The Costa del Sol and the Costa Blanca are the most popular holiday destinations in Spain, with Blue Flag beaches, sunshine all year round and vibrant nightlife.

But when things get a bit too much, it’s always fun to go on a day trip and escape the hustle and bustle of the bug holiday resorts. One amazing option is to spend the day exploring the beautiful villages dotting the countryside!

The locals already discovered that there are many stunning small towns where you can get away from the crowds on the coast. Spain-Holiday (, experts in holiday rentals in Spain, collaborated with Holidu ( and evaluated more than 200 towns and villages with less than 10,000 inhabitants to find out which are worth a visit. The ranking is based on the amount of Google searches made by Spaniards for each town. Are you ready to discover some of the most amazing hidden gems of the Costas? Let’s go!

Top 5 best small towns to visit in the Costa del Sol

  1. Frigiliana | 2900 searches per month

Out of all the villages in this article, Frigiliana may be the only one that will ring a bell. Located at a couple kilometres from the famous beach resort Nerja, this iconic white village has become more and more popular with foreigners in the past years. But for good reason: the whitewashed houses, cobbled streets and stunning views of the coast are Instagram-worthy. Most visitors limit themselves to the village itself, but head down the valley and you will find the Río Higuerón, a natural oasis where you can hike along the riverbed. You may even spot some mountain goats doing death-defying tricks on the cliffs! Once you’ve had your fill of exploring, enjoy a nice glass of locally-produced sweet wine, or have dinner with a view on one of the lookout points of Frigiliana.

  1. Cásares | 2400 searches per month

If you’re staying near Estepona, you should definitely head to Cásares for the day and explore this town. The village itself is beautiful, with the typical white houses of the region. You can easily explore the town and all important landmarks by following a walking route designed by the tourist office. If you like the works of Blas Infante, famous Spanish writer and politician, you’ll be happy to know that this is his birthplace, and at the Blas Infante Museum you can learn more about his life. Cásares also has many historic monuments that show its rich history, from an Arab fortress to the medieval fortifications. Just outside the town, you can visit the Baños de Hedonia, Roman thermal baths. Here, the water is 21 degrees all year round, and having a bath is completely free!

  1. Pizarra | 1900 searches per month

Nestled in the Guadalhorce Valley and at only 30 kilometres from Malaga, you can find Pizarra, a beautiful rural village surrounded by forests. This is an amazing day trip for anyone who wants to get out of the city and go for a hike in the countryside. There are many hiking routes starting from Pizarra, and they take you along stunning sights. Follow the Guadalhorce river and discover the valley’s bridges, pine forests, viewpoints and more, or hike up the mountain to the Sagrado Corazón de Jesús monument and enjoy an impressive view of the entire valley. When you get back to the village, enjoy a nice cold beer on the plaza, explore the winding streets, and maybe pick up a souvenir or two.

  1. Campillos | 1600 searches per month

If you’re walking the famous Caminito del Rey during your stay on the Costa del Sol, it’s worthwhile to make a short detour and visit the nearby Campillos! This small town is known for its four hermitages that you can visit either by car, by bike or on foot. History buffs will also love to explore the archaeological remains of Roman and Arab settlements just outside Campillos. Sites include an ancient mosque, a Roman necropolis and even the remains of an entire Roman village! If you’d rather spend some time in nature, head to the nearby Lagunas de Campillos, where you can enjoy activities such as hiking, bird watching, canyoning and swimming in one of the many lakes.

  1. Júzcar | 1600 searches per month

Our final recommended small town to visit on the Costa del Sol is Júzcar, also known as the Smurf Village! Instead of the whitewashed houses that are typical for this region, the houses of Júzcar are painted a cheerful, Smurf-blue colour. Wander the streets of this town and discover the many Smurf-themed graffittis and statues. Apart from all the Smurfy activities, the village also has many adventure activities suited for young and old: zip lines, hanging bridges, climbing walls are just some of the attractions in Júzcar. And you can’t forget about the local gastronomy of course! Most of the local bars participate in a tapas route and offer you a tapa for only 1 euro. This small town is definitely one of the best to visit with the entire family!

Discover the complete top 25 of day trip villages for the Costa del Sol at

Top 5 best small towns to visit in the Costa Blanca

  1. Sax | 1600 searches per month

The most popular small town in the Costa Blanca is Sax, a village located in the Alto Vinalopó region. This area is famous for its wineries, and Sax is no different! Wine lovers will be able to visit the local vineyards, discover how their wines are made and even attend a tasting (or two, or three…). The village itself is characterized by the imposing medieval castle, an emblematic sight and a must-see for every visitor. And because the town is also located on the edge of the Sierra de Maigmo Protected Natural Area, you can bring your hiking boots and explore these beautiful mountains, while you enjoy impressive views of the entire Costa Blanca. Sax is an amazing day trip destination for every Costa Blanca visitor!

  1. Pinoso | 1300 searches per month

Pinoso (or Pinós in Valencian) is a small village at 40 kilometres from Elche. Getting there is a bit of a drive, but this beautiful town is definitely worth it! Pinoso is famous for three things: its marble, its wine and its gastronomy. Enjoy a day out learning about historical wine making methods, visiting the local marble quarry and shopping around for locally made marble souvenirs. You can also explore the mountains around Pinoso during a short hike that will take you along oak forests and lakes. And of course, don’t forget to finish your day with a delicious paella made with rabbit, one of the oldest versions of the dish, and the local delicacy Perusa, a delicious anise biscuit.

  1. Dolores | 1300 searches per month

If you want to make a day trip but don’t fancy driving too far, Dolores is a great option for you. This town is located at only 10 kilometres from the coast, and is easily reached from everywhere on the Costa Blanca. The village has a stunning church that is definitely worth a visit, and the El Fondo Natural Park is only a stone’s throw away. The park consists of wetlands and is home to many bird species, so don’t forget to bring your binoculars. But the true star of Dolores is the Feria de Agosto, one of the biggest agricultural fairs in the region. Attend the famous horse show, or any of the other cattle and dog contests, enjoy some amazing local food and get your dose of adrenaline on one of the attractions!

  1. Biar | 1000 searches per month

The mountain village of Biar is another stunning small town to visit on a day trip from the Costa Blanca. With beautiful buildings, narrow cobblestone streets and an impressive castle looking out over the town, it looks like Biar stepped right out of a fairytale. The town is famous for its pottery and ceramics, with many local artists making plates, tiles and much more. It’s the perfect place to pick up a souvenir or two! Take a walk along the old city walls, enjoy a beer on the central plaza and visit one of the many historical and archaeological sites just outside the city. From the medieval aqueduct to the Bronze Age settlements at the Cuevas del Cantal, history buffs will absolutely love Biar.

  1. Planes | 1000 searches per month

Our final recommended small town on the Costa Blanca is Planes, located at about an hour’s drive from Denia and Gandia. This town has an incredibly rich history: visit the medieval castle, the still-functioning aqueduct and connected medieval laundry house, and the Santísimo Cristo hermitage to get to know more about the town. Planes is nestled in a valley of the Sierra de Almudaina, which makes it a great location for hiking. The hike to Barranco de la Encantada and Gorg del Salt is especially recommended. It’s not too difficult and the landscapes you’ll come across are absolutely stunning. Planes is the perfect getaway to discover more of Costa Blanca’s countryside!

Discover the complete top 25 of day trip villages for the Costa Blanca at


The ranking has been elaborated by considering 200 municipalities in the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca region. All towns with a resident population of less than 10,000 inhabitants (definition of “village” provided by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics) were considered. The average monthly search volume for 2023 on Google was gathered for each village, and the ranking of the most searched small municipalities was compiled using this data. In the case of one or more municipalities with the same search volume, priority was given to municipalities with the largest number of inhabitants.

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