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Posts tagged ‘things to do’

Malaga | 10 Things to do in Malaga

Malaga airport is the busiest in southern Spain, and every year tens of thousands of visitors pass through it on the way to various holiday destinations in the region. Sadly, all too many still think of Malaga itself as a somewhat tacky Costa del Sol beach resort, and don’t stop to see what it has to offer. And there’s lots. So much, in fact, that despite some cheating in the form of two things for one item, our list of the top ten things to do doesn’t include the Cathedral, most of the city’s eclectic collection of museums, or the famous Botanical Gardens, although it does include a few more unusual and personal choices that you might not find in the tourist guides.

malaga view from gibalfaro

1. Get a View from the Top

Take a bus or a taxi up to the top of the Gibralfaro Hill, visit the fortress, and have a drink on the terrace of the Parador Hotel. Both are worth doing in themselves, but the real attraction is the stunning view across the city and its harbour. It’s a great way to start your stay. Afterwards walk back down the path that leads to…

2. The Alcazaba

The 11th century Moorish palace-fortress complex stands on a rocky outcrop at the edge of the old centre. Reminiscent in many ways of the Alhambra, though smaller, it has some opulent living quarters and beautiful formal garden courtyards, though it’s principal function as a castle is always obvious. Nearby are the well-preserved Roman amphitheatre (rediscovered by chance in 1951), the Palacio Aduanas and…

3. The Picasso Museum

Málaga is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, so a visit to the museum in the Palacio Buenavista is a must. Although it’s not by any means the biggest Picasso collection it does have some interesting works and special exhibitions in a gorgeous building complete with Phoenician ruins in the basement. While you’re in the centre of town you should also look in at the Carmen-Thyssen museum, and the house in Plaza Merced where Picasso was born. From Plaza Merced…

4. Walk the Main Drag

For a flavour of the historic centre walk down Calle Granada, past the church of St James and the Restaurant El Pimpi to the Plaza de la Constitución, and on down Calle Larios, perhaps the most elegant shopping street we’ve seen in Spain, to the entrance to the old harbour, now totally refurbished and known as…

5. Muelle Uno

muelle unoThe inner harbour has recently been redeveloped as a shopping and leisure area, with a marina and restaurants where you can watch the sun sparkling on the water while you eat. The old landmarks of the lighthouse and the fishermen’s chapel preserve some of the original character of the port. Stroll the Paseo El Palmoral de las Sorpresas to…

6. Málaga Park

Beside the harbour is the long shady promenade through Málaga Park, full of exotic plants, statues and one of my favourite “water features” anywhere. Although it’s right next to the main road it’s still a peaceful oasis and a lovely place to walk or just sit for a while. There are more gardens across the street with little hidden paths below the walls of the Alcazaba.

7. Atarazanas Market

No visit to a Spanish city would be complete without going to its main market. The Atarazanas has been refurbished in recent years, but has a history dating back to Moorish times, when it was the city’s shipyard (and on the waterfront). There are the usual great displays of fresh produce, a market bar with really fresh tapas, and more unusually, a big stained-glass window at one end.

8. The Automobile Museum

A little way out of the centre, but still easy to get to, is the Automobile Museum, regarded as one of the best of its kind in Europe. Housed in the splendid old tobacco factory building it boasts a large and immaculately maintained collection of vintage and modern cars, as well as fashion and art exhibitions. Definitely worth a visit even if you’re not an enthusiast.

9. Pedregalejo Fishing Village

Take a walk out along the palm-tree-lined seafront road from Malagueta Beach, past the rustically dilapidated Baños del Carmen, to the fishing village of Pedregalejo. Have a seafood lunch or dinner at one of the beachfront restaurants where they grill your food on a barbecue, and stroll along the wooden boardwalk beside the Mediterranean Sea.

10. Tapas

Malaga has a thriving and innovative tapas culture, with lots of great places to eat from small traditional tapas bars to beachfront chiringuitos to stylish world-class restaurants. If you find the whole tapas thing a bit daunting then born-and-bred Malagueño Victor Garrido can take you on a tour of the best traditional and gourmet tapas bars and show you how it’s done (in five languages!). We Love Malaga Tapas Tours

Barcelona | Welcome to veoapartment

casa batllo detailOur new veoapartment Barcelona page is now live!

We are offering a small but high quality selection of holiday apartments, carefully chosen both for their modern comforts and “it feels like you’re at home” qualities, and for their locations close to the most important sights in the city. With veoapartment’s usual attention to detail and the high priority we place on customer service, this means that you can book with confidence for a no-worries holiday.

Why come to Barcelona?

Lots of reasons. It’s the capital of Catalonia and Spain’s second largest city after Madrid, and also its most international and cosmopolitan. Legend has it that it was founded by Hamilcar Barca, the grandfather of Hannibal (of crossing the Alps with elephants fame), but whether this is true or not it certainly has both a long history and a modern European feel.

la boqueriaAnd there’s plenty to see and do. From the unofficial heart of the city, the grand Plaza Catalunya, you can stroll down the bustling length of the famous Las Ramblas and pay a visit to La Boqueria, the main provisions market founded in the 13th century. Go into the Barrio Gothic, the old quarter of the city, which still has many medieval buildings, including the Cathedral, while the Plaça Reial (Royal Plaza), a grand 19th century square, has lots of restaurants and a busy nightlife. Seafront attractions include the famous aquarium with its underwater walkways, and for those with a head for heights there’s the cable car to the top of the brooding bulk of Montjuic mountain.

Going north from Plaza Catalunya you go into the Eixample district, with its broad avenues and open spaces, the home of modernist Barcelona, which is exemplified by the work of Antoni Gaudi. Must-sees here include the unique church of Sagrada Familia, one of the city’s most iconic sights, and the Casa Batlló in the Passeig de Gracia. Don’t be put off by the price or the queues – it’s worth it. Take the opportunity to do a little shopping, too; this is one of Europe’s most famous and stylish shopping streets.

Barcelona has a wide selection of bars and restaurants, and the climate’s great, too. Hot and sunny in summer, but not too hot to be out walking, and still quite mild in winter. Time to treat yourself to a memorable holiday!

Seville | Keeping the Kids Amused

If you’re an adult, finding something to enjoy in Seville is like shooting fish in a barrel. Whether you like monuments and museums, picturesque balconied streets and plazas, parks and gardens, shopping, or just sitting out at pavement cafes or in cosy tapas bars watching the world go by, there seems to be an almost endless supply.

Your kids, however, may have more exacting (or at least different) standards. Another magnificent palace? Yawn. But never fear, help is at hand.

Depending on the age of the child, a little distraction may be all that’s necessary. Have them hunt for the crocodile in the Cathedral, for example (yes, there is, but it’s not alive). Climb the tower, too, looking out of the windows at each turn of the winding ramp. They may also like the model boats in the naval museum in the Torre del Oro. Try the maze in the gardens of the Alcázar Palace.

plaza espana rowboats

Buy a football and have a kick around in the park, or stop off at one of the children’s play areas – there are quite a few of these, including those in the Murillo Gardens,  If they like horses, take a carriage ride. You’ll probably enjoy it, too, and if you go out to the Plaza de España, you can have a go on the boating lake or rent a 4-wheel pedal bike cart in the Maria Luisa Park.

For something a little different visit the Casa de la Ciencia, in the Peru pavilion alongside Maria Luisa Park, which has exhibitions for children and has just opened a planetarium (shows Tuesday to Friday at 6.30pm, and Sats and Suns at 11.00,12.00 and 1.00).

Another alternative is a day at the beach. There are lots of good beaches along the Cádiz and Huelva coasts, the closest being Matalascañas, less than an hour’s drive away.

If all else fails you may have to bring out the big guns. Isla Magica is Seville’s pirate and adventure theme park in the Cartuja neighbourhood. All the fun of the fair for children (and grown-ups) of every age, and lots of shows and entertainments. A bit pricey, but you can take the edge off by going after 4.00pm with a half-day ticket. The season runs from the end of March to the beginning of November.

Still on the pirate theme, the pirate boat cruise on the river is lots of fun, as well as being a pleasant way to see the city from a different point of view.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay with a family we have some great two and three bedroom holiday apartments at a variety of prices in the centre of Seville, some, like the Teodosio, with their own private rooftop pool. Don’t forget that we have an airport to apartment transfer service that includes provision of a child safety seat.