Northern Spain offers a lot of amazing places which well worth a visit.

We are talking about pretty small towns and truly hidden gems, some of them still totally unspoiled.

Do you want to discover where these places are?

Then keep reading and find the top northern Spain holiday destinations.

The 18 Most Instagrammable Places In Northern Spain.

#1. Bárcena Mayor

river crossing by Barcena Mayor, a pretty village in Northern Spain

Bárcena Mayor in Cantabria is a truly hidden gem of northern Spain, which not many people know about.

Is a small village nestled in the mountains where it looks like if the time has stopped. The houses and buildings are examples of the rural medieval stone mountain construction with wooden balconies and windows. On top of it,  is all surrounded by amazing lush landscapes.

Every corner in this place is pretty instagrammable.

If you like different, then this is one of the best places to visit in northern Spain.

#2. Bilbao

Girl walking in front of the Guggenheim in Bilbao

Bilbao is one of the well-known places in northern Spain due to the Guggenheim museum and the vast touristic offer.

The old city center, known as “casco viejo“,  is one of those wonderful places great to wander around, and where to have amazing food.

The Guggenheim (in the picture above), is one of the top attractions. The walk from there all the way down to the casco viejo through the river is one of the best options to get to know the city.

For all the options and sights it offers, Bilbao is with no doubt one of the treasures of the Basque Country.

#3. Carmona, Cantabria.

aerial from Carmona village in north of Spain

If what you are looking for is a quiet and gorgeous little village in the north of Spain, Carmona is your place.

What is really cool about this place, is that is really small and the valley around is absolutely beautiful and green. Which makes a great contrast for photography.

For a good view, just cross the village to the upper part, which will take you about 2 minutes. From there you can snap the perfect Instagram picture from this hidden gem.

#4. Butron Castle, Gatika.

Butron Castle in northern Spain

If castles are your thing, then you are going to love this one.

I don’t think there are many castles in northern Spain. Butron castle has a fairy-tale look, inspired by Bavarian castle models. Is the kind of castle you will expect from a Disney movie.

The interior cannot be visited, but you can pop in any time to visit the exterior for free.

This is another hidden gem which remains normally off the beaten track for international tourists.

#5. Esles

Esles church in Cantabria in the north of Spain.

Esles has been awarded in 2018 with the award “Pueblo de Cantabria 2018” due to its important heritage.

It is deeply immersed in nature, with lovely trails perfect for any outdoors lover. The best way to explore it just to wander around, and although is fairly small, its magic will keep you entrapped.

The stone-like houses with the vivid green in the background makes it a top combination for a perfect Instagram photo.

#6. Getxo, Bilbao.

girl walking down the streets of Getxo

The setting of the picturesque Getxo Puerto Viejo is truly unforgettable.  The small white cottages clustered together in steep streets with nice looking old bars won’t leave you indifferent.

Pintxos (local tapas) and a drink in Puerto Viejo is the ideal way to live Getxo like a local.

Is a great place where to get a snap of a lively atmosphere with the port at the background.

#7. Isla.

Aerial of Isla, Cantabria

Totally off the beaten track, and by the northern Spain coast,  you can find Isla.

Is a great place for summer vacations, well known by local tourism. The beaches here are pretty and big.

If you what you want is some summer vibes and make people jealous of your insta-shots, this is a great place.

#8. La Arboleda, Bilbao

aerial of la arboleda in Bilbao

Just at the outskirts of Bilbao, you can find the wonderful landscapes of La Arboleda.

La Arboleda is was a mining town where iron ore was extracted and which has now been converted into a leisure and recreation area.

The former mines are now artificial reservoirs surrounded by a green environment, perfect for a picnic.

If you want the perfect travel & lifestyle shot, grab a beer, some food, and look for an awesome spot for a winning capture.

#9. La Picota, Santander

sunset in la picota, with low clouds covering the valley.

La Picota is a small peak in Santander with amazing views over the sea, which makes it a top spot in northern Spain for a cool sunset.

There is a small trail of a few kilometers to go up the hill, but it is quite simple.

As a reward, you’ll have one of the best sunset views from the north of Spain.

Sometimes, like in the picture, the clouds could be really low preventing you from seeing the landscape. But hey, still awesome, different and pretty! Isn’t it?!

#10. Liérganes.

el hombre pez and the bridge in Lierganes

Liérganes was declared to be of National Historic-Artistic Interest in 1978 and gathers together a valuable collection of classicist architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries.

It has an idyllic location between two small hills, popularly known as “the breasts of Liérganes”.

This is another great looking village with stone-like houses and some remarkable architecture. The most famous sight is the bridge (in the picture) where you can also find the fish-man statue. Make sure you take an epic selfie with him!

#11. Oyambre National Park.

couple in Oyambre national park

Oyambre National Park sits just outside San Vicente de la Baquera, which makes it fast and easy to visit on a day trip.

In addition, this park does not see the amount of tourism of the famous San Vicente. Which means you’ll have a better chance to relax and find a good spot for yourself.

Another cool thing about Oyambre is that mountain and beach are sides by side, giving you good some options depending on how do you want to spend the day.

This is a top spot for a great panoramic picture.

#12. Playa de la Arnía, Santander.

long exposure in playa de la arnia, in santander

There are many good looking beaches in northern Spain. But Playa de la Arnía is one of our favourites.

The geological formations make this such an impressive beach. It has great size and soft thin sand, which makes it also a good alternative where to spend the day.

Watching the sunset from the bar at the top with a cold beer is a cool thing to do. Or even better, there is a massive rock just nearby the parking, wide enough where to watch the sunset, perfect for a sunset picnic. Bring a wine a bottle, a couple of glasses, and be ready for the most amazing sunset experience of your life!

#13. Playa de Sakoneta, Deba.

Aerial of playa la sakoneta in Deba

Playa de Sakoneta is alike anything you may have seen before.

Sakoneta is a small pristine cove located between the towns of Deba and Zumaia.

The beach is accessible via an easy 20-minute walk.

If you visit the beach at low tide you can see the astonishing multi-layered geological flysch formations and intertidal rock platform. It is like a beach from a different planet and one of the most curious formations you can see in northern Spain beaches.

#14. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (Dragonstone) at sunrise.

The astonishing San Juan de Gaztelugatxe does not need an introduction. Located just 35km from Bilbao, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a definite “must” if you are visiting the Basque Country.

Known by some like “Dragonstone” for being part of the locations in Game Of Thrones, is one of the most visited attractions in northern Spain.

The island is connected to the mainland by a man-made stone bridge. The bridge transitions into a narrow path that contains 241 steps and zigzags its way back and forth to the top. Once there, you will find the church which has a bell situated along the front of its facade.

There is no picture you can get wrong in here since it is all pretty instagrammable and impressive. A pro tip though, it is much easier to capture with a wide angle lens. Otherwise, just use the panoramic option in your phone to get the most of it.

#15. San Vicente de la Barquera.

San Vicente de la Barquera

There is no complete road trip in northern Spain which won’t pass through San Vicente de la Barquera.

San Vicente de la Barquera offers one of the most picturesque sights on the Cantabrian coast. It provides fantastic beaches, a beautiful old village and the impressive backdrop of the snow-capped mountains of the Picos de Europa.

San Vicente’s old town was declared to be of Cultural Interest in 1987 because of its interesting collection of monuments.

So as you can see, there is plenty to do and see in here.

#16. Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria

The charming cobbled streets of Santillana together with the townhouses architecture makes it a unique and remarkable place to visit.

Santillana del Mar is one of the towns with the greatest historical-artistic value in Spain and the main focus of tourist attention in Cantabria, making it one of the most visited and attractive places in the region.

Since it is a hot spot, our recommendation is to start the day early, since it can become crowded pretty soon.

#17. Urkiola National Park

couple in mirador las 3 cruces in Urkiola

Urkiola National Park is another off the beaten track destination in northern Spain.

This natural park offers great trekking routes for all levels through mesmerizing landscapes. The park is mountainous, with limestone precipices, ravines, and deep valleys.

If you feel just like a small walk, you could simply visit the sanctuary just by the parking, or a 5 minutes walk to “Mirador de las 3 Cruces” on the picture.

#18. Vega de Pas

couple in an old house in Vega de Pas

Vega de Pas is a lovely small village built on the medieval, with a mix of everything. It has really interesting rural architecture.

Moreover, the valleys around, known as “Valles Pasiegos”, gives you the best possible way to get to know the area via an easy hike.

Gastronomy in Vega de Pas is especially good. So a hike in the morning to end up with a good meal in the afternoon is the way to go.

Get the perfect snapshot for your Instagram with a mix of old rural architecture with lush green valleys in the background!

Northern Spain Most Instagrammable Places- Conclusion.

The north of Spain is an incredible area full of contrasts.

It doesn’t matter if what you like are cities, little villages, mountains or beaches. With the places on the list, you’ll see it all.

Make sure you allow enough time to enjoy a proper meal!

Also, if you want to take your Instagram pictures to the next level, check these powerful tips to improve your travel photography. Easy, quick and actionable tips which help you to take amazing shots!

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