I'm going to be in Spain in August and thinking that northern Spain sounds like my best bet to avoid the heat. What are your fave cities near or around Bilbao, Pamplona, Leon, and Picos de Europa, and why?
Should I rent a car or would public transportation be enough?
I'm looking for less beaches and more mountains and countryside.
Great choice! But you are missing Galicia: Santiago de Compostela and small towns such as Allariz, Mondonedo. Besides, you have the greenest landscapes crossed by rivers and streams. The heat around 22-27 depending on the area you are in. Fragas do Eume is an amazing natural park 50km from Santiago and Los Ancares area which is the Galician part of Picos de Europa if you are up for some soft/medium trekking or Embarcadero Cañones del Sil (Sil gorge)
Amazing food too, from fruits of the sea, fresh fish and excellent beef and pork ( try the spare ribs). If you like cheese and wine that is the place too.
You would need a car though.
Hope you like my advise
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