Ideas for towns to stay in in Northern Spain?

We usually fly down to the costa del sol or the costa blanca but having recently got a dog and a decent car we want to go away as a family in June and drive down France to Northern Spain.
We have never been to Northern Spain before so I’m not sure where to start looking so I would like some ideas on nice towns anywhere in Northern Spain but near to the sea. We will be staying in a private rental as we normally do so just need to narrow down my search.
We would like a town near to the sea with plenty of tapas bars and restaurants where we can go and sit outside with our dog and lots of walks and places to visit nearby. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!


  1. You’ve pretty much described every town in northern Spain 😉

    San Sebastian is a good place to start (though it’s a bit pricey)

    Santander is also nice – lovely sandy beach with occasional rocky pool to hunt crabs

    and there are loads of beautiful coves and villages all around. Somo right next to Santader and Castro Urdiales are a couple you could start off with, but there are plenty more

  2. Other (probably better) places to base yourself in Aragon include Fuendetodos, a medieval town near the city; Alquézar, a lovely hill town at the base of the Pyrenees; and, of course, Zaragoza itself. Zaragoza is the fifth largest city in Spain and is well worth visiting while you’re in the region.

  3. If you’d rather stray far from the tourist trail, the Basque Coast Geopark is a delight. It’s a protected area of the coastline around Mutriku, Deba, and Zumaia. There are 13km of cliffs made up of flysch (shale bed) deposits which have created layered and bizarre rock formations. We felt as though we were on the set of Jurassic Park. These staggering cliffs show how the Earth changed over millions of years and fossils are plentiful for the kids to admire. A boat tour is a great way to see it and costs €20 adult, €10 under-12s.

  4. Vigo won’t be top of many people’s lists when thinking of Spain but one of the largest cities in Galicia is well worth a visit, with cheap flights from the UK. What Vigo may lack in Mediterranean warmth it makes up for in Atlantic charm. The Casco Vello (old town) has some glorious fish restaurants along with pintxos and tapas galore. This bit of the Atlantic produces some of the finest seafood in Spain.

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