7 x Hidden Gems in Valencia

The Spanish city Valencia is the perfect weekend (or holiday) get-away and is only a 2.5-hour flight from the Netherlands. City, beach, park, and sailing, it is all there! However, if you feel like getting off the beaten path and see something different, here are some hidden gems and places that are often overlooked.

Bluebell Coffee

In the neighbourhood of Ruzafa you will find many trendy restaurants and bars. When you are there, take a visit to Bluebell Coffee for a delicious and healthy lunch. On the menu you will find homemade treats such as vegan tarts and banana bread, salads, avocado toast and fresh smoothies. The lovely inner garden is reminiscent of a tropical mini jungle. Carrer de Buenos Aires, 3

Bluebell Valencia

Petticoat Vintage

In trendy Ruzafa, you will also find many designer studios, art galleries and vintage shops. If you are a real vintage fanatic, you will become a real fan of the vintage store Petticoat. As a result, you will find unique pieces of good quality for a very nice price. Carrer de Sueca, 36

Vintage store Valencia

Almalibre

In the historic centre of Valencia, you will find the Açai bar Almalibre. Super fresh, super tasty and with a small terrace, making it the perfect place for lunch in the city centre. On the menu they have many goodies based on the Açai berry, all ecological and responsible. Carrer de Roteros, 16

Jardines de Monforte

The famous Turia park is one of the main attractions in Valencia. Another (smaller) park that is definitely worth a look is the Jardines de Monforte. These gardens are a stone’s throw away from the Turia park, but are skipped by many people. Because the gardens are somewhat hidden, you have to know of its existence to be able to enter it. Therefore, the park is perfect for when you want to enjoy some tranquillity. Carrer de Montfort, S/N

Valencia

El Saler Beach

El Saler beach is a good option if you want to escape the busier city beach. El Saler beach is located about 12 kilometres to the south of the city. The beach is surrounded by nature and has a relaxing dune landscape, with here and there paella restaurants. El Saler

San Tomasso

Stumbling upon this Italian restaurant in the city centre, was like finding a hidden treasure on a pretty lane, with great food and a delightful atmosphere. Secondly, waiters are quite fluent in English and the food was really more than excellent here. Carrer de la Corretgeria, 37

La Fabrica de Hielo

Although there is not much to see on the outside, inside this factory building is a gem that is host to live music, concerts, art workshops and locally sourced food. A wonderful place that is good for the eyes, ears and soul! Almost every day a live band performs in this venue, you can check their daily program hereCalle José Ballester Gozalvo, 37


Extra tips:

  • Ubify is the Uber in Valencia. Download the app and get home easily after a night out!
  • There is a ferry from Valencia to Ibiza, which takes approximately 5 hours. A fun and affordable way to explore Ibiza as well!
  • You can find even more Valencia tips and hotspots in this Guide if you are planning to visit sunny Valencia!

Love,

Iris

 

6 reasons why Madrid should be on your City Trip list

So you are looking for a weekend getaway, or maybe a sangria kinda holiday? You want to taste the tapas, enjoy culture, sunshine and wander around picturesque streets. Barcelona comes? Think again; Madrid has it all! I’m going to give you 6 reasons to choose Madrid (and if you don’t believe me, just visit both)

Food is everywhere
If you’re in the mood for Spanish food, Madrid, also known as tapas heaven, is the right destination to go to. Food is literally everywhere. Go on a stroll in the traditional Spanish neighbourhood ‘Santa Ana’ or the multicultural hipster hotspot Lavapiés.  On every corner you will find something to eat. If you really can’t choose I’ll help you out; Lateral in Santa Ana is one of my all-time favourites. Which has  created the perfect match between traditional recipes and modern creations.

Madrid

If you want to try a diversity of Spanish dishes, try Mercado San Miguel. Order a drink and choose on of the many appetizers they offer at the market, ranging from Spanish ham to ice-cream. 

Tip: Craving something sweet after a night of salsa dancing? You can find the best chorros at Chocolatería San Ginés,  open 24 hours a day!

You can rent a private yacht for €6,-
Alright, it’s not a yacht and you’ll have to do the rowing all by yourself, but sailing in the middle of Parque del Buen Retiro is something you can’t miss out on. It offers you an amazing view on the parc, provides peace in the middle of the vibrant city and a free rowing workout.

Madrid

You can shop 13 hours a day
Do I need to say more? And in case you’re not convinced: all stores have air-conditioning. That’s something you sure going to need in the summer of Madrid. So, where to go? You’ll find most of the big chain stores around the main square, Puerta del Sol and on Gran Via. Make sure you’re not in a hurry ‘cause most of the stores, especially on Gran Via, are huge. You can easily spend a whole day shopping just visiting 2 or 3 of those stores. A small walk further will lead you to the shopping street Calle Fuencarral, where small businesses and large retail stores alternate. Madrid is also a great city for vintage shopping. Go get lost in the pitoresque streets of the  neighbourhood Malasaña while searching for unique, second hand treasure. 

Tip: Tired of shopping and the buzz of the city? Take a ride on the Teleférico (cable car) in Casa de Campo and  view Madrid from high above. Enjoy the peace, the view and the greenery that Casa de Campo has to offer. Unless you’re afraid of heights of course…

Perfect starting point for day-trips

If you’re staying in Madrid for a little bit longer I strongly recommend to go on a day trip to one of the many beautiful surrounding Spanish villages. For example Toledo, a city with a rich history and culture. And therefore even won a spot on the World Heritage list of UNESCO. But also the cities Segovia and Salamanca are truly something you shouldn’t miss out on.

Dance every day (from salsa to techno)
Madrid is the best place when it comes to going out. From Monday to Sunday, the city never sleeps. The party starts at midnight and continues until sunrise. One of the largest disco’s of Madrid is Teatro Kapital. This dance paradise contains 7 floors, each floor has a different music genre; from salsa to house. If you’re not in the mood for a club, Madrid offers a wide variety of bars as well. Each neighbourhood brings you a different vibe. For example the bohemian Malasaña, where you will find the most bars per square meter in Madrid.

Tip: Did you know Madrid has a lively gay community? The district of Chueca is known as the gay district of Madrid, filled with modern cafes and gay bars.

Hola Madrid

Explore by foot
Madrid is huge and full of history. Therefor it can be quite challenging to choose where to go and what to visit. It’s easy getting around by metro, busses or Uber but Madrid is actually also a great city to explore by foot. Put on some comfy shoes and wander around or search for one of the many walking routes offered online. You probably not going to walk around the whole city but will manage to visit all the well known attractions if your hotel is in the main area.

I could go on for centuries with convincing you to visit Madrid. Cause whether you seeking for a party weekend, a romantic get-a-way or cultural adventure, Madrid has it all. Let yourself be carried away by the Spanish culture, getting los was never before a better idea.

Love,

Eva

*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heels at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.

Need accommodation in Madrid? Check out these options.

The diversity of Basque Country, Spain

Perhaps Basque Country has never come to mind when thinking of a Spanish holiday but this green part of Spain will pleasantly surprise you.

Basque Country is situated near the border of France and has a landscape that includes mountains, green valleys and coastlines. You can find different scenery all into one region and that’s what makes this place so amazing. It’s a region that is often overlooked in favor of more conventional destinations in Spain. If you decide to visit Basque Country after reading this article (chances are, you will), we have a few tips lined up so you can enjoy everything in just a couple of days.

There are 5 Guggenheim Museums located in Europe. Guess where you can find one of them?

The 3 Cities and their Culture
Basque Country is full of culture. Every year, especially during summer, you can enjoy several exhibitions, activities and events. This year, the capital of Bilbao celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum, where you can find high quality exhibitions that are well worth the visit. The famous landmark is covering a wide variety of artists and themes in both contemporary and modern art. The Guggenheim Museum is housed in Bilbao, Surrounded by mountains and sea, from its origins as
an industrial hub, it has evolved into an international reference point for urban design and has set the standard as a model of urban regeneration. Internationally renowned architects showcase the model regeneration of Bilbao. A city that has managed to find a different way to express itself with design firmly at its heart.. Tip » buy the Bilbao Card to get free access to several museums and attractions. With this card you can travel with Bilbao’s public transport.

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The Guggenheim Museum

bilbao-puppy_torre-iberdrola_bilbao
Puppy & Torre Iberdrola in Bilbao

San Sebastián, also locally named Donostia, is a beautiful coastal city close to France. It has even won the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture back in 2016. Surrounded by mountains and located next to the sea, it’s a popular place for tourists. Did you know San Sebastián has one of the most beautiful bays in the world with 3 city beaches? Close to San Sebastian, you will find the Cristobal Balenciaga Museoa. This museum is a homage to one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century and you can see selected pieces of his collection. This year, the fashion brand exist a staggering 100 years! 

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A perfect viewing point over San Sebastians bay

Once voted the “European Green Capital”, Vitoria-Casteiz is surrounded by stunning nature

The third city we need to mention is Vitoria-Gasteiz, once voted the “Green Capital” of Europe. This city is surrounded by nature and is also the most important centre for logistics in Northern Spain. To do’s here are; taking a stroll through the “Green Belt” which is full of flora and fauna and includes wetlands and lakes. There are also some great Jazz festivals and events happening in Victoria, with the best ones in April and August. Another popular attraction is the old quarter they call the “Medieval Almond” where you can find the Cathedral of Santa Maria and a unique project called “open for work” inspired Ken Follet in his novel “World Without End”. To find out more about these 3 amazing cities, check here.

vitoria-murales-casco-viejo-vitoria-gasteiz
The streets of Vitoria

849.00 KM. 7 stages. 109 landscapes.
Another popular thing to do, is to take a roadtrip through the beautiful landscape of Basque Country. On this route you will find beaches, quaint little villages, vineyards and forests. We can imagine that it’s hard to choose between the many options, but you can easily find the route that suits your needs. There are also 3 pilgrim trails that will take you to the more offbeat corners of the Basque Country; The St. James’ Way Coastal Route, which takes you around the countryside and ever changing landscapes. The St. James’ Way Inland Route where you will pass coastal landscapes, greenery, farms and even industrialized localities. You can also opt for the Ignatian Way, a trail that covers 675 km. To find more info about all these routes, check this link. Another highlight is San Juan Gaztelugatxe, a small island connected to the mainland by a man-made bridge. 

gaztelugatxe
San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Wine & Dine
If you’re a real foodie like us, you’re at the right place. The food and drinks are very affordable and locally produced, so you can really taste the different regions. Because the gastronomy, from the most traditional to the most innovative, is one of the hallmarks of the Basque Country and is deeply rooted in the daily lives of the people, linked to its history, customs and leisure activities. The secret? The excellence and diversity of the raw materials that the sea and land of the Basque Country provide and the expertise of the great Basque cooks.

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There is an unmistakable joie de vivre in Basque Country

Whether you are looking for a lazy beach holiday, a culture trip or an adventurous trail through nature, Basque Country has it all. Maybe it’s time to opt for a different kind of Spain when you book your holiday next time?

Wander-Lust
www.wander-lust.nl

baskenland

The Ultimate Surf Camp? Zarautz Surf Village

Once you have experienced the surf culture, you will be hooked. Whether you’ve tried it in Bali, Australia, Portugal, France or Spain, surfing is something we highly recommend. There are many surfing spots around the world, but if you’re a first timer, we have a wonderful tip for you; Zarautz Surf Village.

Zarautz
A secluded beach at Zarautz

Zarautz Surf Village
Never taking them off again

Become part of the surfer community

Zarautz is located between the 2 Spanish cities Bilbao and San Sebastian. It’s surfing culture started a long time ago, and it’s one of the best European surf locations, with several surfing competitions held yearly. Zarautz beach is long stretched and very wide, so also very popular for sunbathing.

The Surf Village
The camping area is located on top of the hill, overlooking Zarautz coastline. Waking up with this view is priceless. At Zarautz Surf Village you have a few accommodation options; You can sleep in a tent, a camp-inn, a tipi dorm, a deluxe tipi, or you can bring your own camper van. Being the glampackers that we are, we opted for the deluxe tipi. You’ll find all different nationalities at the camp. From Belgium to Greek, they all seem to find out about this place.

Zarautz Surf Village

Tipt Zarautz Surf Village
Our amazing Deluxe Tipi

Basic or luxury; you can decide

When you book your stay at Zarautz Surf Village, breakfast (9 – 11) and dinner (7 – 9) are included and the food changes everyday. There is even a champagne breakfast if you’re up for it. Don’t miss out on the BBQ or burger night, as they are pretty good! Drinks at the bar are bought with a drink card, that you can purchase for €15,- and you’ll get a plastic cup that you need to keep until you depart. Thinking about the environment!

Chill & Party
The village is not so big, but very cozy. There is a chill out area with 2 hammocks, several cushions and a skate ramp. Beer pong is played at night, and there is always room for a themed evening with fun & games. Remember, it’s a camping area, so the noise has to stop at midnight. Not ready for bed yet? No worries, Zarautz has a few bars to enjoy yourself and San Sebastian is only a 25 minute taxi ride. 

Chill
The chill zone

Surfing & Yoga
Most people book at least one week at the camp, but we had only 3,5 days. For this reason we only managed to take one surf lesson and one yoga class. Surf lessons are held in the morning and is perfect for beginners. As the day passes, the waves become bigger, so the afternoon is better for the more advanced. There are 2 free yoga lessons included within a basic package, and the classes are great for stretching your body before you get ready to surf.

Surfing
Trying to look like pro’s. All wearing Protest Women

The Surroundings
Zarautz has a stunning scenery, with cliffs, green open hills and turquoise water. Take a morning off to walk around before heading to the beach where you can eat a healthy açai bowl at the Shelter Surf Bar. They also serve coffee, wraps, salads and a few pincho’s. Zarautz beach is quite long and you will find several café’s and eateries where you can have breakfast or lunch.  

Zarautz
Stunning backdrops. Wearing Protest Women. Fanny pack is from Eastpak

walking in Zarautz
Walking down to the beach (wearing Havaianas)

Zarautz
Endless hills in Zarautz. Backpack is from Eastpak

Shelter
Salad at Shelter

Because San Sebastian is very close by, we recommend you go here for half a day at least. It’s great for shopping, eating out, and it’s easy accesible by train, which takes only 30 minutes and costs around €2,50 per person. Ask the staff for details.

Zarautz Surf Village is open until the 3rd week of September and the new season starts in June 2019. Bookings are available from €259,- (drive-inn) which includes a full week camping and breakfast and activities. (Dinner can be bought extra for €95,- per person for a week). A Tipi Dorm: € 379 and the Tipi Deluxe is only available per week from: € 895

Tip: Bring a warm sweater and pants with you, as it can get quite chilly at night

Zarautz Surf Village
Calle Monte Talai Mendi, Zarautz
Website / Instagram

Love,

Wander-Lust

Luxury camping in Europe!

If you ever been out camping as a child, you know that it’s something special. The outdoor sounds of birds and crickets, and the cozy evening by the fire. However, the damp floor, cold nights and wet socks was perhaps something you would rather forget. As I got older, I realised that I was becoming a glampacker instead of a backpacker. And lucky for me..Luxury Camping (glamping) is hot, especially in Europe.

There are plenty of glamping options in Europe and sometimes it’s difficult to choose one. Yelloh! Village, is a network for different campsites-villages that has became THE luxury outdoor hotels reference in France, Spain and Portugal. Yelloh! Village is particularity good if you’re traveling with kids, because of the many options for children.

Yelloh! village

Whether you want to camp near the sea, rivers, mountains or stay in the countryside, it’s all possible. We’ve picked some of our favorite accommodations that Yelloh! Village has on offer.

The Yurt in France
Feel like a nomad is this traditional Mongolian stay. This yurt sleeps 4 people (one double bed and 2 single beds), and is located in France. Outside the yurt is a shower and toilet, plus you can relax in the lounge chairs on the terrace. And it’s not expensive at all! You can book this yurt from 156 Euro for 4 nights!

Yurt
Magical and unique!

Yurt

Experience the traveling nomadic lifestyle, with all the luxury you want


Cabane sur la plage, in Spain
This cabin on the beach is a dream! It’s not the largest stay that Yelloh! Villages has on offer, but the location totally makes up for it. The 15²m cabin/tent has 2 bedrooms and a small terrace overlooking the beach. Waking up here, is the best part! The camping itself offers a swimmingpool, bar, minimarket, restaurant, children activities and sports. Nearby towns are Creixell, Barcelona, Calafell, El Vendrell, Reus, Salou, Tarragona, and Torredembarra. Book it here from just 560 euro for 7 nights!

Cabin on the beach Yelloh! Village
Cabin on the beach!

Beach view


Chalet s’Agaró in Costa Brava
If you are looking for more facilities, like the luxury camping of having your own kitchen and living room, you should check out this chalet in the Costa Brava. There are 3 bedrooms and fits 5 people easily. You have a lot of space, in and outside (and a BBQ!). Wifi, breakfast and sheets/towels are included within the price. You can book this chalet here.

Chalet

Luxury chalet


All campsites have restaurants, swimming pools and things to do.

Yelloh! Village glamping
Luxury Breakfast instead of a burned sausage 

River
Adventurous?

Are you ready for your camping 3.0 experience?

Yelloh! Village
Facebook / Instagram
Website

Love,

Elke

The Wanderlust Barcelona Guide!

Barcelona is one of those cities that you keep coming back to. As much as we both love exploring new places, this Spanish delight keeps pulling us back every 2 years or so. It might has something to do with the fact that Barcelona has a wonderful beach combined with a vibrant nightlife that includes one of the best cuisines in Europe. We booked a weekend away and checked out the newest and best spots so you can relax and enjoy your citytrip. Here’s our Wanderlust Barcelona Guide!

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retrome-hotel
Hotel Retrome

Where to stay
But the one thing we really liked is the diversity of destinations and type of accommodations they put on offer. Our hotel was a retro style boutique hotel named Retrome in the lovely area Eixample, close to pretty much everything including the beach. Even though we arrived during high season, the area we stayed in was peaceful yet full of local cafe’s and restaurants. The reception knew our names which made it feel very personal. Something you don’t see everyday. But let’s be real, they already had us when they offered us a free glass of cava ;-). The whole trip was just so well organized. All we did was book and go. And that’s pretty much all you want to do when you’re enjoying a weekend away right?

wanderlust Barcelona Guide

WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
It’s one of the first things that comes to mind when you arrive. Food. Food. And more food. Barcelona is a city with many “hotspots” and these are our favorite ones!

» Lulu’s,  It’s a tiny cafe in El Born where you can eat healthy. There are a few tables outside and they serve Iced Matcha Latte’s!
» Nomads coffee, we passed this hipster coffee house by chance and grabbed a coffee to go. They take it serious, so expect a real tasty cup! nomadcoffee.es
» Brunch & Cake, Hotspot number one at the moment. They serve well known dishes in a very special way. Go for the Blue Acai Bowl, Green Bagel and try one of their juices! if you need to wait for a seat (chances are, you will) grab a lovely coffee at De La Crem right across the street. cupcakesbarcelona.com
» The Green Spot, brand new in Barcelona and already one of the best veggie spots in town. It doesn’t matter whether you are a vegetarian or not, the pretty dishes will make your mouth water. Prices are a bit higher than usual. encompaniadelobos.com
» Flax & Kale, not new but still hot, you need to check it out if you are around. Get your phones out, because this is Instagram worthy food! 80{8b669be72a7f340f9ef2d6d852585cd40ddf0e79ccf763f3ea93c1234c3d888b} of the food they serve is plant based and their slogan is Eat Better, Be Happier, Live Longer. Well, that never hurt anyone, right? teresacarles.com
» Tropico, for the best juices in Barcelona! Inspired by tropical destinations, this hotspot is something you cannot miss out on. tropicobcn.com
» The Surf House, next to the beach you can find this popular joint. The food is healthy, tasty and pretty. The vibe is just like you can imagine from a place like this. Book activities such as paddle surf , beach workouts and surfing of course. Also keep an eye out for their mobile food truck that you will find around Barcelona. surfhousebarcelona.com
» Blai Tonight It’s not big, it might be a bit too popular but we still think you should try it. Blai tonight is located in the Poble Sec area and has been voted as one of the top 10 places to go when it comes to your value for money. Their famous Pinchos only cost €1,50 and if you do it well, you can eat for only 10 euro per person including your drink! Facebook

food-in-barcelona-wander-lust
From left to right: Lulu’s, The Surf House, Brunch & Cake and Nomad Coffee

COCKTAILS & DANCE
Barcelona offers a great nightlife. As a first time visitor you may run to the Las Ramblas but we would advise you to avoid this tourist trap and visit some other places where the cocktails are also flowing and the atmosphere is great.

» Champagneria, the name might ring a bell, Cava galore! Facebook
» The Mint, They say some of the best Mojito’s are made here..That’s enough right?! Facebook
» Yurbban, this hotel has a cool rooftop with one of the best views in Barcelona. You can only use the pool if you are a guest but you are welcome to enjoy a few drinks during the day or night. yurbban.com
» Jamboree, if you like jazz, this is your club! masimas.com
» Zero KM, combine dinner with drinks and stay until they close. They serve tapas with a twist and the food can be described at high end.
» La Terazza, this club and bar is tucked away in the Olympic village, so you must know that it’s there. This outdoor club hosts parties and plays good music until the early hours. laterrrazza.com
» Elrow, If you feel like a real crazy party with confetti, attributes and costumes, you must visit an El Row party. Originated from Barcelona, this infamous techno club is now making waves all over the world with parties in Amsterdam, Dubai and New York. Some of the best DJ’s play at the club and during the summer months there are several events so keep an eye out on the website. elrow.es

Yurbban Hotel Rooftop, Wanderlust Barcelona Guide
The rooftop of the Yurbban hotel

EXTRA TIPS
» Rent a bicycle we can’t say this enough. Really, it’s the best way to see the city. We got ours for 15 euro per 24 hours bit there are many options throughout the city where you can rent one.
» Visit Bunkers del Carmel aka “Bunkers” for the best viewing point. A friend tipped us about this old bunker build on a hill back in the 30’s. Not everybody knows about this special place and it’s worth seeing the sunrise or sunset if you have the time.
» Talk to the locals, we always do this and this trip was no exception. It brought us to a cool graffiti skate park!

Cycling in Barcelona, Wanderlust Barcelona Guide
Cycling had to be a part of our wanderlust Barcelona guide

Wanderlust Barcelona Guide
Cycling through the Parc de les Tres Xemeneies

I don’t think we need to convince you to go to Barcelona but maybe we have convinced you to go back, yet again. To book our trip and stay in the same retro hotel, check  www.travelbird.nl! For more inspiration and to get a chance to get featured, follow @TravelBird on Instagram!

Love,

Wander-Lust

*We collaborated with TravelBird for this article

More tips about other Spanish destinations? Check our Spain section!

Must do » Learn how to Kitesurf in Tarifa

Learning how to Kitesurf has never been so hot as now and both men and women are buying the gear and get ready for a kitesurfing trip abroad. It’s a pretty cool hobby to have but can be quite challenging and difficult to learn. Guest blogger Jill is going to tell you exactly where to have the most awesome kite experience and learned how to Kitesurf in Tarifa.

Tarifa
Of course there are two essential elements that you can’t kite without: wind and water. What better place to go then where the Mediterranean touches the Atlantic ocean and the wind streams are beautifully called ‘ Levante’ and ‘ Poniente’? Tarifa in the most southern tip of Spain, also known as kite capital of Europe, is the perfect place to start riding those waves. The easiest (and usually cheapest) way to get there is to fly to Malaga and grab a bus to Tarifa. It’s a 4 hour drive, some spectacular views included (as well as a number of senior citizens making their way for retirement heaves like Torremelinos and Marbella ;-).

tarifa_beach_2

Kitesurfing in tarifa
Tarifa Beach

The old city of Tarifa is a walled kingdom of little winding streets, cute shops and some of the most amazing tapas restaurants I have ever had the chance to eat. This is the town where ‘ being in a rush’ does not exist, where you start your day in one of the many cozy coffeeshops (+ cakes), stroll around the narrow streets, indulge in delicious paella and end the day sipping a cocktail (seriously, the Ginebrina at bar Taco Way is to die for!). Tarifa is also just 14 km from Morocco, a regular ferry is ready to take you to Tanger if you are up for a bit of Africa.

Learning to kite
But hey let’s get back to business, because the main reason you have to go to Tarifa is of course for the boards and the kites. To really get the hang of this ridiculously difficult sport, I advise to book a full course (just one lesson won’t even get you in the water). Be careful, this not for the lazy ones among us. I did a 5-day stint, 4 hours of lessons each day. Heavy duty!

kite_on_the_beach

There are many schools but I recommend Tarifa Max Kitesurfing School. With small groups, great gear and super experienced teachers you can’t go wrong. You kick off with learning to control the kite on land and letting it drag you through the water before adding the board. Sounds intensive? It was! In the burning sun, huge salt water waves, heavy winds and a heavier kite, you need practice practice practice and perhaps a bit of talent (which I lacked). but if you are a doer, not afraid of some hard work and crave for adrenaline, this is your sport! Oh and did I mention it’s also very good for your muscles, shape and overall fitness? Winning!

Kitesurfing in Tarifa

Malaga
If your plane did land in Malaga, I totally advise to give the city a few of your days as well. After 5 days of hardcore kiting and working out, this sunny ciudad is a great place to unwind with lots of wine, perfect shopping and some architectural highlights. From the old castle to the hyper modern beach promenade, you won’t be bored!

Whats on your bucket list for the coming year? If you have any tips, let me know as I’m writing my list as we speak. And if you decide to add kitesurfing in Tarifa, trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Love,

Jill

Read Jill’s previous article about some super handy packing tips!

Backpacking tips

11 tips for a City Trip to Barcelona

Oh how we love Barcelona! The city that has a beach and some of the best food cultures in Europe! We’ve written a few articles about this vibrant city but we’ve never actually given you a small city guide which will make your stay even better. (we hope!). Enjoy our 11 tips for a city trip to Barcelona!

FOOD
Let’s start with some amazing food spots because one of the things you want to do when you find yourself in Barcelona, is eating. A lot. Besides the traditional Tapas and Paella, there are more restaurants and cafes to make you wild.

  1. Surfhouse Barcelona The perfect spot for the kids of Barcelona. The food is healthy, tasty and pretty. The vibe is just like you can imagine from a place like this. It may feel like you’re in California for a minute because of the surfers vibe. Book activities such as paddle surf , beach workouts and surfing of course. Also keep an eye out for their mobile food truck that you will find around Barcelona. www.surfhousebarcelona.com
  2. Blai Tonight It’s not big, it might be a bit too popular but we still think you should try it. Blai tonight is located in the Poble Sec area and has been voted as one of the top 10 places to go when it comes to your value for money. Their famous Pinchos only cost €1,50 and if you do it well, you can eat for only 10 euro per person including your drink! Facebook
  3. Trópico Just check out their Instagram account and your mouth will begin to water. Inspired by tropical destinations, this hotspot is something you cannot miss out on. www.tropicobcn.com
  4. Candendê Breakfast and Brunch for champions! They prepare your eggs in the best way possible and they serve some killer pancakes and bagels. www.candende.com
  5. Flax & Kale We know this isn’t new but we needed to add it on the list. Get your phones out because every dish is Instagramable! (is that even a word?) 80{8b669be72a7f340f9ef2d6d852585cd40ddf0e79ccf763f3ea93c1234c3d888b} of the food they serve is plant based and their slogan is Eat Better, Be Happier, Live Longer. Well, that never hurt anyone, right? www.teresacarles.com

Surfshop Barcelona
Pretty food at the Surfhouse Barcelona Source

Flax & Kale Barcelona
Still popular and not without reason. Flax & Kale Source

DRINKS & DANCE
After some good food Barcelona offers a great nightlife. As a first time visitor you may run to the Las Ramblas but we would advise you to avoid this tourist area and visit some other places where the cocktails and atmosphere are great.

  1. El Row If you feel like a real crazy party with confetti, attributes and costumes, you must visit an El Row party. Originated from Barcelona, this infamous techno club is now making waves all over the world with parties in Amsterdam, Dubai and New York. Some of the best DJ’s play at the club and during the summer months there are several events so keep an eye out on the website. www.elrow.es
  2. La Terrrazza This club and bar is tucked away in the Olympic village, so you must know that it’s there. This outdoor club hosts parties and plays good music until the early hours. www.laterrrazza.com
  3. Dry Martini Cocktail Bar This is one of the most famous cocktail bars in Barcelona if not in the world. It first opened back in 1971 and was famous for their dry martini’s. They now serve exiting and innovating drinks you should try out! You can find bars in Europe, USA and Asia. www.drymartiniorg.com
  4. Pulitzer Hotel Rooftop or Grand Hotel Skybar It’s hard to make a choice between these two because one is cozy and tropical (Pulitzer) and the other (The Grand Hotel) has an infinity pool. Both are great for evening drinks! www.hotelpulitzer.es / www.grandhotelcentral.com
  5. Makamaka Also great for food but maybe even better for cocktails! Ironically a couple of Dutch guys were involved in this project back in 2012. It’s where the locals and travelers meet. Start sipping on the cocktails early before heading into town! www.makamaka.es

La Terrazza Barcelona
Summer parties at La Terrrazza Source

infinity-pool-grand-hotel-barcelona
The Skybar at The Grand Hotel Source

STAY
There are many good options in Barcelona but we love El Born. This little Barcelona maze is a barrio perfectly located near the beach, the center of the city and Parc de la Ciutadella. Its filled with bars, little shops and locals.

  1. AB Apartment Barcelona If you’re looking for a place to stay, this is the website you want to look at. Full with apartments in all different shapes and sizes throughout the city, it’s perfect for a city break or holiday period. It’s the home from home and all apartments include a kitchen, allowing you to prepare your very own home-cooked meals, or even try some Mediterranean inspired dishes! Bonus: when you book here you’ll also get great discounts on many top attractions and activities throughout the city. www.apartmentbarcelona.com

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One of the AB Apartments in Barcelona

We hope these tips for a city trip to Barcelona will make your stay even more enjoyable!

Love,

Wander-Lust

*We’ve collaborated with AB Apartment Barcelona for this article.

A Barcelona Love Affair

Not many people know I have a secret long distance love affair. I was 13 when we met, way too young to understand raw beauty. We spend one day together but there was not really a spark. Three years later we bumped into each other again and got a little touchy feely over the course of 6 days. I thought about you a lot, visited once more. But it wasn’t until 2 summers ago that we actually connected, when I finally got the courage to go see you alone. Whenever I feel down or happy, have a few days off or when its my birthday, there is only one I want to run to. Barcelona and I, we have a special thing going on. As strongly as I feel for her, she is too amazing to claim her for myself. So here it is, a partial disclosure on our affair, so you can have one for yourself as well.

Get to know her, and get to know her well.

1. Go solo
It might seem a bit scary and a bit crazy, but in my opinion, Barcelona is best explored when one is not bothered by anyone but the companionship of the city itself. Wander through the barrios at your own pace, grab a cup of coffee in the morning to do some people watching and get over the fear to dine alone (trust me, it took me some time as well). Get absolutely lost by yourself and enjoy it to the fullest.

2. El Born
If you took the plunge to go alone, make sure to book your stay in El Born. This little Barcelona maze is a barrio perfectly located near the beach, the centre of the city and parc de la ciutadella. Its filled with bars, little shops and laundry lines. Also it has a lest touristy feel then very popular Barri Gotic (also very pretty, but a bit more crowded with cruise line tourists).

El Born Barcelona

3. Ride or die
Maybe this should have been the first on the list: rent a ff-ing bike! The city is equipped with nice bike lanes (and if not, there is always the sidewalk) and a bike gives you all the freedom you need. Pretend to be a local when you effortlessly cruise the beach promenade all the way to the north (where you see a different, more modern side of BCN). The wind in your hair and the city under your pedals. In only one day I saw all the beaches, made a trip around the Sagrada Familia and ended up at the olympic village (go here, it is super impressive with the best views over the city) without a hassle in the world. Also in the hot summers, the little breeze you feel when on your bike will be very welcome.

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I got my bike at ‘ Ride or Die’ in El Born. Super friendly bike lovers with well kept bikes and very reasonable prices (10 euro for a day, including a map and a lock). They offer tours as well.

Ride or Die
c/ Pescateria, 2 BARCELONA
www.rideordie.es

4. Beach bum
A city with a beach, must be heaven! The beaches are crowded during summer, but perfect for a quick cool down and an evening stroll. Or what I used to do: go there early in the morning and grab a coffee at one of the beach cabana’s. You get an overpriced coffee, but the quiet beach view with the sun on your skin is worth it all!

EarlyMorningCoffee
Have your early morning coffee at the beach

Now about that quick cool down, when you are alone you might not feel comfy leaving your bag unsupervised on the beach when you dive in. Which is a normal feeling since the speakers on the beach keep repeating not to leave your stuff alone. Here’s what you do: you’re alone, you don’t need much space so walk down the waterline and find a spot between the sunlovers on the first row. Being this close to the water you can easily dive in and float around a bit with your face towards your bag. Keep your head cool! After dipping in, your stomach might need some food. Head for Surf House or Habana Barcelona. At Surf House the staff can be a bit rude (they think they are really cool) but their menu will make your mouth water. Think laid back variations on classic food. The menu el dia at Habana Barcelona is true value for your money. Also, I eat the best Caesar salad ever here!

Surf House
Carrer l’Almirall Aixada, 22, 08003 Barcelona
www.surfhousebarcelona.com

Habana Barcelona
Passeig Joan de Borbó, 74, 08039 Barcelona
www.habanabarcelona.com

5. Drink cava, eat tapas and do it here!
Plenty of cava bars and tapas joints. But I made my best memories at Can Paixano, a crowded and little dodgy cava bar. Tourists mixed up with the locals and cava for 1,20 per glass. Great place to make some new (Spanish) friends! Fill up on the booze and then head for El Xampanyet to feast on tapas. It’s always busy at this place and for good reason. The lights are awful, the food amazing. Oh and did I mention the staff runs around with bottles of cava to fill up whenever your glass is empty?

Can Paixano
Carrer de la Reina Cristina, 7, 08003 Barcelona

El Xampanyet
Carrer de Montcada, 22, 08003 Barcelona

6. If there is one tourist thing to do…
I think Parc Guell is overpriced. I’ve never seen the magic fountains. I have yet to visit one of Gaudi’s houses or pay to get my picture taken with one of the living statues. The tourist highlights of Barcelona never really got my attention. But please do visit the Sagrada Familia. And do please buy a ticket to go inside. It took my breath away. Several times. The truest piece of art I have ever experienced. Be smart: buy your tickets online since that means no waiting with all the Chinese people standing in line outside.

SagradaFamilia Barcelona

7. Hit the roof
A sucker for rooftop bars like me? Every night after eight ‘o clock, the Grand Central Hotel allows non-guest at their rooftop bar. You do pay 6 euro’s for a beer, but that includes a bowl of crisps and a stunning poolside view. Come early and it’s still pretty quiet, the perfect moment to think about how happy you are to spend time in the best city in the world.

Grand Central Rooftop Barcelona

Grand Central Hotel
Via Laietana, 30, 08003 Barcelona

So, yes, you should stroll along La Rambla, watch people at place Catalunya and eat tapas. Of course you have to shop the Spanish clothing valhalla’s and drink Sangria. I don’t have to tell you that. But now you also have ammunition to explore the city a bit different. I have tons of tips more, but they’ll remain a secret for now. Get your own affair!

Love,

Jill

*Jill is one of our guest bloggers living in Amsterdam where she works as a content manager for a digital agency. She’s Crazy about traveling and has spend her studies in New Zealand . You can read a new article from Jill in every 3rd week of the month!

Wanna have 5 reasons why you should live in Barcelona? Check this out!

Light Festival Barcelona

A quick guide to Malaga

Year-round sun brings millions of visitors to Costa del Sol each year, and flights to Malaga are the easiest way to get there. As a result, this thriving port city is often seen as a place to pass by on the way to other coastal hotspots. Stop and give it a chance, however, and you’ll find a city rich with Andalucian culture and experiences you don’t want to miss. If you’re considering a trip to Malaga, use our quick guide to help you decide what to do:

Sights to see
In the historic heart of the city, you’ll find Malaga Cathedral, a stunning example of Spanish architecture dating from the 16th century. The first thing you’ll notice is that the cathedral is unfinished – it only has one tower instead of the intended two. This has led to locals calling it La Manquita, or ‘the one-armed lady.’

Another landmark in the city is La Alcabaza, the imposing fortress that overlooks the city. It is a well preserved meeting place of cultures and time periods – Roman, Arab, Renaissance – and boasts a rich history. Nearby, you can also visit Malaga’s Roman Theatre, which was built during the Emperor Augustus’s rule.

Malaga

What to do
There is plenty to do in this bustling city, but no trip to Malaga is complete without visiting its many museums. Malaga was Picasso’s birthplace, so art fanatics will want to visit the Picasso Museum to enjoy an extensive display of his work. Carmen Thyssen is another gallery exhibiting 19th century Spanish artwork. The newest museum in Malaga is the Pompidou Centre, sister to the Parisian museum of the same name. The striking glass cube entrance will grasp your attention, and inside, it houses a range of 20th and 21st century art exhibits.

Where to eat
Malaga is brimming with superb restaurants. For Michelin starred local cuisine, visit José Carlos Garcia, a modern restaurant with views over the port. If you’re looking for something more traditional, we’d recommend El Chinitas in the city centre.

Where to go out
There is a bar, club, or pub to suit every taste in Malaga. Wine drinkers should visit Antigua Casa Guardia, one of the city’s oldest bars, where locally produced wine is dispensed from barrels. For a chic clubbing experience, plan a night out at Sala Gold, one of the city’s more stylish nightclubs.

Beaches to visit
You can’t go to Malaga without spending a day at the beach. Playa de la Malagueta is a popular choice – a short walk from the city centre, you can lounge on the sand and sip drinks in seaside bars. If you fancy something a little less crowded, try the picturesque Peñon del Cuervo. Many of Malaga’s beaches offer activities and space for beach sports, but if you’re interested in surfing, Playa de la Misericordia has the best waves along this coastal stretch. Go there in the evening for the best surfing conditions.

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What will you do on your trip to Malaga? Tell us in the comments below!

Images by niall62 and audi_inseperation, used under the Creative Commons Licence.

Love,

Wander-Lust