On a warm sunny day in September, what more can you want, than to be sat up on top of the world, with buzzards circling above and eating a cheese and pickle sandwich. Breathing in the cool mountain air whilst looking out over the spectacular view with limestone cliffs, jutting out into the sky, I am sat on the edge of the PR-PNPE15 path in the Picos de Europa, Spain, which literally translates to the peaks of Europe. I can hear the soothing sounds of the cow bells, from the herd down in the valley below.
As I walked along the rugged cliff top road, with the waves crashing beneath and the sea breeze in my hair, I caught a glimpse of something. Eerily a white marble angel towering over some iron gates. One wave of relief was that I wasn’t travelling here alone at night. For I was about to go into a graveyard here in northern Spain in the town of Comillas. I was respecting the dead in the cemetery of Comillas.
Beautiful Noja in northern Spain gets a massive thumbs up from me. With its long sandy beaches, spectacular rocks jutting out of the sea and historic places there is so much to do and see. Encircled by green hills which are irresistible to climb I spent my days swimming in the sea and hiking. But there is more to Noja than what a lot of people come for, the beach. This is why I have decided to write this tourist guide of things to do in Noja, Spain and guess what! They are all free!
After perfecting your packing, the other downside of travelling with carry on luggage is in packing liquids in hand luggage. It is a real challenge to pack all the liquids you need into an approximate 20 cm x 20 cm clear plastic bag. The key to this is only take what you know you definitely need, everything else can be purchased at your destination. You will learn everything there is to know on how to pack liquids in hand luggage to make future travels more convenient.
If you don’t travel light then it will involve you playing a game of Tetris in your liquid bag possibly at the front of a queue of angry passengers when you can hear your flight being called for boarding. Stressful and unnecessary.
My handy guide comes from years of experience so you can breeze through security.
Santander in northern Spain, Cantabria region is mostly unspoilt by tourism despite its great travel connection with with the UK and natural beauty. Surrounded by mountains, Santander certainly has character despite losing a lot of its history in a fire in 1941. Although it is a city, and a transport hub, it does not have to be expensive especially when you have this tourist guide to the top 10 free things to do in Santander so that you can travel on a budget.
There is something great about travelling alone, whether or not you have tried it yourself before. When you travel by yourself, you are more likely, in many ways, to have a more ‘real’ travel experience, one which is closer to the true idea of travel. Being with another person can be useful and beneficial at times, but they can also be something of a baggage, emotionally and sometimes even physically. And being with a whole group of people? Forget it. Solo travel is the only true way to go, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy. There are a few things that you will need to make sure you have in order to make it work out for you. Let’s take a look at what those might be, so you can travel solo for longer, and with better results.
As I sit on the edge of the cliff top, I gaze out at the sea. The fresh sea air blowing my hair in the wind. This is a spot of many a life lost. An eerie history where Falangists where thrown over the cliffs by Republicans as well as boats tricked into crashing onto these cliffs by wreckers. But this is also one of the nicest viewpoints over the Bay of Santander and the home of The Cabo Mayor Lighthouse (Santander Lighthouse).
Imagine taking a scenic boat ride for 20 minutes across a beautiful bay as your daily commute. Well this is what some of the locals in Santander, Spain do each day. However, along with them are tourists who want a wonderful day trip to Somo and, of course, the pilgrims walking the Santiago de Compostela which crosses Northern Spain. And all this for a bargain 5 Euros, return ticket. Great for budget travellers.
As the waves crashed against the bridge connecting the little church on the rocks, to the mainland, my mind could imagine how the pilgrims coming to this place would feel edging their way here in a storm. How the many lives that have been lost at sea around this treacherous coast. San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Spain used to be just know well known amongst pilgrims but now it is the most well known due to the tv series, Game of Thrones. This hermitage, on the small island which you can access via a man-made bridge is historically known as an important fortress in battles and against pirate attacks.
France is well known by the English for frogs legs, great wine and garlic snails. But I will most remember France for it being the starting place for my grand Western European Tour. With cheap ferries from Dover, UK, when I had to leave the country in a hurry due to the small print of my travel insurance, I found myself in France armed with a 14 year old Nissan X-trail and a blow up bed.