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while spain’s modern cities usually tend to attract all the attention of visiting tourists, its villages offer a beauty that many will find hard to deny. most rural towns make you go back in time to get a glimpse of our medieval ancestors or sport a gorgeous natural beauty in the mountains or by the sea. for the ones willing to discover this stunning old and rural side of spain, we have compiled  list of towns that we consider worth visiting. be sure to check out the old communities attached to the villages as well – here one can get a peek of the old spain and its traditional cuture.

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olvera, in the vicinity of cadiz

below we will show you 6 villages that we consider worth visiting because of their stunning beauty or gorgeous location. let´s get started!

in the province of andalucia:

mojacar  -is located in the south-east of the iberian peninsula in almeria. the old quarter, called mojacar pueblo, is 175 meters above sea level, next to a spring. its beautiful whitewashed houses are stunningly set in the lower hills of the beautiful sierra cabrera, overlooking a canyon carved out by the aguas river. due to the river market gardens can be irrigated and olive and orange groves can be grown. this charming town is located solely 17 km from the mediterranean see making it a perfect spot for a romantic getaway in summer.

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the beauty of mojacar

ronda – this town in the málaga region sits on either side of the tajo del ronda, a narrow gorge more than 150 metres deep. its old town has been declared property of cultural interest. the city of ronda has been inhabited by celts, phoenicians, romans and arabs after which it was finally conquered by the catholic monarchs. several bridges unite the two halves of one of the most interesting towns on the route of the whitewashed villages, in the heart of the the ronda hills, only a few kilometres from the costa del sol.

Brücke Puente Nuevo über der Schlucht des Rio Guadalevin, Ronda, Malaga...

the famous bridge in ronda

in the province of aragón:

cantavieja  – is a village full of history. it was recaptured from the moors by the king of aragón, alfonso ii in 1169.the strong city walls of the village protected the rulers of the temple since they were able to resist the attack ordered by king. due to its strategic position, the village has been able to preserve its beautiful centre throughout its long history. hence, the village of cantavieja has successfully been able to withstand numerous sieges and cruel destructions.

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cantavieja on a mysterious dusty morning

in the province of levante:

peñíscola – the city is surrounded by water on every side but one and has a beach that’s well worth a visit all year around. the castle, perched on a large ridge overlooking the sea, offers a glimpse of its past at a time when knights and battlemented fortresses occupied the lands of el maestrazgo. the parade ground offers as a delightful balcony over the mediterranean, and its keep makes the perfect place to see a panoramic view of the coastline. in spring and summer this walled enclosure hosts a spanish comic film festival and a festival of old and baroque music. visitors may also like to see the lighthouse and the museum of the sea, or go hiking or mountain biking in the sierra de irta nature reserve.

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a village surrounded by water: the stunning town of Peñíscola

in the province of cantabria:

santillana del mar  – sheltered by gentle hills and solely a few meters from the sea this historic town is located. this town is undoubtedly the centre of artistic and historical attractions of cantabria, and one of the most visited sights. from the earliest settlements known la cueva de altamira (the villa) until today, boasts a formidable heritage chaired by the jewel of romanesque architecture in cantabria. this beautiful town is a must-do when you are in this region and a very special gem that one needs to discover.

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the cosy streets of santillana del mar

in the province of catalonia:

cadaqués  – this beautiful fishing village is full of surprises in for example the house of the surrealist genius salvador dalí. known as the portlligat house-museum, which consists of a group of fishermen’s cabins arranged to form a kind of maze, which dalí modified over a period of 40 years to make this incredible home and workshop a reality. in cadaqués you’ll also be able to enjoy a charming town on the costa brava to the fullest as you can go for a swim against a backdrop of little white houses overlooking the sea, and let yourself be soothed by the tranquillity and the light that inspired dalí.

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the beautifully located cadaques

for more information on the villages please visit spain.info . and for more information on tours to these destinations and tips for hotels and transportation, do not hesitate to contact us. we will be happy to assist you and give you more insights in how to travel to these beautiful rural towns around spain!

please visit: http://www.accros-spain.es

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is there a spot where you can enjoy the wide variety of spanish architecture all in one place? the answer is yes, at the poble espanyol in barcelona. this emblematic village houses 117 buildings reflecting the typical spanish architecture coming from all fifteen autonomous communities in spain. this special town was built in 1929 by the modernist architect puig I cadafalch for that year´s Barcelona international exposition (as was the national palace of montjuïc that was mentioned in one of our earlier posts). the poble is located close to the fontana magica on the montjuïc mountain.

hearing a conversation that goes like ´´pardon me but how do I get to andalucia?´´ and ´´that is easy, you just go to mallorca and that it is the first street on the left!´´ is not unusual when visiting el poble espanyol. entertainment is key in the 5th most popular tourist attraction in barcelona because there is something to do for everybody.

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el poble espanyol from a bird´s-eye view

lovers of modern art & nature can enjoy the fundación fran daurel, which is a permanent collection of over 300 artefacts from spain´s most famous artists among which picasso, dalí, miró and barceló. moreover, visitors can see the famous sculpture Entorn-Contorn from josep guinovart and the beautiful sculptural gardens that offer stunning views over barcelona. this green oasis on the high up the hill is large enough (5000m2) to spend a whole afternoon strolling around and enjoying nature.

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the sculpture gardens on the montjuïc mountain

shopping & craft lovers can enjoy themselves in el poble espanyol as well since there are 22 shops that are open every day, some of them offer workshops while others sell ceramics, paintings or jewellery. other activities include, music instrument building, espadrille making and glass crafts. consequently, you can spend a whole day strolling around the village visiting all the different shops and trying out different typical spanish activities.

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traditional shopping street in el poble

families can spend the day doing a treasure hunt, which is available in english, spanish, french and catalan. this activity is perfect for kids that are between 3 and 12 who are in for a little game. while unveiling the mysteries of el poble espanyol kids can walk around the ´´town´´ and get to know the most significant spanish monuments in one afternoon. additionally, on sunday a special programme for families is offered and even though it is in catelan, the experience is supposed to be nice due to the many visual aspects, including puppets, music and even magic.

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activities for kids at the main square of the village

flamenco lovers can eat their heart out at tablao de carmen which is located in the andaluz area of the village because this type of dancing originally comes from the south of spain, from andalucia. some say that the best flamenco show in town is performed here so that would be another reason to make the trip uphill to enjoy music, dance and spanish songs. shows are performed two times a night, there is one show at 19.30pm and other one at 21.30pm. there is a possibility to enjoy some tapas while watching the show. finally, a ticket for this show includes a short visit to el poble espanyol so visitors can experience both attractions.

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a tablao del carmen show

as stated before there is something for everybody this statement also relates to the many options visitors have to eat out in the ´´village´´ because there are plenty of restaurants and bars.  all restaurants offer a range of regional specialties in a very rustic admosphere. in summer visitors can sit outside on one terraces on plazas while eating a delicious paella accompanied by a glas of nice catalunian wine.

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terrace on one of the plazas in el poble

then, to fully capture the spanish experience, there is a possibility to rent an audio guide, which is available in english, catalan, french, italian and german. walking around with the audio guide will make this visit a very informative one when walking around plaza mayor, the nerve center of poble espanyol, approaching a magical andalusian patio, visiting a typical spanish house, resting up in a “pazo gallego” (galician country house) or when discovering a catalan monastery.

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el poble´s church

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