Santiago de Compostela in Spain – Carlos Melia

Author: , January 17th, 2018

Santiago de Compostela

Two weeks ago, I joined a week trip by Relais & Chateaux Hotels and Restaruants, to visit all their current properties in Galicia, Spain and all over Portugal. Our first stop was Santiago de Compostela at A Quinta da Auga Hotel & Spa. This is my report on that first night.

A Quinta da Auga charm and boutique hotel, with a luxury Spa and gastronomic restaurant to discover the luxury and the beauty of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia. A Quinta da Auga, the only Hotel Spa Relais & Châteaux of Galicia, is one of the hotels with more charm of Santiago de Compostela. A Quinta da Auga design hotel stands out by his carefull restorage and decoration, a unique 5 stars Spa and the high quality of The Filigrana Restaurant a real Relais & Châteaux gastronomic experience through the “Galicia Haute Cuisine”.

Our stay and visit, was warmly hosted and coordinated by no other than Mamma Luisa and her charming daughter Luisa – owners of A Quinta da Auga. These two ladies are the sweetest ever, and if you are lucky enough to meet them, they will make your stay even more special. But I must say that their energy and hospitality, extends to all their staff. THANK YOU Mamma Luisa, looking forward seeing you soon again, in Compostela or anywhere in the world.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at The Carlos Melia Blog

Click here for Spain gay travel resources.

A Crash Course in Spanish Paella – Tango Diva

Author: , January 11th, 2018

paella - Pixabay

They say the secret to getting to know a culture is born through a passion for its food. Spain is no exception. Paella, the country’s most well-known and celebrated dish, is a reflection of the richness and diversity of the country that created it. The bright, inviting colors and layers of intense flavor the dish is known for tell a story. They take you on a journey to a land that is steeped in tradition, history and a love for community. Whether you are planning to make your very first paella or you consider yourself a seasoned paella pro, here is some information you may find helpful on your road to paella perfection.

It is said that the Moors brought rice from northern Africa to Spain in the 10th century. And, it is agreed, what we know today as paella originated in the 18th century in Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. Like many of the world’s best recipes, it is a beautiful melding of cultures that has led to Spain’s most popular dish, now happily eaten in every corner of the globe.

You may not know that the word paella actually refers to the name of the pan used to cook the hearty rice dish. Traditionally prepared in a large metal pan with a dimpled surface, these days, cooks can opt for a dimpled or flat-bottomed pan, depending on personal preference.

By Allison Neves – Full Story at Tango Diva

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Hiking the Camino de Santiago – Globetrotter Girls

Author: , October 14th, 2017

Camino de Santiago - Dani, Globetrotter Girls

When I started planning my 500 mile hike along the Camino de Santiago, I wanted to make sure I’d be as prepared as I could be, to ensure I’d have everything I’d need to make it to the end. But I also knew I’d need to pack as light as possible – something I am not very good at. Even one or two kilos can make or break a hiking trip, considering you will have to carry your own pack from place to place (even though it turned out I could have avoided carrying it, but more on that later).

Since I’d never gone on a five-week hiking trip before, I consulted every blog and website with travel tips & resources I could find, making notes on what equipment to buy and which brands were recommended.

Before I get into the details of what I brought, I wanted to start with a few remarks on stuff I didn’t bring and wish that I did have, and some things I brought and could’ve done without.

WHAT I BROUGHT AND DIDN’T NEED

Compeed: If you are a serious hiker, you’ll probably have heard of Compeed, a popular blister bandaid brand. My sister, who works at a pharmacy, brought me three different kinds of Compeed, and thank God I didn’t need a single one of them! I gave a couple of them away, and of course I held on to them in case I’d develop a blister, which luckily I didn’t. Since I saw Compeed bandaids in every single pharmacy along the Camino (I am sure they’re making most of their sales here), I wouldn’t buy them before the hike next time, and instead pick them up along the way if needed. People do swear by them though, so if you’re prone to getting blisters, you might want to bring a pack (they’re small and very light).

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Gay Costa del Sol, Spain – Gay Star News

Author: , August 14th, 2017

Costa del Sol

If you’re looking for a destination that delivers some quality beach time and great weather, then it’s hard to beat Spain’s Costa del Sol.

The term Costa del Sol refers to the stretch of coastline surrounding the city of Malaga – this region is one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations.

The weather and the beaches are the key attractions, and there’s been extensive development along the coastline to cater for the influx of international tourism.

Beyond the coast, is the Andalucia territory. Much of the iconic symbols of Spanish culture can be found in Andalucia – the bullfights, the flamenco, the sherry, and the remnants of the rule of the Moors. You can easily spend days exploring the small villages nestled within the hills – all accessible from the coast.

By Gareth Johnson – Full Story at Gay Star News

Andalucia Gay Travel Resources

DDG Retreat – Gay Friendly Andalucia Getaway

Author: , July 16th, 2017

DDG Retreat

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

DDG Retreat offers the ultimate experience for couples looking for romantic getaways, weekend breaks, honeymoon or anniversary celebration on Costa del Sol. We are not a standard hotel but a family run Retreat. We don’t sell rooms – we bring you exotic Ambience within a stunning Natural setting with personalized services. DDG Retreat has more then 200 – 5 stars reviews and has been voted as Best in Honeymoon and Romantic Getaway 2016. We have also been covered extensively by World Press including Conde Nast, The Times, Sunday Times, Elle, Cosmo etc.

You can choose to stay at DDG Retreat’s luxury designer Villa for up to 12 Guests or enjoy a romantic break away with your Loved One at our beautiful Casa Pino with private plunge pool and tropical garden. DDG Retreat also offers you two the most luxurious Tents in the Europe.

Absolutely 5-bedrooms, 4 bathrooms Unique Luxury Villa surrounded by tropical gardens and panoramic views. Ideal for family breaks, special celebrations or anyone looking to get away from it all. This fantastic designer Villa with private heated Jacuzzi is located within a territory of natural Retreat within 4 hectares of land surrounded by tropical exotic gardens, natural pines and flowers. Stunning panoramic views stretching over Mediterranean sea, Gibraltar and Africa. If you are looking for a very private property to get away from everyday life, then this villa would be perfect. Villa has many terraces with panoramic views.

Casa Pino offers absolute privacy and solitude. Serene views stretch over to Gibraltar and African coast. Designed for seamless indoor-to-outdoor living, this property enjoys private plunge pool with outdoor lounging and dining area with BBQ. Outside bath in the garden will complete the romantic touch and exotic Ambience.

Boasting a private territory of 500m2, Royal Tent offers one of the most breathtaking uninterrupted views over Gibraltar, African coast, Pueblo Blanco Casares and the sea. Hot tub over the cliff will provide the most romantic and luxurious experience for Couples. Enjoy the feeling of being at a real cinema with your personal in home theatre dolby surround system and wine Cabinet with Award Winning Wines.

Elegant and light – Maharaja Tent is located on the elevated hill with beautiful views over the mountains. Spend your day relaxing by your private plunge pool, enjoy a bath under the stars or watch breath-taking sunsets from your private terrace. Outside shower will complete your exotic experience.

  • Stunning heated infinity pool 15×5 meters
  • sauna
  • steam room
  • gym
  • games
  • table tennis
  • tennis court
  • CD, DVD, books library and much more are of complimentary usage of guests.

See the DDG Retreat Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Andalucia

La Clerecia View – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 2nd, 2017

La Clerecia view

The Towers of La Clerecia in Salamanca is locally known as Scala Coeli. You can’t, of course, climb the tower without getting into the Clerecia Church. And yes, you’ve got to pay, too. This church used to be known as the Royal College of the Company of Jesus. It was both a school and a home to the Jesuit priests who taught the students.

This Baroque-style building has two towers – and each gives you a different perspective of the city. Climbing the stairs at La Clerecia might be an arduous task for some but you’ll be rewarded with stunning views. When you’re up there, you’re entirely looking at the past from above, sans the glass skyscrapers of the modern world.

The towering spires from all corners of the city compete with the classical Baroque domes. The red-roofed houses you see everywhere are in contrast with the earth-coloured steeples above churches and edifices. It’s truly wonderful up there!

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Castilla y Leon Gay Travel Resources

Spain’s Salamanca Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 17th, 2017

Salamanca Cathedral

Salamanca Cathedral refers to two cathedrals combined into one. One is called the Old Cathedral and other as the New Cathedral. The former was built in 12-13th century and the latter was in 16th century. So, the earlier Cathedral is really ancient (Middle Ages) and the new one isn’t really that new. 😀

Salamanca is a university town, famous for the world’s 4th oldest university, the University of Salamanca. And if you walk around, you’ll notice that many of the structures here are really ancient and they all stood the test of time.

From Madrid to Salamanca

You can take a train from Madrid to Salamanca in the morning (8:55) and be back at 6:20 in the evening. Round trip would cost you around 30 euros. You can buy your train ticket here. And also, some tourists visit Salamanca with a combined trip to Avila, where you can find Spain’s most impressive city wall. The two historical cities are just an hour away from each other by car / tour bus. You can find these trips at TripAdvisor.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Toledo, Spain – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 16th, 2017

Toledo, Spain

Toledo is a medieval Spanish city popularly known as “The Imperial City” where the Roman Emperor, Charles V, once held his court here. On the other hand, Toledo is also christened as the “City of Three Cultures” due to its rich historical co-existence of Jews, Muslims and Christians. If you look around the city, the influences of these three religions are evident everywhere. This city is a proof that despite our religions, we can live in harmony and peace. That’s why, it’s no wonder that the whole City of Toledo was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cobblestoned pavement, medieval churches and ancient structures make Toledo worth a visit for a weekend.

It is possible to visit Toledo for a day trip. There’s a morning train from Madrid that goes to Toledo and back to Madrid in the afternoon. Their train station is a historical building in itself and it has its own quaint beauty. You can buy your train tickets HERE.

If you’re planning to stay there for a night, you can get some discounted hotel prices HERE.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Spain Gay Travel Resources

The Aqueduct of Segovia – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 15th, 2017

The Aqueduct of Segovia

The aqueduct of Segovia is ancient Rome’s indisputable legacy in Spain. The towering aqueduct is synonymous to the old town of Segovia. You can’t mention the city’s name without identifying it to this arched aqueduct.

The city of Segovia, as legend has it, was founded by Hercules, the son of the Roman god, Zeus.

The Aqueduct of Segovia

This structure is 15 kilometres long from the mountain to the other side of the city. It is made of granite blocks that are as high as 800 meters. The downtown part of the aqueduct you see is consist of 120 pillars and 166 arches. And guess what’s the most brilliant thing about it? The pillars are built without using cement or mortar to hold them together for safety. The stones were masterfully cut to carry the load in perfect balance!

While this is a feat of engineering, some locals call it “Puente de Diablo” or Devil’s Bridge. According to legend, this bridge was built by the Devil himself to impress a young woman he liked. But his efforts failed. The holes on the stones are said to be the marks of Lucifer’s fingers.

Alcazar de Segovia, A Fairytale Castle – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , June 12th, 2017

Alcazar de Segovia

Before Disney, there was Alcazar de Segovia. If you look at it near and far, the castle resembles that of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland. You can’t leave Segovia without seeing and getting into the heart of Spain’s most famous castle. The structure wasn’t really meant to be a castle. It was built as a fortress. Then it became a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery College and a military academy. Today, this wonderful castle is now a museum that allows us to see what’s hidden inside.

Madrid to Segovia

The fastest way to get to Segovia is by train from Chamartin Station in Madrid. It takes 30 minutes and it costs around 10 euros. You can buy your train ticket here. By car, it would take an hour and 15 minutes. Another way to get there is by joiniing an organized tour.

If you are planning to stay in Segovia for the weekend or for a night, you can book via HostelWorld or Expedia.

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