From the misty green inlets of the north-west to the dusty south, via the rolling plains of the centre, Spain is nothing if not incredibly varied in terrain and temperature. Which is precisely what…
Madrid is an eclectic, cosmopolitan city where tradition meets modernity. From bars and cafés where abuelitas make croquetasby hand, to some of the finest gastronomic delicacies in the world; underground art exhibits to renowned European collections; incredible green spaces to awe-inspiring architecture… So, where to start? Madrid in a day is a challenge—there’s so much to see. But we’ve compiled the best of the best to take you on one of our favourite routes through the city. Take a look at the most essential things to see, do, and eat in Madrid in a day.
In the morning…
Start your day off in the warm glow of the Spanish sun with the Royal Palace smiling down on you. Have a traditional Spanish breakfast at Café de Oriente like a real madrileño with a café con leche, freshly squeezed orange juice, and toast with tomato purée and Iberian ham. On nice days sit out on the terrace for spectacular views of the palace.
Address: Plaza de Oriente, 2, 28013 Madrid; Telephone: +34 91 541 39 74; Cafedeoriente.es
Start strolling, take in the sights
After a tasty breakfast, stroll through the Plaza de Oriente to arrive at the gates of the Royal Palace. Gaze up at the incredible Baroque architecture, or take a peek inside. Although the Spanish royal family no longer live here, the palace offers an insight into Spain’s royal history.
Open every day October-March 10am-6pm (tickets on sale until 5pm); April-September 10am-8pm (tickets on sale until 7pm)
Address: Calle de Bailén, Madrid 28071, Spain; Telephone: +34 902 044 454; Patrimonionacional.es
After you’ve marvelled up at where the royals live, wander through the streets to get a taste of old Madrid. Take Calle Mayor straight from the Palace to Plaza Mayor (walk there in about 10 minutes). Enter the large square through one of its beautiful arches. Sit for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine (it’s never too early for a glass of wine in Madrid) on one of the terrace bars and take in the stunning architecture that surrounds you. Then stroll through the plaza’s traditional shops, which offer authentic Spanish products like mantoncillos.
Address: Plaza Mayor, 28012 Madrid
A bite to eat, and a little art
If you’re looking for a little snack to hold you over until lunch (Spanish lunchtime is traditionally from about 2.00-3.00pm), wander over to Mercado de San Miguel for a little Madrid-style showmanship and some tasty treats. This pretty, iron-and-glass market originally built in 1916 offers fresh products and tasty tapas everywhere you look. Its central location—right next to Plaza Mayor—makes it a great place to stop for a quick bite between sightseeing.
Address: Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid; Telephone: +34 915 42 49 36; Mercadodesanmiguel.es
After refuelling at the market, take a walk through Madrid’s old town toward the world-famous Prado—don’t miss a stop in Puerta de Sol, the heart of the city, to watch the masses flood by on your way. No trip to Madrid would be complete without a visit to the Prado. You could easily spend an entire day exploring what is known as the best collection of European art in the world. But if you feel like popping in just to see the big names, don’t miss Velázquez—especially Las Meninas—and Goya’s Black Paintings.
Open Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm; Sundays and bank holidays 10am-7 pm
Address: Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid; Telephone: +34 913 30 28 00; Museodelprado.es
Lunch and siesta
Lunch is the biggest meal of the day in Spain. Book your table at Michelin-star restaurant Ramón Freixa Madrid for a taste of innovative cuisine with Mediterranean roots from Catalan chef Ramón Freixa. Grab a car or taxi from the Prado, and arrive in 10 minutes. Make sure to order by 2.45pm to be able to enjoy the tasting menus (otherwise order á la carte). You’ll find yourself right in Madrid’s “Golden Mile” in the ritzy district of Salamanca; so after enjoying the chef’s deftly crafted plates mixing Spanish tradition and innovation, head out for a little shopping on Calle de Serrano.
Address: C/ Claudio Coello, 67, 28001 Madrid; Telephone: +34 91 781 82 62; Ramonfreixamadrid.com
Not many Spaniards still take a siesta, but it is true that after an indulgent lunch, it’s nice to take a little rest. Retiro Park, a beautifully manicured oasis in the middle of the thumping metropolis, is the perfect place to lounge after lunch. Stroll down Calle de Serrano from restaurant Ramón Freixa and stop to smell the roses in Madrid’s most spectacular green space (about a 10-15 minute walk). Find the statue of the fallen angel, rest by the Crystal Palace (or see an exhibit there) or row a boat in the park’s lake while gazing up at the Monument to Alfonso XII.
In the late afternoon…
A drink and a culture trip
After a rest in the Retiro, stroll down Paseo del Prado toward Plaza de Cibeles to marvel up at the city hall, neoclassical sculptures and fountains in marble. Then continue on to Tartán Roof for the best views of the city and a glass of wine or a simple cocktail on a lovely rooftop terrace.
Address: Calle del Marqués de Casa Riera, 2, 28014 Madrid. Azoteadelcirculo.com
Come down from up above and you’ll be in the perfect place to wander through Madrid’s hippest districts, Chueca and Alonso Martínez. Head through Chueca toward Calle de Fernando VI and the small streets in the area for boutique shopping in clothes, jewellery and design. If you’re feeling like something sweet for Spanish-style merienda (late afternoon snack) pop into Mamá Framboise or La Duquesita for a treat.
Address: Mamá Framboise. Calle de Fernando VI, 23, 28004 Madrid. Telephone: +34 913 91 43 64; Mamaframboise.com
Address: La Duquesita, Calle de Fernando VI, 2, 28004 Madrid. Telephone: +34 913 08 02 31; Laduquesita.es
Dinner and a show
When it’s time for dinner make sure you’ve booked well in advance to participate in the extravagant world of “Dabiz” Muñoz at DiverXO (especially for dinner). Dining here is more than just eating a meal at a restaurant—it’s a comprehensive gastronomic experience. As one of the world’s 50 best restaurants, DiverXO is a stop in Madrid well worth making.
Address: Calle Padre Damián, 23, 28036 Madrid; Telephone: +34 915 70 07 66; Diverxo.com
If you can’t make it to DiverXO, or want a top chef experience with a little less planning, try StreetXO for a casual taste of what Muñoz has to offer. Make sure to arrive early (before opening) or late (after 9.30pm) if you don’t want to wait in line to get in; they don’t take reservations.
Address: Calle de Serrano, 52, 28001 Madrid; Telephone: +34 915 31 98 84; Streetxo.com
Madrid is a city that doesn’t sleep. If you wanted, you could easily stay out until 7 o’clock in the morning. For a more relaxing experience, seeing a flamenco show is a great way to end your night. There are plenty of shows to catch in the capital, but sometimes the best way to go is to see Spain’s most famous art form at a tablao. Cardamomo and the rest of the tablaos in Madrid mainly cater to tourists, but you’re guaranteed a fantastic show any day of the week. You’ll find multiple sessions at Cardamomo, with the last starting at 11.30pm.
Address: Calle Echegaray, 15, 28014 Madrid; Telephone: +34 691 022 117 or +34 918 05 10 38; Cardamomo.com
Before you pack your bags, keep these top tips in mind:
- Get ready to walk. You’re in sunny Spain! If you’re here in spring or autumn, it will be the most comfortable time for walking, so put on those trainers and get ready to discover hidden treasures around every corner.
- Madrid is an incredibly safe city, but while in touristic areas (Puerta de Sol or Plaza Mayor, for example) or the metro, be sure to watch out for pickpockets and keep track of your valuables.
- Keep in mind that gratuity is not customary in most situations in Spain, although at higher-end restaurants it wouldn’t be out of line to show your appreciation with a 10-15% tip.
Still looking for other places to visit while in central Spain? Have a look at the best towns to see around Madrid and if you need accommodation and want something very special, then Hacienda Sofia is ideal.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64306 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-07-23 20:56:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-23 20:56:14 [post_content] => From the misty green inlets of the north-west to the dusty south, via the rolling plains of the centre, Spain is nothing if not incredibly varied in terrain and temperature. Which is precisely what makes the range of Spanish wines produced so diverse, lively and interesting. Here’s our 101 guide to some of the top Spanish wine regions to help you explore this fabulous country through one of its very finest assets: its grapes.
Spanish Red Wines
RiojaRioja is without a doubt, Spain’s best known red. Stretching away across three valleys – the Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental – to the south of the Cantabrian Mountains, it’s a relatively small area that nevertheless packs quite a punch when it comes to global wine production. Some numbers, then: it’s Spain’s oldest wine (with written records dating back to the 9th century); there are more than 600 wineries and nearly 15,000 grape growers spread across 65,000 hectares of vineyards. Made from a variety of grapes it comes in three age classifications: Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. All are full-bodied and generally best served with food. One thing to look out for is whether the Rioja was aged in American oak, French oak or a mixture of both barrels, with each having their distinct tastes. A Rioja winery you must visit: Bodegas López de Heredia - in the town of Haro, it's one of the older wineries in La Rioja. By appointment only. More information: Lopezdeheredia.com.
Ribera del DueroThe ‘other’ great Spanish wine beginning with R. Only the best Tempranillo grapes are used to make polished Ribera del Duero wines, and there are many in Spain (and outside) who prefer the, frequently, softer more delicate taste, than that of their cousins from Rioja. Wines from Ribera del Duero are usually 100% Tempranillo and are mostly aged in French oak; they have the same age classification as Rioja (Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva). A Ribera del Duero winery you must visit: Matarromera - in the town of Valbuena del Duero, a trip to this winery can also include a visit to their museum, the EMINA Wine Museum. More information: Matarromera.es.
PrioratPriorat is probably Spanish wine’s greatest secret. With a wine growing history dating back to the 12th century, this southern Catalonian region these days produces some of the finest and fullest bodied reds in Spain… of which most people outside of Spain have never even heard. The terrain here is tough (even by Spanish wine region standards), so the vines are forced to search for water in the soil, making yield low - and prices high. The most common grape varieties used are: Garnacha, Cariñena with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. A Priorat winery you must visit: Alvaro Palacios - the name that practically singlehandedly spearheaded Priorat's ascent to the summit of Spanish wines back in the 1980s is still one of the leading wineries in the region. More information: Aseuniv.com.
Spanish White Wines
Rias BaixasOn the border of Portugal in the north-west of Spain, the Rias Baixas region of Galicia is cool, green and crisp – not unlike its white wine. The crowning glory of this wine-growing region is Albariño, which is clean, with occasional floral notes, and is absolutely ideal paired with the sublime local seafood. A Rias Baixas winery you must visit: Far from the largest, it's the setting of this family business - in the grand, fortified country house of Finca La Moreira - that makes it one the more atmospheric wineries in Spain. More information: Marquesdevizhoja.com.
CavaFrom the northeast of Spain above Barcelona, Cava is Spain’s most famous sparkling wine. Labelled with brut (dry) or semi-seco (semi sweet), Cavas can be white or rosé, and are usually made from Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes. A Cava winery you must visit: Dating back to the Middle Ages, this Empordà winery certainly doesn't lack for provenance - and it's got the grand castellated headquarters to prove it. More information: Perelada.com.
SherrySherry is made from grapes grown within Cadiz's ‘Sherry Triangle’ between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Maria in Andalucia. It comes in sweet and dry varieties. Dry Sherries like Fino or Manzanilla are crisp and acidic, and make for the perfect accompaniment to fish and seafood; Oloroso is caramel-like and nutty and goes well with meat, while medium-dry Amontillado is perfectly paired with chicken or game birds. A Sherry bodega you must visit: Bodegas Tradición is not the oldest bodega in the Sherry Triangle by a long chalk (that honour goes to Domecq), but it is one of the most insistent on traditional techniques. More information: Bodegastradicion.es.
RiojaWhite Rioja is made with Viura; sometimes on its own, other times blending with Chardonnay or Garnacha Blanca amongst others. Most white Riojas are young but are still full-bodied to taste.
Malaga WineMalaga has a long and distinguished wine-making history, with wines having been made in the region since the Phoenicians were in southern Spain, before the Romans picked up the baton. British wine merchants were sending Malaga wines back to sweet-toothed Victorians in the 19th-century. These days, made from Moscatel or Pedro Ximenez grapes, vinos de Malaga are fortified and naturally sweet. Coming in both red and white, they’re at their best served with a ripe local goats’ cheese. A Malaga winery you must visit: Bodega F. Schatz - it's entirely in keeping with the international past of the Spanish wine industry that one of the best wineries in Malaga should have been founded by a German. More information: F-schatz.com.
RuedaThe most commonly drunk white wine in Spain can be just a little disappointing to a new world white wine drinker. The Rueda region is in Castilla y Leon and its wines are usually made with Verdejo grapes. It produces very aromatic wines, often with tropical fruit and fresh grass hints, that’s fresh with just a hint of bitterness.
Things to Look Out For with Spanish WineThere are several wine classifications in Spain, each holding specific criteria. The ones to look out for are Denominacion de Origen (DO), Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOCa, DOC or DOQ) and DO Pago (only for single winery estates). On the bottle you’ll see the words Joven, Crianza (aged at least 2 years and 12 months in oak barrels), Reserva (aged at least three years with at least 12 months in oak barrels), or Gran Reserva (aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels, and more than three years bottled before they’re sold). Like the sound of these wine regions in Spain and want to experience some of the very best wines they produce? Stay with The Luxury Villa Collection and you can order the finest Spanish wines direct to your villa, or arrange a tasting or tour through our concierge. [post_title] => A Brief Introduction to Spanish Wines [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => spanish-wine-regions-guide [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-24 05:40:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-24 05:40:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=64306 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 42015 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_content] => Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop and drop break. From wonderful walks to fabulous fiestas and, yes, some of the most beautiful beaches around, we've picked out just a few of the very best things to do in Nerja. Happy exploring.
1. Laze on the BeachThere's a pretty solid chance that if you're after tips for what to do in in the vicinity of Nerja, then a beach day is going to be fairly high on your checklist. Thankfully, there are no fewer than 12 beaches to choose from in and around Nerja. Three of our favourites in town are Playa de Calahonda, Playa de Burriana and Playa El Chorrillo.
2. catch the sunset from the Balcon de EuropaAfter a long, lazy afternoon on the beach, there's only one place to head: the Balcon de Europa. Grab an ice-cream, saunter down to the end of the promenade and watch the sun slowly melt into the Mediterranean. Altogether now... WOW.
3. Be amazed by the caves of NerjaFunnily enough, the sun doesn't even shine in Nerja's biggest attraction. But that doesn't make it any less spectacular. The Caves of Nerja is a 5km complex of caverns that includes the largest stalagtite in the world, some Bronze Age remains and, it's thought, mankind's oldest artwork - which dates back some 42,000 years. Remarkable. (Carretera de Bajada a Playa de Maro, s/n, 29787 Nerja, open 0930/1000-1530.)
4. Go Snorkelling from One Cove to AnotherJust a mile or two to the east of Nerja the sparkling coves of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural park stretch away. Snorkeling, sea kayaking or paddle boarding (see below) trips set off from Playa Burriana or Playa Carabeo for you to enjoy the crystal-clear sea teeming with sea life.
5. explore the coast by paddle BoardThe beaches of Nerja itself are urban, which comes with the distinct plus side of there being plenty of bars and restaurants on hand to choose from. But running away to the east is a stunningly wild, cove-lined coast that's great for exploring via paddle board. Rental and guided tours are available from Playa Burriana and Playa de Maro.
6. get out to a nearby villageVenture from Nerja and the idyllic whitewashed mountain villages of the Axarquia are within easy reach. Competa, Maro and the lovely Frigiliana (pictured) are some of the most inviting.
7. Eat Fresh Fish Cooked on a BBQ on the BeachEspetos de sardinas - sardines skewered and cooked on a BBQ until they're deliciously tender - are a local delicacy. One of the best spots to try them in Nerja is at the far westernmost end of town in Chiringuito Mauri (Playo Playazo, 29780 Nerja). Best washed down with an icy beer or two, of course.
8. walk the rio chillarEven by southern Spanish standards Nerja is surrounded by some pretty top-notch walking. Soaring above the town are the jagged peaks of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Mountains. For something just a little less adventurous, the most famous walk around Nerja is up the Rio Chillar. You follow a beautiful, ankle-cooling river as it babbles its way down from the hills, discovering narrow ravines, waterfalls and rock pools along the way.
9. Devour Baby squid at El PulguillaOK, so you don’t have to have baby squid - although we highly recommend you do - but you definitely should grab a quick tapas and a beer/wine in this stalwart of a restaurant in Nerja. Elegant fine dining it ain't, but it is a great way to experience a typical Malaga fish restaurant. (Calle Almte. Ferrándiz, 26, 29780 Nerja; 952 52 13 84)
10. View the AqueductThis 19th century aqueduct was built to supply the surrounding sugar cane factories with water. During the summer it's a sweaty 10-minute walk from the centre of Nerja, but (as you can see in the image above) it makes for a spectacular photo opportunity when you get there.
11. Pause for Thought in Ermita de las AngustiasBuilt in 1790 this church is the home of Nerja’s patron saint, Our Lady of Anguish (Plaza de la Ermita, 11, 29780 Nerja). It might not be the grandest of churches, but it is a lovely, cool little spot to catch your breath in for five minutes or so on a hot summer's afternoon.
12. Plan a Trip Around a FiestaNerja is in Andalucia. Which means, inevitably, it's a place that's serious about letting its hair down every once in a while. The five festivals that Nerja goes for in a big way are Easter, Carnival (February), San Isidro (May), Virgen del Carmen (July 16th) and the Epiphany (5th January). Nominally religious they may be, but trust us, they're also really just a good excuse to P-A-R-T-Y.
13. See Authentic FlamencoNearby Velez-Malaga has one of the most vibrant flamenco scenes in Malaga province, thanks to the efforts of local flamenco-cultural initiative, Flamenco Abierto (Flamencoabierto.com). So if you want to catch some real flamenco, as opposed to the tourist nonsense that's so often served up, the Peña Flamenca Niño de Vélez on a Friday evening is the place to head.
14. Eat at SollunBefore opening this lovely little restaurant in Nerja chef Juan Quintanilla helped put Skina in Marbella on the Michelin-starred map. As soon as you sit down, though, it's clear that Sollun is an even more personal project. If you choose to work from the short menu, the chef himself will come out of the kitchen and recommend what's particularly good that day. The tasting menu is a thing of beauty: it features a selection of dishes with a heavy local focus, each paired with a suitable wine. (Calle Pintada, 9, 29780 Nerja; 653 68 94 52) Like our pick of things to do in Nerja and looking for more recommendations on the Costa del Sol? Have a browse through a few of our favourite Marbella day trips. Alternatively, if you're after a beautiful country villa nearby, check out our Axarquia luxury villas collection, here. [post_title] => Things to Do in Nerja that You Just Can't Miss [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-in-nerja [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=42015 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1