It’s cooler there and the landscapes are varied… Everything to appeal to the locals who find far fewer tourists there.

France, Italy, Spain… Here are the top three in Europe for a great vacation according to (too) many tourists. Spain has captured the hearts of French holidaymakers but also British and Germans in particular. Several tens of millions cross the border each year, whether in summer but also in winter, to find sun, reasonable prices and long sandy beaches. Overtourism lurks, to the point that the authorities have taken some measures, for example in the Balearic Islands, to try to limit this incessant flow.

And the Spaniards themselves, where are they going? Not necessarily in the same place. The Exceltur association, which brings together many tourism professionals in Spain including hotels, travel agencies, reservation centers and transport companies, has published its latest statistics. According to her, hotels on the very touristy Costa del Sol on the Mediterranean coast have recorded a drop of almost 10% in the number of Spanish visitors this year.

Where are they going ? The Spaniards have obviously opted for another region, more or north and less touristy, the Basque Country and Galicia, two booming regions. Experts suggest this trend could be linked to climate change, causing heatwaves in southern Spain, particularly in the last two summers. In summer, the north of the country is traditionally much cooler. But this is not the only argument since Galicia offers many advantages: the beaches are wide and varied and the cleanliness of the water is recognized. The temperature is a little cooler there since it is the Atlantic coast but the climate is more pleasant in the middle of summer. Galicia is often referred to as Spanish Brittany due to the variety of its landscapes and its rich culture.

The¬†city of Vigo also wins many votes like the archipelago of the Cies Islands, near Pontevreda. It offers superb beaches, beautiful hiking trails and the Spanish appreciate the relative tranquility compared to the most touristy places in their country. Hiking enthusiasts can also walk there on the pilgrimage routes including the famous Camino de Santiago leading to Santiago de Compostela. Will it be the same in 2024? Spanish travelers have obviously made Galicia their secret paradise…