Spring is my second favourite season, not only do the days start to get longer but we also have a handful of bank holidays to look forward to. I usually use every chance I have to get on a plane, but I also want to use this time to explore Spain a little more. If you’re looking for a short-haul weekend away, here are some of my recommendations.
Growing up whenever I said I was going to Marbella, really we all meant a night out in Puerto Banus, but Marbella town also has a lot to offer. Here you can either spend a whole day shopping in the centre or at the nearby shopping centre of La Cañada or treat yourself to a spa weekend at Marbella Club Thalasso Spa or the Six Senses Spa at Puente Romano Beach Resort. If you are looking
for a bit more of a party, then nightclubs like Pangea and Olivia Valere are good options.
Marbella has no shortage of good places to eat, and depending on your budget these are some I’d recommend. If you’re a meat lover, then head to Dani Garcia’s restaurant Lena. You can buy a tasting menu here for 75 euros, so it makes it a great place to go for a special occasion. Nobu hotel also has a great japanese restaurant but it’s on the more expensive side. Wabi Sabi is a cheaper option that has funky interiors and serves Hawaiian food, so expect poke bowls, unique burgers, bao buns, tacos and more!
Cadiz town is a quaint place, it has lots of cobbled streets and it can be easy to get lost here! We spent a night here and we had such great food that I’d go back just for that. Restaurant Balandro is always fully booked, and has a range of fusion tapas and dishes. We walked passed earlier in the day and managed to book a table for the evening, although the seatings are only for an hour and a half. If you go here, I definitely recommend the truffle tagliatelle and the tuna tartare. I have sushi pretty much everywhere I go, so if you’re the same then book a table at Feng Shui Street. If you fancy finishing the night with something quirky, there is a bar called La Chupiteria that has over 100 shots on the board, and only cost 2 euros each!
In terms of sight-seeing, make sure you stop and look at the Catedral de Cadiz, the Teatro Romano, the Parque Genoves and Torre Tavira for the best views in the city.
If you’re looking for a few photo opportunities in Mijas, then head to the Old Town. You’ll find it is full of white houses, flower pots, cobblestones and the Plaza de Torros. Which is also a great place to grab a cerveza and some tapas! If the weather permits, you can also visit the Aquamijas water park. After spending a couple of days in the Spanish heat, throwing yourself in pools is exactly what you’ll want to do. The park is open from June until late September and they also have discounted tickets for children.
If you’re a fan of quirky museums, then pay a visit to the Museo de Miniaturas. As the name suggests, the museum is full of hundreds of miniature items picked up by the hypnotist and magician Juan Elegido Millan. One of the most interesting pieces is a painting of the Seven Wonders of the World, on a toothpick, yes a toothpick.
In the evening, take a walk through the Paseo Maritimo, where the atmosphere doesn’t die down until after midnight, even on weekdays! I recommend eating at Timollo Limon here.
Seville, or Sevilla is a firm favourite for many. My primary reason for visiting Seville was because I wanted to pace around Real Alcazar, which if you’re a Game of Thrones fan you’ll recognise as the place where the Kingdom of Dorne was set. This place is beautiful and only sets you back 12 euros for a ticket to the palace and gardens, just make sure you buy these online prior to your visit because the queues for this get very long. Within its walls and gardens you can see a mixture of the cultures and religious influences that have helped make the palace what it looks like today.
Parque De Maria Luisa is a very picturesque walk where you can rent bicycles, cycling carts and take a ride on a horse and carriage. In here you’ll also find the Plaza De Espana, where you can row boats and admire the architecture and these murals dedicated to all of the Spanish provinces.
Some scattered landmarks that you might want to check out are the Seville Cathedral, Torre de Oro (a gold tower) which was built in the 13th century and used as a prison; it got its name because apparently the reflection on the water looked gold. The Giralda (a renaissance-style gothic tower) is also a site of interest.
We stumbled upon El Papelon for lunch and we all ate really well. They specialise in meat and cheeses, but definitely try the carillada here! If you’d like to stop for some coffee and cake, then La Creme de la Creme and Santagloria are good choices and have tons of breakfast options too. For dinner we found la Taberna Del Torneo which got very busy very quickly, which means they serve you quickly and pretty much want you to move quickly after finishing your meal to make space for the next guests. The food here was delicious and cheap. We had honey glazed aubergines, mini burgers and a whole bunch of other tasty tapas. Triana is quite a hip area and there is plenty of restaurant and cafe choices on your doorstep. The Mercado de Triana is a good spot to find everything from paella to oysters to croquettes.