Catalonia’s Green Spaces: La Devesa Park

Catalonia benefits from having numerous green spaces, which make the region the ideal holiday spot for families, as well as for those who really value spending time outdoors. While there’s plenty of green spaces to spend time, there is one which really stands out from the crowd: Girona’s La Devesa Park.

Spanning more than 40 hectares, and with more than 2600 plane trees (many of which date back to the 1850’s), La Devesa Park is the biggest urban park in Catalonia, and one of the region’s largest green spaces. It’s similar to Manhattan’s Central Park, offering quiet seclusion in the heart of the city.

When to Visit

Although there’s never a bad day to visit the park, the area really comes to life on Tuesdays and Saturdays when there’s a large, lively fruit and veg market. If you’re staying in a villa in Spain that has a kitchen that you can use, this market is great or picking up some fresh, local produce to cook with.

Attractions & Activities

You’ll find peaceful picnic spots, busy, on-the-go sports areas, and everything in between here. Be sure to spend some time admiring the streams and fountains and, if you’re staying in a family villa in Spain with the kids you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a child’s play area here to keep them active! It’s also worth walking around the French-style gardens which have local varieties, as well as more exotic plants.

Getting There

The only downside to La Devesa Park is access. If you’re staying in Barcelona accommodation and are taking the train into Girona, the park is a 25 minute walk from the station, which can be challenging for older people and those with lesser mobility. The good news, however, is that it is possible to take public transport. Both the L6 and L11 buses make stops quite close to the park, which is very convenient.


Bonavista Market: The Biggest Outdoor Market in Spain

Are you looking for some unique souvenirs to bring back for your friends and family from your holiday in Spain? Then look no further than the Bonavista Market, which is one of the biggest outdoor markets in Spain! Held every Sunday, the Bonavista Market takes place roughly halfway between Tarragona and Vila-Seca; roughly 6 miles from Salou (so you’ll have easy access if you rent a villa on the Costa Dorada!).

What to Buy

Imagine a local Sunday morning car boot… but bigger! At The Bonavista Market, you’ll find a sprawling array of stalls selling everything from clothing and handbags to souvenirs and toiletries. You can even pick up some locally-sourced fruit and vegetables to cook up in the kitchen at your villa in Spain. This is also a fantastic place to practice your haggling skills and see what sorts of top bargains you can pick up.

Getting There

If you’re planning on buying a lot, then a hire car is probably your best, bet, which makes it easy for you to transport all your bargains back to your Spain villa. However, you may also wish to get a taxi (which can be quite expensive), or take the local bus from Salou which is very cost effective and takes just 20 minutes. The Bonavista Market is so large that many tour operators also operate half day excursions!

More Shopping Opportunities

If you’re staying in a Costa Dorada holiday rental and are looking for more great markets, then be sure to check out the similar yet smaller market that’s held right in the heart of Salou every Monday. While not quite as large, there’s still a great selection here, and it’s really easy to access even without a hire car. Catalonia may be famous for its coastline and beaches, but it’s also a top shopping destination!


Things to do on a rainy day in Majorca!

Although renting a villa in Spain will get you on average around 300 sunny days, there will be that odd time when it rains. If you have a Mallorca holiday rental, you shouldn’t let this get you down, take a break from the beaches for the day and see what else the island has to offer.
• Visit the caves – Mallorca is home to several large caves, the biggest and most well-known of these are the Coves del Drach, which features huge chambers and even an underground lake. Every day the cave is host to a concert of classical music which is performed by musicians on a lit up boat, which proves to be quite a magical experience. Other caves include the Coves de Campaner of Coves de Arta.
• Spa Trips- Although you can get a villa with a private pool in Spain, there is nothing better than indulging yourself at one of the many spas, many of which offer hydropools, jacuzzies, saunas, indoor pools and a range of treatments. Rent a villa in Majorca in Pollensa or Son Brull to get treatments using only natural products.
• Visit Historic Buildings- There a huge range of historic buildings that are scattered across the whole of the island. The many castles, monasteries, palaces and estates reveal Mallorca’s fascinating past.
• Shop until you drop- If you have a Mallorca holiday rental in Palma, then you have a range local and international shops right on your doorstep. Alternatively head to Fan Mallorca, the island’s biggest shopping centre that is located just 5km from the capital.
• The pearl factory- Mallorca is famous for its artificial pearls, and you can find the Majorca Factory Shop located in Manacor. You will be treated to a guided tour which will show you the production process, view the exhibition space and then get taken to the gift shop where you can buy a souvenir to take back to your Mallorca holiday rental.
• Wine tasting- Just because the sun isn’t shining, it doesn’t mean that you can’t taste some of the delicious local wines on offer. Why not enjoy a guided your of Bodega followed by some wine and tapas.


A Golfing Holiday!

If you are looking for a Golf vacation Spain, the Costa Brava region offers some fantastic courses for both beginner and experienced players. The region boats not only a fantastic climate for the majority of the year, but also four golf courses that are ranked in Europe’s top 50 as well as many other popular courses.
There are many villas to rent in Catalonia that will provide you with the ideal base for your golfing holiday. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular.

Club Golf d’Aro

This course is located high on a hilltop near the coastal resort of Platja d’Aro. The course has spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding coast, and proves to be quite a challenging course with many water hazards and bunkers.

Emporda Golf

Considered one of the best in the Catalunya region, Emporda Golf has four 9-hole courses which have combined to make two 18-hole courses. Take your pick between lakes, dunes and bunkers or Mediterranean pines. If you have a Spain vacation rental close enough, you could spend your whole holiday here.

Girona Golf

Hole #15

There are many villas around golf courses Catalonia, and the region around Girona is no exception. The Girona Golf course relies on the natural hills of the land to provide a challenging course and has a beautiful clubhouse make of natural stone.

Club de Golf Costa Brava

For those looking for both a beach and a golfing holiday, rent a villa in Spain around the beaches of Platja d’Aro and Snt Feliu de Guixol. The course here is surrounded by cork oak and pine forests, a very stark contrast to other courses in the area. Why not spend a few days here and a few days soaking up the Spanish sun on one of the local beaches?


Travelling with Teens? Give Them a Day to Remember!

If you’ve booked a family villa in Barcelona with the kids, then it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to do during your holiday. There’s plenty to do in the city for younger children, such as visiting the Barcelona Zoo and splashing in the sea, but what about activities for older kids and teens?

The Urban Jungle

The answer? Bosc Urba, which translates to ‘Urban Jungle’. Part amusement park, part treetop adventure, Bosc Urba is one of the most exciting (and scary!) activities that teens can take part in during their holiday in Barcelona. From ziplining to treetop trekking, and from climbing to wire walking, this is a place to really push yourself to the limits, challenge yourself, and see just what you’re capable of doing.

The Courses

There’s 4 separate courses that you can choose at Bosc Urba. Younger children, and those who don’t want to climb too high, are often encouraged to take the Yellow Trail, while the Orange Trail is ideal for children aged around 7 or 8. The Blue Trail is considered to be one of the most challenging, while the Red Trail is only for the very brave! The Blue Trail and Red Trail take you high up into the trees for spectacular views. If you look closely you may be able to spot your Barcelona villa from these great vantage points.

Getting to Bosc Urba

Bosc Urba is located in the Port Forum area, so it is quite a hike from most central Barcelona accommodations. However, the journey takes just 20 minutes by car or taxi, or it’s just a short walk from the El Maresme metro station. Be sure to check out the Diagonal Mar shopping centre while you’re there; this American-style mall is one of the best in the city, with stores like Lacoste and Mango.


What to Pack When Visiting Spain!

You’ve booked your holiday rental for your trip to Spain, you’ve even looked up where to visit, maybe even found some places to eat. But now you’re staring at your open suitcase and wondering what you need to pack. Well, check out the tips below to know what you definitely do (and do not) want to pack!

Important Documents

It may seem like an obvious one, but make sure you have your important documents packed and ready. You’ll need your passport and you may want to consider buying a passport pouch, so you can keep it close to you at all times and won’t lose it.
You also need to remember to sign up for traveler’s insurance in case anything bad happens on your trip. Although we’d love to believe that everything will go exactly as planned, it’s better to have contingencies in place just in case.

Clothing

Although Spain is one of the fashion capitals of the world, most of its people are very religious so you’ll want to be cautious with how you dress if you want to fit in.
First, don’t dress immodestly unless you’re at the beach. It isn’t considered appropriate. In fact, unless your arms are already completely covered, it’s even respectful to wear a shawl when going inside churches and cathedrals.
Second, don’t wear flip-flops anywhere except the beach. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, tennis shoes or flats, something you can do a lot of walking in. Do not wear high heels unless going to a formal event.
Finally, make sure you check the weather before you go and also while you are there. The weather changes depending on different seasons and different locations. Northern Spain tends to be colder and rainier than Southern Spain. Bring layers! Even if you go during the warm months, many of the buildings are air-conditioned and you’ll want a sweater or cover-up of some kind.

Extras

Here are some other things you may want to bring:
• Water bottle with a built-in filter
• Travel toilet paper
• Waterproof phone case
• Power Adapter (for Spain)
• Portable Charger
Remember to leave plenty of room in your suitcases for souvenirs. Pack anything you’d take on a normal trip with a few extras because you won’t be in your home country and other countries have different laws and items available in their stores.
Most importantly, have fun!


Barcelona’s Tallest Buildings!

Although Spain is known for its wonderful weather, glorious beaches, and luxury villas with private pools in Barcelona and other popular resort destinations, it’s not exactly famous for its skyscrapers. However, there are certainly a few buildings of note in the country, with Barcelona itself boasting some impressive structures that are well worth visiting. Here’s a guide to Barcelona’s tallest buildings above 100m:

  • Torre Mapfre — 154m

Located in the Port Olímpic area of the city, Torre Mapfre is an office building home to many different firms, spread across 44 floors. However, it’s most famous for featuring Spain’s highest helipad. If you’re staying in a Barcelona holiday rental nearby, it’s worth popping out after sundown to see it all lit up.

  • Torre Agbar — 144m

Opened in 2005, Torre Agbar is one of the newest skyscrapers in Barcelona. Primarily an office building, the unusual (and somewhat phallic!) design of the building is considered to be a prime example of modern ‘high tech’ architecture. Again, slip out of your Barcelona villa at night to enjoy the illuminations.

 

  • Diagonal ZeroZero — 110m

Yet another example of high-tech architecture, Diagonal ZeroZero is another looming office building that can be seen from the streets of Barcelona. With 25 floors in total, this building holds a prime location in Barcelona, overlooking the stunning coast and close to some of the city’s most beautiful beaches.

The Skyscraper that Never Was

While we’re talking about Barcelona skyscrapers, let’s spare a thought for the 148m tall Torre La Sagrera: the Barcelona landmark that was never built! Designed by Frank Gehry, the proposed office building was supposed to me much more than just a structure; it was anticipated to become the hottest location in Barcelona, with a public park, transportation museum, and other attractions built in the grounds.


Explore the beauty of Garraf, just 1 hour from Barcelona!

Garraf is one of the 42 regions of Catalonia. It is located in the province of Barcelona, its capital is Villanueva and La Geltrú and it is located just 1 hour from Barcelona.

You can easily reach Garraf by car or train (40km south of Barcelona).

There you can enjoy the Mediterranean Sea combined with the incredible view of the mountain, some farmhouses, houses of Indians and mansions have been transformed into charming accommodations, restaurants and wineries that offer visits and activities that bring us closer to the wine culture.

Book a table to the famous Chiringuito de Garraf and enjoy a good glass of wine accompanied by a plate of fresh seafood.

Explore this small seaside village and make some unforgettable memories.

 

Photographer : Elina Aktipi

Copyright © August 18. All rights received.


4 Beaches to Visit in Costa Dorada

If you want to hang out outdoors in Costa Dorada, there are certainly plenty of places to do it. Of course, if you’ve rented a private villa with a pool, you’ll want to spend time there. But if you want a change of pace, check out these four beaches!

1. Llevant Beach

This gorgeous beach is near Salou and has beautiful sand, gorgeous water, and a stunning view of the city. Go swimming, get a floating device (some look like giant inflatable slides or water rides), or find a place for boating, diving, and snorkeling. There are plenty of restaurants, shops, and nightclubs nearby if you get hungry or want a little more amusement when you’re done with the beach. This beach is perfect for families of all shapes and sizes.

2. Llarga Beach

At the top of Salou is another amazing beach, this one a little more isolated and not as crowded because it is further from the city. They have a beach bar, a banana boat, plenty of sun loungers, and beautiful surf and sand. You can admire the view of both the ocean, the tropical vegetation, and the rock formations around you as you relax in the sun.

3. Playa de la Pineda

A quiet resort beach, Playa de la Pineda is most well-known for the giant plastic plant sculptures nearby. This area is great if you want to get away from the crowds and sunbathe in peace and quiet. The area is surrounded by trees, the water is warm and wonderful, the sand is perfect, and the view is stunning. There are still plenty of restaurants and shops around if you get peckish or just want to get out of the sun.

4. Capellans Beach

Busy yet clean, the Capellans Beach is surrounded by resorts and hotels, so you’re certain to have company at all times. The view is amazing though, part tropical island, part city, all beautiful. You’ll find plenty of sun loungers, some in the sun, some under umbrellas, and some under awnings. There are several restaurants, shops, and nightclubs nearby if you want some extra fun. And, of course, this beach offers a lot of watersports that you can check out if you’re tired of sunbathing or just swimming in the gorgeous waters.
Did you get a sunburn? Hopefully not! Either way, we’re certain you had a great time! Now you can head back to your vacation rental in Costa Dorada to think about what an awesome time you had and maybe plan what you’re going to do tomorrow.


June events in Barcelona

June is the month when Barcelona really starts to come alive for the summer with a huge range of events and celebrations to kick off the season. Booking a family villa in Barcelona just before the mass of summer tourists flock in is a wise move as the city exudes a festive atmosphere and gorgeous weather.

Sant Joan

On the June 23, Barcelona residents celebrate the festival of Sant Joan. On the night itself the street lights up with a huge display of fireworks and bonfires all over the city, but especially on the beaches. It is not unusual for these displays to last until the early hours of the following morning. You can enjoy the spectacle from the comfort of your Barcelona accommodation while sampling a glass of cava and piles of coca, a type of seasonal bread that is topped with candied fruits.

Pride Barcelona

One of the most colorful events on the Barcelona events calendar is the Pride Festival, a 10-day festival where Barcelona shows its gay pride. You can find parties, concerts, and more, all topped off with a spectacular parade.

Sonar

This three-day international music festival is a must-see for anyone who loves electronic music and contemporary arts. The festival is celebrating its 25th year and the days include record fairs, art displays, exhibitions, and conferences, while at night concerts and DJs perform at multiple venues just outside the city.

Musica als Parcs

Another great reason to have a Barcelona vacation rental in June is the free al-fresco concerts that run throughout the summer in some of the city’s main parks. There’s jazz, various classical music, and bands, so pack a picnic and enjoy a few blissful hours under the sun.

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