Five Very Unique Destinations in Spain
Thereâ€™s no arguing Spain is one of the most interesting countries in the world. Cities like Barcelona or Madrid are famous for their beauty, and beach resorts like Palma de Majorca and Ibiza are among the most popular in the world. But today weâ€™re going to take a look at five, not so popular, but absolutely breathtaking destinations in Spain:
Arcos de la Frontera
Positioned atop the Pena Nueva, a rocky limestone ridge overlooking the valley of the Guadalete River, Arcos de la Frontera is one of the most beautiful â€œPueblos Blancosâ€ (white villages) of Andalucia. Featuring a history that can be traced back to the Neolithic, Arcos de la Frontera has been a favored settlement of the Phoenicians and Romans, both for its strategic position and incredible views.
Arcos gained its present name in the 13th century, for being right on Spainâ€™s frontier during its wars with the Moors. It was occupied by the invading Muslims and the Castillo de los Arcos is just one of the architectural marks they left on the old town. Exploring its narrow, cobbled alleys on foot, youâ€™ll discover an array of fascinating buildings and churches dating back to the Middle Ages.
Perched on the edge of the steep El Tajo Canyon, Ronda is a picturesque Andalusian city, in the province of Malaga. The first evidence of Rondaâ€™s existence can be traced back to the time of the old Celts, but it was later conquered by the Romans and Moors. One of the fastest growing settlements in Spain, Ronda maintains most of its historic charm.
Apart from its breathtaking views from the over 100 meters deep El Tajo Canyon, diverse architecture in Roman, Moor and Spanish styles, Ronda is famous for being the birthplace of modern bullfighting. Plaza de toros de Ronda is the oldest bullfighting arena in Spain, built between 1751 and 1793.
The city of Cuenca is located in Castilla â€“La Mancha, central Spain, between two gorges dug by the Jucar and Huecar rivers. It was established when the Muslims occupied this area, in 714, and soon became a prosperous agricultural town. Its many historical and cultural treasures convinced UNESCO to add Cuenca on its World Heritage Site List.
Cuenca is divided into the old town, a labyrinth of narrow streets situated on the edge of a precipice, and the modern town, located at the foot of the cliff. The most popular attractions in Cuenca are the Hanging Houses (Casas Colgadas), built atop the Huecar River gorge.
Setenil de las Bodegas
Some inhabitants of Setenil de las Bodegas can honestly say they have been living under a rock all their lives and they wouldnâ€™t be exaggerating one bit. One of Spainâ€™s famous Pueblos Blancos, Setenil de las Bodegas is known around the world for its unique architecture.
Archeological evidence suggests people have been living in the area for the past 25,000 years and the town itself developed out of a network of caves above the river Trejo. Setenil de las Bodegas expanded around these original houses, but they are still inhabited today as they keep the temperatures cool, while conventional houses need air-conditioning.
Castellfollit de la Roca
Castellfollit de la Roca sits atop a giant basalt cliff, bordered by the Fluvia and Toronell rivers. It covers an area of less than a square kilometer, making it one of the smallest towns in Catalonia, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in beauty.
Built atop a 50-meter-high basalt cliff, Castellfollit de la Roca offers truly breathtaking views from the balconies located on the edge of the precipice. Only from these strategic viewpoints can someone fully appreciate the townâ€™s spectacular panorama and advantageous positioning.