Spain

13 Hotels That Look Like They’re Straight Out Of Your Dreams

Start saving your frequent flyer miles now…

October 14, 2016

13 Inexplicably Weird Cafes You Need To See To Believe

Petting an owl while sipping hot cocoa from a toilet is the next big thing.

February 24, 2016

Why You Must Visit San Sebastian 

This small coastal city located on Bay of Biscay in Spain, is one of the most popular summer travel destinations in Europe.

Whether you’re going for the beaches, arts, festivals or simply to un-wind or sightsee, there’s always something exciting to do in San Sebastian during the summertime.

RELATED: 10 In-Flight Travel Essentials

Beaches

Playa de la Concha

Kick-back and relax at one of the many beaches located in San Sebastian during the spring-summer months where the water is just right.

There’s so much to do in the surrounding areas such as water sports in Playa de Gros, activities with the kids, and even a sightseeing tour which operates round-the-clock.

5 Reasons To Visit San Sebastian 

Seafood

Bodegon Alejandro: Calle de Fermin Calbeton 4

There’s one thing San Sebastian is known for, and that’s the seafood. Bodegon Alejandro is one the best restaurants to enjoy baked lobster, take in the view of the ocean, and indulge in some of the local wines.

5 Reasons To Visit San Sebastian 

Sightseeing

Monte Igueldo

Check out one of the main observation decks in Monte Igueldo which is best at dusk. Here, you will have complete views of the stunning coastline, surrounding mountains, and of course the beauty of Bahia de la Concha.

5 Reasons To Visit San Sebastian 

Drinks

Bar Borda Berri: Calle Fermin Calbeton 12

Who can resist a good drink after a long day of sightseeing in the sun? San Sebastian is packed with bars, brasseries, and everything in between so you’re bound to find a place you like.

Our favourite is Bar Borda Berri which is known for its decor, and similarly the large selection of beverages. Open from noon-midnight 7 days a week.

5 Reasons To Visit San Sebastian 

Water sports

Playa de Gros: Paseo de Zurriola 24

If you’ve ever want to learn how to surf, Playa de Gros is the perfect place for beginners to learn on the mellow waves. Weekend courses are available if you’re travelling with a group, or you could take some surfing lessons at nearby Pukas.

5 Reasons To Visit San Sebastian 

Images via Best Tourism, Trip Advisor, Egor 2015, Eater, Pukas Surf

May 11, 2015

Top 5 Unique Trekking Holidays

We have all heard of the Inca Trail, or bucket-listed the Everest Base Camp trek, but what about the other walking wonders of the world? These trekking holidays are the best way to take in unique scenery and discover hidden treasures, unseen by the regular tourist crowd. For those with a keen sense of adventure and an enviable fitness level, consider putting these atop your travel list.

RELATED: Hidden Treasures to Add to Your Bucket List

Lycian Way, Turkey

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The Lycian Way is a 509km (316 miles) walking track along the south coast of Turkey. It is estimated to take 25 days to complete the mountainous trek from Oludeniz to Antalya. It is best to visit in Fall or Spring as the Summer is far too hot for strenuous exercise in Turkey! You will find accommodation in small villages along the way and public transport is also available for those lazy days. Discover Lycian tombs, byzantine ruins, forests, and one-of-a-kind views of the Mediterranean coast.

Camino De Santiago, Spain

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This is considered one of the easier trekking routes and is suitable for the amateur hikers or walkers. Don’t get excited yet, the trail, located in northern Spain, is 800km (497 miles) long. Fortunately, you can keep yourself amused with beautiful rustic villages and historical experiences along the way. The Camino de Santiago is typically a pilgrimage but, in recent years, has become quite tourist-friendly. Accommodation is competitive and privacy limited, but you will make plenty of friends along the way, with whom you can relax in the evening over a bottle of Spanish red.

Routeburn Track, New Zealand

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Ever wondered what Frodo felt like on his trek from Hobbiton to Mordor? This 32km (20 mile) trek will take you through the heart of New Zealand‘s south island – the filming location of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. While no filming was done on the trail itself, the familiar green hills, snowy peaks and crystal lakes will still take your breath away. For families or people not keen on walking, you can do day trips to parts of the trail.

Bungle Bungles Piccaninny Gorge Trek, Australia

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Australia has some of the most unique landscape in the world. This isolated, 5-day camping trek will take you on a journey through Australia’s Indigenous culture and the remote wilderness the first people call home. The gorge is surrounded by red and black “beehive” rock formations, with plenty of caves and waterholes to be discovered throughout the Bungle Bungles and Purnululu National Park.

Haute Route, France/Switzerland

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This trail is more commonly a cycle route. But walkers can also enjoy this unique, up-close and personal experience of the Alps. As you can imagine, the incline is relentless. You will constantly be going up or down and you will need some serious leg muscle to get you through. But this is one of the most glorious walks or rides in the world. Unless you would prefer a ski trip, you should do this walk in Summer.

October 22, 2014

6 Things To Do And See In Spain

If you’re ever passing through Europe, one of the main attractions has definitely got to be Spain. Officially known as the Kingdom of Spain, this southwest European country shares borders with France, Portugal, and Gibraltar on the southern end of the peninsula.

But what exactly is there to do and see in Spain if you’re only in town for a limited time? Below are just ten activities you should definitely be a part of before you jet out of this majestic country.

RELATED: Check out the Bucket List Travel Destinations here 

Visit: The Alhambra Palace, Granada

This iconic tourist attraction is often bombarded with swarms of visitors, and rightfully so! It is one of the most beautiful architectural wonders in the entire world, especially if you’re into traditional Moorish architecture.

Take a day trip to Granada and don’t forget to visit the Generalife Gardens, which is also a well-known UNESCO Heritage site.

6 Things To Do And See In Spain

Taste: Street Food, Barcelona

While the sale of street food in Barcelona is strictly prohibited, there are still hundreds of outdoor vendors selling signature Spanish foods for both tourists and locals. If you love something a little sweet, then definitely try a churro – choux pastry that is fried until golden brown, then sprinkled in sugar. Finish off your meal with a refreshing drink called a Horchata which is mad of tigernuts, sugar and water – it has a sweet flavour almost like milk and is served cold.

6 Things To Do And See In Spain

Go: La Tomatina, Buñol

The festival is held annually on the last Wednesday of August, and is basically a large-scale tomato food-fight. However there are a few rules, the tomatoes must be squashed before thrown, and participants must keep their shirts on.

La Tomatina has been an annual festival which was started by a bunch of students in 1945, and has been happening every year since.

6 Things To Do And See In Spain

Swim: Menorca, Balearic Islands

Just a short distance away from mainland Spain is the magical sea-side town of Menorca. Known for it’s traditional summer fiestas, sports and crystal-clear beaches which are much-loved by tourists from all around the world.

Be sure to taste some of the local gin which is made in honour of the patron saints of the island.

6 Things To Do And See In Spain

Go: La Boqueria, Barecelona

You’ve probably seen dozens of pictures of the fresh fruit and vegetable produce at The Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, which is a huge public market in Ciutat Vella. Try one of the tasty fruit juices or even the refreshing popsicles to beat the heat.

6 Things To Do And See In Spain

See: Bullfighting, Seville

If you want to catch a traditional Spanish bullfight while you’re in the country, then head over to Seville. It’s referred to as one of the main cities of bullfighting and the best season for this is usual between April-October. Stadiums are usually completely packed-out, so make sure to book your tickets well in advance.

6 Things To Do And See In Spain

Images via BCN Lifestyle, Tuula Vintage, The Constant Rambler, New York Times, Itinerarist, Churros Garcia

October 4, 2014

Best Cafes In Barcelona

Barcelona is a beautiful city, full of unique artistic experiences, great beaches and one-of-a-kind nightlife. Unfortunately, it’s not the best city for finding a hearty breakfast. During my month in Barcelona, I made it my quest to find the city’s best cafes for breakfast. Here are my top picks for a caffeine fix and a delicious meal.

RELATED: Top 5 Spanish Foods to Try

Federal Cafe

Expats delight: if you’re longing for a breakfast experience akin to that on offer in your own trendy neighbourhood, look no further! You will see Federal on most Barcelona foodie guides. The coffee is delicious, the food is amazing and there is free Wi-Fi! What more could you want?

I ate: A lot. Yogurt, fruit and muesli (not too bad – bonus points for stewed fruit); breakfast burger; pan fried eggs with parmesan and spinach (with an added side of smoked salmon). I recommend the latter with a cortado coffee.

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Satan’s Coffee Corner

I should mention that this is not technically a cafe, as there are no tables or chairs. However, if you are looking for the best latte in Barcelona – Satan is your man! Hidden in the Raval area, the coffee shop doubles as a vendor of things cute and quirky, like kitsch stationery and souvenirs.

Tip: Be sure to check opening hours. Satan’s Coffee Corner (FYI: not actually on a corner) is hard to find and you’ll probably walk down many wrong streets in the process. When you’re in need of a strong coffee, an unexpected closed door can be heart-breaking.

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Milk

Older brother of the equally commendable Marmalade cafe, Milk is hidden in Barri Gotic – one of Barcelona’s trendiest neighbourhoods. While I went alone, it’s really the kind of cafe you should attend with a group of friends after a big night on the town.

I ate: A delicious “breakfast” burger that seemed far too calorific and delicious to be eaten in the morning. I’d take a hangover everyday if this was the cure.

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Cosmo Cafe and Art Gallery

This is more of a lunch spot, but look no further for a fresh juice or tasty sandwich, not to mention the best apple cake in Barcelona! The coffee isn’t fantastic, but they have a large selection of herbal tea to compensate. It also doubles as an art gallery! Mighty pretty, I do say.

I ate: the Kiko sandwich – chicken, avocado, salad, mayonnaise, and a side of crisps; I also went out of my way for a slice of their amazing apple cake… more than once.

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Images and article via becmitch.wordpress

September 29, 2014

Top 5 European Beach Getaways

Europe is a popular destination for tourists in the Summer. It goes without saying that these places will be jam-packed with tourists during summer. It is best to go later in the season, or earlier in the year to avoid soaring prices and heavy crowds.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Make Sorrento your base for exploring the glorious Amalfi coastline in Southern Italy. It is easy to get to Positano and Amalfi – the other main towns along the coast, but Sorrento is the final stop on the train line. Famous for colorful cliff-side buildings and turquoise waters, enjoy this bright and tasty trip in one of the world’s finest foodie capitals.

 Santorini, Greece

Santorini will always top my list of recommended travel destinations. The blue roofs, white building, red cliffs and bright orange sunsets are magical. Visit the unique black sand beaches, or jump straight off the rocks in Oia, anywhere you go, the water will be warm and crystal clear.

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Nice, France

Nice is one of the largest towns along the Cote D’Azur – more commonly known as the French Riviera. Enjoy a stroll through this coastal fashion capital, visit one of the many tourist attractions, or spend all day on the sand. Maybe you’ll spot a few celebrities or moguls in their natural habitat.

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San Sebastian, Spain

Situated in northern Spain, San Sebastian isn’t usually as hot as some of the more popular southern beaches, like Malaga. There are two main beaches: Playa de la Concha is better for families and sunbathers, whereas Playa de Gros is adored by adventure seekers and surfers, worldwide. Come nightfall, start the party with some pintxos and sangria.

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Lagos, Portugal

After scaling the old walls of this marvelous medieval city, find a secluded beach and relax. There are long sandy beaches, as well as seclude swimming holes along the city’s rocky coast. Lagos is a notorious party town, but don’t be put off. It also has a rich history and plenty of activities.

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Note: You must be on high alert for con artists and scams during the European Summer. Have a look at our tips for staying safe on your travels.

August 3, 2014

Why Barcelona Should Make Your Bucket List

Barcelona, Spain is one of the most exciting cities in Europe, raving with nightlife, beautiful beaches, art, fashion and incredible architecture. This vibrant city is one to put on the bucket list

Architecture

Barcelona is filled with innovative buildings designed by famous Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, known for his Catalan Modernism. You will find his work throughout the city with organic-like shapes, curved construction stones and twisted iron sculptures. The most recognisable is the Cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, which has been in construction since 1892 and surprisingly not expected to be completed until 2030. The Church is a representation of the relationship between the elements of nature, man and religion.

From the moment you step in and look around the colourful stain glass windows, intricate ceiling and unique alter your breath will be taken away. Then with a short walk downstairs a museum awaits filled with current construction projects, biographies of Gaudi and the different plans through history of what the Cathedral will look like.

Barcelona, Spain, Travel, Europe, Gaudi

Park Güell is another wonder that was commissioned by Eudebi Gaudi, in order to craft a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. The walk around the park leads to amazing stone structures, beautiful views and stunning mosaic tiling. A whole day seems short to stroll through every section to admire the natural shapes influenced by Gaudi himself. There is even a love wall along the walkway to the park terrace, where you can express your affection for your significant other with tourists and locals.

Shopping

Although most stores are closed on Sunday, there are fabulous places to spend some money from Monday to Saturday. You will find yourself not only loving the apparel, shoes and accessories but also historical buildings. If you are a luxury shopper then there is one avenue you must visit, Passeig de Gràci.  Numerous high-end labels from all around the world are positioned here; you can explore the new season products from Chanel, Prada, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney and Esprit.

Just keep wandering further down the avenue and you will slowly come across shops for fast fashion. Step into some of the most popular stores for women such a Zara, Mango and Bershka for some stylish yet affordable pieces you can make everyone back home jealous with. There you have it, only a few splendors of Barcelona, Spain, there is so much to love in the many districts with collections of medieval streets and buildings mixed with a contemporary and fun vibe. Be sure to take a trip there, enjoy some wonderful local tapas and a glass of the famous sangria and maybe even a flamingo dance show to top off the cultural holiday.

Image via missionhome.com

By Amy Miller

June 17, 2014

Top 5 Spanish Foods To Try

We all love Spanish food, right? It would be rude not to. The cuisine is quite basic, based on the ingredients available locally. While the Spanish do stew a lot of food, they also roast it, fry it in olive oil and love the use of a herb or two (or six). When we think about the Spanish cuisine, paella and tortillas come straight to minds. Who doesn’t love a saffron-flavoured dish made with rice, vegetables, chicken and seafood or a soft egg omelet made with fried potatoes? It’s a little bit of everything that is sure to please. But paella and tortillas are just the tip of the iceberg. Here’ s a list of the Spanish food that should definitely be on your must-try list:

Pulpo a la gallega

This is a very tasty dish, although it may not quite sound like it… The recipe is boiled octopus cooked with soft potatoes, parsley and a mix of sweet and hot pepper. The sauce that comes from all the ingredients is so yummy, you’ll want to use a slice of bread to mop it all up. It is a popular Galician dish, where every Sunday there are vans on the street for visitors to buy watch it get made and then gobble up.

Empanada

Spanish food, Spanish culture, Spain, living Spain, Spanish flavors

Empanadas are basically fried pastry full of peppers, onions, meat or tuna. Usually You would have it as part of a tapas feast but you can actually buy a whole one from the bakery.

Medillones

Spanish food, Spanish culture, Spain, living Spain, Spanish flavors

Colour is part of the Spanish gastronomic tradition and medillones is one of the most colourful dishes. You will love it if you are a fan of fish as it is made with boiled mussels and bay leaves covered with a mix of red, green and yellow peppers, onions, oil, salt and vinegar. It is very simple but so tasty, especially in summer.

Cocido gallego

Spanish food, Spanish culture, Spain, living Spain, Spanish flavors

This is another Galician dish. It is very popular in the north of Spain and you’ll love it if you like meat. The dish is pork tripe cooked with beans, chorizo and a little of pepper. The texture is a bit slimy but the flavour is so tasty.

Sopa de arrozy pescado

Spanish food, Spanish culture, Spain, living Spain, Spanish flavors

This is seafood soup made with rice, onions, chorizo, seafood and peppers. It is perfect in winter and very easy to make.

By Erika Cucchiara

June 6, 2014