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By Marilou Trias Few ports embody the all-natural beachy goodness of Alicante, Spain. This port city is located in Spain’s southeastern Costa Blanca and is the Capital of the Alicante Province. It is also the second-largest city in the Valencian Community with approximately 330,000 inhabitants. For over 7000 years, this area appears to have been...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Salou was a surprise for me! I had very low expectations of Salou because of its reputation as a popular destination with young people who are off on their first boozy holiday, and for being the home of the massive theme park, Port Aventura. We entered from the south, which meant that we saw the beautiful Penya Tallada in Cape Salou, with its spectacular views, which changed my perspective of Salou. Of course it does have everything to suit family holidays for those who want loads of English orientated facilities, but it also has fine streets and so much greenery.

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Although I do like to be beside the seaside, and in nature, I also adore fine cities and Tortosa slots nicely into this category for me. It's a Catalan city, that is dripping in history and culture, on the banks of the River Ebro. There are numerous interesting sights in Tortosa, which include the striking castle, cathedral, and some beautiful modernist buildings. In 2007 archaeologists found remains of the walls of the ancient city of Hibera, close to the now city of Tortosa. Hibera was the capital of Ilercavonia, which was the strategic point from where the Hannibalic War (208 to 201 BC) originated.

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The Delta de l'Ebre Natural Park has a unique, magical landscape. As it's flat, it is perfect for those who enjoy cycling, which in my humble opinion is a wonderful way to absorb its immense personality. The European Commission has designated it as an EDEN (European Destination of Excellence), because of its commitment to sustainable tourism.

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Wandering around Les Cases d'Alcanar by the port and nearby, it can be a bit of a challenge to choose the right restaurant. Lots of restaurants and their menus look inviting, and this fishing town has a particularly good reputation for its seafood. Before leaving home I had been tempted to look at TripAdvisor, but I kind of thought that it would take the fun out of using our own instinct, and making our own mistakes....

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The dramatic, rugged landscape of Els Ports National Park stretches between the communities of Catalonia, Valencia and Aragon, taking up a total space of around 60,000 hectares. The majestic limestone massif is filled with abrupt cliff faces, natural resources, forests, valleys and abundant wildlife. You can spot Hispannic goats (Ibex), wild boar, badgers, foxes, wild cats, squirrels, otters, Griffon vultures, eagles and many other bird species.

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Surrounded by beautiful unspoilt countryside, the first impression of La Senia is of a typical Catalan town in a lovely rural location, with the only exception being that you'll notice that there are a number of furniture shops as you enter La Senia. Weaving your way further into the town, there is the pleasant surprise of the old quarter and the Plaza Mayor, set against a stunning backdrop.

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Located in southern Catalonia about 11 km from the border with the Valencian Community, Ulldecona is a typical Catalan town, only 10 to 15 minutes drive to the sea. Ulldecona is a good choice for visitors who want to sense the real Catalonia, enjoy nature, visit other towns and interesting sites, yet only be a 10 to 15 minute drive to the beach. The closest beach is at Les Cases del Alcanar, but other beaches that are very accessible are Sant Carlos de la Rapita and Vinaros.

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Ulldecona Spain Things To Do & See

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