Regardless of whether you’re planning a road trip along the coast of Northern Spain or you’re simply looking for a couple of trip destinations to enjoy incredible beaches and awe-inspiring architecture and nature, the towns on this list should end up in your travel itinerary.

Unforgettable Coastal Cities of Northern Spain
Unforgettable Coastal Cities of Northern Spain

San Sebastian

We’ve covered San Sebastian on this website quite extensively already, but it’s just that amazing. Let’s take a look at some of its highlights that make it one of the most desirable destinations in all of Spain. A lot of its present-day charm and monumental architecture can be accredited to the glory of the past times – mainly when the royal court of Queen María Cristina and the government operated out of San Sebastian for two months every year. You must take a walk on the magnificent La Concha beach and grab a spot on the tapas (pintxos) tour. With all of the beauty around, don’t overlook the gastronomical getaways in San Sebastian; get a meal at a local, traditional sidrería and book a table at one of the city’s avant-garde restaurants to really feel the contrasting spirits of what the city has to offer. Tip: San Sebastian can be quite expensive when it comes to accommodation, so consider alternative methods, such as couch surfing or camping if you’re into that kind of travelling.

Bilbao

While its past might not be the most exciting one, having been an industrial city for a while, Bilbao is now overflowing with vitality, cultural and artistic spirit and some great football. The largest city of the Basque Country boasts attractions such as Arriaga Theatre, which was reopened in 1985, and more than a dozen museums with the highlight being Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, an eccentric and elaborate building centered on contemporary visual arts. As for the foodies, you must try the traditionally prepared eel and cod dishes.

Santiago de Compostela

Many have probably heard this name together with Camino de Santiago, pilgrim routes across Europe that have a huge number of enthusiasts hiking them every year. The capital of Galicia gives a warm welcome to all those who finish Camino de Santiago, tourists and pilgrims alike. While there, make sure you visit the famous Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, which is a world heritage site and has a long history of being a pilgrimage destination. It’s definitely not all there is to this wonderful city. City of Culture of Galicia is a contemporary art museum worth your time and numerous abbeys will offer you some peace of mind.

Towns and Villages

If you happen to have the luxury of really travelling around, Northern Spain coast is home to some of the loveliest, most unique and beautiful little towns and villages. Hondarribia is famous for its restaurants all over the Basque country, and its charming cobblestone streets and fortified old buildings leave everyone mesmerized. Getaria is not too far, and it has been a fishing village for as long as it existed. Naturally – the perfect place to try some dishes with fresh-caught fish. Lastres must be visited just for the architectural wonders – it is full of houses that seem to be attached to the mountain and face the sea, which seems to be just about the perfect way to live.