Exploring the North of Spain for Experience Great Nature Holiday
Spain’s most popular tourist destinations are located along the country’s Mediterranean and southern coasts. By contrast, northern Spain is rarely on the tourist map, despite the fact that this part of the country has some truly stunning landscapes. Northern Spain is a natural paradise and home to the country’s burgeoning eco-tourism sector. Here, dramatic coastal scenery merges with undulating valleys, remote mountain villages, and cities stepped in history.
Arranging for car hire is the best way of exploring this region. When renting a vehicle abroad, you can minimize costs by signing up to an excess insurance scheme, like the one offered by Direct Car Excess. This guarantees that your excess will be reimbursed should you need to use it while renting a car abroad. Once this is taken care of, you’ll be ready to discover the hidden gems of northern Spain at your own pace and with total peace of mind. Read on for some inspiration on the best destinations.
Irati Forest, Navarra
Located in the eastern corner of northern Spain, the spectacular Irati Forest is a natural attraction like no other. Covering over 42,000 acres, this dense beech and fir forest is Europe’s second largest of its kind. Come here in the autumn to witness the extraordinary sea of colours brought about by the changing leaves, a spectacle of nature that Ernest Hemingway wrote about and that you can now enjoy for free. While you are in the area, take your time to explore the quaint villages of Ochagavia and Orbaitzeta, both of which have a privileged position overlooking the Salazar valley.(Image by Svet Ivantchev)
San Sebastian, Basque Country
This elegant Basque city is often compared to Paris due to its Belle Epoque architecture and fantastic culinary scene. Although the city is spread along three beautiful bays, the Concha beach is San Sebastian’s focal point. This gorgeous crescent-shaped and golden sand beach is lined by a delightful promenade, classic buildings, and casuarina trees, and is the perfect place to relax after a hard day of sightseeing. San Sebastian’s “Casco Viejo” (old town) is dotted with first-class restaurants, bars, and charming cafes. Take the short hike to the top of Urgull hill for the best panoramic views.
Picos de Europa, Asturias
The Picos de Europa may not be Spain’s highest mountain range, but it certainly is one of the most impressive. For the most part, this area is a protected natural space where wildlife outnumbers humans. Remote, solitary, and imposing, the Picos mountain landscapes never fail to impress visitors. There are several driving routes that criss cross the national park and that go past must-see attractions like Fuente-De cable car, Covadonga monastery, and the alpine meadows near Potes.(image by Alfonso)
Feature image by spiros