Articles posted in Adventures and Activities

15 articles


Barcelona’s Tallest Buildings!

Although Spain is known for its wonderful weather, glorious beaches, and luxury villas with private pools in Barcelona and other popular resort destinations, it’s not exactly famous for its skyscrapers. However, there are certainly a few buildings of note in the country, with Barcelona itself boasting some impressive structures that are well worth visiting. Here’s a guide to Barcelona’s tallest buildings above 100m:

  • Torre Mapfre — 154m

Located in the Port Olímpic area of the city, Torre Mapfre is an office building home to many different firms, spread across 44 floors. However, it’s most famous for featuring Spain’s highest helipad. If you’re staying in a Barcelona holiday rental nearby, it’s worth popping out after sundown to see it all lit up.

  • Torre Agbar — 144m

Opened in 2005, Torre Agbar is one of the newest skyscrapers in Barcelona. Primarily an office building, the unusual (and somewhat phallic!) design of the building is considered to be a prime example of modern ‘high tech’ architecture. Again, slip out of your Barcelona villa at night to enjoy the illuminations.

 

  • Diagonal ZeroZero — 110m

Yet another example of high-tech architecture, Diagonal ZeroZero is another looming office building that can be seen from the streets of Barcelona. With 25 floors in total, this building holds a prime location in Barcelona, overlooking the stunning coast and close to some of the city’s most beautiful beaches.

The Skyscraper that Never Was

While we’re talking about Barcelona skyscrapers, let’s spare a thought for the 148m tall Torre La Sagrera: the Barcelona landmark that was never built! Designed by Frank Gehry, the proposed office building was supposed to me much more than just a structure; it was anticipated to become the hottest location in Barcelona, with a public park, transportation museum, and other attractions built in the grounds.


Guell Palace – 3 Things that you probably don’t know!

1.The first and (most important!) thing that you may not know, is that you can visit for free Pallau Güell every first Sunday of the month!

2. This palace was actually the house of Eusebi Güell, the good friend of the architect Antoni Gaudí, which was the one who designed the palace as well.

3. It has the title of the world’s first Art Nouveau building and features a darker palette with an explosion of color on the roof. (Specially recommended to visit during sunset hour).

Photographer : Elina Aktipi

Copyright © September 18. All rights received.


Film Locations in Barcelona & Surrounding Areas

You don’t need to travel to Hollywood to see some famous TV and movie locations with your own eyes. Barcelona is actually one of the most filmed destinations in the world thanks to its sunny weather, great lighting, and, of course, it’s fascinating architecture. Filming in Barcelona is also relatively easy, with a range of permits on offer enabling filming at some of the city’s most notable sights, including thoroughfares, municipal markets, cemeteries, and a number of parks, gardens, and beach locations.

Woody Allen’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona showed off some spectacular Spanish properties (which left many viewers wanting to buy a home in Spain!), but it is, perhaps, most well known for the sightseeing scenes at Sagrada Familia and Casa Mila. These are two top film locations in Barcelona, and are very easy to visit during your trip. Sagrada Familia is famous for its unfinished facade, while Casa Mila is well worth visiting for its highly unusual blend of geometric design and asymmetrical twists: another Gaudi masterpiece!

If you’re a lover of older cinema, you may be surprised by how much Catalonia has changed in recent years. The Passenger, a Jack Nicholson film released in 1975, shows a much darker side to Barcelona than we’d see if we were to visit today. Gone is the unkempt, sparse, almost seedy Las Ramblas from the film, replaced with a much brighter, airier, and cosmopolitan street that’s fast become one of the city’s top places for shopping, eating, and drinking. Barcelona has evolved significantly within the past 30 years!

Recently, filming in Barcelona has enjoyed a new surge, and Catalonia has hit the headlines for featuring in what is arguably one of the hottest shows of the century: George R.R. Martin’s Games of Thrones. It comes as no surprise, really, as Catalonia is filled with historic castles, stunning nature, and cobbled medieval villages that look just like the fairytale kingdoms of Westeros. If you fancy laying your eyes on a Game of Thrones filming location, head to Girona, where the cast have been spotted hanging out!


Top 4 Cathedrals in Menorca!

It is hardly surprising that on the beautiful island of Menorca you can find a number of churches, cathedrals and religious spots. Although many of the churches that you will see dotted around are small, they play an extremely important role in the lives of the locals. If you have accommodation in Menorca, there are a few spots that you simply can’t miss.

Ciutadella Cathedral

This mighty building is located in the island town of Ciutadella, and is arguably one of the most impressive pieces of architecture on the island. Originally, the cathedral was built on the site of an ancient mosque, however was badly damaged in the 16th century by a fire, so had to be remodelled. The building is filled with so much detail, be it the stone carvings or the Neo-Gothic canopy, the outcome is very impressive.

 

Santa Clara Church

A small group of nuns still live in this historical attraction in Ciutadella. The church has been destroyed on several occasions since it’s building, such as in 1558 in the Turkish raid, or during the Spanish Civil War. After being rebuilt, it still contains much of its former splendour, including its intricate wooden carvings, and is worth a trip out from your Menorca vacation villa.

Sant Francesc Church

This church is located in the island’s capital of Mahon. It is a very appealing building thanks to its white walls and Baroque facade. The interior of the church is just as attractive as the exterior thanks to detailed decoration and large gothic alter. The church can easily been seen as part of a tour of the city, and won’t take long to explore.

Sant Antoni Church

This is a very popular location for many of the island’s cultural events and it is a popular place of worship. It is worth seeing this church as part of a larger tour of the island from your Menorca villa.


Experience Girona through the art of photography!

Girona, is a city and Spanish municipality, capital of the homonymous province and the region of Gironés, in the autonomous community of Catalonia.

River Oniar, Girona

River Oniar, Girona

La Devesa Park, Girona

Old town, Girona (Barri Vell)

Old town, Girona (Barri Vell)

Old town, Girona (Barri Vell)

Old town, Girona (Barri Vell)

Photographer : Elina Aktipi

Copyright © July 18. All rights received.


4 Restaurants in Costa Brava with Stunning Views

You picked your rental villa in Costa Brava specifically for its stunning views, so why should you expect anything less from your dining experience? These four restaurants all offer amazing views of Costa Brava and/or the ocean that you don’t want to miss!
#1. Talla
With stunning views of the bay on top of a steep hill, Talla offers beauty and delicious dishes! Their menu consists of Mediterranean, Spanish, and European cuisine, each one a work of art. Though the inside seating is cozy, the real reason to visit is the bright and fun outdoor seating where you can enjoy the view and the cool, delicious breezes off the bay. People-watch, watch the boats come in and out of the bay, and relax.

#2. Restaurante Pizzeria Da Giovanni
This Italian and Spanish restaurant not only offers an amazing view of the bay, but a stunning look at the muralla medieval, or medieval wall. Though the restaurant itself is simple, the views and delicious food more than compensate for the mall-style dining area. They offer many traditional Spanish and Italian dishes but are best known for their paellas and tapas.

#3. La Blava
This former fishing house is on the beach, giving you one of the best beach views in Costa Brava! The style of the house is decidedly Mediterranean with a hint of Greece and features an open, yet intimate atmosphere that you are sure to enjoy. They offer simple Mediterranean cuisine with only fresh, local produce. They bring to light the essence of the Mediterranean diet through vegetables, rice, fish, and olive oil mixed in creative and delicious ways.

#4. Tapas del Mar
Traditional Mediterranean cuisine pairs with gorgeous views of the Costa Brava sea and mountains in Tapas del Mar. The food comes from family recipes that the chefs want to share with you so that you will hopefully enjoy them as much as their families always have. The chefs welcome you personally, and the restaurant itself is intimate, modern, and beautiful. They use local produce and try to keep their meals simple yet absolutely delicious. You are certain to enjoy any meal here and you’ll probably want to try them all!

Now that you’ve satisfied your eyes and your stomach, you can return to your gorgeous Costa Brava holiday rental for a quiet, relaxing evening.


Adventures and Activities

We hope you are looking forward to your vacation and we want to ensure you have a wonderful time and experience all of the wonders of Catalonia. For this purpose, we offer an abundance of extra services for your enjoyment.

We have partnered with a variety of popular tourist attractions (zoo, waterparks, theme parks, etc.) where you can purchase discounted tickets directly from our website; however we also pride ourselves on catering to the ‘anti-tourists’ of the world. For this reason if you are interested in a private wine tour, cooking classes in your villa, private flamenco lessons, a magic extravaganza for the kids, or even Spanish lessons for your beloved pet(?), we can arrange it! The only limit is your imagination and our dedicated concierge team will gladly help you personalize your villa rental experience. Some popular and most requested services are listed below; however should any other variety of possibilities tickle your fancy please contact us directly here to make your vacation memorable.


Golf

gold-catalunya-casasDid you know that Catalonia and Barcelona have some of the most prestigious golf courses in Europe? If you are a keen golfer, you will be delighted to discover that less than an hour from the centre of Barcelona (and in the near region of Catalunya Casas) there is an excellent range of internationally recognised golf courses.

Choose an impromptu golf day while on vacation or arrive to a tailor made golf holiday suited to your level, group size, and duration of stay. Don’t worry about packing your clubs along – we provide them! And thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate, you can play in perfect conditions 365 days a year.


Flamenco Lessons

Flamenco - Spain - Catalunya casasThe traditional dance of flamenco originated from southern Spain and incorporates music and meaningful moves of the body. A combination of cante (singing), toque (guitar playing), baile (moving), and jaleo alludes to the vocalizations and musical hints of palm
as (handclapping) and pitos (finger snapping).

 

Forms of flamenco expression:

Toque (guitar) : A flamenco guitar is similar to an acoustic guitar yet with a more slender arm. It is utilized as a part of toque, the guitar-having of the specialty of flamenco.

Cante (song) : The flamenco song, or cante, is one of the three principle segments of flamenco. The dancer performs the dance to the song and adds elements of snapping and stomping to the melody.

Baile (dance) : El baile flamenco is known for its passionate force with expressive utilization of the arms and cadenced stomping of the feet. The traje de flamenca (“flamenco outfit”) is the ensemble worn by female flamenco dancers.

If your flamenco curiosity is piqued, we can arrange for a flamenco class to be held at your villa during your holiday! Please inquire for more information.


In Villa Tastings

Tapas

Products from small artisan suppliers are closely identified with Spain. Embellish the landscape through taste and smell! Our award winning chefs are dedicated to cuisine and local products, and are open to any proposal which excites you as much as it does us.

In Villa Tasting – Wine with Sweets: This is a wine tasting session paired with pastry creations by Chef Joan Muntada, Maître Chocolatier. The session will also allow you to discover regional wines that combine perfectly with desserts. 30 Euros per person + IVA

Wine and Deli meat tasting: Ham is one of the star products of Spanish and Catalan cuisine, we offer six different types accompanied with a variety of local wines. 30 Euros per person + IVA

Wine and Catalan cheese tasting: Spanish wine and cheeses pairing. From the Torta Del Casar Cabrales, through Manchego or Mahon. Always with the company of wine that is most representative of Spain. A sensory journey through the Iberian Peninsula. 30 Euros per person + IVA

Six wines, six tapas: You will taste six of the most typical tapas of our culinary culture with accompanying wines or cavas. 30 Euros per person + IVA


Spanish cooking lessons for the whole family

paellas

Cook your own seafood paella: We will bring all the necessary items and expertise, so that you can prepare your own paella and then enjoy it with your fellow guests. You’ll find it easier than you think. 31 Euros per person + IVA

Sausage extravaganza: ‘Buitfarra’ is the most traditional of the Catalan meat products. Our expert chefs make it with you from scratch starting with your choice of sausage meat (or tofu) followed by a typical Spanish BBQ. 20 Euros per person + IVA.

Tapa treats: Tapas are one of the most unique elements of Spain’s culinary culture. Learn more about them by cooking some of the most representative ones. 33 Euros per person + IVA

From the garden to the table: Visit one of our orchards and pick up some of the products of the season. Depending on the season, we will be in full harvest for many vegetables we use to prepare dishes like refreshing gazpacho, or delicious salads. Fresher and tastier, impossible! 25 Euros per person + IVA


Massage

Experience a full body massage in the comfort of your villa with a professional and experienced beautician. Prices are 70 Euros/hour + IVA.

 

 

 


Mountain Biking Excursion

Experience the thrill of experiencing the local mountains with an experienced guide on mountain bike.

The price for a 3 hour excursion is 40 euros per person + IVA.

 

 


Horse Riding Excursions

Our experienced and professional guide Lauri will guide you on an incredible adventure on horseback into the local and breathtaking mountain trails. This is truly an excursion not to be missed and Lauri caters to all levels of riders. We also offer children’s days where you learn how to wash, brush and care for horses as well as riding lessons. We can even arrange a private horse show for your group.  30 Euros per hour + IVA.


Mountain Trail Trek

Sant_Llorenç_del_MuntWe have various routes for trekking with an experienced mountain guide. Our routes include the following:

1. Evening lantern hike: This is a local Catalan tradition and involves hiking the local mountain after dark with miners helmets and lights. An experience not to be missed! 25 Euros per person + IVA (not including dinner)

2. Day trek to La Mola Monastery and lunch: This trek takes you to the top of the Mountain (45 minutes or 2 hours each way – depending on preference and level of fitness) where you will have lunch in a local Catalan restaurant overlooking views of the entire Valles Occidental. There is no access for vehicles to this area and food for the restaurant is transported on donkeys. 25 Euros per person + IVA (not including lunch).