On days like today when it’s cold and grey here in miserable England I find myself daydreaming and looking at holidays online.
Prior to parenthood I would go away anywhere around 6-10 times a year in the UK and abroad. I’m a terrible flyer, to the extent that I attended a ‘Flying without Fear’ course a few years back before I could step foot inside an airport again.I don’t hate it enough to never fly again – what could be better than stepping off the plane in beautiful sunshine, that gorgeous ‘abroad’ heat and that AMAZING holiday feeling…
And what destination could be better for a nervous flyer than Spain – with an average flight time of two hours depending on destination it’s the perfect place to enjoy some sunshine and culture.
Where to stay?
There a loads of websites where you can book anything from a tent to vacation rentals in Spain; and with so much on offer it’s hard to choose. Hotels, camping, glamping, there is something for everyone.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few different places, from Asturias in the north to Almeria in the south, and from the first time I visited many years ago I fell in love with the country and pace of life.
I was lucky enough to visit Oviedo, which is located in the principality of Asturias while a friend was studying there. For someone who had a very basic(three words!) understanding of Spanish it was a huge culture shock and after a couple of weeks there I’d picked quite a bit up.
There is so much to see and do – I loved the pre-romanesque Cathedral and the tiny restaurants in the maze of cobbled streets, it was here I learnt about ‘menu del dia’ AKA menu of the day. For a few euros you can enjoy a three course lunch or dinner which is a set menu and although I had no idea what I was eating it was tasty and some of the best food I’ve ever had.
The good, the bad and the… beautiful
A few years later I spent a weekend in Almeria, an almost desert-like place in Andalusia on the southern coast. With only a handful of rainy days per year it is warm all year round and it was January when I visited – I can confirm that the bikini did get used!
An interesting fact about Almeria is that due to it’s desert-like landscape and climate it has been used as a filming location for hundreds of films since the 1950s. There are sets available to tour and it has long been known as the home of the ‘Spaghetti Western’.
The mainland is beautiful but the Spanish islands such as the Balearic Islands off the coast of Spain and the Canary Islands off the coast of North Africa.
The beautiful White Isle
The beautiful Baleriac Islands are ideal for a sunny getaway whether you are single or a family. I visited Ibiza a few years back to check out it’s cultural side as well as colourful nightlife.
I stayed in Santa Eulalia(Santa Eularia des Riu), on the east coast not far from Es Cana. It is perfect for families, with sandy beaches and lots to see and do. The Hippy Market is a must-see, I spent a whole day there just browsing the stalls and taking it all in and I believe there are a few dotted around the island.
We can’t talk about Ibiza without mentioning nightlife – with Ibiza Town and San Antonio(San Antoni de Portmany) boasting multiple nightclubs and bars. In the 1970s clubs became nightclubs as we know them today, with favourites such as Pacha, Privelige and Amnesia still going strong to this day. With a Summer season running from the opening parties in June to the closing parties in September, Balearic beat is still going strong and many popular DJs and well-known names perform throughout.
Another White Isle landmark is Cafe del Mar, a beach cafe that opened in the eighties famous for it’s ambient atmosphere and being the in-place to witness one of Ibiza’a spectacular sunsets.
You can take a boat from Ibiza town harbour to Formentara, a gorgeous little island to the south of Ibiza and famous for being hippy-friendly and nude sunbathing being allowed on most of it’s beaches.
Life on Marbs…
In recent years Marbella, on the sunny Costa del Sol has become the ultimate luxury getaway and is the place to do to mingle with celebrities and the who’s-who of society. Check out the harbour for an abundence of luxury yachts and Puerto Banus for the ultimate shopping experience.
The water in Mallorca?
Mallorca(Majorca) is the largest of the Balearic Islands and with its hot, dry summers and a flight time of just over two hours from the UK it truly is an ideal destination for a family holiday. With miles of sandy beaches boasting watersports such as paddle boarding and hundreds of restaurants suitable for all ages it is well worth a visit.
So is Spain the place to be?
Yes absolutely – it’s perfect for anyone and everyone, with pretty much year-round sunshine, mountains, sandy beaches, history, culture and some of the most amazing food and drink in the world, plus a short flight time, Spain is the place to go.
I’m off to try and convince my husband to book a Spanish getaway… have you been? have you a favourite place to go?
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