Algeciras is primarily a port and industrial center that also supports the huge deep-water container port and oil refinery nearby. There is a strong Arab influence here as seen in the back streets, where you can find tea shops which specialize in Moroccan mint tea. Such combination of Arab and Spanish culture gives this beautiful city an unusual air of individuality, a very genuine place even amidst the real port atmosphere. For most people, Algeciras is just a stopping off place, en route to Tangier and Morocco. There are about eight crossings a day (2.5 hours or 70 minutes with a fast ferry). Recommended Stay: 1 Night Must See`s
Nuestra Señora de la Palma, Beaches, Whale Watching Distances: Seville - 115 miles, Jerez de la Frontera - 63 miles, Cadiz - 68 miles, Chiclana de la Frontera - 58 miles, Puerto de Santa Maria - 70 miles, Tarifa - 14 miles
Located in one of the most popular tourist areas in Spain, Valencia, Alicante is a historic Mediterranean port with wonderful beaches. There are plenty interesting monuments such as Santa Barbara Castle, Monastery of Santa Faz, the Cathedral, the Archaeological Museum, Church of Santa Maria and the Modern Art Museum that well worth a visit. Santa Barbara Castle is located high above the city offering magnificent panoramas. Alicante is also a good place for shopping and has a lively nightlife.
Almería is an authentic melting pot of cultures since Prehistory. Known as Urci in ancient times, it is above all Mediterranean, with the center`s street layout recalling the 800 years of Muslim domination. The Barriada de la Chanca area, with its outbreak of vibrant colors contrasting with the surrounding whitewashed walls, is a good example of this. From the sea, the city appears as a white line topped off by the Alcazaba, its 10th century fortress with its three enclosures, the two Arabic ones below, and the Christian one above; its high ochre colored walls which turn to red in the early evening and and the Cerro de San Cristóbal hilltop, an unequalled vantage point from which to see the town.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must see`s:
The Alcazaba, Cathedral, Old Quarter, Arabian Baths, Cine Museum Distances: Mojacar - 56 miles, Roquetas de Mar - 14 miles, Granada - 101 miles, Alicante - 183 miles,
Once a fortress of the Habsburg Empire, Altea is nowadays one of the most beautiful coastal resorts in Spain. A visit to Altea starts at the highest part of the town - the Plaza de Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, boasting a church with unique blue and white cupolas tiled with glazed ceramics. The city's center will give you the taste of spanish village, a maze of cobbled narrow streets with glimpses of the bay. Beside the church, the most attractive place around Altea is its harbor with many nice restaurants and bars.
A visit to this historical Andalucian town is a journey almost 5,000 years back in time, beginning with the Bronze Age and the native Iberians. The timeline is there to be followed in this fascinating city`s profusion of burial mounds, dolmens, Roman baths, a Moorish Castle, Gothic churches, Renaissance fountains and baroque bell towers. The first sighting of Antequera in the distance is that of a typical medieval town, with the spires of her many churches and the walls and towers of the great Moorish fortress silhouetted against the sky. Spread out in the valley below lie rich farmlands irrigated by the Guadalhorce River. For centuries this has been one of Andalucía`s most fertile areas, and is currently a leading producer of asparagus, cereals and olives. In summer, its fields turn brilliant yellow with sunflowers.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
Roman Baths, the Arch of the Giants, the Bullring, the Cueva de la Menga Distances:
Ronda - 55 miles, Malaga (Costa del Sol) - 37 miles, Granada - 63 miles, Seville - 99 miles
Arcos de la Frontera is one of the most spectacularly placed white towns, dotted with fine churches and mansions and enjoying magnificent views over the Serranía de Ronda and offers fantastic photo opportunities every step of the way. The narrow, curving white-walled alleys of Arcos scarcely pretend to be streets and often morph into stairways. Don't miss Saint Peter's Church dating from the 14th century and built on the remains of an Arab fortress. The ruined citadel, the theatre, and the palace of the dukes of Arcos are the main points of interest in Arcos de la Frontera.
Recommended Stay:2 nights Must See`s: The Views, Walks around the Town, Visits to other nearby villages Distances:
Seville - 72 miles; Ronda - 54 miles; Malaga (Costa del Sol) - 108 miles; Jerez de la Frontera - 23 miles
Avila is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated on a rocky hill at over 1000 meters altitude. The area is known as "Land of Songs and Saints", as associated with Christian mystics Santa Teresa de Jesus and San Juan de la Cruz. Avila is surrounded by impressive walls, with 88 towers and 9 gates. Beyond one of the gates, the Convent of Saint Teresa stands over the saint's birthplace. Other interesting buildings include the Gothic cathedral, the churches of San Segundo, San Pedro and the marble monument in Santo Tomas.
Barcelona - Spain's second city - is always on the biting edge of fashion, architecture, food, style, music and good times. Barcelona is one of the most dynamic and exciting cities on the western Mediterranean seaboard. Walk its narrow streets and wonderful plazas and discover its magic: stalls full of books, birds and flowers. Explore its new modern squares, designed by leading artists such as Miró and Barceló and every visitor will understand how Barcelona has been transformed into one of the most moderns and active cities in Europe.
Having a privileged position looking out onto the Mediterranean Sea, Benalmádena is a popular lively resort. It offers plenty of things to see as well as enjoying entertaining family days out to places like the theme park, Tivoli World, the fabulous Jardin de Las Aguilas, see the penguins and dolphins at Selwo Marina and Sea Life or take a ride in the Cable Car to see breathtaking views of the coast. All along the promenade you can see an amazing variety of mosaics done by different artists.
Some of the finest in Europe beaches, backed by mountains on one side and the glorious blue Mediterranean on the other, a pleasant climate all year round, all these make Benidorm one of the most visited places in Spain. Other attractions include several theme parks like: Terra Mítica and Terra Natura, located at the foot of the mountain,and Aqualandia and Mundomar located on the outskirts of the city on the Levante side. The tallest building in Spain, the Gran Hotel Bali is located here.
Known as an industrial town, Bilbao is the largest port in Spain, as well as a major rail hub, serving as a departure point for most of Basque's country attractions. To international tourists, Bilbao is a place with great food and also home to the controversial $100 million Guggenheim Museum, which was designed by the famed American architect Frank Gehry. You should not allocate more than 2 days for visiting this city, as most of the sights can be viewed in less than 48 hours.
Burgos is a significant Northern Spanish touristic destination, hosting an impressive collection of ecclesiastical monuments. Most of them reflect the Gothic style, starting with the Cathedral - similar to the French cathedral of Bourges - and the monasteries of Las Huelgas and Miraflores. Also interesting to see are the El Rey hospital, once destinated to the pilgrims traveling to Santiago, and the vestiges of the old fortress walls, with the famous arches of Santa Maria and Fernán González.
Cáceres is a UNESCO designated World Heritage City since 1986. There have been settlements near Cáceres since prehistoric times as evidenced by the paintings in the Maltravieso Caves which date back from the late Paleolithic period. Take a stroll and admire the architecture of the city - a blend of Roman, Islamic, Northern Gothic, and Italian Renaissance styles, reflecting its long history. An amazing 30 towers from the Muslim period still stand in Caceres, of which the Torre del Bujaco is the most famous.
One of Spain`s best-kept secrets! Cadiz combines a rich cultural heritage with an upbeat, friendly ambience; not to mention the wonderful local seafood and tapas. Cádiz is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in all southwestern Europe. Christopher Columbus set sail from here on his discovery voyage to America. The old town is in the tip of the peninsula, distinctly Moorish in appearance and a gem to explore with its narrow cobbled streets, beautiful plazas (squares), fabulous fish market and numerous tapas bars. and is buzzing with beautiful plazas that are constantly full of life. To get here, you must pass through the new town, an elegant metropolis with excellent beaches. Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
The Cathedral, Tower of Tavira, Santa Cruz Church, Plaza de Mina, Beaches Distances:
Seville - 78 miles, Jerez de la Frontera - 23 miles, Puerto de Santa Maria - 15 miles, Chipiona - 36 miles, Chiclana de la Frontera - 16 miles, Tarifa - 65 miles
Carmona was the strongest city of Further Spain in the time of Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.). The Moors surrounded it with a wall and ornamented it with fountains and palaces. Today, Carmona is a fascinating city with many vestiges that attest its great history like the principal entrance to the town, an old Moorish gateway and the gate on the road to Cordova that is partly of Roman construction. The main sights include the Roman necropolis, a 15th century church and the Roman amphitheatre.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
Puerta de Sevilla, Plaza San Fernando, Puerta de Cordoba, Roman necropolis Distances: Seville - 25 miles, Constantina - 36 miles, Ecija - 33 miles, Arcos de la Frontera - 66 miles
Located just to the north of the massís del Garraf, Castelldefels is a beautiful town famous for its long beach. Beside the beach, tourists are attracted by the Montjuic's 'Olympic Ring' one of the four major competition sites used for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The Olympic Stadium (Estadi Olimpic) now houses the Galeria Olimpica, a permanent exhibition and information centre about Barcelona's Olympics and its sports facilities. Also, the Palau Sant Jordi hosts a mixture of sporting events. The Picornell swimming-pools are currently open to the public.
Just inland from the coast, Chiclana sits on a small hill overlooking the marismas (salt marshes). With typical Andalucian style, narrow streets and courtyards full of flowers, Chiclana preserves its Andalucian customs and traditions well: the processions, bullfighting, flamenco, wine production are all part of life for the inhabitants of Chiclana de la Frontera. There are a wide range of shops and services including many bodegas, bars and restaurants. Bustle along with the locals at the excellent indoor market or enjoy a drink on the tiled promenade alongside the river Iro. Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
Ermita de Santa Ana, Doll Museum, Beaches Distances:
Seville - 78 miles, Jerez de la Frontera - 24 miles, Cadiz - 15 miles, Chipiona - 38 miles, Puerto de Santa Maria - 20 miles, Tarifa - 50 miles
The ancient town of Chipiona combines a beautiful cultural town, dating back to Roman times, with stunning beaches and gastronomy to make your mouth water. In the 19th century, the town was a remote seafaring spa as the seawaters here are rich in iodine and people flocked here for its healing properties. You can still get the spa waters from the local church fountain. Nowadays the main attraction here are the long white sands, which are ideal for all water sports or simply sitting back with a good book and soaking up the sunshine. . Geared for the perfect summer, Chipiona has tons of bars, cafés, restaurants and leisure attractions especially around the beaches that also provide entertainment until the early hours in the morning. Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s: Chipiona Lighthouse, Nuestra Señora de la Regla, Castle of Chipiona,
Seville - 69 miles, Jerez de la Frontera - 21 miles, Cadiz - 35 miles, Chiclana de la Frontera - 38 miles, Puerto de Santa Maria - 18 miles, Tarifa - 88 miles
Cordoba offers a powerful multi-cultural sampler. Founded by the Romans, Cordoba's glory peaked under Moorish rule, who built the beautiful Grand Mosque, or "Mezquita". The Christian rulers decided to leave it standing and built a cathedral in the midst of its rows of arches and columns. Cordoba's treasures also include the Alcazar, built by the Christians in 1328; the Calahorra Fort, originally built by the Arabs, which guards the Roman Bridge, and the ancient Jewish Synagogue, now a museum.
The Costa del la Luz, (Algeciras, Chichana, Chipiona, Puerto de Santa Maria, Rota, Sanlucar de Barrameda and Tarifa) in the region of Andalucía is a beautiful natural and laidback coastline.Much of the Atlantic coastline is a natural reserve; long, sweeping sandy beaches, with a backdrop of sand dunes and pinewoods, dotted with small fishing villages and pleasant low rise hotels and resorts. Recommended Stay: 3 nights Must See`s:
Beaches, Sherry Wine Cellars, La Rabida Monastery, Windsurfing, Natural Parks, Excellent Seafood
Miles of sandy beaches, a wonderful climate with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine a year, the mild Mediterranean sea, extensive sports and leisure facilities, relaxed atmosphere and excellent food. The Costa del Sol stretches over 300 kilometers from the Strait of Gibraltar to the east to the province of Granada, where it borders the Costa Tropical (Tropical Coast). The area is famous for its hundreds of beaches, from quiet, hidden coves to trendy stretches of sand with fashionable beach clubs populated by celebrities and beautiful people from all over the world. Plus over 50 golf courses with stunning mountain and cliff top locations, offering spectacular views over the area`s varied landscapes, and down to the sea.
Denia is a cosmopolitan town, rich in history and culture. Its streets are a fascinating showcase of architecture of the Iberian, Carthaginian, Roman, Arab and Christian civilizations. Denia's most impressive sight is the 16th century castle which dominates the town from a height of 58 meters. You can park on the outskirts of the town and walk through a tunnel under the castle into the main shopping centre. Visit the museums, churches, streets and old quarters, walk in Montgó Natural Park, enjoy the sandy beaches.
Located in the heart of the Costa Blanca, Elche is a great place for a vacation due to its mild Mediterranean climate, its valuable cultural and ecological heritage. In the old part of the city amongst the most interesting sights are the Altamira Palace, the Basilica of Santa Maria, the Moorish fortress and the Moorish Baths. All over Elche are splendid buildings and lots of statues and monuments.Don't miss the Rio Safari park a wide range of animals on display as well as swimming pools and water slides.
An hour away from Malaga, Estepona is an Andalucian fishing village, a great place for a relaxing vacation. Blending modern constructions with the old ones, Estepona has many interesting places that are worth visiting including: the Plaza de las Flores and the Torre de Reloj. The clock tower in Plaza del Reloj, built by Henry V, dates from the 15th century and still keeps perfect time. Don't miss the tool museum near the bullring which has an impressive array of tools from the town's history.
Figueres is world-famous as the birthplace of artist Salvador Dalí, and houses the Teatre-Museu Gala Salvador Dalí, a large museum designed by Dalí himself containg the largest single collection of Spain's most notorious Surrealist. Close to the Dalí museum, is the pedestrian precinct with many fashion shops, businesses and restaurants. At the lower end of the town center, the "Rambla", you will find a monument in honor of another Figueres famous son, Narcís Monturiol, the inventor of the submarine in 1918 with a monument.
Fuengirola is a major tourist resort on the Costa del Sol, with more than 8 km of beaches, and home to a medieval Moorish fortress. The most impressive sights are the Roman vestiges: the thermal baths in Torreblanca and the Roman columns in Los Boliches. Fuengirola caters to different tastes, offering entertainment for all ages from a ride on the tourist train or horse and carriage around the town to a visit to the local zoo. Take a walk on its sea-front walks, one of the longest along the coast.
Gandia is one of the largest coastal towns and a thriving center of commerce and tourism in Spain. Its long wide golden sandy beaches attract annualy many tourists. One major tourist sight is the Palace of Santo Duque just at one end of the old city center. This Spanish national monument with many different influences over the past centuries is famous for its patio de las armas and a huge stairway. While you are here, you may also visit the church La Colegiata and the old university building Antigua Universidad.
Founded nearly 3,000 years ago as a fishing village, Gijón is nowadays an important port on the Atlantic coast of Spain. The historic fishing village, known as Cimadevilla, is located on a peninsula that divides the port in half. The village is the main tourist attraction of the city. Take a hike up to Cerro de Santa Catalina and admire the magnificent view of the outstretched coastline forming the port. On the very edge of the peninsula is a sculpture the size of a house, Eligio del Horizonte, or Praise of the Horizon.
Girona, an ancient Roman town with a strong Jewish heritage, is home to a splendid Gothic cathedral, whose immense central nave defies the laws of gravity. Also remarkable are the Monastery of Sant Pere de Galligants, San Nicolas Church, the Araba baths, and, the Jewish Quarter. Many other hidden places, residential and other outstanding buildings can be discovered while walking through this hidden gem.
Granada is a jewel standing at the foot of Spain's highest mountains, the Sierra Nevada. Like many others, this city bears the marks of Roman, Moorish, and Jewish influences. The universally famed Alhambra, a complex of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty, overlooks the city. Notably, Isabel and Ferdinand lie buried inside the city's Cathedral. The famed "mudéjar" style of architecture can be spotted in the Monastery of La Cartuja and many other churches built by Moorish craftsmen.
Surnamed the "White Island" for its typical architecture, Ibiza is a major center of tourist attraction since the 1960s, when it become famous for its "Hippie-Culture" and nudist beaches. Nowadays, Ibiza is known as the 'clubbing capital of the world, ' hosting the best parties. But the island-town has a whole lot more to offer its visitors: a Mediterranean culture, and remains of the earliest Phoenicians settlements, Arab and Catalan period influences and those left over by the once-existing Renaissance bastions, as for instance the famous wall-paintings of Ses Fontelles.
Situated behind a wide fine beach and sheltered between two large rocky headlands, Javea is a popular small seaside resort and market town. Javea offers to its visitors a lot sports facilities, including cycling, diving, fishing, golf, horse-riding, mountain-biking, photography, sailing, trekking; and also many shops & rental centres that serve these pursuits. The bustling port is a favourite with tourists with its fantastic seafood restaurants, safe gravel beach and impressive marina.
With its aristocratic charm, Jerez de la Frontera is a hidden gem of Spain, a must-see town should you venture beyond the large cities. The British made the town famous by taking the sweet wines made here and naming them "sherry" for the outside world. Once sitting on the border between the Christian and Moorish worlds, Jerez is also known for its fine horses and amazing singers and dancers of flamenco. Its magnificent dancing horses can be seen at the Royal Andalucian School of Equestrian Art.
Recommended Stay:2 nights Must See`s: Sherry Wine Cellars, Dancing Horses, Flamenco Shows Distances:
Seville: 57 miles, Malaga (Costa del Sol) - 141 miles, Puerto de Santa Maria - 13 miles, Sanlucar de Barrameda - 16 miles
Southeast of Granada city, nestling in the foothills of the mighty snow-capped Sierra Nevada, is a chain of ancient villages, with their distinctive Berber architecture of flat, clay-roofed houses, known as the Alpujarras. These 50 or so villages are surrounded by terraced farmland and lush vegetation that is irrigated with the melting snows from the mountains towering above it. There are many superb walks linking all these villages, as well as horse riding, cycling and loads of opportunities for wildlife watching.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s: Quaint Villages, Beautiful Views, Great Hikes and food
The capital of the north-western Spanish province of León proposes impressive buildings in various architectural styles. The famous gothic Cathedral hosts the Royal Pantheon and impresses by its stain glassed windows. You can admire the Romanesque paintings of Basilica de San Isidoro and early Gaudian architecture of Casa de Botines. You're invited to visit the modernist MUSAC - Museum of Contomporary Art or enjoy one of the famous "fiestas", taking place at the Barrio Humedo or Plaza del Grano.
Founded in 1001 AD, Lloret de Mar has attracted for decades visitors, mainly from northern Europe becoming nowadays the most important resort in the Costa Brava. Its beaches have been awarded the blue flag by the EEC, in terms of quality of the water, sand and services provided. Lloret is regarded as one of the best-endowed tourist centers in terms of sports facilities, and has many options in shopping, leisure and cuisine. Another attraction is a medieval fort on the outskirts of the town.
This northern Spanish city gained some autonomy since the 12th century - as part of the Castile region and today is the capital of La Rioja region. The visitor will enjoy the local hospitality, the taste of the Rioja wine and relaxing walks in one of the numerous parks. You may admire here the "hell of Espolón", the modern Town Hall in Town Square and the Round Cathedral. If you happen to be here on Christmas time, don't miss the life size reconstruction of the biblical scene in Town Square.
Lugo lays claim to be Galicia`s oldest and most historic provincial capital. Its documented history dates back to 14 BC and it was originally called "Lucus Augusti". The city is famous for its Roman Wall, built in the late third century (about 260 AD) and remains structurally complete today. Lugo also benefits from natural thermal springs and the early Roman settlers made good use of this pre-heated water by creating a city spa complex. Part of this spa still remains (with modern additions) and it is called the "Barrio del Puente" and is open to visitors. Lugo has spectacular scenery, a history and architectural heritage that spans from the Celts and Romans to the Neo-Classical and Gothic, plus a culture and cuisine that is typical of the region.
In the last few years, Madrid has gained the reputation of being one of Europe's most active and attractive cities for its nightlife and cultural activities. Capital of Spain since 1562, Madrid's museums host, among others, Dalís, Mirós and Picasso's Guernica. Madrid is a city of great contrasts: the Old City, the Madrid of the Hapsburgs, the Royal Palace, the Puerta de Alcala, the Retiro Park. At night, the city changes gears with its famous Madrid nightlife. The city's endless energy is hard to resist, and its sociable style invites you to jump right in.
Malaga is nowadays a maritime city rich in culture, best known as the birthplace of the artist Pablo Picasso. One of the nicest areas is the Harbor having a lovely park alongside. The most prominent building of the city is Malaga's cathedral built on the place of a mosque. Another important site is the Alcazaba, a castle built on tests of a roman fortress and was expanded and completed in the 14th century by the Nasrides. The archeological museum displays findings from the gothic and greek centuries.
Located on the southern end of the Costa Brava, Malgrat de Mar is a charming holiday resort offering excellent sandy beaches and clear waters for swimmers and aqua sports enthusiasts. L'Astillero beach serves the main hotel area and and is very crowded in height season. The beach of Tordera is the largest and least crowded. Water sports activities include pedal boats, water skiing, fishing and scuba diving. The beautiful architecture of the town reflects its long history. The old castle, El Castell, on the top of the hill, surrounded by a beautiful park, well worths a visit. The 16th century church of St. Nicolau is known as the Cathedral of the Coast. Malgret de Mar can be explored using the mini road train. The Activ Natur adventure park in nearby Santa Susana provides assault courses with varying degrees of difficulty, catering for children, teen and adults.
Located in the Mediterranean Sea in the Balearic Islands Archipelago, Mallorca is Spain's largest island and a very popular tourist destination. It has breathtaking landscapes varying from rugged mountains to windmill-dotted plains, superb beaches and a great choice of resorts, each one with its individuality. From the southeast tip of Mallorca, you can take a boat trip out to the beautiful archipelago of Cabrera which has been declared a National Maritime Territorial park. The crystal clear waters here are a paradise for divers and snorkelers.
Marbella is probably one of the most popular resorts on the Costa del Sol. Walk the marble Paseo Maritimo, one of the main attractions and make your way to the centre of town where you will find one of the most attractive parks, with water features, statues and beautiful tiled benches. Marbella has two main beaches modern facilities: El Fuerte and El Fontanilla. After the sunset you can enjoy a lively nightlife with many quality restaurants, theatres, cinemas and clubs of every description.
Merida is the bustling capital of the State of Yucatan and its largest city. It is a city rich in Mayan folklore and colonial history; a city of contrasting sights, and cultural blends. Among the remaining Roman monuments that are worth visiting are: the Puente Romano, a bridge over the Guadiana river that is still used by pedestrians; an important fortification to defend the bridge; the Temple of Diana; the remains of the Forum, including the Arch of Trajan; and several other archaeological sights.
Mijas is a typical Spanish village that has retained its charm through the years. All over the village there are view-points and resting places. One of the main sights is the Santuario de la Virgen de la Pena, carved out of solid rock dating back to 1586. Other attractions include the village bullring, opened in 1900 and still providing entertainment in the form of bullfights and horse displays to this day. The Mijas Museum has a wealth of exhibits and a gallery of work by local artists.
Mojacar is actually comprised of two distinct areas: Mojacar Pueblo (town) and Mojacar Playa (beach), roughly 1 mile apart. Mojacar Pueblo, a whitewashed hilltop village with a picture book setting, nestles in the foothills of the Mojacar hilltop village Sierra Cabrera mountain range overlooking the beach resort of Mojacar Playa where the Mediterranean Sea washes onto a 10 mile coastline of uncrowded sandy beaches. This enthralling hillside pueblo, with its jumble of narrow cobbled streets, both attracts and charms visitors all year round. Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
Beaches, Torre de Pirulico, Fuente Mora, Plaza Nueva, Puerta de la Almedina Distances:
Almeria - 56 miles, Roquetas de Mar - 66 miles, Granada - 124 miles, Alicante - 140 miles
The region of Murcia, located between the Community of Valencia and Andalucia, was the site of powerful Carthaginian and roman settlements in antiquity. Its museum has excellent pre-Roman and Roman collections that testify to the transcendence of the great historical role played by the city. The main landmark is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Cartagena-Murcia built in Castilian Gothic style. Other interesting Murcia buildings in the square in front of the Cathedral (Plaza Cardenal Belluga) are the colourful Bishops palace (18th century) and a controversial extension to the town hall, by Rafael Moneo.
Nerja is the most attractive town along this stretch of coastline, sheltering at the foot of the Sierra de Almijara. Don´t miss its magnificent tree-lined promenade, the Balcón de Europa, jutting out into the sea and giving stunning views along the rocky shore. Nerja is also famous for its cave, the Cueva de Nerja, 4km from town.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s: The Caves of Nerja, Balcón de Europa, Beaches Distances: Torremolinos - 46 miles (East), Ronda - 100 miles, Antequera - 64 miles
The modern capital of the province of Asturias, Oviedo is famous especially for its magnificent churches. The main attraction is the Cathedral of San Salvador with its astonishing Gothic structure, dating from 14th century, erected in 1388 over the previous cathedral, from the 8th century. Within the cathedral you may also visit Cámara Santa de Oviedo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While you're in Oviedo don't miss the House of the Llanes having the best Baroque facade in the whole of Asturias.
Ernest Hemingway put Pamplona on the map by describing the famed running of the bulls. One can see the encierros (bull running) during Fiesta de San Fermín, usually between July 6 and July 14. The non-stop party atmosphere is spiced up by fireworks, Basque flute concerts, and wine. To get a hold of a bed, one must reserve a hotel one year in advance or stay in a neighboring town. Once a fortified city and the capital of the ancient kingdom of Navarre, Pamplona is more than one-event town.
Platja d'Aro is a cosmopolitan city combining sport, culture, leisure and business in a natural setting, centered on the delightful seafront, with an impressive beach. The entire area is filled with possibilities for entertainment: boutiques, shops, bars, coffee shops, discotheques, gambling halls, pubs, restaurants, open-air cafes, clubs, and more. Platja d'Aro remains lively all year round, with a complete programme of events and festivals, such as Carnival, the Beer Festival and the Medieval Market in Castell d'Aro.
El Puerto de Santa Maria is picturesque Andalucian port-town within reach of Jerez de la Frontera and part of the "Sherry Triangle". Situated on the Costa del Luz and boasting some great white sand beaches, the town boasts 13 miles of coastline with eight golden sandy beaches in the vicinity. The town remains attractive with a town center which is refreshingly traffic free, with cobbled streets lined with orange trees and typical Andaluz architecture with lots of wrought iron and intricate tile work. A great seafood destination, where sherry and brandy bodegas also abound! For culture and history seekers, it is worth knowing that Columbus, as well as author Washington Irving once lived here.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
Sherry Bodegas, Castillo de San Marcos; Plaza del Toros and excellent seafood. Distances: Seville - 69 miles, Malaga (Costa del Sol) - 148 miles, Jerez de la Frontera - 12 miles, Sanlucar de Barrameda - 15 miles
Ronda is the largest and most famous of the pueblos blancos, with its historic bullring, magnificent views over the deep gorge gashing through the town.The city is situated in a very mountainous area about 2,460 ft above sea level. The Guadalevin River runs through the city, dividing it in two and carving out the steep, 300 plus feet deep El Tajo canyon upon which the city perches. 3 bridges, Puente Romano, Puente Viejo and Puente Nuevo, span the canyon. The Puente Nuevo is the tallest of the bridges, towering 390 ft above the canyon floor. All three serve as some of the city?s most impressive features. In a much-photographed stunning position on the top of the sheer-sided Tajo gorge, Ronda is remarkably appealing with a beautifully preserved old town and many great bars and restaurants.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
Historic Quarter, the Bullring, beautiful views, visit nearby villages Distances:
Seville - 80 miles; Arcos de la Frontera - 54 miles; Malaga (Costa del Sol) - 63 miles
Roquetas de Mar is a fishing village just 15 minutes (by car) from Almería City. Roquetas de Mar is known not only for its fishing village traditions which are carried on today through gastronomy and annual festivals, but also for its fame as a resort town. Within the municipality of Roquetas el Mar is the famous "Aguadulce" (Fresh Water) resort - one of the first tourist resorts established in Spain in the 1960`s and has been classified as a Center of National Touristic Interest. The municipality also borders or includes important nature reserves and natural parks.
Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s:
Beaches; Santa Ana Castle (16th century); Santa Ana lighthouse; Roman remains; Torrequebrada Archaeological Site Distances: Almeria - 15 miles, Mojacar - 67 miles, Granada - 112 miles
Founded by Greek mariners from Rhodes, Roses is a living museum bearing the traces of the passing ages and of the many cultures that once inhabited its past. Some good examples of Roses long history are the monastery Santa Maria de Roses and the Dolmen Creu d'en Cobertella. The town welcomes visitors with a variety of artistic and historical monuments in a scenic setting of the bay, perfectly sheltered spot to enjoy the sandy beaches. Many restaurants, hotels and other businesses are opened all the year.
Rota is an ancient town, situated in a privileged position at the extreme north of the Bay of Cádiz. The town opens out to the Atlantic Sea and coastline, with two national parks behind: the Natural Park of the Bay of Cádiz and the Doñana. The old town inside its ramparts has almost a medieval atmosphere. Nearby is a major USA naval base, one of three in Spain established in the 1950s during the Franco era. Recommended Stay: 1 night Must See`s:
Castillo de Luna, Walks around the town, Beaches Distances:
Seville - 78 miles, Jerez de la Frontera - 20 miles, Cadiz - 29 miles, Chiclana de la Frontera - 33 miles, Puerto de Santa Maria - 13 miles, Tarifa - 82 miles
Finding its origins in pre-Roman times, Salamanca is known as "La Ciudad Dorada", exposing buildings facades made of special sandstone with unique golden glow. You may admire the old Romanesque cathedral, with four grand pinnacles and the apse frescoed by the Renaissance painter Florentino; nearby, the new cathedral combines Late Gothic architecture and Plateresque style. The nightlife is highly animated, especially by the students learning at the second oldest university in the world.
San Sebastián is the de facto summer capital of Spain, where numerous Spaniards find a much needed escape from the sweltering heat. Its location on the Bay of Biscay is unique, as San Sebastian is surrounded by green mountains. A beach resort in its own right, San Sebastián did not succumb to consumerism and bad taste. La Parte Vieja, with narrow streets, hidden plazas, and medieval houses, adds plenty of charm to its elegant shops, wide boulevards, sidewalk cafes, and restaurants.
Situated at the northern tip of the sherry triangle, the delightful small town of Sanlúcar de Barramedais flanked by the Guadalquivir estuary. The specialty here is the distinctive manzanilla wine, which acquires its dry, slightly salty tang from the seaside environment and the moist poniente wind. The town is equally famed for its excellent seafood, for which manzanilla is (coincidentally!) the ideal accompaniment.
Recommended Stay: 1 night Must See`s:
Sherry Bodegas, Beaches & excellent seafood (langostinos - Jumbo Shrimp) Distances:
Jerez de la Frontera - 16 miles ; Puerto Santa Maria - 15 miles; Seville - 63 miles
Located in the centre of the Maresme coast, on a quiet spot surrounded by a splendid garden, Santa Susanna is an international tourist centre very well known in the field of international sports and cultural events. Surrounded by the greenness of its mountains and the blue of its waters, Santa Susanna is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation. Competition, leisure and relaxation are all possible here thanks to superb beaches which cover a surface of more than 100,000 square meters.
While not as glamorous as San Sebastian, the city of Santander is a great alternative if you want to avoid the summer crowds. Noteworthy, Santander had its 27 years of royal fame in the early 20th century, when it became a residence for Alfonso XIII. Largely rebuilt after a 1941 fire, Santandero has three main beaches. However, most visitors head for the smaller resort of El Sardinero, only 1 ½ miles away. An alternative during high season is El Puntal, a beautiful beach only 15 minutes away by boat.
Located in the heart of Galicia, Santiago de Compostela is the third-largest holy city of the Christian world. Medieval pilgrims, rich and poor alike, made this town famous by traveling from all over Europe to visit the shrine of apostle St James, whose remains are said to be buried in the city's cathedral. The city is a university town as well as a marketplace for Galician farmers. In addition, it is one of the most romantic and historic cities in Spain.
Santillana del Mar is one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe, a Spanish national landmark, that was once a famous place of pilgrimage. Take a stroll and admire Plaza de Ramón Pelayo (also called Plaza Mayor) one of the main sites of the village. Don't miss the 15th-century tower, facing Calle de Juan Infante, known for its pointed arched doorway. Santillana del Mar is a good base for visiting the Caves of Altamira, containing some of the most famous Stone Age paintings in the world.
This ancient town preserves many archaeological sites and a rich architectural legacy, related to the Pilgrim's Road to Santiago de Compostela. The visitor should look for historical places - the castle, the megalithic graves and other hill-fort remains - and ecclesiastic architecture - at the convent of Magdalena and the churches of Santa Mariña. In search for fun and relaxation, experience the green area on the banks of the river Sarria and the fishing, hunting or horse-riding reserves.
This 2000-year-old city is a very popular touristic destination, hosting many ancient heritages; the old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, being surrounded by the Roman walls, rebuilt in the 15th century. The symbol of Segovia is the Roman aqueduct built during 1st and 2nd centuries by the Romans to bring water to the town. The castle Alcazar is located at the tip of a narrow promontory and has a history of about 10 centuries. The central plaza is dominated by the grand Gothic cathedral.
Seville is the largest town in the famous Southern province of Andalusia, best known for the impressive Cathedral with its Giralda tower, as well as the Alcazar, which also serves as a visiting residence for the Spanish Royal family. A visitor's route should also include the Town Hall, the Archive of the Indies (hosting the documents related to the discovery of America), the Fine Arts Museum (the second largest picture gallery in Spain), as well as its numerous convents, parish churches and palaces.
Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda and El Puerto de Santa María form a triangle of generous land where the vine has reigned from time immemorial. Each area has its own microclimate that contributes to the character and style of its local sherry. Recommended Stay: 3 nights Must See`s:
Sherry Wine Cellars, Dancing Horses of Jerez, Castillo San Marcos, Flamenco Shows, Beaches in Costa de la Luz, Excellent Seafood.
Located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Coastal Mountain Range, Sitges offers breathtaking landscapes. Its 17 privileged crystal-water, fine-sand beaches (some of them having quality diplomas and blue flags awarded by the European Union) make it one of the most charming and visited destinations in Catalonia. The museums Cau Ferrat and Maricel are a must see here and also pay a visit to the picturesque Old Quarter for some wonderful sightings. Sitges also offers a wide choice of leisure, sports, amusement and cultural activities. It's ideal for practicing land sports and lots of nautical activities.
Tarifa, the windsurfing capital of Europe, is fast becoming one of the hippest places to visit in Spain. Small, but oozing with charm and an eclectic ambience, where hippies, mix with the hip and trendy, who mix with the wind-surfer, who mixes with families, looking for a more laid-back atmosphere. The bohemian town is situated at the southern most point in Europe, just 9 miles from Africa, where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean, enjoys spectacular views of the Rif Mountains of Africa across the water. Recommended Stay: 2 nights Must See`s: Castle of Guzman the Bueno, Jerez Gate, Miramar Gardens, Beaches, Windsurfing Distances: Seville - 128 miles, Jerez de la Frontera - 76 miles, Cadiz - 65 miles, Chiclana de la Frontera - 50 miles, Puerto de Santa Maria - 70 miles, Algeciras - 14 miles
Founded by the Romans, Tarragona is one the most elegant city of the Iberian Peninsula. Part of the bases of large Cyclopean walls near the Quartel de Pilatos are thought to be anterior to the Romans. The mentioned building, a prison in the 19th century, is said to have been the palace of Augustus. The main tourist attractions include the Museum of Archaeology and the Roman ruins of Tarraco, which has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. From the cliff top 'Balco del Mediterrani', you can admire its beautiful beach.
Once the capital of the Spanish Empire, Toledo is nowadays a UNESCO World Heritage Designated Site, due to its essential historical and cultural statute. It hosted various cultures and religions, including Christians, Jewish and Muslims. That's why you cand find here a large variety of ecclesiastical monuments, among which the Cathedral definitely deserves a visit for its famous "El Transparente" altar and also the Church of Santo Tomé, host of the famous painting "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz" of El Greco, born in Toledo.
Once a tiny fishing village, Torremolinos has become a massive resort area especially popular with British tourists. It offers almost everything you could possibly want in the way of beaches, nightclubs, restaurants and bars. There are two principal sandy beaches with modern facilities. Torremolinos also offers a wide selection of shops with very reasonable prices. The local drink is lager. Due to the immense competition prices for drinks are kept low; among the lowest in Europe.
90km north of Barcelona, lies Tossa de Mar, a wonderful gleaming white town with its 12th century walls, fascinating old quarter and good beaches. This is the perfect base for a Costa Brava holiday. Tossa de Mar has two beaches: Mar Grand and La Bauma, both offering wonderful surroundings and clear water. Tourists from all over the world come here during the summer holiday to sample the beauty and the charm of this jewel resort on Costa Brava.
Many nations left their fingerprints in this small town in Extremadura, since the Romans era. Trujillo is now known as the "Cradle of the Conquistadors" and hosts a statue of Francisco Pizzaro, conqueror of Peru. Many old monuments may be admired here, including the castle guarding the town from the hill of Zorro, two churches and the Chaves "El viejo" palace. If you're looking for fun and modern life, you shouldn't miss the events at the bullring and the Chiviri festival in the Plaza Mayor.
Thanks to its location, Valencia is the Spanish getaway to the Mediterranean, where history meets modernism. A bustling commercial center, Valencia is all about culture, commerce, cinema, theatre, and museums. The proximity of the coastal mountain range adds a unique appeal to this sea town. Fine beaches are to be found within the city limits or in its immediate vicinity. A visit to the City of the Arts and Sciences - an astonishing urban complex designed to make learning fun.
Once a royal city and an intellectual center attracting saints and philosophers, Valladolid is now the capital of Castilla y León autonomous community. The city preserves an ancient core of buildings, but it is nowadays primarily focused on industry. The most important sights are: the National Museum of Sculpture, displaying a magnificent collection of gilded polychrome sculptures (an art form that reached its pinnacle in Valladolid) and Museo Oriental having the best collection of Asian art in Spain, with bronzes from the 7th century B.C. to the 18th century A.D.
Vigo, the largest city and metropolitan area in Galicia, is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation on the beaches of the Atlantic coast. You should not miss the spectacular Cies Island, with its white sandy unique beaches and a beautiful natural reservation. Besides, you can admire great architectural masterpieces, in Romanesque and Gothic styles. Vigo is known for a postmodern cultural movement in the '80s - which produced punk and new wave bands - and its soccer team Celta de Vigo.
Vitoria is the political capital of the Basque country. Most tourists are drawn by the old part of the city, which is very well conserved and contains a number of remarkable monuments: Casa del Cordon (dating from the XV century), the gothic cathedral of Sta. Maria (XIV century), the Museum of Archaeology (XVI century) and the Torre de Doña Otxanda (a tower holding the Museum of Natural Sciences). The city center is full of sculptures from the Basque Country, looking like a real open-air art gallery.
The capital of the Zamora province, this city is best known as the "museum of Romanesque art". The main Romanesque monuments are the Cathedral, Parador de Zamora (palace) - with splendid patio and staircase - and numerous churches from 12th and 13th centuries. You can enjoy a nice view of the city from the medieval Castle of Zamora and visit the Museo de Semana Santa de Zamora, exposing the "pasos" used in local processions. The whole province is charming, waiting to be discovered by tourists.
Zaragoza is the provincial capital of Aragon, once a kingdom it its own right. A prosperous city, Zaragoza was founded 2,000 years ago and like may other cities in Spain bears the marks of Roman, Goth, and Arabic civilizations. The city has not one, but two cathedrals, and it used to be a major pilgrimage center, as the legend states that St James, the protector saint of Spain, had a vision of Virgin Mary here. It is one of the greatest centers of the Marian cult in Spain. A monumental city of wide avenues and arcades, Zaragoza is also a lively student center.
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