15-day Itinerary for North of Spain, you get to experience, little-hidden gems, white sandy beaches, Mediterranean sea, hustle and bustle of the city, local wine, local food (In the Basque Country tapas are better known as pintxos) and local language.
Spain is a beautiful country. The diverse culture, vibrant and fascinating and Madrid being the capital makes it the perfect reason why you should start your trip from Madrid.
Most visitors to Spain head to the big cities like Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Valencia, and Granada. Even though I loved every minute visiting all these beautiful places, I just fell in love with the beautiful North, Basque Country. In my opinion, northern Spain is the best side of Spain. The Food and the wine is different in the north to the rest of Spain. The rolling hills, the ocean, the Iberian Peninsula stole my heart.
Located in the center of Spain. It is so much more than just a business center. Fascinating culture, history, architecture, museums, shopping and the pride of Madrid its football team, “Real Madrid” …. football is not just a sport in Spain; it’s religion.You can fly from anywhere directly into Madrid.
Start your tour with Madrid, Spend four days here.
ARANDA DE DUERO
North of Madrid, you will find this little historical village of Aranda De Duero. Its rich architectural heritage and fame for wineries bring tourists and travelers to this town.
PERFECT for lunch stopover.
Driving North from Madrid, you will find the City of Burgos, an authentic medieval Splendour. Burgos was the capital of the unified kingdom of Castilla-Leon for five centuries. Famous for its masterpieces of Spanish Gothic architecture, The Cathedral of Burgos (world Heritage), located on the bank of river Arlanzon.
Spend one day here
Santander is where you will find a lot of old history but with new modern buildings. The story goes that after a lot of damage from a big fire, Santander had to rebuild its city. The beautiful coastal town, with a big stretch of Esplanade on the oceanfront built for all kinds of outdoor activities and living. Fabulous beaches, beautiful landscapes, natural look makes this town very lively.
Spend one day here.
Not many people have heard of this town, except for Spaniards and maybe some adventurous travelers. Well, I didn’t know of this treasure either. On my drive from Santander to San Sebastian, I found this little Spanish treasure. Surrounded by the lush green Cantabrian mountains and the Pyrenees, sitting on the Nervion rivers bank Bilbao entertains drive-through tourists and travelers.
Spend one day here
I promise you; It is impossible to visit picturesque San Sebastian and not fall madly in love with it. From four white sandy beaches, three lush green mountains, two beautiful bays, one river and an island in the middle of the whole town situated on the peninsula. If this hasn’t left you speechless wait, I have more, by night this is the most romantic beach town you would have ever seen.
Pamplona, the city famous for the Running of the Bulls, Traditional festival of San Fermin (Las Fiestas de San Fermin). Every July people from all over the world come to be part of this celebration. Some as just spectators and some take part in running with the bulls
Spend one day here
Zaragoza is the Capital of Aragon and the Main city of the Ebro Valley. The first thing that caught my eye as I was driving into Zaragoza was this elegant Gothic style Stone Bridge standing proudly over the Ebro river.
Spend one day here.
Breathtaking, Beautiful beach town of Barcelona located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula. This beautiful paradise is in the Catalan City. It is the City of Colours and flavors. Fun is the first thing that popped into my head when I arrived in this city. Laid back beach culture, enriched with history and exotic food, sprinkled with Spanish flavors and culture
Spend Four days here. Fly home from Barcelona
#Travelquote: “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide
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Wow, there’s a lot of towns in Spain I have not heard of. I would really love to do this itinerary. Did you rent a car or take a train/bus? I would probably skip Pamplona during the running of the bulls, it would probably be crazy busy.
Love how you highlighted the lesser known places of Spain. Wonderful itinerary! Thanks for sharing how many days you think people should spend in each. Any food recommendations? Anything you particularly loved??
Hi Meaghan, thank you for your lovely comment. Each destination has a link, if you click on them, for example, Madrid, you will get a details information on Madrid. For food recommendations, I will have to do another blog just on food. In Spain, the food is just amazing.Anything you try you will love.
You really visited a lot of places! I’ve only been to Madrid and Barcelona but there’s so much more do see and do!! Great article. Thank you for sharing!
I love Spain but have never visited Madrid before – it looks awesome though! 🙂 Loved reading about all the things to see and do!
All of those are so attractive. I love all of them but I love Santader most. It’s so special to me.
Great travel list! I would really love to see Spain and I love the interesting classical and modern architecture. Pamplona is personal must for me
I once watched a movie based on a road trip through Spain, and ever since, I’ve wanted to visit. San Sebastian sound like a delight and Pamplona to get your adrenalin going! Your pictures definitely capture the beauty of the places you visit.
I have visited Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona and I absolutely loved it. But like mentioned the rest of less explored places are just as gorgeous and I hope To visit them in the coming year. Bilboa and Pamplona are on top of my list
I’ve been told Bilbao is a hidden gem. Would love to go there someday. Looks like you had an amazing trip to Spain!
I really want to visit Spain, and do the road trip. It really sounds best way to explore. Covering the places where not many tourists go is one thing I surely love, since those places are always unexplored
Seems like you had a wonderful time exploring Northern Spain.. You have indeed included lesser known places to visit in Spain.. Love the fact that you can visit all of this within 15 days.. Santander and San Sebastian sounds like a pretty place to visit.. Great roundup! 🙂
I have to go back to Spain for tons of more culture-rich experiences. From your list, I can straight away pick two cities which are on my mind…San Sebastian and Pamplona. Such a fascinating country.
Thank you for showing us some different areas and towns in Spain! I have not heard of some these, but they all look worth checking out!
What beautiful cities! It seems like a perfect itinerary. With the mix of historical and culturally rich places as well as the beaches. I will save it for my future reference since Spain is very much in my bucket list.
Wow, Spain has so much to offer! So many cultures and landscapes really make this country worth to visit at least once. I would be in Spain for short course and will make every bit of my time by paying visit to as many places as I can 😛 your post is really helpful in that way 🙂
I am dying to explore Spain and your post made me want to book a trip here even more
this is a fantastic Spain itinerary, I’m love seeing and photographing architecture so Aranda De Duero seems like a must visit!
Spain really is a beautiful country. I really want to return there and explore the country more. Most of these places I haven’t been at. Thanks for sharing!
Lovely images. I was amused to see the picture of a giant spider, what is it doing there? What is the story about it?