Aside from the beautiful landscapes and delicious food, another attraction that Spain offers to visitors is its medieval towns.
Many of these small medieval towns can take you on a journey back in time with their preserved buildings and surroundings. Sadly, most of them are not listed on a tourist guidebook to Spain. Here is a short list of medieval Spanish towns that you can visit. Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa – it is a coastal town in Basque, Spain. It is also located in the western shore of the Bidasoa river. Its location as a border town is special as it only takes a boat ride to reach the French shores of Hendaye across the Txingudi Bay. The naval town has a well-preserved medieval quarter filled with remnants of the past such as a castle, several noble houses, town squares, and palaces. Tours organized by the municipal foundation are available any time of the year but especially during the summer. This includes the old medieval town, the fort of Guadalupe, and the port-quarter of the Marina. Pals, Girona – Pals is a medieval town found in Catalonia in Northern Spain. The town’s historic center is set on a hill that provides a picturesque view of the surrounding plains. The highlight of the oldest section of the town is the Tower of the Hours, a medieval clock tower about 15 feet high constructed in the Romanesque tradition. The Gothic parts of the town have also been reconstructed and restored – cobbled streets with arches, arched windows that line the facade of buildings, and balconies made of stone. The original wall, with its four towers that surrounds the old town, dating back to the 4th century, is still intact.
Olite, Navarre – Olite is a town and municipality that is located in Navarre, Spain. It was said that the town was founded by a Visigoth King, Swinthila of Hispania (621-631). The main feature of this medieval town is the Palace of the Kings of Navarre of Olite, also known as the Royal Palace of Olite, a Gothic-style structure that became the seat of King Charles III of Navarre. A fire heavily damaged the palace in 1813 during the height of the Napoleonic French Invasion. In 1925, it was granted the status of a national monument, and the exterior of the castle has been restored in 1937.
Tossa de Mar, Girona – Located in the coastal areas of Costa Brava in Catalonia, Spain, the city of Tossa de Mar is an excellent example of a medieval town with its fortifications still present. It is singular among the ruins of medieval life along the Catalan coast. The old town is still protected by stone wall battlements lined with three cylindrical towers and four turrets. Tourists can walk on the town’s preserved cobblestone streets while visiting the ancient landmarks such as the governor’s house, Romanesque and Gothic churches, and a medieval hospital.
Arévalo, Avila – Arévalo is another city famous for its medieval remains and featuring a stunning example of a beautifully preserved castle that dates back from the middle ages. Aside from village squares and the old cobblestone streets, other buildings located in the city’s old town also holds significant historical and artistic value. The Castillos de Los Zuniga or Arevalo Castle is considered by most as the main attraction where in addition to the impressive walls and battlements in the exterior, still features rooms with 15th-century furniture and decoration.