Northern Spain

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

Where to Book

  • Faro Cabo Mayor Lighthouse in Santander City in the Cantabria region of northern Spain

  • Aerial cityscape view of the rooftops and spires of Basilica Our Lady in Zaragoza, Spain

  • Scenic aerial view of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Assumption, El Burgo de Osma, Spain

  • Vineyard with Castle Penafiel in the Valladolid Province of Spain

  • Old Town of Bilbao in Basque Country, Spain

  • Aerial view of Thermal Castile Valbuena, Northern Spain

  • Hermitage of Las Nieves in the Cantabrian town of Guriezo, northern Spain

  • Countryside with vineyards around Laguardia Village, Northern Spain

  • San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Average temperature

Information below is based on average highest temperature for each month.

  • 9℃
  • 11℃
  • 14℃
  • 16℃
  • 20℃
  • 24℃
  • 27℃
  • 27℃
  • 24℃
  • 19℃
  • 13℃
  • 9℃
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 10
  • 9
  • 6
  • 4
  • 4
  • 5
  • 8
  • 10
  • 9

Information above is based on the average number of days which experience some form of rainfall for each month.


When to Visit

Below gives you information and a rating of the best time of year to visit.













Our Ratings

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Where to book

Explore is a global adventure travel company with 40 years’ experience in providing exciting and authentic travel experiences. With over 350 trips in around 100 countries, Explore’s expertly crafted itineraries combined with award-winning tour leaders, small group sizes and a commitment to responsible travel ensure unforgettable travel experiences in extraordinary destinations.

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Riviera Travel is the UK’s leading luxury river cruise & tour company with over 38 years’ experience in crafting worldwide tours, luxury river cruises, rail holidays and UK tours. Their commitment to quality & thoughtfulness has earned them a coveted Which? recommendation.

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  • Life of Luxury
  • Unique & Fabulous
  • Creature Comforts
  • Basics covered

4* Castilla Termal Burgo de Osma

4* Castilla Termal Burgo de Osma in Soria is a 16th Century University building, this hotel is surrounded by a natural and gastronomic environment within the Ribera del Duero in a declared “Asset of Cultural Interest”.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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4* Castilla Termal Olmedo

4* Castilla Termal Olmedo in Valladolid is built over the ruins of the 12th Century Sancti Spiritus Convent. It’s the perfect place to enjoy Castilian Mudejar Capital and the PDO Rueda wines.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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4* Castilla Termal Solares

4* Castilla Termal Solares is a Belle Époque thermal lodging, strategically located in the Cantabrian coast where you can find some of the most spectacular landscapes of Spain.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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5* Castilla Termal Valbuena

5* Castilla Termal Valbuena in Valladolid is a 12th Century Cistercian monastery, one of the world’s best preserved. Located in the Golden Mile of Ribera del Duero. With an unprecedented gastronomic offer, in 2022 Michelin Green Star Chef Miguel Ángel de la Cruz will join and lead our kitchen, continuing our commitment to sustainability.

Our Rating: Unique & Fabulous

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