Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of Basque Country, has been also named the Green Capital thanks to the so-called Green Ring, a perimeter around the city formed by six large parks that can be explored on foot or by bicycle.
Although Vitoria is a perfect destination for sustainable tourism, it’s a charming place and has no shortage of museums, galleries and fine dining restaurants. The city is situated less than an hour away from Bilbao and a short distance from Rioja Alavesa, a world-class wine area. That makes Vitoria is a great addition to any travel plans when exploring the Basque Country.
Toledo was once the capital of Spain and it has an important place in Iberian history. It’s known as the “city of the three cultures” since Christians, Arabs and Jews lived there together for centuries, leaving their mark and influence on its cultural legacy.
Toledo became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1986 and these days it’s a classic day-trip destination for anyone staying in Madrid. The AVE high-speed train from Madrid’s Atocha station takes slightly over 30 minutes to reach Toledo, passing through the plains of Don Quixote’s Castilla-La Mancha.
I love Madrid’s beauty, style and spirit! It’s a grand city that has plenty to offer from amazing galleries, stunning architecture, stylish bars to charming flea markets and quirky and more alternative neighbourhoods.
Although I visited Spanish capital twice already, I could jump on a plane to go there again. Each time Madrid delivered on fantastic experiences, surprising encounters (yes, it’s possible to bump unexpectedly into friends) and creative inspiration. If you’re looking to explore Madrid in the near future, here are my ten recommendations. Feel free to also share some of yours as I’m always looking for new places to visit.
Relax in Retiro Park
El Retiro Park is one of the largest parks of Madrid and a stunning green corner of the city. Prior to becoming a public space, it used to belong to the Spanish Monarchy until the late 19th century. Relax among its statues, fountains, floral features and the Retiro Pond. Last but not least, make sure you visit the Crystal Palace!
My recent trip to Malaga wasn’t only about catching some winter sun. There was also some thrill seeking agenda attached to it! I wanted to finally walk the Caminito del Rey, also known in English as the King’s Little Path. It’s a suspended hiking trail along a high and spectacular gorge. The Gaitanes Gorge is a canyon, carved by the river Guadalhorce.
Sometimes it does not take much to inspire us to visit a place. A recommendation from a friend, a beautiful photograph or even a film can influence our decision to include a certain destination on our travel list. In my case it was one Spanish film, which was set in a city with amazing old town and spectacular backdrop of snowy mountains that piqued my interest in Segovia. The plot was average but this incredible location got me thinking and planning.
My trip to Madrid was a perfect occasion to stop by Segovia. The city is situated northwest of the capital. I had also finally a chance to explore Castile and León. That central region of Spain, was still unknown to me and I could benefit from convenient and fast train connections.