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Archive for the ‘sightseeing’ Category

Did you know that Spain is home to some of the most beautiful parks and gardens in the world? In fact, it holds more than 8,000 of the 9,000 European species of plants, making it a popular place for botanists and tourists. Below are five of the most famous:

  1. The Royal Palace Gardens, Aranjuez
  2. Park Guell, Barcelona
  3. Parque del Clot, Barcelona
  4. Gardens at the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos
  5. Maria Luisa Park, Seville

The Royal Palace Gardens

The Royal Palace Gardens of Aranjuez surround the old Spanish Royal Residence which was built in the 1380s. The gardens are famous for their uniqueness, with more than 400 species of trees and bushes which are over 260 years old.

There are 3 main gardens surrounding the palace, each of them unique:

  1. The Parterre Garden

The flower beds, hedges and paths in this garden are beautifully constructed and well-trimmed forming an exquisite pattern in the garden. This intimate garden is perfect for a short stroll in the evening if you don’t enjoy long hikes!

  1. The Island Garden

What makes this garden unique is that it is located on an island in the Tagus River connected by a small bridge.

  1. The Prince’s Garden

Situated on 150 hectares of land, the Prince’s Garden is the largest of the three and nearly impossible to see in one day. One of the main attractions in the garden is the exquisite Chinese Pond.

 

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The Royal Palace Gardens of Aranjuez, Madrid. Source: revistadearte.com

Park Guell Barcelona

Built in the 20th century by one of Spain’s most famous architects Antoni Gaudi, the modern architecture of Park Guell is masked in mosaic patterns and bright colours, which makes it an attractive spot for tourists who enjoy taking picturesque photographs. When you enter the park, you are greeted by the famous Park Guell dragon which leads you to the rest of the park.

In the beginning, the plan was to create a housing estate with the land on which Park Guell is built, however this plan was not successful as no one wanted to invest, therefore Gaudi bought the model house and lived there until he died in 1926.

It is hard to believe that before Gaudi designed this magnificent park, it was only composed of dry land with hardly any greenery. Now, not only can you enjoy the beautiful buildings but at the back of the monumental area, you can take a walk amongst native trees and plants whilst enjoying a spectacular view of the city.

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View from the highest point of Park Guell. Source: rondalia.com

Parque del Clot, Barcelona

The Parque Del Clot is situated on 3.5 hectares of land with high bridges connecting either side of the park for pedestrians to cross. The chimney, arches and walls located in the Clot’s new green area, which was built in 1986, give evidence to the old mechanic workshops that were once there.

The park implements pre-existing architectural elements in a green space which makes it stand out. There are 4 different parts of the park: a long walk and three areas with a different purpose, making it perfect for all ages!

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Parque del Clot in Barcelona. Photo by josemanuel

Gardens at the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos

The monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos is one of the most characteristic monasteries in Spain, located next to the River Mataviejas on the land of Visigothic monastic establishments from the 7th century.

The Benedictine monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos demonstrates some of the most impressive work of European Medieval Art; whilst the cloisters of Santo Domingo represent one of the best examples of Roman Spain. Furthermore, they have become famous for their cypress which is thought to have been planted by one of the French Benedictine monks in 1882.

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Gardens at the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silo. Source: lasimagenesqueyoveo.com

Maria Luisa Park, Sevilla

Located in Seville’s historic center along the Guadalquivir River, is one of Europe’s finest greeneries known as Maria Luisa Park. A walk through here is an ideal way to cool down in the summer whilst allowing you to take advantage of the beautiful sights and cultural activities in the fresh air.

The highlight of the park is the Plaza de España, the monumental legacy of the Ibero-American Exposition in 1929, which symbolized a crucial memory for Seville and the rest of the world.

If you visit the park today you will see numerous monuments, fountains, ponds, flowers and impressive buildings that were re-designed by the French landscape architect Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier in 1911 which adds character to the park.

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The Maria Luisa Park in Sevilla. Source: pegnrope.com

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While culinary culture was always there as a side benefit, it has developed to the new reason why we’re traveling. And where can you have better food holidays than in the food mecca Spain – a country full with different flavors, delicious food, great restaurants and the famous local markets?

Gastronomy markets in Spain have always been the epicenter of civic life and a labyrinth of the freshest fruits, vegetable, meat and fishes. Hosted in historic buildings in the heart of the cities, some markets are no longer only offering local products but have developed to outstanding culinary experiences with a great variety of gourmet and crafts options and sometimes even live music. With their great culinary diversity, they are also the perfect food supplier for better restaurants in Spain.

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La Boqueria Market in Barcelona, (source: SuiteLife)

Gastronomy markets are a great way to get an insight into the food traditions of Spain. Sip a beer at the market of San Miguel, explore the wonderful market of Chamberí or stand around at the trendy food market San Anton to experience Madrid’s most popular and unique markets.

Market of San Miguel belongs to the gastronome of San Miguel society whose aim is to improve the traditional activity. La Boquería of Barcelona used as inspiration, the market focuses on high quality products, seasonal food and offering samples.

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Market of San Miguel in Madrid, (source: Spain Attractions)

The traditional market Chamberí, which has been operating for almost 70 years, is one of Madrid’s best known markets due to its great quality and variety of products. While it started as a food market, it has been modernized and features now also other services.

The biggest market in Madrid Maravillas is known for its fresh products which are great presented and of high quality. Maravillas is not only outstanding because of its architecture, numerous facilities and professional treatments by its merchant but also because the focus lays on developing eco-sustainable products.

The recently inaugurated San Antón Market in the heart of Chueca represents a new generation of markets with its recycling system. Spreading across three floors and focusing on perishable goods, wine, takeaway services and restaurant areas, the market is an absolute highlight.

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San Antón Market, (source: Pinterest)

Covered in high quality and well known markets, Barcelona is the perfect city to get back to basics and shop the old fashioned way at gastronomy markets. With markets such as Fira Artesana, Santa Caterina market and the famous La Boqueria market, the city offers a great variety and something for everybody.

Fira Artesana opens its doors on the first Friday and Saturday of every month and is specialized in homegrown and homemade products. With its nickname “the honey market”, it has turned into a small jewel of Barcelona.

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Santa Caterina Market, (source: BarcelonaHome)

As the first permanent covered market in Barcelona, Santa Caterina market is not only of great historic importance but also the perfect place to shop fresh fish, meat and delicious pastries. Moreover, the market features several restaurants to enjoy a beer with tapas, a perfect activity for a Sunday afternoon.

La Boqueria market, one of the most prestigious markets in the world, is an official landmark of Barcelona with over 800 years of history. The famous market is always busy and a hotspot for tourists as it offers everything a heart desires.

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La Boqueria Market, (source: Suites Life)

Known as the centers of gastronomy markets, Barcelona and Madrid feature the most famous food markets in Spain. However, other markets such as the central market in Valencia, the famous La Bretxa in San Sebastian and the gourmet market Lonja del Barranco in Sevilla are also must-see’s for food lovers. Experience a culinary journey through Spain and learn why Spanish food markets are treats for everybody when booking a gastronomy tour 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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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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The honeymoon is without doubt one of the most important vacation for couples – a time they will always remember and connect with positive memories. Therefore, it is very important to choose the perfect location for it. And what else is better for this romantic getaway than the combination of sunny beaches, stunning nature and exciting culture – Spain has it all!

A honeymoon in Spain is always a good idea, but some regions are especially suitable for newlyweds to spend their romantic holidays together. In addition to the most popular city destinations like Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla or Valencia, there are some other regions that offer great possibilities to spend these special vacations.

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sunset parasailing, Ibiza

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are the perfect destination for honeymooners due to their warm subtropical climate all year long.
The island of Tenerife offers all you may desire for your honeymoon: diverse nature, from tropical forests to volcanic landscape, beautiful beach resorts and many possibilities for activities. Visit the famous Loro Parque zoo, go hiking through stunning ravines or do water sports.
The other islands are also well worth a visit. You could visit La Palma to relax, practise golfing, and visit the national park or the natural pools. also, you could spend your vacation at Lanzarote and do surfing, go mountain biking or hiking – there are endless possibilities.

Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands are another good option for a honeymoon during the warm months (from April to October). Visit Mallorca, if you are seeking a combination of luxury and adventures. You can go hiking, yachting, just relax on the beach or visit some historic sites. There are several forts, windmills and nice mountain villages to be explored. A hotel that could make your stay even better is the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, a luxury hotel overlooking the fishing village of Port Soller.

A different program for your honeymoon awaits you in Ibiza. The island is famous for its international dance club scene and white sand beaches. This chic island is perfect if you are looking for the best parties and small remote beaches to relax. But the island has more to offer. If you are interested in culture, visit Dalt Vila, the historic centre of Ibiza Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a romantic evening have a drink at Café del Mar in Sant Antoni de Portmany, from where you have the best view of the most beautiful sunset of the island.

Costa del Sol

Furthermore, on the Spanish mainland there are many ideal places to spend the honeymoon. A popular destination is Costa del Sol with small fishing villages, charming coastal towns and famous spots like the bustling Puerto Banús marina in Marbella. In Marbella and the surrounding towns you can also find a lot of beach clubs and spas. You can decide if you just want to relax or attend great parties. If you need more action, there are loads of possibilities for water sports, sailing or golf. Moreover, from Costa de Sol there are various options for day trips. visit Nerja and the “Balcón de Europa” (Europe’s balcony) viewpoint for impressive views over the ocean. The ultimate place to take photos and collect memories of your honeymoon!

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Puerto Banús, Marbella

Apart from the mentioned regions of course there are numerous other options for honeymooners in Spain. You might find your ideal honeymoon destination at the wild green coasts and white beaches in Galicia, where you can enjoy great seafood. Another option is visiting the bustling Costa Brava, where historic towns, botanical gardens and small fishing villages await you.

All in all, every married couple will be able to find their perfect honeymoon in Spain, thanks to the unlimited possibilities!

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