For the fifth consecutive year, the EscapadaRural platform has nominated ten Spanish villages that can be chosen as the best rural tourist destination. In last year’s edition, the Cantabrian mountain village of Potes emerged as the winner.
This year, 247 Spanish villages signed up for the competition. That is 20% more than last year´s edition. The rules are that the proposed village has no more than 10,000 inhabitants, is willing to create a high-quality tourist facility and has not previously participated in this competition.
The platform has selected the following ten finalists from this year’s 247 registrations:
Aia (Guipúzcoa, Basque Country)
Aia is located at 714 altitude on Pagoeta mountain, 30 kilometres west of the Basque city, San Sebastian. It is a great holiday destination for nature lovers who can explore the nearby Pagoeta nature park.
The village of Chelva previously received the designation Bien de Interés Cultural (cultural heritage) in the category “historical group”. From this village with its winding streets, the short two-hour circular walk, Ruta del Agua can be made.
Cuacos de Yuste (Cáceres, Extremadura)
The most important monument in Cuacos de Yuste is the Monasterio de Yuste, which was the residence of Emperor Charles V for over a year. Also, the village has a beautiful Plaza Mayor with a historic fountain.
Daroca (Zaragoza, Aragon)
The monumental village of Daroca still has a lot of valuable medieval heritage, such as the wall, the sixteenth-century city gate and the old castle. Additionally, for nature lovers, Lake Gallocant, a sanctuary for various bird species is nearby.
La Baronia de Rialb (Lleida, Catalonia)
The medieval village of La Baronia de Rialb is a true open-air museum with eleventh and twelfth century architecture. Furthermore, the imposing fortress work is particularly interesting to visit.
Olvera (Cádiz, Andalucia)
In the heart of the White Villages of Andalucia lies the historic village of Olvera, which is referred to as one of the most beautiful. The tourist route Vía Verde de la Sierra runs along Olvera.
Ortigueira (La Coruña, Galicia)
Close to the village of Ortigueria, nature lovers can enjoy the imposing cliffs along the coastline between Cabo Ortegal and Cabo Estaca de Bares. The sea view from the town of Loiba is breathtaking.
Sepúlveda (Segovia, Castile and León)
Sepúlveda is without doubt one of the most beautiful villages in the region and is the cradle of the traditional roast suckling lamb. The village is located in the Parque Natural de las Hoces del río Duratón. And here, you can find beautiful hiking and canoe routes.
In Taramundi you can visit an old blacksmith shop and in the district of Pardiñas is the interesting and recommendable Museo de la Cuchillería (knife museum). Moreover, Taramundi is the textbook example of how rural tourism can be successful. The very first Hotel Rural de España, La Rectoral, was opened here in 1986
Yeste (Albacete, Castile-La Mancha)
In the middle of the Segura Mountains lies the beautiful village of Yeste, whose main attraction is the castle in the centre. The nearby beautiful Sierra de Cazorla Natural Park offers an abundance of hiking opportunities.
You can vote for one of the above villages up to and including May 14 at www.escapadarural.com.