Where's a beautiful, quiet place to go in spain in July that is affordable and isn't overrun with tourists (ideally coastal)?
San Sebastian tops my list. It's on the north coast near Bilbao and most definitely the most beautiful spot I found. Also has a massive beach with bars and cafes on it. The old part of the city is amazing and tourists tend to stick around Barcelona and Madrid a lot more than up there. It has a great mix of beach/city/mountains. about 10 years ago
Depends on what you mean by "overrun". You will not find a nice beach in Spain (or virtually anywhere else in the world) that doesn't encourage tourism to some extent. The town where I live, Colonia Sant Jordi in south-east Mallorca, has tourism, but in a quiet way. It also has the best beaches on the island. about 10 years ago
I walked across the north of Spain 20 years ago from the Pyranees to the Atlantic coast. This was fiesta season so every little town and village had one during the Summer, which was great. Now there was this little town called VIANA, I presume it is still there, and during their fiesta they get guy to put a head-dress on in the shape of a bull, but there's a catch: he can't see and the head-dress is stuffed full of fireworks.
Then it's just light the blue touchpaper, stand well clear and get the hell out of the way.
How anyone didn't / doesn't get seriously hurt I'll never know. The fire regulations down here in Australia simply wouldn't allow it. But if you get the chance to go on the right day, go and find the experience of your life. (Just take care!) about 10 years ago
Miles is bang on the money with San Seb. I flew into Bilbao in the middle of their 'Big Week' and took a bus over to San Sebastian, where you will get immersed in northern Spanish culture if you track your way through the old town.
Back in the end of '07 I drove along the east coast, through Girona, Pals, and right up to Roses. The whole coast is amazing, and it seems that it is really only the Spanish tend to holiday up there.
I am actually headed back to Spain in June this year... off to explore the south so I'll let you know! about 10 years ago