Spain - off the beaten path

Hi All, I have about 10 days to spend in Spain in December. I can fly into Madrid, Barca, Malaga or Alicante and am looking for suggestions. I want small town Spain. From Barca with Iberia / Vueling I can make connections to Oviedo, Santiago de Compostela or with Malaga add on Jerz or Cadiz.I thought a bit of time in whatever city I fly into and then some time elsewhere. Any suggestions? Thank you,

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

The question is confusing since none of the places mentioned are off the beaten path. What are you looking for?

Posted by Vickie
jacksonville, FL, USA
16 posts

Apologies, my subject line is confusing.
I'm looking for small town Spain, something not very touristy.

Posted by Ed
9110 posts

We're making progress. How do you want to get the last ways into these small places - - public transportation or car?

Posted by Barry
San Diego, CA
613 posts

Though not small towns I recommend visiting Leon and Burgos, they're in the north along the Camino de Santiago. If you go to a small town, or at least what I picture as small there isn't a lot to see or do there outside of visiting the cathedral, and if it is truly small they appear to be deserted during the day.

Posted by Neil
806 posts

There are scores if not a hundred or two of small towns I could suggest but, as intimated above, what are you going to do after the first full day when you have seen all? I cannot tell what you want from this small town, apart from not touristy. I am going to suggest you go to a town of greater than 5,000 with bus services to somewhere more than once in the morning and afternoon and even better a train station. Take a look at all these places big and small in Andalucia - - what floats your boat? By the way you cannot fly into Barca as it is a very modest sized town in Spain. Barça (note ç) is a football team and not a shortening for Barcelona, the city.

Posted by donna
roswell, ga, usa
1485 posts

There are nice "medium" sized places in Analucia. I spent a week in Nerja once on the Costa del Sol, and took several day trips. Frijiliana is close, as is Marbella. Those towns don't "fold up at night" but meeting the locals in Spain can be more difficult than I have found it to be in Italy/Sicily. I am assuming your Spanish is pretty good -- Spanish locals don't usually speak
or won't!

Posted by H J
LaGrange, Ga, USA
1107 posts

Two suggestions: Moon Guiide To Spain -- find it on Amazon...excellent guide for all of Spain. Check out their program. some of the venues are very very remote. In the week's adventure you will see Spain off the beaten track most likely, and will definitely meet up close and personal the Spanish people- A great experience in every aspect. I have been on 15 or so programs thus far.

Posted by Carol
Chesapeake, VA, USA
3 posts

I also highly recommend LEON and BURGOS. Quite beautiful but slightly off the main track. Both on the Camino de Santiago; I do have to admit that although touristy, the cathedral is just exquisite and the old town quite inviting.

Posted by Barry
San Diego, CA
613 posts

HJ, you've gone to Vaughantown 15 times? Wow, that must be a record! I've done it twice and wholeheartily agree it will give the poster a unique experience in
Spain, and you can't beat the price! On my first assignment I learned about the Camino de Santiago, it planted a seed and I made it the first major event after I retired almost 3 years ago, I completed the Camino in 33 days on June 23 of 2010.

Posted by Nancy
Bloomington, IL, USA
8336 posts

Next year will be my second time at Vaughantown (and maybe third). I loved it so much - and I have HJ to thank for telling me about it and answering a million questions before I went this year!

Posted by Phyllis
Agoura, California, U.S.
23 posts

I am loving staying in Antequera, at the center of Andalucia, from where I am taking frequent buses and trains for short trips. (under and hour, about 5 Euros from Malaga) It is a town of about 40,000 but old, old, old in the maze of streets and the ancient sites (including Bronze Age dolmens). I rarely see another tourist, rarely hear English. The prices are lower than on the coast or in bigger cities. Maybe read some Gerald Brennan, find an even smaller, more rural village but it will be difficult to travel around from there, unless you will have a car. Rincon de la Victoria is a modest, nice beach community East of Malaga, if you need the Mediterranean. Nerja, if you want to hear British English! Spain and the Spanish are wonderful. You will have the trip of a lifetime.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7870 posts

One caveat here. Northern Spain in December may be snowy and freezing. If you don't mind cold weather Burgos and Leon are good choices to see some very interesting sights while off the typical tourist path. In December, I'd probably stick to the South for cool (not beach weather) but decent weather. I also avoid Costa del Sol because it seems like one giant resort community (condos and golf courses).

Posted by Marty
30 posts

If you're a foodie, check out Hondaribbia at the base of the Pyranees...