Spain Travel Guides for Backpackers

Mallorca: Top Places I Would Return Here For

With my excited friend Barbora, we visited Palma de Mallorca in Spain for 3 days trip. Can you imagine walking through lovely streets and holding the fully-tasting ice-cream? For me, it simply was the holiday feeling I came here for :). Check out the old city center We saw not only beautiful Mediterrane architecture– typical buildings with small balconies and wooden rollouts, but also a wide range of various kinds of restaurants, bars and tourist shops. Behind every corner, we approached a small cute square with interesting fontane or building and we felt like in a fairytale.   Plaza Mayor Our target was the largest and most famous square in Palma´s old town. Beautifully surrounded by arcaded Spanish buildings with paintings on it, Plaza Mayor was simply spectacular. Full of the best-looking restaurants, cafes, and people all around it feels a bit noisy and rushy after a while. That´s why we continued to next sightseeing but suddenly came to a small charming square with playing musicians. I felt a bit deja vu feeling when a memory came to my mind. A year ago I have been shortly in Palma de Mallorca with my boyfriend in this exact square with musicians. They started playing “despasito” song and we spontaneously started to dance. We were the only ones dancing on the square, even one man clapped hands to the rhythm and I got eyes only for my boyfriend. We noticed that some Russian girls made a video of us, so we approached them. We had a funny conversation together and hang out for a while. It was a beautiful moment I lively remember and the same musicians were still playing here as it was yesterday :). I mentioned Barbora this moment and we continued to the biggest monument in Palma. Catedral de Mallorca This appealing monument dominates the city and stands as a landmark. Catedral de Mallorca is a great viewpoint and the perfect spot for taking representative tourist photos. Just be careful of pidgeon attacks and men who wanna sell you magnets! I noticed that streets and corners are frequently covered with Graffiti from hard-to-notice small ones to big ones. It was a fascinating combination for me. However, graffiti blended naturally in city architecture and smarten up the look of the city. Thanks to it, the city has a modern and fresh vibe. I decided to collect those daring gratifies, you can view my cute collection! Explore Mallorca´s Nightlife In the night we found several discos, the most extraordinary was  Tito´s Night Club. The red carpet was linning before the club, glass elevator brings you on the top where the real Miami parties take place. The extravagant and rich interior makes you feel as Hollywood celebrity,  at least, I felt like that :D.  Unfortunately, we entered the club when there was no event, I can imagine coming here back when the wild party is on! Enjoy “Why Not Cocktail Bar” However, we didn’t mean to go to another bar, but asked “why not?” ourselves and entered Why Not Cocktail Bar. It was […]

Calpe: Sun, Beaches and Views on the Costa Blanca

Situated on the Costa Blanca coast of Spain, you could be forgiven for overlooking a trip to Calpe due to proximity to bustling Benidorm, but if you give it a chance; I can assure you, you won’t be disappointed. Famed for the Peñon de Ifach which dominates the coastline, long sandy beaches, and the laid back Mediterranean lifestyle there is definitely something to be enjoyed by everyone. Calpe Rock It is important for me to clarify that I have never set foot in the gym, for me a long day at work and a walk with the dog is enough exercise to keep the scales at a number I can tolerate. So when a group of friends invited me to climb Calpe Rock (in Spanish Peñon de Ifach) I laughed at the joke and continued drinking my sangria. But after a long time of insisting that they were not joking, that the rock had a pathway to the top and even school children hiked it, I hastily agreed. Arriving We took the tram from Alicante up to Calpe which was a nice journey along the Costa Blanca. The cost was around 9€ return and took approximately two and a half hours. Calpe tram station is situated in the mountain with a view over the town, to the sea and the rock. This was the moment where I had my first doubt, seeing the full height and scale of the task ahead I definitely began to question if I had the athletic ability for the climb. Onwards and upwards You can take a bus from the tram station directly to the start of the trail. And here you will find some tourist information, facilities, and a picnic area. I was climbing with a group of Spanish friends who had taken the path before so they already knew the details and we set off on our way. Luckily, it was a cloudy day and we started the journey with a cool breeze and clouds above, but it looked daunting from the bottom. The Climb To The Top The way up The path to the top was not exactly what I was expecting. The ‘safest route’ was highlighted with red spraypainted dots on rocks, whilst some parts were stable and easy to walk along, others were simply ropes hanging at the side of the cliff. The ‘Path’ It definitely tested me, and had I been alone, I doubt I could have navigated some of the more tricky parts. It took 2 hours of hard work, stumbles, grazes and frustration, but boy was it worth it. Seeing the sea spread out around you over the horizon, to feel the town sprawling into the mountains, and peacefulness of being so high in the sky was truly breathtaking. View from the top The View From The Top   The Sea Out To The East The Harbour Out To The West I Made It!   Calpe The path back down was quicker and as the sun had come […]

5 spectacular European beach destinations

With sweltering temperatures and unbearable heat waves, sometimes the beach is the only place that makes summer tolerable. Beach towns (or cities) are the ideal summer destination for any kind of traveler, offering both sight seeing and relaxation in the same place. Read below for the perfect sun-soaked beach spots. Málaga, Spain Malagueta beach, Málaga, Spain. Located on the southern edge of Spain, Málaga has the perfect mix of everything one could want, including art, history, and leisure. Picasso’s hometown features two museums dedicated to his life and work; a castle with dazzling views overlooking the sea and surrounding area; and of course, Malagueta beach. Over 1,200 meters long and with palm trees waving in the breeze, one feels as though they have stepped directly into a tropical paradise. Málaga’s port area also makes for a nice sunset walk, and once you’ve hit all the aforementioned sites, there is still the Alcazaba, Málaga’s old Moorish fort, and its impressive cathedral. Cascais, Portugal Rock Formations at Cascais, Portugal. A short 45-minute train ride from Lisbon, Cascais is often overlooked in favor of Sintra as a popular day trip because of the renowned Pena Castle, but Cascais has something that Sintra certainly does not: beautiful rock formations along the coast, called boca do inferno, or ‘hell’s mouth’, and stunning beaches, such as Ribeira beach and Rainha beach. Rainha beach, or ‘queen’s beach,’ was so picturesque that it was chosen by the queen herself for her private beach, thus where the name comes from, and it still serves as an excellent beach destination. Malta The Blue Lagoon on Comino island, Malta. Considering that Malta is a nation made up of three islands, it should come as no surprise that it also has beaches all over the country. The best place to spend the day and swim is definitely Comino, the smallest island of the three, which features the Blue Lagoon as its main attraction. A shallow bay with crystal clear water, one can float in the tranquil waters and stare up into the deep blue skies for as long as one wants—it won’t get tiring! There are also more beaches located around the other islands, so the only tough part is choosing which one to go to. Aegina, Greece Aegina island, Greece. For those who want some off-the-beaten-path beaches in Greece (because who hasn’t seen a million pictures of Santorini on Instagram, right?), look no further than the island of Aegina, the closest island to the mainland. After the mere 20-minute ferry ride, one can rent RVs for the whole day for as little as 20 euros. With sparkling blue waters and beaches as far as the eye can see, Aegina is the perfect spot to relax after a day of visiting ancient ruins and archaeological museums. Arcachon, France Arcachon, France. Charming in the summer months as well as in the winter ones, Arcachon is close to Bordeaux if one prefers a day trip, but is also well worth a long weekend to […]

3 of Spain’s most underrated cities

Everyone’s heard of Barcelona, and of course Madrid, but how about Cáceres? Or Cartagena? Here are some suggestions of the most underrated cities in Spain to make your next trip not only unforgettable, but also jealousy provoking for all of your friends. Cartagena Located on the Mediterranean, Cartagena is overshadowed by touristy places like Valencia and Alicante, but has a castle with breathtaking views of the city center and an ancient Roman theater. Sitting in the main square, while sipping a café con leche and watching the water lap against the dock, is one of life’s simple luxuries. It is also located a mere half hour drive away from La Manga, a thin strip of land in between the Mediterranean and the Mar Menor, which makes for a sublime beach day away from the crowds of the city. View of Cartagena city center from Concepción Castle. Cáceres Cáceres is located in the Extremadura region bordering Portugal, and has a traditional Spanish city center, which is right where one should head after arriving. Featuring historic buildings such as the Bujaco Tower and the old city walls, it is also complemented by quite a few notable churches, in one of which you can go up the bell tower, and the city museum, where one can see an old Arab cistern. Eating migas, the typical dish of Extremadura, is a must in Cáceres, and the trip can be finished off with a visit to the Mirador de la Montaña, a superb lookout point that has stunning views not only of the city center, but also of the surrounding area. Historic city center of Cáceres. San Sebastián Up and coming on the tourist radar, San Sebastián’s proximity to Bilbao has kept it under wraps, as most tourists head straight to the Guggenheim there and forget about everything else. But San Sebastián has one of the prettiest beaches in Spain, La Concha, not to mention an exquisite cathedral, and for those inclined to hiking, there are quite a few options to take in the spectacular views of the city and sea. Mota Castle, located on top of Urgull peak just next to the seaside, is one of them, and on the other side of the bay is one of Europe’s oldest rollercoasters, which can be reached after going up the funicular to the Monte Igueldo theme park. La Concha beach in San Sebastián. Bonus city: Murcia As if these options weren’t enough, another completely underrated city in Spain is Murcia, which claims to be the hottest city in all of Spain, so a visit in the off season might be a better idea, so that one can avoid not only the heat, but the tourists as well! Although it should also be mentioned that if one visits during summer, most of Murcia’s residents will be at the seaside enjoying the beach—Murcia is landlocked, which helps to support its claim as the hottest Spanish city. Once you can stand the heat, Murcia’s charms are evident. It […]

Best Art Spots in Barcelona

Capital of Spain and the largest city of Catalonia, Barcelona is a city filled with endless attractions to discover. About 8.69 million tourists visited Barcelona in 2018, being ranked as the 17th most visited city in the world. Barcelona is also known for shopping, its culinary, the FC Barcelona Museum, its beaches (which most tourists don’t know they’re artificial), its nightlife, its music festivals, the unconventional church La Sagrada Familia, etc. But whether you’re visiting Barcelona for a few days or 3 weeks, hitting art spots will be on your to-visit list. Barcelona is the home of many famous artists such as Joan Miró, Antoni Tàpies, Ramon Casas, Marià Fortuny, and Salvador Dalí (although technically not born in Barcelona, but in a nearby town called Figueres that has a strong connection with the city). It’s a city that breathes art, so you’ll find it everywhere. Visiting museums can be expensive, so you’re traveling on a budget, make sure to visit a museum on the first Sunday of the month, since they’re free! Just make sure to get there early, as lines tend to get long. Park Güell You don’t need to be an architect or an art expert to recognize and appreciate the innovations in Antonio Gaudí’s buildings and constructions. Built from 1900 to 1914 and officially opened to the public in 1926, Park Güell reflects the naturalist phase of Gaudí’s works; his inspiration from organic shapes, the creative liberty he put into the ornamental creation, and the mythological influence. It is located on Carmel Hill and it can be reached by underground railway, by city buses, or by tourist buses. It is the perfect spot to spend the afternoon. You can easily spend more than 4 hours there since the park is full of colorful tiles and mosaics, columns and there’s even a viaduct to get lost in. Just make sure to research the nearest and easiest entrance for you since some areas are difficult to access for individuals with limited mobility.   La Rambla The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that La Rambla was “the only street in the world which I wish would never end.” By taking a walk in this 2-kilometer Boulevard in the heart of Barcelona, you’ll run across an open-air flower market, a fountain, an Opera House, mime artists and street performers, the Teatre Principal (Barcelona’s oldest theatre), an arts center as well as plenty of kiosks that sell newspapers, gifts, local art, flowers, and souvenirs. You’ll also find a large mosaic by Miró, just outside the Boquería market. It can be very crowded, especially during summertime, so make sure to be careful of pickpockets. Casa Batllò Located in the centre of Barcelona and considered one of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, this apartment block was designed in 1904 to be Josep Batlló’s home. Today the Casa hosts many important events for the city. The details of this building are impressive, Mirò’s goal was to avoid straight lines completely, the whole façade is decorated […]

City Break In The “Sun Coast” Of Spain – Malaga

Have you ever thought of living in a city where the sun is up around 320 days per year? Well, until last year I was not aware there is such a city only 3 hours away from my home country, Poland! Intrigued? Keep on reading…   Last summer an opportunity arose to move to the beautiful Costa Del Sol, which is in the south of Spain. I have never been to this country before but the perspective of living in a new country was really tempting. About what city am I talking about? That’s right, Malaga! Some say it’s a small Barcelona… Do you agree? I moved to Malaga in January 2019. I got accepted to do a TEFL & Marketing Internship program at one of the language schools in the city. Honestly, I never thought I would become an English Teacher one day! Isn’t it incredible how life can catch us by surprise? For the past two summers, I was lucky to work in Cambridge, in the UK at a great language school. I was a House Manager and a Course Assistant but I also got to know many incredible people who were teachers there. After one of the conversations I had with one of them, an opportunity arose, to go to Malaga and become an English Teacher. The CertTESOL course itself? It was without a doubt an amazing experience, filled with hard work and sleepless nights but also many laughs and friendships that I believe will last long. I’m glad I have chosen Malaga because it’s an amazing city. I’ve never been to Spain before so everything was new, but ever since I remember, I liked reggaeton music (I know, I know, not everyone is a fun but it’s great for dancing!) and I speak Italian, therefore I understand loads and it felt like a perfect destination also to practice my Spanish! I’ve stayed there for 4 months and happily skipped Polish winter this year ? The weather in Malaga is absolutely wonderful – with only couple of rainy days you can enjoy the blue sky, sun, and warmth throughout the entire year. Life is definitely better with the sun, and I can’t imagine living in a cold country! (What an irony, I’m Polish.. ?) Planning a city break?  Check out below my short to-do list once in Malaga! Gibralfaro hill Surely should be o your to-do list while visiting Malaga. The panorama is stunning, both during the day but also when the sun goes down. There is something magical about sitting on a hill, looking at the bay, listening to the sounds of the city in the evening and simply appreciating the view. Nowadays we first reach out for our phones to take a picture, but the past years thought me to be more present and live in the moment. As much as I love taking photos, I try to fist admire the view and then take a shot. Free walking tour There are several companies organizing a […]

Rural life and nature: know more about santa eulalia, spain

Santa Eulalia Somera is a town belonging to the municipality of Arnedillo, in the autonomous community of La Rioja (Spain). It is an ideal place for rural life and nature lovers. But also for those who want to disconnect, do outdoor activities, or simply enjoy the local gastronomy. Tranquillity and good weather It is a very quiet place, with very few inhabitants, and is, therefore, a good place to unwind and relax. Its landscape of red tone is peculiar because it is located at the foot of mountains sculpted by the erosion and moulded for centuries by the hand of man in the construction of the caves. In spite of the hills, the town has a nice walk between the white houses, the church and the caves. The summers are short, warm and cloudless, whereas the winter is very cold, but it is dry all year long. If you would like to have good weather and do different activities, the best time to visit it is from the end of June to the beginning of September. Apart from the relaxed atmosphere and the scenery, it offers different activity options and places of interest. Routes for hiking and cycling It offers a lot of possibilities for lovers of hiking and cycling. The “Vía Verde del Cicados” or the Greenway of the Cidacos passes through the village, it is a path that runs along the old railway line that crosses the main surrounding villages along 34’5 km. It is ideal for walking, running or cycling, and accessible for anyone as each one will be able to adapt the duration and distance of the route. Another good option for a short walk is the path to the next town called Arnedillo. The walking route takes about an hour to go and another to return, and the road is really easy and beautiful. Arnedillo It is a town located about 4’2 km next to Santa Eulalia Somera. Known for its outdoor hot springs and the Valley of the Dinosaurs.   Hot springs Once through the village, there are three pools that retain the thermal waters that arise along the Cidacos River, whose access is free. It also has a few picnic tables in the shade, ideal for sunny and hot days. It is said that these thermal waters have medicinal properties, and their maximum temperature is around 50ºC. The three pools do not have the same temperature, so if the hottest is too much, you can try the other two, you will notice the difference! And if it is still too hot, you can go for a swim in the river, where the water of the pools is mixed with the water that runs through the river. The temperature contrasts are good for blood circulation, so it is a good circuit to go through all! The valley of the dinosaurs of Enciso In this route are plentiful of the fossilized footprints of the dinosaurs that populated the Iberian peninsula more than 100 million years ago. You can […]

5 things to do in Tenerife

Last October I traveled to Tenerife. Tenerife is part of the Canary Islands in Spain. About the island, I will just say AMAZING. This was the best vacation for me so far. We stayed for 10 days and I will say that 10 days are not enough for Tenerife. The island has so much to offer, from relaxation on the beach to hiking on Teide. It is always Summer in Tenerife, so whenever you decide to go on a vacation you can visit Tenerife, where the temperature throughout the whole year is 25 degrees. If you want to travel and have fun Tenerife is the place for you. I will share some tips, tricks, things to do, where to go.   Teide Mount Teide is a national park and it is a real-world’s heritage. Teide is a volcano, with the highest peak in Spain 3718 m above sea level. It was really exciting and I would say adventurous. It is the highest peak that I have ever been, at 3550 m. You can get there by a cable car, I suggest you buy online tickets in advance. It is always crowded, and if you don’t buy tickets two or three days before this trip you won’t be able to find any tickets available. Also, if you want to head to the top of the mountain you will need to get a permit in advance. I felt a little dizzy up there because of the air. Up there you will enjoy the breath-taking views of Tenerife, Gran Canaria, and La Palma. The road to Teide is very interesting, you will drive through clouds. Also, there is one restaurant on the road, it has a terrace with a beautiful view. You can stop there and drink coffee. It is always cold up there so you should take something warm to wear, and also you should wear comfortable shoes. Siam and Loro Park Siam park is one of the best aqua parks in Europe. There are a lot of attractions, both family-friendly and adrenaline filled. If you want to see and try all the attractions, you should arrive early, around 10 am, or you can buy a fast pass ticket. I really enjoyed the whole day there. At the end of the day, I was really exhausted. I suggest you buy twin-ticket for both parks, it is cheaper this way. Loro Park offers a different experience, more family-friendly. There are several shows with animals: dolphin show, sea lions show, parrots show, orca show, etc. The shows are really fun, interesting and educational. I really enjoyed the whole day. The animals are lovely. You will need two days to visit both parks. Beaches Tenerife abounds with beautiful beaches, but I will tell you my favorite five beaches. Playa de las Americas Long, sandy beach, there are sunbeds, so you don’t have to take an umbrella with you. This beach is always crowded with tourists. It has the most beautiful sunsets. Los Cristianos It is right next […]

Most authentic things to do in Barcelona, Catalonia

Barcelona is probably one of the best cities to live in Europe. I am French and I have lived in many places, including other areas of Spain. But Barcelona is by far my favorite! I moved here in 2010 and I still discover new and charming corners every day! A single article can only be an introduction to trigger your interest! The Old Town It is actually divided into different areas. Born is on top of my list. Why? Because I love its tiny streets, especially where few locals still live. The city became very expensive and most people have to live outside now. So the center is becoming less and less authentic. That’s why I would never recommend going to the Ramblas. It’s just a tourist attraction, with no local charms anymore. But I would highly recommend strolling in the small streets adjacent to it. Go from Born to Raval walking or cycling. It’s the best way to go through all the charming little streets and “plazas”. Hights of Barcelona There are many areas on the hills that offer wonderful views of the city and overlooking the sea. Montjuic is one of them. You can take a cable car to reach the top and then stroll through its beautiful gardens. I also highly recommend a day excursion to Montserrat. It means saw mountain in Catalan, because of its shape. You can take the Ferrocarril train to reach its treasure, the Benedictine Abbey of the Monastery. And if you can’t go that far, try to go to Tibidabo, which dominates the city! The views are amazing, and The Tibidabo Sagrat Cor Cathedral is also worth the trip!   Beach areas Barceloneta is very famous but way too crowded for me. I would rather go a little further out of the city, in Bogatell for instance. It’s close to the famous Rambla del Poblenou. When I first moved here, it was deserted! But now many hotels settle down and it is getting busier every year. I still love it though, especially in the morning.   Beach of Bogatell in Barcelona   If you can, take a train and get out of Barcelona. It’s less busy, especially after Tarragona. Sitges is a famous gem everyone will tell you about, but other small places are less touristic and much more authentic! Check any village around Cunit, it’s just perfect! My favorite neighborhoods of Barcelona You have probably heard of Gracia. It’s very famous for its “Festa Major” in August, where locals decorate the streets, play music and have fun! But actually, I avoid going there because it’s too crowded. However, I love it at quiet hours. There are many local shops. If you love the planet and do everything to be a better citizen, Gracia has many bulk shops where you can buy package-free food or cleaning products.       If you enjoy bustling places, Sants is one of those areas that still have a local taste. Nearby the main railway station, you will […]

A Day in Spain's Wine Country: Travel Guide for Logroño, La Rioja

Spain is a country you can find at the top of any travel list. Most of us have either visited, or know someone who has visited Barcelona, Sevilla, or Madrid. But this country is vast and has so much to offer outside of the bigger cities. One hidden gem I think deserves a little time in the spotlight is Logroño, La Rioja. Logroño is the capital of the tiny Spanish wine region of La Rioja, located around 4 hours north of Madrid by bus, and known for being a popular stopping point on Spain’s famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. I was lucky enough to spend a year living in Logroño, a time when I was able to hike through fields of grape vines dappled with deep red and yellow autumn leaves. I experienced the pincho culture, the northern take on tapas featuring cheap bites of delicious food paired with a tasty drink. And I left with a love for the rolling landscapes, generous people, and rich culture that make this little corner of Spain so special. Whether you’re passing through as a pilgrim, wine connoisseur, or just a tourist hoping for a destination off the beaten path, here are some suggestions that are sure to leave your boots dirty, your belly happy, and your heart full of love for this undiscovered travel destination.     Wake up with a Café con Leche This is a traditional Spanish custom. If you’re traveling to Logroño outside of winter, the best way to wake up is by ordering a coffee with milk and drinking it at a table outside in the sunshine. What better way to enjoy Spain than by soaking up the sun, people watching, and admiring the lovely architecture surrounding you? My suggestion is to take a stroll down Calle Portales, grab a cup of the good stuff in the Plaza del Mercado, and enjoy the spectacular view of the Cathedral of Santa María de la Redonda. Make sure to eat something and pack extra water, because we’re heading out into the vineyard fields for a hike!     Take a Hike to Fuenmayor The amazing thing about Logroño is that you are right on the world famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, which starts in France and ends in Santiago de Compostela, in the northwestern corner of Spain. There are countless accessible hikes in Logroño. In fact, you can hop on a trail by simply walking out your front door. These hikes vary in difficulty, landscape, and destination. I chose Fuenmayor because this hike guides you straight into the heart of wine country, and gives you the chance to see a new village in La Rioja. If you visit during the autumn, my personal favorite season in La Rioja, then you can catch the leaves of the grape vines turning the most radiant hues of red, yellow and orange, and spilling out as far as the eye can see. This hike is mostly flat and the journey ends in Fuenmayor, where you can […]

What to do, see and eat in Ávila, a medieval city in Spain

Although I am not Spanish, I had the privilege of seeing Ávila through the Spanish eyes. In other words, I had my own local guide! My boyfriend was born and spent most of his life in this historic place. I only spent one year there, but it was enough to experience the whole cycle of the city’s life. Ávila is rather Spanish than an international tourist hub. It is known for two reasons: best preserved medieval walls and Saint Teresa. Due to the latter, it is often considered a pilgrimage destination only, but I would like to change this point of view. 5 things to do Ávila is a relatively small city. Therefore, the old town can be easily explored by foot. It has numerous sights, but I will only name my favorite ones. Doing these five things gives you a good overview of the heart and soul of the city. Walk the city walls You will spot the medieval walls the very moment you enter the city. But you will truly experience this defensive structure only by climbing the steep stairs leading to the top. It is, with no doubts, the main tourist attraction of Ávila, and this title is well-deserved. Wander the streets of the old town During your walls stroll, you will make nearly the full circle around the old town. Wandering along its well-preserved streets will give you a new perspective. Enter the area through one of the impressive city gates and walk with no settled plan. Just admire the medieval face of Spain. Go to Cuatro Postes viewpoint Having walked through both the wall and the streets of the old town, head to the Cuatro Postes viewpoint. It is just a stone throw from the historical part of the city. The view couldn’t be better. You will see Ávila in all its glory. If you are staying in the city for more than a day, try to visit the viewpoint both during the day, an at the nighttime. Attend the Medieval Festival Every year in September, for one weekend, Ávila changes beyond recognition. The old town overflows with visitors from every part of Spain and a handful of foreign tourists. It is Medieval Festivities time! The event is advertised as the meeting of three cultures, which had an impact on the history of the city: Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. Walking down the crowded streets, you will pass locals and visitors dressed up as people of the Middle Ages. Moreover, you will get a chance of tasting delicious food and buy hand-made souvenirs from one of many medieval stalls. Play golf I am not a golf fan myself, but I think it is worth mentioning for all the golf people out there. Ávila boasts the highest standard golf course, with 60 hectares of area and 18 holes. It is popular among golfers from the region of Castile and León as well as the Madrid Community. 3 churches to visit There are plenty of churches in Ávila, […]

Bilbao on a budget: Take a family stroll around the city sights

The approach by road to some Spanish cities appears to be as much of an experience as being in the cities themselves – sweeping along the Autovía del Noroeste towards Madrid, for example (until it started reminding me of the A3 through south-west London, that is). Now I most certainly can’t claim to have been to all the cities in Spain, but I’d most definitely give my ‘most impressive city entrance’ vote to Bilbao if such a contest ever existed! Puente de La Salve Having driven west from Zarautz, we disappeared into the Artxanda Tunnel and then, upon exiting, we were hit with a view and sights that should live long in the memory for anyone. Driving across the distinctive red-arched Puente de La Salve, with the river underneath and the iconic Guggenheim Museum rising up to the right; it was welcome to Bilbao alright. We visited during an extended jaunt around Europe in our caravan. If you ever do such a thing, and perhaps have your family’s bikes on a car roof rack, please do remember to take them off before you try to find somewhere to park in any major city. Most of the parking is naturally underground, with on-street spaces hard to come by. When you finally find somewhere, you might then forget to make a note of where you’ve parked, get lost trying to find it later and have your mobile phone battery run out at the same time. I hope no-one ever repeats our foolishness… Architecture But the trip was worth the minor hiccup. We were there a month before Christmas, so our strolls through the city streets and main shopping areas came with the added spice of a festive feeling in the air, decorations and lights all around, and giant Christmas trees to be found – perfect for the kids. If you do happen to visit Bilbao at this most wonderful time of the year, then the sparkling tree-like structure at Plaza Indautxu is one to check out. Azkuna Zentroa The Azkuna Zentroa, built in an old wine warehouse, is a good place to pop your head into while you’re in the city centre. Opened in 2010, it’s described as a Society and Contemporary Culture Centre (or multi-purpose venue), featuring a cinema, art installations and exhibitions, concerts and performances, a multimedia library, swimming pool, gymnasium and sun terrace. If you’re not at the centre to make use of the facilities or partake in any events, you can count your way round all 43 of the squat columns which hold up the three buildings above. They are made from various materials and have all been uniquely crafted. The Chinese designs particularly stand out for their vibrant colours – why not have a quick (and safe!) race to find the dragon’s foot while you’re there? Azkuna Zentroa is located in the Ensanche de Albia quarter, part of the city expansion areas created when Bilbao spread across the river estuary from the narrower streets of the old […]

Best places to visit in The Basque Country

The Basque Country is an autonomous community in northern Spain. Its nature bears no resemblance to the rest of Spain, this region overflowing in green rich landscapes thanks to its humid oceanic climate. Right from the start, I decided that one day I will have to live here, as this place breathes joy and adventure. While I visited, there were plenty of ways to spend my time and acclimate to this region. Nature Getaways When I do research on a country that I’m going to visit, nature is always the first thing that comes to my mind. The Basque Country boasts with dazzling sights that can easily take your breath away. I, for one, was allured by the neverending state of serenity that enfolds every sight. It was the perfect chance to clear my mind and let my soul wander. Every beach and hill seems to have its own mystery. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe Recently it has gained a huge amount of visitors as this Island appeared in the series Game of Thrones but its beauty comes from the feelings it evokes in you. As I walked the stairs of the man-made bridge, I began to sense an unusual feeling. It felt as if I was smaller but in a good way. Finding myself at the edge of raw nature that merges with the human touch to create such an astonishing view offered me a new grasp of reality. At the top of the islet, you can find a hermitage dedicated to John the Baptist. It’s said that you have to ring the bell three times so you will one day return to this place. El Cerro Amboto – Amboto hills Veiled in mythology, these hills offer a great hike. As the main track took me atop, the landscape cleansed my eyes. I was lucky enough to catch a nice day, but if things don’t go quite as according to plan, there are secondary tracks that will make the experience still as enjoyable. To my surprise, I encountered docile horses and cows that seem to live their best life on these hills.  Aritzatxu Beach – Bermeo At this beach, you can either admire the waves from up above or become an accomplice in the game of the tides. When the tide is low, the mainland is connected to a small island by a stone bridge that eventually disappears underwater when the tide is high. This is one of the many beaches of The Basque Country that are a must visit: Bakio, Zurriola, Arrigorri, Arrietara, Karraspio, Itzurun. City breaks The Basque Country has breathtaking sights but it is also known for its beautiful cities, brought to life by its inhabitants and architecture. Their buildings overflow with colours and their balconies are filled with plants. Each city is left with a unique personality, and it sure helps to cope with their uncertain weather. Another fascinating thing about this region is that their original language is Euskera-Basque, thus every city has its name in […]

Madrid: Top 10 Things to do in Paseo del Prado

The Prado Walk is one of the oldest and most important boulevards in Madrid, both for its cultural and historic value. For centuries it was one of the edges of Madrid, and it was used as a recreational space for its gardens and fountains. Nowadays it is still one of the main city’s attractions, for its high concentration of unmissable touristic points and sights. Spread out across this boulevard of a little over one kilometer you’ll find some of the most important museums (the famous Golden Triangle of Art), iconic buildings, as well as imposing fountains and monuments. How to reach it Metro: Estación del Arte, Banco de Espanã Bus: 10, 14, 27, 34, 37, 45, N8, N9, N10, N11, N12, N13, N14, N15, N17, N25, N26 Museo Reina Sofia Reina Sofia Museum Originally called Centro del Arte, this museum has been opened since 1992. It was renamed after Queen Sofía in 1988. Mainly dedicated to Spanish art, it gathers artworks from famous painters such as Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, and others. The museum comprises many styles like Modernism, Cubism, and Surrealism and post-war artistic expression. The collection dates from the end of the 19th Century. Most notorious pieces of art we can see there: Guernica and Woman in Blue (by Pablo Picasso), Landscapes at Cadaqués and The Great Masturbator (by Salvador Dalí) Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday to Saturday 10am – 9pm (closed on Tuesdays) / Sunday 10am – 7pm (box office closes at 2pm) Price: General 10€ / Online 8€ / General + Audioguide 15,50€ Free admission: Monday, Wednesday to Saturday 7pm – 9pm / Sunday 1:30pm to 7pm Sabatini building CaixaForum CaixaForum Inaugurated in 2008, CaixaForum has quickly gained iconic status next to Madrid more classic infrastructures. It is worth a visit, not only for its art exhibitions and cultural events but also for its exterior: it has a ‘green façade’ (a vertical garden 24 meters tall with around 250 different plant species!), and a structure that gives the impression of being levitating. Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am – 8pm Price: General 5€ / Vertical Garden Guided Tour 3€ / Guided tour to CaixaForum 3€ Free admission: 15th May, 18th May, 9th November, CaixaBank clients, youth (under 16 years) Museo del Prado Museo del Prado Founded in 1819, this museum assembles paintings from what started as the Spanish monarchs’ collection. It has the largest holdings of paintings from famous artists like Bosch, Titian, El Greco, Rubens, Velázquez, and Goya. Most notorious pieces of art we can see there: Las Meninas (by Diego Velázquez), The Black Paintings (Francisco Goya), The Garden of Earthly Delights (Hieronymus Bosch) Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 10am – 8pm / Sunday 10am – 7pm Price: General 15€ / Reduced (over 65 years or youth card) 7,5€ Free admission: Monday to Saturday 6pm – 8pm, Sunday and holidays 5pm – 7pm, under 18 years, students 18-25 years Fuente de Neptuno The Neptuno Fountain is one of the most significant fountains in Madrid, […]

Must see underground places in Barcelona

It is said that there are as many different experiences to be had in Barcelona, Spain, and as a recent visitor, that’s incredibly true. Barcelona offers you from the most high-class hotels, expensive brands and exclusive night clubs to the cheapest 12 bed dorms, second-hand shops, and underground pubs. With a population of 1.6 million, this wonderful city is home to all sorts of people from artists, skaters, musicians, athletes, designers, bohemians to entrepreneurs and an endless list from all social classes. But as a young backpacker and artist, my favourite Barcelona is the one with hidden entrances to pubs and astonishing street art. I set out to do as much as I could in only 24 hours.  Sleep among art No Limit Graffiti hostel is located in Aragó Street, only a 35 minute walk from the old city and with a metro station (Encants) just 100 metres away. It offers a wide range of accommodation options: twin room, 8 bed dorm, 8 bed dorm en-suite, 10 bed dorm en-suite and 12 bed female dorm. The hostel has a community kitchen, work-space, terrace, and living room. The cost will vary between 19 to 22€ per night in a dorm, which is a very good price for its location and facilities. What truly stands out from this hostel is its aesthetics and comfort, which makes it unique and special. No Limit Graffiti is completely decorated with artwork painted by artists from all around the world in every room and space. The only inconvenient is that the minimum stay is 2 nights but it’s totally worth a visit. Explore like a local What makes the street art scene so special and attractive is its ephemeral nature. Every artwork will last for a brief period of time and it will be in constant change. The best areas in Barcelona to walk around and get lost searching for hidden masterpieces are the following quarters of the city: El Raval Barri Gòtic Vila de Gràcia Provençals del Poblenou El Raval and Barri Gòtic are in the old city area, while the other two are located on the outskirts of Barcelona. There are some guides and itineraries to find famous street art pieces but as it was mentioned before, there is a high possibility that the piece you’re looking for no longer exists. The best way to appreciate this art is to wander around with your eyes wide open. Hidden parties The Bollocks The night scene in Barcelona is well known for its variety and oddity. The first pub in our 24 hours tour is The Bollocks. Situated in Ample Street in the Barri Gotic quarter, this pub offers a wide number of drinks and food options accompanied by the best rock music. Its decoration is fully based on music and classic rock, with drums and mixing console cases as tables or guitar brands and songs as drink and food names. It also has an eating contest consisting of eating 5 hamburgers in 25 minutes with the amazing reward of 66 free beers. Nevermind Escudellers After filling our stomachs with all manner of American food, the next destination is Nevermind Escudellers, only 7 minutes away from The Bollocks. This […]

5 non-touristy curiosities for Barcelona lovers

Small, but infinite. Even after checking all the must-see spots, even if you are visiting the city for the third time, even if you live there! Barcelona always has yet another treasure waiting to be discovered. And the fact that you can get almost everywhere walking makes it even better. This may be one of the multiple reasons for so many people willing to move there after spending a few days in one of Spain's most famous destination. So if you have already walked Barcelona up and down and are looking for new strolls, put on comfortable shoes, get a bottle of water: here we go to these five hidden spots.   Caseta de nines del Putxet What little girl or boy wouldn’t want to have this dollhouse. What adult wouldn’t want it! Well, we don’t have it, that’s life. But you can enjoy this relic that belonged, in the 1860s, to the privileged kids of a privileged family. Covered by different tiles, the tiny house surprises the visitors with a cheerful mix of colors and an inspiring antique feeling. If you look through the windows you get to see the miniature bathroom, kitchen, and rooms. Unfortunately, people who forgot their inner child (and manners) have vandalized the place. As a result, the interior looks a bit like a horror movie set. Anyway, the original spirit and delicacy can still be appreciated. The uniqueness of this scene is enriched by the view of the city going down to the sea. The Caseta de nines is located in El Putxet i el Farró neighborhood. On Carrer de la Costa. Tip: after climbing all the way up to this point you can also enjoy the Parc del Turó del Putxet. It is a few steps from the dollhouse and from there you can enjoy panoramic views of Barcelona without hundreds of cameras around.   Carrer de Sant Josep Cottolengo Nature is the inspiration for most of Gaudí‘s amazing buildings, that have become Barcelonian icons. You can feel it in the shapes, details and in the way his pieces blend with their natural surroundings. “Everything comes from the great book of nature” is a well-known quote from this famous Catalan architect. What is less known is the path which tributes this concept near one of the entrances of Park Güell. Throughout its gray curves, the cement is interrupted by openwork sheet metal with this phrase, each of them in a different language. The passage borders the Cottolengo del Padre Alegre and is called, predictably, Carrer de Sant Josep Cottolengo. It is one of the less known accesses to Park Güell and its tranquility is a refuge that will be really appreciated in this touristic area. Tip: you might choose this walk on your way down from the Park Güell since the uphill to get there may feel heavier than other streets.   A 360º passage at Can Baró The fantasy of feeling local in this incredible lookout of Barcelona is over. The Bunkers […]

Traveling with our lady dog through the sunny south of Spain

To those who don’t know Spain is divided into regions, one of them is called Andalusia, and it’s located in the South. This region is subdivided into 8 provinces ( Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville) and I can proudly say that I’ve been in all of them. I’m originally from the South of Portugal so I’m used to the warm weather and beautiful beaches. That’s why Andalusia has such a powerful effect on me. Because it has all of those features and also desert landscapes, salero, huge mountains, and the amazing mediterranean sea. This year my boyfriend and I decided that we would travel to Andalusia but we had to bring our lovely dog Lolita. Lolita is a 5-year-old Wire Fox Terrier who is both sweet and looney. So the journey began with some uncertainties about where we were going to eat out, sleep and also where we would go to the beach. The final destination was the incredible Cabo de Gata in the province of Almería but in order to get there, we made a one day stop in Córdoba. Córdoba We had been in Córdoba already so it was a more relaxed pit stop. But, when we speak of Córdoba you cannot miss mentioning the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba. It’s absolutely required to visit this imposing monument which brings such beauty and peace to all of his visitors. Of course, like a true southern girl I am, I visited this monument with an average temperature of 40 degrees Celsius (which is pretty normal to Córdoba) and inside you will experience a pleasant sensation of refreshment. Cathedral  This time we just appreciated the Cathedral from outside, passed through the Roman Bridge of Córdoba and stared at the typical Patios Cordobeses with our little pooch. Although, we were a bit worried about the accommodation I can honestly say that nowadays it’s much easier to find cheap places that admit pets. In Córdoba, we stayed in a fully equipped apartment that cost us about 50 euros per night which is an excellent value for money and at dinner, we went to El Patio de Maria and stayed outside in their beautiful patio. The food was alright and the wine was great! I had a traditional plate called Flamenquin that was pretty good and enjoyed the lovely Spanish atmosphere. Oh well, I felt like I was living the life! Cabo de Gata We continued our journey driving through the hot roads of Andalusia heading to Cabo de Gata. Cabo de Gata is a Natural Park and Andalusia’s largest coastal protected area, therefore, it has the most beautiful beaches and calas (rocky beaches). The atmosphere is pretty relaxed and there are a lot of beaches that are nudist friendly. That’s actually what is great in this place, you will feel good if you are a nudist, if you aren’t a nudist and for us, the best part is that you are allowed to bring your best friend (in this particular case Lolita). Everybody respects each other and the feeling is peaceful. The […]

A Perfect Two-Day Itinerary in Seville, Spain

With its yellow-accented buildings, painted tiles, and balconies full of flowers, Seville is one of the most colourfully romantic cities in Europe. This southern Spanish city is a beautiful blend of Moorish style and classic Spanish character. Because Seville is a relatively small city, it is possible to see most of the main sites in 2 days and still have time to enjoy the unique atmosphere. Visitors to Seville will notice the abundance of orange trees found in the city and the enchanting aroma which they produce. The citrus trees keep their leaves year-round and cast much-needed shade during the hot summer weather in Seville. If you’re wondering whether you can eat the Seville oranges, the answer is… not really. While it’s not technically forbidden to eat them, the fruit is extremely bitter and only used in a locally prepared marmalade. One of many Orange Trees in Seville Before you travel to Seville When choosing where to stay, the obvious option is near the Cathedral where you’ll be a short walking distance to all the main sights. Another great option is the area around Alameda de Hercules. Here you’ll find more of a neighbourhood feel with small food markets, modern fusion tapas bars, and live music. Plus, it’s only a 20-minute walk to the Cathedral and main sights. No matter where you choose to stay, we highly recommend finding accommodation with a terrace or rooftop access. Before arriving in Seville, be sure to make reservations for the Real Alcazar de Sevilla online. You can choose a specific timeslot to enter at no extra charge. Without a reservation, the wait times can be up to two and a half hours in the hot sun. Now that we’ve covered some logistics, let’s get into our suggested itinerary for things to do in Seville. Day 1 – Plaza de España, Plaza de Toros, & tapas The best way to start your day is with a free walking tour. We have always had a great experience with Sandeman’s. In 2-3 hours you’ll get an overview of the city’s history as well as an introduction to some of the major sights. Your tour will likely end at Plaza de España, the jewel of Seville. With its ornate mosaic seats, water canals, and colonnade, the Plaza de España is southern Spanish architecture at its finest. Spend some time wandering. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch an impromptu flamenco performance. Seville's Plaza de Espana Walk through the Parque de Maria Luisa towards the river and head in the direction of the Plaza de Toros. The walking path along the water has a few bars and restaurants where you can take a break to enjoy the riverfront surroundings. The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla has as long a history as it does a name. It is possible to get reservations to see a bullfighting show, or you can simply visit the museum. You’ll see the […]

Top 4 Bucket lists to tick off in Spain, Costa del Sol

Costa del Sol (literally meaning coast of the sun) is a travelers’ paradise located on the southern part of Spain along the coastline of Malaga Province. Every year, Costa del Sol enjoys in excess of 325 days of sunshine that have made it the perfect destination for people targeting a unique holiday thrill. If you have been searching for a great destination that can work for you both in summer and winter, Costa del Sol is a unique destination that never disappoints. But climate is just one aspect. When I was transferred to Costa del Sol in spring of 2018, I found a region rich in culture, cuisines, and art. In this guide, I share with you the top secrets of making your travel to Spain, Costa del Sol, a thriller. Four Must Visit Places When Travelling To Costa Del Sol While Costa del Sol has made a name for its unique beaches and sunshine throughout the year, there are specific places that make it irresistible. The following are four must-visit places when travelling to Costa del Sol: Malaga Though many people mainly acknowledge the airport, it is also packed with many attractions. The city is well known for its Andalusian charm through historic attractions including the Picasso Museum and the famous Roman amphitheater. Pueblos Blancos After enjoying the exotic hot beaches, I found Pueblos Blancos a perfect place for escaping from the heat. It comprises of white-washed villages such as Farajan, Pujerra, and Cartajima that are characterised with picturesque sceneries. Gibraltar Located at the heart of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar provides travellers with an opportunity to enjoy the Spanish sunshine and do shopping in top stores such as Marks $ Spenser. On weekends, I never missed scaling the rocky outcrops to enjoy breathtaking views using cable cars. El Caminito del Rey This is a narrow gorge approximately 100 meters high that was initially considered the most dangerous place to walk through on earth. After reopening, I took courage and walked through it. It is frightening, uncertain, and for sure, not for the faint-hearted. However, it is pretty safe to explore.    Top Costa Del Sol Beaches for Ultimate Thrill Every year, millions of people visit Costa del Sol to enjoy the lovely Spanish facilities and cuisines. More importantly, I found that a lot more people travel to enjoy Costa del Sol’s beaches. Here are the top beaches that will make your holiday not only fulfilling but also memorable. Playa de Burriana (Burriana Beach) I found this Costa del Sol beach impressive because of its fine sand, diverse shops, and pathways. Visitors to this beach can access and use all its facilities including play areas, showers, and volleyball courts. Playa Malapesquera This beach is a preference for travellers who fancy beach and water sports. Whether you want to simply play beach volleyball or top water sports, this beach is the place to be. You will particularly like the fact that renting kayaks or surfboards is easy. Even if you do not […]

Madrid: An overview of emotions and experiences

This article on Madrid is a descriptive about the cultural capital of the Spain and its first impression on the visitor. Hope this read helps you in discovering the city in a better and adventurous way. Madrid: A buoyant metropolis Madrid, a city of cheerful maniacs. A city that gets you in awe of its splendid streets, plazas, ornamented facades and exuberant spirit of the locals. A city to explore by foot. With receding of winter and the setting of Spring, the city accelerates to reveal its vibrancy. With people, switching from the layer of Winter clothing to embracing the spring with vibrant hues.  Often in winters, you will find locals sharing a merry laugh over a glass of beer, sitting outside in the sun, radiating warmth and laughter. A sight appealing for any tourist, to grab a seat to the nearest table and relish the gleam of the Sun. The thrill of the city breeze, warmth of the city people, and the hopes of the trees to get its leaves back again, all waiting for the Spring to blossom.  A sight to take in account of the wonders that this city creates. Madrid, a city, which never gets tired of people. Streets of Madrid! Walking down any street in Madrid would you wonder at the beauty. Streets of Madrid:  A delight Madrid, the cultural and the financial capital of Spain; leave in you a shudder of excitement and joy.  Streets of Madrid are one delicacy to walk onto.  Cobbled stones all weaved into a pattern almost goes unnoticed by the presence of enthusiasm and chatter of people around. Streets give the city its beat to thrive. No wonder, the cultural capital leave you astonished with the beauty of the simplicity and exhilaration of the life around. People strive to be a part of the dynamism of this city and take back memories in abundance. Madrid: An emotion and gesture It is a city filled with gestures and emotions. An affectionate greet from the local cheers your day up. Locals will help you get around the city with hand gestures and expressions, a bonus if you do not know Spanish and try to decipher things with the gesture. It amazes me how an unknown language cannot bind conversations. Though, the knowledge of a basic set of Spanish words would help in touring the city and establishing a small cultural talk with a local. City of etiquettes and savour the delicacy A city of etiquettes and patience where you will come across people who will wait for their turn in the queue to get into the metro or at the billing counter and thus, a sight which not many cities of the world acknowledge. Less car-honking, pedestrian-friendly zones and traffic sense, Madrid has it all. A delightful sight of pets being adorned by their owners and sniffing around the streets. The most peculiar thing about the city is that it never stops. With the city population of about 3million people and an annual tourist footfall […]

Slow Travel in La Alpujarra, Andalusia

Let’s make the detour, we thought, so we forked right off Southern Spain's A-44 motorway towards La Alpujarra. A friend’s mother lived in a tiny village called Atalbeitar, and we made plans to visit her for lunch. We stopped on the A-4132 just past Orgiva to buy a bag of oranges, and as promised rang Eve to let her know we were en route. She gave us approximate directions over bad phone reception, and we continued our sinuous journey up into the mountains. Cañar, Bayacas, Carataunas, Soportujar. These exotic-sounding names represent the white villages hanging off the mountains above and below the main road. I started to feel queasy amidst all the beauty, with my husband, the driver, admiring the ancient ruins and terraces dotted with palm trees, paying no heed to the narrow road’s edge. We took a breather at a sweet little chapel at Padre Eterno, and soon after curved around a big bend to the journey’s most postcard perfect view: the Poqueira Valley. Three sprawling white villages lay beyond the gorge before us, climbing up in succession towards the Sierra Nevada’s snow-covered peaks. Pampaneira, Bubion, Capileira, we soon discovered, were a tourist favourite, boasting labels like “Los Pueblos Más Bonito de España”, some of Spain’s most beautiful villages. Small café tables lined pedestrian streets and colourful hand-woven rugs hung off balconies. We promised ourselves we’d be back. Pampaneira is known for its vibrant weaving tradition. It was an early afternoon in late April when we veered off the main road and arrived to Atalbeitar. Lost somewhere between Granada and Malaga, Eve’s tiny village exists down a steep, dead end road, about 40 kilometres and nearly an hour off the motorway. I was grateful to finally arrive, to have survived the journey. At first I thought I’d never want to come back here again, but as my car sickness slowly passed, it turns out I’d never want to leave. There was just the right combination of hazy sunshine and breeze carrying the scent of warm thyme from the fields, the surrealism only enhanced by the jingle of goat bells in the distance. History of La Alpujarra Eve’s village is part of La Alpujarra, a region of outstanding beauty at the foothills of Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains and a true definition of slow travel. It’s part of a protected Parque Natural, meaning that construction is regulated and controlled. Unlike the popular Costa Tropical just over an hour away, we’ll never see high-rises and awful tourist complexes here. Over lunch, Eve told us that the area was first developed by the Moors, the people of North African Berber and Muslim European descent who ruled Al-Andalus some one thousand years ago. In the 1500s, the Moorish leaders reigning over Granada were expelled by the Spanish Catholic armies and flocked here, to the mountains. Using ancestral knowledge, they built homes, agricultural terraces and an irrigation system that is still used today.

Must See Places in Barcelona, Spain

As a Mediterranean lover and a bit of a history and art nerd, I must say that Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in Spain. Rich history, museums, tapas and sangria under the Mediterranean sun is a strong combination. You only need a small walk in the city to understand their impressive history in architecture from the Gothic period to Modernism. Barcelona was the first city I visited in Spain and it made me want to go again and again. So here are my top must-see places in Barcelona. La Sagrada Familia Photo by Danil Sorokin Antoni Gaudi’s masterpiece is definitely Barcelona’s symbol. A surprising fact is that the temple remains in progress more than 90 years after the death of its creator. La Sagrada Familia is the most visited monument in Spain since it attracts more than 2.8 million visitors per year. Regarding the design, Gaudi disliked the straight lines, so he gave this unique style inspired by the peculiar peaks of the Montserrat Mountain which is outside Barcelona. After his death in 1926, the works continued by various architects. However, opponents of the continuation of the project claimed that very few of Gaudi’s plans have survived the construction of the church. Regardless of what is being done, the charm of this church is unquestionable. I advise you to plan your visit in advance as the queues are quite long. There are various options for your tickets. Check the link below: https://tickets.sagradafamilia.org/site/SagradaFamilia/?lang=en   Modernista Architecture La Pedrera – Photo by Florencia Potter Barcelona is among the few cities that are characterized by their unique architecture. Take a walk in the city and you will encounter dozens of the peculiar masterpieces created by Antoni Gaudi. If you like to explore the modernism in Barcelona I would advise you to spend a day discovering the main works of the city. Some of them are Palau Güell, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera (Casa Mila), Park Güell and of course La Sagrada Familia. Extra tip: If you are there during summer check if La Perdera hosts evening concerts!   Museu Picasso Picasso was born in Malaga but his family moved to Barcelona where he lived between the ages of 15 and 23. In the collection, you can see more than 3500 artworks from his formative creative years in Barcelona. Please note that in this museum you will not find his most famous artworks. The museum’s collection reflects mainly the years he spent in Barcelona. The museum as we see it today opened in 1983. In the first years the exhibition had only Picasso’s artworks from Jaume Sabartes’s collection who was a friend of the artist; then the collection expanded with donations from Salvador Dali and other artists. It’s worth mentioning that the museum’s setting is also unique; it consists of five impressive contiguous medieval mansions. During my visit, the museum was not crowded so there was no need to plan the visit in advance. However, you can check the ticket options in the […]

Andalusia in a week

Spain is a wonderful country. It amazes you both with its nature and its architecture. The food is divine and the people are kind and generous. With the great hospitality and the amazing views all around you, there is no way you wouldn’t like to go back there at least one more time. Andalusia has the best of everything, the clear blue sea, the wonderful beaches, the incredible castles and the beautiful palms. Who would want for more? Malaga starting point You can locate yourself in Malaga, and from there you would be close to everything worth seeing nearby, either by bus line or if you would prefer, you could use rent a car service, which is very cheap and affordable. Let us focus on Malaga first. I would recommend starting with a walk along the port, enjoying the beautiful view of the ships going or coming and listening to the whisper of the sea. You could take a break at the lovely coffees or restaurants along or at the roof bars just that you add up a little bit to the enjoyment. Tapas and paella are a must-taste. If you visit Malaga throughout the summer, the long beach days shouldn’t be skipped, as every beach possesses its unique charm. If however, it happens that you visit it another season of the year you won’t get disappointed either because this city offers a variety of miraculous things to see. [caption id="attachment_47544" align="alignnone" width="300"] Port of Malaga

 Alcazaba De Malaga-Gibralfaro A must see in Malaga is the impressive group of buildings, mostly dating from the eleventh century, formed the palace-fortress of the Moslem rulers in the city. The view of the ancient rooms, baths and gardens are absolutely breathtaking. History sources of every pore of it. There are also items of pottery inside and antiquities used back then. At the entrance of Alcazaba, you could buy a combined entrance ticket for Alcazaba de Malaga and for Gibralfaro too. It costs around 9 Euros in total and it allows you to see both. Gibralfaro is not less magnificent. Even what once used to be dungeons gives a mysterious note to it. The approximate time for seeing both fortresses is about two hours for each. The Cathedral and the Museums The marvellous cathedral is absolutely breathtaking. If you are an admirer of Renaissance architectural tradition, you wouldn’t want to miss a tour around it. Malaga is the birth town of many renowned artists and authors. Thus, it is home to many museums. Among the abundance of them, the most visited definitely is the museum of Pablo Picasso, where you can see his works from different periods. Separate from this, you could also visit the house where this great artist was born. Next, you could pay a visit to the Museum Carmen Thyssen, where you would be able to see the works of the Old Masters showing vivid portraits and landscapes of how life used to be in the remote past. Nerja Around 60km […]

A Guide to Barcelona – heart of Catalonia

People often begin by asking, how many days are adequate for Barcelona? What should be my travel Itinerary? And probably search for a 4 days or 5 days itinerary. However, that doesn’t do justice to the city. Let me take you for a walk and while we are at it, let’s review what you should include and not include in your itinerary. I am walking through a narrow lane, surrounded by many centuries year old buildings. They have seen it all, been through it all. They welcome my inexperienced legs as a cold breeze blows by. The sunshine has lit up the gothic quarters with an ageless charm. Small traditional shops and cafes dote the lanes along with new establishments. The fragrance of hot chocolate and coffee traverse through the air; I can hear the strings of a guitar humming a harmony in synch with its surroundings. And then, in a typical Romanesque style, the lane opens up in a beautiful square. A man dressed in white juggles a few sticks to the amazement of both tourists and locals alike, enjoying a delightful morning. The guitarist changes track to every-things gonna be alright. An aroma of hope is in the air. The city grows on you. And so do its people. Tourists, locals, outsiders, refugees, rich, homeless! The city has all kinds. But, all with a smile on their face. All very welcoming. Barcelona is unlike any other city in Spain. It is unique, diverse and spell-bounding. Barcelona is a traveler’s dream. Barcelona is a chocolate heaven When one thinks about Barcelona, one thinks about Gaudi, architecture, splendid beaches, rocking nightlife, delicious food, gothic quarters and Monserrat! Not many think of Chocolate! Am not sure how many people know that Barcelona has a tradition for chocolates! Delicious and dark! Just the way I love them. A walk across the Gothic quarters and you will find two best places to have hot chocolate. Valor chocolatier is a traditionally styled cafe that serves absolutely delicious hot chocolate. They also sell hot chocolate powder, chocolate bars, and other varieties. Try the dark chocolate bar filled with hazelnut. The next stop is Dulcinea. This one was a bit hard to find but is an absolute gem. The best churros in Barcelona! Apart from the hot chocolate also try: gelato at Manna Gelats and Amorino. Delicious! macaroons at Enric Rosich (on Passeig de Gracia) – Yum! I packed some for home on my last day. cakes & sweets at Pastisseria La Colmena Turrons from La Campana – its a local delicacy, a type of nougat. Next up was Bubo, they have a patisserie near Picasso museum or a small outlet on Passeig de Gracia inside Barcelona boulevard. Must try their Macadamia nuts coated with Vanilla and chocolate. The taste is bitter, to begin with, but slowly bursts into a salty chocolate flavor vanilla. Also, check out the chocolate coated ginger! Nice change from the regular stuff. There is one local chocolate brand that did fascinate me the most […]
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