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12 of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain this autumn

With the crowds gone, autumn is the perfect season to do some exploring around Spain. Whether it's hiking in nature, visiting quaint mountain villages or stopping at a local winery, here are 12 top getaways to enjoy this 'otoño' (autumn).

12 of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain this autumn
The turquoise waters of the Urederra river, which runs through Urbasa National Park in Navarre (northeastern Spain), another amazing autumn destination in Spain. Photo: Maria Ostolaza/Flickr

Spain is famous for its long hot summers and amazing beach holidays, but that doesn’t mean the country shuts down for the rest of the year.

Indeed, much of the more enjoyable travelling in the country happens after the usual tourists crowds head home and temperatures become milder.

Autumn is a more intimate season in Spain, a chance to explore quieter corners and the great outdoors as landscapes turn from vivid green to orange and ochre.

From incredible hiking in the Pyrenees to subtropical forests in the Canary Islands, The Local has put together a list of some of Spain’s best autumn getaways.

Val d’Aran, Catalonia

The unique Aran Valley is the only part of Catalonia on the northern side of the Pyrenees. In winter it’s a popular ski area but in autumn its dramatic mountain peaks and exquisite villages make for perfect hiking country.

The valley is also a paradise for linguists with locals here speaking Spanish, Catalan and their very own Aranese, a dialect of Occitan which only a few locals speak.

Photo: Paco CT/Flickr

Castañar de el Tiemblo, Ávila
A visit to this charming chestnut forest near Avila makes for a perfect day trip from Madrid, and can get pretty busy on the weekends. But don’t let that you put you off. If your aim is to see the autumn colours in all their glory at all costs, this is a fabulous spot to drink in the oranges, reds and golds of the season.

Photo: Javier R. Linera/Flickr

La Gomera, Canary Islands

If fog, mists and open fires aren’t your thing, head to Spain’s Canary Islands for some autumn sunshine. And while all the islands offer something special, tiny La Gomera is a chance to really get away from it all. This volcanic island is only 22km (14 miles) in diameter, but don’t let size fool you. Here you’ll you find spectacular beaches and cliffs, and an incredible array of microhabitats, including subtropical rainforest. What are you waiting for?

READ MORE: Seven wonders that make a visit to Spain’s La Gomera worth it

la gomera teide
Photo: Jörg Bergmann/Flickr

Penedés, Catalonia

The Penedès wine region where cava — Spain’s answer to champagne — is produced is less than one hour’s drive from Barcelona but hiking around vineyards once there can be thirsty work. The solution? Whizz through the wineries on a Segway for a tipsy two-wheeled tasting tour.

Photo: hlehto/Flickr

Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park
Could this be the most spectacular part of the Spanish Pyrenees? The deep autumnal colours of Ordesa’s ancient forests, plus its incredible rock formations, certainly make this UNESCO World Heritage Site a strong contender.

Photo: Porschista/Flickr
Frank Gehrey’s Hotel Marqués de Riscal, La Rioja
This architectural masterpiece by the man who created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is in the middle of Spain’s world-famous wine region. Visit one of La Rioja’s 1,200 wineries after the early-autumn grape harvest then sip a glass of something good at sunset while admiring the hotel’s undulating lines.
Photo: AFP
Cala Morell Necroplois, Menorca
The ancient Cala Morell necropolis is particularly busy on All Saints’ Day (on November 1st in 2021), but it remains beautiful throughout the autumn. Just another reason to visit this Balearic gem– as if anyone needed it.

Photo: tuulijumala/Depositphotos
Sierra de Aracena, Huelva
This is Andalusia as you never pictured it, a Lord of The Rings-style landscape of oak forest and ancient walkways. Best of all, Aracena is just over an hour from downtown Seville making it the perfect autumn getaway for people in the know. Rent a house, read a book by an open fire, or wander through the chestnut forests: whatever you choose you can’t go wrong here. Oh, and the local jamón ibérico is among the best in Spain.
Photo: Jorge López/Flickr
History (and Jazz) in Cartagena, Murcia
Spain’s Murcia region is sadly overlooked by many tourists but in recent years more people are starting to discover the wonders of lovely Cartagena. With average highs of 21 degrees in November, over 2,000 years of history and a Roman theatre to prove it, this is a sleeper hit for autumn travellers. A jazz festival through most of November only adds to the appeal. In 2021, it runs from November 1st until November 23rd.

Photo: mmedp/Depositphotos
Sierra de Francia, Castilla y León
Despite the name, this region has nothing to do with France, and is actually near the Portuguese border in Castilla y León. This beautiful corner of Spain is full of forests, streams and hidden historic villages like the one pictured here: La Alberca. Rarely visited by tourists, this is a unique part of the country, and is particularly atmospheric in autumn.
Photo: Turel Jones
Gorbea Natural Park, Basque Country
If it’s autumn colours that you are after, head north to the Otzarreta forest, located in the natural park surrounding Mount Gorbea in the Basque Country. It is one of the best places in Spain to see the change of colours when the landscape transforms into a palette of vibrant oranges, burnt umbers and deep browns. 

Photo: mimadeo/Depositphotos
Las Medulas, Castilla y León

Photo: Munea Viajes/Flickr

This amazing landscape on the border between Galicia and Castilla y Leon is really worth the effort. Once the Roman Empire’s most important gold mine, archeologists have since uncovered several Roman settlements nearby too. With its red earth and wooded hills, it’s a great place to enjoy autumnal walks. 

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For members


What are the best places in Spain for disabled tourists?

Being disabled brings about lots of challenges when travelling. Luckily there are several destinations in Spain that make things easier for those with physical, visual, mental or auditory impairment.

What are the best places in Spain for disabled tourists?


Spain’s most-visited city, Barcelona, has been praised by the EU for its ongoing commitment to accessibility and won third prize in 2022’s Access City Awards. 

Approximately 90 percent of the city’s metro stations are accessible and all buses are equipped with electric ramps. 

Many of the city’s top sights are wheelchair-friendly such as Gaudí’s La Pedrera and the Joan Miró Foundation. The Sagrada Familia has also launched audio guides for people with visual disabilities and adapted descriptions, as well as the possibility of tactile exploration of some parts of the temple. Park Güell also has two accessible routes. 

The city even offers specialised tours such as its Easy Gothic Walking Tour, available for wheelchair users, those who need walking aids and those who have reduced mobility. You can find more information about this and more tours on the Barcelona Access website

The organisation BCN4ALL also offers personal assistance for tourists and those who need a companion.

READ ALSO: What’s life in Spain like for people with physical disabilities?


Around 70 percent of Madrid’s metro stations are accessible for disabled travellers, making it not quite as friendly as Barcelona, but still a relatively easy destination to get around. 

The Madrid City Council Tourism Department has put together a guide with eight different tourism routes specifically directed at disabled travellers. Each one includes a brief description of the route as well as tips and suggestions on which museums, monuments, squares or gardens with accessibility, you should visit. 

Some of the most important museums in the city – the Prado National Museum and the Reina Sofía National Art Museum have also been adapted for disabled travellers. 


Another of Spain’s great accessible cities is Valencia. All of Valencia’s stations adapted routes with ramps and elevators, with the exception of the València Sud station.

There are also remote controls available in the lifts at Alboraia – Palmaret, Alboraia – Peris Aragó, Benimàmet and Les Carolines – Fira. Certain areas in the metro stations of Colón and Xàtiva also have a magnetic loop for those hard of hearing.

Many of the museums in Valencia have been adapted to those with physical, auditory and visual impairment. These include the Museum of Fine Arts, the Oceanogràfic, the Science Museum, the Silk Museum and the Fallas Museum. 

Maps Voice is also available in the city, which allows you to read or listen to the information on maps for those who are visually impaired. 

The city also has a wealth of information on its website for disabled travellers in Valencia. 

There are many cities in Spain that have been adapted for wheelchair users. Photo: Nayeli Dalton / Unsplash


In 2019, Málaga was recognised for its outstanding achievements in accessibility with a European Smart Tourism Award.

Part of the reason it was recognised is because of its accessibility on its transport network. the local Cercanías train service between Málaga and Fuengirola, as well as both metro lines have wheelchair access and lifts to the platform. Buses also have wheelchair access via electronic ramps. 

Many museums also have accessibility including several of its most important art museums – the CAC, Picasso Museum, the Pompidou Centre, the Russian Museum, and the Thyssen Museum.


The northern Basque city of Bilbao is another great choice for disabled travellers. Many of the roads have lowered cubs and there are ramps on each bridge over the River Nervión, as well as wide pavements for wheelchair users or those with mobility scooters. 

Metro Bilbao offers discounted rates for passengers who have either a total permanent disability or a severe disability, as well as for those who prove to have any disability equal or higher to 65 percent. Those accompanying a wheelchair user or a severely sight-impaired passenger can also travel free of charge. 

Several of the most important museums have been adapted for disabled travellers too. The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum has a certificate that accredits its accessibility system. It offers audio guides, video guides and tours in sign language, as well as models of some of the most famous works that those who are blind or partially sighted can touch.

The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum also has a tactile experience space for people with visual disabilities. 

Bilbao-based tour company Fekoor offers special city tours for disabled travellers, as well as to areas nearby. 


The Andalusian city of Córdoba won second prize in the European Commission’s Access City Award for 2023. 

The city has a dedicated Delegation of Inclusion and Accessibility that aims to promote and improve accessibility for tourists who visit the city. Train stations are also accessible while funding from NextGenerationEU is being used to make 220 bus stops in Córdoba 100 percent accessible too. 

One of the best times to visit Córdoba is for the Patios Festival in May, where residents open up and decorate their courtyards. During the festival, mobile ramps are installed for wheelchair users or people with reduced mobility. 

Córdoba’s Julio Romero de Torres Museum is also the first museum in Spain to be 100 percent accessible. It is equipped with a hearing loop, relief paintings, audio descriptions of the exhibits in 34 languages and Spanish sign language. There is also an accessible route from the historic centre to the museum. 

Other Cities

Other cities worth visiting for disabled travellers include Vigo in Galicia which received a special mention in the EU’s Access City Award in 2019, Valencia’s Castellón de la Plana which was awarded second prize in 2020 and Palma de Mallorca which received a special mention in 2022.