Written by Scarlett Murray,
5th January 2023

Three Spanish villages have been listed as the best villages for tourism across the globe. Discover these villages and the beauty of rural Spain. 

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has created a list of the best villages for tourism across the globe. The list includes 32 villages from 18 countries across the five world regions. Multiple countries feature twice on the list, including Austria, China, Morocco, and Italy. But Spain alone has three villages featured on the list.

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What is the list?

The accolade recognises rural destinations that embrace tourism as a driver of development. Tourism has a vital role to play in boosting the economy and creating new jobs. At the same time as embracing tourism, these selected villages have stayed true to their community values, ways of life, and produce. Furthermore, the UNWTO stresses the importance of innovation being paired with sustainability.

The villages were rated on a set of criteria covering nine areas, including:

  • Cultural and Natural Resources.
  • Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources.
  • Economic Sustainability.
  • Infrastructure and Connectivity.

 

Which Spanish villages are featured?

Between the built-up skyline of Benidorm, the fashionista’s world of Madrid and the perfected shores of the Costa del Sol, we might not really think of Spain as somewhere with an appreciation for rural life. But Spain is dotted with beautiful, carefully kept villages. I’ve even written an article on the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in Spain and the enchanting locations featured on their list.

 

Rupit

A woman looking out to Rupit from a bench.

Rupit – a sight to behold.

This small medieval Catalonian village is in the county of Osana, in Catalonia, Spain. Rupit is surrounded by cliff faces, with cobbled streets, and buildings dating back centuries. Guided tours can help you to discover this beautiful location. Rupit even has a restaurant featured in the Michelin Guide, Estrella, serving delicious wines and scrumptious traditional Catalan food.

Furthermore, as it is only 98km away from Barcelona, it makes for a wonderful mini getaway, as it offers a complete change of pace.

Alquézar

Alquézar at night.

Alquézar – one of the most beautiful spots in all of Aragon.

If you are a skier or a hiker, looking into purchasing property in the Pyrenees, you can add Alquézar to your list of reasons to move there. As it is located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, The Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park in the Sierra de Guara Mountain range. Therefore, it is great spot for horse-riding, hiking, and canonying.

Declared an artistic-historic site, Alquézar is home to stunning historical architecture. The most captivating is the church dedicated to Santa María, a Muslim fortress that was then converted into a Christian church. Its appearance has changed over the years, with a medieval watchtower and 15th century wall paintings. There’s even a Museum of Sacred Art with pieces from the 12th to 15th century.

 

Guadalupe

 Guadalupe

Guadalupe’s famed Royal Monastery.

Last but not least, let’s discover Gudalupe. Located in the region on Las Villuercas in Cáceres province, Guadalupe is another village that will transport you back in time, with its cobbled streets lined with historical significance. The centrepiece of Guadalupe is the Royal Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which was declared a World Heritage Site in 1993. It was commissioned by King Alfonso XI of Castile in the 14th century. Today, it showcases both Gothic and Mudejar styles.

Moreover, Guadalulupe has an extremely impressive history. Like the Monastery, this is embodied by the former hospital of San Juan Bautista lies. It has now been turned into the Parador Hotel, but it used to be a place that pilgrims would frequent.

Another bonus is that Guadalupe is well-situated for visiting other gorgeous historic Spanish towns and villages, such as Cañamero, Logrosán and Berzocana.

 

A charming side to Spain

Due to their small populations, you would be hard pressed to find a property in one of these villages. But in shining a spotlight on them, the UNWTO draws attention to the beauty of rural Spain. Its history, its architecture, and amazing surrounding nature. Finally, have a browse of our extensive property portal, you might just find your piece of Spanish countryside.

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