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Archive for spain

Balcony of the Mediterranean

By Linda Tancs

Tarragona is a Spanish port city south of Barcelona. Once the Roman colony of Tarraco, it’s brimming with Roman ruins like ancient tombs and remnants of an amphitheater along with a miniature reconstruction of the ancient city. One of its most charming features is Balcó del Mediterrani (Balcony of the Mediterranean), an observation area offering views of the sea, the port, the beach and the Roman amphitheater. Rising over 130 feet above the sea, it’s located at the top of the city’s main street (Rambla Nova). Touching the ornate railing is said to bring good luck.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Spain’s Land of Spas

By Linda Tancs

Ourense is Spain’s hot spot. Known as the Thermal Capital of Galicia, it’s known for its hot springs. That history is over 2,000 years old, beginning with the Roman baths at As Burgas, where an Interpretation Center explores the development of medicinal baths in this region. The city is a stone’s throw away from Portugal and also accessible via high-speed rail from Madrid.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

Peaking in Spain

By Linda Tancs

Montserrat is a multi-peaked mountain range near Barcelona, Spain. Its signature feature is a Benedictine monastery atop the range with one of the few black madonna statues in Europe. The hikes are likewise legendary, the easiest being from the monastery to Cami dels Degotalls. For the best views of the countryside, take the Funicular de Sant Joan, the steepest funicular in Spain. From there you can hike to Sant Jeroni, the highest peak, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of Barcelona and perhaps as far as Mallorca. Montserrat is an easy train ride from Barcelona-Plaça Catalunya station, taking little over an hour.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

A Port and More in Algeciras

By Linda Tancs

Algeciras is a port city in the south of Spain, the largest city on the Bay of Gibraltar and one of the largest ports in Europe. It’s easy to write it off as just a transit point to Morocco, but a wander around the city will prove its worth as a matter of historical interest. Take the Reina Cristina, for instance, a historic hotel opened in 1901 and evocative of British colonial architecture seen in nearby Gibraltar. Visited by royalty, statesmen and film stars, the hotel was originally built to meet the housing needs arising from the opening of the Algeciras-Bobadilla railway in the late 1800s. The city is also the birth and burial place of one of its most famous sons, Paco de Lucia, a famous flamenco guitarist and composer. The Paco de Lucia Route will take you to 10 sites in and around the city that were either a part of his life or referred to in his songs.

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As coronavirus proceeds, it is likely that the vast majority of us will be limited in our travels. But this, too, shall pass. Our love for travel remains, so Travelrific will continue offering travel inspiration in this medium. Please keep those affected by the virus in your thoughts and be sure to follow the safety practices advocated by the Centers for Disease Control. Stay safe, and be well.

The Lighthouse Way

By Linda Tancs

The Lighthouse Way in Spain (Camino dos Faros) links Malpica with Cape Finisterre, a route dubbed the Coast of Death in the 19th century by British sailors due to the Atlantic’s formidable shipwrecking capabilities. The 125-mile hiking route offers plenty of lighthouse views, to be sure. But that isn’t all. The route also offers forests, waterfalls, beaches, dunes, sandy coves and quaint fishing villages. Most trekkers take between eight and 10 days to complete the trail. Don’t rush, and enjoy the views.

The Spanish Tuscany

By Linda Tancs

Matarranya (Matarraña) is a Spanish gem bordering Catalonia and Valencia. Dubbed the Spanish Tuscany for its natural and cultural highlights, each part of the region boasts its own delights, like vineyards, olive groves, cheese and black truffles. Named after the Matarraña River, its most rugged terrain is the Puertos de Beceite range, a scenic area with a significant forest mass. Historically, the earliest civilization is evidenced by prehistoric rock art of the Iberian Mediterranean Basin (known as Levantine art), a UNESCO World Heritage Site encompassing over 700 locations. If you’ve never heard of this locale, it wouldn’t be surprising given that it is relatively unknown outside the immediate area. It’s reachable from Barcelona or Valencia by bus or train, and Reus airport is an hour or so away.

Shopping in Barcelona

By Linda Tancs

As any traveler knows, a walking tour is a great way to learn about a locale, typically strolling through unique neighborhoods offering a glimpse into its architecture and past and present residents. In Barcelona, Spain, you can shop your way through one such tour with the Barcelona Genuine Shops guided walking tour. The three-hour expedition introduces visitors to the city’s culture through its shop windows. That means you’ll get behind-the-scenes access to some shops and a discount card together with the usual historical and architectural commentary. The meeting point is at Plaça Sant Jaume in front of the Tourist Office.

Wetlands in Spain’s Heartland

By Linda Tancs

Castilla-La Mancha is a region in central Spain particularly known as the setting of the 17th-century novel “Don Quixote.” But it’s also a bird watcher’s paradise, especially amid the wetlands in Tablas de Daimiel National Park on the La Mancha plain. Formed by the overflowing in the confluence of the Guadiana and Cigüela rivers, the wetlands are strategically situated on the migration routes of many bird species, including those that winter in the park. Its water birds are primary ambassadors, including the great crested grebe, little grebe and black-necked grebe, heron and cattle egret. The main access road to the park departs from the N-420 road from Ciudad Real to Puerto Lapice, which leads to the visitor center.

Birthplace of Paella

By Linda Tancs

Just a short drive from Valencia, Spain, is Albufera Natural Park, home to some of the country’s most scenic wetlands and lagoons. The area is also touted as the birthplace of paella. You can enjoy both facets of the area with a traditional boat tour through the lagoon and then partake in some paella prepared with ingredients from the vegetable gardens that surround the wetlands.

The Pit of Bones

By Linda Tancs

Considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe, Atapuerca comprises several limestone caves near the medieval city of Burgos in northern Spain. It contains a rich fossil record of the earliest human beings in Europe from a million years ago. With colorful names such as Pit of the Elephant and Pit of Bones, the findings there include the earliest evidence of humans in western Europe and a stunning array of over 1,600 human fossils and intact skulls. The locale was designed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

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