SPAIN

Fighting with the bulls, La Tomantina Festival, Siestas, unlimited Sangria and never ending Tapas. The beautiful country of Spain stole my heart and after seven weeks I still didn’t feel as though I had seen enough or really experienced everything the country had to offer. Words and even photographs can’t show you how magical Spain is, the people made me fall in love with the country even more and just the whole culture and their way of life made me want to spend more time there.

SPAIN

Sevilla: Sevilla is famous for their Flamenco, Bullfighting, Tapas and for being the hottest city in Europe. When you’re unsure of what to see and do when you first arrive to a new city my advice is check out the local free walking tour on offer. You get to learn some history, hear some great stories and see the main sights of the city within a couple of hours. Along with some girls I met on my journey to Spain we hadn’t heard too much about Sevilla so jumped on the free walking tour on our first day. We got taken to a bunch of monuments such as The River Guadalquivir, Palacio de San Telmo, Plaza España, Maria Luisa Park, Tobacco Factory and Torre de Oro.

SPAIN1

SPAIN2

When staying in Sevilla one of the best hostels to stay at is the Oasis Backpacker’s Hostel, out of the few Oasis Backpacker chain hostels I have stayed at, this would have to be the best. The staff members are incredibly friendly and will go out of their way to help you and make sure you enjoy your stay. A free breakfast is available which also included delicious crepes! Their rooftop terrace is really what attracts most travellers to the hostel as it’s a great space to meet people and enjoy the sunshine as well as a cool off in the small terrace pool late into the evening whilst sharing sangria and other cheap drinks with your fellow travellers from their backpackers bar. The beds are comfortable, the bathrooms are modern and it will only cost you $AUD26 (€18) per person for a bed during the peak season.

SPAIN3

SPAIN4

If you’re looking for something to do in the evenings what I can suggest is taking a stroll around the town popping in and out of bars as you will most likely bump into live music acts with very passionate singers and a whole lot of Spanish dancing. Sevilla really is beautiful and the locals are very friendly and accommodating. Don’t be afraid to immerse yourself in the Spanish culture and join in the fun!

SPAIN5

Cadiz: Ah Cadiz, I never heard of this Spanish city before and I’m so glad someone had recommended it to me. Cadiz is simply beautiful. The city has such a relaxed vibe to it and you will fall in love with the locals, being back on the beach and the surf town’s atmosphere. If you plan to head to Cadiz there is only one hostel you must stay at, Casa Cararol Backpackers. ​The owners and all the staff are travellers themselves so they share the same understanding of providing your needs and wants. This hostel is eco-friendly, has large communal spaces as well as a huge outdoor terrace stocked with hammocks and bean bags and is in an excellent location within a walking distance to everything.

SPAIN6

SPAIN7

The staff organise events such as Sunday night movies, Paella Thursday’s and free Flamenco Friday’s. Every now and then during the summer they will arrange for BBQ’s up on the roof top terrace and we were lucky enough to be taken to a free Brazilian concert in the castle one evening. A bed at this fabulous hostel will cost you $AUD23-$28 (€16-€18) and if they’re booked out but you really want to stay here, don’t fret! Just send them an e-mail and see if they have any hammocks available. I spent four nights sleeping in a hammock on the rooftop for €10 and it was fantastic.

SPAIN8

SPAIN9

During the day take a lovely stroll around Cadiz, the main square is home to a gorgeous Cathedral and many markets surround the

nearby streets. Get lost in the winding cobble stone roads and enjoy the beauty that Cadiz has to offer. Make sure you grab ice cream of frozen yoghurt from many of the stall vendors, it’s delicious and there are so many around you will be tempted.

SPAIN10

SPAIN11

SPAIN12

The beaches really are beautiful so it’s worth spending awhile there and soaking up the sunshine and being surrounded by many locals and hardly any tourists. If you’re staying at Casa Cararol Backpackers you can even take them up on their offer for surfing lessons!

SPAIN13

SPAIN14

Granada: If I had to choose my favourite Spanish city nothing else would even come close to the fabulous Granada. Cobble stone streets, free tapas with every drink brought in majority of bars, a friendly culture and a Moroccan influence in the shops surrounding the streets. Granada is truly magical and if I didn’t have to rush off to Valencia for a festival I would have stayed much longer. I stayed at the Oasis Backpacker’s Hostel which is in a large building with great views of the Alhambra. They have an outdoor patio, a roof-top sun terrace, a well equipped kitchen with the staples and a small bar which really comes to life at night with fellow travellers. I found it very easy to meet people here and you will find that the Oasis Hostel chain is very well known throughout the whole of Spain. Shared dorm rooms with very comfortable beds for $AUD26-$31 (€18-€21) a night during peak season in Granada you really can’t go wrong.

SPAIN15

SPAIN16

Definitely take a free walking tour whilst in the city, you get taken to some great places like the Cathedral and the Jewish Quarter, some great look out spots and many other locations. Our tour guide was fantastic and if you search up free walking tours in Granada the reviews about him are amazing and not a bad word is said.

SPAIN17

SPAIN017

SPAIN18

Our Tour guide from the free walking tour told us to have our own ‘street art’ tour as it’s better to take our time than too rush it like the official tour does. We followed the map through the windy streets and found some amazing art work. Apparently there are two main artists that do majority of the street art and they are so beautiful down to the smallest detail.

SPAIN19

Our tour guide also mentioned that if we were a small group to head amongst the Gypsy caves on the mountain. There is a tour offered but you don’t get taken up very far as they don’t like to be disturbed by all the tourists. A couple of friends and I went just before sunset and walked up the hill through their houses and up as far as we could go to enjoy the spectacular view of the city. We took steep dirt paths and climbed rocks until we made it up the top, be careful coming down in the dark, my shoes had no grip and we didn’t realise how far we had climbed so I kept slipping.

SPAIN20

SPAIN21

SPAIN22

When spending time in Granada there is no doubt one main attraction you must make time for, The Alhambra. Because there is a high demand of tickets there is a restriction of how many people can enter per day, so it’s advised you book your tickets in advance otherwise you could be lining up for hours to get in. Most people choose to just buy a ‘Daytime’ pass for €14 or €9 with a Euro

As I mentioned above Granada is the one city in Spain that majority of the bars offer free tapas with every drink brought, so don’t bother going out for a meal, just ‘bar hop’ as you drink sangria and try many different delicious tapas from all types of cuisines.

SPAIN23

SPAIN24

Valencia: I first decided to go to Valencia mainly for the La Tomantina festival but didn’t expect how much I would actually like the city. As I knew I would be alone when going to the festival, and I had heard from other travellers it was difficult to get to on your own as it was actually held in Brunol, which was an hour out of Valencia. I knew I would meet people, as I always did, but figured this is the one time I would book a ‘tour’ group, so I booked my La Tomantina experience with Fanatics. Everyone who isn’t a part of the Fanatics group will strongly dislike them, but once you have been a part of the group you have too much fun to care. Yeah sure you become a part of the screaming and Aussie chanting, but at the end of the day you have fellow Aussie’s looking out for you as you’re crawling along the streets picking up fallen tomatoes.

SPAIN25

Booking the three night package with Fanatics includes your accommodation (with the choice of Hotel, Hostel or Beach camping), transport to and from the festival – there is nothing better than being covered in rotten warm tomatoes then hoping onto a nice cool bus with a towel and a change of clothes waiting for you – entry into the festival, included breakfast (only included in some of the packages), free fanatics t-shirt, joint parties and pub crawls with the other Fanatics teams. Each ‘tour’ length is three nights and four days and if you want to stay in a hotel it will cost you around $AUD358-$438, a hostel between $AUD338-$378 and for the beach camping depending if you chose two nights or three, $AUD258-$298. Otherwise you can do it on your own which requires you booking your hostel or apartment in advance and taking the tram and train to and from Brunol – much easier if you have a big group.

SPAIN26

For those of you who haven’t heard of La Tomantina, it’s a one hour long festival held in the normally quiet streets of Brunol. It begins with people trying to climb up a pig fat greased 8 metre post to grab the ham up the top and then between 11:00am – 12:00pm the streets get even more packed with huge trucks filled with tomatoes enter the street and that’s when the real mess begins. It’s a fight for your life and the closer to the centre you are, the more fun you will have!

SPAIN27

SPAIN28

SPAIN29

SPAIN30

As of 2013 the rules in La Tomantina have changed, the streets of Brunol we’re filled with 50,000 + people and anyone could join in on the festival. This meant crazy locals trying to rip off girls’ clothing – word of advice, don’t wear just a bikini top or bra try opt for the sports bra and a couple pairs of underwear just in case – and hundreds of people passing out and getting injured from being trampled by the large amount of people. Now apparently you must pay a small entry fee to get into all the action of the tomatoes being thrown and now won’t accept any more than 22,000 people. I did meet many people who didn’t enjoy the festival, as when I went in 2012 you were running the risk of being absolutely trampled and unable to breathe in the packed streets, but I was very lucky to have made a large group of friends whom we all stuck together.

Even if you’re in Spain and it’s not the time for La Tomantina, Valencia is still a great city to visit if you get the chance as its Spain’s third largest city. The main street is buzzing with cafes and delicious food, if you LOVE your tapas like I do there are many different places with good priced and extremely scrumptious tapas available. There are some good bars and pubs all lined together, like Finnegan’s and the couple surrounding it. With cheap jugs of Sangria – you’re in Spain, what else would you drink? Take the free walking tour through the city and get to see some of the main attraction like the cathedral quarter, the town hall and some of the city’s most iconic buildings like Plaza de Toros and the Estacion del Norte. Lastly if you have the time, take the tram from the city centre to the beach, splurge on a massage by the sea and enjoy the sunshine.

SPAIN31

SPAIN32

Barcelona: During the peak season I highly suggest booking your Barcelona accommodation in advance. I knew I would head there after the La Tomantina festival in Valencia, but I didn’t exactly know when. So along with a few friends I had met along the way we struggled to find accommodation close enough to La Rambla – the main strip in Barcelona – and where most people choose to stay. We found accommodation at Equidy Point Centric Hostel, and though there is nothing wrong with it, it’s cleaned daily, affordable for Barcelona $AUD26-$40 (€18-€28), big breakfast included, an awesome terrace and bar which sometimes hold second hand markets and huge dorm rooms it’s just a little big for my liking and if I had been on my own I would have searched a little harder for better accommodation as even in our small group other people were unwilling to socialise with us.

When it comes to Barcelona there are so many hostels it may be difficult to choose where to stay. From what other people have told me and fellow travellers I met along the way, the best hostels to stay at are any from the Sant Jordi chain. Sant Jordi have six hostels around Barcelona all offering different benefits and in different locations. Directly from their website http://www.santjordihostels.com; Sant Jordi Hostel Rock Palace – The ideal choice for music lovers and fans of all things Rock, with the most innovative hostel facilities in the city. Sant Jordi Hostel Gracia – Perfect for those in search of the authentic Barcelona, a boutique hostel in the coolest part of town. Sant Jordi Hostel Sagrada Familia – The skateboard hostel, fun, lively and always something happening. Sant Jordi Hostel Mambo Tango – Vintage style and mellow vibe, it’s the hip hostel in Barcelona. Sant Jordi Hostel Alberg/Lluria – The spot for party-loving-backpackers who just want to have a good time. Sant Jordi Apt. Sagrada Familia – The place for a relaxed homey feel, apartment style living with all the benefits of a hostel.

SPAIN33

One thing you will learn very quickly when arriving to Spain is that the locals strongly believe in siestas, so strongly that if you try to go anywhere between 2:00p.m. – 4:00p.m., sometimes even 6:00p.m. nothing will be open and the streets deserted. Especially in the small towns, but as Barcelona is always buzzing you won’t have that issue. Another thing you will slowly pick up on is their eating schedules, dinner isn’t served until after 9:00pm and the nightlife doesn’t pick up until at least 1:00am. If you spend long enough in Spain you will slowly adjust to the Spanish lifestyle and wish it was totally acceptable to nap every afternoon back home.

SPAIN34

SPAIN35

There is so much to do in Barcelona you need to make sure you book at least a week just to fit everything in! I stayed for ten days and that was nowhere near enough for my leisurely time spent there, just like the Spanish. Walk up and down La Rambla checking out the souvenir stalls and countless jugglers, musicians and the living human statues. The further you walk down the better the stalls will get and you will be pleasantly surprised by the gorgeous silver jewellery, arts and crafts and bits and bobs being sold.

SPAIN36

About half way down La Rambla there is a fresh produce market, La Boqueria, one of my all-time favourite markets in the whole of Europe and open from Monday – Saturday. Enjoy freshly squeezed juices for only €1 and buy some amazing fruit, vegetables, seafood – some live and yummy meats to bring back to your hostel for later. Another food market a little further out of town but worth the visit as it’s filled with much less tourists, is the Sant Anotini Market which is also open Monday – Saturday but is closed between 2:30p.m. – 5:00p.m. for siesta.

SPAIN37

SPAIN38

SPAIN39

As with larger cities I highly recommend taking up the offer on the free walking tours, and Barcelona has a few you can choose from, from many different companies. The Gothic Quarter tour was incredible as it was something a little different and highly interesting, most tours will take you to Barcino, the Ancient Roman temple of Augustus, Wilfred the Hairy & the Catalan Flag, Placa Nova and the Cathedal of Barcelona, Casa de l’Ardiaca, Placa de Sant Felip Neri, Church of Santa Maria del Pi, Placa del Rei and Placa Ramon. What about the Old City tour where you can explore Placa Del Pi, Placa Reial, The old Jewish quarter, Placa Sant Jaume, the Cathedral cloister, Placa Sant Felip Neri, the Roman city, the Medieval city and Santa Maria Del Mar. You can also jump on the free Gaudi tour which covers Placa Reial, Casa Mila, Casa Batllo, Sagrada Familia (if you don’t do the tour check out some of his works in your own time, they’re spectacular!) and Palau Guell. Some of them will overlap also depending on the tour company used, but they’re honestly the best way to see some main sites of Barcelona and immerse yourself in the history and culture.

SPAIN40

SPAIN41

When it comes to the nightlife in Barcelona there is no word to describe it, the clubs are huge and the Spanish definitely know how to party. Clubs like Razzmatazz and Opium will have you partying until the late mornings and won’t be a night you will forget. Though if you’re looking for somewhere closer to the centre of Barcelona there is one place I can’t recommend enough, Sub Rosa Cocktail Bar. A hidden gem located at Carrer Rauric, 23 just off Placa Reial is a bar not to be missed. We found it by chance as we staggered through the small alleyways and came back every evening for our remaining days in Barcelona. The cocktail list is huge and the bartenders will surprise you with many different drinks filled with flavoursome concoctions. Cocktails are only €3 during happy hour and €6 afterwards, though some nights they will have €3 cocktails for the ladies all evening. You will find the small bar filled with locals as it’s not easily found by the young tourists wanting to hit the huge clubs I mentioned previously. The decor is spectacular filled with vintage paintings and antique bits and bobs and I beg you to visit Sub Rosa at least once during your stay.

SPAIN43

SPAIN42

SPAIN44

Because Barcelona is a huge city one of the best ways to get around is via bike. A large group of us hired some gorgeous pastel vintage bikes for €9 for four hours – many places around La Rambla and even your hostel will offer bike hire. We rode to the gardens that surround the Barcelona Zoo, as there was a huge lake in the centre with paddle boats and an enormous fountain in the centre. On our last day in Barcelona some new friends and I went back to the Barcelona Zoo gardens for a delicious picnic and to explore the park by foot and spent hours climbing trees and catching up on some much needed sleep in the sunshine. If you still have more time with your bikes, ride up to the Gaudi gardens as they are spectacular, be warned of the steep hills you will face along the way, but you can always take the tram or metro as they’re a fair way from the centre of town.

SPAIN45

SPAIN46

SPAIN47

If you’re looking for something else to do at night before you head out for a night on the town, take the metro to the ‘Magic Fountain’ of Montjuic. Every night except Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday during the summertime this large fountain puts on a little show with music and coloured lights as the fountain ‘dances’ along for the twenty minute performance.

SPAIN48

Stop everything you’re doing right now and pay attention to this next segment. Are you heavily into flea markets as I am? Do you love crawling on all fours to dig through piles and piles of clothing to find that spectacular piece? Then there is only one place you must dedicate an entire morning too and that’s the Mercat Del Encants Flea market, one of the largest flea markets in the whole of Europe.

SPAIN49

SPAIN50

It’ open from 8:30a.m. and even though it’s supposed to be open until the late afternoon, most stall holders will close around midday. It’s open every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday but each Saturday is absolutely mental so it’s highly suggested you head there on a weekday if you can. You will have to take the tram to get there as it’s a little further from the centre of town but you won’t be disappointed. You will see piles upon piles of clothing for only €1 and you must dig amongst it all to find something special. You can buy yummy cooked food at this market too, along with anything from fabrics, antiques, adult videos, cosmetics, old cameras, electronics and kitchen appliances but the best part of all is the clothing. Some of the girls and I spent about five hours at this market and I could have spent a lot longer had I not already filled two bags worth of goodies!

SPAIN51

San Sebastian: Unfortunately as the years go on San Sebastian gets filled with more and more tourists and though it was one of my favourite cities in the whole of Europe, people I’ve only recently spoken too didn’t share the same fondness about it as I did. In 2012 it was still filled with tourists but I guess not in the same way as it is today. The beaches are beautiful and like La Concha Beach and if you swim out to the middle of the water you will find jumping platforms filled with locals playing around, the atmosphere is enjoyable and even though I usually spend most days by the beach wherever I am, I didn’t want to leave the ones in San Sebastian. Take a little walk along the coast line, the scenery is beautiful and you will then find yourself at the surf beach. The sand isn’t as pleasant but if you’re into surfing the waves are incredible and it’s fun to grab an ice cream on the beach and watch the surfers.

SPAIN52

SPAIN45

SPAIN53

SPAIN54

When it comes to choosing a hostel in San Sebastian you want to stay in the old town as it’s filled with culture, old buildings and the streets are lined with cobble stones. Roger’s House is a very small hostel and that’s what makes it so perfect. Roger will go out of his way to make sure you’re comfortable and happy with your stay. Enjoy a yummy hearty dinner that changes nightly for everyone to gather together for only €5 cooked by Roger and fellow hostel staff. The beds are comfortable, the lockers are large and even though there’s no common room everyone gathers together in the kitchen and it’s very easy to meet people. One of the major benefits of staying at Roger’s House is that the two back balcony’s overlook the Plaza de la Constitucion – the old bullfighting ring – and during the summertime this is the place where most of the outdoor events are held so you will have the best seat in the house for musicals, orchestra performances and you may even wake up to a small bull arena outside your window. A bed at Roger’s will cost you around $AUD40-$45 (€27-€30) during the peak season and unfortunately you will find any and all accommodation very pricey in San Sebastian.

SPAIN55

SPAIN57

In the old town don’t expect a hectic nightlife as there isn’t one, but if you want a big night out Roger and some of the other staff from the hostel will take you into the new town for a very big night out! Most of the bars close around 1:00a.m. in the old town, but after you’ve spent hours upon hours stuffing you face with tapas and sangria from moving bar to bar your body will hardly allow you to move. Check online too for free night festivals as we were lucky to find by chance a well-known Spanish DJ, set up by the beach and hundreds of people randomly flocked to the sound of the music and cheap drinks.

SPAIN58

So the next day I suggest having a little explore of San Sebastian; Hike up to St James and enjoy the views of the breathtaking Basque coast as you walk along what was once a Christian pilgrimage route to the town of Santiago de Compostela. Take a stroll through the new town of San Sebastian, nowhere near as beautiful as the old town but take a look at the small boutiques and cafes, homemade ice cream and chocolate stores, as well as the mainstream shops.

SPAIN59

SPAIN60

On the opposite side of the coast line you can take the funicular – an old school carriage – up to the old style fairground, Monte Igueldo. Feel like a child again as you ride roller-coaster, eat fairy floss and use the bumper carts. Don’t expect anything flashy as it’s very old and hasn’t been renovated in years, but it really was a lot of fun! The funicular is only €2 for a return trip but some prefer to take the steep hike along the public road to enjoy the fantastic panoramic view once up the top. One night we headed up on the funicular again wanting to ride the roller-coaster but instead found a free concert being held with hundreds of people enjoying the music.

SPAIN61

SPAIN62

SPAIN63

SPAIN64

You will be surprised at how many free festivals and events there are during the summertime in San Sebastian. Street fairs appear out of nowhere and rowing regattas take place. It’s really lovely to just take a stroll along the beach and pick up snacks from the food vendors selling sweets, grilled corn and of course, muscles.

SPAIN65

SPAIN66

Like I’ve previously mentioned Spain is known for their sangria and tapas, you will hear the word ‘pintxos’ being thrown around San Sebastian, so one place that is definitely worth a visit is The Muscle Bar! Formally called La Mejillonera and located at Calle del Puerto 15. The seafood is fresh and don’t be overwhelmed by the atmosphere of loud cheering men and the muscles and rubbish thrown all over the floor, that’s just the way that it is. Stuff yourself silly with potatoes bravas, tegres, marinara, and many different sauces over muscles, calamari bravas and then wash it all down with a litre of sangria for €5. Don’t expect tables and chairs or even waiter service as they don’t exist but it’s highly enjoyable and really worth a visit.

SPAIN67

SPAIN68

SPAIN69

If you’re lucky enough to have travelled to San Sebastian it’s also worth taking a trip to Bilbao. Unfortunately I didn’t know how incredible it was otherwise I would have gone there too, but many people have suggested it too me since so I hope you get the opportunity.

Madrid: To me Madrid was very average and if you don’t need to go here I suggest you spend that time somewhere else in Spain. I headed to Madrid after my time spent in Portugal as my flight home was leaving from Madrid and to be fair it is the cheapest flight I could find leaving from Spain. Madrid wasn’t all horrible; I did meet some great people at my hostel, 360 Hostel Centro, which can be hard to do as it’s a very large hostel with multiple common rooms but it was cheap and reception was open 24/7 which was what I needed to take my early flight. 360 Hostel Centro has great facilities and especially their full equipped kitchen, as a group we cooked communal meals in the hostel and once you have that solid group of friends it does make your experience more enjoyable. A bed at 360 Hostel Centro will cost you around $AUD19-$24 (€13-€17) during the peak season but it’s a great location to the centre of town, the main attractions in Madrid and only a couple minutes’ walk from Plaza del Sol.

SPAIN70

If you are spending a whole day in Madrid there is still plenty to do like taking the free walking tour through the city and seeing some major attractions like Royal Palace, The Royal Opera House, Plaza Mayor, Moorish Ruins, Chuch of San Gines, Catedral de Almundena, the world’s oldest restaurant and learn more about the Spanish Inquisition, the Spanish civil war and the origins of tapas.

SPAIN71

SPAIN72

With the same group I had met at the hostel we went to the large gardens of Casa de Campo which is actually five times bigger than New York’s Central Park. The gardens feature a large lake where you will find small boats and during the school year, teams practice kayaking for competitions. Pack a huge picnic and spend the afternoon drinking sangria in the sunshine and eating prosciutto.

SPAIN73

SPAIN74

SPAIN75

Head over to Madrid’s Art Triangle and check out some of the museums like The Museo del Prado, the Reina Sofía and the Thyssen-Bornemisza. Also enjoy the atmosphere of the many streets performances covering the area. If you’re lucky to be in Madrid on a Sunday head to the El Rastro flea market and navigate your way through the large crowds and loud vendors. I’m sure there is lot more to see in Madrid if you took the time to explore and got to know the locals better, but for me personally it was just another large city with no authenticity or culture and there is so much more of Spain I would prefer to spend time in.

SPAIN76

SPAIN77

One great thing about Madrid being my last city before heading home was the shopping, every shop you can imagine plus more is located in the city of Madrid. The streets are packed with people and you can enjoy the delicious cake shops selling yummy treats all throughout the busy streets.

SPAIN78

SPAIN72

I wasn’t very interested in heading to Ibiza alone because the majority of people there are on tours or in large groups so I gave it a miss. After spending so long in Spain I didn’t have the chance to even check out some of the smaller Spanish islands, though lucky for you Little Travel Gypsy Editor Olivia discovered the islands of Menorca, Mallorca and Ibiza, so here is her advice on these places.

Wanting to go to Ibiza but not wanting to do it solo, I booked a week-long Busabout Ibiza Island Hopper, which included Menorca and Mallorca. It is extremely easy to get to Menorca from Barcelona either by air or by sea, but taking the overnight ferry is much cheaper, approximately €50 for a nine hour voyage. To travel between the islands take the local ferry.

Menorca is stunning; the sun blazes down on the old town and the stone streets are reflective, so grab an ice cream and find some shade before it melts! The beaches are pristine and not overly crowded and there is seafood in abundance. But the real draw is the nightlife. If you go anywhere in Menorca, go to Cova d’en Xoroi, the cave club. This club is unlike any cave club in Europe because it is nestled 100m above sea level and the view is amazing. Add good drinks and good music and you’ll be crawling home at daybreak.

Mallorca is much larger than Menorca and gives off the vibe of a tacky tourist town. The island of choice for German party-goers, Mallorca often has signs and tourist t-shirts in German, which almost makes you forget that you’re in Spain! Though tacky and overcrowded, the waterfront in Mallorca is buzzing with restaurants, bars and clubs – perfect for a good night out. Pro tip: book a day on a catamaran, because who doesn’t love to day party on a boat with your closest friends?

Full disclosure: I didn’t rate Ibiza and I probably wouldn’t have gone if I had known what to expect. The fact is that to do Ibiza without breaking the bank will involve either total sobriety or a ton of drugs. When a bottle of water is €8, you can guess how much it might cost to get drunk. So if you’re into drugs and EDM, you’ll have the best time of your life. If not, maybe give it a miss and go to Menorca or Mallorca. That said, Avicii at Ushuaia was one of the best nights of my trip.

It’s very easy to get around Spain via bus and it’s simple to navigate your way from city to city. The bus company I used for all my journeys through Spain was the ALSA bus company. The best thing to do to make sure your ticket is secure is to head to the bus station prior to your journey to book and pay for your ticket at the counter. The trip from Madrid to Barcelona costs around €25 one way and from Barcelona to Seville, which is one of the longest trips you could do (15 to 17 hours), you pay up to €82 one way.

Getting to and from Spain can be long and painful, so depending on how much time you have check out some of the cheaper airlines like RyanAir or WizzAir. Paris to Barcelona: this is a very long journey, most people will travel through France and then onto Barcelona but if you choose to take this route and plan ahead, you can find train ticket with TGV from €59 one way or take the bus for €89 with Eurolines. Lisbo to Madrid: €40 with Eurolines. Marrakesh, Morocco to Seville: this is the journey I took and it’s very easy to find cheap flights at around €40-€70 with the airlines mentioned above.

SPAIN80

Even though I spent seven weeks in Spain, it did not feel like enough. I would love to return one day to explore the smaller towns, villages and islands that most tourists bypass. I would consider working in a school in the south so that I could learn Spanish.Either way Spain is still so beautiful and so even if you’re strapped for time it doesn’t matter where you go, because the entire country is spectacular.

by Chanel Sudarski