Madrid and the attractions of southern Spain tend to get all of the attention. In the northern part of the country, Santander, Zargoza and Vigo are hidden gems.
Located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, Santander is a city going about its business. Squeezed between mountains and the harbor, the city is narrow and long. The central city consists of basic amenities you would expect to see in any city, but its charm lies in the atmosphere. Turn of the century buildings are everywhere and there is a certain charming chaos to the design and layout. Search for some pictures and youll see what I mean. If you need a beach day, head to the El Sardinero section of the town to roast in the sun. As with all Spanish cities, Santander has a hopping nightlife scene.
Zaragoza is a city that seems to have a split personality. Located in the Northeast of Spain, the city is clearly in Spain but has an Italian feel. This is due to the fact that Roman emperors took a liking to the strategic location of the city and built like madmen. You can find ancient Roman structures similar to those in Rome. If youre debating whether to go to Spain or Italy, a visit to Zaragoza may be your answer.
And now for something completely different Vigo is a city located in the far northeast of Spain, just above Portugal and is fairly remote. The city sits on the Atlantic Ocean and offers the usual beach options. A mix of modern concrete structures and historic Spanish architecture, this is one of the less hectic cities in Spain. The real attraction, however, is hiking. Outside of the city, you have an opportunity to hike to vistas overlooking the Atlantic Ocean that offer amazing views. If youve got time to burn in Spain, Vigo is worth a visit.
Northern Spain is definitely unique when compared to the southern attractions. Less of a tourist mecca and madhouse, it is definitely worth a visit if you have the time.