Unusual places in Spain

Table of contents:

Unusual places in Spain
Unusual places in Spain
photo: Rhonda
photo: Rhonda
  • Castellfollit de la Roca
  • San Jose underground river
  • Setenil de las Bodegas
  • Royal trail
  • Gulpiyuri beach
  • Rio Tinto river and surroundings

Spain is a well-studied and well-traveled country up and down by travelers. Many books, travel guides, articles have been written about her. Each city, each natural landmark, it would seem, has long been described and known to the ubiquitous tourists. But the world is full of amazing discoveries. To discover unusual places in Spain, you only need to turn a little off the beaten track and traditional routes.

In fact, there are a lot of interesting and uninhabited tourist sites in Spain. The villages, during the construction of which the existing landscape was used to the maximum, underground formations with curious stalactites, walking paths located at a great height above the abyss, red river waters, beaches enclosed in a ring of rocks … And this is only a small part of those wonders that offers a country on the Iberian Peninsula.

Near each of the beautiful and strange places we have presented, there are hotels where you can stay for a night or two to get to know a particular Spanish corner, where there are still few tourists.

Castellfollit de la Roca


Imagine a row of two-, three-story houses of rough stone that are built on the edge of a deep abyss - and you get an idea of the village of Castellfollit de la Roca, located in the province of Girona in the north of the autonomous region of Catalonia, in the volcanic region of Garrotxa, near Pyrenees mountains.

Basalt rock 50 meters high and almost a kilometer long with steep edges, on which this one of the most beautiful towns in Catalonia was built, is bounded by two rivers - Fluvia and Toronnel. The old part of the medieval town consists of several narrow, shady streets that lead to small, cozy squares. At the end of the cliff is the Yosep Pla square, which offers an impressive panoramic view of the valley below, which is 160 meters away.

In the town of Castellfollit de la Roca, there are several sights that are familiar to us, for example, the Church of San Salvador, dating from the 11th century and originally built in the Romanesque style. It was the center of the village's social life and was used as intended until the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Another interesting local building is the bell tower of San Roque. The Sausage Museum and the Vietnam War Museum are worth a visit.

A unique opportunity to look down from the house, which stands on the cliff, will present itself if you go to one of the restaurants in Castellfollit de la Roca, for example, in “Cala Paula”. Order a dish prepared in the tradition of Garrotch cuisine, for example, containing wild mushrooms. It is customary to drink all this with local craft beer, because the town has its own small brewery.

After walking around the city, you can go to the nearest village of Montagut, where the Sanctuary del Cos is located. The main discoveries will await you on the road from which you can take an incredible amount of breathtaking pictures of the village over the cliff and the Garrotch volcanic zone.

How to get there: there is a regular bus from Girona to Castellfollita. The journey will cost about 8 euros. The journey will take about an hour. From Barcelona, you can also take a bus in 2 hours 10 minutes. A ticket for it costs 20 euros.

San Jose underground river

In the Sierra de Espadan Natural Park, near the village of Val d'Uxo in the province of Valencia, there is the longest underground river in Europe, San José, which can be used by small pleasure boats. Its length is more than 3 km. It passes through grottoes of extraordinary beauty that have their own names.

Tourists can see all the local underground beauty on a tour that lasts 45 minutes. During this time, people overcome 1400 meters by boat, and then walk on foot along a dry gallery with a length of 255 meters. The air temperature in the grottoes always remains constant and keeps at around 20 degrees.

Once on a boat, quietly gliding along an underground river, the guest sees rocks that have been formed over millennia under the influence of water. Stalactites, stalagmites, and other rock formations, resembling either rounded mushrooms, or needles, or balls, are well illuminated, so tourists can see them in detail. To preserve the unique local microflora, the grottoes are not allowed with their food, drinks and animals.

The network of natural grottoes of San Josep is not fully understood. The 1932-meter section of the river remains inaccessible for inspection. Despite numerous attempts to explore underground caves, the place where the San Jose River originates remains unknown.

The San Josep Caves have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era. This conclusion could be drawn based on the artifacts found at the exit from the grottoes. The inhabitants of the nearby villages knew well about the underground cavities, which in the 19th century took it as a habit to celebrate a local holiday near the caves - Festa de les Floors. The first study of the caves and the river that flows through them took place in 1902.

Outside the caves is the village of San Jose, where there are many archaeological sites that can also be visited if you have free time.

How to get there: from the bus station of Valencia to the town of Val d'Uxo, where the caves of San Josep are located, bus number 320 runs. It takes tourists to their destination in 1 hour. In Val d'Uxo, you can walk to the caves (30-40 minutes) or take a taxi (fare - 6 euros).

Setenil de las Bodegas

If the town of Castellfollit de la Roca is built on a mountain, then Setenil de las Bodegas is conveniently located on the slopes and under the overhanging rocks. It is one of the famous white villages of Andalusia.

It is still worth setting aside at least half of the day during your vacation in Spain to visit Setenil. It is one of the most original and picturesque cities in Spain.

In Setenile de las Bodegas you can see:

  • Cuevas del Sol, the most famous thoroughfare of this white village. The narrow street, along which the small Trejo River flows, is under the shade of a massive rock. Houses on it are arranged right in the caves. There are no ordinary dwellings here, most of the houses on this street are bars and restaurants serving excellent tapas. The name of the street is explained by the fact that most of the day it is illuminated by the sun's rays;
  • street Cuevas de la Sombra. It is connected to the Cuevas del Sol by two small bridges. The street is so narrow that some parts of it constantly remain in the shade. Here are the best bakeries in town;
  • area of Andalusia. Rue Cuevas de la Sombra and its continuation Ronda Rue lead tourists to the beautiful, elevated square of Andalusia. The houses in this square house banks, bars and cafes;
  • Calquetas street. One of the most picturesque urban highways of Setenil, built up with cave houses. You can climb up the stairs from Calleion Street. The steps will give you great photos of the city below;
  • numerous viewing platforms. One is near the old town hall, the other is at the Church of the Virgin Mary, and a staircase from the gardens of Manuel Galan leads to the third, called El Lison;
  • a tower preserved from the fortress of the XII-XIII centuries, which is located in the upper part of the village.

How to get there: Setenil de las Bodegas is located 96 km from Malaga, but there is no public transport from the coast. Buses from Malaga arrive in the neighboring town of Alcalá del Valle, which is located 4.67 km from Setenil. Therefore, it is better to come here by a rented car or taxi.

Royal trail

Another attraction of Andalusia is the Caminito del Rey, the Royal Trail, a symbolic route laid especially for King Alfonso XIII in the mountains near Malaga, between the two hydroelectric power stations El Chorro and El Gaitanejo, and then abandoned for many decades.

Imagine a high rock, divide it in half and at this level imagine a 1 meter wide hinged road and you will get an idea of the Caminito del Rey. This attraction is not for everyone. People who are afraid of heights are not allowed here.

Just a few years ago, the Royal Trail was rebuilt, some sections were made transparent for the most courageous tourists, everything was railed and opened to the general public.

The new trail passes over the old road, which was considered the most dangerous in the whole world, and still there were daredevils who, with the help of safety cables and climbing equipment, overcame it. Now it is, rather, a walking route with a length of 8.5 km, which can be covered in about 3 hours.

The ticket, which is allowed to enter the Caminito del Rey, costs 10 euros. The path to the starting point of the journey starts from the town of Ardales and passes through a picturesque area past pine groves and turquoise lakes. On a trip to the Caminito del Rey, they go in groups of 30-40 people. Everyone is given a helmet before the hike, which can protect against small pebbles falling off from above.

The royal trail is partly laid over the Guadalhorce River and over a valley with small groups of eucalyptus trees, palms, pines, oaks. On the rocky ledges, if you are careful, you can see some representatives of the local fauna, for example, vultures, mountain goats, foxes.

At the end of the path, tourists go to a bar with a terrace, from where a magical view of the lake opens up. Few are so strong in spirit and nerves that they go further, and do not stay here for a certain amount of time to drink a refreshing cocktail and be glad that they remained alive after walking along the Royal Trail.

How to get there: a train takes you from Malaga to El Chorro station. From the station to the town of Ardales, you need to walk about 3 km.

Gulpiyuri beach


Between the two Asturian cities of Ribadesella and Llanes, there is the unique Gulpiyuri beach, which is called the smallest in the world. Its peculiarity is that it has no outlet to the sea, at least this outlet is not visible to the naked eye.

The beach is located in a karst depression with a diameter of about 50 meters and on one side, closest to the sea, is limited by limestone rocks, through which sea water seeps. The coast is separated from this beach by only 100 meters. Originally, where the beach is now, there was a deep cave until its lower part collapsed. It is interesting that on this small reservoir you can feel the ebb and flow and even there are strong waves.

It is believed that the Gulpiyuri Basin is technically an inland sea associated with the Atlantic Ocean and could claim to be the smallest sea on the planet. On the opposite side, the beach is surrounded by a slope of a green plateau overgrown with lush grass. There is only one path that leads down to the sandy beach. The almost steep slope of the plateau and high enough cliffs protect the beach from the wind.

Gulpiyuri beach can only be reached on foot from San Antolin beach or from the village of Navez. Its remoteness from popular tourist routes has served its safety. In 2001, this unique natural area was recognized as a natural monument of Spain.

There are few vacationers on the beach. Most often these are casual tourists or residents of nearby villages.

How to get there: Gulpiyuri beach is located in the vicinity of the village of Nave. It is 14 km away from the nearest Asturian city of Llanes. By taxi or your own car, this distance can be covered in 14 minutes. The train will run for 20 minutes. You need to get off at the Villahormes station, which is located behind the village of Nave.

Rio Tinto river and surroundings

Have you ever seen a Martian river with red water on Earth? It is such a waterway called Rio Tinto that flows through the province of Huelva in Andalusia. The admixtures of iron and copper give such a striking color to the river waters. The Tartessians and the Romans, who founded mines near the river for the extraction of this metal, were well aware of this.

A modern tourist who comes to the Rio Tinto River can:

  • visit the Mining Museum in Riotinto Mountain Park. It consists of 15 rooms, which house exhibits dedicated to the history of the development of local iron and silver mines;
  • take a walk through the Peña de Hierro mine. The guests, equipped with helmets and lanterns, are shown an authentic mine gallery 200 meters long, which leads directly to the sinkhole where the mine workers descended;
  • take a ride on a 19th century train along the course of the red river through tunnels, bridges, past the cemetery of old steam locomotives;
  • go to the English region in Minas de Riotinto (from the 19th century the British controlled the local mines), where the families of the leaders of the mines lived. Some Victorian mansions have survived to this day. House # 21 can be viewed from the inside.

Despite the fact that the water in the Rio Tinto River is saturated with heavy metals and has a high acidity, life has been discovered in it. Some types of algae and microorganisms live here, which are not afraid of such difficult conditions.

A person should not swim and even just wash their hands in such water. But no one will interfere with taking a couple of gorgeous photos.

How to get there: The easiest way to get to Riotinto Park is by taxi or rental car. From Huelva you need to overcome 70 km along the N-435 and A-461 highways, from Seville, which is a little further, the road runs along the A-66, N-433 and A-476 highways.


Unusual places in Spain
Unusual places in Spain
Unusual places in Spain
Unusual places in Spain
Unusual places in Spain
Unusual places in Spain