Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘nature’

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.

d_mojacar_almeria_t0400220_0211

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

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

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!

via verde 2

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.

BeFunky_via-verde-del-tranqueru-perlora-asturias2.jpg

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.

train station via verde

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.

via-verde-de-la-jara-1

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.

via verde 1

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.

BeFunky_flamingos.jpg

flamingos & torrevieja

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

Read Full Post »

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!).

A 2905

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.

BeFunky_grapes.jpg

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

Read Full Post »

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.

BeFunky_autumn 2.jpg

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.

BeFunky_monte perdido 2.jpg

ordesa monte perdido national park

picos de europe

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.

BeFunky_cable car.jpg

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.

BeFunky_monte perdido.jpg

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).

BeFunky_garrotxa otono.jpg

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!

Read Full Post »

when you think of mallorca, you think of the sun, beaches, sand, blue waters, and the heat heat heat. yet if you “dare” to visit the island any time between the end of january and the middle of february, you’ll have the chance to witness an amazing natural phenomenon: the blossoming of the almond trees in mallorca.

it is at this time of the year that mallorca becomes a paradise for painters, writers, photographers, artists who get inspired by this wonderful show of nature! if you´re into nature and photography, and have been looking for that perfect spanish self-made souvenir, then go hiking, biking or walking along the almond fields in mallorca, or take a train ride on the old sóller railway for some picture-perfect views.

almendros.jpg

almendros en flor + from mallorca es asi tambien

painting by santiago rusiñol – almendros en flor en mallorca (1902), and the inspiration

 

the thought of an entire almond blossom island is truly romantic and ethereal. the thousands of almond trees have been reportedly planted by an arab king for his scandinavian-born love who missed her snowy homeland, what could be more romantic than that?

more pragmatically, it was probably the romans, who took it from the greek, who introduced the cultivation of almonds in the balearic archipelago. yet even in the greek mythology, the almond tree has a magical romantic story.

the beautiful princess phyllis was transformed by the gods into a leafless and bare tree after she had her heart broken by her fiancée, who left her at the altar. when the fiancée returned, he wept at the sight of such a sad tree that used to be his beautiful love. his tears turned into the beautiful almond trees that now cover many mediterranean regions.

from theory4 and flicktickr2009 from anieto2k and canalviajes

 

spain is the second largest producer of almonds, grown all over the mediterranean region, and are the base for favourite spanish sweets like the turrón and the marzipan.

turronandmarzipan.jpg

traditional turrón and marzipan figures

 

the almond blossoms cover mallorca at the perfect time to represent the new year and a new beginning, a rebirth, a sign of prosperity and good hopes for what the year will bring along!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »