Green Spain is the name given to the lush, natural region of Northern Spain, stretching along the Atlantic coast from the border shared with Portugal to west of the Pyrenees. It’s here where you’ll find the port cities of Santander and Bilbao – both popular short break destinations and the stylish beach resort of San Sebastián. Northern Spain is also home to the three wine regions of Rías Baixas – on the Galicia Coast in the northwest, Catalunya – known also for Costa Brava‘s beaches and the city of Barcelona, and lastly the most famed Spanish wine producer of La Rioja – located in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. What appeals to most visitors to Spain’s north are the sleepy fishing villages and the scenery and architecture of the historic inland towns.
What you’ll love most about Northern Spain
- Routes between the UK and northern, coastal Spain by both air and sea are easy to book. Bilbao, Santander and Santiago are the best ports of entry when flying with low-cost carriers Easyjet or Vueling airlines. For the northeast, Barcelona is the best bet
- The large numbers of coniferous and deciduous forests and green hills is where Northern Spain gets it’s “Green Spain” moniker. It’s certainly a gorgeous destination to explore by road
- A protected area of coastline around Mutriku, Deba, and Zumaia, the Basque Coast Geopark is for northern Spain what Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is to the southern UK
- Make a pilgrimage of your own to Santiago de Compostela in the Galicia region, a city that spawned around a Roman tomb found in 814
- Explore the endless vineyards, old and modern wineries, and picturesque villages of La Rioja
- As an excellent base for visiting the greater Castile and León region, we recommend a stay in the small gothic city of Valladolid (which was a one-time capital of Spain), known for its Renaissance architecture