December 21, 2022
What to do in Madrid during Christmas 2022

What to do in Madrid during Christmas 2022

December 21, 2022

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

Christmas in Madrid starts on the last week of November when the Christmas lights are lit and ends on January 6 with the coming of the Three Wise Men who bring presents to children. During those weeks the city is filled with holiday cheer, lights and decor in every street becoming a magical place to visit.


Traditionally, visiting the Christmas market in Plaza Mayor or seeing the Christmas lights were the most popular things to do in Madrid during the holiday season. However, the capital of Spain has increased the variety of Christmasy things to do in recent years. Let's take a look at the best things to do in Madrid this 2022 to have an unforgettable Christmas experience in Madrid.


Christmas in Madrid: Visit the brand new Zara Home store in Plaza España

It's not Christmas without a shopping spree, am I right? Zara Home has just opened a brand new shop on the second floor of the Zara store in Plaza España. The space is divided by rooms as if it was an apartment itself. Apart from their amazing designs and unbeatable prices, this decor haven has the most beautiful Christmas display. 

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

zara home plaza españa madrid navidad christmas

Christmas in Madrid: ice skating & hot chocolate in Plaza España

This iconic square was closed for renovations for years. Since it reopened a year ago it has become one of the main Christmas spots in Madrid. At La Navideña you can find an ice-skating rink and a lovely Christmas market which includes a chocolate con churros stand from San Gines! You can also find other interesting gastronomic and craft stalls as well together with a huge Christmas tree.


Useful info: Christmas markets tend to open at around midday and close around 9 or 10 p.m. As for dates, they will be open form early December to early January. Entrance is free.

chocolate caliente hot madrid navidad christmas

madrid plaza españa navidad christmas tree lights

madrid plaza españa riu navidad christmas tree lights

Christmas in Madrid: indulge yourself at the Nuevos Ministerios Christmas Market

Hosted by El Corte Ingles de Castellana department store, this traditional Christmas market offers food trucks and gift shopping for every taste. There's also a beautiful large Nativity scene (called Belen in Spanish) worth checking out.


At this Christmas market you can find food stalls and trucks from chocolatería San Gines, pizza by Grosso Napoletano, burgers from Goxo by Dabiz Muñoz, calamari sandwith by El Brillante or empanadillas argentinas Malvón among others. Plus, they have a lovely sitting area to indulge in your treats comfortably. 

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas tree bear market

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas gift market

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas tree bear market

corte ingles castellana nuevos ministerios christmas food market

Christmas in Madrid: see the lights show at the Royal Botanical Gardens

From 14/11/2022 to 22/01/2023 the Royal Botanical Gardens offer Naturaleza Encendida (Lit Nature) an outdoor light show that marvels thousands of people every year. So much so that getting tickets is almost mission impossible. 


The show consists of an evening stroll through the Royal Botanical Gardens where light and music bring life and colour to the world of nature. Find more info here.

madrid naturaleza encendida fungus hongos luces espectaculo setas 2022

madrid naturaleza encendida fungus setas 2022

madrid naturaleza encendida fungus setas 2022

Are you interested in Spanish culture and traditions? Do you want to learn more about how we celebrate Christmas in Spain? Be sure to check out these posts.

How we holiday in Spain

Family Traditions in Spain


Bundle up!

Even though winters in Madrid are generally quite mild and dry -temperatures average around 8°C (46.6°F)- I still advice you to pack some warm clothes and an umbrella.

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madrid christmas market light decor

October 5, 2022
Mallorca: The best 5-day itinerary (+ map!)

Mallorca: The best 5-day itinerary (+ map!)

October 5, 2022
palma mallorca cathedral storm cloudy

The balearic island of Mallorca is one of Spain's top destinations all year round. With beautiful beach resorts, turquoise Mediterranean waters and quaint villages, there's no way you are going to run out of things to see and do in Mallorca. 

To help you plan your trip to Mallorca, I've designed this 5-day road trip itinerary perfect for first timers. It includes a map with all the must see spots and plenty of places to eat. 

Are you ready to explore this beautiful island? Let's take a look at the best 5-day itinerary to Mallorca.

Planning your trip to Mallorca

Mallorca is a big island. If you want to make the most of it, you have to stay for at least one week. However, you can see the best spots and a little bit of everything the island has to offer in 5 days. 

Renting a car is a must to travel around the island. You can either make an online booking or rent one as soon as your plane lands. If you are traveling during peak time (July-August), booking your car in advance is highly advisable. 

Tip: Get an automatic car if you can, specially if you are not used to manual transmission. traveling around the Sierra de Tramuntana mountains can be quite challenging at times otherwise.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 1

During our Mallorca vacation we stayed at Melia Palma Marina in the capital, Palma de Mallorca. This 4-star resort is located opposite the marina. It doesn't have its own parking. But you can park along the marina promenade for free.

Since we were staying in Palma, we devoted our first day to visiting the island's biggest city. Palma has a lovely Old Town, with lots of beautiful buildings. The architectural richness of the city is really impressive.

  • Palma's number one landmark is the cathedral. Its unique location by the sea is what makes this Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral so special.
  • Also worth visiting is the charming Santa Catalina neighborhood. Get lost around the streets of this former fishing neighborhood, now one of the most important hotspots in the city.
  • Don't miss La Almudaina Palace, the official residence of the Spanish Royal family during the summer months. 
  • On the other side of the city you can find Bellver Castle, a Gothic-style castle built in the 14th century for King James II of Majorca, one of the few circular castles in Europe.
  • Last but not least, the Arab baths are one of the most surprising places in Palma de Mallorca. A  splendid garden with cacti, palms and orange trees, where you can sit to take a break, lead to this unique hammam that dates back to the 10th century.
arab bath hammam mallorca palma

llotja lonja palma mallorca

fornet soca ensaimada mallorca


Tip: need to satisfy some sweet cravings? While strolling around the old town, stop at Fornet de la Soca and grab an ensaimada, a delicious rolled pastry made of flour, eggs and pork lard that is probably the most typical thing from Mallorca. If pastries are not your thing, grab a spectacular gelato from Giovanni L. Gelato Deluxe.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 2

Visit Colonia Sant Jordi and take a dip at Es Trenc beach. 
es trenc beach colonia san jordi sunset

Colonia de Sant Jordi is a small resort town located on the southeastern coast of Mallorca, near the famous Es Trenc beach. This was once a small fishing harbour but the outstanding beaches on its coastline have made tourism thrive here in recent years. 

Es Trenc beach, an unspoilt stretch of sand that is part of a nature reserve. We had high expectations about this place, however it turned out to be quite disappointing as the promised turquoise waters were so full of algae, it was difficult to take a swim. Other than that, you can actually see a beautiful sunset at this beach.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 3

Travel back in time thanks to the Soller train.
soller tram port beach marina

soller tram cathedral mallorca

One of Mallorca’s best-loved attractions, the old wooden train that connects Palma and the town of Soller, was originally introduced to transport citrus fruit from the Soller valley to the capital city.
The one-hour journey takes you through a spectacular scenery. Once you have explored Soller, you can take the old tram to Port de Soller. That's a great place to grab some lunch and spend the afternoon at the beach.

Train+tram tickets are 32€ and you can buy them online beforehand.  

Where to eat in Soller: we had reservations at Randemar. A seafront restaurant with a nice outdoor sitting area. 
mallorca food soller randemar dessert

soller shopping mallorca street


Mallorca Itineray: Day 4

Are you a tennis fan? Manacor is where Rafa Nadal was born and the place where his academy and museum are located. Tickets to the museum are 18€. You can also eat at the cafeteria or the Roland Garros restaurant before exploring the tennis courts. 
rafa nadal museum manacor mallorca

rafa nadal restaurant roland garros manacor mallorca

rafa nadal academy manacor menorca tennis court

Spend the second half of your day at Muro beach. One of the most spectacular beaches in Mallorca. Playa de Muro is a beautiful 6 kilometre long, award-winning, white sandy, crystal clear beach in the north of Mallorca.

Mallorca Itineray: Day 5

Spend the day in Deia.
belmond residencia hotel reception mallorca deia

cafe miro belmond residencia deia mallorca cocktail drink

deia belmond residencia pool mallorca

When it comes to visiting Mallorca, Deiá is one of the dreamiest hilltop villages to visit.

The most spectacular place in Deia is Belmond La Residencia hotel. Perched in the Tramuntana Mountains beside the Mediterranean Sea, this five-star spot offers an unforgettable experience in the north of the island. Even if you don't stay there, get reservations at one of their restaurants: El Olivo or Cafe Miro to be able to explore this jaw-dropping property. 

While you are there, you can't miss Cala Deia. This spectacular rocky cove is difficult to access but totally worth it. you can eat at one of Mallorca's most popular restaurant which is located there: Ca's Patro March. Both getting there and booking a table are tricky during peak season so I devoted a full post to all the things you need to know before going to Cala Deia. You can read the post here
cas patro march restaurant deia mallorca


Time for more?
  • If you love quaint towns, just about a 30-minute drive from Deia you will find the lovely town of Valldemossa 
  • Wander amongst the stalagmite and stalactites at the Drach Caves

Mallorca Island map

This map includes all the things you'll need during your stay: eateries, hotels, shops and beaches. To take this map with you, simply click on the star next to the name and it will be automatically saved to your Google maps. Enjoy!

Mallorca Packing List
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mallorca hot spots

September 17, 2022
Ca's Patro March, Mallorca. What to know before you go

Ca's Patro March, Mallorca. What to know before you go

September 17, 2022

cas patro march restaurant mallorca spain

Ca's Patro March is one of Mallorca's most popular restaurants. The place became increasingly popular after being featured on the TV show "The Night Manager" and getting a table has become mission impossible since. Many celebrities including Beyonce have been spotted in this unique restaurant which has increased this Spanish restaurant's popularity.
 

Because this is a one-of-a-kind restaurant, your experience from the moment you book to getting there will be different from anything you've ever done before. That's why today I'm sharing everything you need to know before planning your trip to Ca's Patro March.


Located in the rocky beach with crystal clear waters of Cala Deiá, just about 3km from the charming village of Deia surrounded by the Tramuntana mountains, Ca's Patro March has beautiful views of this secluded cove with turquoise waters and offers a wide variety of high quality fresh fish and seafood dishes. Needless to say, Ca's Patro March is a highly instagrammable place.


The restaurant is actually quite simple, without great luxuries, but with that Mediterranean touch that makes it very authentic and unique. 


Ok, so how do you make sure you get one of those coveted tables? 

cas patro march restaurant mallorca spain

cas patro march restaurant mallorca spain dessert coffee


Ca's Patro March: How to book a table

You can only book a table 15 days in advance and since tha place is small, it fills up quickly. We went in August (peak season goes from July through September) and had to go on their website at midnight (Spain's time) two weeks before the day we wanted to go. 10 minutes later there were no tables available!

When you make your reservation, you will be asked for a deposit that will only be charged in case of no-show.

Book your table here


Ca's Patro March: Location

As I mentioned before, the cove is secluded so getting there is tricky. Also worth mentioning is the fact that you won't find a regular beach there. There's no sand, only big rocks, sitting space is limited -and laying down impossible. It's still worth taking a swim in the turquoise waters. Water shoes are highly recommended. Also, bring your goggles to see the fish swimming around you!

boat yatch cala deia mallorca spain

cas patro march restaurant mallorca spain fish dish menu

Ca's Patro March: Getting there 

  • by car: parking is very limited. In fact, when you get there, you'll see the access closed. There's a guard there. You have to tell him you've got restaurant reservations and he'll let you drive down. The road is not an easy one, it's full of hairpin turns and looks like it should only be for one car, so take a deep breath if you are not the most confident driver.
  • on foot: you can walk from Deia, it's about 3k. The way there is not too bad as it's downhill. However, bear in mind that you'll have to do the same uphill on the way back. Getting there will take you around 30-40 minutes so start your hike with plenty of time.
  • by boat: most celebrities get there by boat. A small motorboat takes them from their yatch to a little dock that has direct access to the restaurant.

Ca's Patro March: Parking

As mentioned before, parking is limited, so get there with plenty of time because you may have to wait for a spot. However, since this is not a spend-the-whole-day beach, there's people always coming in and out.

Parking is not free. There's a parking meter.

Ca's Patro March: No credit cards accepted

Cell coverage is limited here so the place only accepts cash. Also, you'll have to wait to post your insanely beautiful photos and videos on social media!


Important: you'll see that on the menu some of the prices are per kg, so ask your waiter to give you an estimate so you know how much you are going to be charged in the end.

cala deia restaurants mallorca spain cove

cala deia turquoise water mallorca spain

So is eating at Ca's Patro March worth it? Well, it may look like a bit of a hustle but for us it was an unforgettable experience during our trip to Mallorca.


I hope this post will help you plan your trip to Ca's Patro March in Mallorca. Got more questions? Leave them on the comment section below!


WHAT TO WEAR DURING YOUR VACATION IN SPAIN
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cas patro march restaurant mallorca spain

August 15, 2022
5 Best Things to do in Castellon Spain

5 Best Things to do in Castellon Spain

August 15, 2022

peñiscola playa castillo beach castle dragon mosaic

Castellon de la Plana is a town in the Mediterranean coast. It's a one hour drive away from Valencia and despite being much less famous than the latter, it's still worth visiting. The region of castellon is full of charming coastal towns, medieval castles and restaurants that serve some of the best paellas in Spain.

Want to know more about Castellon? Let's take a look at the best things to do.

Best Things to do in Castellon: Peñiscola

There are few places in the world where you can take a dip while looking at a Medieval castle. So special is the view that it attracted the attention of the Game of Thrones crew who shot a few scenes of the popular TV show here. In fact, you can take pictures with a throne replica in the old town of Peñiscola. 


Peniscola is a very popular town in the summer. The mixture of sightseeing, great beach, warm water and lovely old town makes it the perfect holiday destination. 


The castle is Peniscola's main attraction. It was built in the 13th century by the Knights Templar on the foundations of an Arab fortress. Before being on Game of Thrones, the castle was used for the 1961 filming of El Cid. 


Where to eat in Peñiscola: El Peñon. This lovely restaurant located in the old town serves traditional Spanish food. So if you are a fan of the Mediterranean diet, this is the place to go. Apart from delicious food, the staff is the KINDEST you can find. 

el peñon restaurante peñiscola

peñiscola old town

peñiscola old town

peñiscola old town

peñiscola castle beach

Best Things to do in Castellon: spend a day at Nudo Beach Club

Nudo Beach Club is one of the coolest places we've ever seen. Located at El Grao just outside Castellon de la Plana, this beach club has amazing sea views. But that's not all they have to offer. An inviting pool is waiting for you at the center of the club surrounded by chill out areas and restaurants. For 18€ you can rent a sun bed and spend the day here. Great plan if you are looking for some rest & relax.

castellon nudo beach club grao paella mediterranean food

castellon nudo beach club grao goah restaurant

castellon grao nudo beach club pool

nudo beach club food menu grao goah restaurant castellon

Best Things to do in Castellon: visit Delta del Ebro Nature Reserve

Delta del Ebro is located in the south of Catalonia and is a beautiful Nature Reserve with isolated beaches, bird watching spots and miles of rice fields. This is also the place where the Ebro River meets the Mediterranean Sea. This beautiful place is home to a rich flora and fauna and offers plenty of things to do.


Delta de l’Ebre is famous for bird-watching as it is home to numerous native species of birds. Since 1992 a colony of pink flamingos have been settled here where they are visible throughout the year.


Be sure to check out sandy beaches like Eucalyptus or Buda. They are perfect to chill out and take a break.


Where to eat at Delta del Ebro: the restaurant at Hotel L'Algadir del Delta offers a tasting menu with local ingredients. It's a great option to try the local cuisine. They only have 10 tables so be sure to book in advance.


Tip: There are plenty of insects in this Nature Reserve. The numerous dragonflies are harmless but don't forget to take insect repellent to Delta del Ebro, that will save you from getting some nasty mosquito bites.

delta ebro restaurant l'algadir food

dragonfly delta ebro

casa fusta madera wood delta ebro

buda beach delta ebro

Best Things to do in Castellon: stay at Parador de Benicarlo

If you follow the blog, you know that we love to stay at Paradores. Even though we prefer the ones that are historical buildings, we stayed at this modern one in Benicarlo during our trip to Castellon. The building is not as impressive as the castles or monasteries we've been to, but the quality standard is the same: they never disappoint. The location is also convenient to travel around the area.

parador hotel benicarlo castellon pool

parador hotel benicarlo castellon food

Best Thing to do in Castellon: visit the city center of Castellon

I doubt Castellon de la Plana will become your favorite Spanish city, but if you have time, you should take a walk around the old town and visit the cathedral, central market and climb up El Fadri tower for excellent city views. The city is calm and quiet and has a few lovely buildings. Once you need a break from sightseeing, take a break at the beach by going to El Grao harbor.

castellon arquitectura mudejar casa correos

castellon main square cathedral fadri tower

If you have time for more: drive to the beautiful Medieval town of Morella. This ancient walled town located on a hill-top may not be coastal but it is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

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My Travel Essentials for a Mediterranean holiday 

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castellon spain top spots