Chicken piri piri is super popular in the Algarve. It's basically a whole grilled chicken cut up into smallish bite size pieces. It's spicy and juicy and really good. Usually comes with fries and a tomato and onion salad.
Well they say the original place that started it all is in Guia Algarve and the restaurant is Ramirez. It's always busy and the food is good and hot, prices are very reasonable. A whole chicken with fries is €13 tomato salad is €2 and the house wine is €5 - not bad. Remember the nice basket of bread, the olives, sardine pate and cheese is not a gift it costs money - they call it a "covert" which usually runs you about €2.5 a person if you eat all of the above.
Guia is located just south of the N125 and is about 6 km north west of Albufeira.
The tiny resort of Sant Elm is situated in South-West Mallorca.It is reached via a winding country road that threads its narrow way through low cultivated hills.There are two hotels and several decent restaurants lining its single street.
The place to stay is the friendly, family-run Hostal Dragonera. It has double rooms from 57 euros in high season which come with ample buffet breakfast served in a dining room overlooking the gorgeous, sheltered bay. There is a sun terrace with free sunbeds from where steps lead down to what is essentially a private sandy beach seperated by rocks from the village's main strand.
Great priced eco campsite only 1.5 hrs south of Barcelona. Only 20 pounds per night. It's run by a friendly family. Yoga is taught each morning in the flower filled courtyard. Beaches only 12 miles away. A 'get away from it all' holiday with a lot of activities to keep the non-yoga enthusiasts happy too. Castles to explore, beaches to sunbathe on, giant catfish to catch in the river Ebro, hiking in stunning mountains straight out of the front door. The camping facilities are clean and modern in a converted stable. It's only £20 a day too.
It's a Mediterranean mountain ecoretreat only 12 miles from the unspoilt beaches of the Costa Daurada, which has been missed by mass tourism. They run yoga classes each day in the olive groves with stunning mountain scenery.
Camping facilities are in a beautiful converted stable. You can pitch your tent in complete privacy (wild camping) and hiking possibilities are unlimited in the surrounding designated natural park (Serra de Cardo mountains).
The fishing villages are picturesque, the river fishing and kayaking are fun, the beaches and coves are golden and uncrowded, and it's only 20 euros a night. What's not to love?
All around the city there are bike stations where you can rent a bike. The scheme is the same as the one running in Paris.
Use the touchscreen at the station to subscribe. You will need a credit card to do so. To subscribe costs €5 a week, and you can use the bike for 30 minutes without paying extra. Easy enough in Seville where it rarely takes more than 20 to get from one side of the centre to the other. If you do go over the 30 minute time, you will be charged about a Euro for 30 minutes.
Seville is such a flat city that cycling is easy. And with the hot weather (up to 45 degrees C. in the summer), cycling and the breeze is a lot more comfortable than walking.
There is a downside. Sevici is very popular with residents, tourists, and sadly vandals. Occasionally, either the station is empty, or the bikes have been vandalised. Also you may get to the bike station to return your bike and discover it is full. Log in with your code you were given when you subscribed and you will be able to get another 15 minutes to go to another station. There is a map available on the screen.
When the Euro was introduced to Spain this was generally seen as an excuse by most bars and restaurants to bump up the prices ...
Not only is Eslava one of the cheapest places for tapas (still only about €1.80 as opposed to €3.00 for most places now), it is also one of the best. And boy does it get crowded because of it! But that is part of the charm.
And if this wasn't good enough, the staff are consistently, friendly, attentive, knowledgeable and professional. It works like a machine. Remember, Seville and customer service do not always go together.
There are a few tables but you cannot book. Just turn up, say how many you are, then wait with a glass of beer or wine. Alternatively, eat at the bar.
There is a restaurant, but it's the same food in bigger portions.
The tapas are interesting, and well prepared. My personal favourite is Pork Loin with dill sauce "Lomo con salsa eneldo".
As many a Sevillano waiter discovered when I lived there, I have high standards.
But Bar Eslava is divine.
A great hostel in the heart of Barcelona. A beautiful modernist building situated on one of the grandest avenues of the city, Passeig de Gracia. In terms of location, you could not get much better. Easy walking distance to all major sites, in particular, Gaudi's Casa Batllo and La Pedrera.
Close to Metro, Passeig de Gracia, Placa Catalunya and Diagonal.
Almost all the major museums in Barcelona offer free admission once a month - almost always on a Sunday and often the first Sunday of each month.
A little research and planning means visitors can save a small fortune while seeing some of the best laid-out museums I've seen anywhere.
I imagine you'd be best asking at the tourist info.
I was in Seville in Andalucía and took a walking and bike tour with a company called Really Discover. For €20-25 a person you not only get to know about the history and culture of the city, but they use the time with you to recommend the great, cheap tapas bars; flamenco shows which don't cost an arm and a leg and are more authentic; monuments that have free entry at certain times, etc etc... A really good investment.
Cute as a button, Altiplano Tipis is a quaint luxury tipi camping site near to the town of Baza that we found while travelling around Andalusia.
The three tipis situated in the courtyard were like a picture postcard, brightly coloured yellows and blues against a backdrop of the whitewashed cave house of the friendly owners, Louise and Andrew. The tipis were very comfortable and had a homely feel with coloured rugs on the floor and we even had our own private shower room, which made a nice change from our previous camping experiences!
Louise, the owner, put on a delicious spread every morning for breakfast including stewed fruits, home-made jams, bread and cheeses. The location was very peaceful, with only the sounds of the birds and bees and from the pool we could see the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the distance. A very relaxing place to have a glass of cava while watching the sunset. For €36 a night for two people including breakfast, this makes a great option for those on a budget or for those looking for something a little bit different.
Canada SoSal,18800 Baza, Spain
Phone: +34 664835417
Nearest airports: Granada and Almeria
Valencia is perfect for budget travellers - most of the best sights and most impressive buildings are free to poke around, so you can conduct your own architectural tour, with plenty left over for some paella!
Start at Valencia Cathedral, a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles (with the 'Holy Grail' tucked inside!), and then head to the Palau de la Generalitat, a Gothic palace used by the local government, with elaborately tiled floors and frescoed walls.
Other must-see sights include La Lonja, a grand Late Gothic hall filled with grisly gargoyles and other grotesqueries, and the Colegio del Patriarca, a 16th century seminary adorned with religious frescoes.
Valencia Cathedral, Plaza de la Reina,
Palau de la Generalitat, www.gencat.cat/generalitat/eng/guia/palau/index.htm
La Lonja, Plaza de la Virgen, Valencia
Colegio del Patriarca, Nave 1, Valencia 46002
Fabulous location on Cartagena's only beach. Good mix of workers, businessmen and tourists. Fish, paellas and seafood. Closed Mondays.
Take the road to the Commercial Port, turn left after the tunnel and go under the road. Tel 968 12 24 35
Looking for something free to do? Valencia has several large public parks and gardens which are great places for a quiet stroll or a scenic picnic.
The pretty Jardin Botanico is home to 7,000 species of shrubs and trees, and the Italian-style Monforte Gardens are filled with marble statues and beautiful flowerbeds. The Jardines de Rio Turia was once a river, but is now a strip of gardens, sports fields and playground, with a world-class concert hall smack bang in the middle.
Monforte Gardens, Plaza de la Legión Española, Valencia, V 46010 Spain
Botanic Gardens, Calle Quart 80, Valencia 46008
Jardines de Rio Turia, Antiguo cauce del Turia
Forget forking out for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, this cathedral is free to visit and is just as much of an architectural jumble.
Work started on the cathedral in 1262, resulting in a building that ranges from Romanesque to Gothic, so it's a fascinating place to wander around. Take a trip up the Miguelete Bell Tower, a city landmark, or check out the a cup believed to be the Holy Grail.
These aren't the most scenic beaches in Spain; two former fisherman’s districts transformed in the 1960s into a slightly ugly urban sprawl - but there's still plenty of sand, a promenade of palm trees and the deep blue sea.
There are still a few traditional houses tucked along the mile-long esplanade, and the Paseo de Neptuno is a great place to pick up some cheap Paella.
For a quieter beach a little further afield, try Saler.
Take the tram from Pont de Fusta (opposite Torres de Serranos in Barrio del Carmen).
The Museo De Bellas Artes is a great free museum. Tucked away in the 19th century suburbs of the city, it costs nothing to gawp at 2,000 paintings by artists such as Goya, Velazquez and several other important Valencian artists from the 14th-19th centuries.
The building itself, a former seminary built between 1683 and 1744, is also pretty spectacular.
Calle de San Pío X 9
46017 Valencia, Spain
+34 963 870 300
This is a great little tapas bar/restaurant within a cool walled garden perched at the top of the hill in the Albaicin in Granada. It is quite difficult to find, tucked away in a little side street, but is well worth it if you can find it.
Fantastic tapas free with every drink and eating off the menu looked pretty good as well.
C/horno de hoyo
958 27 51 56
Valencia manages to be both super chic and cheap, with a glut of boutique hostels and budget accommodation in the city center.
But the ABC B&B is no backpacker's crash pad; me and my partner stayed in this small bed and breakfast run by a young couple, and the rooms are minimalist and super modern - all whitewashed brick walls, futuristic furniture and plasma TV screens on the wall. There was even a mini Apple Mac in our room!
Despite the super-cool exterior, the owners have just returned from travelling as a couple, and so offer a load of homely extras perfect for a budget romantic break, like breakfast in bed and a bottle of Cava in your room. The original building is also a beautiful old apartment with huge balconies overlooking the city.
It can be difficult to find somewhere cheap and romantic, but the ABC more than delivered. There are only a couple of rooms, so it's easy to get to know the other guests, and you're just around the corner from one of the main squares.
Calle del Taquígrafo Martí 10, Valencia, Spain 46005
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