To get to the Faro del Caballo lighthouse (near Santoña in Cantabria) you have to descend about 700 steps, and to get back up you have to climb them again! The exact number of the steps seems to be in some doubt, because, we suspect, no-one has ever managed the complete descent or ascent without losing count on the way. Read more
Holidays in Spain
If you like to go a little off the beaten track, discover new places and have fun in a way that that you will surely remember, here are four activities to get you started.
These are all available in the Andalucian hills and mountains just inland from Málaga. Although you’ll be just a short distance from the hedonistic pleasures of the Costa del Sol, this is a world apart where life moves at a more leisurely pace. The roads are quieter (and narrower), there are eagles overhead (sometimes) and the bars and restaurants are truly, authentically Spanish. Read more
Spain and the Spanish islands have some of the most stunning beaches in the world. Move away from a few over-crowded resorts and you will find places that are a match for anything you could see in the Caribbean or the Indian Ocean.
White sand and turquoise water. Rugged, rocky shorelines. Long, long stretches of firm sand. And the occasional surprise.
Do you have a favourite? If so, please tell us. Meanwhile, here are a few contenders for our own favourites.
The Antequera valley has been a trade route and a place of settlement ever since stone-age man set foot on the Iberian peninsula. Indeed the area has some of the most important bronze-age dolmens to be seen anywhere in the country, and the bronze-age relics are then followed by Roman, Moorish, Christian and the various political and architectural epoques that have followed. Read more
Cáceres may not be so well-known to the average traveller as, say, Seville or Barcelona, but it is certainly a place that rewards those intrepid voyagers who are prepared to go that extra mile. It is a city characterised by numerous old palaces, endless archaeological exhibits, and the unique Moorish underground water deposit (the “aljibe”) with it’s 16 arabic vaulted arches. Read more
I don’t know if there is a Basque-language edition of Scrabble, but there really should be. Without some adjustment to the scoring system and the numbers of each letter, the game would become impossible. When you’re up in that area, if you see words liberally peppered with t’s, x’s, z’s and k’s; that’s Basque! Read more
An often repeated proverb dating back to the Renaissance says, with a little exaggeration, ‘Madrid, nueve meses de invierno, tres meses de infierno’ (Madrid, nine months of winter, three months of burning hell). In August the temperature averages 30ºC while in winter it can fall several degrees below zero. Although the saying is exaggerated, the continental climate in the middle of the peninsula and the altitude of Madrid at 646 metres above sea level certainly does make for an extreme climate. Ideally the best times of the year to visit are between April and June and September to October, Read more
If Guadalest didn’t already exist, someone would have had to invent it. This amazing little village offers so much.
Let’s start with the castle. The vertical precipices of rock couldn’t fail to attract the attention of anyone looking for position that would readily hold back their enemies. Read more