Did you know that Spain has almost 5000 kilometres of coastline and two different seas forming its natural borders? The country is perfect for a summer holiday by the sea and even has some places that offer mild climate and nice temperature in winter. To make it a little easier for you to know the best places for a great vacation, we listed Spain’s top ten most popular and beautiful beaches.

  • Playa de la Concha in San Sebastian, on the Atlantic coast in the north of Spain is not only the most popular beach in Spain but also Europe’s number 1 beach and number 6 worldwide. With the beautiful promenade of San Sebastian, 1,5 kilometres of white sand and typical waves of the Atlantic, this beach is a surfer’s paradise. It is the perfect place for water sports, swimming, taking long beach walks and sun bathing.
san sebastian

the bay in San Sebastian is just stunning

  • Number 2 on Spain’s favourite beaches is Playa de Ses Illetes in Formentera, one of the smallest of the Balearic Islands. White sand and chrystal clear water make this the ideal snorkel spot and in the evening you can watch some pretty amazing sunsets. The small island next to Ibiza is not so packed with tourists which makes it a hidden secret to enjoy when having a holiday on the Balearics.
  • Playa de Muro, in Mallorca, one of Spain’s most well known islands is characterize by turquoise blue water and great temperature of the Mediteranean. Ideally for families, this place offers fun activities and watersports such as banana boat and rowing.

Formentera on the left and Mallorca on the right, both equally magical

  • Playa Del Duque, in Costa Adeje, Tenerife, one of the Canaray Islands is located in the south of the island. This beach with calm waters and golden sand offers a good temperature throughout the entire year and although it is small, it is equipped with all kinds of amenities and services in the surroundings.
  • Moving on to another one of the Canary Island, in Fuerteventura you’ll find Playa Sotavento on the Costa Calma which creates a natural lagoon that is more than 3 kilometres long and known to be great for windsurfing and kiteboarding because of it’s water depth. A very idyllic place to enjoy some calm abd quiet.
  • Fuerteventura, is known for its white sandy beaches and turquoise water. That is why Lagunas and Playa de El Cotillo, La Oliva, became so popular. Due to the great weather all year round you can swim and even dive there at any time of the year in crystal clear water and enjoy the beauty of the ocean and the island.
  • Playa de Cofete is located in an isolated corner of the island of Fuerteventura and can be reached through an unpaved track. With more than 12 kilometres in length, the place impresses with its wild nature, cleanliness and tranquillity. Only few people spend time at this separated part of the island.

all three of these stunningly beauitful beaches are in Fuerteventura

  • The Canary Islands offer another stunning place, the Las Canteras beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It makes number 3 of the peninsula’s favourite beaches and is under the top ten of the best European ones. It’s speciality is a natural “bar” of sandstone and reef which can only be reached by swimming there.
  • The beach of Maspalomas, Gran Canaria is almost 3 km long and includes dunes, a palme grove and the clear water of the Atlantic Oceans. Watching the sunset over the dunes and having a drink in one of the close bars after sunbathing and swimming is very popular amongst tourists and locals.
  • Back to the peninsula, Playa de las Catedrales, in Ribadeo, Galicia, in the northwest of the country has some impressive cliffs and caves that can only be admired during low tide. The beautiful rock formations make this to one of the most popular beaches of Spain and gives it a mystical vibe.

Maspalomas in Gran Canaria is known for its dunes

These are just a few of Spain’s greatest beaches but there are many more to explore. Hopefully you got inspired for your next adventure and try to discover even more of the peninsulas beautfiul nature.
If you enjoyed reading this post, come back for the next one to learn even more about Spain and its rich culture.


Spain has more than 200 Michelin star restaurants to offer, all spread across the country. However, when talking about Michelin stars, we automatically assume the most expensive meals and high priced restaurants. What we often forget is that the stars do not reflect a price scale but they exclusively describe the quality of what is put on the table.

Thus, one star indicates a good kitchen, which means, if you pass through the area you should try the food at this particular place. A second star defines an excellent kitchen and invites the diner to deviate from his route to get to know the restaurant. The third star is a strong recommendation of this restaurant because its exceptional cuisine is an experience and definitely worth a try.


some of Cocinandos’ art works – a feast for the eyes

So let’s start our restaurant tour in the Galician Yayo Daporta restaurant which offers meals for a reasonable price and high quality. The chef Yayo Daporta himself bases his food on “good taste and common sense”. He calls it typical Galician cuisine “updated with winks to products from other areas, to combine the old with the current”.
(Rúa Hospital, 7, 36630 Cambados, Pontevedra, menu for 45€)

But that’s not it for Galicia! Nova, a restaurant in Orense, opened its doors in 2012 and obtained a Michelin star just two years later. The chefs of this place, Julio Sotomayor and Daniel Guzmán told their secret for every meal they create: product, proximity and freshness.
(Rúa Valle Inclán, 5, 32004 Orense, menu from 30€)

Up north, on the Cantabric coast there is another award-winning restaurant, the Arbidel. Jaime Uz the chef of this exquisite location mixes tradition with avant-garde touches and recommends to taste the menu outside on the terrace of the restaurant to enjoy the high quality cuisine even more.
(Calle Oscura 1, Ribadesella, Asturias, tasting menu 50€)

yayo daporta

chef Yayo Daporta, his restaurant and one of his culinary delights

In Leon, Spain’s gastronomic capital 2018 you will find Cocinandos, a one star restaurant founded in 2003 by Juanjo Pérez and Yolanda Leon. It is not only the only Michelin star restaurant in the city but also considered to be one of the cheapest haute cuisine restaurant in the country.
(Calle de las Campanillas, 1, 24008 León, tasting menu 45€)

Moving along to the Pyrenees, there are several restaurants waiting to be explored. Lillas Pastia in Huesca is one of them. Specialized in black truffle cuisine, Carmelo Bosque, who opened the place in 1995, just wants people to “eat well and enjoy”.
(Plaza Navarra, 4, 22002 Huesca, tasting menu 75€)

Tatau Bistro is the name of the second Michelin star restaurant in Huesca. Although it just looks like a tapas bar from the outside, it offers much more exquisite meals inside. With Tonino Valiente, who learned from the best in the famous Hofman school and Arancha Sáinz, the restaurant is in the hands of to master chefs who are known for their culinary works of art.
(Calle Azara s/n, 22002 Huesca, menu from 30€)

When we travel to the centre of the peninsula to the famous Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in the Sierra Madrileña, we will discover Montia, the restaurant of Luis Moreno and Dani Ochoa. They embrace the variety of local ingredients and rely on producers of the area.  Their proposals vary constantly but are suitable for any customer: a small menu (for 45€), a big one (for 60€) and the XL version (for 65€) are available.
(Calle Calvario, 4, San Lorenzo del Escorial, 28200 Madrid)

acanthum xanty elias

Xanty Elías, top chef of Acanthum, focused on his mouth-watering creation, as the look is all part of the dining experience

And from the centre to the south. On the other side of the peninsula, on the Atlantic coast in Andalusia, Xanty Elías inaugurated Acanthum in 2011 in the town of Huelva. His intention was to revive the gastronomic legacy of the region and therefore he was rewarded with a Michelin star.
(Calle de San Salvador, 17, 21003 Huelva, from 55€)

And the list goes on and on. There are just so many renowned restaurants, it’s a pleasure for every food lover and gastronomic expert.
If you enjoyed reading this post come back for the next one to learn even more about Spain and its rich culture.


If you’ve ever been to Madrid you will probably have noticed the tile street signs and tiles on house walls that show pictures and tell entire stories. Although people might not notice them that much, they are part of Madrid’s ancient history and belong to one of the oldest cultural goods of the area.

Pottery and ceramics have been a speciality of the whole community of Madrid since the Middle Ages.  With the foundation of the Royal Factory of Porcelanas del Buen Retiro, the school of ceramics, these handicrafts became even more established and built an important part of people’s daily life. The ceramic material forms one of the indigenous architectural elements since ancient times.

streets madrid

Archaeologists found pieces of ceramics from the 9th and 10th century corresponding to the period of Muslim occupation as well as pottery from the 16th to 19th century made in Alcorcón, a neighbouring village of the city.
Pottery significantly entered Madrid’s architecture at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th through Ricardo Velázquez Bosco and popularized thanks to his outstanding student Antonio Palacios. The first examples can be found inside the Palacio de Comunicaciones. Especially important was the use of tiles at the beginning of the 20th century in the design of the first railway stations.

When walking around the streets of the city centre you will automatically come across some art pieces of former times. There is a collection of about 500 street plates of the historic quarter, made in 1990 by Alfredo Ruiz de Luna Gonzalez. The street art of old Madrid illustrates streets, squares, crossings, costs and more. They all have a common layout, they are composed by nine old-style tiles.

street signs

signs like these can be found everywhere in the centre

Besides those smaller artistic features of the architecture, there are bigger and more obvious works of art spread all over the city as well, such as the bullring Plaza de Toros de las Ventas which is decorated with large tile murals, representing employees, breeders and masters of bullfighting.
But also restaurants and are partly covered in tiles that show pictures of former residents, their profession or stories about the building:
Restaurante Viva Madrid in calle de Manuel Fernandes y Gonzalez 7,  Villa Rosa on Plaza Santa Ana 15, or Antigua Huevería in calle de San Vicente Ferrer 32 just to name a few.


this bar used to be a shop where people could buy eggs

Another great spot for this kind of street art is the huge park in the centre, the Parque del Retiro. Several buildings within the green gardens are lavishly decorated, like the Velazquez palace or also the Chrystal Palace. Their interior is used as exhibition rooms although their exterior also appears like a work of art.


Chrystal Palace on the left and Velazquez Palace on the right

You thought you have seen it all? If you go underground there is even more. Some old subway stations are a real eye-catcher with their colourful pictures of tiles. The ancient metro station walls are entirely covered in tiles and even old adverts are made of them. Retiro or old Chamberí station are just two stops to enjoy the subterranean art. While Retiro is still a normally used stop in the widespread metro network, Chamberí was taken out of the system. However, people can still go down to visit the beautiful station for free, from Thursday to Sunday or have a guided tour through the underground area for just a small amount of money. Besides that, when you look out the metro window between stations Iglesia and Bilbao, you also get a glimps of what used to be a regular stop on metro line 1.


Chamberi, also called Anden 0, is one of the most historical stations

If you enjoyed reading this post come back for the next one to learn even more about Spain and its rich culture.

Have you ever watched Game of Thrones? Or are you a fan of the fantasy series and think you know everything about it? Maybe this post will give you some new information. And if you have never seen a single episode of the show, after reading the following lines, you might want to give the series a chance or at least travel to some of these picturesque places.

GOT (as fans like to call it) is considered record holder of the Emmy Awards and analysing its audience numbers, it is the most successful series in the world. The production, based on the novels “The Song of Ice and Fire” by George R. R. Martin, has achieved the cult status of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which it often gets compared to. And while the story around the highly competitive Iron Throne is of course fictional, many of the imposing locations are real! And above all, the filming locations are not that far away. The following places might give you a déjà vu. So lets us take you on a trip to Westeros and Essos.

While the first 4 seasons where mainly shot in northern European countries, season 5 of Game of Thrones added some Spanish locations in Andalusia. For example, the Royal Palace in Sevilla, the Real Alcázar. The former king’s palace from the 14th century took over the role of the water gardens of the peninsula Dorne in the south of Westeros, where Prince Oberyn Martell’s older brother, Prince Doran resided.
In real life, the Spanish royal family spends several weeks a year in this impressive building but the palace was used several times before as film setting, for example for  the movie “Kingdom of Heaven” by Ridley Scott.

sevilla ois

the Real Alcázar on the left and the shooting of a scene on the right

Another venue was the Andalusian city of Osuna, about an hour drive from Sevilla, whose bullring was converted into the Arena of Meereen. You might also remember that Daenerys had her first dragon flight starting from this arena.
Also seen in season 5, the Roman Bridge of Córdoba that helped Varys and Tyrion reach the city of Volantis.

osuna ois

the bullring of Osuna made a great arena of Meereen

Moreover, season 6 was partly filmed in Andalusia too, just like season 5. Castillo de Almodóvar del Rio served as the rose garden.
The city of Cáceres in the region of Extremadura became an important location as well. Cáceres was transformed into Altsass while the Castillo de Trujillo took on the role of Casterly Rock.

Another castle that was used as film setting is the Castillo de Zafra, a 12th – century castle in Castilla – La Mancha. In addition to that, the Castell de Santa Florentina in Barcelona and many buildings and streets in the old town of Girona, Catalonia were among the filming locations. The small town north of Barcelona became the Free City of Braavos in Essos. With its Arab Baths, Plaça dels Jurats and Carrer de la Claveria, it was just perfect for the story line. The Cathedral of Girona served as the Great Septe of Baelor and the Monestir de Sant Pere de Galligants took on the role of the citadel in Altsass.

girona ois

do you recognize the Great Septe of Baelor?

But that’s not it! Some scenes of season 7 were again shot in Spain. The film crew travelled to the mountains of the natural park Bardenas Reales, a semi-desert in Navarra in the north of the peninsula and to the Basque Country.

flysch ois

the mystical looking Basque Country with these Flysch formations made a great film setting

Places that embody the island of Dragonstone in Game of Thrones are the monastery of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, located on a small island between Bakio and Bermeo, the secluded Playa de Muriola near Barrika and Playa de Itzurun near Zumaia, which is located in a beautiful bay, surrounded by green mountains that reach down to the sea. The spectacular cliffs with their flysch formations were just perfect for some of the scenes in season 7.

san juan ois

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe also known as island of Dragonstone

After reading all this, are you going to watch Games of Thrones now? The series is not over yet, there is still one season to come in 2019. While you’re waiting for the next season to air, come to Spain to have an exclusive behind the scenes experience.
Across Spain offers a unique Game of Thrones tour that includes some of the mentioned places. For more information get in touch with us!

When thinking about the Iberian Peninsula beaches, tapas and flamenco immediately come to mind however barely anyone associates Spain with castles, palaces and fortresses, although there are over 6000 of them spread across the country. Most people know the famous Alhambra fortress but there are so many more ancient castles that tell stories, give a historical overview and offer entertainment for everyone.

Whether it is a medieval castle that was built during the times of Christian Reconquest designed to give refuge to the town’s people, a Renaissance or Baroque construction or a fortified tower by the sea preventing attacks of pirates or the Berbers. It all can be found in Spain. To give you an overview, the following paragraphs will include some of the most important castles.

Fortress of Toledo

The construction of this Renaissance castle dates back to Roman times when Alfonso VI was ruler of the kingdom. With the Emperor Carlos V the building was reconstructed again, this time, by the architect Alonso de Covarrubias. The facades are Renaissance, with towers and crenellated defense, built according to Alonso de Covarrubias and later Juan de Herrera. After the last reconstruction, it has been housing offices of the Army as well as the Army Museum.


Toledo, the city of three cultures

Castle of Loarre

An important medieval castle is the Castle of Loarre, located in Huesca, in the north-east of the Peninsula.  Built on the order of Sancho Ramírez I of Aragon upon the remains of a Roman building, this castle served as a royal palace until the 12th century, when it was converted into the convent of the Order of St. Augustine.


built in the 11th century, this is one of the oldest castles in Spain

Fortress of Segovia

Located at the confluence of two rivers, the castle was built on a rock, which indicates its original military use. It served as a residence for Alfonso VIII.
In the 13th century the building acquired a Gothic aspect with the intervention of the architects Juan II and Enrique IV. The last architectural phase was in the year 1587, by the hand of architect Francisco de Mora, possibly in collaboration with Juan de Herrera, who designed the Main Court and the School of Honor. The building has numerous secret passages that go down to the river and communicate with some places in town.


the Alcázar of Segovia was used as setting for several tv series and movies

Royal Palace of La Almudaina

La Almudaina was the seat of the independent kingdom of Mallorca during the reigns of Jaime II, Sancho I and Jaime III. The gothic castle is the result of the modification of the Muslim fortress in 1281. Inside the building, there are various tapestries and furniture of different historical monuments. As for now, it is used by the King of Spain as a residence for official ceremonies during the summer.


Furthermore, watchtowers can be found all along the coast of Spain. The tower in A Coruña helped defending the land from English pirates while the castle of Santa Barbara in Alicante repelled French, English and Arab enemies.
The Torre del Oro in Sevilla is probably the most famous tower in Spain. Formerly covered with golden tiles and located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River, it was built in 1220 and forms part of the wall of the city.


the Torre del Oro on the left, above the Hercules tower of A Coruña and in the right corner the castle and tower of Santa Barbara in Alicante

Castle of San Fernando

Located on the Costa Brava, close to Girona, Catalonia, this castle is considered the largest bastion fortress in Europe. It was built with the intention to reinforce the frontier to protect Spanish territory from foreign troops. One of the castle’s highlights is its courtyard, with a total area of 12,000 squaremetres. The inner enclosure is formed by five bastions of different sizes and it includes a stable with space for 450 horses.


the crown shapped complex is the biggest fortress of the 18th century in Europe

Castle of Ponferrada

What makes this medieval fortress in Castilla y Leon in the north of Spain so special are the tunnels that let the castle of Ponferrada communicate with the castles of Cornatel, the monastery of Carracedo and the castle of Monforte de Lemos. These are the places where the Templars that lived in Ponferrade fled when they were defeated.


If these breath-taking pictures have caught your attention don’t miss our next post with more picturesque places to discover in Spain!