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Green Spain is the name which identifies the area that includes the regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country. The Basque region and Galicia, with amazing cities as Bilbao, San Sebastian and Santiago de Compostela, are widely known internationally so, this week, we would like to introduce the region of Cantabria, a really popular destination amongst Spanish tourists and companies looking for fresh locations for their events, but still far from being a hotspot for international travel.

Cantabria, an unforgettable trail through wild beaches, charming villages and large nature parks; a place in the north of Spain where the intense green of the landscapes reaches the deep blue of the Cantabrian sea.

Cantabria

Bordering the Basque Country in the west, Cantabria is a region of high summits and green valleys that reach the fine sand beaches and the cliffs over the Cantabrian sea.  

Besides its natural beauty, Cantabria offers a rich architectural legacy covering all eras, from the Romanesque to the Gothic of the coast and further to the Modernism and the avant-garde masterworks. It is also the perfect destination for geology and caving lovers, thanks to the 9.000 underground cavities, among which the 10 prehistory caves declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Hikers and cyclists can enjoy the Natural Parks, such as Cabarceno and Picos de Europa summits. The wide sand windy beaches are perfect for surfers but also other sea activities.

Santander, the Cantabrian capital

Situated 100km west from Bilbao, Santander is a city whose life revolves around one of the prettiest bays in the world. It is a combination of green mountain landscapes and white sand beaches, a contrast of avant-garde buildings and elegant mansions and palaces that made it the preferred destination for royalty at the end of 19th C and early 20th.

Why should Santander be your upcoming MICE spot?

  • Good connection by road with Bilbao BIO airport
  • Broad range of first class accommodations
  • Charming medium size city ideal for a short breaks
  • Attractive corporate events: its situation, nested between the sea and the mountains, makes of Santander an ideal place for outdoor corporate events as hiking, canoeing, surfing, cycling …
  • Outstanding local gastronomy with special mention to the delicious Cantabrian sea fish and seafood
  • Unique heritage in the surroundings, with a complex of 10 prehistoric caves, including Altamira (the Sistine Chapel of the caves)

A stroll through the old quarters, with its majestic buildings, transport visitors to a distinguished past whose greatest witness is the Magdalena Palace. This iconic building, located in the highest part of the peninsula of the same name, is one of the essential sights of Santander, from where an impressive panoramic view of the city can be enjoyed.

Framed by the beach and mountains, Santander is a combination of palatial buildings and fishing tradition, which today can be enjoyed especially in the area known as the city’s fishing district: the perfect place to try to delicious local cuisine, so closely linked to the sea, with dishes as rabas (fried squids), maganos (squid with onion) or fisherman-style clams. The new Santander is an area that contrasts with the fisherman and palatial neighbourhoods, an area that stands out for the latest cultural and artistic trends, with places such as the Botín Centre.

https://www.turismodecantabria.com/

Where to stay

Santander city offers a wide range of accommodations and meeting hotels, all from 3* to 5* luxury venues that can fulfil the needs of every client. Most valued hotels are the ones situated in the seafront and beachfront areas, with stunning views and housed in palatial majestic buildings from 1800s-early 1900s.

Eurostars Real 5* GL – style, tradition, luxury and location have made of it the place to stay. Facing the Los Peligros beach, overlooks the bay of Santander from atop the hill, surrounded by own gardens and resting in the heart of the city’s most peaceful and emblematic area, between the historic centre and Sardinero beach.

https://www.eurostarshotels.com/

The Gran Hotel Sardinero 4* is an iconic building in a privileged location, by the famous Sardinero beach, ready to meet the needs of the most demanding.

Vincci Puertochico 4* is a very unique hotel downtown Santander, a boutique hotel overlooking the Cantabrian sea and a place where to rest and relax while enjoying the views of the maritime area Puerto Chico.

Other 4* and 3* properties are also ready to welcome incentive groups, with their meeting facilities that can suit groups of different sizes.

But, what about clients that are looking for quiet locations outside of the city but still within easy reach from the same?

One of the assets Cantabria counts with is the important offer of spa hotels, thanks to the richness of the underground waters and the surrounding landscapes of green valleys and crystal-water rivers. Cantabria counts with 7 traditional spa & thermal centres, most located in a natural environment or very close to the sea, which makes it a perfect choice for guests to enjoy the wide range of possibilities in the nearest surroundings.

https://balneariodepuenteviesgo.com/

Just 17km from Santander centre, Balneario de Solares is a classic north Spain spa hotel, completely renovated and inaugurated in 2006 as a modern thermal complex. The romantic style architecture of the original building is preserved and now houses modern hydrothermal facilities. The underground thermal waters are used for medical cures but also for beauty treatments and a recreational area with large pools are at guest’s disposal.

https://www.castillatermal.com/en/hoteles/balneario-de-solares/

What to do & see in Santander

In Cantabria, visitors’ sensations are multiplied among rural, urban, active and spa tourism, and the enjoyment of its golf courses.

Beaches

Cantabrian beaches are famous among Spanish sea lovers. In Santander city itself, 5 beaches, being El Sardinero the most iconic one. A promenade along the seafront and possible a swim it is a must for all visitors. There are several to choose from, including Playa del Camella, La Concha, the Sardinero (1km long), beaches of fine golden sand and fantastic views, surrounded by sea promenades and parks with gardens with spectacular viewpoints. Along the way, the city’s most beautiful mansions and elegant houses stand on one side, sailboats on the other.

The historic quarter

It is not very large so the best way to explore it is to stroll around, seeing the sights at own pace. The first thing visitors notice are the majestic façades of the banks, historically of great importance to Santander. Plaza Porticada, a neoclassical square, is one of the liveliest places in the city. Next door, El Cristo church and Santander Cathedral are the places to take some photos and discover some of the legends about the origins of the city. Museums as the Fine Arts Museum or the House. Museum and Library of Menéndez Pelayo can also be found in the area, along with one of the places with a more cheerful atmosphere, the Esperanza market, which foodies will for sure enjoy.

La Magdalena Peninsula and La Magdalena Palace

Palacio de la Magdalena is situated in the Peninsula of La Magdalena, in a natural surrounding with spectacular sea landscape and tree richness. La Magdalena beach and Bikini beach, the island of La Torre and the island of La Horadada, are part of the landscape of La Magdalena. The palace was built between 1909 and 1911, by popular subscription, to host the Spanish Royal Family.

https://www.turismodecantabria.com/

Cabo Mayor Lighthouse

30 metres tall, this lighthouse presides over the entrance to the Bay of Santander. It is one of the most emblematic buildings for citizens and visitors alike and holds a privileged position between the sea and the city, set in a headland with beaches, cliffs and a very intendent coastline with points of up to 50 metres above the sea. The lighthouse can be also spotted from Plaza de Italia view point, a perfect place to watch the sunset with La Magdalena Palace in the distance and continue afterwards with dinner in one of the city’s most notable restaurants.

Shopping and local cuisine

The main shopping district is located right in an area with several restaurants where to enjoy Santander’s traditional coastal cuisine, with dishes as rabas (fried squids), maganos (squid with onion) or fisherman-style clams. Beef and veal are also star products of Cantabrian farms, where tasty meat is produced in Spain’s largest cattle market. A wide variety of cheeses and sweets and pastries (such as the famous “sobaos” soft cakes and the cheesecake) complete a great gastronomy offer.

What to do & see around Santander

Charming smaller towns and villages

Santillana del Mar has been referred to as one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. Situated on the coast and surrounded by green mountains, it offers the best of both worlds. It was built around the church of Santa María and it is dotted with old defence towers, Renaissance palaces, medieval stone and timber houses and steep cobbled streets.

Comillas sits in a spectacular location, right on the edge of a long crescent beach and on a peninsula sticking out on to the sea. It features historic architecture, charming cobbled streets and Modernist-style buildings and the magnificent Comillas Pontifical University on a hill above.

Castro Urdiales is a coastal town and Roman in origin, with a picturesque old town with incredible architecture feats, as Santa María church, one of the best pieces of Gothic architecture in the region; the castle-lighthouse; the old medieval bridge; and the Hermitage of Santa Ana.

Sant Vicente de la Barquera is an old fishermen’s village declared to be of Cultural Interest because of its array of historical monuments. Framed by the peaks of Picos de Europa and sitting at the mouth of a wide river estuary, it is surrounded by some amazing beaches.

Potes. Situated in the interior or Cantabria, surrounded by mountains and streams. It has a charming old quarter with stone bridges and monuments. It is the base of those aiming to practice active sports in the mountains nearby.

Active tourism

The entire setting of nature resources in Cantabria is stunning and are perfect for hiking, biking or just drive around. The Picos de Europa National Park extends for almost 70,000 hectares over the regions of Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León. One of the most popular areas along this route are the Lakes of Covadonga, next to Cangas de Onís town.

River Deva’s most famous activity is canoeing. Rocky crests, gorges, valleys, great glacial lakes, leafy forests… are main attractions for active tourism. Not to forget the sea, since the Cantabrian is a surfing paradise.

https://www.turismodecantabria.com/

Prehistoric art in Altamira

As earlier indicated, there are 9.000 underground cavities, among which the 10 prehistory caves declared World Heritage by UNESCO. The Altamira Cave is unique and its cave paintings are considered among the most important in the world. Cave can be visited and the tour includes an extremely detailed reconstruction of the original cave in the Altamira National Museum and Visitor Centre to ensure the original cave is preserved. The Neocave and the museum are in Santillana del Mar, around 35 kilometres from Santander.

El Soplao cave

El Soplao cave, discovered in the early 20th, is considered to be one of the greatest wonders of geology, and a true speleology paradise. In addition to its enormous geological value, the Cave and its surroundings contain an exceptional industrial and archaeological heritage, with more than 20 km of tunnels. The mining activity has also left its mark on the outside: derricks, calcining furnaces, washing facilities, workshops, etc. The mining work was dedicated to the extraction of blende and galena, two of the best ores for obtaining zinc and lead, respectively.

Would you like to learn more about the endless possibilities Santander and Cantabria have to offer to a MICE group? Contact us, we will be pleased to tailor-size the most suitable program.

info@across-spain.es

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Ronda, one of the oldest cities in Spain, has become one of the destinations chosen by companies around the world to celebrate their events, meetings and incentive trips. Situated 100 km west from Málaga, in the interior, and conveniently located between Seville and Granada, it is one of the most famous spots in all Andalusia. The surrounding beautiful landscape, the charming narrow streets, its emblematic bridge, the houses on the edge of the canyon, bullfighting tradition, wineries and unique gastronomy are some of the attractions of the dream city.

Weather is also a plus, with a Mediterranean warm and temperate climate prevailing. Summers are warm and dry with fresh evenings, while winters can be cold due to the height of 742m above sea level. Best time for incentives are spring and autumn months.

The town

Ronda is a mountaintop town set dramatically above a deep gorge, which separates the town’s circa-15th-century new town from its old town, dating to Moorish era. Since the the Roman times, Ronda has held an outsized role as a regional crossroads thanks to its scenic and strategic location at the lip of El Tajo Gorge. A stone bridge spanning over the gorge, Puente Nuevo, is one of its symbols, along with the new bullfight arena – dating from 18th century. The three bridges where aimed to create a bottleneck for armies, bandits and anyone else trying to travel through the area.

www.andalucia.org

Where to stay

Here you will find first class accommodations for incentive groups. We can highlight it is Parador, next to the Puente Nuevo, with impressive views over the Tagus river from its rooms, gardens with outdoors pool, two restaurants and meeting room facilities.

http://www.parador.es

If looking for a conference hotel, Reina Victoria is a perfect option, an exclusive property surrounded by a pine forest and located also next to the historic centre. Spa and sun pool terrace are also there for your relax time.

Activities for an unforgettable MICE experience

Its surrounding landscape, bullfighting tradition, wineries and a fantastic gastronomy has convinced many companies around the world to celebrate their MICE events here. Let’s see what the area has to offer make your event a success.

Experience bullfight and breeding world

Ronda is the birthplace of the modern Spanish bullfight and the hometown of its greatest dynasty. Here, during the 18th C., a fighter faced the bull on foot for the first time rather than on horseback, as it was the tradition.

http://www.reservatauro.com

A local bullfighter immerses attendees in the culture of bullfight and the rearing of bulls through a range of original activities. The place? A breeding farm of fighting bulls and pure Andalusian horses just 5 km from Ronda. The finca is located in an area declared biosphere’s reserve by UNESCO so you can be sure your event will take place in a privileged environment.

http://www.reservatauro.com

Guided tours in the beautiful meadows among bulls and horses ending with a taste of local food and wine, walking or by private vehicle; team building with unique experiences; product launch and presentations; special venues that can be adapted to all needs; activities to get to know local culture, gastronomy and heritage… A place full of possibilities.

Racing experience in a stunning natural setting

A stunning oak trees valley is the perfect frame for the first race resort in the world. Motorsports enthusiasts can now enjoy a facility designed for both entertainment and business presentations. High speed track, club house, driving school, helipad …

5425m of pure adrenaline in a technical and balanced track designed to enjoy the driving rhythm, speed and nature and which respects the orography or the original grove. Tailored events, from driving programs, track rentals, testing, to brand presentations, filmings, incentive or team building events.

Active experiences

Canyoning, kayaking, via ferrata, hiking, climbing, mountain biking, horse riding… whether you want high-adrenalin extreme sports adventure tours or relaxed activities, Serranía de Ronda is the place. There are beautiful hiking trails all around from where to admire clear water rivers with gorges, natural landscapes and white villages.

Prefer a less active but still adventurous experience? A Jeep circuit between Ronda and Marbella is a great idea to explore the mountain areas towards the sea and will test team orientation skills while discovering the natural surroundings.

Wine and gastronomy

Ever since Roman times, Serranía de Ronda has been used for wine-making and is now particularly known for the delicious red wines produced there. Red, rosés and whites offer a great display of aromas and personality thanks to the uniqueness of the area:  its particular location in the southernmost latitude of the Mediterranean arch, the geological diversity of the soils, the altitude and the climate characteristics. Up to 18 wineries can be visited in the wine tour of Serranía de Ronda while you enjoy the beauty of the mountain green landscape and, of course, take the change to taste the rich local gastronomy.

Enjoying the flavours and local products of the Serrania de Ronda is a must and both the city and surrounding offer the possibility to do so with its restaurants and manor houses. Hunting has been the diet basis since Arabic times in the area and is present in most of the local dishes prepared with rabbit, oxtail, chicken or partridge. Serranía de Ronda is also a fantastic garden that provides of excellent vegetables as legumes, broad beans and pumpkin as well as a huge variety of mushrooms to accompany most dishes. The confectionery has received the influence of Arabic culture centuries, with honey and almonds present in every local dessert. Of course, the traditional Andalusian products can be found in Ronda so be sure you will not miss the delicious tapas with pork products and fish. 

Would you like to learn more about all possibilities this Andalusian jewel has to offer to your MICE groups? Contact us, we will be pleased to tailor-size the most suitable program.

info@across-spain.es

#spain #visitSpain #ronda #rondaspain #andalusia #meetingsandevents #incentivetravel #serraniaderonda

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Ibiza, the second smallest of the Balearic Islands, is one of the world’s most attractive islands,  a gathering point for countless celebrities from the worlds of fashion, cinema, music and sport. The wonderful thing about the so called “White Island” is that it has as many faces and provides as many options as visitors can desire: beautiful safe white sand beaches, cosy coves, a relaxing inland with rural villages, lively coast towns with a rich heritage and the best nightlife you could ever dream of.

www.ibiza.travel

Honeymooners and couples can relax in Ibiza’s crystal-clear waters, enjoy unforgettable sunsets, explore its natural beauty spots, taste local renowned cuisine and have fun in an evening out at one of the famous nightclubs and bars. During the day, try one of the diverse leisure activities: visit a hippie market, book a day boat tour to famous Formentera, go on-board and try a diving experience, join a tour and discover the island by Vespa bike, visit a farm-house and learn how to produce traditional herb liquor and artisan soap …

https://www.cottonlifestyle.com/cotton-beach-club-ibiza/

When the day is over, a broad offer of hotels and accommodations will be waiting for you, from internationally prestigious establishments to good boutique hotels, from beach resorts offering all-inclusive services to cosy rural villas for those looking for a relaxing stay away from tourist spots.

https://www.nobuhotelibizabay.com/

Bachelors and singles will discover the island’s lifestyle and have the best summer experience ever. Every summer, after end of May and until mid-September, Ibiza becomes the ultimate party destination in the Mediterranean, with the arrival of the cream of the world’s DJs. Partiers flock there to hit the dance floor in some of the biggest and most famous clubs in the world, from iconic spots like Amnesia, Pachá, Privilege and Hi Ibiza to the already legendary Ushuaïa. Nights will be long but nothing to worry about. By beautiful relaxing small beaches and coves there is plenty of smooth beach clubs where one can relax, from super-chilled chic to buzzing party vibe, there is sure an option that suits all moods.  Spare some day time for fun experiences, such a tour to a diving spot or some shopping in town.

Looking for a top accommodation in fancy Ibiza? Platja d’en Bossa, just off Ibiza Town, is the place. The famous Hard Rock Hotel and Ushuaïa Ibiza Beach Hotel are home to best DJ performances and parties. Prefer a more only adult location but still not too far from Ibiza Town and its top party spots? Santa Eulàlia is your destination, surrounded of relaxing beaches and coves, with top quality hotels offering first class rooftop bars and beach clubs. And if you are wandering if these locations fit your pocket, just go ahead, here are options for less fancy budgets.

https://www.theushuaiaexperience.com/

Families have also their place in the dream island. Ibiza is a safe destination offering peace of mind and the chance to enjoy suitable experiences for all ages in an unbeatable environment. Contrary to popular belief, during high season a large number of families arrive to the island in search of sea and sun. With lots of beaches to choose from ranging from long and thin, to small, wild and rugged, there is a place to make everyone pleased.

Most beaches are family-friendly and little ones can safely run around and bath in shallow crystal-clear waters. Family resorts with all facilities can be found next to family beaches in locations as Cala Llonga, Cala Bassa and Es Canà, with beaches that are almost like a large natural swimming pool. 

And remember, before or after staying in Ibiza, take the chance and spare some days for a visit to Spain’s mainland cities. Ibiza offers several daily flight connections with Madrid and Barcelona, just 40min away from the latest. Bachelors and singles will enjoy big city life, with good nightlife, shopping, restaurants and fun experiences. Couples and honeymooners may like to extend the trip and immerse in Spanish culture and heritage. Start with Barcelona and continue afterwards to the south, where charming Andalusian cities are waiting with incredible monuments and cosy old towns. Madrid can be the departure city, easily connected from Sevilla, Córdoba and Málaga by fast train. Families may prefer to extend the stay in the fantastic beach resorts and end with a short visit to main capitals before heading back home.

To sum up, The White Island, is a must-visit location at least once in everybody’s life. Get in touch and we will send you all information for an upcoming escape to the most versatile Mediterranean island.

info@across-spain.es

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There is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to honeymoons but what it is guaranteed is that your honeymoon may be the most important holiday you’ll ever plan. Getting the right blend of destinations, activities, hotels and pace is the key to a successful experience and that’s where our travel advisors come in.

Are you planning a honeymoon in 2021? Here are our recommendations for the best destinations for the year ahead!

Credits: Secret Ibiza

Spain

Known as the country of passion, Spain is an undoubtedly romantic destination. Its history, culture, landscapes, islands, cities and towns will make of your honeymoon a memory for life.

Spain is a diverse place to visit, rich in art, architecture, heritage, gastronomy … unlike anywhere else in the world. Spain is the perfect place to travel all year around. Mediterranean mild weather makes it a suitable winter destination.  Are you getting married in spring – summer time and would like to enjoy the sea? 1700km of Mediterranean coast are waiting for you, both mainland and Islands.

Barcelona & Madrid are key cities in most of the programs – their airports are the main arrival and departure spots. Taking one of these destinations as starting point, we have designed several itineraries so as to fulfil all needs. Fast train AVE is a perfect way to travel between these cities and towards the south.

South Spain offers rich cultural and historic heritage, the Spain of the 3 cultures is perfectly represented by cities as Sevilla, Córdoba and Granada. A broad offer of boutique hotels, cosy restaurants, stunning monuments and traditional pedestrian neighbourhoods are waitng for you. Andalusian Costa del Sol, with Málaga and Marbella as main destinations, are a perfect complement to relax by the beach at a luxury hotel after some hectic tour days.

Preparing a wedding is always an exhausting experience and most honeymooners look for some downtime as a part of their trip, especially pure beachside stays. What can be better than relaxing in the amazing island of Ibiza? Ibiza has become a top summer destination in the Mediterranean, with its clear blue beaches and caves and top hotels and clubs. The island offers both relax and party, there are options to all preferences. Looking for a similar experience in a larger island? Half an hour away by plane, a few hours away by ferry, we find the largest of the Balearic, Mallorca, which blends the best of the Mediterranean’s seaside charm with Spain’s vibrant nightlife.

The above mentioned are perhaps Spain’s most popular destinations but there is more: the beautiful exotic Canary Islands, with Tenerife and Gran Canaria; the green North, known by its top worldwide famous and awarded gastronomy and the breath-taking landscapes, with romantic San Sebastian at the front. All can be fit into any itinerary.

Passionate Portugal

Portugal is the perfect post-wedding destination to combine with Spain. Lisbon and Porto are perfectly connected by flight with main Spanish airports. Lisbon itself is a perfect ending destination of your honeymoon. Lisbon, with steep streets criss-crossed with tram lines and crumbling buildings adorned with the beautiful azulejo tiles, is the perfect city for hip honeymooners. Enjoy a 2-3 day stay, take the chance to discover nearest regions as Sintra, the romantic castle town.

Do not miss Porto if possible – internationally famous for its sweet Port wine –  one of Europe’s most popular smaller cities for short breaks over the past few years. Great riverside location, charming Old Town, cosy café culture and plenty of independent boutiques. A romantic Douro River cruise is a must, sailing along rolling hills and vineyards.

Portugal also offer fantastic coast areas for a relaxing stay. Algarve, in the south Atlantic coast, has plenty to offer honeymooners, from luxurious honeymoon resort suites to a breath-taking natural scenery.  Its famous “praias” of wide golden sands and blue skies; the small town vibes; good restaurants; golf properties …. provide the perfect place to combine a relaxing and active stay.

Would you like to receive our ready-made programs? We have them all. Do you prefer us to design the perfect itinerary only for you? Our team will make it possible.

Contact us: info@across-spain.es – we will make sure your honeymoon will be a memory for life!

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