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 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.
Nothing says holidays more than a car, a suitcase, sunglasses, and the open road. And here in Spain, we have a wonderful road infrastructure including shiny new three-lane highways that get you out of the cities and plenty of those romantic rural roads that snake around the mountain ridges and coastal cliffs.
We know that great films, like all creative arts, can inspire. Here we bring you some of Spain’s stunning backdrops that you might have enjoyed on the silver screen. Some are obviously filmed in Spain but there are a few surprises in there you might not have expected!
We’re just back from a lovely trip to Galicia and want to share some of the great reasons to visit the North West of Spain. This time, we chose the Rias Baixas area as our base and toured the vicinity as well as going north to Santiago de Compostela and south to the Cies Islands. We re-visited some destinations we love, tried out some great new places, ate extremely well and enjoyed some delicious white wine. Read about our trip below and let us help you plan where to go in Galicia.
Most mornings on our way to the office in Cantabria we pass a few Camino de Santiago walkers doing the coastal route as they walk from Güemes to Somo to catch the ferry to Santander. It’s lovely to see the ‘peregrinos‘ or pilgrims with the St James shell on their backpacks. And when we get to the office, we often continue with the St James Way theme as we organise quite a few custom trips for people wanting to experience the Camino de Santiago in a multitude of ways.
Ever noticed how people from Spain usually talk about their own region rather than the country as a whole? It’s because Spain is a very diverse country and the geography, landscape, climate and even the language changes from region to region. It’s part of what makes a trip here so exciting. Many clients think they have to choose one part of Spain to visit. But they’re wrong! They don’t have to choose between the the gastronomy, winery and pilgrimage trips in the North, the Moorish architecture, sherry tastings and skiing in the South and the Dalí, Gaudí, paella and Calatrava sights of the North East and East. They can have it all!