STEEPED in history and embraced by the rugged slopes of the Picos de Europa, the Cantabrian village of Potes has been declared Spain’s prettiest inland pueblo.
More than 48,000 seasoned travellers took part in the poll run by the Lonely Planet, which published a shortlist of 16 towns spanning the length and breadth of the Iberian Peninsula – a catalogue of Spanish treasures to get the wanderlust juices flowing.
Crowned the Capital of Rural Tourism 2020, Potes was always going to be a strong contender. Not only is the town home to magnificent medieval bridges, stone streets and vistas of verdant hillsides, it also boasts an exquisite food culture. Its dish par excellence is the chickpea stew Cocido Lebaniego, but other regional specialties include various cheeses and the grape brandy Orujo.
Of course, Potes faced strong competition from some of Spain’s most iconic regions. Clocking in at number two was Briones, ‘The Town of Wine’ in La Rioja, and Navarra’s Olite, a tremendous castle pueblo that stands proudly against the skyline, took third place.
Other towns on this travelling bucket list included the serene hilltop settlement of Siruana, Catalonia, and the orange-blushed Mallorca village of Fornalutx, nestled within the sublime Soller valley.