Spain is the perfect place to visit for any type of traveler, thanks to its eclectic variety of stunning landscapes, magnificent architecture and an immense amount of cultural offerings. But the country is especially wonderful if you happen to love food and wine.
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Beyond Spain’s largest cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, which are both well-known havens for foodies and winos, there are a number of smaller cities, towns and villages to eat and drink your way through. ¡Vamanos!
A small town about an hour outside of Madrid, this village is known for its magnificent Roman aqueduct, its castle, rumored to have inspired Walt Disney and its gorgeous Cathedral. But the food is no joke, either, and the best way to enjoy a meal there is with a Menú del Día, a fixed-price daily lunch menu which comes with a starter, main course, dessert, bread and a drink.
Taste: Segovia’s most revered dish, cochinillo, the roast suckling pig.
Drink: over 20 wineries are scattered throughout the Segovia region, so try a local red.
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This cultural gem is mesh of both Arabic, Jewish and European heritage, and it’s one of the best places to do a tapas bar crawl. Escape the tourist crowds by exploring the Triana neighborhood on the other side of the river. You may even catch locals in spontaneous outbursts of flamenco song and dance.
Taste: solomillo al whiskey, a tender cut of meat marinated in whiskey.
Drink: manzanilla, a light variety of sherry.
The Asturias region of Spain is a well-kept secret — known among Spaniards for its idyllic, mystical beaches and its green, lush terrain. Food is hearty and flavorful, and you could spend days indulging in the various Cabrales cheeses and chorizos offered around town.
Taste: a typical fabada stew, made of white faba beans.
Drink: Sidra, Austurian apple cider. Hint: try pouring it at your own risk.
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Known as one of the world’s most delectable foodie spots, San Sebastián has the highest number of Michelin stars per square meter in the world. But you don’t have to spend a lot to eat well there — there’s plenty to fill the bellies of mid-range and budget travelers too.
Taste: pinchos, small tapas on a stick. Try high-brow, gourmet ones at fancier spots, and home-cooked, hearty ones at low-key bars.
Drink: Txakoli, a dry white wine with a light sparkle coming from the nearby village of Getaria.
Granada is another city that’s all about tapas – and you might even manage to get them free when ordering drinks. Plus, a sunset over the Alhambra palace while chowing down is the ideal way to end your day.
Eat: literally any free tapa offered to you.
Drink: a crisp, cold Alhambra beer.
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Known for its famous tapas street Calle Laurel, plan to get your fill of creative eats on this street, while also checking out the town’s massive cathedral.
Eat: patatas a la riojana, a substantial potato stew filled with chorizo and paprika.
Drink: Rioja varieties — after all, Logroño is right in the heart of the Rioja wine region
Located in Spain’s Extremadura region, this area is often forgotten about by tourists, meaning you’ll have a real, local taste of Spanish living. Plan your trip around the town’s famous cheese festival, which occurs every year at the end of April/early May.
Taste: Anything topped with pimentón de La Vera – the region’s locally grown paprika.
Drink: Local Extremeño wines are known as Vinos de la Tierra, earthy and strong.
Santiago de Compostela
It’s not just the endpoint for pilgrims walking the famous Camino de Santiago – it’s a beautiful, historical city known as the seafood capital of Spain. Some of the fish markets in town even have small restaurants inside where you choose your fish in the market and bring it over to the grill, paying a couple of euros for them to fry it up for you.
Taste: Pulpo a la Gallega, boiled octopus with potatoes, topped with paprika and salt.
Drink: Albariño wine, a crisp, fruity white that pairs perfectly with seafood.
I could see Snow White living in Segovia and it sounds like there is plenty to drink for those pesky dwarfs. Trujillo interested me too. I love a good cheese festival and having the place to live like a local would be fabulous. I also love that the festival is in the spring and deconflicts with the wide variety of fall festivals in the world, particularly Spain.
Segovia is absolutely magical, right out of a fairy tale! Trujillo also really takes you back in time to Medieval moments…and the nearby city of Merida has an ancient Roman amphitheatre still used for concerts today. I hope you’ll be able to visit!
I’ve heard that Sevilla & Grenada are beautiful cities, now I know that there are good wine and good food too!
I would love to visit all 20 wineries in Segovia, plus the castle loos beautiful!
The castle is truly a wonder!
I’ve still never been to Spain and this post makes me want to go so bad! Honestly, all these smaller towns and the castles make me want to visit Spain so much more than seeing the bigger cities! San Sebastián and Granada look so stunning! Definitely saving this to refer to!
Glad you enjoyed the article. You should keep an eye out for flight deals to Spain, they are always popping up!
Have only been to Seville and Granada and loved the sherry there. Lighter and sweeter! Booking marking this article so I know what to get when we make it back to Spain again.
I love love love Spain! Rioja is one of my favorite wines only surpassed by Tuscan wines. I also didn’t know there was an Alhambra beer. I’m so looking forward to my next adventure to Spain. Thank you for adding a few new locations to my list.
Alhambra is definitely the best beer in Spain, in my humble opinion. And I agree — between Rioja and Tuscan wines it’s a very close call!