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Splendid Spanish Spots

Most of Spain is far and away too hot for me in the height of summer. I find it hard to imagine why so many people go to Spanish beaches on the Costa Brava, Costa, Blanca, Costa del Sol etc year on year in the summer months - but everyone to their choice. I love Spain in the winter. I like to get inland, where the image of a Brit is still mainly untarnished and where there are multi-season days - sweaters and warm clothes in the morning gradually shed until you are in rolled up shirt sleeves.

Updated May 20, 2013
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  1. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Comunidad de Madrid, Spain
    If you are like me and need a day out in the country when taking a city break, this is an ideal day out from Madrid. The Renfe Cercanias should be used (http://www.renfe.com/viajeros/cercanias/madrid/mapa_zonas_madrid.html) Take route C8 to its te…
  2. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Madrid, Spain
    I am surprised at the number of people I meet who have been to Madrid and not noticed the CaixaForum (sic). It is in a much walked area between Atocha station and the Prado and is made very visible by a vertical garden between it and the road. It is …
  3. Very cheap "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Madrid, Spain
    El Tigre is a tapas bar in the Calle de las Infantas, parallel with and to the right of the Gran Via. It fills up early in the evening and then people arrive and more arrive and - - -. Obviously the number who can find seats is very small and I was a…
  4. Very cheap "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Madrid, Spain
    The Mercado de la Reina is not one of Madrid's markets but a restaurant on the Gran Via. It has a gin club as wel as a bar and restaurant but the bar was quite sufficient for me and hence the only part I am reviewing. For me it had the added benefit …
  5. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Madrid, Spain
    In a city with three outstandingly famous art museums why go to a fourth, only dedicated to one artist? Because it's a totally different experience and I have yet to meet anybody who has been and not been delighted by it. I admit to a total ignoranc…
  6. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Madrid, Spain
    It was in 1970 when the very high bridge by which the Calle Juan Bravo crosses Paseo de la Castellana was built and the idea was that the huge space beside the steps leading from one road to the other should be the site of sculptures by Spain's fines…
  7. Cheap "Hostels" in Madrid, Spain
    This hostal could hardly be better situated. It is within walking distance of many of Madrid's best known sites or the metro service and numerous buses are virtually on the doorstep. The Gran Via has traffic at all hours but I never needed my ear plu…
  8. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Madrid, Spain
    Madid's vertical garden covers a wall belonging to the CaixaForum and could be in the same review, except that I thought that a cultural centre and a vertical garden might well appeal to different people. The building itself was built as an electrica…
  9. Cheap "General Tips & Advice" in Madrid, Spain
    I found the Tourist Transport Season Ticket (Abono Transporte Turístico) remarkably good value. I bought a three day Zone A ticket. (See www.metromadrid.es/en/viaja_en_metro/tarifas/abonos/contenido02.html) This cost me under €12 and every single …
  10. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Cordoba, Spain
    I have been to this building four times and would gladly go four hundred more. The sense of delightful shock on entering was as great the fourth time as the first. The first times I went free, early in the day, when it's open for prayer in the Christ…
  11. Cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Cordoba, Spain
    I think Cordoba is my favourite Spanish city. It's so alive and there's so much to see - without having to cope with the problems of getting around bigger cities like Barcelona and Madrid. This hotel claims to be as central as you can get and it's…
  12. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Cordoba, Spain
    There are various spellings of Medina Azahara but they are all the same place if they are in Spain. Spain was invaded by Arabs in the 7th century CE. Initially Al Andalus (Andalucia) was subservient to north Africa but. after the fall of the reigning…
  13. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Granada, Spain
    Most people visiting the Alhambra buy a ticket that covers the Alcazaba, the Nazrid Palace and the Generalife. Only the Palace has a fixed time and that is for entry only - you can stay as long as you like. The 3 can be visited in any order so make t…
  14. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Granada, Spain
    Most people visiting the Alhambra buy a ticket that covers the Alcazaba, the Nazrid Palace and the Generalife. Only the Palace has a fixed time and that is for entry only - you can stay as long as you like. The 3 can be visited in any order so make t…
  15. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Granada, Spain
    Most people visiting the Alhambra buy a ticket that covers the Alcazaba, the Nazrid Palace and the Generalife. Only the Palace has a fixed time and that is for entry only - you can stay as long as you like. The 3 can be visited in any order so make t…
  16. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Benaojan, Spain
    I went to this cave with a friend in 1990 and we ahd little idea what to expect. We were staying at Jimera de la Frontiera and travelled by train ( a beautiful journey in its own right) to Benaojan, the stop before Ronda. We managed not to find th…
  17. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Malaga, Spain
    The Alcazaba in Malaga is not the only one in Spain but is the biggest and probably the finest. The word comes from Arabic and is roughly equivalent to 'fortress.' Naturally enough this, like the Ayuntamiento (town hall) later was built near to the p…
  18. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Malaga, Spain
    I knew there was something high above the Alcazaba in Málaga called the Gibalfaro but for some reason I thought it was only a parador. There certainly is one there but there are also the remains of a fortress when the development of armaments made t…
  19. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Malaga, Spain
    The garden is reached from malaga by taking a bus number 2 from the north side of the Alameda Principal and then walking for about a quarter of an hour. When I went it was strictly only open for guided walks. I had a plane to catch and not a lot o…
  20. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Malaga, Spain
    Betwwn my sixth and seventh flights to Malaga, the Picasso Museum was opened in a splendid building near to the vast cathedral. Most, if not all, of the paintings are gifts or long loans from Picasso's family. For art lovers with a real appreciati…
  21. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Colmenar, Spain
    Why only 4 for overall rating? Simply because for me it was something of a mistake to pick a place as English as this. Having said that, and you might find the idea attractive, in all other respects it deserves a 5. It is hard now to believe that…
  22. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Ronda, Spain
    By and large the interior of Andalucia does not flaunt itself to the millions who stay on the Costa del Sol. Howeevr from almost anywhere on the coast there are trips to the great cities of Cordoba, Sevilla and Granada - and to the much smaller city …
  23. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Benamahoma, Spain
    This walk is not allowed in the vulture nesting season and needs a permit in other seasons. I believe the natural park centre in Grazalema may have shut but I am sure somebody there will give you advice. I believe there are walks that enter the Pinsa…
  24. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Grazalema, Spain
    I had twice been on the bus from Ronda to Ubrique through the village of Grazalema and each time I had been highly tempted to get off. The third time I only had a ticket as far as Grazalema and I did get off. The village is famous for (historical)…
  25. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Zahara, Spain
    I am sure there is a longer walk here that I did not complete but even what I did was quite wonderful. The website attaches this walk to Grazalema and it can wel be done from there but it is actually nearer to Zahara de la Sierra. The starting point …
  26. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Matalascañas, Spain
    The Doñana National Park is possibly the best place in Europe for wetland flowers and birds - not that the mammals are any letdown - I have never seen wild boars as prolific anywhere, one with a hare in its mouth not intending to be put off its supp…
  27. Expensive "Hotels & Accommodations" in Almonte, Spain
    If you want to go to El Rocio for what I am told is a great pilgrimage or romero, ignore the 'expensive' price above. It would need to be a $ sign about four to the right of those given by the site! If, like me, you go because it seems like the be…
  28. Ridiculously Expensive "Sights & Attractions" in El Rocio, Spain
    My ratings here could be misleading. I do not recommend anybody to go at the pilgrimage time but almost any other time it's great (except possibly high summer when the flood waters evaporate). On the other hand the very expensive classification relat…
  29. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Almonaster la Real, Spain
    Huelva Province is perhaps the least known in Andalucia, other than the Doñana national park. The Sierra de Aracena is not as magnificent as much of Andalucia's mountain country but makes up for this by the beauty of its gentle, mostly wooded mounta…
  30. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Valencia, Spain
    The cathedral in Valencia was built between the 13th and 15th centuries in Gothic style. The Miguelete bell-tower was added in 1418 - originally separate but joined with the cathedral when the latter was extended later in the century. The elaborat…
  31. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Valencia, Spain
    Far more people must know something of Las Fallas in Valencian than have ever been there at the appropriate time or even attended the Museo Fallero. For those who know nothing about it, if any, a VERY brief explanation. las Fallas is a festival he…
  32. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Valencia, Spain
    I had read about La Lonja de la Sela (Silk Exchange) and realised that I had to see this building, recognised by Unesco. Lay buildings other than palaces or castles from the 15ht century are far from common. However I was astonished by the size an…
  33. Expensive "Sights & Attractions" in Valencia, Spain
    I remember that some time ago on another website somebody talked about his favourite places in Spain and included Valencia. I asked him what was special about Valencia and he told me to go and find out. Eventually I did and there's a lot. I doubt thi…
  34. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Teruel, Spain
    Teruel's Mudejar architecture (Moorish inspired after 1492) is famous throughout Spain. I spent a night in the city and set out next morning to have a look. The Cathedral looks grea from a distance but its mixture of styles is les good up close, t…
  35. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Teruel, Spain
    The Provincial Museum of Teruel is in a very striking building that was previously (16th century) the Casa de la Comunidad (Seat of the Council) and yet further back a palace. To me it is terribly unsung. Every website I can find is either pathetical…
  36. Very cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Teruel, Spain
    San Pedro’s main appeal is supposed to be not so much in its tower as in its role as mausoleum for ‘Los Amantes’ [the Lovers] of Teruel. For those who want the story – in about 1217 Diego was not allowed to marry Isabel because he wasn’t ri…
  37. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Barcelona, Spain
    It's free to go in but if you come out without spending anything - - - perhaps you could have done better for your picnic! If there's a single thing that saddens me about modern city life in the UK, it must be the decline of markets and their remo…
  38. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Barcelona, Spain
    I won't pretend to regard all Picasso's work equally and certainly not to understand it all equally. This was the first time I had seen a lot of his paintings together. I have seen a lot since, including the Malaga Museum, which must surely be superi…
  39. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Barcelona, Spain
    Not giving this a 5 may be a sign of my lack of artistic appreciation - because there's nothing less than 5 about the presentation here. So be it. In particular there is a painted line about which Miró almost raved - I tried but was quite unable t…
  40. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Hecho, Spain
    That looks good doesn't it? -all 5s bar the cost! Well, it is. The bus runs from Jaca to the little village of Hecho which is delightfully placed in a valley a bit south of the mountains leading to the French frontier. You can't miss the Casa Blas…
  41. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Torla, Spain
    Ordesa, as I shall call it for short, is a wonderful national park in the Pyrenees. The only physical qualification for enjoying it is the ability to sit on a bus for quite a short distance, although I should love to have been there when I was able t…
  42. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Gerona, Spain
    I hardly knew anything about Gerona (to give it its Catalan name) until I found a cheap flight going there. I looked it up and liked what I saw. It is a wonderful city with some splendid Romanesque churches and some old houses edging picturesquely on…
  43. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Siresa, Spain
    This monastery was largely built in the 11th century, although there was an older monastery from the 9th. It is situated in the little village of Siresa, about two and a half km from Hecho towards France in the Aragónian Pyrenees. The evening bus fr…
  44. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Besalu, Spain
    Besalú is a small village in Catalunya. It can easily be reached by bus from Gerona/Girona. The road that runs across the top is modern enough but below it there is plenty of history. The Romanesque church of St Pere was started in the late 10th …
  45. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Puente Diablo, Spain
    If you have heard of just one Roman aqueduct in Spain, it will probably be that of Segovia; if of two, this one will be the second. Great as the Segovia aqueduct undoubtedly is, I prefer this one because it is in a rural setting just outside Tarragon…
  46. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Taull, Spain
    I am saddened by the fact that I had to go on a second page on Google to find something neither an advert nor written by myself - spelling mistake and all! The Boi valley in the province of Lleida is possibly the best approach to the National Park…
  47. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Combarro, Spain
    Combarro is a small village to the north of the Ria de Pontevedra in Galicia. Without a car you need to get a bus from Pontevedra towards Sanxenxo and ask when to get out. It's obvious enough once you have done it but very easy to miss the first time…
  48. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Galicia, Spain
    The well known rías of Galicia are divided between the Rías Altas of the north coast and the Rías Bajas to the west. They were all known not so long ago for their undeveloped landscape, but now there is more building - good luck to those returning…
  49. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Leon, Spain
    It is the museum that costs but, unlike many ecclesiastical museums, it is a real must-see. I have given a website that includes every thing but for the Pantheon, which I reckon is the best of all, you should look at http://www.sanisidorodeleon.net/v…
  50. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Alcudia, Spain
    I suspect any number of tourists and possibly even Travel Buddies have passed the end of the entrance road without any idea of what they are missing. It was very little publicised in 1999 and it was almost fortuitous that I went. It is a wetland r…
  51. Cheap "Hostels" in Palma de Mallorca, Spain
    You may have heard that if you want to get away from the nastier side of Mallorca, you have to head north or east. Palma de Mallorca is situated in a wide bay and in most of the resorts on the bay you can't see the sea for the buildings in between, e…
  52. Cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Soller, Spain
    If you are looking for sand, sun and sex in Mallorca you do not want to stay here! It's not on the coast but in the old town of Soller (see http://www.sollernet.com/casamargarita/indexen.html) My only hesitation n giving all 5s is that the beds an…
  53. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Sevilla, Spain
    Even after I had been to the Alcáazar, i thought it was a Muslim building with later Spanish additions. In fact it is a Mudejar building - which is to say that most of the design was the work of the limited number of Moors who were permitted to rema…
  54. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Antequera, Spain
    Antequera is possibly my favourite small town in Spain. If you are one of the many who has flown to Málaga airport only to concentrate on the Costa del Sol, try going inland for a change. However I am glad that most don't because it leaves the inlan…
  55. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Spain
    Obviously it does cost the train or bus fare to get there but the place itself is free. I have been past it in the train a number of times and looked forward to getting off one day. On a family holiday to Fuengirola I noticed that a new train from …
  56. Average priced "Sights & Attractions" in Benalmadena, Spain
    Benalmadena is on the Costa del Sol between Fuengirola and Torremolinos. I can't say that it is really my kind of place any more than much of that tourist coast. However it does have several attractions, the one appealing most to me being the cable-c…
  57. Average priced "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Nerja, Spain
    Nerja is full of eating places. Hence the fact that, having already eaten at Cafe Bamboo once we chose it for our final meal says quite a lot. What's more we were a heterogeneous nine people, some being quite prepared to describe themselves as 'picky…
  58. Cheap "Hotels & Accommodations" in Fuengirola, Spain
    No name is given for this villa in the advert so I have just used the street address. We were a group of 8 with ages ranging from 14 to 75 and we all loved it here. There were 3 bedrooms but it will sleep up to 8 with a folding bed and two sofa be…
  59. Cheap "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Frigiliana, Spain
    There are two features that justify the 5 star overall rating, the food and the view. You can either eat one floor up inside or on the terrace above. Since I was there for lunch, I chose the latter. The views out over a plunging valley and, above it,…
  60. Cheap "Sights & Attractions" in Almunecar, Spain
    This is a most interesting castle, where quite a time is needed to appreciate it. Its history goes back to the first century BCE but obviously it was a pretty rudimentary affair. In Moorish times it acquired magnificence and after the reconquista it …
  61. Average priced "Hotels & Accommodations" in Almunecar, Spain
    This is not an easy place to find without detailed map instructions. If you get to the sign for Citalsol beyond Almunecar, from Malaga, continue to the next roundabout through a tunnel and then follow the Citasol sign as you come back. Then keep goin…
  62. Average priced "Restaurants, Cafes & Food" in Almunecar, Spain
    I said in my blog that I could not write a review of this because I could not find its name. However paying with a credit card has its uses! The restaurant and the pizzeria under the same ownership are next door to each other on the sea front near…
  63. Free! "Sights & Attractions" in Almunecar, Spain
    This is a route well worth taking if you are staying anywhere near Almunacar, Nerja or Granada - for its own sake. It is not the fastest way although it is the most direct. Obviously there is far more descent going from high Granada to seaside Almune…
joehobo says:
A worthwhile review.
Posted on: Nov 05, 2010
nyprne says:
Love the clever naming of the list.
Posted on: Sep 13, 2010
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