Category Archives: Spain City Trips

When In Spain: Do not forget To Visit Malaga Spain

Fantastic Malaga SpainProm Dresses 2016

In addition to the main cities, if you ever check out Spain, do not overlook to visit the City of Malaga Spain. It is located in Southern Spain. Malaga is an urban area and as municipality, capital of the Province of Malaga in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia Spain. It is in reality one of the oldest cities for it is already 3,000 years around. Just like other main cities in Spain, Malaga Spain is wealthy in history, culture, artistic heritage tourism and this is where notable persons were born and raised to become great achievers in their fields.

The Kingdom of Spain holds a lot of toutist getaways for people from all walks of life. It is very rich in culture, tradition and art. And as said it is also the birthplace of famous people in their different fields. Spain’s key cities are truly exceptional.

Archeology

There are numerous archaeological ruins and monuments from the Phoenician Roman, Arabic and Christian eras. It is the city’s historic center and is referred to as an “open museum” considering that it readily displays its history of over 3,000 years to everyone who checks out Malaga Spain.

At the heart of the city stretches the Walls of the Phoenician City. It is the earliest architectural ruins in the city which is viewable in the basement of the Picasso museum. You may also want to visit the Roman Theater of Malaga which is as old as 1st century BC and was just uncovered in 1951.

Attractions

Memorable attractions in the city are the Cathedral and churches like the Church of Santiago Iglesia del Sagracio, the Basilica Real Sanctuario de Santa Maria de la Victoria, the Cathedral and the Episcopal palaces all showing the great building works of their builders in the various periods.

It has also numerous museums and art galleries. The most popular of which is the Museo Picasso Malaga. Other museums which a tourist may also visit here are the Museo Carmen Thyssen, Museo de Malaga, Fundacion Picasso, City Museum, Automobile Museum and the Museum of Wines.

Long Floor Length Dresses

Horse and carriage in Malaga Spain

Yes. Malaga has demonstrated that it is not only in major or well-known cities where great people are born. They are also born in the quiet simplicity of the province. Malaga is in fact the birthplace of the well-known artist Pablo Picasso, popular poet Solomon ibn Gabriel, Hollywood actor Antonio Banderas and the great explorer Ruy Lopez de Villallobos.

Football

Let us not fail to remember the Malaga Football Club as well. A visit to their stadium (Estadio La Rosaleda) is not to be missed out on for the soccer fanatics, and the Malaguistas, as the fans of the Malaga Football Club are called, would never forgive us this oversight. The team played their first match on the 3rd April 1904, versus a new team as well, on an impromptu playing field near Malaga city center, there were no less than 3,000 spectators, even then. They had to wait though until 1921 before they could turn up in a formal competition.

Simply put: a sporting city of beautiful beaches, old town houses, museums, great cultural annual events, religious people, and old panoramic views, you will never look back spending a day or two inside the marvelous city of Malaga Spain.

City Trip Madrid

Great city trip Madrid: the region of Madrid, situated in the middle of the Peninsula, is also its economic, financial and service centre. This is the region where the capital of the country is located: a cosmopolitan and modern city with a rich historical legacy and a social dynamism that lends a particular appeal to its cultural, touristic and leisure opportunities.

For a good choice of hotels in Madrid with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In Madrid for more information.

Unforgettable places with unique appeal can be found in Madrid, such as the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, considered one of the eight wonders of the world; the Aranjuez Royal Residence, inspiration for the famous concert of the same name and which was declared a World Heritage Cultural Landscape by UNESCO, and Alcalá de Henares, a renaissance town declared a World Heritage Site.

In addition, the excellent location of the capital makes it possible to visit universally renowned cities such as Ávila, Segovia, and Toledo, all less than one hour away. In addition to these tourist attractions, Madrid is equipped with quite a modern infrastructure for transport, communications, accommodation and services, which has turned the city into an important international business and conference centre. 

  • Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial The huge granite rectangular edifice, topped with four spiral towers, is a forbidding sight in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial about 30 miles (50km) northwest of Madrid. The monastery/church/palace complex was built by Philip II as a memorial to his father, Charles V, and contains some of El Greco’s and Hieronymus Bosch’s artworks. A vaulted library contains a priceless collection of more than 60,000 ancient books. The monastery itself houses a wealth of paintings and tapestries, and the mausoleum beneath the church’s altar serves as a burial place for Spanish kings.

  • Aranjuez Royal Residence

    The Royal Palace of Aranjuez, located on the side of the Tajo River, was built in 1561 by King Philip II as a royal summer residence. The palace was rebuilt by the Bourbon King Fernando VI in the 18th century after it was destroyed by fire. To the east lies the Parterre Garden, and to the north the Island Garden (located on an island). Further to the east lies the late 18th century Prince Garden with the smaller palace of Casa del Labrador. The town of Aranjuez, next to the palace, has several historical monuments as well. 

    Aranjuez Royal Residence


  • Alcalá de Henares

    The city of Alcalá de Henares, where Miguel de Cervantes was born (1547) and lived for many years, was declared a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in December 1998, because it was the first university city in the world, planned to be a university city. It was founded by Cardinal Cisneros en 1499.

    Alcalá de Henares is situated about 30 km from Madrid.



Alcalá de Henares
For a good choice of hotels in Madrid with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In Madrid for more information.

Ski Vacation In Spain

Spend a winter vacation in the Sierra Nevada, where Europe’s most southern ski venue is located. Less than 35 km away from Granada and only two hours drive form the coast lies Solynieve. (Sun and snow in Spanish).

ski vacation in spain

Ski vacation in Spain

For a good choice of hotels in the Sierra Nevada with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In the Sierra Nevada  for more information.

Here the 1997 world championships alpine skiing were held. On an altitude of about 2100 meters one can find a sufficient quantity of snow from the beginning of December right trough the end of march/beginning of may.

From the top of the ski lift on the Veleta mountain (3398 m)one can see the Mediterranean Sea and on a clear day one can even spot the distant shores of North-Africa. But that Is not why most winter vacation tourists come here.

They come for the total length of the slopes which is 48 km, and the 18 ski lifts that can bring hem to any “blue”, “red” or “black” piste.Langlaufen over the Sierra Nevada mountains is possible in most winters.Solynieve is located above the tree line and surrounding countryside is open and panoramic with occasional small lagoons.

There is one big difference between the winter vacation place Solynieve and most other ski resorts: it lies on a very short distance from other touristic attractions all of which are easily accessible and are not “spoiled” by winter conditions. Granada is very close and a visit to the Alhambra and the Generalife Gardens makes a nice alternative.

The proximity of the Mediterranean Sea makes it possible to go skiing, sailing and swimming all in the same day! And another important point: it is only about two hours driving away from Málaga Airport: a beautiful drive through exquisite mountainous landscape and without any of the traffic jams that can ruin a short ski break in the other European ski resorts…



SkiWinter Vacation

For a good choice of hotels in the Sierra Nevada with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In the Sierra Nevada  for more information.

Barcelona City Trip

These days Barcelona is named together with Paris, London and Berlin as being one of Europe’s great cities. It is no mystery that so many travel agents spend a lot of attention to it and that a city trip to this trendy and fancy city is much appreciated.

Sacrada Familla

Sacrada Familla

For a good choice of hotels in Barcelona with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In Barcelona for more information.

 

Vitality is its middle name, it has a pleasant Mediterranean climate and is thoroughly saturated with culture, art of living and joy of living.

Barcelona is THE city of modernism, a very special kind of art nouveau which is been treasured here. One can access the old and new city of Barcelona walking distance from its biggest boulevard: La Rambla. Barcelona is a surprise.

It is very easy to get your bearings in Barcelona: just imagine that the city is a piece of paper. In the middle of it you draw a circle, that is the Plaça de Catalunya and a perpendicular line to the bottom is La Rambla. 

All the way down you draw a horizontal: that is the waterfront: old docks have been remodelled into cosy marinas, beaches and an Olympic yacht-basin. Remember this little drawing, we will use it often.

Barcelona ‘s Classics

  • La Rambla

    La Rambla is the main artery of the city, 1.5 km long and bordered with ancient trees providing cool shadow in the summertime. La Rambla is the biggest meeting place of Barcelona and in the summertime you can rent one of the hundreds of chairs and watch the street performers, buskers, musicians, artists, painters and the never ending parade of people walking over the big boulevard.

    Barcelona Map



    La Rambla is so popular that two new words originated from it: ramblejar and ramblista. The first is a verb which means walking on La Rambla and the second is the person doing the walking: if you are one day soon walking on La Rambla, you will be a ramblista too!

    La Rambla used to be the bed of a river coming from the mountains and flowing towards the sea. When the city expanded towards the north it was reclaimed. Today is has been paved according to a design by Miro: a wavy and flowing pattern.

    At one end, the end near the sea, there is the statue of Columbus on a 50 m high iron column. He points to … the wrong side. The intention of the architect was to show the people the direction of the New World, but for some reason they lost their sense of direction and poor Columbus is now pointing towards Malaga!



    Columbus

    At the other end of La Rambla you will find Plaça de Catalunya: the most important traffic intersection. If you ever get lost in Barcelona: just ask for Plaça Catalunya and from this central point you can take a cab, a bus or the metro or even go on foot in any direction. Many of Barcelona ‘s hotels are situated here and the neighbouring streets and boulevards make one great shopping centre. 

  • Barri Gotic

    Remember our little mental drawing we made earlier? On both sides of the Rambla you can now draw two more strips: in a couple of hundred meters lie enough points of interest, musea and monuments to keep you busy for the best part of an entire week!

    The Barri Gotic or the Gothic district is a maze of small and worn-out alleys situated on the left side of La Rambla. It was built on the foundations of a Roman city: Barcino. Some of the old walls that are 2300 years old(!) are still standing and were incorporated in the present situation. The cathedral is the centre of the district and the monastery is supposedly the coolest place in Barcelona, with its lush gardens. The construction of the cathedral started in 1298, its towers dating from the 14th and 15th century.

    In the Barri Gotic you can find plenty of palaces and musea and historic buildings. Best thing to do is to buy a decent guide book to help you explore the early history.

    Barcelona Cathedral



  • El Eixample

    Back to our mental map: starting from Plaça de Catalunya and on the right coming from La Rambla, the checkerboard design of El Eixample ( the extension) is starting to emerge.

    In the middle of the 19th century the rich bourgeoisie wanted to create a new district with a new pattern of geometric blocks: an example of progressive urbanisation.



    El Eixample is art nouveau at its best. The entire district is an architectural  surprise. There is a city walk you absolutely must do: starting at the Plaça de Catalunya and ending at the Plaça de la Universitat. (You can get a map at any the tourists offices of which there are plenty in Barcelona.)

    There are literally hundreds of interesting modernistic buildings on this route from architects as Gaudí, Montaner en Josep Puig I Cadalfach. To be absolutely fair to all: there are also plenty of magnificent and often very expensive shops on the route. Window shopping here is great, buying even better…

    As it is unthinkable to visit Paris and not the Eiffel tower, it is evenly unthinkable to leave Barcelona without having a walk on the Eixample route and discover the more than 2000 listed and protected buildings in modernistic style.

La Pedrera

Sagrada Familia
For a good choice of hotels in Barcelona with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In Barcelona for more information.

Wonderful Andalusia

Andalusia is Wonderful

Andalusia is the most southern situated region of Spain. It has a rich Christian, Jewish but also Moorish heritage. This is where Spain’s heart is beating: flamenco, the ferias, the cathedrals, the hacienda’s,… it is all part of the land of bulls and tapas.

The region 87.000 square kilometre)contains no less than eight provinces. In the capital Sevilla all the charms of Andalusian culture can be found: there is the famous Giralda, a magnificent Moorish minaret of over 90 meters high, the ever busy tapasbars an the flamenco.

The citizens of Sevilla claim that they are responsible for the three major elements of Spain’s national pride: bullfighting, tapas and flamenco.

Playa Espanya Sevilla

Playa Espanya Sevilla

Sevilla

Sevilla is the result of a mix of three cultures: Islamic, Jewish and Christian. In this region, that used to be called ‘Serafad’ in Hebrew, ‘ Iberia’ in Latin and ‘ el- Andalus’ in Arabic, the three religions lived together in peace and in war. The history of its Alcazar ( built in 1354 by order of the King of Castillia) is a perfect example of the complexity of Andalusian history: although it appears to be an Arabic palace it was build by a Christian king.

The Alcazar

The Alcazar

The ‘ Barrio de Santa Cruz’ is the former Jewish quarter and the former gipsy quarter ‘Triana’ is now the centre of flamenco singing and dancing and guitars.In Sevilla there is also the famous ‘Feria de Abril’, the biggest feria in the country. Traditionally the feria started on April the 18th and lasts for three days. In the old days it was a big cattle market. Nowadays the date the feria starts depends on the holy week and the festivities last six days. Every morning there is the horse parade: an uncountable number of people in traditional clothing ride through the streets on their horses.

Barrio de Santa Cruz Andalusia Barrio de Santa Cruz Andalusia
Jerez de la Frontera

Situated about an hours driving south of Sevilla there is the town of Jerez de la Frontera, famous for its vast vineyards and the Andalusian nectar known to us as sherry.The name sherry is derived from the Greek town Xera, who was situated here about 3000 years ago.

The famous Gonzalez Byass organises train rides through its bodegas (cellars). There is a wall surrounding the entire domain, making it a village inside the town. Their bodegas are well worth a detour: one of them was designed by Gustave Eiffel, in another there are 30.000 barrels of sherry, yet another lies beneath four domes even bigger than those of Saint Peters in Rome!

The other attraction of the city is its famous equestrian school: Real Escuala Andaluza de Arte Ecuestre. Horses here move and dance on the rhythm of the flamenco. It is even said that the flamenco originated right here in this school.

Pueblos Blancos

To go to Granada, you can drive along the Costa del Sol towards the southern most point of Spain: La Punta Tarifa. This is a surfers paradise because of the eastern and western winds who create magnificent waves on this point where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea. The Costa del Sol attracts thousands of tourists every year.

You can however take an other route: parallel to the coastline and crossing the Sierra Pueblos Blancos. The name is derived from the many white villages that are scattered in the Serrania, a mountainous region stretching from Cadiz to Málaga. Every spring the houses are painted with a fresh coating of chalk in order to protect the habitants from the heat of the sun. The villages were constructed by the Moors on top of the hills in order to spot any oncoming enemies as soon as possible.

Granada

Granada must make you think of its most wonderful location: the Alhambra. In Granada too the Christian and Moorish influences go hand in hand. The end of the afternoon, after the siesta is an ideal moment to visit the fascinating Albayzin, the old Muslim quarter with its steep and narrow alleyways. It is located just in front of the Alhambra. It is told that the famous gardens of the Alhambra were left to the invading Christians without any battle, in order to preserver their immense beauty.

Alhambra Andalusia
The Alhambra in Granada

Córdoba

Another mythical Andalusian city is Córdoba, in the northwest of Granada. Mosque and cathedral are situated in one and the same building here. Church services are still being held here, in the centre of the Mezquita. The mosque itself is with its 22.400 square meters the second largest in the world ( after Mekka).

The synagogue is situated in the Calle de los Judios ( where else :-)) and was built in 1315. After the Jews were evicted in 1492, the synagogue was made into a hospital. The building, being one of the most venerated building in the Jewish world, was declared a national monument in 1885.

Andalusian delicacies

A visit to Andalusia is never complete without a tasting of its local delicacies: a most delicious one being gazpacho, really refreshing in the summertime. It is a cold soup, made of raw vegetables and served with little cubes of cucumber , tomato, onion and bread.The Andalusian cuisine is well known fore its culinary refinement and variety.Toppers like the world renowned hams (Serrano, Iberico, Jabug), the chorizo, the many delights of seafood are not to be missed.

For a good choice of hotels, apartments and villas in Andalucia with discount prices, visit this website on hotels, apartments and Villas In Spain for more information.