Underrated Places in Spain

This post is written by Olivia from Halfway Somewhere. Olivia is a student from Melbourne, Australia who's been living in Spain for the past few months and midway through her first trip across the US. You can follow along on Instagram

When people come to Spain you can usually guess where they're headed. Nine times out of ten it'll be Barcelona, Madrid, or somewhere in the south. There's nothing wrong with those places - they're tourist hot spots for a reason - but there are other areas of Spain that are more than worthy of a visit. I've been living in Spain for a few months now and I made it my mission to find the country's hidden areas. Here are four of them:

Main square in Oviedo, Asturias

Asturias

For some reason almost nobody goes to Asturias, the region to the north of the country nestled between Cantabria and Galicia. Two places to visit in Asturias are Oviedo and Gijón. Oviedo is a beautiful small city, although admittedly there's not a lot to do there - it's more of a relaxing destination. Gijón is not far away and has the added benefit of being on the beach. In Asturias you can try the typical cider they make - you pour it from a height, just a few centimetres at a time, and drink it really fast. It's fun to drink, though it's definitely an acquired taste!

Salamanca

Salamanca is a decent sized town about two and a half hours north west from Madrid. It's home to one of the oldest universities in the world, so you'll find a lot of students and a lot of bars - leading to some really great nightlife. It's also one of the most beautiful cities in the country, Like seemingly every European city it's got its share of cathedrals and really old buildings, but they're some of the most beautiful you can find.

Rooftops in Segovia

Madrid surrounds

There's a lot of really cool small towns within an hour or so of Madrid which make great day trips out of the city. Depending which direction you head out you can get to know different food and ways of life. To the south there's Toledo, which was the capital of Spain for a long time and holds a lot of history. To the west there's Avila, one of my favourite places. It's the most well preserved walled city in Spain and you can climb up and walk around the walls to check out the city. Then to the north west there's Segovia with it's famous giant Roman aqueduct, another of my favourites.

Galicia

Galicia is the area in the north west of the country, right above Portugal. If you can decipher the Galician accent and find a local to show you the ropes you're in for a really great time. Galicia is home to Santiago de Compostela, the end point of the popular Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. As well as a few fun cities, this are offers a whole lot of really great beaches. And unsurprisingly, Galicia is often given the honour of producing the best seafood in the country. Next time you head to Spain, consider taking some time from the usual destinations and give one of these a visit. It'll add another dimension to your trip and give you another look at this beautiful country!

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