Now that we’ve completed our introduction to the 2016 GW Tour of Spain’s Most Beautiful Villages, here’s a quick recap.
Impressions of Spain’s most beautiful villages
We started to visit the most beautiful villages in Spain this year. This is the third country I’ve visited after France and Italy. Compared to France and Italy, it has just started and the number of registered villages is still relatively small.
I’ve visited more than 200 beautiful villages in these three countries over the past seven years or so. Naturally, each country and region has different characteristics, and I think that makes each visit worthwhile.
In the following, I’ll write about how I felt about the most beautiful villages in Spain in comparison with my experience of visiting beautiful villages in France and Italy.
color of a village
On the one hand, this is typical of Spain, but on the other hand, it is monotonous compared to the most beautiful villages in France, which are colorful. The “color” of a village is mainly determined by the color of the local stone and soil. In the case of beautiful villages in France, there are so many variations that you can guess which region they belong to by looking at their colors, but in Spain, I think the colors were so similar that it was impossible to guess.
This time, I went partly to France and visited three French villages in total, but I think you can see that the French side is more colorful.
The next feature is the size of the villages. I think most of them were a little bit larger than French villages, especially when compared to French villages. That’s because they didn’t seem to have the “population of less than 2,000 people” restriction that the most beautiful villages in France have. Of course, they are still small villages, but without this restriction, I felt a little frustrated that I couldn’t appreciate them quietly with many tourists in case of larger villages.
Quality and sophistication of the village
And “quality” is a somewhat vague standard, but I try to think about whether I can honestly perceive it as “beautiful” or “beautiful”.
Even though this is a subjective criterion, when I think about the degree to which I felt these feelings, and the degree of quality and sophistication of these experiences, I can say that the most beautiful villages in Spain also felt much of this feeling that I felt in France.
This time we visited 18 of Spain’s most beautiful villages, and overall, I think many of them were of high quality, as I would say in this sense. In fact, many of them got more than 4 stars in my self-evaluation.
フランス >> スペイン >>>> イタリア
最後に全体的な統括。フランス、スペイン、イタリア単純に印象に残った、美しかった村をそれぞれ思い起こしてみて、あらためてImpressions of Spain’s most beautiful villages、良さを比較評価してみます。「フランス >> スペイン >>>> イタリア」といったところでしょうか。確かにスペインも印象的で良質な村が多かったとは思いますが、やはりcolor of a villageを含めたバリエーション、観光のしやすさなどを考慮すれば、フランスがダントツのではないかと。
On the other hand, Italy was conspicuous for its unconvincing poor quality villages. There were villages whose scale was even larger than the Spanish standard, whose colors were even more monotonous than the Spanish, and whose maintenance was poor and little attention was paid to the scenery. In Italy, I was often disappointed by the lax criteria for selecting beautiful villages, because there are more than 200 of them.
However, I did not have these feelings at all in Spain. I think the selection criteria is much more solid and secure.
Top 3 of this issue
Now, I’d like to introduce three of my favorite villages out of the 18 beautiful villages I visited this time, with their rankings. For more details, please refer to the post on this site.
No. 3: Liérganes, ★★★★☆
I gave third place to Lierganes, which is located in Cantabria. It is a village not far from Santander. It doesn’t have any remarkable architecture or historical sites, but the view of this beautiful stream and mountains is very impressive, which is the reason why I gave it the third place.
No. 2: Albarracín, ★★★★★
I was very impressed because it was the most beautiful village in Spain that I visited first. The beautiful red colored roofs are very nice. The ruins of the wall of the hill in the town information also gave a nice taste. The village is located in the mountain area near Teruel, and the traffic is not so convenient, but I remember that there were many tourists because it was Sunday when I visited.
For these reasons, we have ranked it second.
No. 1: Alquézar: ★★★★★
The prestigious first place was Alquésal, located in Aragón. It was full of all elements: distant views of the village, then the central part of the village, historical sites, and attractions. The fact that we stayed overnight was also one of our favorite impressions. In particular, the hiking that we were not able to do on this visit, and the tour of prehistoric sites along the hiking trails, which we will definitely have another chance to revisit.
It is also accessible from Huesca, Jaca, etc., so again, I would like to stay here for sightseeing and of course, next time with a tour of the Pyrenees on the Spanish side.
The tour of Spain’s most beautiful villages will probably continue again!
The number of the most beautiful villages in Spain is less than 40, which is less than France and Italy, and it should be easy to conquer them completely. I’ll continue to visit more beautiful villages as I get a chance.
List of villages visited in GW 2016
- Albarracín（アルバラシン） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.1 – ★★★★★
- Rubielos de Mora（ルビエロス・デ・モラ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.2 – ★★★☆☆
- Puertomingalvo（プエルトミンガルヴォ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.3 – ★★★☆☆
- Cantavieja（カンタヴィエハ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.4 – ★★★☆☆
- Morella（モレッラ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.5 – ★★★★☆
- Valderrobres（ヴァルデロブレス） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.6 – ★★★★☆
- Calaceite（カラセイテ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.7 – ★★★☆☆
- Aínsa（アインサ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.8 – ★★★★★
- Alquézar（アルケサル） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.9 – ★★★★★
- Anento（アネント） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.10 – ★★☆☆☆
- Valverde de los Arroyos（ヴァルヴェルデ・デ・ロス・アロヨス） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.11 – ★★★☆☆
- Pedraza（ペドラサ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.12 – ★★★★☆
- Sepúlveda（セピュルヴェダ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.13 – ★★★☆☆
- Ayllón（アイジョン） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.14 – ★★★☆☆
- Maderuero（マデルエロ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.15 – ★★☆☆☆
- Santillana del Mar（サンティリャーナ・デル・マル） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.16 – ★★★★★
- Liérganes（リエルガネス） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.17 – ★★★★☆
- Sos del Rey Católico（ソス・デル・レイ・カトリコ） – スペインの最も美しい村巡り No.18 – ★★★☆☆