Warriors, cathedrals and carnivals: Spain’s best smaller cities, chosen by readers

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Guardian readers

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Medieval plazas, fortresses like film sets and seafood straight out of the net feature in your pick of these lesser-known destinations

I stopped in Salamanca for lunch when driving from Madrid to Lisbon and ended up staying there for a week, caught up in the lovely atmosphere of the city. Its graceful red sandstone architecture, with two cathedrals and splendid university buildings dating from the 15th century, gives the city the quality of an alfresco cultural living room – where academics, students and locals live on a sort of dreamy, theatrical open-air film set. Street names are hand-painted in scarlet on signs and the youthful population creates a hedonistic vibe at night when darkness descends. By day, check out the Plaza Mayor and the lovely Doll Museum.
Yasmin Cox

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