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10 of the best tapas bars and restaurants in Almería, Spain

10 of the best tapas bars and restaurants in Almería, Spain As Spain’s gastronomic capital for 2019, Almería will be in the spotlight. Here, the author of a new book on Andalucían food picks her favourite places to eat Some find it a bit of a mystery that Almería has been named Spain’s gastronomic capital for 2019. The modest city in the south-eastern corner of the peninsula is often overlooked and draws fewer visitors than the rest of Andalucía. Yet it boasts Europe’s largest Islamic fortress, after Granada’s Alhambra, with 10th-century walls clambering over two rocky hills, peering down over the compact city below. Islamic flavours don’t stop there as, following centuries of connecting Almería’s traders with the Arab…

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Cycle and surf from Bordeaux to Bilbao

Cycle and surf from Bordeaux to Bilbao A 300-mile bike ride from France into Spain, with surfing and beach yoga interludes along the way, proves exhilarating – if exhausting When I heard about Ticket to Ride’s new “cycle surfari” from Bordeaux to Bilbao – cycling 300 miles over seven days and surfing en route – I jumped at the chance to join. OK, so I only ever cycle a few miles to work. And sure, I’ve never been on a surfboard. But how hard can it be? Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Rachel Dixon Tweet

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Amid lava fields and lizards: a walking trip on El Hierro, Canaries

Amid lava fields and lizards: a walking trip on El Hierro, Canaries Before Columbus, the island of El Hierro was the ‘edge of the world’. Today, its volcanic peaks and forest offer superb family trekking Clouds of volcanic dust envelop the car as we judder down the track through the Malpaís – the badlands. Contorted lava fields and cinder cones surround us in a fierce display. This was once believed to be the end of the Earth. Before Columbus voyaged to America, El Hierro – the smallest and least-visited of the Canary Islands – was the westernmost edge of the known world. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Kari Herbert Tweet

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Random holiday generator: a new city break service to surprise destinations

Random holiday generator: a new city break service to surprise destinations With BRB, members pay a monthly fee to take a European city trip every four months, only finding out the location at the last minute – ours was Seville I’m standing on a bridge, taking in the panorama of the Plaza de España in Seville. I’m in this spot because a month ago I received a cryptic postcard from a stranger instructing me to travel to the Spanish city. I’m not a kooky assassin who receives her assignments via postcard like Villanelle in Killing Eve, it’s just that I’ve signed up to new subscription travel service BRB, which every four months sends its customers on a city break…

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A local’s guide to Granada: 10 top tips

A local’s guide to Granada: 10 top tips Once you’ve ticked off the Alhambra, check out Granada’s edgier barrio culture, with both alternative and traditional bars, great flamenco, food and street art The Alhambra may be Spain’s most visited attraction year on year, but wandering the hills and the backstreets of Granada’s barrios will give you the real feel of this fascinating city, which has elegance and edginess in equal measure. Granada’s fertile valley and sweeping hills have attracted many different civilisations through the centuries. Echoes of past occupiers, from the ancient Iberians to the Romans and Visigoths, can be found throughout the city and beyond. But, as befits a university town, there’s innovation amongst all the tradition –…

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Seasonal city breaks: 10 of the best pre-Christmas European getaways

Seasonal city breaks: 10 of the best pre-Christmas European getaways From a bedecked Zagreb to twinkling Turin, here are the best places to spark your festive spirit With an ice-skating rink, a huge ferris wheel and an attractive Christmas market (7 December-6 January), Ghent offers no shortage of opportunities to get into the Christmas spirit. But beyond the baubles and twinkly lights, there’s plenty to keep winter visitors to this Flemish city happy, from browsing the bric-a-brac stalls of the Bij Sint-Jacobs flea market to hanging out with the hipsters at the Holy Food Market, a cocktail bar and food hall in the beautiful 17th century Baudelo Chapel.1898 The Post is a cosy and cosseting boutique hotel in a…

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Islas Cíes, Galicia: Spain’s treasured islands

Islas Cíes, Galicia: Spain’s treasured islands They’re home to one of Spain’s finest beaches, but have no cars, no hotels and visitor numbers are strictly limited As with all the best adventures, we never actually intended to go to the Islas Cíes. The beaches of northern Galicia were our destination. Well, they were until my wife clicked her weather app and saw blanket rain for a week. Suddenly we weren’t going north after all. Travelling up from Portugal, we had got as far as the industrial port city of Vigo, which has a sunnier climate than northern Galicia. Without delay, we hit the internet in search of a plan B. One option kept popping up: the Islas Cíes (Illas…

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Holiday guide to inland Galicia, Spain: vineyards, hotels and restaurants

Holiday guide to inland Galicia, Spain: vineyards, hotels and restaurants One of Spain’s most mysterious regions, Ribeira Sacra is home to spectacular gorges and rivers, ancient monasteries and some of the country’s best wine Walking Spain’s most spectacular coast Straddling the provinces of Lugo and Ourense in the middle of Galicia sits La Ribeira Sacra, one of Spain’s least known and most mysterious areas. Its rivers, Miño and Sil, which meet at the region’s heart, mould the landscape, gouging out vast canyons and vertiginous valleys. Thick green forests frame these rivers and hide medieval monasteries, whose presence gives the area a sort of hushed spirituality. And then there’s the wine, the area’s most famous export. The valley slopes are…

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A wander near Ronda: Spain’s empty quarter

A wander near Ronda: Spain’s empty quarter Andalucía’s first parque natural is pretty unknown, yet Sierra de Grazalema is a stunning wild place of peaks, gorges, hilltop villages and vultures A goat farmer told me no one swims in the lake at Zahara de la Sierra because it’s full of fish with crocodile heads. Is that why I’m the only person in 128 sq km of cool water on a very hot day? I later learn that this manmade lake (embalse), the mountain ranges to the south of it, and the cliffs, gorges, flower meadows, forests and caves all around are simply, for the most part, empty. Spain has a surplus of staggeringly beautiful wild spaces, but this one…

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Pedro Almodóvar’s Madrid: top 10 film locations to visit

Pedro Almodóvar’s Madrid: top 10 film locations to visit The Spanish capital is the ‘centre of the Almodóvarian universe’. The writer of a new book on the film-maker guides visitors to locations where he shot key scenes The city of Madrid is no less essential to the films of Pedro Almodóvar than kinky sex, crimes of passion and gasp-inducing plot twists. Though born out in Castilla-La Mancha – Don Quixote country – Almodóvar made his punkish early movies here in the capital, where the death of General Franco gave rise to a buckwild creative scene. Later, soberer melodramas like the recent Julieta (2016) have shown his adoptive hometown in a more nostalgic, melancholy light. Now one of the most…

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