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
A lovely villa, right in the city centre of Granada. It actually shares its garden wall with the Alhambra. It is a big place, with gardens and a swimming pool (quite rare in any city centre).
Bars, restaurants, shops and the magnificent Alhambra palace all in easy walking distance. Most of the terraces have fantastic views over the Albaicin (old Arabic quarter). It may seem a bit on the expensive side, but really isn't when you take a reasonable sized group and see the price per person.
We used the villa for a joint family holiday, it was perfect as it catered to all of us - adults, teenagers and the smaller kids. Definitely one of our top three family holidays.
The Loft is a bar with very friendly staff and local and imported drinks. You can catch all sporting events on several TVs and play pool and make use of free Wi-Fi. Richard and daughter Jodie make for great staff and always made us welcome. Their 'shots' menu is pretty impressive too.
Paseo de Mediterraneo opposite the Cruz Rojo (red cross ambulance station) and in front of the post office on Mojacar Playa. The bar is on first floor with views overlooking the sea with palm trees.
I lived in Mojacar for a short while and worked near to the restaurant. The food and ambience was always good and my family visited every time they came to Spain. Malcolm and Jayne made us really welcome. And Russ and Nick working in kitchen were very good. Cheesy garlic bread was divine and steaks done to your request.
On Paseo de Mediterraneo. Behind the Estanco Cantal on Plaza de Estrella.
Nearest airport Almeria.
Chain of 91 government hotels, usually in castles, palaces and monasteries, but also in some modern buildings.
Lots offer "Five nights", "Two-night Special", "Golden Days" (30% discount over 55 years old), "Young Persons" and "Special Offers".
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
Good at any Carrefour store in Spain, the card allows discounts on certain items. It is especially valuable when purchasing petrol. Complete the on-line application a couple of weeks prior to your arrival - use where you'll be residing in Spain as your address - ask the landlord or hotelier to hold your mail.
OR apply in person at a store's customer service desk.
Online application: https://www.carrefour.es/clubcarrefour/usuario/alta.asp#
Tired of internet cafe costs or poaching a wi-fi signal? Become a member of the Barcelona library and have free access to computers and wi-fi. Membership is free. Complete the online application; choose the library nearest to your stay; pick up your card when you arrive.
application at: gw24-vtls.diba.es/vtls/catalan/requests/carnet.html
home page: www.bcn.es/icub/biblioteques/
It is a tapas bar, where they have the biggest selection of tapas I have ever seen. They also have "pintxos" - slice of French bread with a topping. They have "tablas" which is a wooden plate filled with smoked meats or fish, all freshly prepared. But the best bit if you just want a drink is that they have cava for 1.20€ a glass which includes a free canape with it. They also do this with different wines everyday and you can try wine from a different region everyday. Cheers!
It is right in the middle of the old part in Benidorm in the area where all the basque restaurants are, Ask for La Cava and people will know.
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