Really nice to be able to find walks and country routes when you are off the main drag.
The Map Shop is run by a very helpful man who will match a map to your requirements and it is always surprisingly cheap (think we paid about six pounds per map and they always arrive the next day, which has proved v useful!)
We found the
Mapa Provincial Granada, Direccion General del Instituto Geografico Nacional, Ministerio de Fomento useful, but also bought Parque Natural, Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara y Alhama.
It is in Upton on Severn, UK
Freephone: 0800 085 40 80
Tel: +44 (0)1684 593146
A guesthouse run by by Brits for a cosmopolitan and sporty crowd. The purpose-built accommodation is five minutes outside of a tiny village called Santa Cruz, near to Alhama de Granada.
Geoff and Sally the hosts can recommend local bars and restaurants, or serve a dinner of local produce and wine on request.
They also provide walking and cycling suggestions which we thought were fantastic, and meant that we saw a lot more of the local area than we had expected to manage.
The hotel is near enough to the Sierra Nevada ski resort to be on the slopes in just over an hour apparently.
Alhama de Granada itself is a spa town and has hot springs which you can cycle to. Local families use them by day and they are a favourite chillout spot post-clubbing.
Cortijo Lorenzo, Santa Cruz del Comercio, 181292 Granada
Tel: 00 34 628 96 7755
A good value, friendly hotel. Convenient location with only a short walk to bars, restaurants or public transport, including the Alhambra bus that you will be catching early, if you forgot to buy tickets in advance!
The hotel is calm and quiet and has a nice central courtyard with a fountain (everywhere in Granada seems to have some sort of flowing water and it is surprisingly soothing I think).
It is possible to reserve parking space in a private carpark. It was unusually cold whilst we stayed there and we were glad of the tea-making facilities and bath, though neither felt like a very spanish touch to the room!
A great tapas bar/store on the edge of Elvira (so it is convenient for late nights). A deli by day, you can sample local wines by the glass, each with free tapas- carefully made by the young team.
Order a tabla mixta and you won't need to eat any more, all night! If you want foodie souvenirs they also sell a wide range of local specialities, fresh and dried as well as wines and liqueurs. It is a surprisingly buzzy and friendly place and very popular with locals.
Calle Elvira 150
Tel: 958 270 245
There is a very interesting and innovative tour in Seville. It is a GPS audio/visual tour guide system.
You carry a handheld GPS with you as you walk anywhere. It shows you where you are and what is exciting and interesting near your location.
It is tailored to individual visitors. You are free to create your own GPS tour without the aid of an escorted guide.
Arcos is a small and picturesque white town in the western part of Andalucia. There are a few hotels in the town, but the best place to stay is Casa Blues, which is situated right on the edge of the old town. The three guest rooms look out onto an uninterrupted view of mountains and lakes, and the hosts are very knowledgeable and hospitable, and bi-lingual (Romanian also spoken, so that makes three). It's also cheap, and the music is great!
Medium size, you can usually get a seat although it gets quite packed.
Gritty with a good healthy crowd, DJ spinning at the back with a very good taste funky/disco/indie rock.
Film projections on the walls. Drinks are cheap. Dirtily-hip, a lot of skaters hang out here, quite like the Raval neighbourhood. Info on BCN areas:
Manolo bar is Moog's answer to pre-club bar as you can pick up the free entry fliers here. Shuts at 3am.
It's 2 minutes from Las Ramblas.
Turn onto Nou de La Rambla off Las Ramblas. Take the first street on your left, Calle Lancaster, its 20 metres down on the left.
This is a large open-air market/flea market about five minutes on the Metro from the centre. It's open Mon, Weds, Fri and Sat until about 2.30pm.
Go at lunch and scoop up some great bargains. This is the best market ever for bartering; most vendors start with stupid "tourist" prices but you can talk them down to just a couple of euros for stuff, especially near closing.
Good area guide for Barcelona:
Getting to the market: Red line to Metro Glories exit the station and walk around the roundabout with the little monument and go under the underpass.
If you have already explored the beaches and Moorish antiquities of Andalucia, why not go inland and rural.
In the west of Andalucia in the province of Huelva is the area of the Minas de Rio Tinto - lunar geography, deserted old railway-line walks, dolmens and Roman remains: great walking territory.
We would particularly recommend the walks along the Rio Tinto and Rio Odiel, full of archaeological interest and natural beauty.
Best of all stay in a village such as Zalamea La Real, friendly, pretty and hardly a tourist in sight. For three years we have stayed in a Casa Rural, el Cortijo Zalamea, in fact the fully modernised barns of an old farm with orange groves. It is run by Marta and Mario who speak good English and are very helpful.
Furthermore, National Parks (Las Marismas in the South and Aracena in the North) are within easy driving distance. Buy a locally cured Jamon at El Villar before returning home.
After an energy-sapping morning soaking up the rays on Valdevaqueros beach - one of the best along the Costa de la Luz - try lunching at the minute hotel perched on the dunes behind a surf school and shop. Enjoy the typically Tarifan hippy-chic vibe, sitting at oversized wooden tables under generous shady bamboo cover and their delicious array of hearty, green salads and fresh fruit juices make a welcome break after a night of tapas indulgence.
It is a very nice walking tour through very impressive paths in the mountains 60 km north to Madrid, with excellents views. The walks are guided in the months of May, June, September, October and early November. They provide Bed and breakfast in double rooms, and transportation from /to the airport. Also they give you the opportunity to spend the evenings in Madrid, but also they show you other very nice villages in the area. It is a perfect mixture of nature, culture and relaxation in a non dense part of Madrid. The price is 300 pounds per person for 7 days / 6 nights. Totally recommened!! Get to know rural spain
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Cycling is becoming a way of transport more than a sport in many countries but not in Spain. Anyway, in Europe there are thousans of wonderful places for cycling and here, in Spain too. If you want to spend a day in your bike and, at the same time, enjoy the summer days near the coast, do not doubt to try the following route in Pontevedra, Spain.
It is a route from the regal noble town of Cambados to the island of Arousa.
The route starts in Cambados, a town full of history and magnificent architecture. In this town, it outstands the Pazo de Fefiñáns. The route is along the coast, with a fantastic view of the beautiful and quiet Atlantic Ocean. The next stop is the Illa de Aoursa, the biggest island of Galicia. It is joined to the land by a bridge. In this island, there are remains of old civilizations that recall us it was an isolated island. It is a paradise island because it is not very exploited and there are almost 80 wild beaches and some of them with Blue FLag. You must know this island is rich in fauna and flora, and it is the perfect place to enjoy the different species of birds.
Stay in your own little white-washed house, nestling in the Alpujarras. The owners cultivate organic vines, olives, figs and almonds, some of which end up on the table at dinner. With a swimming pool, library and bodega, this is the perfect get-away.
CÁDIAR - GRANADA - ALPUJARRA - ANDALUCÍA
Tlf. 958 34 32 21 - 958 34 33 03
A Spanish Cordoban house from the 12th century al-Andalus period. This house that represents all the subtleties of the period has been turned into a museum. It's designed to bring out the influence of the Muslim al-Andulus throughout European civilization, and includes inventions from the Muslim era and objects from their daily articles are also on display.
Museo de Salma en la Calle Judíos de la Judería de Córdoba
Directora- Salma Garaudy
Calle Judíos, 12, 14004, Córdoba.
Telf. y Fax- 957 29 06 42, llamadas nacionales, o 34,57 29 06 42, llamadas internacionales.
Make like the Spanish and enjoy a beer and tapa in the bars in Granada. Most places give you a free tapa when you buy a drink - spend an evening wandering from bar to bar in this beautiful city and you won't need to find a restaurant for dinner.
Most squares in Seville have got nice old fashioned bars, where eating and drinking is cheap. Santa Maria La Blanca is not an exception, and it is close to the gardens (Jardines del Murillo) and the beautiful building of Universidad de Sevilla.
I recommend trying as many varieties of tapas as possible, always keeping in mind, or at hand, a nice beer to chill out.
The city centre.
This is a very unusual and enjoyable shop selling antiques and vintage things. Loads of lovely old jewellery, ornaments, chandeliers, art glass.
It is an ecological way to buy extravagant goodies.
It's near to Bar Piralta in San Carlos north of Santa Eulalia.
A fabulous restaurant, which - despite its name - serves superb modern Spanish food.
Don't go during the Feria (roughly mid August), as you will be whizzed through because the staff want to join the festivities. At all other times the service is flawless and the food imaginative and well executed. Try the prawns in kataffi pastry with lettuce soup.
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