I am recommending a way to find Budget Accommodation in Spain.
The economy in Spain has been hit very hard and now one in six Spanish are unemployed. The result of this is that many Spanish have had to move back in with their parents in order to save costs.
This means that this summer there are a lot more properties available on the rental market.
How does this benefit you? Property owners need to rent their properties out in order to pay their mortgage. Consequently now is a great time to book a self-catering apartment or villa in Alicante or on the Costa Blanca.
Villa and apartment owners advertise their weekly rate, but they would rather take a reduced rate than not fill their apartment or villa at all.
So if you know where you would like to stay in Alicante or on the Costa Blanca then I recommend contacting the property owners directly and negotiating with them.
There are several ways to contact the owners directly. A number of owners now advertise on www.ebay.co.uk. Another website is www.ownersdirect.co.uk which lists a huge number of properties for rent in Spain and allows you to contact the apartment or villa owner directly so that you can negotiate with them.
The Hotel Argentina in Luarca, Asturias, is a mini palace, a box of delights, a supremely charming villa built in 1899 and still owned by the same family. Described as being in the "Indian" style, this merely refers to the fact the family were returning from South America with the money to build expansively - in fact think stained glass windows, high ceilings, balconies, exquisite china, rugs and paintings. Outside, a pool, and an extensive, well stocked garden to explore.
We were overwhelmed by the courtesy of the staff, two constantly smiling, sweet natured brothers, descendents of the original family, who came out to the car to help us with our cases, suggested we view the four available rooms to choose one, and allowed us to romp around taking endless poser shots draped over the chaise longue, and in the beautiful light through the stained glass. We walked into the harbour town of Luarca to eat, but kicked ourselves later when we realised we could have eaten in a small dining room in the garden, where we joined an Irish/Canadian and a German couple for drinks that lasted into the early hours. Both couples return year after year.
When we left we heard the Irish man playing his banjo - he belongs to an Appalachian band - it's that sort of hotel, you feel like hanging around all day and know you'll be welcome. The food is second to none, the ambience relaxed but efficient, and choosing one from those four themed rooms, all different but all utterly enticing - large and spotlessly clean with dream bedding and towels - was so, so difficult. When we stayed, the exchange rate was better than it is now; but the prices are per room, not per person - and what you are getting for that price, I have never experienced anywhere in England.
It's beautiful beaches are just incredible. I visited one slightly off the beaten track in a place called Jandia. The beach was called Playa Matorral and had everything you could wish for, quiet at one end and watersports too.
When we were there in June we got a cheap flight with Thomas Cook then a seven-day car rental for less than £100.
A truly spectacular holiday.
Cicale is an italian restaurant situated in the center of Ibiza, on the road to San Joan, close to San Lorenzo.
Between all the restaurants I've been in Ibiza, Cicale is one of the ones I liked most because of the delicate plates and good meat and I didn't spend much (well it was in November, but I don't think they change the prices a lot in the summer).
Road to San Joan, km 12 - Ibiza
Seville is a great weekend away on budget with both Ryainair and Clickair flying daily from London. A group of three of us stayed at Pension Vergara for €20 each per night. The location was right in the old quarter, close to all the major sights. For a great cheap eat, head to the local market where locals stand around eating freshly cooked seafood and sipping beers from the market bar 'La Cantina'. The food was much better than most of the tapas bars in town.
Pension Vergara c/ Ximenez de Enciso, n0 11 | Barrio de Santa Cruz, Seville 41004, Spain www.pensionvergara.com/
La Cantina - Mercado calle Feria
My family and I recently visited a brand new apartment complex on the Costa Del Sol, near Malaga, called Terrazas Costa Del Sol Holiday Village. It only opened this year, so there are some really good deals on one-bedroom apartments – ours slept four people and was about £300 for the week. We have young children, so the kids’ clubs were great. It also has a gorgeous infinity pool that has views of the Rock of Gibraltar. The kitchen in our room also meant that we were able to cook food cheaply and make meals that we knew the kids would like. We will definitely be back!
Barcelona's Font Magica is by far the best free event I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing - it is simply spectacular. Buy a bottle of wine or a couple of beers, some snacks, pack a blanket if it’s cool, and head to Montjuic to enjoy the fountains lit up like fire and dancing to the music. It may sound a little cheesy, but it’s amazing! From October to April it comes alive on Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm and in the summer (May to September) it’s packed with spectators for the Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows from 9:00 pm to 11:30 pm. And it’s all free!
Nearest Metro -Placa Espanya.
The place is a small guest house, but newly renovated and with character. It is right in the centre of the city, pretty cheap, the owner is a real character, very friendly, as well as a qualified (and Napolitan) pizza chef.
The email address is:
It is still one of the most relaxed bars in Mojacar and the most unspoilt along the Spanish coast. Run by a great Spanish family from Jaen near Granada. They all work so hard! Kiko,Luis and their wives Eva and Maria always have a big smile for you.
They offer good music, good food, excellent wines and a stunning view to boot. We have also enjoyed some of the best beach parties there. Go see for yourself and enjoy.
Cheriguito Maui (beachbar) Mojacar,
On Mojacar beach, nearly opposite Camping el Cantal, Good aparthotel opposite with reasonable prices.
Nearest airport is AlmeriaYou can call Eva at Maui on 0034 606198375. To be honest to do Spain on the cheap, just barter. Remember when you visit the tapas bars don't sit, stand at the bar and you will get charged far less.
A stunning gorge at the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Rich in climbing crags for all levels, waterfall walks and breathtaking scenery.
We had a week climbing holiday in the area with two days there with a local travel company www.alhambrarambler.com
1km out of Monachil via Granada Andalucia
Located up in the Dalt Vila, Ibiza's fortified old town, a great place for a special dinner. Attentive and friendly waiters serving tasty local fresh food. Call to book a table on the terrace - El Olivo stands out from the crowd.
Plaza de Vila 9
telephone (+34) 971 300 680
The riding is fantastic with loads of swooping single track. The guiding is excellent with well thought out routes tailored to the groups abilities. Tim and Jenny's patience is second to none and thanks to them I can now do switch backs! Not forgetting the luxury accommodation, great food, Land Rover support and amazing location.
Our second visit proved to be as excellent as our first. The combination of biking, accommodation, food and guiding is still the best I have known. Tim and Jenny look after you so well in every aspect of the holiday. I will definitely return.
A great agroturismo hideaway. Not too big, with a decent pool and rooms with terraces - although more rooms are being built. Great service with thoughtful staff, although limited "room service"
30 mins from everywhere, yet quiet and a wonderful place to relax. Perhaps a little overpriced however thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
Tazones and Lastres are two very pretty fishing villages a half hour's drive apart.
Tazones has a lovely walk from behind the lighthouse up though woods to the cliffs and views out over the sea.
Lastres is less commercialized and you can eat wonderful fresh fish at a restaurant at the harbour called "El Puerto".
Map and info on this area: www.rusticaltravel.com/index.php/Asturias-Guide.html
Fabulous market, recently revamped, brimming with good vibes + interesting crowd + food/drink of all descriptions, from morning cafe con leche to long after midnight. Reasonably priced. Brilliant site for people watching round the clock, not to mention the food - one of the most amazing places in the entire city!
Just a minute off plaza mayor
Spent three nights here with five girlfriends for a 'big birthday' in May 2009 and could not have been happier with the location, rooms, reception, cleanliness and atmosphere.
The hotel is in an old building and has an impressive huge carved wooden door, but inside all is modern and minimalist. The garden area behind reception is pretty with lots of steps to reach all the levels.
We didn't try the bar as there are loads of bars and cafes nearby. Helpful staff and loads of leaflets at reception.
We chose 'room only' as it is far cheaper to get a breakfast of anywhere choice in the city (Cafe de L'Opera round the corner is divine). Each of the three rooms we had were spacious and spotless, with big bathrooms and walk-in showers. Ours had a small balcony and all windows had blackout curtains as well as voiles. Like most hotels, it didn't have many hangers but that would be my only gripe. Each of the rooms had the facility to be turned into a family room, but the beds were discreetly folded up against the wall in all the rooms, sometimes behind a wardrobe area.
There was free internet access and a laptop in each room which was useful once we discovered how to get @ on a Spanish keyboard (Alt/Gr plus the @ key).
I'd stayed right on the Ramblas once before, but this was just far away enough to avoid the late night noise (except on the night when Barcelona beat Chelsea, ha!). Being so central the hotel is just near the Liceu metro station and within easy stretch of all the sights and shopping.
The street outside the hotel is pedestrianised, but is only about 25 yards from Las Ramblas, so not far to walk if you have luggage.
C/ La Boqueria 10
Junto A Ramblas 78
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