martes, 31 de julio de 2012

CATALONIA COSTA BRAVA: BEACHES OF BLANES

Blanes, with 4 kilometes of beach and quiet coves like Cala Bona (Sant Francesc), is a perfect place in La Costa Brava for spending your holidays, or just a long weekend, in a pleasant and peaceful atmosphere.

We arrived by train to Blanes and after twenty minutes' walk we reached the long beach of S'Abanell. Strolling along the promenade we enjoyed beautiful views of the beach of Blanes and the castle of Sant Joan.



S'Abanell beach in La Costa Brava
Beautiful view of S'Abanell beach in Blanes. I really like these beaches of clear water of La Costa Brava


After lunch at a restaurant on the promenade next to the marina, we walked to the beach of Sant Francesc (Cala Bona). We arrived after a 20 minute walk after enjoying fantastic views of the harbor and walking past the botanical gardens Mar i Murtra.


Next I would like to show you some pictures of the beautiful beaches and places I saw and enjoyed in Blanes:

  • S'Abanell Beach
  • Blanes Beach
  • Sant Joan Castle
  • Old City
  • Marina
  • Mar i Murtra Botanical Gardens
  • Cala Bona (Sant Francesc Cove)

S'Abanell Beach


S'Abanell beach in Blanes
S'Abanell beach in Blanes

S'Abanell beach in Blanes
There were a lot of people on the beach enjoying of this sunny day in Blanes

S'Abanell beach in Blanes
Clear and fresh water of S'Abanell beach in Blanes
  

S'Abanell beach in La Costa Brava
S'Abanell beach in Blanes was crowded that sunday morning

S'Abanell beach in La Costa Brava
We were lucky because the day was lovely in Blanes


Blanes Beach


Blanes beach in La Costa Brava
Blanes beach in La Costa Brava

Sant Joan Castle


Blanes beach and Sant Joan Castle in La Costa Brava
Blanes beach and Sant Joan Castle on the top of the hill in La Costa Brava

Old City of Blanes


Street in Blanes
A colorful street in Blanes

Marina


Blanes Marina
The Marina of Blanes

Blanes Marina and beaches
Overview of the Blanes Marina. You can also see the beaches of Blanes (beside the marina)and S'Abanell

   

Mar i Murtra Botanic Garden



Mar i Murtra Botanic Garden in Blanes
Walking from the marina to the beach of Sant Francesc (Cala Bona) we passed Mar i Murtra Botanical Garden

Mar i Murtra Botanic Garden in Blanes
Closer look at the entrance to the Mar i Murtra Botanical Garden


Cala Bona (Sant Francesc Cove)


Sant Francesc beach in Blanes and Costa Brava
Costa Brava and Sant Francesc beach in Blanes

Costa Brava and Sant Francesc beach in Blanes
Another view of La Costa Brava in Blanes and Sant Francesc beach from this viewpoint


Cala Bona (Sant Francesc) beach in Blanes
 I really liked Cala Bona (Sant Francesc) beach in Blanes

Cala Bona (Sant Francesc) in Blanes
I enjoyed a lot the views of La Costa Brava and Sant Francesc beach from this viewpoint

Stairs to Sant Francesc beach in Blanes
Stairs to Sant Francesc beach in Blanes

Cala Sant Francesc in Blanes
Clear water of Sant Francesc beach in Blanes

Costa Brava in Blanes near Sant Francesc beach
A great example of clear water and rugged coastline in La Costa Brava


We had lunch in a restaurant on the promenade near the marina:

  • La Góndola
  • Passeig Mestrança, 80-81
  • 17300 Blanes, Costa Brava


If you liked this pictures, clicking on the next links you will find more pictures of another fantastic beaches in La Costa Brava, like:


From Camins de Ronda in Costa Brava you can enjoy fantastic views of Costa Brava and its beaches:



Moreover if you like beaches, below you have other beautiful beaches in Catalonia, Spain and Portugal:

- Costa Daurada beaches

Barcelona Beaches



Besides, in La Costa Brava you can visit the fantastic old city of Gironamany lovely villages and interesting places, like:





Finally, clicking on the next link you will find more beautiful villages, beaches and landscapes in Catalonia.

viernes, 27 de julio de 2012

BARCELONA: OLYMPIC PARK IN MONTJUÏC

Today is the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games of London 2012. Moreover this week twenty years ago (on 25th july 1992) were inaugurated the Olympic Games of Barcelona 1992. So this post is a tribute to my city in this special date and here I would like to show some pictures of the Olympic Ring in Montjuïc.
The Olympic Ring, built in 1992, is one of the most beautiful places in Montjuïc, as well as the Montjuïc Castle or the Magic Fountain. Actually, the visit to the Olympic Ring can begin in this fantastic fountain. Besides, next to the Olympic Ring you can visit the lovely Joan Maragall gardens.


Montjuïc is, without any doubt, one of the most beautiful places in Barcelona and, from the Olympic Games in 1992, one of the most symbolic places in the city. Montjuïc vibrate with emotion during those wonderful days which showed Barcelona to the world. 


Olympic Stadium


Olympic Stadium of Montjuïc in Barcelona
The Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc has a capacity for 55,000 spectators. It can stage sports competitions, musical performances or any type of popular event


Olympic Stadium of Montjuïc in Barcelona
The current Olympic Stadium in Montjuïc is a transformation of the old stadium, of which it conserves the façade designed by the architect Pere Domènech i Roure (the son of the modernist Lluís Domènech i Montaner)

Palau Sant Jordi



Olympic Ring in Barcelona
The Olympic Ring in Montjuïc with the Olympic Stadium in the background, the Palau Sant Jordi and the Calatrava telecommunication tower



Palau Sant Jordi in the Olympic Ring of Barcelona
The Palau Sant Jordi is considered the most important element of the Olympic Ring in Montjuïc. It is a covered sports pavilion, designed basically for the competitions of athletic and rhythmic gymnastics and the finals of handball and volleyball of the 1992 Olympic Games

National Institute of Physical Education


Europa square in the Olympic Ring of Barcelona
Behind this square, called Europa square, is the National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia, also built for the Olympic Games of Barcelona


Sunset in the Olympic Ring


Olympic Stadium in the heart of the Olympic Ring in Montjuïc
The Olympic Stadium in the heart of the Olympic ring in Montjuïc


Olympic Stadium in the heart of the Olympic Ring in Montjuïc
Another view of the Olympic Stadium, whose facade wasn't modified during the remodelling of this stadium


Palau Sant Jordi in the Olympic Ring of Barcelona
The Sant Jordi Sports Hall can stage a wide variety of sports events and other spectacles. An athletics track of 200 m inner perimeter and a skating rink can be installed, as can a stage for concerts or ballet performances


Calatrava Telecommunication Tower in the Olympic Ring of Barcelona
The Calatrava Telecommunication Tower was built in the Olympic Ring to improve communications


Near the Olympic Ring, the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc astonished everyone who went to the Olympic Ring.


Montjuïc Magic Fountain


Montjuïc Magic Fountain in Barcelona
 Impressive performance at night of the Montjuïc Magic Fountain near the Olympic Ring of Barcelona


Besides I would recommend the following route to discover the fantastic places in Montjuïc around the Olympic Ring:



Other areas of Barcelona which were really relevant during the Olympic Games were the Olympic Village and the Olympic Marina. This two places are adjacent to each other and have become one of the most beautiful areas in Barcelona.


Torre Mapfre and Hotel Arts in the Olympic Village of Barcelona
Torre Mapfre and Hotel Arts (the twin towers) in the Olympic Village of Barcelona

Olympic Marina in Barcelona
Olympic Marina in Barcelona


Finally, clicking on the next link you will find links to more beautiful and interesting places of Barcelona.

miércoles, 25 de julio de 2012

BARCELONA: HOTEL TERRACE IN PORT VELL

Some days ago I showed some pictures of the 360º bar in Barceló Raval Hotel. Today I would like to recommend spending an evening on the terrace Cocktail - Bar of Duquesa de Cardona hotel enjoying fantastic views of the Port Vell in Barcelona.

Having dinner at La Terrassa del Duquesa, is having the privilege of enjoying the best views over the port of Barcelona, from the Mapfre Towers at the Port Olímpic until Moll de la Fusta, entertaining our eyes also at the carismatic quarter Barceloneta, and the movement of the yachts arriving and departing the harbour.

La Terrassa del Duquesa has become during the last years into one of the most genuine bars in the city of Barcelona. A perfect refuge to scape from the hustle of the city at anytime of the day, to watch the sea line of the port in a unic and sophisticated atmosphere.




Vela Hotel and Port Vell in Barcelona
Vela Hotel and Port Vell in Barcelona from the terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel

Imax Port Vell in Barcelona
Imax Port Vell in Barcelona from the terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel


World Trade Center and Port Vell in Barcelona
World Trade Center and Port Vell in Barcelona from the terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel

Terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona
Cocktails in Duquesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona

Terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona
Terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona beside the Port Vell

Terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona
Tables on the terrace of Duquesa de Cardona hotel in Barcelona




Below you have a list of the hotels in Barcelona with outdoor terraces:

Hotels with outdoor terraces in Barcelona

  • 1898
  • America Barcelona
  • Arts Barcelona
  • Axel Hotel Barcelona
  • B-hotel
  • Bagués
  • Barceló Raval
  • Barcelona Catedral
  • Barcelona Center 
  • Barcelona Princess 
  • Best Western Hotel Confort Golf
  • Casa Fuster
  • Catalonia Catedral
  • Catalonia Ramblas 
  • Catalonia Plaza Cataluña 
  • Claris
  • Condes de Barcelona
  • Cram
  • DO: Plaça Reial 
  • Duquesa de Cardona 
  • España
  • Eurostars Grand Marina
  • Gallery Hotel
  • Gran Hotel la Florida 
  • Gran Hotel Princesa Sofia
  • Granados 83
  • Grand Hotel Central
  • Grums Barcelona
  • Grupotel Gran Via 678
  • H10 Itaca
  • H10 Marina Barcelona
  • H10 Montcada
  • H10 Universitat 
  • Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona
  • Hotel Neri
  • Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I 
  • Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona
  • Mandarin Oriental Barcelona
  • Me Barcelona
  • Miramar Barcelona
  • NH Podium
  • Novotel Barcelona City
  • Ohla Hotel
  • Olivia Plaza 
  • Omm
  • Onix Liceo 
  • Pulitzer
  • Pullman Barcelona Skipper
  • Renaissance Barcelona Hotel 
  • Rivoli Ramblas
  • Silken Diagonal Barcelona
  • Tryp Condal Mar
  • Villa Emilia
  • W Barcelona


Finally, clicking on the next link you will find links to other beautiful places in Barcelona, among them, the Gothic Quarter or the Born and la Ribera district.

jueves, 12 de julio de 2012

CATALONIA: AIGÜESTORTES AND LLAC DE SANT MAURICI


Recently I went to Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park, located in the north of Catalonia, near France, between the mountains of the Pyrenees. The landscapes I enjoyed were wonderful, so I would like to show you some pictures I took there.

Espot and Boí are the villages where the headquarters of the National Park are. You have to go there to visit the most beautiful places of this park: Aigüestortes and Sant Maurici Lake. Actually, in 2008 I visited La Vall de Boí and the area of the park beside Boí. This time, I enjoyed the landscapes of Sant Maurici Lake.

Our headquarters was Casa Font in Saurí, a lovely village near Sort. We really liked this house and we felt really comfortable there. From here, on saturday,  we went to Sort for doing rafting and, on sunday, we went to Espot to visit the Aigüestortes i Llac de Sant Maurici National Park. It was an intense and fantastic weekend.


Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park


Llac de  Sant Maurici (Sant Maurici Lake)



Llac de Sant Maurici in Aigüestortes National Park
Sant Maurici lake surrounded by mountains of the Pyrenees in Aigüestortes National Park

Llac de Sant Maurici in Aigüestortes National Park
Clear water of Sant Maurici lake in Aigüestortes National Park


Cascada de la Ratera (Ratera Waterfall)


Ratera waterfall in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park
Ratera waterfall in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park

Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park
Walking to Estany de la Ratera in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park

Fir trees and Llac de Sant Maurici in Aigüestortes National Park
Fir trees and Llac de Sant Maurici in Aigüestortes National Park

Creek near Estany de la Ratera in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park
Creek near Estany de la Ratera in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park

Estany de la Ratera (Ratera Pond)



Estany de la Ratera in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park
Estany de la Ratera in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park

Another picture of Estany de la Ratera surrounded by mountains of the Pyrenees in Aigüestortes National Park


Llac de Sant Maurici Viewpoint



Sant Maurici lake in Aigüestortes National Park
This path leads to a viewpoint from which the view of Sant Maurici lake in Aigüestortes National Park is wonderful

Sant Maurici lake and Encantats Peaks in Aigüestortes National Park
Fantastic view of Sant Maurici lake and Encantats Peaks in Aigüestortes National Park


Finally, if you liked these landscapes, clicking on the next links you will find links to other fantastic places in the Pyrenees of Catalonia,  Andorra and France, like:

- Catalonia:
- Andorra

miércoles, 11 de julio de 2012

CATALONIA: RAFTING SORT AND AIGÜESTORTES


Recently I went to Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park, located in the north of Catalonia, near France, between the mountains of the Pyrenees. The landscapes I enjoyed were wonderful, so I would like to show you some pictures I took there. Besides I really enjoyed a day of rafting the previous day.

Espot and Boí are the villages where the headquarters of the National Park are. You have to go there to visit the most beautiful places of this park: Aigüestortes and Sant Maurici Lake. Actually, in 2008 I visited La Vall de Boí and the area of the park beside Boí. This time, I enjoyed the landscapes of Sant Maurici Lake.

Our headquarters was Casa Font in Saurí, a lovely village near Sort. We really liked this house and we felt really comfortable there. From here, on saturday,  we went to Sort for doing rafting and, on sunday, we went to Espot to visit the Aigüestortes i Llac de Sant Maurici National Park. It was an intense and fantastic weekend.

Below you will see pictures of:

  • Casa Font in Saurí (Sort)
  • Rafting Sort (www.rubber-river.com)
  • Sort
  • Espot
  • Aigüestortes i Llac de Sant Maurici National Park


Casa Font in Saurí (Sort)


Saurí is a small village in the Pyrenees near Sort
View of Saurí, the village in the Pyrenees where Casa Font is


Casa Font in Saurí near Sort
Doorway of Casa Font in Saurí

Casa Font in Saurí near Sort
One of the bedrooms of Casa Font in Saurí

Stone houses in Saurí, a lovely village near Sort
Typical stone houses in Saurí (Sort) from the doorway of Casa Font


Rafting Rubber River Sort



Florido Hotel in Sort
Inside the facilities Rubber River has in Florido Hotel we got the helmet, life jacket and wetsuit. From here we were taken to the starting point of rafting

Rafting along Noguera Pallaresa river between Sort and Llavorsí
About to start the rafting along Noguera Pallaresa river between Sort and Llavorsí

I found rafting a really intense, exciting and funny experience

Rafting in Noguera Pallaresa river
Through one of the rapids of the Noguera Pallaresa river

Rafting in Noguera Pallaresa river
Paddling strongly in our yellow raft

Rafting in Noguera Pallaresa river near Sort
Rough water in Noguera Pallaresa river

Rafting in Noguera Pallaresa river near Sort
Enjoying a swim in Noguera Pallaresa river

Rafting in Noguera Pallaresa river near Sort
White water near a rapid of Noguera Pallaresa river
  
Florido Hotel in Sort
Florido Hotel in Sort, where we had lunch after doing rafting 


 Swimming pool of Florido Hotel in Sort
Swimming pool of Florido Hotel in Sort


Sort

Noguera Pallaresa river passing through Sort
Noguera Pallaresa river passing through Sort. Here our rafting ended

The town of Sort in Catalonia
Walking along Sort, a town in the mountains of the Pyrenees

La Bruixa d'Or in Sort
La Bruixa d'Or in Sort, where I bought Christmas lottery



Espot



The village of Espot, located beside the Aigüestortes National Park
Taxis 4x4 off-road in Espot, a village located beside the Aigüestortes National Park. We took these taxis to arrive at Sant Maurici Lake from Espot


Aigüestortes i Llac de Sant Maurici National Park



Located in the heart of the Pyrenees, this is the most genuine representation of a mountainous area. The majestic landscapes and views make Aigüestortes  National Park a truly unique location. Centuries old woods of fir trees and black pines are scattered around the park, which also contains nearly 200 mountain lakes.

As the private vehicle access into the park is very limited, it's really advisable to use public transport with 4x4 vehicles. In Espot and Boí, 4x4 taxi service  is available throughout the year. It's a shuttle service to Aigüestortes and Lake Sant Maurici. 


Excursions in Aigüestortes National Park from Espot
Excursions you can do in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park from Espot. We got to Estany de Ratera (Ratera Pond) and the Sant Maurici viewpoint, located at two thousand meters above sea level

Sant Maurici lake in Aigüestortes National Park
Sant Maurici lake in Aigüestortes National Park

Llac de Sant Maurici in Aigüestortes National Park
A fantastic memory of our excursion in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park in the Pyrenees of Catalonia

Sant Maurici lake in Aigüestortes National Park
Sant Maurici lake in Aigüestortes National Park under a lovely day

Cascada de la Ratera in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park
Cascada de la Ratera (Ratera waterfall) in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park in the Pyrenees of Catalonia

Estany de Ratera in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park in the Pyrenees of Catalonia
Estany de Ratera (Ratera Pond) in Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park in the Pyrenees of Catalonia

Landscape of Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park
Wonderful landscape of Aigüestortes and Llac de Sant Maurici National Park in the Pyrenees of Catalonia

Landscape of Sant Maurici lake and Encantats Peaks
Dreamscape of Sant Maurici lake and Encantats Peaks we enjoyed from El Mirador de l'Estany (viewpoint of the pond). This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in Catalonia



Finally, if you liked these landscapes, clicking on the next links you will find links to other fantastic places in the Pyrenees of Catalonia, Andorra and France, like:

- Catalonia:
- Andorra:

- France: