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 The clifftops of Catalonia
Stay here:Once frequented by Hollywood’s elite (hello Liz Taylor) this secluded clifftop getawayon the Costa Brava in Catalonia has six sumptuous apartments and a glamourous seven-bedroom villa, all with details to die for.
What you get: ● Breathtaking sea views ● Perched on a clifftop ● A stunning pool set in the rocks ● Excellent on-site restaurant ● A secret tunnel to the beach!
Prices from £168 per night for an apartment
2 The desert gardens of 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 this colourful eco-retreatin the heart of Cabo de Gata Natural Park. There’s no better place to finish up your novel.
What you get: ● Brilliant value ● Just 3 dreamy cottages ● A stunning desert garden setting ● Close to Spain’s best beaches ● Far from the tourist crowds
Prices from £103 per night for a cottage
3The 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 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 £119 per night for a double room
4Heavenly drama on La Palma
Stay here:La Palma is by far the greenest island in the Canaries. It’s also wildly dramatic. Olio is a special little B&B right in the island’s centre, with just three rooms, a heated pool, and fabulous prices. There’s a chain of volcanic craters on your doorstep. The stargazing is out of this world.
What you get: ● Fabulous value ● Super-comfy beds ● Magnificent surroundings ● Pristine black beaches nearby ● So blissful you can hear a pin drop
Prices from £78 per night for a room
5 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 £168 per night for an apartment
6 Rural nirvana in Andalucia
Stay here:Molino Rio Alajar is a tranquil self-catering retreat close to one of Andalucia’s most beautiful villages. It has six intimate cottages dotted around a beautiful garden which overlooks the amazing Alajar valley. You’ll be hard pushed to find a better base for indulgent family R&R.
What you get: ● Six cosy cottages ● A shared pool and tennis courts ● You can plunder the vegetable garden ● Picturebook villages everywhere ● The best footpaths in southern Spain
Prices from £108 per night for a cottage
7Bask & relax in the Basque Country
Stay here:Urune Hotela is an absolute winner. It’s a stylish 8-bedroom farmhouse turned hotel set in the gorgeous Basque countryside. No stress, no crowds, just total relaxation. The only noise you’re likely to hear is early morning birdsong. Clean sandy beaches are nearby.
What you get: ● Brilliant prices ● A lush rural location ● Perfect for couples ● Only 30mins from Bilbao airport ● Guernica is just down the road
Prices from £70 per night for a room
8The glorious coasts of Asturias
Stay here: This is where history meets contemporary comfort. We love this 18th-century mansionwith 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 north Spain ● Not a soul between here and the coast
Prices from £73 per night for a standard room
9The magnificent vistas of Aragon
Stay here:Hotel Mas de la Costa is a lovingly resorted 19th-century farmhouse hidden among olive groves in the Aragon countryside. You get stunning views of the Puertos de Beceite mountains, seriously good Mediterranean cuisine, and a choice of 15 charming bedrooms.
What you get: ● Incredible food ● A saltwater pool ● Stunning mountain views ● Impressive sustainability ● Perfect for hikers and cyclists
Prices from £87 per night for a standard room
10 A hidden idyll in Navarre
Stay here:El Secreto de Ollo is like discovering your own El Dorado. It’s a gorgeous 7-bedroom guesthouse in a quiet corner of northern Navarre that’s hardly changed in 300 years. Explore the dreamy landscapes, then take a drive to historic Pamplona or visit San Sebastián.
What you get: ● A genuine rural idyll ● Superb value for money ● Glorious bedrooms ● Breakfast is a feast! ● Only 15km to Pamplona