Cézanne’s birthplace / City of arts / Roman history Birthplace of renowned artist Paul Cézanne, the university town of Aix-en-Provence is a vibrant place with the arts firmly at its heart. Aix, as it is more commonly known, is referred to as the city of art and lights – and has been the favoured haunt of artists in their many … Read More
What makes Languedoc-Roussillon special Languedoc Roussillon is the heart of French Catalonia. This huge region of Southern France has a vast and diverse terrain extending from the Mediterranean Sea on the east, bordering Spain and taking in part of the mountainous Pyrenees on the south, reaching west to the Midi-Pyrenees and north to the Rhone. The region has a complex … Read More
Collioure is all about art and inspiration – gastronomy – pretty harbour by Susan Robertson Nestled in a sheltered bay on the Mediterranean coast, Collioure is a charming seaside town at the very south of France, close to the border with Spain. Known as the ‘City of Painters’; artists, poets and writers have always been inspired by this pretty harbour … Read More
Carcassonne – fairy tale castles – two UNESCO world heritage sites by Susan Robertson Floating among the clouds, the atmospheric citadel of Carcassonne sits majestically at the top of a hill. Lying north of the River Aude, it is said to have been the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. And with its high walls, elegant turrets and romantic towers, … Read More
Caravan holidays in France: how to take care of your foodie needs Now you’re on the road with the freedom of France and its vast road network ahead of you. Over half a million square kilometres to explore, with over a million kilometres of public roads. How much of France you’ll be able to explore on a single trip is … Read More
Fine sandy beaches, a Roman civilisation and only 10km from Barcelona …are a handful of the charms of the city of Badalona. The third most populated municipality in Catalonia, Badalona can be found just 10 km away from the buzzing city of Barcelona. Evidence of the original city, called Baetulo, which was founded in the 3rd century BC by the Romans, can be … Read More
The luscious lure of the vast landscape of central Spain spread out in front of us; a land bursting with endless possibilities. Not unlike a flirtatious Señorita waiting to tease with her alluring wares, this part of Spain is less explored and full of promise. From skiing in the Sierra de Guadarrama to swimming in the Pantano de San Juan, … Read More
Birthplace of Juan Carlos Ferrero, the world’s number one tennis player in 2003, Ontinyent can be found inland in the province of Valencia. It has been featured as one of our 5 Underrated Towns In Valencia Spain-Waiting To Be Discovered. Ontinyent is situated in the south of the province of Valencia, in the region of Vall d’Albaida, of which it … Read More
Norway is no less than a magical place. From its vast, stunning landscapes to Norway’s famous, picturesque fjords, and from the art and culture of the cities to the strikingly stunning Northern Lights. The country woos tourists with its breathtaking beauty. Let’s take a look at some of the most eminent aspects of Norway that make it a must-visit destination. … Read More
Around Gloucestershire in May 2019, we have plenty of great music events for your entertainment. From free music events for the family such as Baby Bounce & Rhyme to tribute bands and choral singing, there’s sure to be something for everyone. In our calendar below, all you need to do is have a look around, or search using keywords and/or … Read More
Come on a virtual tour with an incredibly talented photographer, Graham Custance, who will show you these beautiful places in Cornwall through his eyes, revealing the special moments he has captured with his camera. Let’s open the door to this magical tour of Cornwall. As you go on this journey with Graham, some of these places may be familiar, possibly … Read More
Discover 9 beautiful places in the Isle of Wight on a virtual tour with the super talented photographer, Graham Custance. Graham captures the essence of The Island in magical moments, where the landscape and light merge to make pretty postcards of perfection. The Isle of Wight is located in the English Channel. It lies between two to five miles off … Read More
Copenhagen, originally a small Viking fishing village created one thousand years ago, is the capital city of Denmark, a frequent winner of ‘the happiest country in the world’. Laura in Copenhagen This is partly due to their world-renowned welfare model, including excellent health care and education, and partly due to Hygge. Pronounced hoo-gah (or maybe not, there is a lot … Read More
Come on a virtual tour with talented, local photographer, Graham Custance who will show you the 5 most Instagrammable places in the Chilterns. The Chilterns are an official AONB: area of natural beauty. Currently there are 46 of these in the United Kingdom. There are few people who will know an area, its landscape and changes throughout the seasons, as … Read More
Located in Morbihan, Auray is a picturesque town with a lovely old quarter, which enjoys mild short winters and long blissful summers. It is a good base from which to explore the Gulf of Morbihan, the Quiberon Peninsula and Carnac. The town is set in a bend in the River Lock, which is spanned by a seventeenth century bridge. In … Read More
There’s a certain warmth in Nice which doesn’t just come from the Mediterranean sun. Perhaps it’s the picture-postcard vista. After all, that view of nodding palm trees overlooking a gently sweeping bay, with its sparkling azure waters and dramatic mountainous backdrop, would warm the coldest of hearts. Or maybe it’s the terracotta roofs of the Old Town, and its cosy … Read More
Think Bordeaux, think wine. But not just any old plonk. Located on the River Garonne, Bordeaux is the largest wine-producing region in France, and possibly the most famous too – producing a range of wines that are considered among the best in the world. The Romans brought vines to the area as far back as the 1st century, and in … Read More
France’s ritzy Atlantic resort of Biarritz is famous for many things, among them its love affair with Napoleon III’s wife, Empress Eugenie. On a visit to Biarritz in the 1850’s she fell in love with the city and built a palace on the beach – now the swish Hôtel du Palais – and stayed here frequently. Among her regular guests … Read More
Located on the river Garonne in the South-Western region of Aquitaine, Agen is a historic market town that dates back over 2,000 years. Once a bustling Roman trading centre, Agen’s prominent location between the cities of Bordeaux and Toulouse – and between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic – meant it provided a vital crossroads and trading route. Because of its … Read More
An incredibly picturesque spot on the edge of the River Dordogne, Bergerac is embraced by rolling fields and lush vineyards, and of course is well-known as the birth place of satirist and dramatist, Cyrano de Bergerac. And even though it seems like there is an almost endless list of towns and cities throughout France that proudly uphold its gastro reputation, … Read More
The town of Bayonne, barely 50 km from the border with Spain, nestles a few kilometres inland from the coast at the confluence of the rivers Adour and Nive (known as Errobi in the Basque language). An important tourist centre and prominent Basque town, Bayonne is one of the principal towns in the department of Pyrénées Atlantiques. The town was … Read More
While Galway city is undoubtedly a gem, filled with colour, gorgeous buildings, culture, friendly people and lots of “craic agus ceol”, the county of the same name has much to offer. It would be a shame to travel to the West of Ireland without exploring some of the beautiful towns and charming villages of County Galway. I spent numerous childhood … Read More
Galway’s wonderfully wild Connemara coast was the adored location of my childhood family holidays. The contrast with my hometown of Dublin was deliciously different and after a journey into the west, there was nothing I loved more than to hear the sound of the Atlantic waves crashing on the shores of a beautiful, remote white sandy beach. I can still … Read More
Carnival is an amazing time to visit Spain. Step off your plane or train, and come to party with the locals, understand some more of the culture and marvel at some of the antics and fascinating traditions. As you can imagine, in a country where fiestas take pride of place, these events can be rather spectacular. Carnival falls just before … Read More
The old part of the city of Cuenca Spain is placed high up in the mountains of east-central Spain, situated above the gorges of the Huécar and Júcar rivers below. The old town is compact and all around it is green or stone. This idyllic Spanish town is located in the region of Castilla la Mancha, a region that has … Read More
Oh, Granada Spain! Of all the cities and pueblos on the Iberian Peninsula, this one may be the most Spanish—and I mean that in the best way possible. The city shares its name in Spanish with the pomegranate. And much like the fruit, the city has a tough exterior. But its insides are lush and delicious. For many of us … Read More
Villajoyosa translates as “joyful village”. This title is very descriptive, as it is difficult not to be joyful while you are here in this Spanish Costa Blanca town. This tranquil seaside destination has sunny days, soft sand and bright multi-coloured houses that are sure to make you smile. Life in Villajoyosa is pretty sweet and joyful so make the most … Read More
Every now and then, a holiday becomes a necessity as you just need to get away from it all and recharge your batteries. It’s amazing how refreshing it can be to wake up in a new place, explore unfamiliar streets, try new food and meet new people. An ideal spot for a rejuvenating break is the town of Javea, in … Read More
Denia is situated in a prime location right at the northern edge of Alicante province. This beautiful city enjoys both the warm Mediterranean Sea as well as the impressive mountains within the Montgo Natural Park. It is the ideal place to visit if you are looking for somewhere tranquil to explore nature, relax on the beach and savour the slower … Read More
It’s that time that the whole family has been looking forward to for weeks, your holiday to beautiful Benidorm. You have your swimming costumes and suncream packed, your flights booked and you are already dreaming of lazy days by the pool and playing on the beach. You only get to enjoy your holidays for a short time, so you want … Read More
Altea is an ideal spot for a day trip or it is also a quiet and peaceful spot to stay if you want to escape from the crowds that usually gather on the beaches and want a more laid back holiday. A visit to Altea might involve walking through the lovely cobblestone streets of the old city or sipping wine … Read More
I had a dream of visiting Madrid since I studied Spanish in year 9 of British secondary education and on the 8th July 2017, that dream finally came true. I have visited Spain prior to this trip, to Murcia in 2009 and 2015, and will revisit in 2018. This blog is based on my account of travelling accompanied by my … Read More
Although Granada city certainly deserves to be famous for its UNESCO listed Alhambra, and in fact for lots of other reasons, many tourists miss out on visiting some of the most gorgeous spots that can be found in the province of Granada. Not only can you find beautiful nature, but the province of Granada is full of fabulous authentic villages … Read More
The beautiful region of Valencia is known for its varying landscapes. The turquoise coastline, impressive mountains, quaint countryside and urban areas encompass the nearly 24,000 km2 that make up this gorgeous part of Spain. While many escape to the metropolitan cities of Valencia or Alicante, there is a multitude of charming towns and villages located throughout the region that should … Read More
When I first visited Valencia, I had very little expectations. I had recently moved to Madrid and wanted to venture out and explore another part of Spain. I hoped to enjoy a little beach time and eat some paella but that was all I had planned. For me, this trip was a mini break to relax and enjoy the sea … Read More
This feature firstly gives you an overview of the artist’s connection to these places, and then suggests an overnight itinerary to enjoy the route. “Aside from being forbidden in the kitchen I was allowed to do anything I pleased. I wet my bed till I was eight for the sheer fun of it. I was the absolute monarch of the … Read More
For true foodies, who wish to see the process from source to table, the Delta de l’Ebre is a must! Take a beautiful boat trip, where you can visit the mussels and oysters farm area, while seeing a stunning perspective of the wonderful Delta. From there, once you’ve been suitably educated by the Professor, you can head back to land … Read More
When I first moved here in 2003, I was based in Catalonia, I’ve travelled and lived in various parts of Spain since then, but ended up settling back very close to Catalonia. With almost 90 Blue Flag beaches, it is a superb choice for any type of holiday. Check out this amazing feature: Catalonia Best Beaches with Blue Flag Status
Ali Meehan confesses to being a serial expat. She has lived and worked in Australia, Spain, the Middle East, Asia and now she is back in Spain! Her partner (now husband) introduced her to Spain and the rest, as they say, is history. Ali originally set up Costa Women, as a way for her to find other expats and make … Read More
Carol is passionate about her job and has been in the tourism and hospitality industry for more than 25 years. She was born in Catalonia and after living in different places in Spain and Europe, she established herself in Rioja Alavesa in 1998 where she founded her own company, Thabuca. Carol is an avid globertrotter and travel addict and loves … Read More
An evocative, informative, insider article about La Rioja Spain wine experiences in beautiful surroundings, by tour guide Carol Gutiérrez. The name of Rioja evokes wine, great wine. It is one of Spain’s best known wine regions with a long tradition of wine production since Roman times. But La Rioja is much more than..
Although it’s impossible to know exactly when wine arrived in the Iberian Peninsula, we do know that it can be traced to at least the 7th century BC, because of archaeological finds in sites in Andalucia. However for those of you who appreciate wine, you may like to know that there is also evidence that suggests that not far from … Read More
Cave dels Arcs Costa Blanca Quite often expats will find that the idea of moving to another country is much more pleasant than the reality, and many don’t last a year in their new country surrounded by local people, who sometimes have radically different attitudes about what’s important and what’s not. Probably the largest stumbling block for Brits is a … Read More
Founded in the 14th century, and with numerous megalithic stones dotted around the island, Menorca has a real ancient feel to it and there are reminders of early pre-historic human activity at every turn. I’ve been to Menorca many times since I was a little girl, and have the most amazing memories running around on its sandy beaches, swimming in … Read More
At the time of writing (February 2018), Jessica had been living for three years in Barcelona. This feature is absolutely jam-packed with insider tips. Paella, tapas, sangria, and parties that continue until the morning light… Barcelona is known worldwide as one of the most beautiful, culturally rich cities in Europe, with flocks of tourists coming to visit every year. In … Read More
Our meeting point at the statute of Carlos III, at Puerta del Sol, dating from 1478. We normally meet around 10am, but tours can be customised to your needs. 1. There we will see the most outstanding elements of this famous square that has the shape of the sun, hence its name: Statue of the Bear and the Madroño (Strawberry … Read More
The beautiful island of Mallorca sits in the Mediterranean ocean surrounded by neighbouring Ibiza, Menorca and Formentera. Known as the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is the largest. It is a place that holds many happy memories for me as a child, of family holidays and lazy beach days. View of Palma from the cathedral Visiting as an adult, I now have … Read More
If you have been to Spain before and explored some of its cities, then you’ll know that this country is literally heaving with interesting cities to visit. Zaragoza is not overrun with tourists and offers an authentic city option to travellers who enjoy understanding more about the country’s culture, which can be appreciated by spending time in Spain’s cities. Zaragoza … Read More
Crystal Palace Retiro Park The magic and charms of Madrid are almost endless. In fact, as experiential tourism continues to rise, around 12 million visitors were seduced by Madrid’s jewels in 2017. Traditionally, visitors flocked to Andalucia, the Balearic and Canary Islands, and Catalonia, but these days the many merits of Madrid are tempting travellers to discover this highly desirable … Read More
Barceloneta Beach With more than 2000 years of history, Barcelona is the fourth city in Europe preferred by tourists and Spain’s top tourist destination, with over 30 million tourists, of which more than 2.6 million were cruise passengers, who came to visit the city in 2016. The majority of its visitors come from Great Britain, France and the United States. … Read More
Did you ever get shivers down your spine when you went to a new place? Nerja Spain has done this to me and others I know who have been there. Breathe in the immense beauty and views at the Balcón de Europa (Balcony of Europe); take the right turn by the ancient fountain and marvel at the vista down into … Read More
Madeira Portugal-Wild beach at Ponta de Sao Lourenco I was born to Portuguese parents, who hail from the beautiful Portuguese island of Madeira, surrounded by black basalt beaches, flower parades and awash with vibrant and fresh colour. When I was younger and still lived with my Dad, we would visit my Portuguese family and marvel at how cohesive and tight knit … Read More
This inspirational travel route takes you from one of last towns of Costa Lisboa (Lisbon), Ericeira, through a selection of delightful, relatively undiscovered places along Portugal’s Silver Coast. Peniche Silver Coast Portugal sunset This article has been written by my partner, who is Portuguese, so he has spent lots of holidays in the area, and he knows the region extremely … Read More
Guest post by our Benifallet Ambassador, writer, personalised travel guide & self-help development author, Jane Clements Benifallet is one of those quintessential dusty Spanish villages, all faded terracotta and peeling paint. The village nestles on the banks of the River Ebro and the houses sprawl all higgledy-piggledy up the mountain side as far as is physically possible to build them. … Read More
Thinking of Catalonia, many often associate the region with the sights of Barcelona, Girona, Tarragona, the Dali museum, the rocky beaches of the Costa Brava and world-class resorts. Rarely do we get in our mind associations with mountain ranges, alpine national parks, rock climbing and mountaineering. Except for a small amount of exceptions to the “normal” rule. Nevertheless, the mountains … Read More
Discover a wonderful city and some gorgeous highlights of the Costa Brava with our guest author Marina, a writer who grew up in the Mediterranean. You can fly into Girona with Ryanair from some UK & Irish airports, pick up a rental car or hire a motorhome – more about that later. Girona – a wonderful, welcoming city Girona’s city … Read More
Spain is such a beautiful country, and we have already featured our list with photos and some words about the 38 Most Beautiful Cities in Spain. Of course not everyone wants to spend all of their holiday in a city, and actually here in Spain there’s an organisation that exists that has categorised some towns as the Pueblos Más Bonitos … Read More
Not far from the azure blue Mediterranean sea, lies the pretty medieval town of Pals. It has been declared to be a Historic Artistic site – you’ll understand why, when you see its beautiful old quarter and wander around its cobbled streets. It’s best explored at your own pace, so that you can lose yourself in the medieval architecture and … Read More
It’s impossible to miss the striking Castle of Miravet overlooking the River Ebro in Tarragona, Catalonia. The Castle is of Andaluz origin, but was later converted by the Templar Knights into a Castle Convent, around the middle of the 12th century. The location is spectacular, perched on the right-hand side of the River Ebro, above the town itself. The old quarter … Read More
L’Escala is a charming fishing village that sits on one of the “most beautiful bays in the world”, according to UNESCO. Lined with beautiful, sandy beaches, somehow the traditional Catalan town has eluded the onslaught of tourism you’ll find in some other spots along the Costa Brava. An hour and a half from Barcelona and less than an hour from … Read More
Even smaller than its neighbour, Portbou, with around half the number of residents, at a total of about 600, if you’re looking for somewhere to escape the normal tourist trappings then Colera may be for you. The centre of the village can be found only 200 metres away from the beach, and the locals simply call it Plaza Mayor – which means Big Square. In the square you can choose from a couple of cafes, and sip your drink of choice under the banana tree, the Arbe de Libertat (The Liberty Tree), which was planted in 1898 for the town’s centennial. As you can imagine this is pretty much where the activity is, the Town Hall is located here as well some of the villages oldest shops. You’ll also find a smattering of restaurants and bars.
The fishing town of Sant Carles de la Rapita has been an important tourist destination for many years, because of its privileged location at the edge of the Delta de l’Ebre, by the sea, set against a backdrop of mountains. It certainly has a charm about it, although in recent years it has become more developed, but nothing that comes close to some areas of the Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca. This town is still a gem, which has exceptional food, surroundings and plenty to do.
Definitely one of the jewels in the Costa Dorada’s crown, Altafulla has a beautiful old quarter and a fine, sandy beach that goes on for over 1 kilometre. The Altafulla promenade has an authentic, rustic charm, with a kind of fishing village feel. There are a few cafes and restaurants to tempt you to sit down for a while, and … Read More
A historic gem, which is full to the brim with character, Besalu is a magnificent example of a medieval town. Cobbled streets and facades and a wonderful bridge are the trademarks of Besalu. Located in the stunning province of Girona, Catalonia, the town is within a 35 minute drive to the coast. The length of the journey will depend on which beautiful Costa … Read More
Made up of three distinctive parts, Alcanar has its fair share to offer tourists, who want to enjoy a typical, relaxing holiday in the area. The town of Alcanar is 3 km from the sea, where you’ll find Les Cases d’Alcanar and Alcanar Platja (Alcanar Beach), and for those interested in history and archaeology, there is a very important site at Alcanar – La Moleta del Remei. If like me, you love prawns and seafood, this area should be on your radar, as I’ve had some of the best prawns ever there, plus it’s well known for serving a very special seafood casserole (which is on my list to try next time).
Definitely one of the Costa Brava’s little treasures, Begur, in Girona’s Baix Empordà, is around 50 minutes drive from the stunning city of Girona (50 km) or 90 minutes (131 km) from the ever-buzzing Barcelona. It’s within relatively easy reach of Ireland and the UK, with flights into either Girona or Barcelona. The town is stylish, colourful, classy and packed with gastronomic delights, with beaches where you can enjoy unparalleled beauty and crystalline waters. You really don’t need to do much in Begur, just laze around in gorgeous coves like Sa Tuna and Aiguablava, and then get stressed out by having to decide which restaurant to choose for dinner.
Home to Catalonia’s largest natural lake, Banyoles is the capital of the county, Pla de l’Estany, and has plenty to offer to visitors. Located around half an hour’s drive from both Girona and Dalí’s hometown of Figueres, although it’s best known for its wonderful lake, it’s also an interesting historic and cultural town, with good quality gastronomic offerings. Walking, Water Activities & Cycling Around Banyoles….Banyoles is a favourite with nature lovers, with a range of walks around the lake, on the Puda, the Can Morgat, Puig Clara, the Estunes, the water canals, and also in Banyoles old town. Of course you also get up close and personal to the water, whether you go swimming, canoeing, kayaking or fishing.
Home to plenty of beaches and one of Catalonia’s fantastic carnivals, Roses used to be a Greek colony, centuries before Christ. Greeks came from the lovely island of Rhodes in 776 BC, tempted by the peaceful waters of Roses’ natural harbour, when they set up their commercial colony. Today, apart from enjoying the obvious charms of the beaches and evening entertainment, you can still see the remains of this Greek city and those of the Roman town. In fact La Ciutadella (The Citadel) contains these remains and others, that relate to the various occupations, which have spanned the last 13 centuries.
Discover the delightful towns and the breathtaking beauty of the Camprodon Valley, where you can take part in all types of mountain activities, even skiing during the winter season. This place is one big photo opportunity, where you can capture spectacular natural settings, along with ancient churches, a 12th century bridge and little historical town centres.
Filled with lovely coves and blue flag beaches, L’Ametlla de Mar is an unspoilt fishing town on the Costa Dorada, Catalonia. I like the colours of many of these fishing towns and villages, and L’Ametlla de Mar is no exception. Of course it depends on the light and the weather, but the whitewashed buildings that watch over the sea, with its gorgeous shades of blue and green, lapping up against the light golden sand, does it for me. Touches of greenery here and there, with rock formations and of course the fishing boats, make up a very pretty scene.
Sitges somehow sits just as comfortably with its title of the Saint Tropez of Spain, as it does with being fondly called the Gay Capital of Europe. Its natural landscape is truly captivating, the architecture elegant and stylish, and its atmosphere is one of bohemian luxury. Originally a fishing village, Sitges is a precious gem which has attracted its fair share of the rich and famous. It is definitely a good place for Barcelona football fans to come and try to spot some of their favourite players.
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