Green Spain: All You Need to Know

Green Spain: All You Need to Know

Green Spain – the clue’s in the name. Framed by the Atlantic Ocean, the Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Mountains, this emerald-hued region sits pretty at the northernmost point of Spain. Encompassing Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and Basque Country, visitors come for the verdant landscapes but stay for the rich cultural traditions and seductive cities. Although Green Spain doesn’t conform to the typical sun-bleached image of Iberia, it's equally as remarkable as its southern counterpart. Whether you wish to feast through San Sebastian, Spain’s culinary capital, or marvel at the mighty Picos de Europa mountain range, read on for all you need to know for your visit to Green Spain.


  1. Why should I visit?
  2. Where should I visit?
  3. When should I visit?


Why should I visit?

Green Spain offers an escape to a region well away from the trodden paths and arid landscapes found elsewhere in the country. The abundant rainfall and temperate climate allow lush landscapes to thrive, from forests and meadows to rugged coastal cliffs. If you consider yourself a nature enthusiast then you’ll adore the hiking trails, bird-watching spots, natural parks and captivating vistas. There are also plenty of rural villages, vibrant festivals and delicious dishes to sink your teeth into, providing a rejuvenating retreat away from the hustle and bustle of Spain's tourist-heavy areas.

Picos de Europa



Where should I visit?

Green Spain has four regions: Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country. Galicia lies in Spain’s northwest corner and is home to the famous Rías Baixas, a wine-producing region with dramatic fjord-like inlets. Asturias is celebrated for the rugged Picos de Europa National Park, its beaches along the Costa Verde and its lush countryside. Cider is treated like a religion here, with peculiar pouring methods requiring ample practice. Over in Cantabria, you’ll find the prehistoric Altamira Cave, featuring some of the world’s most famous Paleolithic cave paintings. The mountainous landscapes are also the perfect playground for hiking and biking. Finally, in the Basque Country, you’ll find locals speaking the distinct language of Euskara and feasting on lavish spreads of pintxos (small snacks) at family-run restaurants.

San Sebastian



When should I visit?

Because Green Spain beckons with the great outdoors, visiting between May and September means you can make the most of the sun-soaked (but not scorching) summer activities. As northern Spain lies mainly off the tourist trail, you’ll avoid the summer swathes of crowds congregating in the south. In short, plan a trip to Green Spain during summer to experience the best of the country’s verdant vineyards and quaint coastal towns alongside a pleasant climate.


Written by Evie Buller.