Spain’s Best Small Cities

by Deborah Cater
Segovia

The UK’s Guardian readers chose their favourite small cities in Spain. Their delights varied from breathtaking scenery to medieval plazas. Which small city would you add to the list?

Seductive Salamanca

Salamanca Plaza

Reader Yasmin Cox found Salamanca so seductive, she stopped for lunch and stayed a week! It was the atmosphere of the city, that had her staying on. “Its graceful architecture”, two cathedrals and university buildings she described as giving the city “the quality of an alfresco cultural living room”.

Romanesque Zamora

san-pedro-de-la-nave-zamora

James Kay selected Zamora for its romanesque churches, “with their pink-tinged sandstone glowing warmly in the sunlight”, along with the Duero wine, processions and more. He found the “greatest gem of all” to be the Visigothic church of San Pedro de la Nave, 12 kilometres northwest of the city.

Heavenly Segovia

segovia-castle

Rhiannon Pattison lived in Segovia during her Erasmus year. Calling the city a “treasure trove of gastronomic and architectural delights”, her highlights include the Roman aqueduct, Disney-inspiring Alcazar, gothic cathedral and beautiful views wherever you look. She also recommends award-winning tapas at El Fogón Sefardí.

Gorgeous Ronda

Puente Nuevo in Ronda

The Puente Nuevo spanning the 150-metre-deep gorge that splits the town of Ronda in Andalucia is best viewed from below. Magdalena Rasmus sings the praises of the town’s architecture influenced by Romans, Arabs and the Catholic monarchs. One of the best places to view the bridge is the Water Mina at Casa del Rey Moro.

Vigo’s Beaches

Cies Islands

“A bustling port city with welcoming people and delicious food” is how Graham Tait described the Galician city of Vigo. The highlight of his visit was a trip to the Cies Islands with their golden beaches, rightfully named among the most beautiful in the world. The affordability of Vigo compared to other cities also is a major plus point.

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Towering Tarazona

Tarazona

Barbara Forbes enjoyed viewing the pattern of the city’s Arabic street plan from the Romanesque church of St Mary Magdalene. Among the Mudéjar cathedral via the 18th century bullring, “hanging houses of the Jewish quarter and the ornate Renaissance town hall” are “clusters of friendly bars and restaurants.”

Toledo’s warrior pose

Toledo

For Doris, Toledo’s “extraordinary walls and gates” made her feel as if she were a warrior living in bygone centuries. The panoramic view of the city from the mirador (viewpoint) opposite, shows Toledo in all its majesty.

El Burgo de Osma

El Burgo de Osma cathedral

Another town in the Duero region is El Burgo de Osma with an abundance of historic sites. Roman ruins, medieval castle and an elegant plaza mayor combined to give the town th thumbs up from Jean Rich. For her the “centrepiece is the magnificent cathedral, built of honey-coloured stone over five centuries.”

 Carnival in Cádiz

Cadiz Cathedral

“The scenes and beautiful churches of Cádiz rival any Andalucían paradise”, said Elliot Greest. For Elliot, the maze of streets with “lively taverns and stunning buildings” are an adventure. There “every day feels like carnival day”.

Medieval Trujillo

Trujillo, Extremadura

Douglas Stewart agrees with InSpain.News in describing Extremadura as “unjustly overlooked”. Dropping into the medieval town of Trujillo – “more Game of Thrones than Game of Thrones” – he was stunned by the panorama. From the medieval buildings to the statue of Pizarro, it seems Trujillo made an impression on Mr Stewart.

Read The Guardian’s full article, here.

 

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