- Toro: This dusty little wine town on the Río Duero east of Zamora huddles behind medieval walls. The carvings on the main entry of its 13th-century church are some of Spain’s greatest Gothic art. Most Toro shops sell wine—very, very good wine.
- Cadaqués: Isolated along the coast over a steep range of mountains, Cadaqués remains the sweet fishing town that has drawn so many artists over the years. The stony beach is better for landing small boats than sunbathing. One cove north of the center, Port Lligat was the home and studio of Salvador Dalí, now open to the public.
- Poblet: Once the greatest of Catalunya’s Carthusian monasteries, Poblet has retreated to near oblivion. Yet the fortified monastery village west of Barcelona has a medieval charm, as if it were plucked directly from Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose. The kings of Aragoń are buried beneath the church.
- The Cantabrian Caves: Whether they were painted 10,000 or 30,000 years ago, the delicate deer and hunched buffalo on the walls of Cantabria’s limestone caves remain fresh and vibrant today.
- Úbeda: In the 16th century, agricultural wealth financed Úbeda’s elegant churches and palaces. When fortunes declined, the building stopped, leaving an open-air museum of Spanish Renaissance architecture.
- Bardenas Reales: These “badlands” lie midway between the Pyrenees of northern Navarra and its southern agricultural flatlands. Wind and rain have sculpted spectacular rock formations and if that’s not enough, sheep flocks graze here in winter … while the Spanish air force uses the area for target practice!
- Teruel: The Aragonese city of Teruel northwest of Valencia is a treasure trove of Mudéjar architecture—a uniquely Spanish style that came about when Christian patrons engaged Moorish architects and workmen. The synthesis of cultures yielded some of the richest design of the late Middle Ages.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.