February 11, 2019
What to Wear in Spain: Winter Edition

What to Wear in Spain: Winter Edition

February 11, 2019
what wear spain packing list fashion europe travel outfit women winter non-tourist
Being and organization freak, one of the first things I make when I prepare for a trip is a packing list. When you are going to a destination you've never been before the process of packing can be daunting. On this post I'm giving you, fellow female traveler, ideas on what to wear in Spain in winter. I'm going to cover questions such as: how to look like a local, what are the best shoes to wear in Spain in winter or what clothes won't make you look like a tourist.
what wear spain packing list fashion europe travel outfit women winter non-tourist


what wear spain packing list fashion europe travel outfit women winter non-tourist
How to make your packing list
The process that I follow to plan what I'm wearing when I travel is the following: after I have the itinerary lined up, I check the weather for every day that I'm going to spend in my destination, I get a calendar and write down what I plan to wear every single day from head to toe. That way I don't over-pack and I don't forget anything.

What to consider when traveling to Spain
Weather: many people think that Spain is always warm which is wrong. The weather varies a lot from north to south all year but specially in winter. Temperature can also change a lot from day to night. You'll need lots of layers in the north like what I'm wearing in these photos which were taken in Leon, and if you visit northern regions like Galicia your umbrella will be your best friend. If you go to Andalusia you will still need a coat but you'll probably be able to wear it open or even take it off some winter days. Even though snow is rare, pack a scarf, hat and gloves.
Cobble stone streets: apart from all the walking you are going to do, bear in mind that there are plenty of cobble stone streets in Spain, especially if you are visiting smaller towns.
Look like a local: Spaniards like to dress well in general so, if in doubt, dress up instead of down. If you want to fit in I advice you to keep it on the preppy side. Casual clothes that are comfortable but not sporty: long sleeved button downs, sweaters, cozy knits, jeans, skirts with thick tights...
Dining out: in big cities people wear really nice clothes when dining out at a fancy restaurant, in smaller places you can keep it a bit more casual. If dinning at a cute restaurant is among your plans, add a casual dress and a thick jacket suitable for evening wear to your packing list.

What shoes should you wear in Spain in winter?
I recommend the following types of women's shoes to wear:
  • sneakers
  • boots similar to UGGs
  • lower heel booties
  • oxford shoes

Make sure your shoes are not brand new. I learnt this the hard way. I have plenty of horror stories involving blisters...

Items that can give away you are a tourist
The following items should be avoided if you want to keep your outfits as non-touristy as possible.

  • Swap rain coats for trench. Never wear one of those plastic covers with a hoodie.
  • Socks with sandals are a big no-no in Spain.
  • Tracksuits and trekking clothes should be avoided unless you are going to the mountains

This is related to weather as well: wearing inappropriate clothes for winter will surely make you look out of place. So if you don't want to freeze to death and look like you've never been to Spain, leave your light-weight clothing at home.
what wear spain packing list fashion europe travel outfit women winter non-tourist


what wear spain packing list fashion europe travel outfit women winter non-tourist

I hope you enjoyed these tips and that they will save you a lot of time when packing for Europe.

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what wear spain packing list fashion europe travel outfit women winter non-tourist

February 4, 2019
Instagram Worthy Spots in Spain from North to South

Instagram Worthy Spots in Spain from North to South

February 4, 2019
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable frigiliana nerja malaga pueblos bonitosSpain is full of photographic opportunities. From its monuments to its white washed villages, there's no shortage of Instagram material. On this post I'm going to show you the most Instagrammable places in Spain from north to south. Some are well-known landmarks in big cities, some are hidden gems I'm sure you haven't heard about. Get ready to grab your phone or camera and take the perfect pic.

ANDALUSIA
Frigiliana
This little village situated 7 km north of Nerja (a popular vacation spot near Malaga) has quickly become a favorite among tourists in the area. It's the only town in the region of Malaga included in the Pueblos Mas Bonitos de España (most beautiful villages in Spain) list. Frigiliana's charm lies in its beautiful streets where you can find white houses with colorful doors and bougainvillea, closeness to the beach and its location at the foot of a mountain range. The people who live here take good care of the village, walls seem to be recently painted, streets are immaculate, there are beautiful flower pots everywhere and restaurants look like they've been decorated by professionals.

Things to do in Nerja
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable frigiliana nerja malaga pueblos bonitos
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable frigiliana nerja malaga pueblos bonitos
Vejer de la Frontera
Vejer is one of the most famous pueblos blancos or white washed villages in Andalusia. It's in the region of Cadiz and it also made the Pueblos Mas Bonitos list. Roam around this charming town to see the most beautiful patios with lots of colorful potted plants and mudejar tiles. On the main square you will find this stunning fountain.
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable vejer frontera cadiz pueblos bonitos
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable vejer frontera cadiz pueblos bonitos
Plaza de España
Seville's #1 landmark. This has always been my favorite place in Spain. This beautiful plaza is covered in yellow and blue ceramic details. It's packed during the day so make sure you visit as early in the morning as you can. Apart from avoiding the crowds you will also be able to capture that golden morning glow in your photos.

What to do in Seville
Where to eat in Seville
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable seville plaza españa
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable plaza españa seville
CASTILLA LA MANCHA
Brihuega
If you think that you have to go all the way to the region of Provence in France to see lavender fields, I've got good news for you: you don't. Just one hour from Madrid you can find a little town called Brihuega in the region of Guadalajara. It is surrounded by the most amazing lavender fields and it organizes a Lavender Festival every July.

Read all about Brihuega here
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable lavender festival brihuega
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable brihuega lavender field

Campo de Criptana
There's a region in Spain where you can visit the windmills that Don Quixote chased. In Campo de Criptana and Consuegra you can find the best preserved windmills and you can learn their history and how they work.

Chasing windmills: a road trip through La Mancha
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable windmill campo criptana
Consuegra

In search of Don Quixoje
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable consuegra windmill toledo
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable consuegra windmill castle toledo

MADRID
Crystal Palace
Madrid has a plethora of Instagram worthy spots but one of the most important is the crystal palace in Retiro park. The glass and iron structure is filled with amazing light in the morning.

The most Instagrammable places in Madrid
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable crystal palace madrid
VALENCIA
The City of Arts and Science
This is a futuristic place with modern architectural marvels. The buildings are impressive and offer many leisure options.

48 hours in Valencia
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable valencia city art science
CASTILLA Y LEON
La Granja de San Ildefonso
If Instagram had existed in the 18th century, royalty would have been the most followed influencers of the time. Royal palaces are highly instagrammable and this one is no exception. This beautiful 18th century palace is located 10km from Segovia and one hour drive from Madrid which makes it a perfect day trip from the capital of Spain.

Palacio Real de La Granja de San Ildefonso
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable segovia granja ildefonso
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable segovia san ildefonso granja
Castrillo de los Polvazares
This magical place near my hometown Leon consists of stone houses and cobblestone streets. Castrillo was one of the most important places during the Spanish War of Independence, as it was the first village of the area where the Spanish troops rebelled against the French army. The village keeps its original architecture since the 16th century. Every single building is made of stone and the road is paved with stones too.

Read more about Castrillo here
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable castrillo polvazares leon
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable leon castrillo polvazares
GALICIA
Beach of the Cathedrals
Playa de las Catedrales is a magnificent example of nature's power. The Atlantic tides are responsible for creating these unique arches and caves. The beach is located in Galicia, northwest of Spain. If you'd like to visit, bear in mind that you have to go when the tide is low. Otherwise it's all covered by turquoise water. Due to the amount of visitors, local authorities decided to restrict the number of people who can access it in order to protect it. So you have to get a free ticket online in advance.

Plan your trip to Playa de las Catedrales
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable galicia
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable playa catedrales beach cathedral galicia
AUSTURIAS
Ribadesella
This charming coastal town in the north of Spain is famous for its colorful houses along the sea promenade. They were constructed by the so-called Indianos (Spaniards who made a fortune in America) in the beginning of the 20th century. Nowadays most of them are hotels.
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable ribadesella asturias
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable ribadesella asturias
CANTABRIA
Potes
This is a small town in the heart of the Picos de Europa. A river runs through the town with a lovely small stone bridge crossing it. Stone houses with flower pots make it a wonderful place for photography enthusiasts.

Potes and other charming towns in the Spanish mountains
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable picos europa potes cantabria
Comillas
There's no doubt that Gaudi's monuments are picture perfect. There are few of his buildings outside of Catalonia one of them being El Capricho located in the beautiful town of Comillas. The amount of heritage in this little town is impressive.

3 reasons to visit Cantabria
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable capricho gaudi comillas cantabria
Santander
Santander is consiered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. It has been a popular summer holiday resort for Spaniards since the 19th century when king Alfonso XIII spent many summers at the impressive Palacio de la Magdalena.

One day in Santander
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable palacio magdalena santander cantabria
BASQUE COUNTRY
Hondarribia
A colorful fishing village that is both rich in architecture as well as in gastronomy. The well-preserved Old Town with its beautiful and colorful houses is a must.

A day in Hondarribia
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable hondarribia
CANARY ISLANDS
Lanzarote: Jameos del Agua
This is a place where nature and mankind come together. Architect and artist Cesar Manrique transformed what used to be debris of a volcanic tube into a unique place.
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable lanzarote jameos
MENORCA
Menorca has many Instagram worthy locations. In fact, every single corner of this Spanish island is highly instagrammeable. Beaches and coves, white villages, turquoise water, beautiful sunsets...

The most instagrammable places in Menorca
5 days in Menorca
Sol Beach House, a highly instagrammable hotel in Menorca
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable menorca cova xoroi
instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable binibequer menorca
What the most instagrammable place where you live?

I love sharing my beautiful country with the world so if you'd like to see more, follow my Instagram accounts: Memories of the Pacific and Madrid4Foodies.

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instagram worthy spots places spain instagrammable

January 28, 2019
Day Trips from Madrid in Winter: Aranjuez

Day Trips from Madrid in Winter: Aranjuez

January 28, 2019
aranjuez madrid winter travel outfit royal palace gardens
The weather in Madrid is hardly ever frightful making it the perfect destination for your winter escapes. Apart from visiting the capital of Spain you can't miss some day trips like the beautiful town of Aranjuez. With its renowned Royal Palace and Gardens, Aranjuez is a magnificent touristic town located less than 50 kilometers south of Madrid.

Let's soak up Aranjuez's history, culture, gastronomy and legacy with a stroll around the town while listening to Concierto de Aranjuez a masterpiece that Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo dedicated to its magnificent gardens. Shall we?
aranjuez madrid winter royal palace gardens spain
These photos were taken right before Christmas when a group of gals and I went to visit our good friend and fellow blogger Johlene Orton. I had only been to Aranjuez once before, back in May 2013, and fell in love with the town. We took the train, cercanias, on a Saturday morning. It's 50 km from the center of Madrid which will take you 45 minutes by car or 45' by train if you take it from Atocha station. I always recommend public transport if you travel to Madrid. It's reliable and fast and you avoid the fuss of finding a parking spot. All you have to see in Aranjuez is within walking distance from the train station and a return ticket will only cost you 8€.
aranjuez madrid winter royal palace gardens spain travel outfit


aranjuez madrid winter royal palace gardens spain
THE ROYAL PALACE AND GARDENS
Aranjuez was the site the Bourbons chose to establish their spring residence. Philip II commissioned its construction back in the year 1561. The inside of the palace houses several works of art which will be the joy of art lovers. Be sure to take the guided tour inside the palace, you don't want to miss the jaw-dropping Sala de Porcelana (Porcelain Room) and the Gabinete Arabe (Arab Room), true masterpieces that are my personal favorites. Some people think that once you've seen a European Royal Palace you've seen them all, but I can assure you that Aranjuez's Palacio Real can change blow your mind.

Together with the breathtaking palace gardens, the town has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The gardens may not be in bloom at the moment but they are still stunning thanks to their great botanical variety.

The entrance fee to the Royal Palace is 9€ but you can visit the gardens for free. Find all the info about opening times and discounts here.

Read my spring guide to Aranjuez here
aranjuez madrid winter royal palace gardens spain chiquitren tourist train
WHAT TO SEE IN ARANJUEZ
If you like tourist trains you can take "Chiquitren" to explore Aranjuez. Tickets are available from the tourist booth in front of the Royal Palace.

Apart from visiting the Palace and taking a stroll around the gardens you must see the following sites:

  • The Royal Barge Museum. A museum of royal pleasure boats from the 17th to the 19th century.
  • Casa del Labrador. This 18th-century neoclassical building in the grounds of the Royal Palace houses a collection of royal objects. 
  • the bullfighting ring which dates from the 18th century.
Aranjuez is also a wine producing area so if you are a wine enthusiast, you can visit some wineries near this town. 

aranjuez madrid winter royal palace gardens spain
aranjuez madrid winter royal palace gardens spain
aranjuez madrid winter royal palace gardens spain
WHERE TO EAT IN ARANJUEZ
Johlene took us to a wonderful healthy restaurant called Planta. Highly instagrammable, healthy food and yummy desserts, the moment I walked in I was sold. I had an avocado on toast with egg, salmon, seeds and blueberries that I have recreated at home several times since.

Planta Restaurante
Instagram
Phone: +34 918 91 75 80
Google Maps

Read about healthy -and highly instagrammable- restaurants in Madrid here and here
planta restaurant aranjuez madrid spain vegan healthy
planta restaurant aranjuez madrid spain vegan healthy
planta restaurant aranjuez madrid spain vegan healthy
planta restaurant aranjuez madrid spain vegan healthy avocado toast
There are many more places in the region of Madrid that you've got to see including other World Heritage Sites like El Escorial or Alcala de Henares and charming towns like Chinchon.

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January 21, 2019
Affordable and Great Quality Fashion Brands you Can Find in Spain

Affordable and Great Quality Fashion Brands you Can Find in Spain

January 21, 2019
spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear
When you think about Spanish fashion brands, Zara is the first one that comes to mind. But there are many more clothing brands in Spain that locals can't get enough of and that you should know about. Some of you have asked me what do people wear in Spain? or what Spanish brands are popular in your country? So I've put together a list of my favorites. These brands reflect my style which is classy and feminine. Whenever I go shopping I look for things that are timeless but original, that the quality is good and that I won't have to break the bank to buy them.

So let's answer today's question: which clothing brands can you find in Spain of great quality at affordable prices?
spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear
All of the following brands have online stores. If you come to Spain you can find physical stores too and most of them are available at our biggest department store, El Corte Ingles which is similar to Bloomingdale's.

Read my guide to Fashion Shopping in Madrid
spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear
APPAREL
Inditex empire, to which Zara belongs, is the #1 Spanish fashion name in the world. It has big sisters like Massimo Dutti or Uterqüe which offer better quality but higher prices. Mango is another popular clothing brand from Spain but the quality is similar to Zara's.

El Ganso. Preppy style for him and her. Red, white and blue and the main colors. In this post I'm wearing a scarf and a shirt from the brand. There are El Ganso stores in many cities around Spain and corners in El Corte Ingles.

Lolitas & L. Women's apparel brand from which I love the knits. I love this cozy cardigan and this pom-pom sweater that I wear non-stop.

Adolfo Dominguez mixes trendy and classy style. It's a great option if you are looking for wedding guest dresses. There are AD stores all over Spain and corners in El Corte Ingles. They have clothing both for men and women.

Altona Dock. Surfer style inspired by Australia. They have clothing both for men and women. I have this gingham skirt with a bow that I know will always be one of my favorites.

Purificacion Garcia. A bit more expensive but great quality. Classy style. Their number 1 item are women's bags. Spanish gals including yours truly are crazy about them. You can find good leather bags prices starting at 110€. They have clothing both for men and women as well. There are PG stores all over Spain and it's also available in El Corte Ingles.

Highly Preppy. It's preppy with a twist. Their clothes are very original, more on the flamboyant side. The coat I'm wearing here is from Highly Preppy.

Bimba & Lola. Their accessories are extremely popular and all of their products are colorful and fun. They have stores all over Spain and it's also available at El Corte Inglés
spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear
spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear
SHOES
Unisa. All my pumps are from this brand. Their shoes are comfortable and modern.

Castañer. The king of espadrilles. They are on every fashion blog as soon as the temperatures go up. They have a collection for brides which I chose for my wedding.

Pretty Ballerinas. They make the prettiest ballet flats. They are a favorite among royals and it-girl Olivia Palermo who designed a collection with them.

Gioseppo. Comfy shoes, they have unique designs for sneakers. Spanish actress Elsa Pataky is the brand ambassador. My animal print sneakers that you see me wearing all the time are by Gioseppo.

There are stores of all of these in Madrid (and some other cities), in the rest of Spain you can find them at El Corte Ingles.
spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear
spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear

JEWELRY
Tous. My jewelry box is full of  Tous pieces. It's been the most popular jewelry brand for years thanks to its cute designs -the logo is an adorable bear- and affordable prices. Numerous international celebs including Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Minogue have been the face of their campaigns, the most recent being Gwyneth Paltrow. They have stores all around the world but the prices are higher than in Spain. The bag I'm carrying in this post is from Tous.

Uno de 50. The original idea was making just 50 items of each design making them very exclusive designs. They work with silver mainly and the designs are easy to recognize because they are so different from everything else.

Aristocrazy. Young and modern designs in precious materials like silver or gold.

Majorica. This jewelry brand form Mallorca focuses on pearls. My favorite pearl earrings are from Majorica.

All of these jewelry brands are available at El Corte Ingles.
Have you heard about these brands before? What's your favorite fashion brand?

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spanish fashion brands blogger style spain clothing wear