Category Archives: Spain / España

What to visit in Tarazona city (Zaragoza, Aragón)


mapa zaragoza spainTourists visiting Aragón region should not miss the chance to visit Tarazona whose magnificent cathedral, also known as” La Seo” is considered to be one of the jewel of the Spanish architecture. In fact, the town really has an impressive ensemble of Mudéjar buildings, as well as an interesting old quarter (casco antiguo) with an exceptional historic and artistic heritage where Jews, Muslims and Christians coexisted for a long time in the medieval times leaving an unmistakable cultural imprint on Tarazona.

Tarazona is situated in the Queiles valley at the foot of the majestic Moncayo massif (its highest summit is San Miguel mountain that rises 2,314 m), in an outstanding natural landscape of exceptional beauty in the western Aragón. Although Tarazona only has a population of about 11,000, the lively town certainly has a lot of to offer in the way of architecture, culture, nature, gastronomy, sport, festivals among other things, without forgetting its rich cultural heritage.

TARAZONA ayuntamientoTaking an enjoyable stroll along its steep and narrow cobbled streets is the ideal way to visit this historic town, because the most important buildings and places are within walking distance including the cathedral and the old bullring which lie on the other side of the Queiles River that flows through the town.

tarazona catedralCathedral of Nuestra Señora de la Huerta, which has three naves and Latin cross plan, was begun its construction in the 13th century in French Gothic style although it was not finished until the 16th century in Mudéjar style. Therefore, the outer face of the Gothic Cathedral was covered by Mudéjar construction, as well as other Mudéjar elements were added inside the cathedral between 15th and 16th centuries, such as the absolutely amazing dome (cimborrio) a masterpiece of Mudéjar art that was built in the mid 16th century by the prestigious maestro Juan Lucas ”Botero”. The beautiful cloister was rebuilt between 1495 and 1525 in Mudéjar style too. As for the spectacular square bell tower, it was constructed in three different styles: Gothic, Mudéjar and classical. The Gothic base of the tower was built in the13th century; the second stage of the tower was built in the late 15th century in Mudéjar style; finally, the tower was completed in the late 16th century in classical style.

If visitors go into the cathedral, they will be able to see the Gothic mural paintings on the dome which were discovered by chance when the cathedral was restored in the year 2000, the valuable painting is considered to be unique to Spain and it is known as the Sistine Chapel of the Spanish Renaissance. Besides, the beautiful choir stalls dating from 15th century; the choir’s domes that were decorated by Vicente Berdusán in the 17th century; the beautiful main altarpiece and the organ are also worth a visit. Obviously, the cathedral is a must see place.

VISTA DE TARAZONA CON LA PLAZA DE TOROS VIEJAThe old bullring was built in 1792 to celebrate bullfights, however, in the mid 19th century another new bullring was built, and the old one has been used for street market, festivals and other events since 1870. The bullring, which is surrounded by houses, gives the town a picturesque character. The cathedral and the bullring are near the Santuario de la Virgen del Río where visitors can enjoy a Baroque altarpiece dating from 17th century with the patron saint of Tarazona, as well as the Convent of Santa Ana built in the early 17th century in Mudéjar style.

Santa María Magdalena’s church is situated in the popular Barrio del Cinto (Cinto neighborhood) with its attractive bell tower above the river. The church was the first cathedral built in Tarazona and its construction was begun in the 12th century in Romanesque style, although it was restored and finished in the early 15th century with Mudéjar elements, such as the wooden ceiling (techumbre) in Mudéjar style. Inside the church visitors can enjoy the main altarpiece. The bell tower was built between 12th and 16th centuries in Romanesque and Mudéjar styles. In this area visitors can also see remains of the the medieval wall.

Concepción’s Convent was built in the mid 16th century in Mudéjar style, its bell tower was built over the medieval wall in Mudéjar style too.

tarazaona torre aragonThe Renaissance Town Hall building lies in the Plaza Mayor in the heart of Tarazona. This emblematic palace was built in the mid 16th century. Anyway, the building has been restored several times since its construction.

Moreover, Tarazona has other interesting buildings and places worth a visit, such as San Francisco’s church; the Archbishop’s Palace from 16th century in Renaissance style; the Jewish neighborhood which is remarkably well preserved; the hanged houses; without forgetting the famous Cipotegato, the most popular fiesta of the town where visitors and local people can enjoy the traditional Festival of San Atilano on 27th August every year..

In addition, Tarazona was founded by the Celts in the 2nd century BC, after that, the Romans, the Visigoths and the Muslims dominated the town until Alfonso el Batallador, king of Aragón (1073-1134) reconquered Tarazona in 1119.

Tarazona is 85 km away from Zaragoza, 12 km away from the Monastery of Veruela and 25 km away from Borja.

More places to visit in Aragon

Zaragoza: With almost 700,000 inhabitants, Saragossa is one of the biggest cities of Spain.

Huesca and The Pyrenees.

Teruel: Located in the south of Aragón, Teruel city is an ideal city to live and enjoy its interesting museums, unique architecture, traditional festivals, delicious gastronomy, among other things.

Monasterio de Piedra Monasterio de Piedra is located on the left bank of the River Piedra, only 27 km from Calatayud

Monastery of Veruela, Vera de Moncayo (Aragón)

 monasterio VERUELA aragon
mapa zaragoza spainFounded in 1145 by Don Pedro Atarés, Señor de Borja, the Monastery of Veruela (Royal Monastery of Santa María de Veruela – Monasterio de Veruela) was the very first cistercian Monastery established in La Corona de Aragón (Crown of Aragón). In fact, the cistercian monks moved here in 1171 and the consecration of the abbey was in 1248 by the bishop of Calahorra.

The emblematic Royal Monastery of Santa María de Veruela is located in an outstanding quiet valley at the foot of the spectacular Moncayo Mountain, very close to the Huecha River, and 1 km away from the lovely Vera de Moncayo village, in the western Zaragoza province.

facade of the monasteryVeruela’s Monastery was certainly built as many cistercian abbeys, a standard layout or a typical design of the cistencian order was repeated with its abbey church beside the cloister and the rooms spread around the cloister. Besides, a vegetable garden and gardens and other buildings such as the mill and the water tank ( aljibe) were separated from the main buildings.

monasterio de VERUELAThe medieval complex of the Monastery of Veruela was built between 12th and 14th centuries in Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. Moreover, the Renaissance palace of the abbot and other buildings were built in the 16th century, and a new Baroque monastery was also added next to the medieval cloister in the 17th century, as well as a fortified hexagonal wall, which has remaind intact since 16th century, had been erected around all the buildings and its grounds in the 16th century occupying an area of more than 50,000 square metres.

What to see in Veruela’s Monastery

A fortified tower built in the 13th century in Romanesque style gives visitors a cozy welcome before going into the walled Monastery.


If tourists decide to visit the monastery by themselves, they should not miss the chance to see the breathtaking Church of Santa María de Veruela, which impresses visitors with its measurements of more than 72 meters long by more than 22 meters wide and more than 18 meters high. Being the most remarkable building of the Monastery, the church has three naves and Latin cross plan in Romanesque and Gothic styles dating from the12th and 13th centuries. Its main facade from the12th century in Romanesque style with fine capitals on its portade (gate) shows us the beauty and simplicity of the cistercian architecture. Inside visitors can see: several Romanesque chapels from 12th century; the Virgin of Veruela, a statue of wood carving of Our Lady of Veruela from the 15th century; on the left there are the chapel dedicated to San Bernardo with the beautiful sepulcher of the abbot Lope Marco dating in the mid 16th century and a medieval spiral staircase that goes up to the San Martin’s bell tower dating from the 13th century; on the right, there are the Baroque gate of the sacristy from the 16th century; the magnificent monks door from 13th century that allows visitors to go into the cloister and admired the three sepulchers dating from 12th century on their left; and the converts door that goes into the cilla( storeroom) and the cloister.

VERUELA 25The spectacular medieval cloister from the 14th century in Gothic style is the heart of the monastery, from here visitors can easily go into the most important rooms of the medieval monastery even the church. In the 16th century, a Renaissance double cloister was added over the medieval cloister.

The new sacristy lies among the church, the cloister and the chapter room, here visitors can know more about the beautiful main altarpiece of the church and enjoy the interesting paintings, sculptures, remains of the main altarpiece among other things..

The remarkable chapter room is dated in the 13th century in Romanesque style, here visitors can admire the sepulcher of Lope Ximenez from 13th century and the abbot Sancho Marcilla from 14th century.

The monks room from 13th century in Romanesque style is also worth a visit, as well as the Refectory dating in the13th and 16th centuries in Romanesque and Gothic style that is used for exhibitions.

People should not leave the monastery without visiting: lavatorium, storeroom (cilla), kitchen, warming room, dormitory, new monastery, as well as the mill and the Wine Museum which is situated in the aljibe (water tank).

VERUELA 26This beautiful monastery is also renowned because the poet Gustavo Adolfo Béquec and his brother Valeriano stayed here between November 1863 and October 1864 so that Gustavo got over his serious disease. The poet wrote the famous “ Letters from my cell ” during his stay in the monastery.

If tourists are interested in knowing more about this historic monastery, they are allowed to wander around the monastery. Moreover they might come across interesting artwork. By the way, the cistercian monks left this abbey in 1835; after that, in the mid 19th century it become a hotel where a lot of tourists spent their summers. Besides, the Jesuit monks stayed in this monastery nearly one century; and finally, in 1998 the property of the monastery passed to La Diputación de Zaragoza ( Country Counsil ) which maintains it in excellent state of preservation.

VERUELA monks roomPeople enjoy visiting Verula’s Monastery and its outanding natural landscape, imagining themselves for some moments back in the medieval period, it can be a unique experience.

It is 75 km away from Zaragoza, 12 km from Tarazona and 15 km from Borja.

More places to visit in Aragon

What to see in Zaragoza city: With almost 700,000 inhabitants, Zaragoza (Saragossa) is one of the biggest cities of Spain. Its strategical location between Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao, and its proximity to The Pyrenees and France, make Zaragoza one of the most important logistic points of Spain.

Tarazona: Tarazona is situated in the Queiles valley at the foot of the majestic Moncayo massif, in an outstanding natural landscape of exceptional beauty in the western Aragón.

Huesca and The Pyrenees.

Teruel: Located in the south of Aragón, Teruel city is an ideal city to live and enjoy its interesting museums, unique architecture, traditional festivals, delicious gastronomy, among other things.

Zarautz, Guipuzkoa (Basque Country)

zarautz beach and sea

Located on the breathtaking Cantabrian Sea Coast, in the province of Guipuzkoa in the north of Spain, Zarautz is a popular resort town only 20 km away from the beautiful Donostia – San Sebastian city. With a population of about of 23,000 inhabitants, Zarautz is really a famous tourist destination of high quality in Spain for people who like enjoying its traditional cuisine and its excellent beach, as well as leisure activities and sports among others.

mapa san sebastian spainThe old fishing village of Zarautz became a favorite destination for aristocracy and upper class people who chose Zarautz to enjoy the quiet beach during their holidays in the late 19th century. Nowadays, one of the most important economic sectors in Zarautz is really tourism. Therefore, Zarautz has focused on the preservation of its heritage cultural, its healthy lifestyle, its traditions and its natural surroundings so that Zarautz goes on being a tourist destination of the highest quality.


playa y paseo maritimoZarautz is known over all world for its delicious cuisine and its magnificent chefs who are used to cooking with the best and freshest ingredients. Moreover, the excellent food attracts not only local people, but also other visitors from other cities and countries. In fact, here tourists can find some of the most renowned restaurants and bars of Basque Country full of friendly people tasting the flavorful pintxos (a tiny haute cuisine) with the traditional txakoli (light white wine). If tourists visit the popular local market of Zarautz, they will certainly soak up the atmosphere of this town and understand its traditional gastronomy.

Beach and Sports

zarautzThe Beach of Zarautz, which is one of the longest beaches in the Cantabrian Sea coast with more than 2,500 m long of fine golden sand and clear blue water, is other attraction for lovers of the outdoor activities, such as surfers who can enjoy the spectacular waves; golfers that can play golf in the Real Club of Golf of Zarautz which borders a part of the beach on the eastern area. Moreover the beach is also bordered by the lively promenade, the main meeting point of the town, where visitors can find a lot of excellent restaurants, bars, terraces, cafés, shops and have a lot of fun.

Visitors can also enjoy the outstanding natural landscape of Zarautz walking along its picturesque streets, taking a stroll about its peaceful surroundings as well as climbing its hills and mountains because there are facilities for most cultural and athletic activities. Besides, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking scenery if they decide to go to Getaria on foot bordering the Cantabrian sea coast. As for Getaria (Guetaria), it is a beautiful fishing village only 3 km away from Zarautz with medieval houses and the remarkable San Salvador’s church in Gothic style dating from 14th century. Both Zarautz and Getaria are connected by a spectacular promenade between the mountain and sea.

basque country beachZarautz can also offer tourists interesting buildings such as Santa María la Real’s Church built between the 15th and 16th centuries in Gothic style; the Zarautz Tower, which is the oldest building in Zarautz from the 15th century, is used for the Museum of Art and History and for the bell tower. Inside the church visitors can find several impressive Baroque altarpieces and the tomb of Lopez Martinez de Zarautz from 15th century; the four storey-Luzea Tower was built in the 15th century in Gothic style; the Narros Palace built in the mid 16th century in renaissance style with lovely gardens; the Portu House is a remarkable three-storey building from 16th century ( Town Hall headquarters); Franciscans’ Convent Church from early 17th century; Makatxa House among others.

If visitors wander through the streets and squares, they will come across impressive sculptures, other magnificent buildings and beautiful gardens and parks that are worth visiting.


Other places to visit in The Basque Country (País Vasco)

San Sebastian (Donostia) Situated in the north of Spain on the Bay of Biscay coast, washed by the Cantabrian Sea, San Sebastian (or Donostia)  also known as Perla del Cantábrico (the Cantabrian Sea Pearl) is renowned for its spectacular natural beauty.

Bilbao: Bilbao is one of the main cities of the Basque Country, in the north of Spain. It has more than 700.000 inhabitants, counting the city and the metropolitan area. In this article we are going to tell you about what are the best places to visit in the city, and how to visit them on foot in a two-days weekend.

More places to see in The Basque Country.


Visiting Santander city (Cantabria)


Santander, which is certainly renowned for its beautiful bay and its magnificent beaches, is situated in the northern Spain, on the Cantabrian Sea coast. Surrounded by breathtaking scenery among its bay, the sea and green belts, Santander is an outstanding example of a natural landscape of great beauty, with a population of about 180,000 inhabitants it is the capital city of Cantabria region (Spain).

mapa-santander-spainIn the mid 19th century Santander became a perfect tourist destination for aristocracy, upper class and wealthy people who came to enjoy its lovely beaches, and its mild climate during the summer. Although in 1941 a disastrous fire destroyed a considerable part of its old town (Casco Antiguo), currently, Santander is also noteworthy for the quality of its architecture.

Nowadays, Santander not only has one of the most impressive bays in the world and magnificent beaches but also, gastronomy, sport, festivals, events, night-life, architecture, nature, culture, parks among other many more things. In fact, Santander is a holiday destination where tourists from all over the world choose to visit Santander in order to spend their holiday doing outdoor activities, enjoying its beaches, tasting its traditional cuisine or having a lot of fun at its parties, beaches and streets.

What to visit in Santander

Among the more imposing buildings is the Magdalena Palace that was built in the early 20th century on a hill in the Magdalena Peninsula surrounded by outstanding landscape. The king Alfonso XIII used to spend the summers in this palace until 1930. Currently, the palace hots events, exhibitions and summer courses at Menéndez Pelayo International University where more than seven thousand students attend the courses in Santander every year. This peninsula is itself a must-see place.

edificio banco santanderIf visitors take a leisurely stroll along the elegant Sardinero Promenade, which is one of the most emblematic areas of the city, they will find the famous Sardinero Beaches, Gran Casino del Sardinero, the Auditorium, luxury hotels, restaurants, terraces, bares, cafés and, pubs, as well as the Piquio Gardens which are regarded as some of the most lovely places in Santander from where visitors can see wonderful views. The Sardinero Promenade is to the east of the city.

Paseo de Pereda is without a doubt the most remarkable area in Santander where people can enjoy the beautiful Pereda Gardens and historical buildings walking along the Paseo de Pereda and Castelar Street and bordering the impressive Bay of Santander, to the south of the city. Moreover, the seaport, the port of call, the marina, the pier, Palacete del Embarcadero, the Cathedral, the City Hall, the Plaza Porticada and Santander Bank are interesting places and building near the Pereda Gardens. This area is plenty of restaurants, cafés, terraces, glamorous shops and luxury hotels.

paseo maritimo santanderSanta Maria de la Asuncion Cathedral, which incorporates remains of a Roman structure that can be seen if you visit the Cathedral, was built on a hill between 14th and 17th centuries in Gothic style. It was severely damaged during the 1941 fire although it was rebuilt and widened. The cloister from 14th century in Gothic style. Besides, Cristo Church also known as Cripta is under the cathedral dating from 13th century was built on the site of a previous monastery in Gothic style too. By the way, the tomb of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo ( 1856 -1912) is in this cathedral.

If tourists are interested in visiting museums theses are probably worth mentioning Modern Art, Menéndez Pelayo House, Fine Art, MMC Cantrabrian Maritime, Prehistory or Botin Art Center among others.


Sports and Beaches

Although there are a lot of facilities for football, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, horse riding and play golf, tennis and others in Santander, the natural surrounding with their beaches and sailing are really of main attractions. In fact, Santander hosted the Sailing World Championship 2014 (on 30th August to 21st September) where almost 1400 participants from 95 countries and more than 700 vessels took part in the competition.

playa de santanderSantander also has a lot of parks where people can do sport, walk or play such as Las Lamas Park, the largest Park in Santander with plenty of trees, a lake and the Palacio de Deportes (Sport Palace) at its main entrance, it is really more than a park is the green heart of Santander; Mataleña Golf Course is on a hill; Mataleña Park, with breathtaking views, borders the Cape Menor and arrives at Faro in Cape Mayor; El Faro (The lighthouse) is on a hill and measures 30 meters in height (90 meters over sea level), being erected in the mid 19th century, it is 2 km from city center. Mesones Park near Sardinero II beach is ideal for children; Water Park, Doctor Morales Park, La Alameda, the Jado Park among others without forgetting the Piquio Gardens.

Obviously Santander also has some of the most famous beaches in Spain all of them of the highest quality, with fine golden sand, clear waters and excellent facilities. Besides, the beauty of the landscape around the beaches has the additional advantage of being within walking distance of the city center. In addition, there are cultural events on the beaches.

Los Peligros Beach with quiet waters, measures about 200 meters in length by 70 meters in width; Magdalena Beach measures more than 800 meters in length by 30 meters in width and the Bikinis Beach is more than 200 meters long and 30 meters wide with quiet waters and soft breeze is easily reached from Magdalena Peninsula. These three beaches are situated to the south of Santander by the Paseo Reina Victoria and Magdalena Peninsula.

Situated to the east of the city visitors can find the busiest beaches:

El Camello measures 200 meters by 50 meters; La Concha Beach is 250 meters long and 20 meters wide located between Camello and Sardinero I beaches; Sardinero I Beach measures more than 300 meters in length by 80 meters in width with fine sand is very popular among tourists, it is next to Sardinero II Beach which measures about 1000 meters in length by 80 meters in width is the largest beach in Santander. All of them border the Sardinero Promenade.

Molinucos Beach is a small beach with fine and golden sand and often empty, it is about 30 meters long and 5 meters wide not far of Sardinero II Beach and near Mataleñas park. Mataleñas Beach which is very popular among local people, is located between the Cape Mayor and the Cape Menor near the Mataleñas Park in an area of natural beauty, measures about 120 meters by 40 meters.

Other beaches nearby:

Punta Parayas Beach is a artificial beach in Camargo it measures 50 meters in length by about 30 meters in width. Punta Parayas beach offers good facilities with green areas to walk and play, bicycle path, parking and so on.

El Bocal Beach 200 meters by 10meters and Maruca Beach 400 meters long and 10 meters wide are situated on the north coast of Santander in Monte with low occupation; Virgen del Mar Beach in San Roman de la Llanilla with 400 meters by 40 meters is an isolated beach to the north of village, here is the Chapel of the Virgin of the Sea ( Virgen del Mar) It is 5 km from Santander.


gastronomia tapas fiestas de santanderIt is well known that local people are justly proud of its traditional cuisine, the excellent and healthy food which is attractive not only for its aroma and exquisite taste, but also the quality of its savory anchovies, the fresh seafood, fish and meat, its famous green pepper, its tasty Pasiego cheese, delicious desserts and its flavorful wine make Santander an ideal tourist destination of the highest quality.

To sum up, we suggest enjoying the beaches, the food, the nightlife and do water sports. Visitors can arrive in Santander, by train, by car, by sea, by air.

Santander is about 400 kms. from Madrid


Cabarceno Nature Park

JIRAFAS - CABARCENOCabarceno Park (15 Km. from Santander) is a zoo with a surface area of more than 7,000,000 square meters that preserves the conservation of the environment. There are giraffes, jaguars, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, zebras, bears, lions, elephants, tigers, deers, horses, wallabies and many much animals from Asia, Africa, America, Australia and Europe that visitors can see them living in freedom in a suitable area surrounded by nature.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and wildlife in Cabarceno Park if they go on foot or by car through the paths and roads of park. Moreover, the park has excellent facilities to spend all day with children and old people. By the way, this park is one of most visited places in the northern Spain

The ticket costs between 7 to 25 euros.


Other places to visit in Cantabria region (Spain)

LAGO PARA HIPOPOTAMOS - CABARCENOComillas: Comillas is an attractive town located on the Cantabrian Sea coast, in the north of Spain, indeed in an area of natural breathtaking beauty in Cantabria region.

Potes: Visiting the beautiful villages in Cantabria region, in the north of Spain, tourists should not miss out on the medieval town of Potes whose traditional buildings, wooden balconies, steep streets and surrounding mountains make the Potes town an interesting tourist attraction place.

Altamira Cave: Located in Santillana del Mar, was declared a World Heritage in 1985 by UNESCO.


Visiting Lugo city (Galicia)

lugo cathedral

Situated in the northwest of Spain, Galicia region, on the bank of the River Miño with a population of about 100,000 inhabitants, Lugo city has a lot of to offer visitors in culture, architecture, gastronomy, nature, festivals, sport, parks, and above all, its historic Roman wall, which was declared a Heritage World site in 2000 by UNESCO. Moreover. Lugo is surrounded by breathtaking landscape of natural beauty, forming part of the reserve of the biosphere “Land of the Miño”

mapa lugoLugo was founded about the year 14 before Christ by the Romans, who called it Lucus Augusti, and constructed the Roman wall in the mid 3th century. The Suevi ( Suevos) arrived in Lucus Augusti in the mid 5th century and destroyed the town, although the Roman wall was not demolished. After that, the Visigoths were in Lugo until 714 that the town was invaded by the Muslims. Afterwards, Alfonso I king of Asturias ( 693-757 ) reconquered Lugo in 755.


What to visit in Lugo City

The Roman Wall of Lugo was built between the years 263 and 276 AD in order to defend Lucus Augusti, although the fortified wall was not enclosed the whole Roman town. In fact, a part of Lucus Augusti in the southeast of the town was left out of its circle.

Nowadays, the imposing Roman Wall is the most emblematic construction in Lugo, being the unique Roman wall in the world that the entire original perimeter survives intact. The fortified wall has a circular shape and its perimeter measures about 2,150 meters, its height is between 8 and 12 meters, and its width is more than 4 meters. There is a pedestrian street on the top of the wall that is highly popular among citizens and tourists because visitors can see a wonderful view of Lugo while they are walking over the wall. Moreover, the Roman wall has 10 gateways to enter the walled area and 6 staircases and a ramp to reach the pedestrian path over the Roman wall.

lugo roman wallThe Romans really left an unmistakable cultural imprint on Lucus Augusti such as, the Mosaics House whose remains tell us that it was built between 1st and 2nd centuries, here visitors can see wall paintings, mosaics, and remains of an important Roman house. It is in the walled area near the Town Hall. Outside the walled area in the south east on the bank of the Miño River are the Roman Baths ( Termas Romanas) built between 1st and 2nd centuries AD and the Roman Bridge built in the 1st century although it has been repaired several times.

If visitors take a leisurely stroll along its pedestrian streets and squares inside the walled area, they will be able to find some of the most remarkable buildings of Lugo, shops, markets, restaurants, typical bars with the famous tapas of octopus and tasty seafood, enjoyable places to rest and have fun.

Santa Maria Cathedral of Lugo was built between the 12th and 13th centuries in Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles, its main facade dating from 18th century in neoclassical style. The beautiful north gate of the Cathedral dating from 13th century in Romanesque style is worth a visit. Inside the Cathedral visitors should not miss the outstanding main altarpiece dating from 18th century, the amazing choir-stalls of 66 seats date about 1625; San Froilan Chapel from 17th century in Renaissance style; the Chapel of the Virgen de los ojos Grandes and the cloister are dated in the early 18th century in baroque style. Don’t forget that this Cathedral is on the primitive route of pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Episcopal Palace was built in the 18th century in Baroque style, it is in Santa Maria Square in front of the Magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria near Santiago Gateway.

Town Hall, which is one of the most beautiful buildings in Baroque style in Lugo, was built in the mid 18th century and the clock tower was added in the late 19th century. It is in the Mayor Square.

San Francisco Convent and Church were built in the 18th century in Gothic style. There is a beautiful cloister in Romanesque – Gothic style that is worth visiting. The Convent’s building is used as Provincial Museum where mosaics, paintings, coins, and other interesting Roman things can be seen free.



Arde Lucus Festival

Arde Lucus is a popular festival for citizens, tourists who want to know and enjoy a real Roman life. Therefore, Lugo really goes back to two centuries ago and becomes Augusti Lucus once a year in June when the Arde Lucus Festival is celebrated. In fact, local people and visitors must wear Roman fancy dresses in order to perform several aspects of daily life of the inhabitants of Augusti Lucus. As for the town, it is plenty of taverns, street markets, live music, dances and all sorts of Roman entertainments. By the way, the Arde Lucus Festival certainly attracts more than 500,000 people every year. Obviously, it is well worth visiting.

Anyway, If you are thinking of enjoying Galicia, we certainly suggest visiting Lugo during the next Arde Lucus on 19th, 20th and 21st of June, 2015.
Lugo is 500 Km. from Madrid.

More places to visit near Lugo (Spain)

Galicia: The region where is places Lugo. In Galicia you can visit other cities as Santiago de Compostela or A Coruña.

Asturias, Cantabria, Pais Vasco: Other regions near Galicia.

What to visit in Mérida city (Extremadura)

roman teather merida spain

Mérida certainly has a monumental Archaeological Ensemble which is considered to be the best preserved in Spain. In fact, the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida was declared a World Heritage site in 1993 by UNESCO. This ensemble consists of 29 well-preserved remains of the old city.

Situated in Badajoz province, in the west of Spain with a population of about 60,000 inhabitants, Mérida is the capital city of Extremadura region. Moreover, its favorable geographical location in the Silver Route with several highways to Gijón, Seville, Madrid, Lisboa among others and the Guadiana and the Albarregas rivers crossing the city make Mérida an attractive and easily accessible city.

merida mapaMérida was founded in the year 25 before Christ by order of the Roman Emperor Octavio Augusto (68-14) who called it Emerita Augusta, which became one of the most important cities in the Roman Empire. In fact, the most emblematic monuments in Mérida were built during the Roman Empire. After the Romans, in the 5th century the Visigoths were in Mérida until the early 8th century that was conquered by Muslims. When Abderraman II (792-852) of the dynasty Omeya arrived in Mérida in 834 built the Alcazaba on Roman and Visigoth walls. After that, Alfonso IX (1171-1230) king of León reconquered Mérida in 1230.


What to visit in Mérida

Mérida is of special historic interest in where visitors can explore plenty of ancient monuments within the walled city. Although several of them are scattered around the city or outside the walled city, the followings monuments are must-see places.

Roman Theater is the most remarkable building in Mérida being built by Marco Vipsanio Agrippa (63-12) son-in-law of Augusto and finished its construction in the year 15 BC. As for the current monumental proscenium (stage), it was built in the early 2nd century with marble colums and statues. Having a capacity of about 6,000 spectacles, the Roman Theatre is regarded as the most renowned Roman Theatre in Spain.

In summer, visitors to Mérida should make sure to include an evening performance to the Roman Theater in their programs because this is the season that is celebrated the most important Festival of Classical Theater in Spain. Roman Amphitheater was inaugurated in the year 8 BC with a capacity of about 16,000 spectators. It is next to Theater.

The House of the Amphitheater dating between the 1st and 3th centuries consists of remains of several Roman buildings. It is also worth visiting.

merida puente romanoThe National Museum of Roman Art ( MNAR ) whose building is itself worth a visit, was built by world renowned architect Rafael Moneo Valles in 1986, here visitors can enjoy Roman sculptures, mosaics, documents and so on. In fact, the Museum is one of most great archaeological Museum in Spain. It is near the Theater.

By the way, in this area there are terraces, cafés, restaurants, bars, shops and the pedestrian streets of the city center nearby. If visitors take a stroll along the pedestrian Streets they will find emblematic monuments. Diana Temple was probably built in the early first century under Emperor Augusto in order to dedicate it to imperial cult.

Roman Bridge over the Guadiana River has 60 arches and almost 800 meters long and 12 meter high at its highest point, being the longest Roman Bridge in Spain. It was repaired several times in the 17th century being added 5 arches.

La Alcazaba was a Islamic fortress to protect the Roman Bridge over the Guadiana River and was built by Abderraman II in 835 on the banks of the Guadiana River reusing Roman and Visigoth construction materials. Obviously, it is next to Roman Bridge.

House of Mithreo is a grad home dating between 1st and 2nd century AC decorating with wonderful mosaics and paintings. Here the visitors can see the Cosmological Mosaic which is one of the best Roman mosaics in the world. Tourists should not leave Mérida without enjoying it.

arco de trajano merida spain - CopySpain Square is he main meeting point in the city with important buildings such as the Cathedral, City Hall and several palaces, as well as, restaurants, open air terraces, cafés, benches, a lively and enjoyable place to have fun. Co-Cathedral of Santa Maria was built on the site of the main Visigoth Cathedral of Santa Maria. Dating between the 13th and 16th centuries the Cathedral was a burial site until 14th century.

Old Santa Clara Church dating from 17th century in baroque style is used as the Visigoth Museum, here visitors will be able to see one of best sculptural Visigoth collection in the Peninsula. It is near the Cathedral.

Arch of Trajano was probably an access gate to a temple, measuring almost 14 meters in height and more than 5 meters in width.  Old Hospital of Jesus dating from 17th century is currently a luxury hotel. However, tourists should not leave the city without seeing its cloister.

Santa Eulalia’s Basilica was built on the side of remains of Roman houses and a Visigoth Basilica between the 13th and 14th centuries. Here people can find the Temple of Mars and tombs of different periods. It is also worth a visit.

roman aqueduct merida spainRoman Bridge over the Albarregas River is near Los Milagros Aqueduct it was built in the late first century before Christ. Los Milagros Aqueduct was built by the Romans in the first century, it was a hydraulic system to bring water from Charca of the Albuera or Proserpina reservoir to the city. Nowadays, people can see about 800 meters long of this preserved Aqueduct which was 840 meters long and 25 meters high. It is near the Roman bridge over the Albarregas River.

Roman Circus was possibly built in the first century AC outside the city walls. Measuring more than 400 meters in length and more than 95 meters in width. Having a capacity of about 30,000 spectators, the Circus of Mérida is one of the largest and best preserved circuses of Roman world. Close to the Roman Circus can be seen remains of the San Lazaro Aqueduct.

Lusitania Bridge over the Guadiana River was built by the known architecr Santiago Calatrava in 1991. Mérida is not only popular with the tourists because its monumental Archaeological Ensemble but also its gastronomy, festivals, parks, sport, relaxed and friendly atmosphere, nightlife and above all, its tasty cheese, ham and wine.

If you are thinking of visiting Mérida, you will come across many much interesting buildings, sculptures, monuments,and so on. Mérida is situated to 340 km from Madrid.



More places to visit in Spain

Extremadura: What to see in Extremadura Region.

Andalucia: Andalusia Region is located close to Extremadura, and has many touristic cities as Sevilla, Granada, Cordoba or Cádiz.

Garachico, Tenerife (Canary Islands)

garachico vista superior

People visiting Tenerife island (Canary Islands) should not miss out on Garachico which is situated in the northwest of Tenerife Island between the steep mountain slopes and the volcanic rock cliffs on the Atlantic Ocean coast. Obviously, it is a scenery of indescribable natural beauty.

Garachico was founded in the late15th century and its seaport was possibly the most important port in the island during 16th and 17th centuries. However, in 1706 there was a volcanic eruption and the lava flowed from the Trevejo Volcano towards the sea destroying a part of the town and burying its commercial port. In fact, the beautiful bay disappeared under the volcanic lava while the natural rock pools were being formed on the coast, currently known as El Caletón.

garachico vista supierior 1Nowadays, this historical town with one population of about 5,000, and a pleasant mild climate all the year round, has a lot of to offer visitors in the way of traditional Canary architecture, extraordinary natural landscape, typical food, delicious wine, traditional dance, nature, culture, beaches, and above all, El Caletón of Garachico a natural swimming pools of black volcanic rocks, and the breathtaking views of its surroundings among other things.

What to visit in Garachico Town and Port (Tenerife)

Starting in the lively Plaza de la Libertad (Freedom Square) which is the main meeting point of the town and Glorieta de San Francisco next to Plaza de la Libertad visitors will be able to find the most important buildings of Garachico.

Santa Ana Church is one of the most beautiful and remarkable buildings of Garachico, dating in the mid 16th century was partly destroyed by the volcanic eruption in 1607 and rebuilt afterwards. Its square bell tower stand out from all the houses of Garachico. Inside the church there are an impressive altarpiece and other artworks which are worth visiting.

Convent of San Francisco of Asis, a two-storey building dating from 1524, there are exhibitions of Canary, volcanoes, photos and the Public Libray among other things; Our Lady of the Angels Church (Iglesia de Nuestra señora de los Angeles) dating from 1524, both buildings the Convent and Church form a magnificent architectural ensemble in traditional Canary style.

garachio jardinCasa del Marqués de la Quintana Roja in traditional Canary style was rebuilt after the volcanic eruption like the original building; La Casa de Piedra is an Art Space was also rebuilt; and City Hall building all of them are in Plaza de la Libertad.

Castle-Fortress of San Miguel dating from 16th century is situated on Atlantic Ocean Coast, next to El Caletón but fortunately the castle was not destroyed by the volcano in 1706. It takes 3 minutes on foot from Plaza de la Libertad to San Miguel Castle.

Puerta de Tierra is a picturesque park inside the town with exotic plants and remains of old port that remind us of the volcanic eruption. It is located next to the beautiful Plaza la Pila which has a spectacular view of Puerta de Tierra and surroundings. It takes 2 minutes on foot from Plaza de la Libertad.

garachico iglesiaCasa del Marques de Villafuerte, in traditional Canary style, was built in the late 17th century its geographical location avoided being destroyed by the volcanic eruption; and Concepcionistas Franciscanas Convent are also worth visiting.

Taking a leisurely walk along the promenade visitors will come across interesting sculptures, historical buildings and Casa el Molino an interesting old flour mills, after they will arrive at San Roque Chapel dating in the early 17th century which is near the New Marina.

The Garachico Rock, which is a islet to 300 meters far away from Garachico coast and rounded by Atlantic Ocean, has a surface area of 50,000 square meters with a wealth of native wildlife. Anyway, it is certainly a Natural Area and the visits are forbidden.

Beaches in Garachico

garachico lavaDue to its tropical trade winds, its annual average temperatures between 18 degrees and 24 degrees and its geographical location near the Teide National Park, the beaches and sport activities are of the main tourist attraction of Garachico.

El Caletón is situated on the site of the old port coast with natural swimming pools that were made during the volcanic eruption. It is often crowded of tourists with adequate facilities for all the family. Visitors should not leave Garachico without enjoying the beautiful pools.

The Muelle Beach, located in the old bay of Garachico is a lovely and excellent beach with black sand and clear blue water. It is highly popular with tourists and local people. It is near El Caletón.

Las Aguas Beach, situated next to New Marina is larger, quieter and more secluded than the Muelle Beach with black sand, clear blue water, plenty of free space and a beautiful landscape.

Other beaches of Garachico: Gomero, La Caleta, Guincho and La Madalena.

parque  del teideBy the way, Mount Teide (El Teide) is one of the tallest volcano in the world and the highest peak in Spain at 3,718 meters above sea level it occupies a majestic location in the center of the Canary Island known as Teide National Park was declared a World Heritage site in 2007 by UNESCO.


More places to visit in Canary Islands (Spain)

– Read here all ours places in the Canary Islands (Las Islas Canarias – España).

Tenerife: Dont dofget visiting  Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and Icod de Vinos.

Visiting Comillas Town (Cantabria Region)


COMILLAS beach and sea cantabria spainComillas is an attractive town located on the Cantabrian Sea coast, in the north of Spain, indeed in an area of natural breathtaking beauty in Cantabria region.

Having a population of about 2,500, a welcoming atmosphere, a unique architecture, quiet sandy beaches and beautiful surroundings, Comillas has really attracted plenty of visitors to the town since the 19th century. Moreover, being regarded as a tourist destination of the highest quality, Comillas also has a lot of to offer visitors in the way of culture, nature, history, festivals, leisure activities, gastronomy and nightlife among others.

What to visit in Comillas

The Capricho de Gaudí, which is the most remarkable building in Comillas, was built between 1883 and 1885 in modernist style by the world renowned architect Antoni Gaudí i Cornet (1852 -1926). This outstanding three storey building with one fine decorated tower in shape of a doll house was the summer house of the brother in-law of the Marquis of Comillas. The Capricho de Gaudí is the most visited building in Comilla, therefore, a visit here should almost be obligatory for all tourists who arrive at Comillas. Do not forget the Palacio de Sobrellano is in the same park nearby.

PALACIO MARQUES DE COMILLASPalacio de Sobrellano y su Capilla/Panteón (the Sobrellano Palace and Chapel – Mausoleum) also known as the Palace of the Marquis of Comillas was built between 1878-1888 by the architect Joan Martorell i Montells (1833-1906) and supervised by the architect Cristóbal Cascante Colom (1851-1889) in Neo-gothic style. Although the Chapel – Mausoleum was built before the Palace, the Chapel is regarded as a masterpiece of modernist architecture in Cantabria. The stunning palace was home of the Marquis of Comillas and in the chapel is his mausoleum.

By the way, the Comillas Marquises (Antonio López López (1817-1883) and his son Claudio López Bru (1853-1925) ) were great benefactors of Comillas town, (first Marquis’s place birth).

The imposing Universidad Pontificia (Pontifical University), which is one of most remarkable buildings in Comillas, in several styles (Gothic-Mudejar, modernist), was built between 1883-1892 by the architect Joan Martorell i Montells and Cristóbal Cascante and decorated by the architect Luis Doménech i Montaner (1850-1923) in a hill area of the town of Comillas.

COMILLAS city centerThe Statue of the Marquis of Comillas (Estatua del Marqués de Comillas) was built in 1883 in modernist style by Doménech i Montaner and Cristóbal Cascante Colom. It is situated on a hill area with a wonderful panoramic viewpoint of the beaches.

Moro’s Gate was built in 1900 by Antonio Gaudí in modernist style, the gate has three doorways one for cars, other for people and a tiny one for birds.

People interested in visiting cemeteries should not miss out on the historical Cemetery of Comillas which was renovated in 1893 by the architect Doménech i Montaner. If tourists visit this cemetery they will be certainly spellbound when they come across the spellbinding sculptures and other interesting constructions.

COMILLAS, PARQUETaking a walk along its streets visitors can enjoy its old neighborhood with steep stone streets, picturesque squares, big mansions, typical houses with wooden balconies portraying the most traditional Cantabria architecture. Besides bars, restaurants, terraces and cafés can be found in its pedestrian squares with a friendly atmosphere.

Fuente de los tres caños (The fountain of the three water pipes) was built in 1899 by Doménech i Montaner in modernist style, and Casa Ocejo dating from the 19th century, and other interesting buildings and monuments can be seen in the old neighborhood.

The traditional port was built between 17th and 18th centuries. However, the fishing activity and the seaweed are still fished and collected by local people as many years ago.

Beaches in Comillas

COMILLAS playaIt is said that some of the best beaches on the coast are found in Cantabria. Its clean and sandy beaches, its clear blue water, its high quality and beautiful landscape is very difficult to overcome.

In addition, Comillas has much more to offer in sport, walking routes, cycling routes, and so on.  Comillas is 426 km. from Madrid and 47 km. from Santander.


More places to visit in Cantabria (Spain)

Cantabria Region: Check here all our posts about this region, in the north of Spain.

Santillana del Mar and Altamira Cave: The Altamira Cave (Cueva de Altamira), located in Santillana del Mar was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO.

Potes town: Visiting the beautiful villages in Cantabria, in the north of Spain, tourists should not miss out on the medieval town of Potes whose traditional buildings, wooden balconies, steep streets and surrounding mountains make the Potes town an interesting tourist attraction place.