If you can't afford to stay at the luxury Arts Hotel on the marina, you should definitely pop in for a couple of drinks and use the terrace.
Drinks aren't expensive. In fact, they were cheaper than our three-star hotel!
For an alternative bar, filled with grungy Spaniards and cool European types, with a DJ playing cool indie tunes, try Cafe Flamingos, in the heart of El Raval, just five minutes' walk from Las Ramblas.
15 Carrer Pintor Fortuna
My tip is to visit the quirkiest little bar ever. It's attached to the waxwork museum on La Ramblas and is called Bosque les fades.
It's decorated like a fairy grotto, trees, a haunted castle, stars and candles everywhere (it even has its own waterfall). Ok, you may be thinking tacky but to me it was truly enchanting. And if that doesn't tempt you it has sangria on tap!
Take the Fat Tire Bike Tour around the city. Ride a fantastic American-style cruiser bike, see all the sights and finish on the beach for drinks by the sea. It's safe, not too strenous and really good fun! We loved it.
You can laze around feeling really decadent in this place. A chilled bar experience awaits you as you are served contemporary modern European food as you stretch out and your weary limbs recover from a day pounding the streets of the Spanish capital.
Not long returned from a great week in Valencia. Rented a lovely penthouse apartment with a large outdoor terrace, next to the Port Americas Cup and near the beach. There were four of us so was very good value for money. Good location. Can recommend them.
Avenida del Puerto, Valencia.
Nearest Metro: Fransisco Cubells ( 300m)
"Real Spain" holidays on the famous Mother’s Garden working farm - you stay in a restored cottage for up to eight people, with private pool, breathtaking mountain scenery, wildlife, wine, food and culture of the Priorat in southern Catalonia.
Half an hour from Reus airport, an hour and a half from Barcelona airport, 40 minutes by train or car from the beaches and the Roman city of Tarragona, and under two hours from Barcelona itself.
Martin & Maggie went the extra mile to make our holiday as memorable and enjoyable as possible. Their local knowledge and contacts yield a fantastic range of things to do, places to go and people to meet.
If you want to get away with the kids and be close to the water parks & beaches but not "amongst it", this could be the place for you.
They are calling this area the next Tuscany and I can see why!
Churros con chocolate is a great Spanish traditional breakfast. There's a little churreria stand on the square between the Alcazar and the Caliphal baths.
Order your churros (sort of long doughnuts), watch them being fried, and eat them on the hoof. Much better than a slice of toast and coffee.
A much praised (in the guides) Galician restaurant with a Michelin star. Deperately snooty. Desperately contrived. We should have been suspicious because we walked in and got a table without a reservation. Both other tables were visitors like us. Neither the food nor the service lived up to the star rating (not our first visit to a starred place.) Tasteless Croquetas de Mariscos (we had better in a small bar in Padron the following day for a fraction of the cost.) Pointless sugar flourishes, adding nothing. Appalling unhelpful and begrudging service of courses in the wrong order. Freezing cold cheese platter - explained to us by the chef herself "the Spanish don't eat cheese so we have to keep it in the fridge..." What???? Chef (in civvies) and waiter (with blocked nose - hay fever or a cold?) pacing the floor impatiently throughout the meal - not helpfully, but as if desperate for us to be out of the way - and this was before we had indicated we were not entirely delighted. If you have money to spend on good food, go somewhere else.
Rosalía de Castro, 24 - 15706 Tel.no.: 981 594 100
A wonderful little neighbourhood with two churches and the same number of bars - of course.
Hidden away on the edge of Macarena, it is a delight and I defy you to find a better or friendlier bar in all of Seville.
There is nothing here but real Sevilla, peaceful at times, happy at all times, and clean!
Macarena, off Calle Castellar.
If you look for an excellent relation quality / price for an apartment in Barcelona, you should consider contact Apartments BCN, they have a wide range of apartments from a studio with 2 terraces until beautiful 3 bedrooms apartments up to 8 people. We had a very comfortable stay in one of the wonderful Sant Pau apartments.
Phone: + 34 93 456 16 19
Cell phone: + 34 652 599 480
I went with wife and teenage son by train to Barcelona.
We drove to Lille via Eurotunnel and stayed at a budget hotel, leaving the car there the next morning when we took the nearby metro to Lille Flandres station.
This was because Eurostar and the train from home in Gloucestershire would together have been the most expensive part of the trip, and we could also bring back a decent quantity of wine!
Lille to Paris by TGV then Paris to Perpignan by TGV and a night there in a hotel near the station.
Lovely, intriguing chat with fellow travellers and a chance to explore a French Catalan city that evening.
Train next morning to Barcelona, which I think had come from Switzerland.
After a week's stay we reversed the trip and didn't feel the slightest bit travel-weary when we got home. We had to juggle around with train times on the SNCF web site to get best fares, but being accompanied by our young son seemed to give us cheaper fares than if we had only been a couple.
Roll on St Pancras to Barcelona without a change!
A new, laid-back surf company that specialises in surf trips between the Basque country and Asturias, taking you to places unfrequented by other tourists.
For anybody who wants to start surfing or who already surfs.
Trips are done in VW camper vans and accomodation on luxury campsites in high season and hostels in low. I loved it!
The Garganta de Cares (Cares Gorge) cuts deep into the Picos de Europa, a beautiful range of mountains rising up to 2500m and close to the north coast of Spain.
Arenas de Cabrales is a delightful hill town and a good place to reach Poncebos for access into the gorge. The path is spectacular and threads its way through fantastic scenery to the small hamlet of Cain where refreshment is available before the walk back. The round trip can take about 6 hours and, although the path is entirely safe in good conditions, vertigo sufferers might not find it to their liking.
There are plenty of other more challenging walks in the area for the suitably experienced and equipped, with a number of refugios, Alpine style mountain huts, to allow round trips through the range.
Arenas de Cabrales Tourist Office, Carretera General, E-33554 Arenas de Cabrales, Spain. Tel: + 34 985 846 484
Banyulbufar (or Bañalbufar in Spanish) has a number of excellent restaurants, particularly Son Tomas.
The village has not been taken over by tourism, although day trips to places such as Valldemossa are a must.
Off the C710 en route from Andratx to Valldemossa.
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