Under-the-Radar Spanish Towns To Visit This Summer

Viva España!

under the radar spanish towns

Affection for a European summer getaway knows no end. The Cyclades and Capri are obviously fan favorites for many reasons. The same goes for Paris and the South of France, especially hotspots like Saint Tropez (though,Antibes and Mougins are highly recommended for a less touristy alternative). Portugal is a gem with dazzling regions like the sun-splashed Algarve and more agrarian Alentejo. This year, vacation fantasies center around Spain. The sandy beaches, turquoise waters, impressive architecture, and Jamón ibérico, are enough to kick one’s wanderlust into overdrive.

Based on flight patterns and airport size, most travelers visiting the Iberian Peninsula nation will fly into either Barcelona or Madrid and spend a few days exploring the respective metropolitan areas before jetting off to Baleric hotspots like Ibiza and Mallorca. With 17 autonomous regions, Spain is full of unique and loq-profile places to discover. Beyond the big cities, small towns entice travelers with local culture, delicious food, and charm. Some of the country’s best-kept secrets are the perfect spots to escape hordes in June, July, and August.

Scroll on for seven under-the-radar towns in Spain to visit this summer.



While San Sebastián continues to garner international accolades as a culinary hotspot, nearby Hondarribia flies under the radar. Located near the border with France, the medieval walled town was the site of some of the most important historic battles in the Basque Country. Today, it’s a charming destination with cobbled lanes, historic landmarks (check out the Castle of Emperor Carlos V and Iglesia del Manzano), a sandy beach, and a mix of Spanish and French cultural influences.

Sanlúcar de Guadiana


A pretty-as-a-postcard white-washed village on the Andalusia border with Portugal, Sanlúcar de Guadiana is home to just a few hundred residents and gives off perfect-place-for-a-siesta energy. Despite its sleepy appeal, there’s one thrilling attraction in store for travelers: a high-speed zipline that runs across the Guadiana River to Alcoutim. Not in the mood for a high-altitude return trip? Kayak, hop on a taxi boat, or walk on the floating bridge back.

Setenil de las Bodegas


Tucked away in a less-trammeled corner of southern Spain, about 20 minutes from the city of Ronda, Setenil de las Bodegas is a lost-in-time village with whitewashed houses built into the undersides of cliffs, ancient ruins, and the remains of a hilltop castle that dates back to Moorish rule. Cuevas de la Sombra, aka “Shade Street,” sits under a natural boulder that creates a rocky ceiling. Cueva del Sol, which runs parallel to the Trejo River, has many cute bars and restaurants.



Situated along the Mediterranean coast of Alicante, to the south of Valencia, Villajoyosa, simply known as La Vila, is a photographer's dream with brightly colored facades painted by local fishermen and a beautiful beach. Recently named the “best hidden gem in Europe 2024” by European Best Destinations, this charming seaside town won’t stay a secret for long. Book a trip to admire the colorful architecture and go for a seaside stroll before the crowds descend.


Liz Leyden/iStock Unreleased/Getty Images

Tarifa, a town on the Costa de la Luz, across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco, lays claim to the title of the windiest destination in Europe. The blustery coastal conditions give rise to some of the best swells and recreational gusts on the continent. And yet this coastal treasure flies under the radar for most travelers who aren’t actively Googling “surf spots in Spain” or “best windsurfing destinations.” Besides riding waves, visitors can catch some rays on the beaches, explore the whitewashed town, and tour the 10th-century castle.


©fitopardo/Moment Unreleased/Getty Images

While everyone else is chasing down sun and sea, why not escape to the mountains? The quiet and endlessly enchanting hideaway town of Potes in Cantabria in northern Spain will steal your heart with its rolling hillside and medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and historic bridges that give the impression of stepping back in time. It’s a great place to get outside. The laid-back pace beckons in-the-know vacationers to slow down with a glass of wine and some tapas on a shaded terrace by the river.


Flottmynd/Moment/Getty Images

Why should you visit Getaria, an unassuming fishing village on the Urola coast of the Basque Country? It offers idyllic scenery from the coast to the rolling green hills and a powerhouse gastronomic scene with delights like freshly caught grilled fish that goes from sea to plate in a matter of hours and txakoli, a local white wine that screams summer. It’s also home to an unexpectedly cosmopolitan attraction, a museum dedicated to fashion designer and homegrown talent Critsóbal Balenciaga.