We come from two famous Spanish cities: Madrid and Seville. We sure love them! Both are beautiful, vibrant and charming. Madrid has that amazing energy and Seville has such an authentic flavour, but when we go back to Spain we love visiting other places that might not be so popular, but still have all the ingredients for a perfect Spanish getaway: wonderful architecture, fascinating landscapes and mouth-watering cuisine. Here you have our recommendations to discover a different Spain.
1. Valle del Baztán: placed in the north of Spain, closed to the Pyrenees, this area is perfect for laid-back holidays enjoying nature. Green mountains dotted with the tiniest villages, the most amazing food and a very particular architecture make this area a unique place in Spain. The government of the region has severe conservation regulations that avoid non typical constructions. You will be amazed by the absolutely stunning traditional houses that you will see among the greenest fields.
Our tips: stay at Donamariako Benta, visit the charming village of Elizondo and buy THE BEST chocolate in its little patisserie, Malkorra, and make a day trip to the nearby town of San Sebastián to enjoy delicious pintxos and have a walk in its famous beach, la Concha. If you are a spititual person, you could ask the nuns of the Dona María convent to stay at their premises. You will enjoy a different experience: silence, long hikes in the mountains and splendid home made food (+0034. 948.450.066).
– Cádiz: this town has an incredible cultural and historical background. The nostalgic atmosphere of its old town contrasts with the jolly spirit of its inhabitants. Sometimes, wandering through the tiny streets and squares, you could discover some similarities with Lisbon. The sea has modified the facades with its salty residue softening the colours and making its architecture even more appealing.
Our tips: enjoy Santa María beach, which is not among the most popular beaches of Cádiz, but has white sand a lovely family charm, have a late night walk in the city center and enjoy an ice cream in Mina Square to mingle with the locals and make a day trip to the nearby town of Puerto de Santa María where you can taste the best brandy.
– Toledo: this is one of our favourite cities in Spain. Even though it is the typical day-trip for those who visit and stay in Madrid, we totally recommend it as a destination on its own. The city is beyond beautiful with its characteristic ochre and earth tone buildings and its tile roofs. It once was one of the most important cities in Spain and every corner reflects that past when Jewish, Catholic and Islamic residents made it one of the most erudite cities in the world. Culture is must here, and El Greco is everyone’s favourite son.
Our tips: buy some traditional marzipan at Obrador Santo Tomé, visit the beautiful monastery of San Juan de los Reyes, buy the newspaper and read it while sipping a cup of coffe in Zocodover square and enjoy a nice walk in any of Toledo’s Cigarrales, country houses in the south shore of the river Tajo. For an exquisite lunch in the old town, go to Venta de aires.