Our last trip to Spain was hilarious, very diverse and entirely packed with the full-time activities, that we did not explore much in the sense of wide-scale travelling. We had a surf-camp in the north of Spain, a wedding of good friends in southern Spain and mission to explore the best club of the world on an island. Nevertheless, here are some tips for you if you find yourself in Bilbao/ San Vicente de la Barquera/ Altea/ on Ibiza about what to see, to do and to eat in those places.
On our first day in the biggest city of Basques country, we were obstinately looking for tapas but found pintxos (in Spanish – pinchos) instead – small snacks in various combinations, usually with bread as a basis and egg, fish or meat on the top. Afterwards I read that pintxos are sometimes regarded as a cornerstone of Basque culture and society because they have a very strong socializing component – friends gather together in bars and small taverns, have vine or beer and snacks – pintxos.
Guggenheim museum is very impressive from the outside. The expositions inside didn’t amaze me. The entrance costs 16€ by the way. If you are not deeply interested in works of one of the artists exposed inside, you can easily skip the visit and enjoy the appearances of the museum and its surroundings.
The city center is quite nice – the time we were there was the period of festivities (“Semana grande” – “Big week”) and the whole city was celebrating. In the evening many concerts were hold, at daytime – markets, public contests and dancing.
San Vicente de la Barquera
The main activity in San Vicente de la Barquera is without any doubts surfing! Many surf schools are located there. We chose Dreamsea Surf camp (http://dreamseasurfcamp.com/spain/ ) and were absolutely happy with our choice: great instructors, nice atmosphere, a lot of events, laughing, talking and dancing with other young people.
I was dreaming of surfing since my first time in Chile. Finally the dream came true. Slowly, difficult and painfully. Surfing is indeed an extreme sport and you need many hours of practise to learn it. Sometimes it was so difficult that I was ready to cry and to give up. Nevertheless, the last class was much better and I’m looking forward to surf somewhere else!
After surfing, pull yourself together (I know, it hurts a lot) and visit Comillas, a charming little town situated nearby – 10-15 minutes with a bus or taxi.
At dinner at El Retiro (https://www.facebook.com/El.Retiro.Restaurante) ask for an advice – their recommendations in regard to the freshest fish and seafood is trustworthy. We enjoyed fish and fried squids a lot!
Taking stairs to the old city is a must! Cozy, narrow cobblestoned streets with houses colored in write. The advantage of their narrowness is that it gives you shelter and shade from the heat of the day. And it was extremely hot in August, believe me!
El Castell de Guadalest is an old castle and a touristic city situated 20 km to the north from Altea. The main attraction for the photographers is a reservoir with water of unordinary hushed turquoise color.
An absolute must – enjoy the sunset at Café del Mar or nearby. At the time before dusk all cafes at the seashore are full. But don’t worry, there are a lot of stairs leading from cafes to the sea and in case of emergency you can seat on the stones. This is even better – you are most close to the sea and can shoot amazing photos.
For breakfast/ lunch/ dinner go to Rita’s Cantina (http://www.ritascantina.com/ ) – a small bar in the haven of Sant Antoni – the meal is fresh and healthy. The smoothies and juices are delicious!
To boast a bit, yeah, we went to Space Ibiza, the best club in the world according to the DJ Mag (http://djmag.com/top100clubs) and checked out the surrounding high-party area. Here everything turns around clubbing: the tickets are sold on every step, many clubs have their own clothing brand and a shop, guys offer you to buy “happiness” before going to the club. To sum up – not my thing; but out of curiosity it was a nice experience. The club Space Ibiza is huge, but the only thing that have impressed me were the prices – a mere beer costs 12€, cocktail – over 25€. Crazy, right? The party was all about glitter – “Glitterbox”, so we also got our portion of glamorous glitz.
The second day on Ibiza was amazing – exactly the right thing to do on vacation (at least, for my lifestyle). We rented a scooter and visited several beaches. My absolute favorite is Cala Comte. Cala d’Hort is the second favorite. Platja de ses Salines didn’t impress us at all. The view from the restaurant (that is over-expensive) is nice, but the water is not so clean and a huge mass of weird seagrass is swimming around.
After beach-hopping we were extremely hungry. It was around 5 pm and many restaurants were still closed (they usually open at 7-8pm). We found a perfect meal – tapas – at Guillemis Gastro Bar (http://guillemis.com/). By the way, they are open all day long and the prices are good.