Two Weeks in Spain
Collected by Brandy Bell, AFAR Local Expert
With time to sink your teeth into the savoriness of Spanish life, you can walk the cobblestone streets until your soles are worn, ride a funicular to a hilltop overlooking San Sebastián, enjoy tapas and Spanish wine with sunsets, and maybe learn to cook a dish or two of Catalan and Spanish specialities. And with cheap domestic flights, it’s a cinch to travel from Catalan Barcelona to British Gibraltar.
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...
La Barceloneta, Barcelona, Spain
The city’s old fishing quarter, Barceloneta, is a warren of narrow residential streets dotted with classic family-owned seafood restaurants. The neighborhood is charming, if a bit scruffy, but its biggest asset is its proximity to Barcelona...
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...
Carrer de les Caputxes, 10, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
This place looks more like a jewelry place than a cake shop. When I finish my tours in the Born district, I can't hardly stop myself from heading there to reward me for a good job done (and when I'm with clients and we pass by, they NEED to see...
Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
Av. de Zurriola, 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,...
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...
Okendo Kalea, 1, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
San Sebastián, or Donostia in the Basque language, is a Belle Époque resort town built around the Bay of La Concha. Stroll the cobblestone Old Town streets in search of cozy shops, the city’s oldest church (San Vicente) and celebrated restaurants...
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...
Plaza del Corrillo, 20, 37002 Salamanca, Spain
Encircled by authentic Spanish cafés, bakeries, and shops, the Plaza Mayor is one of the most wonderful spots to people watch. Also where I spent much of my time throughout my time studying in Salamanca. Each night, the lights would go on at 10...
C. Cardenal Pla y Deniel, 37008 Salamanca, Spain
The Cathedral in Salamanca stands tall and proud, and rightly so. When you enter you will find yourself arching your head back as far as you can to marvel at the impressive paintings and architecture of its vaulted ceilings. A special secret, in...
Calle Gran Vía, 11, 28013 Madrid, Spain
Extremely nice people at the front desk. Amazingly helpful. The room I had was enormous. Great views. Very quiet. Nice bathrooms. Perfect location, easy to get everywhere walking, Gran Via metro stop just a block away. Retiro just a few blocks...
Atocha, Madrid, Spain
This historic train depot is the heart of transit for Madrid. Serving local as well as high-speed AVE trains, it also plays a key role in the ever-expanding railways of Europe. I stumbled upon Madrid's first railway station, which was inaugurated...
Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's Prado Museum, home to Goya, Velazquez, Murillo, El Greco, and numerous other greats, has so much to see that just one visit isn't enough! If you have a few days in Madrid, drop into the museum in the afternoons (after 5pm) when there is...
Plaza Cánovas del Castillo, 4, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Renowned chef Paco Roncero re-interprets everyday Spanish food without crossing the line into pretentiousness at Estado Puro; here, flavor matters more than presentation and dishes are perfectly portioned. Patatas bravas, fried potatoes spiked...
Paseo del Prado, 36, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Anyone with an iota of interest in art will certainly visit the Prado while in Madrid. But be sure to save some time to visit another nearby museum, where there's something wonderful to see before you even get inside. Just a 5-minute walk down...
Paseo de la Sabica, 18009 Granada, Spain
While in Granada, Spain, I chose to stay at the Hotel Guadalupe, a lovely hotel just minutes from the main entrance to the Alhambra. This was the view from my balcony. The hotel is about a 20-minute walk to the main part of town, but the wooded...
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...
Calle Real de la Alhambra, s/n, 18009 Granada, Spain
A visit to Granada, Spain isn't complete without a stop at the Alhambra. The Moorish architecture, robust gardens, and stunning views of Granada combine to make a truly memorable experience. Start your day with a tour of the Generalife Gardens....
Av. Bulevar Príncipe Alfonso de Hohenlohe, s/n, 29602 Marbella, Málaga, Spain
Palacio de Buenavista, Calle San Agustín, 8, 29015 Málaga, Spain
A trip to Pablo Picasso's hometown wouldn't be complete without touring the artist's namesake museum. Housed in the stunning Palacio de Buenavista, the career-spanning collection boasts more than 200 permanent pieces, in addition to a roster of...
calle del Almendro, 4, 29670 Benahavís, Málaga, Spain
My wife and I are not inexperienced travelers. In fact, we have been to over 60 countries, almost all through individual travel. We are foodies and always try and search out great and memorable places for meals. We have been to Spain several...
Calle San Miguel, 4, 29620 Torremolinos, Málaga, Spain
Marshy wetlands, shallow streams and grassy sand dunes cover the landscape of Doñana National Park, in the Huelva and Sevilla provinces. A small portion of it is protected parkland, but the area has been designated UNESCO World Heritage, and the...
Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
After a mid-morning, 2-hour drive from the Spanish coastal town of Cadiz, I was having a pub lunch of fish, chips and a pint of beer in the shade of palm trees and the Rock. The roads of Gibraltar are named Trafalgar, Queensway, Prince Edwards and...
Red Sands Rd, Gibraltar GX11 1AA, Gibraltar
You've probably heard of Gibraltar a few times. An industrial island, oddly still under the British crown, the shortest gateway from Europe to Africa - just over 13 miles. So short, in fact, that on clear days, you can see as far as Tangiers. It...
Lanzarote, Las Palmas, Spain
On Lanzarote, the easternmost island of the Canaries, Spanish archipelago off the northwestern coast of Africa, there’s a volcanic semi-crater that has created a dense and salty green-colored lagoon. The lagoon has grown rich with algae and the...
Las Palmas, Spain
Part of Lanzarote’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the 52-square-kilometer volcanic Timanfaya National Park is known for its Montañas del Fuego (Fire Mountains), where subsurface temperatures reach up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit (593 degrees Celsius)....
Calle Jorge Luis Borges, 16, 35507 Tahiche, Las Palmas, Spain
Cesar Manrique is the pride and soul of the island of Lanzarote. This local artist's influence can be seen throughout the character and construction of the island (he imposed the white building design regulations). Built in 1966 upon his return...
35542 Arrieta, Las Palmas, Spain
3,000 year old volcanic tube now a popular tourist attraction in Lanzarote. Eruption of Monte Corona. Once inside, the tour lasts for some 45 minutes (offered in Spanish and English) and will include the viewing of the concert hall and a...
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