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http://www.afar.com/afar/five-bizarre-spanish-festivals
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Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
The staff of Madrid's Chocolatería San Ginés might be a bit brisk, but they more than make up for it in taste and atmosphere. Over a century old, take a few turns off the main "calle" and follow the pink neon sign to the small elegant interior....
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Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24B, 28004 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's multi-level Mercado San Anton is a sight to be seen. Rows of gorgeous produce, local specialties, Italian deli favorites, briny seafood and locally-farmed meats line the perimeter of each floor, each stall more enticing than the one...
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La Rambla, 58, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Learn to cook traditional dishes, and modern twists on old favorites, with the chefs at Barcelona Cooking. Sign up for an evening cooking class and learn to prepare dishes like seafood paella and Crema Catalana (the Catalan version of Creme...
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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
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Calle Manuel Rojas Marcos, 3, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
My favorite museum in Seville is the Flamenco Museum. It has a fascinating history of flamenco dancing in southern Spain and there a terrific series of short films showing the different styles of flamenco. There are also romantic old posters of...
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Praza da Inmaculada, 3, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
This was the end of The Way for us. We booked a couple nights at old digs in the Hospedería San Martín Pinario, an converted monastery in the heart of Santiago's atmospheric old city. It was an excellent base for exploring the city, and a...
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Largo do Terreiro, s/n, 4720-633 Santa Maria do Bouro, Portugal
Pousada De Santa Maria Do Bouro, once a 12th century monastery, has been restored and is now a luxury hotel and restaurant in northern Portugal's city of Braga, in the Minho region. I was surrounded by ancient stones, vaulted ceilings, vibrant...
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Alto da Pedisqueira, 5400-435 Chaves, Portugal
In the 15th century, the little Church of Our Lady of the Rosary stood on the hill overlooking the medieval town of Chaves in Portugal. Later, there was also the ancient chapel of St. Francis in the fortress. (Both are there today in beautiful...
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Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
Well not exactly, but pretty darn close. Paradors are government-run hotels in Spain, many located within historic buildings like monasteries and castles. The Granada Parador is the old monastery of the Alhambra Palace and is located within the...
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2710 Sintra, Portugal
We ventured to Sintra from Lisbon on a beautiful day. The Castelo do Mouros is worth a visit, perched high above the town, where you will find the ruins of a Moorish castle dating back to the 8th century. On a clear day you can see the coast and...
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11391 El Lentiscal, Cádiz, Spain
Baelo Claudia is the seaside site of an ancient Roman town that was settled was about 2,000 years ago. You can take a self-tour of the ruins, which include skeletons of the city's temple, forum and basilica. The modern Visitors Centre includes a...
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Passeig dels Castanyers, 1, 08035 Barcelona, Spain
Monasteries, Modernista buildings, lush green spaces, and historic cemeteries are tucked away into hidden corners in and around Barcelona. In the city proper, visitors can spend an afternoon snapping shots of gorgeous funerary art at Montjuïc or...
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Povoa de Penafirme, 2560-046 A dos Cunhados, Portugal
Or the world, even. Located about an hour outside of Lisbon, Areias do Seixo has ten rooms, each one individually and exquisitely decorated, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lawn and the crashing Atlantic below. But why go out? The...
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Calle Atarazanas, 19, 29005 Málaga, Spain
To market, to market—that’s where you should go when you feel like catching a glimpse of the true, gritty essence of a place. Market folk don’t care what you think of their city. Market folk don’t dress in their Sunday best. They don’t speak...
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
I've always loved pictures of the exterior of the Sagrad Familia in Barcelona, but finally seeing the inside was spectacular.
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Lisbon, Portugal
This legendary tram 28 is a tourist attraction. It goes all around town. The way from the first to last station takes about 35 minutes.The tram is a hop-on, hop-off service and there are more than 30 stops you can choose from.
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Camí de Binissaida, 108, 07720 Es Castell, Illes Balears, Spain
To really get to know the Spanish island of Minorca, be prepared to sit atop a saddle. The island has a love affair with a breed of horse: the graceful, strong, coal-black Minorcan. While donkeys traditionally worked the fields, the Minorcan was...
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Plaça Atlàntic, 2, 17210 Palafrugell, Girona, Spain
I realize that this is a highlight that may not even need words, since the image is so very convincing. If you find yourself exploring the Costa Brava ('Rugged Coast') of Spain, be sure not to miss the beach town of Calella and have lunch at the...
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Familia Santua Kalea, 1, 20010 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The Astoria7 hotel is one of the few spots in town with character. With Hollywood stars as its leitmotif (in homage to the San Sebastián Film Festival), each room is dedicated to a different actor. Comfortable, modern and clean, and with a lovely...
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R. Frei Nicolau de Oliveira 100, 2750 Cascais, Portugal
Another great hotel in Cascais, is the Villa Italia, just outside of the town, and right along the rock coast. Within walking distance, it is a perfect location to serve as your base of operations for exploration all along the Lisbon coast. The...
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Rua de Baixo – Casa da Pedralva, 8650-401 Vila do Bpo., Portugal
Aldeia da Pedralva is more than just a hotel. It's an actual village hidden away among the wildflowers and beaches of Portugal's Vicentina Coast. The owner Antonio Ferreira was looking for a career change and when he stumbled upon Pedralva village...
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Place Mariejol, 06600 Antibes, France
Great, small museum in the old Grimaldi Castle in Antibes. The museum was Picasso's studio in 1946 and is filled with his work, including an impressive ceramics collection, as well as work from many other twentieth and twenty-first century...
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Calle Badajoz, 31, 28931 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
One of the biggest flea markets that I have ever been to is located in Madrid, Spain. El Rastro is an old neighborhood that is teeming with activity, but the place really comes alive on Sunday mornings for the weekly flea market. You can buy just...
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Praça do Império 1400-206 Lisboa, 1400-206 Lisboa, Portugal
Sunshine over the Cloisters
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Plaça de la Reina, 6, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain
Valencia is famous for its horchata, or tiger nut milk, and Llinares Ice Cream serves a respectable version of the drink. But the daring come for outlandish ice cream flavors, from glazed doughnut to potato omelet and fresh anchovies in vinegar. ...
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Carrer d'Eduardo Primo Yúfera, 1b, 46013 València, Valencia, Spain
All the City of Arts and Sciences buildings in Valencia are breathtaking, but the Oceanografic Aquarium is equally spectacular for its contents. It not only features 500 marine species from whales to sea urchins, it also offers a slate of stellar...
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Passeig de Picasso, 21, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Soak up the sun and stroll the grounds of this centrally-located Barcelona park. Home to Barcelona's zoo, the Catalan Parliament, this park hosts interesting events (and political demonstrations) throughout the year. During La Mercé (Barcelona's...
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Corvo Island, 9980, Portugal
Small and remote, Corvo Island is the tip of an enormous marine volcano known as Monte Gordo. Its main attraction is Lagoa do Caldeirão, on the bottom of the crater where you can observe nine islets, one for each of the Azores Islands. It was here...
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Igeldo Ibilbidea, 187, 20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
It was raining when we arrived in Donostia-San Sebastian, but the skies cleared on our second day, and we rode the funicular railway up Mount Igueldo to take in the view back on the city, La Concha Bay, and the empty beach. The "low" travel season...
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Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Stumbling around Madrid I came upon this crypt down from the Royal Palace. I finally decided to check out this exemplary architecture haven amidst the jamon and shoe shops in the vicinity. This Neo-Romanesque crypt bears the remains of many in its...
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Carrer Nou de la Rambla, 3-5, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Palau Güell is an early Gaudí masterpiece, designed for his longtime benefactor, Eusebi Güell. The mansion, one of Gaudí's first big projects, was recently restored and re-opened to the public. The centerpiece of the building is the amazing...
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Av. del Professor López Piñero, 7, 46013 València, Valencia, Spain
The city of Arts and Sciences in Valencia is truly out of the world. Right adjacent to a historic, gothic city core is the modern, space-aged space. The juxtaposition of the two can seem odd, but somehow, Valencia pulls it off. Walking around the...