Secret Spain (It Does Exist); Greenpeace Says Development Has Ruined Spain's Coastline but There Are Still Lots of Unspoilt Places to Visit

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Where: Penafiel in Ribera del Duero, Castilla y Leon.

Why: monuments, churches and bodega (wine cellar) hopping.

The castle atop the hill above Penafiel is one of the bestpreserved fortresses from the medieval period. It also houses the Museo Provincial del Vino, although local bodegas sell cheaper wines. The Plaza del Coso has beautiful wooden buildings and is still used for bullfighting. The town's major fiesta runs from 14 to 18 August.

How to get there: Ryanair ( flies to Valladolid, returns from [pounds sterling]41.

Where: Jaca in Aragon.

Why: churches, scenery and food all wrapped up in a cosmopolitan city.

Jaca sits high above the Aragon and Gallego rivers on the Pigrim's Road to Santiago and its Romanesque cathedral housed the Holy Grail for a while.

Plaza Lacadena has a floodlit fountain and bars, ideal for sampling the local cuisine - garlic soup, wild boar and roasted-pepper salad.

How to get there: Ryanair ( flies to Zaragoza, returns from [pounds sterling]41.

Where: Trujillo in Extremadura.

Why: heritage and history - a beautiful city full of Renaissance mansions and churches. One of the most important conquistador towns in the 16th century, Trujillo was home to Francisco de Pizarro, who "discovered" Peru.

Visit the 10th-century castle or the Plaza Mayor. Try local specialities such as chicken with truffles and Extremadura potatoes.

How to get there: Iberia ( flies to Badajoz via Madri, returns from [pounds sterling]179.

Where: Alpujarra Mountains, Andalucia.

Why: far from the madding crowds of Marbella are Andalucia's Alpujarra Mountains, featuring stunning Mediterranean views. Often described as the Switzerland of Spain, the Alpujarras are dotted with picturesque villages, such as Trevelez, the highest in Spain at 1,746 metres. The region is best known for its Serrano ham, trekking and horse riding. …


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