Spain Lodging: Paradors, Pensiones and More

DATE : December 29, 2016

COMMENTS : 140 Comments

Spain is an ideal destination for independent travelers who don't necessarily like to make hotel bookings in advance. With the exception of peak seasons, such as holidays and festivals, it's possible to just show up and find well-priced and even exceptional lodging. That's a rarity in many spots in Europe, especially large cities.
Spain also has the best-established network of historic buildings-turned-hotels, appealing wonderfully to history and architecture buffs and those seeking the bragging rights of having slept in a massive 10th-century fortress.
Regardless of which Spain lodging you choose, expect variable pricing from season to season. Note that some small properties — especially family-run ones — close in the summer or during the holidays.
Here's a look at where to stay in Spain.
Hotel quality in Spain is government-regulated, with all establishments rated on a scale of one to five stars (with five being the best). Hotels are emblazoned with a capita..


Cordoba, a City of Dreams

DATE : September 24, 2016

COMMENTS : 20 Comments

09/02/2016 08:51 Spain certainly has a thousand and one magical places that will amaze you with their beauty. From north to south and from west to east the Iberian Peninsula is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, between which, a maze of cultures and civilizations have left their mark across Spain’s geography.
Today we will visit an Andalusian town, situated on the Guadalquivir River. To give more clues we can say that the historic centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.
The cheerful character of its people, open and friendly, binds to the rich cuisine in a location offering both cultural attractions and mental relaxation that can be found only in Córdoba for a lovely weekend at any time of year.
Of course it is true that the summer is especially hot in this city, but if we decide to travel at any other time of year, we will see many possibilities to stay ‒ whether we are talking about a hotel, a hostel, an apartment or even a pr..


Gràcia Festival : Would you like to visit biggest Street Festival in Barcelona?

DATE : September 13, 2016

COMMENTS : 152 Comments

Fox reveals that each year in August the streets of Barcelona’s Gràcia district come alive with a week-long fiesta that sees the barrio transformed also called Festa Major. La Fiesta de Gràcia is an eagerly awaited event in Barcelona’s busy calendar. If you are in Barcelona in August make sure that you head to the up-town […]


Barcelona: Vibrant and Spirited

DATE : September 13, 2016

COMMENTS : 123 Comments

Sagrada Família, under construction since 1883, is the culmination of Antoni Gaudí's wildly creative Modernista style. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli) Meandering through the heart of Barcelona's Old City, the tree-lined Ramblas pedestrian drag flows from Plaça de Catalunya to the waterfront. (photo: Rick Steves) Life in Barcelona is a distinctive mix of Madrid-style love of life and Parisian elegance and taste. Spain's second-biggest city is one of the hottest tourist destinations in Europe these days, with more than 7.5 million visitors a year, so its popular pedestrian boulevards can become human traffic jams.
In spite of what can be horrible crowds, there's plenty to enjoy. Everywhere you go, you'll find the city's architecture to be colorful, playful, and unique. Rows of symmetrical ironwork balconies are punctuated with fanciful details: bay windows, turrets, painted tiles, hanging lanterns, flower boxes, and carved reliefs.
At various points..


Marvels Beyond Madrid: Four Easy Day Trips

DATE : August 15, 2016

COMMENTS : 52 Comments

The solemn and stony basilica at the Valley of the Fallen holds the remains of Spain’s civil war victims. (photo: Rick Steves) Roman Emperor Trajan’s engineers built this nine-mile aqueduct in Segovia. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli) When you visit Madrid, take a vacation from your vacation with some side-trips that help illuminate Spain's rich history. Four key sights lie within an easy travel distance: El Escorial, Valley of the Fallen, Segovia, and Ávila — all convenient by car, bus, or train.
A short drive from Madrid is the giant palace/monastery/mausoleum called Monasterio de San Lorenzo de El Escorial. In the mid-1500s, King Philip II needed a suitably grand palace to establish his family dynasty, the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs. He also needed a headquarters from which to run a strong, centralized Spanish state.
Philip ruled his huge empire — which stretched from Madrid to Mexico to Manila — from here. El Escorial was built during the Reformation, a time when ..