It Takes a (Spanish) Village

December 7, 2018 1 By Peter Kleid

I recently stumbled upon an article entitled “Spain’s 30 Most Beautiful Villages” from the Spanish newspaper El Pais. The paper’s readers selected from a list of 250 towns with populations under 10,000. I have no idea how scientific this poll was, but judging by the photos I’ve Googled for each of the 30 winners, I can’t argue with the voters’ choices. (No word yet on possible ballot fraud, but I suspect there was as little as during the 2016 U.S. presidential election – which is to say, just about none – despite a certain idiot’s claim that “millions of people voted illegally”. But I digress.)

Unfortunately, the El Pais article did not show the winning towns on a map, making it difficult to figure out how to visit them. So I have come to the rescue – my own, and maybe yours, too — by creating the map below. To date, Liliana and I have been to only one of these towns – Peñíscola, home to an amazing 13th century castle. (Thanks, Jose Miguel, Agir and Marta for that excursion!)

Click the image to go to the Google map. On the map you can click any marker to see the name of the town and a nice photo.

If you have been to any of these places, please leave a comment about whether you think it is worthy of inclusion in the list.

Here are a few photos from our visit to Peñíscola:

Peñíscola castle, built by the Knights Templar between 1294 and 1307
View from the castle’s highest point

Foreground: the old village at the base of the castle and within its walls.
Background: the relatively modern parts of Peñíscola.
A typical street in the village just below the castle