To say I have been through a hell of a time the last few months is an understatement.
So an extended holiday was exactly what the doctor ordered.!
18 days of bliss, but how could we afford it!
We set about planning our summer 2015 trip wondering how we could reduce costs while still enjoying ourselves to the max and so we made our plan.
We flew into Carcassonne, a beautiful medieval town in the south of France on the 10th of September and stayed in the fabulous Maison Fortunat
Of course it helps that my sister owns this wonderful property, check it out!
Fully equipped with everything you need to have an amazing holiday including a pool, obviously!
A short walk from the medieval cite where you are transported to another world almost immediately, every narrow little street leads you to another gem. Torture museums, haunted houses, knights jousting on horseback, shops, freshly made crepes and juices, restaurants…. WINE!! (As i said, everything you need)
When you eventually want to face reality again you can walk another 10 minutes to the ‘new town’ where you will be greeted with magnificent fountains, carousels and the ultimate holiday necessity, the square in the centre Ville, where you can sit for hours sipping on a local wine and get lost people watching. (My favourite haunt is Chez Felix)
If you fancy a spot of shopping, there is literally a long street running from one side of the town to the other with everything a girl could want. Sephora, Pimkie, parfois and many more.
Spend your evenings in The Celt Irish bar, not your usual Irish bar abroad. This one is actually owned and run by genuine Irish people and doesn’t have the usual cringy Irish bar abroad vibe. Its classy interior and even classier range of high end whiskeys sets it aside from the others. The Celt hosts open mic nights which attract French, English and Irish patrons. A diverse culture which makes for a great night.
Find them here; https://www.facebook.com/theceltcarcassonne?fref=ts
From Carcassonne you have access to Carcassonne plage, a man made lake with water activities, if you want to venture a little further, Toulouse is only an hour away, the same with Montpelier and Narbonne, both sea side towns.
Carcassonne should defiantly be on your places to visit list.
So, I guess this is when our adventure really started.
We caught the 9pm train to Barcelona (extremely hung-over), but the train was super comfortable.
Barcelona was just a place to pick up our rental car for the next part of our adventure. We figured we could fly directly into Barcelona any time but other places are not as accessible, plus you need time to wander in Barcelona and we didn’t have enough of that hehehehe
So, we collected our car and shat ourselves a little bit at the task ahead of navigating Spanish roads. Surprisingly enough, it wasn’t that bad. We then headed North, yes, back the way we came, past Girona, to the lovely medieval town, Pals.
We stopped along the way in Decathlon to buy ourselves a tent, some foam rollers and microfibre towels.
Camping was the cheapest way and Spanish camp-sites have excellent facilities.
This is where we found paradise, Cala D’aigua Xelida
Then Girona, another massive medieval Town, where they were filming Game of thrones might I add!
We wandered through narrow streets in the old town and then sat down and watched the world pass us by while we drank Rioja and ate patatas bravas and Nachos.
We drove to two camp-sites in Girona and both looked unsafe so we stayed in a gorgeous hotel in the city centre, that I found in 5 minutes before check in on bookings.com. But I really enjoyed Girona Town, it felt homely and safe.
The weather wasn’t amazing so we decided that heading south was a good option, we stopped off at some lovely places along the way.
Tossa De Mar
A beautiful place to stop, have some lunch and take it the views.
From there , the awe-inspiring Roman Amphitheatre in Taragonna.
And on to Granada, it was late when we got into Granada and we had drove for 4 hours so i went on bookings.com and found this amazing hotel, for 100EURO. I still think it was some sort of mix up, we got a suite with a jacuzzi in the room!
I was just raging that we didn’t arrive earlier.
The next morning we woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go explore Granada. A town we had heard so much about, steeped in history, on the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
I had planned on going to see Flamingo dancing in the caves and the Palace in Alhambra and the Arabic shopping streets.
Sadly we didn’t research it enough and our whole, be free , make no plans ethos on the holiday back fired. Tickets for the palace were sold out for the foreseeable future and the same with Flamingo dancing in the caves.
However, we did get tickets to see the palace gardens, and we made it to the Arabic markets.
It was beautiful there, we were so disappointed we didn’t get to see the palace, but we had to move on, we wandered through the Arabic centre and sat and had a glass of wine and then we did a spot of shopping. At about 7pm we decided we better organise where we would stay so we searched camp-sites and found an award winning camp-site up in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and we made our way up. It was dark on arrival so using the lights of the car we pitched out tent and headed to the camp-site bar for a night cap.
The air was fresh in the mountains and I actually woke up in the middle of the night freezing, my micro-fibre towel wasn’t enough so i wrapped myself up in clothes.
The next day we saw some of the Sierra Nevada national park and went and walked the hanging bridges of Granada.
We drove from there straight to Malaga, had some lunch on the beach and pitched our tent in Torremolinos for our first few beach days xx It was so nice to finally let the sun soak into our skin, read some books and drink some cocktails.
We rested here, went for relaxing morning walks on the beach and two hour strolls every night until it was time to check into our final destination.
We stayed in an amazing rental property in Calle de Mijas which was spread out over three floors.
When you walk into the house you are greeted with this view, amazing day or night. It was such a pity that our schedules were so hectic, we never got to sit here and watch the sun set together with a bottle of wine.
An old style interior with a modern twist.
The bathroom was built into the hillside rocks and this beautiful free standing bath took centre stage in the house.
We were in Mijas for our friends wedding and it was beautiful, and so central, Close to Malaga and Marbella.
So many things to do x
I really enjoyed the holiday but I gotta say, Greece and it’s old fashioned islands still have my heart.
Spain was busy, commercialised and stressful to drive in and I just didn’t get the same relaxed vibe I had felt in Greece.
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