Lonely Planet Writer

These 11 places have joined the list of the most beautiful villages in Spain

Los Pueblos mas Bonitos de Espana, or the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain, has announced the 11 new towns that will become part of its network from 1 January 2018. While the country is best-known for its coastal areas, which draw holidaymakers from all over the world, it is also home to many picturesque villages. These are just waiting to be explored by travellers who prefer to check out the less obvious gems on offer.

Vineyards at Briones village, La Rioja, one of the new 11 most beautiful villages in Spain. Image: Gonzalo Azumendi

The villages were chosen for their architectural beauty, cultural heritage, traditions and natural environment. To qualify for membership, towns must have a population of under 15,000 people and a demonstrable architectural or cultural heritage. Only 20% of those who apply are chosen, and they win the right to publicise themselves as one of Spain’s most beautiful villages.

The famous cathedral of Mondoñedo in Lugo, Spain. Image: Jose Antonio Caravaca

Mondoñedo in Lugo was one of the villages selected, and it is famous for its cathedral, a national monument built in the 13th Century. All the streets of the town converge on its square. Briones in La Rioja is a medieval town full of stately palaces, churches and cobbled streets, and it’s famous for its vineyards and great wine tradition. Attractions in Mirambel in Teruel include its town hall, Baroque parish church and Gothic convent of the Augustinians. The other eight villages are Segura de la Sierra (Jaén), Ledesma (Salamanca), Lerma (Burgos), Zahara de la Sierra (Cádiz), Bubión (Granada), Almonaster La Real (Huelva), Guadalupe (Cáceres) and Castro Caldelas (Ourense).

Teruel in Mirambel, Spain is one of the new 11 most beautiful villages in Spain. Image: Julio Alvarez

These 11 villages will join the 57 that are already part of the association, according to its president, Francisco Mestre. For further information on each of the newly-accepted villages, see here.