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Posts Tagged ‘catalonia’

laying on the beach or taking a swim in the pool of the hotel; during a sunny holiday a refreshing afternoon is a must among most of the tourists. you could say nothing beats watching the sunset over cocktails on a pool terrace and take a dip to cool of your body. every year hotels are investing more to make their swimming pools more exclusive, but there is a lot more behind the beauty of knockout design, superb service and mattresses fit for a maharajah. it depends on the traveller where the body seeks to, but for the ones who never heard of the beauty of natural swimming pools, have a look at the following.

sometimes, mother nature does it best. scenic pools and swimming holes around the world are as natural as they are beautiful. most of the natural swimming pools have a surrounding you have never seen before while lying in the water. you can decide for yourself but here are a few recommendable pools in spain.

gandesa, catalonia

the pools of gandesa are one of the oldest secrets of catalonia. located between the mountains of sierra pándols and sierra cavalls, the thermal pools of gandesa are one of the most visited thermal centres in the mid nineteenth century. the name comes from the warm water hot spring located in the canaletes river, just where the river narrows from a canyon. you will find a serie of natural pools that look like carved into the rock with a natural hot spring water.

It is hidden within a small valley and making it perfect when looking for good ‘days out’ from Barcelona.

it is hidden within a small valley and making it perfect when looking for good ‘days out’ from barcelona.

sierra norte, madrid

unfortunately, the beach in madrid is just too far away for a weekend, but is very easy to head to the sierra for a few days or even a day trip. the natural swimming pools contains three natural pools which are filled with water from the lozoya river. free and open to the public, this is an excellent place to spend the day and escape the hustle and bustle and excessive summer heat in the capital. the pools are surrounded by green grass and trees and have stunning view of the sierra´s highest peak: pico peñalara. the facility is open from 9am to 10pm daily in the summer, remaining so up through late september, depending on the weather. you can reach it by bus or private car.

The pools are located in a very nice area, in a pine forest, which is a perfect place to enjoy nature

the pools are located in a very nice area, in a pine forest, which is a perfect place to enjoy nature.

la matanza de acentejo, tenerife

the district of la matanza de acentejo, in the north of tenerife, has a number of natural swimming pools. these pools come in all shapes and sizes and were formed by molten lave coming into contact with the water following the eruption of the trevejo volcano in 1706. it offers a refreshing dip in unusual surroundings, but keep an eye on the sea conditions as sometimes there are some fairly big waves.

natural swimming pools are like balm for the soul and families benefit from the numerous swimming complexes and beaches in tenerife

natural swimming pools are like balm for the soul and families benefit from the numerous swimming complexes and beaches in tenerife.

cáceres, extremadura

this so-called hell´s throat is another refreshing option available for those are not located next to the beach. a breath-taking walking path leads into natural cushioned by grazed boulders carefully shaped by thousands of years or erosion. this area includes deciduous forests, riverside woods, alpine grasslands and brushwood groves. you can explore its many trails on foot, by bike or even horseback and discover some of this nature reserve´s idyllic beauty spots.

this area is a paradise for lovers of outdoor activities: routes for off-road vehicles, guides tours, photographic trips and bird watching.

this area is a paradise for lovers of outdoor activities: routes for off-road vehicles, guides tours, photographic trips and bird watching.

frontera, el hierro

the water in this natural swimming pool enters gently trough an underwater cave creating a pool where the transparent waters turn blue due the light ground.  this wonderful swimming pool consists of two beautiful natural swimming pools with clear turquoise waters, one of the two swimming pools is located in a cave and the other one under the open sky. the area is located in el hierro and can only be reached by a staircase along the cliff. the descent takes about 20 minutes. this little adventure is not dangerous and it is definitely worth it.

a depression of rock has created a spacious natural pool that is fed by the tides and reached via a steep stone staircase

a depression of rock has created a spacious natural pool that is fed by the tides and reached via a steep stone staircase

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while spain’s modern cities usually tend to attract all the attention of visiting tourists, its villages offer a beauty that many will find hard to deny. most rural towns make you go back in time to get a glimpse of our medieval ancestors or sport a gorgeous natural beauty in the mountains or by the sea. for the ones willing to discover this stunning old and rural side of spain, we have compiled  list of towns that we consider worth visiting. be sure to check out the old communities attached to the villages as well – here one can get a peek of the old spain and its traditional cuture.

olvera

olvera, in the vicinity of cadiz

below we will show you 6 villages that we consider worth visiting because of their stunning beauty or gorgeous location. let´s get started!

in the province of andalucia:

mojacar  -is located in the south-east of the iberian peninsula in almeria. the old quarter, called mojacar pueblo, is 175 meters above sea level, next to a spring. its beautiful whitewashed houses are stunningly set in the lower hills of the beautiful sierra cabrera, overlooking a canyon carved out by the aguas river. due to the river market gardens can be irrigated and olive and orange groves can be grown. this charming town is located solely 17 km from the mediterranean see making it a perfect spot for a romantic getaway in summer.

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the beauty of mojacar

ronda – this town in the málaga region sits on either side of the tajo del ronda, a narrow gorge more than 150 metres deep. its old town has been declared property of cultural interest. the city of ronda has been inhabited by celts, phoenicians, romans and arabs after which it was finally conquered by the catholic monarchs. several bridges unite the two halves of one of the most interesting towns on the route of the whitewashed villages, in the heart of the the ronda hills, only a few kilometres from the costa del sol.

Brücke Puente Nuevo über der Schlucht des Rio Guadalevin, Ronda, Malaga...

the famous bridge in ronda

in the province of aragón:

cantavieja  – is a village full of history. it was recaptured from the moors by the king of aragón, alfonso ii in 1169.the strong city walls of the village protected the rulers of the temple since they were able to resist the attack ordered by king. due to its strategic position, the village has been able to preserve its beautiful centre throughout its long history. hence, the village of cantavieja has successfully been able to withstand numerous sieges and cruel destructions.

cantavieja

cantavieja on a mysterious dusty morning

in the province of levante:

peñíscola – the city is surrounded by water on every side but one and has a beach that’s well worth a visit all year around. the castle, perched on a large ridge overlooking the sea, offers a glimpse of its past at a time when knights and battlemented fortresses occupied the lands of el maestrazgo. the parade ground offers as a delightful balcony over the mediterranean, and its keep makes the perfect place to see a panoramic view of the coastline. in spring and summer this walled enclosure hosts a spanish comic film festival and a festival of old and baroque music. visitors may also like to see the lighthouse and the museum of the sea, or go hiking or mountain biking in the sierra de irta nature reserve.

foto peñiscola - copia(1)

a village surrounded by water: the stunning town of Peñíscola

in the province of cantabria:

santillana del mar  – sheltered by gentle hills and solely a few meters from the sea this historic town is located. this town is undoubtedly the centre of artistic and historical attractions of cantabria, and one of the most visited sights. from the earliest settlements known la cueva de altamira (the villa) until today, boasts a formidable heritage chaired by the jewel of romanesque architecture in cantabria. this beautiful town is a must-do when you are in this region and a very special gem that one needs to discover.

santillana

the cosy streets of santillana del mar

in the province of catalonia:

cadaqués  – this beautiful fishing village is full of surprises in for example the house of the surrealist genius salvador dalí. known as the portlligat house-museum, which consists of a group of fishermen’s cabins arranged to form a kind of maze, which dalí modified over a period of 40 years to make this incredible home and workshop a reality. in cadaqués you’ll also be able to enjoy a charming town on the costa brava to the fullest as you can go for a swim against a backdrop of little white houses overlooking the sea, and let yourself be soothed by the tranquillity and the light that inspired dalí.

cadaques

the beautifully located cadaques

for more information on the villages please visit spain.info . and for more information on tours to these destinations and tips for hotels and transportation, do not hesitate to contact us. we will be happy to assist you and give you more insights in how to travel to these beautiful rural towns around spain!

please visit: http://www.accros-spain.es

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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.

Ruta del Vino del Penedes. Caves Pere Ventura

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!

BeFunky_signat-brut-nature-cava-catalonia-spain-10389181.jpg

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!

cava

the stunning landscape of the penedian vineyards

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