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Posts Tagged ‘beautiful’

a rather unknown yet very refreshing way to get to know the natural beauty of spain is touring the ´vias verdes´. for many people this may sound new but the spanish government has been working on this initiative for some years now. the vias verdes, literally the ´green ways´ are old railways that are currently not in use as such anymore. they were restored by the government in order to serve as cycling lanes and hiking paths for nature lovers and people who like outdoor sports.

touring these ´vias´ is a different and very fun way to explore the spanish nature while at the same time being a very budget and eco-friendly one. since these paths are a great promotion of outdoor activities, they literally bring a breath of fresh air for people of all ages. it is therefore, no surprise that their popularity in spain is increasing every year. now is the perfect time to indulge yourself into the cycling life and to get your sport shoes ready, let´s go!

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via verde over an old train bridge

a little note on the history of the via verdes; after trains stopped running along these tracks, they fell into despair. however, today the old railways have been restored and rearranged into proper bike lanes and trails for walkers. In total there are currently 1900 kilometres of ´vias verdes´ and they can be found all over spain. all tracks can easily be reached and they is a range of difficulty in them so that there is a path for everybody, from young kids and their parents to senior citizens or people with reduced mobility.

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enjoy the variety of the spanish nature

the beauty of the spanish nature can be enjoyed to the fullest on the ´vias verdes´ since there is no outer-disturbance due to the fact that all motor vehicles are forbidden so there is no traffic noise. a track along a ´via´ will lead you to charming villages, over beautiful bridges and through dark (former) train tunnels. the gorgeous scenery is very unique and shows you the beautiful forests, olive yards and rivers and even beaches. along the way you will find areas to rest and enjoy the views while you can have some lunch or a snack at one of the many picnic areas. information about the routes, the towns or the nature can be received at the restored train stations that now serve as information points.

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restored train station along the via verde in bot in terra alta

bellow we will present some ´vias verdes´ which we recommend to our clients and think are worth a trip. first of all, we would say that the ´via de la jara´ is a beautiful track that one has to check out. this path will take you over the aqueducts and train tunnels in toledo and offers stunning views on the rivers and valleys.

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via verde de la jara

In catalunya the via verde ´sant feliu de guíxols´, located close to girona, is one of our recommendations. this route is 39 km long and leads cyclists through tunnels, forests and even brings them to the beautiful seafront. the route is perfect since it shows us the variety of the catalan countryside and provides for an interesting and challenging one-way track.

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via verde sant feliu de guíxols

the last recommendation from our side is to go and explore the beautiful ´torrevieja greenway´, which could also easily be reffered to as the ´salt flats greenway´. this route is based on the old albatera-torrevieja railway line and combines an urban section and a beach one at acequión. the trail leads cycslists around the local salt lakes where flamingos can be spotted if you are lucky.

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flamingos & torrevieja

please contact us for more information on the routes, hotels or other recommendations for the ´vias verdes´ for all regions!

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catalonia as a region is famous for many things, its beautiful beaches, is great modernista architecture, its passionate football mentality  and also for its delicious cava. the latter is  called the ´´champagne of spain´´ and is produced in one of the oldest viticultural regions in europe. this region, the penedès, is located a little south-west of barcelona and definitely worth a trip if you are visiting the capital of catalonia. its bubbles and culinary traditions have been attracting tourists and sparkling wine-lovers for decades and that is not for nothing!

a small historical recap shows us that this wine producing region finds its origin back in the days of the roman empire. the specific attributes that we were used by the romans then can now be found in the wine museum of vilafranca del penedes, one of the area´s most important wine towns. then, during the time of the moorish occupation, the wine produced here was exported to countries all over europe and even beyond, to south america (we are talking about the 18th century here!).

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endless vineyards in el penedés

then, things took a very interesting turn as the phylloxera plague occurred. this plague changed the course of growth and the type of the grapes as they were now slowly changed into white ones instead of red ones. the latter resulted in the start of the production of cava around the 1870s. the white grapes are currently the most dominant ones in the region as the red wine production only plays a small role in the landscape of the vineyards in the penedès region.

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white grapes now prevail in the region

the penedès area is currently seen as one of the most modern and innovative spanish wine regions. their grapes have been widely researched by wine pioneer miguel torres and he is the one who provided the region the fame it enjoys today. 95 % of all the cava produced in spain finds in origin in the penedès region and in 1991 the region got recognized as a DO region, in catalan: a denominació d’origen region. this means that the wine produced here is officially recognized and it is even seen as one of the best of spain after the rioja area.

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the famous codorniu caves in the penedes area

cava is produced using grapes from different regions and blending them into a perfect mix of delicious bubbles. if you get bored by just drinking the ´´normal´´ plain cava, you should definitely try the rosé version that consists of 3 different types of grapes, the xarel.lo, macabeo and parellada. moreover, there are many young wines produced in this region, white ones that are very fruity and crisp whereas the red one are more full-bodied and aromatic, characterized by an intense red color. although, the is apparently some choice in other wines, cava stays our favorite!

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cava label

we recommend to visit the penedès as it is the centre of one of the most fascinating wine regions in spain, full of history and culture. the spanish rail system is a very handy way to travel down the penedès and from barcelona, it’s just 90 minutes to tarragona. this trip takes you along the a catalonian coast where you will find some beautiful small towns such as cadaqués, a colourful fishing village was the birthplace of salvador dali. you can stop at several wine cellars along the trip and do a winetasting while your at it! another options is to stop in the beautiful beach town sitges (check our earlier post about this famous town) and enjoy a day at the beach and a night full of partying. all in all, we can state that this regions has an overwhelming amount of choice when it comes to leisure combined with the typical catalonian culture.

please contact us for more information or requests!

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the stunning landscape of the penedian vineyards

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many people think that the summer is the best season to visit spain. however, as autumn just started it is time to explore other aspects that reach beyond the beaches that spain is so famous for. one can currently see that the weather is slowly changing and that the sun is less apparent but that does not mean that the beauty of the country disappears. fact is that coming to spain in autumn gives you the perfect opportunity to explore the magical forests and see the shades of the trees changing. the perfect palette of ochre, orange, red and gold colours appears and all these special shades give the spanish mountains a very unique appearance. they provide for the perfect outdoor experience in the beautiful spanish mountainside.

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picos de europa national park in autumn

coming to spain in fall provides you with the opportunity to see the second most mountainous country in europe and enjoy its stunning forests. the most famous woods of the country can be found in the north as these forests are characterized by rather specific shady, leafy and moist trees. there are so many possibilities for those who enjoy hikes in the forest or mountain biking up in the hills since the list of national parks and big forests where this can be done is endless. examples of spectacular forests include the beautiful picos de europa national park and the ordesa monte perdido national park.

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ordesa monte perdido national park

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this was the first park in spain that was awarded the title of a ´´national park´´ and the area received the unesco biosphere reserve designation in 2002. the climate in the area of the park is humid and rainy due to its proximity to the sea (solely 20 kilometres away). in winter time it will definitely snow here but there is a possibility to see snow during the rest of the year as well. this special mountain side stands out because of its high peaks, deep ravines and long canyons. moreover, the diversity of the park becomes even more apparent due to the fact that there are four rivers that flow through the park and many different viewpoints where visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature. to make the most out of a trip to this park one should definitely use the fuentedé cable car which can take you up to 1,800 metres above sea level and provides for stunning views.

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fuentedé cable car

ordesa and monte perdido national park

this national park is presided by the monte perdido and part of the pyrenees. moreover, it was declared a world heritage site in 1997 by unesco and falls within the scope of the ordesa-viñamala biosphere reserve. consequently, it is a very special place to visit. the landscape with its high summits and all the different eco systems present, both with an atlantic and mediterranean influence, provide for a rich and diverse flora and fauna. the park is characterized by the great massif of monte perdido with a height of 3,355 metres and by the peaks of the tres sorores.

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monte perdido in the winter season

other options for those who like to enjoy nature include the pedrosa beech forest in segovia (slightly north-west of madrid); the montejo forest, one of the southernmost forests in europe, situated in the sierra del rincón mountains close to madrid. The latter is also awarded with an unesco biosphere reserve status. moreover, one can visit the tejera negra nature reserve in guadalajara; the señorío de bértiz nature reserve in navarre (close to the pyrenees) and the beech forests in the volcanic area of la garrotxa in girona (in the vicinity of barcelona).

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la garrotxa

we recommend coming to spain to visit these beautiful natural areas and discover a different side of spain. the changing shades of the leaves and the contrast of mountains, forests and water to be found in 1 national park provides for an unique experience. the huge oaks, the special chestnut trees and the mist that is so characteristic for the forest will make this a trip with a very special touch. moreover, since most of the national parks are situated close to the bigger cities, one can combine a city trip in barcelona or madrid with some days to explore the spanish nature and enjoy the beautiful forests and their wildlife.

for extra information, routes and prices you can contact us: info@across-spain.es!

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salamanca, the biggest student city in spain, is an old small city full with beautiful buildings, fun atmosphere, and good vibe. the nature is so wonderful that it is just a pleasure to walk around and feel the relaxing atmousphere.

salamanca collage

also, its nightlife is more than fun because of its huge variety of bars and clubs with free entrance! however, it is not only for young generation because there are many kind of places for every needs and likes, either pushy or casual look.

the plan for the night is ready, so let’s think about during the day. we suggest to enjoy sightseeing in a very unique way; through treasure hunt!
perhaps there are many people who have no idea what we are talking about. you can enjoy salamanca sightseeing by trying to find some hidden items here and there. let’s have a closer and quick look on three of the most popular and well known hidden carvings.

 

1. the frog on a scalp, the most famous icon of the city
this hidden icon is decorated on a wall of salamanca university. however, it is extremely hard to find the frog by yourself because the wall is very detailed and there are many monuments. have a try first by yourself to find it! even if the attempt is not successful, don’t worry; there are many people all looking up searching and pointing it so you can just ask someone to show you.

frog collage

can you see it now? the frog is very small, but it is said that if you can find it by your own, you will have a good luck, or if you are a student, you will graduate successfully.

 

2. the astronaut
the second famous hidden carving in salamanca is the astronaut, which you can find somewhere on the new part of cathedral. it is huge and also very detailed so you can find it easily. the photo below shows the side of the cathedral where you should look at.

astronaut collage

during the re-establish of the cathedral, they put this astronaut icon as a symbol of 20th century. also you can see that the astronaut’s face is slightly different from the the first edition one.

 

3. gargoyle devil with an ice-cream
just next to the astronaut you can find a very cute hidden curving; devile with ice-cream. how playful are salamanca people!!

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there are many more hidden icons, as you can see on the post card below. we just did the first three ones, but we will give you an opportunity to have fun searching the rest by yourself while exploring the beautifulness of salamanca!

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when they hear granada, most people will connect it directly to the brilliant alhambra palace. it is an amazing place without doubt, but do you know anything else about granada? have you ever heard that one of the most beautiful places to see the sunset  is in granada?

you probably haven’t, so let’s have a look at what granada has to offer. as the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, so enjoy these photos as a preview of what you could enjoy in granada. but remember “seeing is believing”, so you should come here and experience this beautiful moment by yourself!

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you can find this breath-taking view at very top of the sacromonte quarter, which literally means the “sacred hill”. it is located in the gipsy area of granada, a hill truly worth exploring with its small, whitewashed houses during the day, and be on the top for the sunset. don’t miss the beautiful change of colours!

from here, you can also see on the left side the alhmabra palace, and the way the sunset colours hit the ancient walls of this spectacular building will be one of the best memories you will take from granada.

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finally, there is one more surprise only for this season! can you see in the background the snow on top of the sierra nevada mountains? the combination of muslim mystical architecture and snow and sunset is something that you have to put in your must-see list!

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