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In South-western Europe, between France, Portugal and the Mediterranean Sea, facing Morocco across the famous Straits of Gibraltar, Spain has an eclectic culture, marked by strong regionalisation.
Stretching from the nature parks of Catalonia to Extremadura via Madrid, the capital, and the two Castiles, Spain’s inland area consists primarily of the Meseta. This sprawling plateau, surrounded by mountains and divided down the middle by the sierras of the Sistema Central, is home to a multitude of historic towns and bright villages built by its successive inhabitants. In Segovia, visitors crane their necks to admire the double-arched Roman aqueduct erected more than 2,000 years ago without a single dab of mortar. In Cáceres, Moorish ramparts protect the proud patrician manors and imposing Renaissance structures.
From the crest of the Pyrenees to the lively streets of Barcelona, from the beaches of the Costa Brava to the Balearic Islands, Mediterranean Spain is a medley of celebrations and lazy days in the sun, of phantasmagorical structures by Gaudi or Subirachs and Romanesque monasteries, of treats like sweet-and-sour botifarra dolça sausage and suquet, a fish stew with mussels and fried squid. Not far from La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona’s emblematic cathedral, the city’s Roman and Visigoth origins can be seen in the ancient narrow streets excavated under Casa Clariana-Padellàs — an incredible underground journey back in time.
Hotel and restaurant in town. A river runs round the estate and the majestic buildings dating back to the 18th century and then meanders between the trees of a magnificent wood. The grounds exude tranquillity and serenity. A Quinta da Auga is a natural, romantic escape within the World Heritage city of Santiago de Compostela, which welcomes the pilgrims at the final destination on the St James Way pilgrimage route, with an amazing historical town centre. The hotel’s restaurant offers regional delights, seafood and meat dishes. Enjoy a wide range of cultural, oenological and sailing activities in the vicinity. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in the country. “Successful creations start with the best products. Each dish must be approached with the daring of a young chef, the experience of a mature man and the wisdom of an elder.” The personality of Chef Pedro Subijana, always striving to do better and his constant quest for innovation have made him an ambassador for new Basque cuisine. He adds a "personal touch" to traditional recipes: hake and its "kokotxa", oyster leaf and "mussel beans". Enjoy the impressive panoramic views of the Cantabrian sea from Mount Igeldo while dining at this restaurant located just five minutes from the centre of Saint Sebastián. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant and hotel in town. Located inside the walled town of Cáceres with its extraordinary Almohad, Gothic, Renaissance and colonial buildings, Atrio boasts sublime architecture by Emilio Tuñón Álvarez and Luis Moreno Mansilla, masters of modern design. In the heart of the old stone buildings of this medieval town, Chefs José Polo and Toño Pérez prepare cuisine with unique, authentic flavours in a heavenly, extremely contemporary setting. Truffles, pasta and mushrooms, razor clams with cured Iberian ham, pig’s trotters, oyster and other gourmet creations are in complete harmony with the splendid building. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. Can Faustino, a magnificent palace dating back to the 16th century, overlooks the port of Ciutadella. Architect Olivia Putman has imagined it as a large family home, where natural materials are highlighted: the softness of the pink stones of the façade, the authenticity of wood and leather in the bright rooms. A simplicity which ideally suits Menorca, the wildest of the Balearic Islands. In the shadow of the bougainvilleas of the patio, enjoy the vegetables from the orchard and fish just caught in the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. Two superb boats as well as horses are at your disposal to discover this island listed as a biosphere reserve, its virgin beaches and Menorcan lifestyle. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant on the seafront. On the Catalan coast, between Girona and Barcelona, Chef Carme Ruscalleda crafts creative, modern cuisine inspired by the landscape and Catalan culinary traditions. In a beautiful garden bordering the charming beach of Sant Pol de Mar, Carme develops her very own original gourmet style, with produce from the Maresme region, famous for its fishing ports, its specialised crops and its wild mountains. Dishes with a fine balance and natural flavours play with contrasts and textures. Since 2004, Carme’s cuisine has drawn on Nipponese influences which marry naturally with the culinary style at the Sant Pau. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in a village. Casa Marcial is his property; Nacho Manzano was born here, he grew up in this little village of the Asturias built right up against the snow-capped mountains of the Cordillera Cantabrica. He has turned this modest traditional inn, run by his parents, into a top gourmet restaurant. Inspired by the both rustic and sophisticated place, the menu proposes typical dishes of the Asturian cuisine that the Chef interprets in a truly modern and inventive manner: crispy cod skin topped with red mojo; pito de caleya “in my mother’s style” – free-range chicken and ravioli stuffed with giblets; or cockle feet accompanied by the indispensable fabes beans. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a park. The marble whiteness of the Castillo de Arteaga, with its 13th century Gothic tower, rises dramatically out of the Basque Country’s Ria Urdaibai reserve with its narrow lush green valleys opening up into wide estuaries. Napoleon III and Eugenia de Montijo had it rebuilt when their son was proclaimed an honorary citizen of Biscay. Out of this castle, Garbiñe Azkuenaga has created a stunning hotel, masterfully combining period furniture with contemporary design. Spend your days exploring the surrounding area: cliffs, rivers, marshland and meadows. In the evening, enjoy a superb dinner in the castle's restaurant or a wine tasting in the well-stocked cellar. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. The attractive town of Ezcaray, on the crossroads between the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and the Rioja wine route, is home to a culinary jewel whose fame goes back for five generations. Echaurren has been handed down from father to son for more than a century, ever since the stable block of the former staging post was converted into a dining room. The restaurant, along with traditional Rioja recipes which have been brought to perfection and embellished by this family of renowned cooks, are at the heart of the property. Echaurren is nestled in the historic centre of the town opposite a fine stone church, Santa María la Mayor, and offers cheerful, modern rooms decorated in bright, fresh colours. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. Up on a hill just a few minutes away from La Seu d'Urgell and set against the backdrop of the Pyrenees, El Castell de Ciutat, which was built at the foot of a fortress dating back to the 16th century, towers above a landscape of unique natural beauty. In keeping with the Tàpies family tradition, this mountain chalet has, for forty years, worked hard to provide a warm and personal welcome. The chalet is characterised by the spectacular views it offers over the surrounding landscapes, the sophisticated mountain and Mediterranean cuisine served in its two restaurants and its excellent cellar, which houses more than 400 AOC wines, both local and international. A Wellness centre offers a large range of treatments and boasts an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, sports hall, sauna, hammam and jacuzzi. El Castell de Ciutat is the perfect place to enjoy an authentic experience in the midst of the Pyrenees. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in town. Originally a private club, El Club Allard has preserved its unique atmosphere that provides everyone with the feeling of living a privileged moment. From the exterior, nothing indicates that Casa Gallardo, a modernist building built in 1908 by Frederico Arias Rey, houses one of Madrid’s most sophisticated restaurants. The menus conceived by Dominican chef Maria Marte, who learned her trade in the establishment, are a genuine voyage for the taste buds. The dishes follow one after the other, creating surprises, such as the intense sea rice, an illusion of rice prepared with squid, or the poetic composition of double-textured cheese with guava sorbet. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. One of the impressive façades of the Neri, tucked away in the heart of the romantic Gothic district, gives onto Sant Felip Neri square, a magical place with Gothic edifices and the church where Gaudí used to come to pray every day. This hotel was created when, in the 18th century, two mansions merged – one dating from the Middle Ages. It boasts a delightful décor, blending period features with ultra-modern design. The chef creates a Mediterranean cuisine with a seasonal menu in this private, welcoming restaurant. At the top of the building, “Roba Estesa” is an oasis in the city, where you can enjoy vistas of the city at nightfall, while trying delicious tapas. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. In the heart of Madrid, just five minutes from the Museo del Prado, where Hieronymus Bosch’s masterpiece, The Garden of Earthly Delights, hangs among the paintings of Vélasquez, Titian and Rubens, another garden of delights awaits. The Hotel Orfila, a small palace built in 1886, has the feel of an art gallery, with its period furniture, feature marble and superb trompe l’oeil effects in the green garden courtyard. In the 1920s, the hotel was made famous by the plays staged within its walls. Today, its flowered patio invites you to dine under the stars and its tea room is imbued with English chic. This is an ideal place from which to explore Madrid at its own rhythm. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the world, you can enjoy at La Torre del Visco the glorious scenery of a valley untouched by man and the modern world. The estate house with its tower dating from 1449 is surrounded by its own eighty-nine hectare farm, romantic gardens full of roses and olive trees bordered by the river Tastavins and the mountain range known as “Ports de Beseit”. The owner grows her own organic fruit and vegetables and makes her own olive oil for the restaurant. Inside the beautiful labyrinthine buildings, immerse yourself in a novel by the fireside, play chess or piano. During the night you can observe the stars on the terrace. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in the country. A meal at Les Cols is an experience like none other, the confluence of a terroir —Garrotxa — and its foods. Ever loyal to her native Catalonia, Fina Puigdevall works with local products like buckwheat, potatoes, free-range poultry, herbs and flowers. With a blend of strictness and poetry, she brings out the flavors of simple ingredients by enhancing the textures or the composition of the dish. This contrast between tradition and avant-garde creativity, the foundation of the chef’s approach, is also expressed in the restaurant’s architecture, which juxtaposes the old stone walls of an 15th-century farm with an ultra-contemporary dining room whose golden and black décor evokes the region’s volcanic landscape. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the country. The Mas de Torrent is located in the heart of Empordà, the most authentic and chic region on the Costa Brava, with its beautiful beaches and little medieval villages, in between olive and cypress trees. This 18th century masía delights with its spectacular views, delightful gardens and impeccable, attentive service. The welcoming interior is home to both classical and contemporary suites, some with their own private pool. Two extraordinary restaurants and the Mas Spa make for a magical stay. Don’t miss the treasures in a region so beloved by the artist Salvador Dalí: Cadaqués, Pals, Peratallada and Sant Martí d’Empúries. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. A 19th century Lord’s manor, the Mirador de Dalt Vila was until recently a family property. When it was converted into an intimate and welcoming hotel, none of its historical values were lost. Perched on the heights inside the famous walled city of Dalt Vila – declared a Unesco World Heritage site –, the building offers, as suggested by its name a magnificent panoramic view of the city of Ibiza, its historical port and the never ending horizon of the Mediterranean sea. Far from the bustle of the town, sample the charms of this peaceful haven with its excellent service and highly dedicated staff. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant on the seafront. In Llançà, on the beach where he grew up, facing the Mediterranean, Paco Pérez concocts at the Miramar an avant garde cuisine dedicated to the Catalonian land. Clams “gelée” in its own water revolutionised his cuisine about twenty years ago; it is now a classical dish on his menu, next to chipirones and white strawberries or sea cucumbers and Llavaneres peas. Always making good use of molecular cuisine, this aesthetic and daring Chef transforms Catalonia into sensual, savoury and playful dishes: melon and its skin, oyster in hand and snowy tart by Tarantino, which concludes the menu on a bloody coulis of red fruit. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a village. The walls of a 500-year-old flour mill are home today to a delightful family hotel where you can enjoy total peace troubled only by birdsong and the sound of the brook rippling through the grounds. The garden, lovely pool and spa are all invitations in themselves to take it easy in this peaceful ambiance. However, it would be a pity not to explore the Guadalajara area: the historic city of Sigüenza, mediaeval villages, natural reserves, salt mines and rivers in canyons – each more beautiful and interesting than the last. At nightfall, the mill restaurant serves Slow Food cuisine inspired by traditional recipes produced from seasonal, local ingredients. ... Learn moreless
Restaurant in the country. The capacity to excite and his emblematic creativity places Andoni Luis Aduriz among the elite of the culinary Avant-gard. At Mugaritz, 20 minutes from San Sebastian surrounded by idyllic countryside, he explores the perfect balance of innovation and respect roots and origin. The sublimation of the senses results in a unique experience: potatoes are become pebbles, “bitter ideas of velvet” describes strips of camembert fermented in an apple concentrate, a spoonful of caviar is won by playing jacks, lamb is served with its coat, the chocolate fondant creates soap bubbles, etc. Simultaneously disconcerting and stimulating, his cuisine goes from surprise to surprise and nourishes the spirit. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a park. In the heart of Asturias, amidst eight hectare grounds boasting beautiful gardens and unspoilt nature, discover this 16th century palace between the Sierra del Sueve mountains and the Cantabrian sea. Palacio de Luces has been tastefully refurbished in complete harmony with its historic setting. The piano bar and the pool invite to relaxation and the ideal location between the sea and the mountains is conducive to the many, diverse activities on offer. Everything here is designed to ensure your well-being and peace of mind – spaciousness, décor, the traditional Asturian cuisine at the restaurant Balcón del Sueve which meticulously selects the finest ingredients served to you along with some fabulous views. ... Learn moreless