Planning a holiday in Spain? The Mediterranean country is one of the UK’s leading holiday destinations with an estimated 16 million Brits travelling there every year.

Many British tourists head straight to the country’s popular Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca areas. Benidorm, on the Costa Blanca, was once described as Spain’s most British town.

During the winter, the Canary Islands are particularly popular due to their warm year-round climate and volcanic beaches.

However, according to new stats from Execltur, Spanish tourists could be shifting their attention away from Spain’s southern hotspots.

Hotels in the Costa del Sol saw a 9.5 percent fall in Spanish visitors in 2023 while there was a tourist bonanza in the northern Basque Country and Galician region.

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Experts have suggested this could be due to climate change causing heatwaves in southern Spain. The north of the country is traditionally much cooler in summer.

While Galicia might not be as well known in the UK, the region is home to some of Spain’s best and cleanest beaches. Port city, Vigo, was recently named as a top trending destination by Skyscanner.

One of Galicia’s top-rated destinations on Tripadvisor are the beautiful Cies Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Pontevedra in Galicia.

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‘Stefanie S’ wrote on Tripadvisor: “Wonderful experience. The Islas Cies are really a paradise and you must definitely go there at least once in your life!”

‘Avid traveller’ said: “A pearl in the Atlantic. I really enjoyed Cies. Nice trails with amazing view points. Even in the higher season, it didn’t feel packed at all.”

Many tourists visit the region to attempt the Camino de Santiago, a historic pilgrimage route that ends in the city of Santiago de Compostela.

The city’s cathedral is the end point for pilgrims and is well worth exploring, even for tourists who didn’t do the pilgrimage route. ‘Yan C’ wrote: “Stunning architecture.”

Still eager to explore southern Spain? Check out Europe’s most walkable city which is also one of the continent’s hottest cities.

Looking for a staycation? Take a look at one of this year’s trending winter staycation destinations.

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