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Astrotourism is on the rise. More and more travellers are searching for a special nature experience. As nowadays clear skies cannot be taken for granted anymore, destinations with less light pollution are highly popular. Spain is one of the best countries for all Star seekers, due to the climate, which guarantees many clear night skies and big areas without air and light pollution. We at Across Spain searched for the top 5 areas in Spain, where you have the possibility to “look back in time” while watching up at the luminous stars.

Canary Islands
As also mentioned in our latest news, the Canary Islands are considered as the world’s stargazing paradise because of their clear, almost transparent sky, as well as for their low rainfall rates. The clean and unpolluted, quiet atmosphere combined with the high mountains make travellers feel a little closer to the universe. Next to La Palma, which was the first destination that has been designated as a Starlight reserve by the UNESCO, the Teide in Tenerife is also a hotspot for stargazers. On the mountain, which is the third highest volcanic structure in the world, travellers can glance at the Milky Way that stretches from horizon to horizon.

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Sierra Sur district
The Sierra Sur district is the mountain range of Sierra Sur de Jaén in Andalusia, southern Spain. This is a landscape abounding in mountains and canyons, where you can find clean air and a glare-free atmosphere, isolated and distant from urban development. Perfect for observing the southern Spanish Sky.

Montsec
Low humidity and almost no clouds turns the Montsec area in Catalonia in a great location for stargazing. The area has also been recognised and certified as a Starlight Tourist Destination and Reserve by the UNESCO. These are the reasons why the Parc Astronòmic Montsec (PAM) was built here. The Park has a museum and small outdoor fields with two telescopes for stargazing. The museum offers you a permanent exhibition which allows you to “travel” through the history of the universe—from its origin to the creation of our solar system.

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Valles del Jubera, Leza, Cidacos and Alhama Biosphere Reserve.
Thinking of the beautiful countryside of La Rioja, northern part of inland Spain, several activities have been organised there in recent years, such as talks about the sounds of nature, tours to spot nocturnal birds, explanations of the links between the Celtiberian culture and the stars, bathing under the stars in thermal springs, learning about the constellations, and more. La Rioja has two stargazing parks, in Laguna de Cameros and Cervera del Río Alhama.

Extremadura
Extremadura has two territories that have been granted the Starlight Destination certificate: the Monfragüe Biosphere Reserve and the Gran Lago de Alqueva area. Monfragüe was, in early 2017, the first place in Extremadura to receive this recognition. Gran Lago del Alqueva area received the region’s second Starlight Destination certificate in April 2018.

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If you are now eager to visit one of these natural unique destinations to look up in the sky and experience its wonders, write us a message and ask about our stargazing programs.

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La Liga is men’s top professional football division of the Spanish football league system and is contested by 20 teams. It is the top league of Europe, due to the fact that its clubs have won the most UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League, UEFA Super Cup, and FIFA Club World Cup titles. Moreover, La Liga is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in the world. Since the new season started at the 18th of August, we will clarify some questions you may have about the most famous sport in (and maybe also out of) Spain. Therefore, we have chosen the two most important match types, which can be found in the vastness of Spanish football and which will taking place during La Liga.

El Clásico

Because FC Barcelona, as well as Real Madrid are booth highly successful teams and popular around the world, there is an own designation just for matches between these two rivals. El Clásico was first used to describe competitions held in the Spanish Championship but soon it was generalized for every encounter between FC and Real.  But not only the success of booth teams can be named for the rivalry, Madrid and Barcelona are also the two biggest cities in Spain. Moreover, it can be seen that Real Madrid tends to represent the Spanish nationalism, whereas FC Barcelona stands for the Catalan nationalism since the first played against each other in 1992. The two best teams in La Liga and arguably the two best teams in the world bring out so many emotions on and off the pitch that millions of fans around the world watch El Clásico and turn it into a global match. If you also want to enjoy the next El Clasico live, do not miss Round 10 of La Liga at the 27th of October.  

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Derby

For everybody who is not that much into football (at least not yet) the general term “derby” describes matches between teams from the same area or city. There are plenty derbies in Spain, but the most known one is the Madrid Derby. The two teams from the capital city, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, met each other also in the UEFA Champions League Final 2014 in Lisbon. It was the first time two clubs from the same city compete in the final and Real Madrid won the game with a final score of 4-1, but it should not be the last final match for these rivalries. 2018 in the UEFA Super Cup, the two teams of Madrid participate again in a final. This time Atletico Madrid beat Real Madrid with 4-2 and earned therefore their third UEFA Super cup title. As part of La Liga the next Madrid derby will take place at the 29th of September.

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If we talk about derbies in Spain, we should not forget the craziest of all: The Seville derby, found in the South of Spain, in Andalucía. When Sevilla take on Real Betis, the city stops and the rest of the country watches. Of course passion has always been a part of football, especially in Spain, but Sevilla and Real Betis take the passion to a whole new level, probably because both teams are actually located in the same city and because both teams consider the other their biggest rival. There are countless examples of how that passion manifests itself when the teams meet. Open training sessions before the game are attended by thousands of fans and the local sporting paper will dedicate a number of front pages to the derby. The upcoming chance to experience this passion live is the 10th of November.

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Are you now eager to see the Spanish football matches live? Across Spain offers you the best football packages for the current LA Liga season. Come and enjoy the beauty of Spain while being part of a global Sport highlight.

One of the best way to explore the most of the Iberian Peninsula and discover beautiful landscapes, historical cities and traditional places across Spain if you choose one of the numerous train lines which are run through the country. In the following we have collected the top 4 luxury train routes for you to explore most of the country while you are enjoy the luxury and comfort in a gorgeous 20th century decorated train.

1. Al Andalus

One of the most famous luxury train in Spain and definitely the most well – known in the southern part of the country is the Train Al Andalus which runs from Seville and after visiting such cities as Cordoba, Ubea, Granada, Ronda and Jaen arrives back to the Andalusian capital, Seville. The train runs for 7 days 6 nights and during the journey travellers will experience the traditions of the cities in Andalucía, visit unforgettable places, taste the best of the Spanish cuisine while enjoy comfort, elegance and space offered by the train. The Al Andalus were built in France in the 20th century and thank to this the train combines the chic era of the belle époque with 21st century service.

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The Al Andalus train

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The lounge of the Train Al Andalus

2. El Transcantábrico

The classic El Transcantábrico train takes all its travellers to a cultural and gastronomic journey through the North of Spain, also known as the Green Spain. The journey runs from Leon to Santiago and visit cultural cities through the northern autonomous communities of the country during 8 days and 7 nights. The El Transcantábrico is the oldest tourist train in Spain, and up until nowadays it is the synonym of elegance and comfort from its beginnings. This traditional train takes travellers back to the golden age of the great railway journeys, accompanied by all comforts and services of the 21st century. All its cabins and lounges are carefully renewed to offer the highest luxury for all its passengers. Besides it offers rich culture and cuisine of Castile and Leon, the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia to make every trip a real pleasure for the senses.

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The El Transcantábrico train

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The lounge of El Transcantábrico

3. El Expreso de la Robla

The El Expreso de la Robla offers two different routes in the northern part of Spain, through Castile and León; and the Green Paradise Route, travelling through Cantabria and Asturias Both routes same duration of 4 days and 3 nights. This train offers the same charm and comfort as all the other luxury trains. However, this route was made with the idea of offering the classic rail journey at affordable prices. This train combines the luxury with the design of the 20th century and travellers can enjoy three comfortable lounges, luxurious room carriages and outstanding cousine.

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El Expreso de la Robla

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The lounge of the El Expreso de la Robla

4. Costa Verde Express

The Costa Verde train runs from Gijon to Bilbao also in the northern part of Spain. The itinerary for this train is a bit shorter than the two above, it runs for 6 days 5 nights. This train is a perfect way to travel through gorgeous landscapes in the northern part of the country. Besides you can experience the regional cuisine, art, monuments and landscapes are presented from the comfort of a ‘train hotel’. The Costa Verde Express saloons are delights of railway heritage, some of them being original 1923 Pullman cars. All the carriages have been specifically renovated and decorated for these luxury trains.

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The Costa Verde Express

If you get interested and would like to discover Spain in a luxurious and traditional way than do not hesitate to contact us and ask for our Luxury train packages.

Spain is world famous for its history, cuisine and traditional fiestas and festivals! Every village, town and city has their own, unique celebrations which are worth a visit at least once in a lifetime. Below we have compiled the 5 best fiestas around the country, so that you can celebrate the Spanish way this summer!

1.Bonfires of San Juan – 23rd – 24th June

The Bonfires of San Juan is a traditional and popular festival celebrated around Spain on the night of 23rd – 24th of June. However, the most important celebrations take place in Alicante in the community of Valencia. The celebrations are to signify the arrival of the summer, usually involving huge firework displays, festive dinners, dancing around bonfires, and the bravest people might even go for a swim in the sea. This fiesta has been held for hundreds of years, but was constituted formally in the year of 1928. Since then, the city of Alicante celebrates this night with different traditions, the most famous being the enormous cardboard and wooden figures which go up in flames on the night of San Juan and the spectacular fireworks at midnight.

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Firowork in Alicante during the festival

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Bonfire of a cardboard figure

2. Wine Battle in Haro – 29th June

Every year on the 29th of June,  locals and visitors alike come together in the famous wine region of La Rioja, specifically the Haro vineyard, to celebrate Saint Peter’s Day (El dia de San Pedro) with this crazy festivity. During the celebrations people thow wine all over each other, eating, drinking and singing together. The roots of the festival go back to the 13th century, when the first battles were held between the regions. Since then it has become an annual tradition to have a wine battle followed by a huge dinner, dancing and partying in the city of Haro.

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Celebrations of the Wine Festival

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Celebrations of the Wine Festival

3. Sanfermines 6th14th July

Every year on the second week of July, the city of Pamplona in the region of Navarra becomes a bull running path and the most exciting city in Spain. This year on the 6th of July, like every year, a chupianzo (a type of rocket) will launched from the Town Hall of Pamplona, marking the start of the celebrations. The festival lasts for a week (until the 14th July this year), where visitors can enjoy exciting bull runnings, parades, bull fights and much more. The first run of the year is held on the second day of the fiesta at 8am, when hundreds of people run in front of the bulls from the old town, up until the bullfighting ring of Pamplona. Everyone – both locals and visitors – can join in on the runs, just make sure to wear your running shoes! Moreover, every day parades of “giants and big-heads” are held in the streets accompanied with music, tapas and tradition.

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Bull running during the Sanfermines

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Parade of Giants and Big-Heads

4. Canoe festival and international descent of the Sella river – 3rd August

The canoe festival in Parres (in the region of Asturias) has truly become one of the most important international canoe races. Every year, on the first Saturday of August, canoeists from all over the world come to participate in the Sella River Race. This exciting sporting event begin in 1930 and has been held every year since then. The race course runs for 20 km on the Sella River from the village of Arriondas, to the finish line in Ribadasella. In order to participate, you need a valid competition licence. However, thousands of spectators enjoy the race by shouting and encouraging the participants. The race starts at 12pm and lasts until the last competitor reaches the finish line. Afterwards, trophies are awarded to winners in each category and a huge picnic is organised with delicious food, drinks music and dancing. The festival doesn’t just stop after the picnic though, it continues in the streets, bars and terraces of Ribadesella.

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Canoeists at the start line

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The race in the Sella River

5. La Tomatina – 28th August

La Tomatina is one of the most famous festivals in Spain and is held on the last Wednesday of August every year in Buñol, in the community of Valencia. Masses of people from all over the world come together to throw thousands of tomatoes at each other, enjoy the great party and, most importantly, have the time of their lives! The origins of this mass tomato battle date back to a fight amongst children in 1945 and has been celebrated every year since then. Each year the celebration starts at 9am in the town square of Buñol, where the Town Hall provides breakfast for every visitor. The start of the battle is 11am when a shot is fired to announce the start of the fight. Afterwards, tomato-loaded trucks enter the city and everyone starts to throw tomato at each other. After only a few seconds, the whole city and everyone who is in the streets will be soaked in red tomato juice. The battle usually lasts for a few hours until a second shot is fired to signal the end of the battle.

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The world famous tomato fight

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The streets of Buñol during the Tomatina festival

If you would like to experience one of Spain’s world famous festivals this summer, then don’t hesitate to contact us!

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Map marking the different cities where you can find the best festivals during this summer

If you are history lover and looking for architectural sites than Spain is a must to visit destination.  The country has an ancient landscape where you can explore historical sites dating back to prehistory. The Moorish empire as well the roman invasion lasted for hundreds years and the legacy of their time in Spain is still much visible today. In the followings we have collected for you the most impressing archaeological sites across Spain.

1.Hispalis – Sevilla

According to the legend of Seville the mythical founder of the city was Heracles (Hercules). During the Roman Empire the city was named Hispalis and it was a significant port on the river Guadalquivir. During the Muslim times, it was Ishbiliya and became the most powerful city of the Moor Empire in the Iberian Peninsula. During these times several important buildings, such as the Alcazar of Seville has been built. In 1248 the Moorish Empire collapsed and Seville fell to Fernando III of Castilla. By the 14th century Seville was the most important Castillan city in Spain and became one of the richest cities on earth after the great discoveries. However, most of the today known historical sites correspond to the Roman era the city’s most famous architectural sites has been built during the Moorish Empire.

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Ruins of hte Antiquarium de Sevilla

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Alcázar of Sevilla

2. Corduba – Córdoba

According to the history of Cordoba, the city has been founded in the 2nd century BC by the Roman consul Marco Claudio Marcellus. The city has been sacked and destroyed during the war between Caesar and Pompey in 45 BC and later became a a Roman Province.  In the time of Caesar, Cordoba was the capital of Hispania Baetica and during these times many temples and provincial forums has been built, the city started to grow. The city was under the Roman Empire until the 6th century AC, when the Visigoths conquered the province. In 711 Córdoba was captured by the Umayyad army and again became a provincial capital in the Caliphate of Damascus. For more than 700 years the city was under the Moorish empire and in 1236 was captured by King Ferdinand III. In that time the city was divided into 14 districts, and numerous new churches an buildings were built. The centre of the mosque was converted into a large Catholic cathedral. During the history Cordoba was under several empires and religions and thanks to this nowadays visitors can find numerous archaeological and historical sites in the city and the surrounding. One of the most famous is the great mosque of Cordoba which is UNESCO world heritage site since 1984 together with the ancient city Medina Azahara, an ancient Moorish city.

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Medina Azahara

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Great Mosque of Córdoba

3. Valentia – Valencia

Valencia was founded as a Roman colony by the consul Junius Brutus in 138 BC and originally called Valentina Edetanorum. During the Sertorian war the city was destroyed by Pompey (75 BC) and rebuilt in the years 20-15. The city reached its most glorious times during the Flavia and Antonina dynasties. Thanks to this time numerous of Roman remains can be found under the Plaza de la Almoina in Valencia, where you can see the horreum, the republican baths, the nymphaeum, the curia, the basilica and tombs from the 5th  century. In the 8th century the moors conquer most of the Iberian Peninsula and as well occupied the city of Valencia. During this time the language, religion and costumes changed in the city and most of the remains of the Roman Empire has disappeared.

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Horreum Valencia

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Plaza de la Almoina

4. Qadis – Cádiz

According to the Roman historian Veleyo Patérculo, the city has been founded in 1104 BC as Gadir by Phoenicians from Tyre and nowadays Cadiz is one of the most ancient city still standing in Western Europe. The city subsequently became a naval base for the Romans before fading into obscurity until 1262 when it was taken from the Muslims by Alfonso X. The city started to grow in the time of the great discoveries, when it became a main port town after Columbus sailed from this port for his 2nd and 4th voyages. From this time it grew into one of the wealthiest and most cosmopolitan cities in Spain and most of the city’s fine buildings date from this time.

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Cadiz Cathedral

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Cadiz

5. Cauca – Segovia

Segovia is located in the centre of Spain, about 100 km away from Madrid in the autonomous community of Castile y Leon.  The old town of Segovia and its aqueduct is part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1985. The Roman aqueduct of Segovia, probably built around the 1st century and it is held together only by gravity. Via this edifice the water got to the city from the River Frio which is 17 km away from the city. This impressive construction, with its two tiers of arches, forms part of the setting of the magnificent historic city of Segovia. Other important monuments include the Alcázar, which built around the 11th century, and the 16th-century Gothic cathedral.

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Aqueduct

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Gothic cathedral of Segovia

If you get interested about the ancient architecture of Spain and would like to discover historic sites around the country than contact us and we will take you to the best places surrounded by ancient history.

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Map marking the cities mentioned above