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Spain w Em: Summer 2015

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Iberia
We walked to the end of the La Concha beach in San Sebastian and stumbled upon these "Wind Combs" by Eduardo Chillida. Not only are they placed in an amazing setting, but their installation was truly a feat of engineering.
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C/ Fermín Calbetón 9, 20003 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
If you're in San Sebastián to eat, chances are you'll be wanting to eat Pimientos de Gernika and Guisantes Lágrimas long after your trip is over. Semillas Elosegui is a classic stop in the Old Part of San Sebastián, and they have seeds for all of...
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Monte Igueldo, 20008, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The view of La Concha Bay must be the most photographed and recognisable of San Sebastian. What you may not realise is that one way to ascend the spectacular Monte Igueldo from where you can capture this unforgettable shot, is by a rickety old...
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48291 Axpe, Bizkaia, Spain
Michelin-starred restaurants sometimes appear in the unlikeliest places and have the unlikeliest views. That's the case with Etxebarri, a gem of a Basque restaurant -- it received its first star a couple of years ago -- where grilled food takes...
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Termino Lekanda, s/n, 01139 Sarria, Araba, Spain
Located in Parque Natural de Gorbeia, the Itxina massif is full of features to ignite your imagination. With over 500 caves, jagged limestone cliffs and labyrinths, beech forests, and stone huts - it's hard not to create stories of some mysterious...
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Santa Korda Kalea, 4, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
At La Cuchara de San Telmo, on the corner of the plaza Valle Lersundi in San Sebastian, the specialties were hot pintxos, quickly prepared to order--from the menu or the specials board, or by pointing to what your neighbor was eating. This was one...
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24442 Las Médulas, León, Spain
Las Medulas UNESCO World Heritage Site: A Roman gold mine dating back to the first century AD. The hill formations were all dug by hand!
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33589 Covadonga, Asturias, Spain
Gorgeous and enchanting cathedral amongst the edge of the Picos de Europa. From here you can catch buses up to the Covadonga Lakes, which offer stunning views of two different lakes, and on clear days you can see the Mar Cantabrico in the...
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Asturias, Spain
The road ascending to the two glacial lakes that make up the center of Picos de Europa National Park is well known by bike racing aficionados as one of the most difficult stages (average climb gradient of 7.3% for nearly 8 miles) in the Vuelta a...
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Lugar Bulnes, 22A, 33554 Bulnes, Asturias, Spain
There are no roads to the small village of Bulnes, located in the Asturias region of northern Spain. To reach the village, locals and wandering visitors must either ride the funicular (cable railway running through the mountain) or hike about an...
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Plaza del Marqués, 2, 33201 Gijón, Asturias, Spain
When most people think Spain they think Barcelona in the East, Madrid in the center or Andalucia in the South. All too often the north, with the region of Asturias, gets overlooked. Gijon, in Asturias, is beautiful. It may not have the tourist...
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Plaza Alfonso II el Casto, s/n, 33003 Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Located in the heart of Asturias is a charming, lesser known city, Oviedo. Oviedo is often passed up in visits to Spain, but should not be missed! The Cathedral of Oviedo stands proudly in the main city square, and the beautiful carved facade...
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Comillas, Cantabria, Spain
El Capricho is one of the lesser-known modernist treasures designed by Antonio Gaudí. It is considered one of the works that helped to launch his career. Gaudí is well known the world around, but many don’t know how prolific the architect’s work...
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36993 Combarro, Pontevedra, Spain
Galicia is a province in the north west of the Iberian Peninsula. As we were traveling the roads in Galicia, I spotted marble structures with little crosses on their roof tops. I knew they could not be tombs as they were right in the middle of the...
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Pontevedra, Spain
Do you enjoy any of the following: people watching, chess, great coffee, food and wine? Then SAVOY is the place you’ve been dreaming of. On the Plaza Orense in Pontevedra is the recently renovated two storied cafe. Everything about this spot is...
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Rúa das Hortas, 1, 15705 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
The menu changes regularly at the Michelin-starred modern Spanish restaurant in Santiago de Compostela run by chefs Marcelo Tejedor and Ivan Dominguez. Pimientos de Padron have made an appearance in the form of a simple toast topping as well as...
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Praza do Obradoiro, s/n, 15704 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
After mysterious lights led a 9th-century hermit to St. James’s remains, King Alfonso II ordered that a chapel be built on the site. Since the Middle Ages, the magnificent cathedral has been the destination of pilgrims walking the Camino de...
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Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
Arriving in Santiago de Compostela—a World Heritage Site and one of the three capitals of Christianity along with Jerusalem and Rome—was like entering a dream city where fantasy and reality merge and submerge. The city has secrets and makes sure...
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Rúa do Franco, 34, 15702 Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Spain
If you go to Santiago de Compostela, there's always mandatory things to do, like visiting Saint James tumb, taste tarta Santiago, and of course, enter a tapas bar and get some local and excellent food. Lacón Fumado is a must. It's the pork's...
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Zurríola Hiribidea, 1, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastián's monument to modernity, the Kursaal, sits perched on the seashore, cutting boldly into the skyline. The Kursaal is the spot for the biggest get-togethers in town, from the Film Festival to Gastronomika. It also hosts concerts,...
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64200 Biarritz, France
The view from this corner bar encapsulated great people watching, excellent French cider and a surreal view of the ocean looming above street level.
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Plage du Port Vieux, 64200, France
My favorite "pool" in Biarritz is at Plage du Port Vieux. This horseshoe-shaped beach was originally the port before housing baths established by Napoleon III in 1858. The calm, tranquil waters make this an ideal place for a swim without...
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c/ pescadería, 5, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
When Christopher Hall reported his "57 Small Bites of Spain" story about tapas in four Spanish cities, he visited Bar Txepetxa in San Sebastian's old quarter. We brought the December/January 2010 issue of AFAR with us and shared it with the pintxo...
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Zabaleta Kalea, 6, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
La Gintonería, in the less-traversed neighborhood of Gros, could very well be the best gin-tonic in San Sebastián. With two shelves laden with premium and hard-to-find gins, it's a gintonaholic's dream. They have a selection of premium tonics and...
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In my mind, the best way to get the lay of the land in a new city is always a culinary walking tour. In San Sebastian, Spain, Gabriella Ranelli (Tenedor Tours) offers all sorts of delicious options. I loved the half-day tour I took which included...
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Pº Colón, 15, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Bar Hidalgo 56 is probably one of my top three pintxo bars in the entire city. With a bar stacked full of equally delicious pintxos, a menu of hot pintxos that is incredibly varied and delicious, and an attention to product that you simply don't...
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Rodil Zeharkalea, 79, 20013 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
One of my favorite sit-down dining experiences in the city, Zelai Txiki has a couple things going for it. One is a gigantic terrace that overlooks the entire city. On a summer evening there are only a few places I would rather be. Call ahead to...
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Mount Ulia, 20013, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Most visitors never cross the river from the Old Part, and the vast majority overlook what has to be one of the most beautiful hikes from here to California. At the edge of Gros, a trail heads up some stairs (at the end of Calle San Francisco) and...
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Zurríola Hiribidea, 24, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastián, for many, is a surf town. Pukas is your one-stop shop for everything from surf lessons, bikinis, gear, and cool souvenirs with a local twist, like their trademark 'Surfing the Basque Country' t-shirts.
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Kontxa Pasealekua Edificio de La Perla Donostia Gipuzkoa ES 20007, Kontxa Pasealekua, 20007 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
What could make a spa with all the typical trappings of luxury even better? Wall-to-wall windows overlooking La Concha bay, that's what. La Perla does not disappoint, and it's a great way to spend those finicky winter days when visiting San...
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Kalea Isla de Santa Clara, 2, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
From May to August, a ferry runs from the port of San Sebastián to the island that sits serenely in the middle of the Concha Bay. The island is quiet, isolated, and empty. There is a café on the island with a mysterious timetable, and a lighthouse...