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Petting an owl while sipping hot cocoa from a toilet is the next big thing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Images via Best Tourism, Trip Advisor, Egor 2015, Eater, Pukas Surf
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.
Lycian Way, Turkey
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Images via BCN Lifestyle, Tuula Vintage, The Constant Rambler, New York Times, Itinerarist, Churros Garcia
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Images and article via becmitch.wordpress
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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