Friday, July 30, 2010
For anyone who might be visiting Spain at the moment, please bear in mind that this weekend represents the largest mobilization of Spanish vacationers all year. That's right, bigger than Christmas, or even Semana Santa or the Feria de Sevilla. August is traditionally the vacation month, and this year the statistics indicate that more Spaniards are planning on "staying home" than have done for the last couple of decades. Of course, with so many options within driving distance, I can hardly blame them. "The grass is always greener" seems to have reached its breaking point, and more and more people are wising up to the enormous potential for vacation ideas without having to leave the peninsula.
So, if you have any plans for Friday evening and most of Saturday (but especially the morning), I recommend that you take into account that the roads will be packed and maybe just take it easy until the initial wave passes. In the meantime, soak up the culture, the sun and the wonders of Spain!
If you would like help planning your next trip to Spain, contact The Spanish Touch for more information.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Last Sunday, July 25, 2010, was the day of Santiago, patron saint of all Spain. For those not familiar with the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage through Spain to visit the magnificent cathedral at Santiago de Compestela is one of the most popular and important pilgrimages in Western Europe. People come from all over the world to walk the route, and to see the remains of the apostle James (Santiago in Spanish).
Every so often, the day becomes even more important. Like this year for example, when the date falls on a Sunday, marking a Jacobean or Jubilee year. The next one will be in 2021, so as you can imagine the scenes in and around the cathedral on Sunday were amazing. People waited in line literally for hours just to get a chance to get inside. And the whole city celebrated, with fireworks the night before and
The celebration will last all year, and the Pope himself will be visiting Santiago in November as a part of a two city tour.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Below is the itinerary of one of our tours from this year, to give you an idea of how we can customize your tour. Because of our hands-on work with each group, The Spanish Touch's tours are all unique and designed to meet needs and desires.
- All accommodation as per itinerary
- All transportation as per itinerary in an air-conditioned van.
- 8 meals (7 breakfast, 1 dinner)
- Guided visits as per itinerary
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
Monday, July 19, 2010
Buried underneath the 12th century cathedral in the heart of what was the most important Roman city in Iberia, nowadays known as Tarragona lies the Temple to Ceaser Augustus. At the beginning of July excavations began under the Cathedral in search of the actual temple, which, given the importance of Tarragona during Roman times, could be an outstanding architectural and cultural treasure. This new research is possible now thanks to new, high-tech forms of excavations without damaging the cultural treasure above.
To visit Tarragona and see the remains of what was the Roman Empire's greatest Iberian city, contact The Spanish Touch.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
In light of Spain's World Cup triumph, there has been a fair amount of discussion about the different regions and all of Spain uniting under the flag of sports. To me, it was great to see people from all over the country so excited, despite differences in language, culture, history, lifestyle, etc. But it does highlight one of the truly remarkable things about the country: the variety and differences of each area make each region a unique discovery. So when people talk about wanting to visit "Spain", first you should decide which part. Visiting Madrid and the center of Spain is a completely different experience from visiting Andalucia's Moorish heritage or Galicia's rivers and town, Cantabria's rugged coastlines or Catalonia's rich and wonderful heritage.
Contact The Spanish Touch for more information and a free consultation about the different possibilities for your next vacation in Spain
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
During the months of September and October, The Spanish Touch is offering a limited-time itinerary. This itinerary can be used as an example or taken as is for anyone who wants to maximize their time in Madrid.
Day 1 - Arrival in Madrid: transfer from airport to hotel. Day at leisure in Madrid. Welcome dinner in Madrid. Night in Madrid. (D)
Day 2 - Breakfast at hotel. Morning tour of Madrid city center, including the Royal Palace, Austrias District, Plaza Mayor and the Puerta del Sol. Afternoon at leisure. Night in Madrid. (B)
Day 3:Breakfast at hotel. Morning transfer to Toledo for a private guided tour of the city of Toledo, including the Cathedral, El Greco's house and the Jewish Quarter. Toledo is a great city to wander around in, so after lunch spend some time wandering the narrow streets before returning to Madrid. Night in Madrid. (B)
Day 4: Breakfast at hotel. Day trip to visit El Escorial, the mosoleum-monastery built by Phillip II at the height of Spain's golden age. After the visit, go up to Segovia for a tapas lunch and to see the famous Roman Aqueduct. Night in Madrid. (B)
Day 5: Breakfast at hotel. Morning Museum tour in Madrid, visiting the most important museums in Madrid, including El Prado and the Reina Sofia, where you can see the masterpiece works of artists such as Picasso, Dalí, El Greco, Velazquez, and many more. Also take the opportunity to visit the AtochaTrain Station, with its botanical gardens and stunning architectural design. Night in Madrid. (B)
Day 6 - Breakfast at hotel. Morning at leisure in Madrid. Afternoon trip to Avila, for a visit including the Cathedral, the route of Santa Teresa (16th century) and of course, the famous Walls. Evening farewell dinner at a classic Madrid restaurant. Night in Madrid (B,D)
Day 7 - Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to airport for return flight. (B)
The price includes:
Private guided tours as per itinerary.
A bilingual Spanish Touch tour guide with 24-hour availability.
Transfers to and from the airport.
All hotel accommodation in Madrid .
All transportation as specified in itinerary in a private car.
8 Meals (6 breakfasts, 2 dinners)
All entrance fees on itinerary.
Price: Starting from $2,495 per person.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Breakfast at hotel. A morning tour of Barcelona, including the impressive Sagrada Familia and the Ramblas district. Lunch at the Maremagnum in the Sports Harbor. In the afternoon walk through the Barri Gotic, Gothic District, the best preserved example of the Gothic period of Spain. Visit the Palau de la Musica Catalana, an amazing modernist concert hall. Enjoy the evening at leisure. (Breakfast)
Breakfast at hotel. A trip down the coast toward the beach town of Sitges for a morning at the beach. Walk along the promenade, do some shopping in one of the many boutiques, or simply take in the sun and culture at one of the beachfront cafés. After lunch, return via the Penedes region, and see why this newly-rediscovered wine region is gaining international fame. Take an optional winery tour (and tasting) or explore the lively historical center of Vilafranca del Penedes. (Breakfast)
Breakfast at hotel. A morning tour of Montjuic Mountain, at the heart of Barcelona, including visits to the Museum of Modern Art, the Olympic Stadium, and Montjuic Castle. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure, or take the optional Modernista Tour of Barcelona. (Breakfast)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer up the Costa Brava, passing through the city of Girona. Take a morning tour of the historical center and explore the ancient streets, walk along the old city wall, and visit the 12th-century Jewish Synagogue, now a museum. After lunch in a traditional Catalan restaurant, continue to the Greco-Roman beach town of Empuries. Founded in the 7th-century BC, Empuries offers a fascinating history of the region, from the Greeks and Iberians through the Romans, Moors and the Catholic Monarchs. Night in Empuries (Breakfast, Lunch)
Breakfast at hotel. This morning take a trip to Figueres, birthplace of Salvador Dali, and home to his one-of-a-kind Theater-Museum. After lunch, visit the spectacular town of Cadaques, a shining example of the Costa Brava’s charm, and home to Dali from 1930 until his death in 1989. (Breakfast)
Breakfast at hotel. Return to Barcelona, stopping along the way at the medieval town of Besalú, a town seemingly forgotten by the march of time. Enter through the gates via the old stone bridge and witness the annual Medieval Fair, and take the chance to step back in time as you walk through the old stone streets and buildings. Upon arrival in Barcelona, join us for the farewell dinner and a last look at your time in Spain. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Barcelona airport. (Breakfast)
The price includes:
A bilingual Spanish Touch tour guide with 24-hour availabilty.
Transfers to and from the airport.
All hotel accommodation as specified in the itinerary.
Transportation as specified.
Meals as specified in the itinerary.
Guided tours as specified.
Entrance fees as specified
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Contact The Spanish Touch for more information about which beaches offer the best for what you are looking for, and we'll be glad to help make your next beach vacation a truly once-in-a-lifetime-experience.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
The festival attracts a huge amount of foreign visitors every year, so if you want to make plans to visit, it's best to start as much as a year in advance, or risk not finding any accommodation at all. The best places are the balconies along the route of the encierro, and this year The Spanish Touch wishes the best for Karen and Robert who are going to be watching the first running tomorrow morning from the balcony of their apartment.
You can watch the encierros here.
Friday, July 02, 2010
The castle's exact origins are unclear, but at the very least in the early XI century there are references to it. Roman coins and Iberian remains have also been found within the castle grounds. The site is made up of a Romanic monastery and the Pre-Romanic castle itself. The castle's impressive setting and excellent preservation has made it ideal for time pieces, and has been used in films such as Kingdom of Heaven.
For more information on how to include a visit to the Castle of Loarre on your next trip to Spain, please contact The Spanish Touch.