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The Soul of Spain

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20 top experiences that will connect you with the essence of Espana
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Sacromonte, 18010 Granada, Spain
Semana Santa is the holy week of Easter celebrated with a passion here in Spain. It is worth noting that if you travel to Spain the week leading up to Easter many things will be closed or booked out. If you arrive this week there is also a good...
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Plaza de San Nicolás, 3, 18010 Granada, Spain
Walking around Granada isn't like walking around most major cities. In most cities you can't catch glimpses of massive snow-covered mountains or an ancient Moorish and Spanish fort (the Alhambra), part legendary summer palace, part stronghold. In...
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Carrera del Darro, 13, 18010 Granada, Spain
There are many places to view Flamenco in Granada. There are large shows in Sacramonte that cost 25-35 Euros and have a flare for showing the dramatics and storytelling of the dance, and there are shows that have no dance and play in dark...
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Calle Nápoles, s/n, 18100 Armilla, Granada, Spain
If you walk above the Alhambra, through the multitudes of parking lots, you will reach the old Granada Cemetery. I stumbled on this by accident and spent an hour wandering this massive space. This is the largest Cemetery I have seen and I was...
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La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain
Shortly after we arrived in Plaça del Pi in Barcelona's Barri Gòtic, so did a parade of gigantes and castellers. The latter (who name comes from the Catalonian word for castles) climb upon one another to build human towers. The tradition goes back...
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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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Carrer de Cèsar Puget Riquer, Km 0, 7, 07840 Santa Eulalia Des Ríu, Illes Balears, Spain
Fatigued and stomachs rumbling, we stalked the side porch of the house, trying to see if anyone was there. It says restaurant, we grumbled, knowing full-well that at this point we would eagerly knock on the door of someone's home, just to gain...
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crta. d'Olot a, Olot, 17800 La Pinya, Girona, Spain
We arrived at night, when the glow of christmas lights in the trees outside the front door illuminated a structure that looked far too small to house all of the rooms we would need. Morning brought with it clarification and what we found was a...
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08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
Located a short drive out of Barcelona, Montserrat Monastery is a must see while in Barcelona. Try the honey and fig cakes. There are many tour operators that offer this day trip from Barcelona. Take your time and hike some of the trails. The...
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La Rambla, 115, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
This is Mark Bittman's favourite sandwich ever: a flauta d’ibéric jabugo at Cafe Viena on La Rambla in Barcelona. I can attest to the fact that it is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had! The ham is just delicious and the bread is crispy...
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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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Calle Mañueta, 8, 31001 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain
The churros here supposedly get their crispy exterior from being cooked over an ax-cut beech-wood fire. You can sample the results when the 140-year-old shop is open: only two Saturdays in June, every day during the San Fermín festival in July,...
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Albaicín, Granada, Spain
No trip to Granada is complete without wandering the narrow streets of the Albaicin neighborhood. The courtyards, baths, parks, churches and views of the Alhambra are a collective and colorful open air museum of patterns. This part of town feels...
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Carrer del Poeta Cabanyes, 25, 08004 Barcelona, Spain
Forget Google Maps: You’ll quickly locate this venerable tapas bar in El Poble-Sec by the line out the door. With standing-room-only space for just 20 people, this sliver of a spot fills up fast—and stays that way until closing time....
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La Rambla, 91, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
As you enter Barcelona's famous Mercat de Sant Josep de La Boqueria from La Rambla, one of the first stalls you encounter is Tocineria Marcos, purveyors of Iberico ham and a stunning array of other cured, cooked, and fresh meats. It's just one of...
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Carrer del Bruc, 162, 08037 Barcelona, Spain
On any visit to Barcelona, a trip through the city's charming Gothic Quarter shouldn't be missed. You'll find everything there from historic buildings and fun shops to entertaining street performers and delicious restaurants like this one. I love...
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Pasadizo de San Ginés, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Founded in 1894 and set in the center of Madrid, not far from Puerta del Sol, San Ginés is a local favorite and a don’t-miss stop during any visit to the capital. No excuses; it never closes. Pasadizo de San Ginés 5, Madrid, 34/91-365- 6546 This...
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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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Calle Panaderos, 32, 18010 Granada, Spain
There are plenty of flamenco places in Granada, from the 35 euro tourist cave to the 6 euro wine cellar. My love for flamenco has drawn me to each one. I think the best deal especially if you are only in Granada for a week or a weekend is to...
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Av. Costa Brava, 25, 17320 Tossa de Mar, Girona, Spain
Unlike many of the neighboring towns along Spain's Costa Brava, the fishing village of Tossa de Mar has managed to retain its simple, distinctly laidback charm. The narrow, cobbled streets of the old town still house funky paella dens and outdoor...