It’s been a while since we wrote about the Camino de Santiago, so we thought we’d bring you some of the alternative Camino routes in Spain which can be walked, cycled, ridden and driven. Yes, driven!
To understand Spain, you need to taste its food, walk its streets and step inside its amazing churches and cathedrals. Being neither architects not clerics, our eclectic shortlist of eight “cathedrals” features the heavy hitters but we have a few surprises too. One is a combination of a palace and monastery, another is a former mosque and we also include Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia – Spain’s most famous church – which is often presumed to be a cathedral but in fact, isn’t. All our choices are located inside UNESCO World Heritage sites so there’s plenty to see and do both inside and outside the walls of these religious monuments.
We are huge fans of a busy city break or a long weekend of pampering but sometimes our bodies and our brains need a complete change of pace, a place to de-compress from our busy schedules, in a location where time seems to last longer or has stopped altogether. When we need one of those days, we know just where to go – one of the many beautiful walled towns in Spain. That’s where we put all our day-to-day concerns on hold, we step back in time and really absorb the history and the architecture. We’re not talking about sleepy hollows or museum-like communities. Spain’s walled towns are lively places where real families live and go to school and run businesses. Here’s our list of Spain’s most interesting and enjoyable walled towns – perfect for a daytrip or that mid-week break you’ve been promising yourself for ages.
Sore feet and tired legs. That’s what many of us end up with after a day’s sightseeing. That’s why it’s so important to pick a great hotel to recover from pavement pounding. And if that hotel is a historic landmark in the city centre or with a great view of an iconic landmark, those aches and pains just seem to evaporate.
It’s no wonder we are obsessed about wine here at Totally Spain. Spain is the world’s largest producer of wine and the country with the largest number of vineyards in the world – a whopping 13 percent of the world’s vineyards are on Spanish soil. We love telling our clients that after cereals and olives, the grape is Spain’s most cultivated crop – and the one we probably spend most time talking (and thinking) about. If you’d like to know which wineries this Spain-based travel specialist recommends visiting, and yes, we have racked up quite a few visits since we started our business near La Rioja in 2000, read on!
If there’s one place you need to visit in every Spanish town, it’s the main square often called the Plaza Mayor. Traditionally it’s where bullfights took place and it was often the location for outdoor foodmarkets and theatres too. Today it’s all about the tables and the people and the activities in the square.