Posts tagged Spain
Early Spring Hiking & Camping Solo in Southern Europe: Your Complete Packing List

Is hiking in one of the countries of southern Europe on your mind? Early Spring is a fantastic time to do it! Escape the colds and snow of northern Europe and hit the Portuguese, Spanish or Cretan trails in February or March! The weather can be tricky though - with this packing list you will be prepared and safe :)

Whenever it gets uncomfortably cold around, I try to make my escape into the warmer regions of Europe. Over the past years, I’ve solo hiked (and camped) in southern Spain (Catalonia), on the Greek island of Crete, and in southern Portugal (Algarve). Instead of complaining about dreadful freezing air or melting snowpocalypse, I could enjoy an early spring not that far away from home.

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Must-see in Málaga: Alcazaba and Gibralfaro

Recently I visited Málaga again. My first time was some five years ago as a chaperone to a group of teenagers. Not exactly the perfect conditions for slow travel. This year I went with my Mom for a week, starting with the Great Friday. We had the freedom to do whatever we wanted and spend as much time as we needed in every place we visited. 

I was lucky to witness the Semana Santa celebrations and processions but I also had a chance to revisit Alcazaba. Five years ago we had to go pretty quickly through it (and with my eyes all around my head to see if kids were behaving) and we skipped the Gibralfaro. This time, we took our time and made sure to walk also to Gibralfaro.

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Experiencing Semana Santa in Málaga, Spain

I am not a Christian but I grew up in a Catholic country so I am pretty well versed in the basics of Easter celebrations. But nothing like Semana Santa happens anywhere in the world. The famous processions are unique to Spain and their history reaches centuries-old traditions.

What exactly is Semana Santa?

During the Holy Week, a number of brotherhoods and fraternities perform processions on the streets of major Spanish cities. The processions are religious and their nature is penance for sins in spiritual preparation for the upcoming holiday. In some places, the celebrations have been taken place for over five hundred years!

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El Puig de la Balma Catalonia: a Unique Rock Hotel!

Just imagine a place remembering the times of crusades built directly into a rock. When I heard about this place from a Park Ranger I had a very vague idea as what to expect. El Puig de la Balma, Catalonia, was supposed to be a set of buildings from the 12th century with additions built at various moments in medieval times, mainly in the 17th century. Some historians suggest that people started settling in this place already around the 10th c. What is fascinating, the current owners are the 26th generations of people living here!

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Gothic Quarter in Barcelona: Walk through History and Beauty

The one unique thing that links all humans throughout the ages is the need to surround ourselves with beauty. We might perceive it differently, use different materials and colors… but the drive to see the beauty and to create it, seems to be integrated with our humanity.

That’s the reason why I love to go and see new places created by humans – even though I generally prefer to be surrounded by Nature. I especially love to just wander around old towns, narrow streets with houses tired with old age.

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Sagrada Familia: No, It's NOT Overrated & Yes, You MUST See It!

There is a very strong trend to go and visit places off the beaten path. Discover the unknown, find the hidden gems and tourists-free spots.

Barcelona's Sagrada Familia definitely ain't it.

It's crowded, very popular and famous. But you know what? Most of the times there is a reason why such a place is that popular, crowded and "a must".

Sagrada Familia is worth the crowds, popularity, and lack of "unknown gem" patch. And I am saying it as an introvert who prefers hiking by herself somewhere far from any humans!   

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Why you should put Málaga on your Spanish itinerary

Málaga is one of those Spanish cities that rarely hit number one on anyone’s bucket list. It’s nice, many people visit it, but there are other cities that get much better press.

And I admit – before I went there I didn’t know much about this town and if I was to make the itinerary,I might have missed it completely.

If I was asked about Andalusia, I would rather think of Córdoba or Granada, and not Málaga. But this time I went on a trip organized by someone else – and had to go with it.

I am glad it went this way, as Málaga is a very charming place with a lot of historic and architectural interest.

I hope the few modest photos will be enough to convince you to put Málaga on your Spanish trip itinerary!

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Hiking Solo in the Beautiful Parc Natural de Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac in Catalonia, Spain.

The decision to go hiking in Catalonia was one of the best ideas I’ve had. This varied land surprises you with each step you take.

Getting to know it by foot is by far the best way. Take it slowly and enjoy breath-taking views.

During my two weeks long trekking, I walked along the GR-5 trail most of the time. I was blown away by the nature of Park Montseny and completely in love with Catalan landscape by the time.

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The Magnificent Mura: Wandering Through Medieval Charmer.

Hiking in the stunningly beautiful Catalonia

During my hiking adventure in Catalonia, I kept to the GR 5 trail. It's a wonderful 200+ km path circling the Barcelona in a wide arch. The trail sometimes crosses with others and at times it runs hand-in-hand with another.

For quite a while the GR5 trail is joined by the Els 3 Monts trail. At one spot I had to decide if I wanted to move on along the GR 5 or if to make a detour along the Els 3 Monts to the village of Mura.

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Between Goat Eyes and Fresh Strawberries: Why Visiting La Boqueria Market in Barcelona is a MUST!

La Boqueria... what?

The moment you begin your visit in Barcelona, you start planning your next visit. Barcelona has so much to offer!

There is no way even a whole week of site seeing could cover all the interesting spots. So what could be done when you have only a day or two? How can you choose which more-or-less famous places to visit?

There is of course the Gothic Quarter and there are Gaudi's works of architectural genius... but there are so many others.

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