Why You Should Totally See Seville

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JUNE 4: Interior of Cathedral of Seville on June 4, 2014 in Seville, Spain. World Heritage Site since 1987, It is the largest Gothic in the world. While it might not be as famous as Madrid or Barcelona, Seville remains one of the must visit cities in Spain, in no small part because it is the capital and largest city of Andalusia. With its breathtaking squares and wonderful architectures, there is much to see and appreciate when in Seville. From the traditional to the modern, Seville has something for everyone.

The Seville Cathedral

If you are planning to stay in Seville, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See is undoubtedly a ‘must-see’ destination. Commonly referred to as the Seville Cathedral, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See is the third-largest church all over the world and the largest Gothic cathedral on the planet.

The cathedral was built in the 16th century in order to flaunt the wealth that Seville had at the time. Once here, you can visit the grave of famous Italian explorer Christopher Columbus as well. If you only take one suggestion from this entire article, we highly recommended that you make your way to the roof of the cathedral. You are able to enjoy the most spectacular panoramic view in all of Seville here.

It is also important to visit the bell Cathedral’s tower – the Giralda. This once served as the minaret of the mosque that stood here when Seville was under Muslim rule. It was built in the likeness of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech. After the Reconquista, it was converted into a bell tower. You may also want to visit the nearby Plaza de la Virgen de los Reyes. (more…)

Reasons To Want To Visit Marbella

MarbellaThose who want sunshine, sunbeds, and sangria for their vacation have long known that the Costa del Sol is one of the best places in Europe to vacation. Even though the appeal has been known for quite some time, the resorts Fuengirola, Torremolinos, and Benalmadena still manage to pull in the tourists on a regular basis.

Considering that Marbella is renowned for being sunshine chic, it should be no surprise that it continues to draw in guests. These are just a few of the different reasons that we believe that you should consider Marbella for your next summer vacation.

The warm weather

Most people who live in the northern part of Europe are only going to look for sunshine as one of their primary criteria for a good vacation spot. Even if sunshine is not your only concern for a good vacation, most of us can probably agree that bathing in sunshine is a great way to spend your vacation. Given that Marbella has more than 320 sun-filled days every year and that the average temperature between July and August skyrockets to over 30 degrees Celsius, Marbella is certainly worth it if you want a warm vacation spot.

The beautiful beaches

There are more than 24 different beaches in Marbella to take in, spread across 27 kilometers of spectacular coastline. Many of the beaches in Marbella have Blue Flag status. This means that they have top facilities, great environmental management, and excellent water quality. Something to consider is the fact that most beaches are known by the name of the beach bar that can be found there, rather than having an actual “beach” name. These offer great places to soak up the sun and have a drink while you are at it. The better beaches that you will find include Las Flores, Chiringuito Copacabana, and Chiringuito Red. (more…)

When Should You Visit Spain?

Spain Flag Map ShapeThis is one of the questions that we receive often – when should you visit Spain, and when is the best time to stay away from Spain? The answer rather depends on your own personal preferences. However, we can provide you with some general information on when you should try to visit Spain and what the pros and cons of the different times are.

Some people prefer to be soaking up the sun for hours on end, while others cannot imagine a fate worse than a crowded beach in the sweltering heat.

Visiting Spain in the summer

Ah yes, cruising alongside Spain’s many beaches or walking across some of the most gorgeous cities that you have ever seen. Summer in Spain can be a great visit, for a number of reasons actually. These are the benefits of visiting Spain during the summer:

  • You are almost guaranteed to have warm weather. You should not expect temperatures to go below 25ºC (77ºF) for much of the summer in Spain.
  • Some of the tours in Spain are only open during the summer. The summertime is when most of the tourists come, which is why it is understandable that you would see many of the tours operate at full force during that time.

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The Craziest Spanish Festivals Ever

BarcelonaThere is no denying that Spain has become almost synonymous with enjoying oneself and amazing festivals. There are a number of crazy Spanish festivals that call this part of the Iberian Peninsula home. Not only are these often a celebration of customs and history, but they are also the reason that a massive number of people visit each year. These are some of our favorite options in a long list of Spanish festivals.

Wine Battle of Haro

Haro is located in Spain’s La Rioja region and it is unlikely that this town would be on the map as much as it is if it were not for this festival. The Rioja wine that comes from this region is some of the most celebrated and famous wine in all the country. In order to celebrate another harvest, there are not only wine drinking competitions, but there is the Batalla de Vino (the wine battle) that draws in people from near and far.

Everyone in the town gathers at 9:00 in the morning, starting their day with procession and mass. Once the final mass is concluded, there is not a dry seat in the town. This is not because of the emotional mass or sermon, but because of the wine being thrown around in a wild celebration.

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A Guide To Appreciating Barcelona Architecture

Casa BatllóEven though Barcelona’s architecture has become virtually synonymous with Gaudí, there is much more to see than just the architectural style of the best-known practitioner of Catalan Modernism. There is some breathtaking modern architecture throughout Barcelona to enjoy as well

Even though the style of modern architecture does not always highlight Gaudí’s influence, you can often see it in the use of imagination and bright colors. It is evident in the fact that architects designing for Barcelona will use brighter colors than they might anywhere else in the world.

What makes Barcelona’s architecture distinctive?

Unique, varied, harmonious, distinctive, colorful, brash – there are a plethora of adjectives that have been used to describe the Barcelona architecture. One of the reasons that Barcelona is interesting is because it blends the old and new together in such a way that most other cities are unable to do.

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The Essential Guide To Tapas

TapasWhenever Spaniards are asked to go to a tapas restaurant abroad, their heart might break a little each time. Even though the food is generally a good approximation of the Spanish ‘tapeo’, the way that it is served is not.

What are tapas exactly?

When it comes to Span history, the use of tapas goes back a long way. Some suggest that it was the Spanish King Alfonso X ‘The Wise’ who came up with the idea of tapas. He would have a glass of wine and some small portions of food between meals.

Even though that is certainly an interesting theory, it is more likely that tapas originated as a snack for fieldworkers to still their hunger between breakfast and lunchtime. The word ‘tapa’ literally means ‘lid’ or ‘cover’, meaning that the wine during these snacks was served in a ceramic jug covered with a piece of bread and some cheese or Serrano ham. The piece of bread would make it impossible for flies to get into the wine – thus explaining the use of the word ‘tapa’.

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Things Off The Beaten Path In Madrid

El RetiroWhen you travel to Madrid, you have to do the ‘touristy’ things. You have to eat bocadillos de calamares and tortillas de patata until your stomach can handle no more. However, what if you want to get a bit more of an ‘authentic’, local feel of what Madrid has to offer? These are some of our suggestions for off the beaten path things to do and see in Madrid.

El Retiro

This is where many madrileños and madrileñas come to charge their batteries when they need a mental break from the streets. You are instantly welcomed into 18th century palace gardens. It offers a true green escape right in the heart of the city. You can sit in the grass, enjoy the Crystal Palace and its surroundings, and aside from the annual Book Fair, there are fortunetellers, street performers, puppet shows, concerts, exhibitions, and activities in certain parts of the park. The palace itself has modern art exhibitions that might intrigue you as well.

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Some Of The Best Kept Secrets In The Mediterranean

KastellorizoThe Mediterranean, known for its world-renowned cuisine, relaxed lifestyle and picturesque villages…no wonder that it has become a go-to destination for travelers for decades now. As the popularity of a location increases, often so does the price. What was once an authentic experience of the Mediterranean lifestyle can quickly become a gaudy tourist trap.

However, that does not mean that you should avoid the Mediterranean altogether. It has some of the most amazing beaches, amazing restaurants, and most hospitable people that you can find. This is why we are giving away some of the best-kept secrets in the Mediterranean. Many of these are not too far from the already popular destinations.

 

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Some Must-Have Spanish Delicacies If You Visit

Spanish seafood rice paella, close upIf there is one universal truth when visiting Spain, it is that there is no reason for you to go hungry. You can find food markets, food vendors, and restaurants of every variety in all the inner cities. You can also find roadside restaurants throughout Spain at regular intervals.

What makes the Spanish cuisine so special is its freshness. Add in the fact that you can enjoy a wide variety of regional dishes, and we cannot ignore the plentiful availability of quality seafood either. You can find a variety of produce in most of the Spanish supermarkets. These are some of the favorites that you have to look out for:

 

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Enjoy an Intimate Cruise on Portugal’s “River of Gold”

If you’ve ever browsed the options for river cruising in Europe, chances are your attention was drawn to the most popular cruising destinations, probably the Rhine, Rhone, or Danube Rivers, which certainly offer plenty of wonderful sights. However, another European river has stepped in and stolen a bit of the thunder from the others – Portugal’s Douro River, otherwise known as the “River of Gold.”

The Douro is the third-longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, with its source near Duruelo de la Sierra in Soria Province. From there it flows across north-central Spain and Portugal, eventually reaching its outlet in Porto, the second-largest of Portugal’s thriving cities, home to about 2 million residents and boasting an ancient city center that’s dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A trip along this river offers passengers a chance to see plenty of notable sites and breathtaking landscapes at a leisurely pace while being pampered by outstanding staff members to are eager to cater to your wants and needs. (more…)

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