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Camino de Santiago, internationally known as The Way of St. James, is one of the most important pilgrimage places worldwide. The big interest in the route of St. James Way, to Santiago de Compostela, started with the discovery of the remains of the apostle Saint James the Greater. The final destination is located in the northwest of Spain, in the region of Galicia.

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Source: TripSavvy

Santiago de Compostela

The capital of Galicia lies in the northwest of the region. Santiago de Compostela is one of the most important and most famous pilgrimage places in Europe, receiving nowadays more than 300.000 international pilgrims every year.

One of the most popular rituals of the pilgrims is getting inside the crypt to see the coffin or to pray to St. James. Due to the high number of people visiting the sight, there is a problem of capacity and sometimes you have to wait for hours to access the interior.

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Source: pbase

History

The reason why Santiago de Compostela is such an important pilgrimage site dates back to the 9th century. In 814, when the tomb with the remains of the apostle James the Great was discovered for the first time. A chapel was constructed and years later the huge Catedral Santiago de Compostela should mark the place of discovery. This was the beginning of a big boom of pilgrimage to this place.

Nowadays many non-Christian tourists discovered the routes of Camino de Santiago. There is currently a trend of people following these routes just for enjoyment, sightseeing in combination with nature, sports, or seeking for a new challenge or as a way of self-discovery.

The routes of Camino de Santiago

Various places in Spain, as well as in Europe are known as starting points for the St. James Way. Even though no official way exist, there are some main routes, followed by pilgrims. All ways heading the same final destination – Santiago de Compostela. Below find the most popular ways starting in Spain and Portugal:

The French Way (Camino Francés)

The most popular way, one with some of the deepest historical roots starts in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port on the French side of the Pyrenees and stretches over 780km until Santiago de Compostela. Over 60% of all pilgrims choose this route, which includes the major cities Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos and León.

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Source: Schatz & Schatz

The Northern Route (Camino del Norte)

Stretching alone the northern coast of Spain, this route begins in the Basque country in Irún. It is a rather less popular route compared to others. Several parts of the way require hiking, which makes it more difficult for some people. It follows the old Roman way and passes by some important cities like San Sebastian, Gernika, Bilbao, and Oviedo.

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Source: Camino Ways

The Portuguese Way (Camino Portugués)

It is the second most popular path after the French Way. This route has 3 possible starting points. The farthest one is Lisbon, followed by Porto and then by Tui, a city next to the Spanish – Portuguese border at the north.

Proof of walking

The very first pilgrims who walked the whole route proofed their accomplishment by taking scallop shell as sign with them. Nowadays, pilgrims can buy a special passport and afterwards a certificate, proofing you went by foot or by bike. The passport is used to show evidence of either walking at least 100 km or of the way or going by bike for at least 200 km. To proof the walk/ride with your passport, you have to get a stamp from churches, town halls or other official establishments on your way to Santiago. Arrived at the final destination, people can get their certificate at the Pilgrims Office. The Compostela certificate is an original religious certificate written in Latin.

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Source: Keen on Asuncion

For whatever reason you want to accomplish the walking of the route, we put together the best packages for the New Year for you. Just contact us and ask for more information. We are happy to serve you with all kind of questions you might have about our Camino de Santiago packages.

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What would you say if we tell you we have the perfect programs to train like a professional, grow as a team and get out of your comfort zone? What would be your answer if we tell you that limits are for the others and that you are meant for something bigger? If you are ready for the best training camps in Spain, you better keep reading.

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source: Laois County Council

While Spain is one of the most pleasant tourist destinations in Europe, the reasons for its many professional athletes such as Rafael Nadal and the National Football team are neither the beaches nor the picturesque villages. Instead, the diverse scenery of Spain and top facilities all over Spain offer the perfect mixture to train like a beast.

Our training camps focusing on football, hockey, swimming and tennis are located on strategic places to not only offer the best facilities to athletes and an incredible experience, but also a landscape to relax after the hard work-out.

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source: Hockey Travel

Whether you are professional or amateur– we have training camps options depending on your discipline in Alicante, Valencia, Lloret de Mar, Salou, Terrassa, Vic and Sabadell for you! While our football training camps can be found in Alicante, Valencia, Lloret de Mar, Salou, Terrassa and Vic, the swimming training camps are centered in Sabadell. Tennis and hockey training camps are offered in Terrassa. All our training camps are perfect to build teamwork, set your mind and boost your performance. No matter if you prefer staying not far from a large city but with the advantages of staying in a quiet area or in the city itself– we make sure the facilities are not too crowded for your intensive morning and afternoon training. Finish off your training camp with a friendly match against locals to learn more about their strategies, compare yourself and have fun!

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source: Injury Rehab Centre

Our programs include modern and functional hotels which are not only experienced in handling sport groups in order to provide you with the best comfort, but also close to top facilities to not lose time training!

Train with us and we promise you, we have everything what your athlete’s heart could have ever asked for: from great equipped fitness centres to FIFA sized natural grass pitches, from outstanding grass hockey courts to the best indoor and outdoor Olympic swimming pools, from carpet paddle tennis courts to relaxing thermal facilities, … everything is set up for your work-out!

No matter if you are a football fan or a tennis fanatic, a professional swimmer or an amateur hockey player– we have the perfect training camp for you! Contact us now to get more information about our training camp programs and get ready for the next season with us!

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Due to its amazing culture and stunning nature, Spain is the perfect destination for student trips. The country provides numerous possibilities to organize educative student trips for schools and universities, focusing on specific thematic areas. There are visits and activities available for every age group, with special attention to education or amusement.

Due to its various cultural influences throughout times, and buildings of different architectural style, Spain is a popular destination to be visited by architecture students. A special emphasize for those visits is often put on cities like Barcelona or Madrid, but also the La Rioja region is very suitable.

Barcelona’s architectural highlight is without doubt the still unfinished Sagrada Familia, a masterpiece of Catalan Modernism, designed by Antoni Gaudi. Gaudi also contributed other works to the city, like Park Güell, Casa Batlló or Casa Mila, which are well worth a visit, too.

A different kind of architecture can be visited in La Rioja. This region is becoming more and more famous for its avant-garde winery architecture. Some highlights are unique wineries, like Marques de Riscal, Ysios and Lopez Heredia, all designed by innovative, international architects: Frank Ghery, Santiago Calatrava and Zaha Hadid. What they have in common is incredible architecture, beautifully merged with the rural countryside.

A different thematic field that is interesting for student trips to Spain, is renewable energy. There are options to organize visits to internationally renowned and important sites, like solar energy facilities or wind energy plants, where students can get insight into the operation and talk to experts on these areas.

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solar power plant in Sevilla (source: Diario ABC)

Another reason for student groups to visit Spain is to participate in Spanish classes. It is always the best option to learn a language in a country where it is spoken. In this way, students can not only learn the language, but also become familiar with the respective culture and traditions. A stay in Spain enables students who study the Spanish language to apply their language skills in interactions with locals. It might also be a good option to combine the Spanish lessons with other activities, like cooking classes or gymkhanas, during the stay.

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Spanish cooking class

If a school class with younger students is visiting Spain, it is always possible to organize educational trips with a more playful approach. Many museums and theme parks offer group activities where students can learn about topics like nature, art or science, during fun activities. In addition, team building activities are a nice possibility for student trips to enhance social relations in the class, on the basis of collaborative tasks.

Send your request to info@across-spain.es and we will be pleased to send you our tailor made proposal for your student group.

 

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Do you like classical music? How about combining top-level international orchestras and soloists with subtropical weather, beautiful beaches and idyllic volcanic landscapes? From 7 January to 6 February 2017, the 33rd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands will be held on the Canary archipelago, considered to be the most important music event of the Canary Islands.

The festival is aimed to enrich the islanders’ cultural life as well as to promote high-level cultural tourism. Due to the islands’ favourable weather, the festival is celebrated during the winter months, being the only European festival to be held in winter. During the months of January and February the average maximum temperature on the Canary Islands is 22ºC and the average minimum temperature is 14ºC, with sunny and clear skies. The perfect weather to go for a hike or take a walk along the beach.

The festival has become a relevant event on the winter agenda, counting with the presence of renowned soloists and artists. The 2017 festival is specially aimed to diffuse the Spanish and South American musical heritage. It will count with about 650 musicians from around the world, 89 concerts and 78 works to be performed. One of the highlights of this edition will be the historical union of the two greatest symphonic orchestras of the archipelago. The Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra will be performing together Schoenberg´s “Gurre – Lieder” on 13 and 14 January.

 

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Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife (source: Gobierno de Canarias)

The main venues of the festival are definitely worth a visit, even without events taking place. The Auditorio Alfredo Kraus on Gran Canaria, named after the most international Canary Island tenor, is located at the end of Las Canteras Beach and is one of the most representative and outstanding constructions of the island. You shouldn’t miss to see some highlights of the auditorium: On the one hand, you can enjoy stunning views over the sea from its enormous panoramic window in the Auditorium Symphonic Hall. On the other hand, this hall houses a spectacular organ with 2.750 pipes, one of the largest of the Canary Islands.

Another main venue is the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martin. It is located in the Canarian capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife, next to the Atlantic Ocean. The majestic profile of the building has become an architectural symbol of the city and the archipelago. It is especially famous for its great arc, with its tip not being supported. Seen from the sea it is often compard to the Sydney Opera House. Inside, the auditorium also differs from traditional designs, as it attempts to surround the listener with sound sources.

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Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín (source: Turespaña)

To know more about both venues, you could participate in one of the guided visits that are organized to introduce visitors into the history and show the architectural highlights the buildings have to offer.

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Olive oil is deeply rooted in the Spanish history and culture. It is known that the olive tree was brought to the Peninsula by the Phoenicians and the Greeks. Later, the Romans and Arabs improved the techniques of production. As a result of a stable, thousand-year-old tradition, today Spain is the major producer and exporter of olive oil in the world.

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extra virgin olive oil (source: Diario ABC) 

The olive harvesting season starts around the end of November and the olive oil production mainly takes place during the winter months, from November to March. If you decide to visit Spain during these months, it is the perfect opportunity to learn about the world of olive oil.

Andalusia is the largest olive oil producer in Spain as well as full of cultural heritage sites. So why not combine a cultural and gastronomic tour?

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olive harvesting (source: Junta de Andalucia)

Visit Sevilla, the artistic, cultural and financial capital of Andalucia. The city is a historical hub, well known for its Muslim heritage and its gastronomy. Spend some time visiting the ancient “El Vinculo” mill and taste the olive oil that is produced there in a guided tasting tour. This olive oil mill was built in 1755 and until today it produces extra virgin olive oil in the traditional way.

Granada, once the capital of the Moorish kingdom, houses the most known Spanish monument: Alhambra Palace and the Generalife Gardens. While visiting this historical city, step by the Almazara Nuñez de Prado olive oil mill. This mill is run by the 7th generation of the Nuñez Prado family and it is housed in a traditional Andalusian farmstead building. It counts with an oil storage room that keeps the oil in the original jars from the 18th century.

Finally, Jaen is the olive oil region by excellence. Its landscape is marked by olive oil trees and as soon as you enter the province, you can smell the characteristic smell of them. the extremely fine quality of extra virgin olive oil produced in Jaén, results from practices passed down through generations of olive farmers, refining the art of virgin oil extraction. In Jaen, you can visit the olive oil visitor centre. it offers tours to introduce visitors to every aspect of olive oil production. the itinerary takes in everything, from the olive groves through to the actual production process of the olive oil, and explores its history, its relation with local gastronomy and its numerous health benefits.

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castle, Jáen Province (source: Junta de Andalucia)

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