Its springs deserve special mention, some of them with medicinal mineral waters, and others, such as that of Chumpaneira, with ‘powers’ even for matchmaking. This is stated on the mural above the three spouts of the pillar: ‘It is a fountain of virtue and is so great that a bachelor who drinks with the intention of getting married does not fail, as he immediately has a bride, as you can see’.