Top 3 Spanish city break ideas
Check out our Top 3 Spanish city breaks, perfect for a romantic weekend away or to explore and restore. Ideal for a mini-break or as part of a larger trip taking in other great places to stay, for each city we’ve a perfect place to stay, plus some insider tips from your Further Afield hosts.
There’s something beguiling about Granada. A city full of history, dominated over by the Alhambra and its backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, but it’s also a city full of life and culture. One of Spain’s leading universities is here and that’s reflected in the younger vibe of parts of the city, but it’s still a traditional and incredibly Spanish city. Remember to book The Alhambra up as far in advance as you can if you plan to visit (http://www.alhambra-patronato.es/en)
Where to Stay: Palacio de los Navas is a family owned boutique hotel in the heart of Granada’s old town. On reception you’ll often find the wonderfully helpful Nuria, who shares some of her favourite things about Granada with us:
Nuria’s don’t miss in Granada: Of course you have to visit The Alhambra, but walk up through the Barrio de la Antequeruela, stopping at Puerta del Sol to enjoy stunning views of the Vega de Granada. Continue up a bit further to the Rodriguez Acosta foundation (below) which for me is a Magical place. Very few people visit but it’s well worth making the time. Originally built as an artist’s Atelier, today visit to explore its gardens and underground passageways, take in its views and the collection of art it now houses.
Nuria’s favourite place to eat in Granada: For me Taberna Belmonte on Calle Mulhacén is a mandatory weekly visit. It’s just 10 minutes walk from the Cathedral, but away from the usual tourist circuit in a residential neighborhood. They have a very good selection of premium quality wines and extra virgin oils. The menu is written by hand by the owner every day according to what’s fresh and seasonal. You won’t get the mass produced tapas that other bars are famous for; it’s for culinary lovers to enjoy a few tapas and soak up the Spanish atmosphere.
2. Ciutadella de Menorca
An historic fortified city with a complex and often violent past (in the 16th century its entire population was captured and sold into the Turkish slave trade…) today it’s a wonderful city to wander and explore. There’s the old port and it’s immediate surroundings – know as Es Born – which is crammed full of palacios, churches and fortresses. The night life is buzzing whist still sophisticated and typically Spanish. The museum is worth checking out to get your head around the history of the city.
Where to stay: Divina Suites Hotel Boutique. In a renovated Palacio which retains original features combined with contemporary fittings and style. Lina and the team who operate these incredible suites have created a tranquil, high end and modern space in the historic heart of the city.
Lina’s don’t miss in Ciutadella de Menorca: Lithica: An old stone quarry typical of Menorca, with gardens and a spectacular labyrinth. It’s not something you’d perhaps expect to explore on Menorca, but it’s really beautiful. Take a look at the pictures on its website – www.lithica.es
Lina’s favourite place to eat in Ciutadella de Menorca: without any doubt I’d suggest S’Amarador (http://www.samarador.com) is the best option in the port of Ciutadella. Placed on a corner with the best views it’s the perfect place for a relaxing dinner (red lobster with fried potatoes and eggs is truly delicious!). For an alternative place, choose Smoix (http://www.smoix.com), a chef with a great reputation offering great dishes of mediterranean food with a Mexican touch.
Oh Seville. Hot and sultry in the summer it’s also a year round city break destination, with autumn and winter days often sunny and crisp – perfect for exploring and for experiencing it’s wonderful street life. Have a read of our blog about a weekend in Seville.
Where to stay: The smell as you walk through the door of El Corral del Rey is something that has stayed with us. Fragrant and fresh it sums up the atmosphere of this beautifully restored pair of townhouses in the absolute heart of Seville. Susana and her team create a friendly but incredibly professional vibe in this family owned hotel.
Susana’s don’t miss in Seville: Get lost and wander the lesser know streets in the Macarena area where tourists are scarce and you will discover the food markets in Calle Feria and the hidden convents to buy pastries with ingredients passed on through the centuries.
Susana’s favourite place to eat in Seville: La Azotea has several bars and a shop but we like the one in conde de Barajas (https://laazoteasevilla.com/en/). The restaurant uses the freshest products and digs deep to find the best local suppliers with a sustainable philosophy. The cooking is simple, delicious and beautifully presented.