The i-escape blog / Lucy Richardson

By Lucy Richardson, Editor

Nothing beats a holiday in Spain, but nobody wants to get stuck with the crowds. Here are 10 secret treasures of the real, hidden Spain.

1 Secret coves in Catalonia

Stay here: Consistently voted one of our top-rated places to stay, Hostal Sa Rascassa is a secluded restaurant with five rooms, set in a pretty coastal location under pine trees. In-the-know foodies come from afar to dine here, and there’s a path down to a secret little cove where the waters are crystal-clear.

What you get:
●  Breathtaking sea views from the rooms’ shared terrace
●  Some of the best food in Catalonia – much of it straight from the sea
  Leafy restaurant terrace lit by fairy lights
●  Super friendly owner and staff
●  Great snorkelling/diving in the bay

Prices from £103 per night for a room

2 Peace and privacy in Fuerteventura

Stay here: Step into the architectural marvel of La Oliva Hideaway, tucked away in Fuerteventura’s interior. These two self-catering units are minimalist and avant-garde, both sharing a very glossy-looking pool terrace. Embrace the slow movement, disconnect from the world, and immerse yourself in the wild beaches and lunar beauty of the island.

What you get:
● A secluded pool terrace with magazine-worthy good looks
● Striking design details
● A concierge service that delivers breakfast and can arrange activities
● Close to some of the best beaches in the Canaries
● Sophisticated, grown-up vibes – adults only

Prices from £256 per night for a self-catering unit

3 A desert oasis in Almeria

Stay here: This is where the Almería desert meets the Mediterranean sea. It’s a place of ochre and terracotta landscapes, tinkling goat bells, swaying palm trees, fiery sunsets and stylish Little Agave, an eco-retreat in the heart of Cabo de Gata Natural Park. There’s no better place to finish up your novel.

What you get:
●  Brilliant value
●  Just 4 simple-yet-chic rooms
  A stunning desert garden with pool
●  Close to Spain’s best beaches
●  Far from the tourist crowds

Prices from £68 per night for a room

4 The wild orchards of Mallorca

Stay here: Mallorca has dozens of agroturismo properties but Son Palou stands out from the crowd. It’s a small, stylish 14-bedroom hotel (plus a private villa for 2-4) set among lush wild orchards, with stunning mountain scenery. A perfect place to recharge your batteries and spoil yourself in nature.

What you get:
●  Exceptional food
●  Lovely tranquil atmosphere
  Fabulous mountain views
●  Lots of pretty nooks for hiding away
●  The estate has its own waterfall!

Prices from £148 per night for a double room

Hide & chic on the Costa Blanca

Stay here: Caserio del Mirador is a brilliant family-focused retreat in the mountains above the Costa Blanca. There are five stylish apartments, a casita, and an Airstream for glampers. It’s also home to a menagerie of animals (there’s a pony called Snow White – bless). The facilities are everything a parent could wish for.

What you get:
●  Perfect for families
●  Safe and secure
  Flawless apartments
●  Wine & beer included in food prices
●  Within distance of the sea

Prices from £171 per night for an apartment

6 Views of Africa on the Costa de la Luz

Stay here: El Cancho is a pair of secluded eco-houses (sleeping 2-6) on a hillside above the stunning white beaches around Tarifa. Get set for a real back-to-nature experience: solar panels provide electricity, and gas heats water directly from the mountain spring. Lie in a hammock, gaze across the Strait towards Morocco, and drift off to the sound of goat bells.

What you get:
●  Two eco-houses set in a protected natural park
●  Total solitude and privacy
  Sensational coastal views towards Morocco
●  White-sand beaches with excellent kite- and windsurfing
●  Lots of wildlife to spot

Prices from £120 per night for an eco-house

7 Bask & relax in the Basque Country

Stay here: Set in a traditional Basque farmhouse, the Hemingway Riverview Apartments – named after the famous writer who loved this part of Spain – line the scenic Urdaibai estuary (a Unesco biosphere reserve). You get migrating birds and fab beaches here, while the mountainous interior is marked by dozens of hiking and biking trails.

What you get:

●  Six smart, high-spec apartments (for 2-4)
●  Incredible estuary views
  Located on a popular bird migration route
●  A quiet beach a 5-minute walk away
●  Lots of outdoorsy activities (surfing, kitesurfing, cycling, birdwatching)

Prices from £103 per night for an apartment

8 The green coast of Asturias

Stay here: This is where history meets contemporary comfort. We love Hotel Torre de Villademoros, an 18th-century mansion with a medieval tower (with bedrooms!) on Asturias’ rugged northwest coastline. These beaches are often called the cleanest in northern Spain. It’s also a walker’s paradise.

What you get:
●  A truly historic hideaway
●  Great value for money
  A super-lovely owner
●  The cleanest beaches in northern Spain
●  Not a soul between here and the coast

Prices from £85 per night for a standard room

9 The magnificent vistas of Aragon

Stay here: Gaze over far-reaching countryside views, and gorge on gourmet food and wine at Torre del Marques Hotel & Spa, a serene, 18th-century farmhouse in the little-known Matarraña region, considered the Tuscany of Spain. Explore the vineyards, relax in the gardens of almond trees, then hike to Gothic castles or crystal-clear natural pools.

What you get:
●  To-die-for views of treetops, hills and valleys
●  Excellent food alongside wine from the hotel’s vineyards
  18 elegant rooms that survey the landscape
●  Dreamy outdoor pool, surrounded by rolling countryside
●  A fabulous spa with Turkish bath

Prices from £138 per night for a standard room

10 Enchanting gardens of inland Menorca

Stay here: Once a derelict 19th-century manor house, now a gorgeous villa for family and friends, The Menorca Hideaway hides away in 2.5 acres of beautifully terraced grounds. The magical gardens are filled with wildflowers, fruit trees and friendly tortoises, and the peaceful, medieval town of Alaior is close by.

What you get:
●  4 bright bedrooms with windows over lavender fields
●  Lovely pool fashioned from an old water tank
  Great kitchen for self-catering plus BBQs
●  Close to Alaior and the sandy beaches of Son Bou
●  2.5 acres of private gardens

Prices from £366 per night for the villa