Although Bilbao is not known for its knock-out beauty, it’s def a must while in the north of Spain. The city’s appearance reflects its history as an industrial hub, but investments over the past few decades have breathed new life into the city: The Guggenheim, inaugurated in 1997, has become one of the world’s best-known museums. Below I sum up my weekend in Bilbao, featuring pintxos, pinturas (paintings), and paseos (strolls), from my visit with friends in July 2021 😍.
Granada is a gem among gems in Spain’s culturally rich southern autonomous community of Andalucía. Locals often refer to the city as Graná, cutting off the final syllable of the word, which is commonly done for various words in Andalusian accents. I spent a week in Granada in August of 2020 while working from a hotel to get out of Madrid on a “fake-cation” of sorts. I know what you may be thinking – Granada in August?! Yes, Granada was HOT…But so was Madrid, haha. Plus, having an air-conditioned hotel room to work from doesn’t hurt! (Can’t say the same about my room in Madrid 😂). Throughout my week in Graná, I got to know the city itself beyond just the world-renowned La Alhambra. So, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite sights in Granada that will help you appreciate everything this Andalusian jewel has to offer! Continue reading “My Favorite Sights in Granada: Beyond La Alhambra”
Gijon is the largest city in Spain’s beautiful northern autonomous community of Asturias and was a key stop on our weeklong trip to region. The city is not exactly jam-packed with sights – I’d say there is more to do in Oviedo, but don’t tell that to someone from Gijon because the 2 cities have some beef 😜 – so I’d say a weekend in Gijon will do just fine! However, Gijon does have beaches – which you can’t say about Oviedo – so you may want to make time for that too, although we didn’t get to hit the beach when we visited.
I highly recommend a weekend in Oviedo: we spent 3 nights in Oviedo during our week-long trip to Asturias, an autonomous community in the north of Spain, in late August of 2020. We used Oviedo as a base for day trips, including a visit to Covadonga and a quesería on our way to have lunch in Lastres. We then set off to the picturesque towns of Cudillero and Luarca on our way to our next stay in Gijón. We got great weather in our trip, although Asturias and the north of Spain are generally known for the rainy weather. However, summer temperatures are mild even on sunny days, so Asturias is a nice summer spot if you don’t want to be sweating all day! 😝
While people often look to Toledo or Segovia as their first options for day trips or one-nighters from Madrid, Chinchón can get overlooked. However, this picturesque town, located only about a one-hour car ride away from the city but still within the Community of Madrid, really makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time. Although a day trip is totally possible, I think a one-night trip to Chinchón is an ideal getaway from Madrid city life. Spending the night is worth it to soak in everything this unique town has to offer without the rush.
Ronda, known as the largest of Andalucía’s “white towns,” or pueblos blancos, is a cozy little spot in the province of Málaga. A weekend in Ronda is a must while in the south of Spain! We visited Ronda in December of 2018 when we lived in Bucharest to enjoy the mild Andalusian winter (i.e. clear blue skies, temps in the 50-60s Fahrenheit, and los naranjoooos.) Continue reading “Weekend in Ronda: Bridges, Bull Rings, & Bottles of Wine”
In August of 2020, I spent a week in Granada – a world-renowned gem of Spain’s southern autonomous community, Andalucía – working from a hotel to get in a little summer “fake”-cation trip. Although Granada is no doubt a scorcher in the summer, I really enjoyed my week there! Since I had lots of time to spend and meals to plan, I was able to sample a variety of Granada’s culinary treats, from its famously generous tapas that accompany any beer or wine to pastries at Moorish-style tea houses. Below is my guide for where to eat in Granada – enjoy! Continue reading “Where to Eat in Granada: Tapas, Teterías, y Todo”
Our half-day in Cudillero was a delightful part of our week-long trip to Asturias. We visited Cudillero after leaving Oviedo, on our way to spend a few days in Gijón. Colorful Cudillero is one of the best known, oft-visited, and most-Instagrammed towns along the coast of Asturias, but it is still well worth a visit. In fact, I found that the town preserved a lot of its quaint fishing-village charm. After a morning spent climbing up and down Cudillero, we visited the nearby town of Luarca for lunch! Continue reading “Half Day in Cudillero and Lunch in Luarca, Asturias”
We took our day trip to Llanes, with Gijón as our base, during our week-long trip to Asturias. Llanes is a popular summer destination among Spaniards, but I was particularly interested in visiting because my great-great-grandparents, the parents of my Cuban great-grandfather Manolo Fernández Blanco on my maternal grandmother’s side, were from there! They likely emigrated from Llanes to Cuba in the late 19th century. It was exciting to see this little slice of my Spanish-Cuban heritage! Continue reading “Day Trip to Llanes, Asturias: A Cozy Coastal Town”