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spain

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In mid-November it is already cold and miserable in Switzerland and we long for nothing more than a warm and cozy hibernation in the south. We quickly cross France and reach Spain on the third day after Departure for Morocco (2.1). It is a delight and we thoroughly enjoy the much higher temperatures and the good weather as soon as we reach the Mediterranean Sea.

For now, our Spain Discovery will be limited to the coasts along the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic. Enchanted by the beautiful Costa Brava we purposely skip Barcelona and are heading directly towards our first milestone visit in Valencia. Our focus is on the City of Arts and Sciences. Architect Santiago Calatrava's marvelous work offers unlimited photo opportunities not only for architectural photographers.

Our journey continuous on the Costa Blanca, but soon we drive up to the first mountain range behind the coast line. The scenery keeps changing frequently and while looking for some offroad opportunites Across Indian Gorge to Pirate Beach (2.2) we can't help resting in this beautiful nature for several days. Whether feeling ourselves as adventurous Indians in the bizarre landscape behind Alicante or as stranded Pirates on the turquoise shores of the Coasta Almeria, we start to fall in love with Spain and its stunning nature and warm climate.
 

We love to alternate between beach and mountains, hence as soon as we reach Andalusia we explore Europe's only desert in Tabernas. You don't need a lot of imagination to understand why the Spaghetti Western have found the perfect film location here. After a little detour to probably one of the best Spanish offroad tracks at the Gorafe Desert and the high mountain crossing of the Sierra Nevada we are now sure that Andalusia surprises, WOW (2.3).

Also the second part of Spain on our way back from Morocco pleases us exceedingly well. The Return trip along the Atlantic Coast (2.11) leads us through Galicia with stops in Santiago de Compostella, the Northernmost tip of Iberia and finally Bilbao.

Scenic

on- & off-road Drives

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1. Gorafe Desert Andalusia
27km offroad
from Parque Megalíticode Gorafe via Mirador de Los Coloraos to Villa Nueva de las Torres
from  37° 26' 55.94"N   3° 1' 10.06
"W
via     37° 33' 17.04"N   3° 2' 17.87"W
to      37° 33' 21.43"N   3° 5' 23.80"W
 
2. Costa de Almeria
9km asphalted beach road
from El Calon to Villaricos
from 37° 18' 42.5"N  1° 42' 25.0"W
to    37° 15' 13.1"N   1° 46' 00.4"W
3. Trans Sierra Nevada
37km asphalted mountain road A-337
from Mirrador de Ferreira to Cherin
from 37°10'30.0"N  3°02'50.2"W
to 36°57'47.9"N  3°00'35.1"W
4. Carretera de Xixiona
11km asphalted mountain highway
from Port de la Carrasqueta to Xixiona (downhill!!)
from 38°36'14.9"N   0°29'09.6"W
to 38°33'11.8"N   0°30'23.3"W

Must-Visit

Mainstream & Insider Attractions

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1. Valencia and the city of Arts & Sciences

2. Bilbao, the city of the Guggenheim Museum

3. Sierra Nevada, highest point in continental Spain

4. Santiago de Compostella, the capital of Galicia & destination of the Way of St. James

5. Tabernas, the only desert in Europe and Spaghetti Western film location

Customs & Traditions

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1. Sangria, Tapas & Paella

2. Spanish Football

3. Spanish-style Bullfighting

Photogenic Locations

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1. Pirate Beach - Almeria Coast  -  37°17'20.1"N  1°43'34.4"W

2. Los Coloraos - Gorafe Desert  -  37°32'28.6"N  3°02'52.0"W

3. City of Arts & Sciences - Valencia  - 39°27'16.6"N  0°21'03.5"W

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