Hotel Tip of the Week: Hotel Hesperia Sevilla | Spain

hotel tip of the week

Welcome to our Hotel Tip of The Week series. Being on the road every day of the year means we stay at countless hotels along the way. For all the disappointing  digs, there are as many accommodation gems. We post one hotel tip of the week, every week, of places we feel confident recommending after having tried and tested them ourselves. This week: Hotel Hesperia in Seville, Spain.

Hotel Hesperia Seville
A few years ago we flew in to Seville for the first part of our Train through Spain vacation and, both enamored by this steamy southern Spanish city; we knew we would be back. When the time came for us to visit again this year, we also knew that we would again book in to the Hesperia Sevilla. The Seville hotel sits right in that sweet spot of location, price, service and room quality that made our decision to stay there again this year easy to make.

After a quick 15-minute ride from the international airport, we found ourselves standing in the cool marble lobby at the Hesperia Sevilla, which oozes Spanish style from its public spaces to the Art-Deco style rooms. Because the hotel is located outside the historic center, the bright rooms here are a spacious, purpose-built 24 square meter size with deep, comfortable beds, making it just as satisfying to spend time in the room as enjoying Sevilla. The bathrooms are equally spacious and bright, towels are perfectly fluffy, and toiletries include everything from the sewing kit to a full-size toothbrush.

Hotel Hesperia SevillaThe free in-room wi-fi connection worked without a hitch. Simply pick up a password at the front desk and sign-in one time and you are connected for the duration of your stay. The staff at Hesperia Sevilla, though not masters of the English language, is guest-oriented and helpful, while the large leather couches arranged in the lobby are great to sink into meet with friends at night or read the paper in the morning. The on-site parking lot is great for those guests traveling by car. We opted not to eat at the hotel Tapas bar, choosing to dine instead at a couple of ‘cervecerias’ nearby.

We appreciated the location of Hesperia Sevilla, in a bustling neighborhood where locals drink their morning coffee, gossip over late lunches with friends or enjoy tapas late into the night at the many tapas bars. The four-star Seville hotel conveniently sits right on the main Avenida Eduardo Dato so cabs are readily available, but Hesperia is only a 15-minute walk to the center of the Andalusian capital, just up the road from the train station where high-speed AVE trains leave for destinations throughout Spain, and around the corner from good shopping/dining options at the El Corte Ingles shopping mall, a Spanish shopping institution.

Stand-Out Feature: Value For Money

Hesperia Seville offers competitive rates for a four-star Spanish hotel. The hotel works closely with several booking websites and also offers deals and packages on its own website. When a bed in a shared dorm room can cost around $25-35 per person in most European cities, a rate of $70 for two at Hesperia Sevilla is that much more attractive. The hotel is perfect for business travelers (offering business & meeting facilities) but the price and location make it also perfect for families, couples and even large tour groups.

Room for Improvement: The Noise Factor

In a city like Seville, where there are ways to fill your day from morning until the wee hours, most guests spend limited time inside the hotel. If that sounds like how you travel, the paper-thin walls might not bother you in the least. But for loved-up couples or parents with vocal children – your neighbors will hear you and you will hear them.

Overall – Hotel Hesperia in Seville, Spain

We found Hesperia Sevilla to be a bright, stylish mid-range hotel in a great location with all the necessary services and facilities to meet the needs of both business travelers and tourists to Seville.

Hotel Hesperia Seville

Location: Avenida Eduardo Dato, 49, Sevilla, Spain
Price: from 50 Euros for a double room
LGBT Friendly: yes
Digital Nomad Friendly: Yes
Amenities: wi-fi, meeting rooms, desks, mini-bar, oversized bathtubs

Like this hotel? Book it here.

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A guide to Lanzarote’s lunar-type landscapes


As one of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is most commonly associated with beach breaks in the sun, but there’s more to this island than just its coastline. If you love hiking and photography, head to the interior for at least a day to discover the island’s otherworldly landscapes.

Lanzarote is volcanic in origin and, as a result, boasts some weird and wonderful rock formations, as well as areas that look a lot like a lunar scene. The whole island is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which makes this a great vacation for eco-conscious travelers as development here remains sustainable as it grows.

In this Lanzarote travel guide I am sharing Lanzarote beyond the beaches. If you want to escape the crowds, I recommend renting a car and driving around the island. If you want to encounter as few other tourists as possible, plan your trip in the off-season. That way you’ll get an even cheaper deal on your holiday, too.La Graciosa @ Islas Canarias

Where to see Lanzarote’s lunar landscape

Timanfaya National Park is undoubtedly where you’ll find Lanzarote’s most spectacular and unusual scenery. The area has been shaped by volcanic eruptions, the most recent of which occurred in the 19th century, and due to the low levels of rainfall it receives the landscape has changed little over the years.

This means you can see the dried-up lava flows and strange rock formations that were caused by the eruptions. There’s also little plant life – although the flora that does survive in the area is incredibly interesting – offering up uninterrupted views of the volcanoes and the martian-style landscape that spreads out in front of you.

Independent travelers should note, though, that in order to visit this area, you must be part of a guided tour. This has its benefits in that your leader will be able to tell you more about Lanzarote’s fiery history, as well as show you some amazing tricks using the geothermal energy stored in the ground – all things it would be hard to pick up on your own, anyway.Timanfaya National Park 14

Top sights in Timanfaya National Park

One of the most astounding things to see as you explore Timanfaya National Park is how the ground retains incredibly hot temperatures just beneath the surface. If you drop some dry twigs into a hole, they will instantly catch fire, while pouring water into a borehole will result in steam shooting out of the earth, much like a mini geyser.

This happens because just a few meters below the surface of the ground temperatures are between 400 and 600 degrees C!

To get a good overview of the landscape, head to the viewpoint at Montana Rajada. From here, you can see the rolling lava fields stretching all the way to the coast. Some of the shapes of the rocks are bizarre – you can easily imagine being on another planet as you look out over the desolate scene.

If you feel like getting active on your holiday in Lanzarote, consider joining one of the guided walks offered by the National Parks Service. The trail along the coast is one of the most fascinating, as this will allow you to see how Lanzarote’s shoreline has been shaped by the lava, which cooled and hardened upon hitting the sea creating all kinds of jagged and interesting rock formations. You can also simply walk the trails by yourself – it’s not required to join a guided walk. Just make sure to use sunscreen and pack water.Lanzarote-TimanfayaCurious about the other islands? Check out my complete guide to the most popular Canary Islands.

Photo Credit: Images used via Flickr’s Creative Commons Licensing. (1) La Graciosa by Landscapesandmore; (2) Timanfaya by Castgen; (3) Timanfaya by Tony Hisgett
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Three day trips from Malaga

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Summer trips to Spain inspire ideas of sun and sand, but jet down to Malaga and you will not only be in one of the Costa del Sol’s top resorts, but also in a convenient position to go on some amazing day trips.

Flights from anywhere in Europe are quick and cheap, and when we hopped on a flight to Malaga, we discovered that although Malaga itself is a rather large city with plenty to see and do for an extended period of time, what makes this sunny city such a great destination is how much you can do just outside the city limits, within an easy day trip.

Here are three quick trips recommended during a summer vacation in Malaga.

Spain Beach


Spain as a whole has a reputation for being chic, but if you want to take a day trip to somewhere really luxurious and suave, head to Marbella. Situated about an hour’s drive to the west of Malaga, this coastal resort has long been popular among celebrities, like Hollywood actress Eva Longoria, so you could well end up rubbing shoulders with some high-profile names when relaxing on one of Marbella’s golden beaches.

You might be inspired by all the shoulder-rubbing and decide to stroll the Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe Boulevard for a spot of window-shopping, as this main drag is perfect for picking up (or just admiring) designer clothing and gorgeous jewelry.

Church in Marbella
Church in Marbella via Karen Bryan on Flickr


For those who like basking in the famous Spanish sunshine, Nerja is a key day trip destination worth checking out. This western Costa del Sol resort lies about an hour away from Malaga and contains a great variety of beaches ideal for laying out, working out or checking out beautiful beach bodies. Among these is Burriana, a lovely 700 m expanse of golden sand, though El Salon, Calahonda and La Torrecilla are also good places to relax.

For those interested in more than relaxation, head to the Nerja cave. Only discovered in 1959, this underground complex features a wide range of ancient rock formations, including stalagmites and stalactites, that have been sculpted over the course of thousands of years.

Nerja via Airon Zone on Flickr


Admittedly, many of those who visit the Costa del Sol will stick to the region’s coastal towns and resorts, which is why heading inland offers a fairly unique and culturally interesting day or overnight trip. Explore Ronda, a historic town that lies on both sides of the Tajo del Ronda gorge.

A wealth of period architecture can be seen here, including the 13th century Almocabar Gate and the Santa Maria la Mayor. The latter was originally a mosque, though it would later be converted into a church when Ronda fell under Christian rule. This transformation has resulted in the structure containing a blend of architectural styles and features, including a mihrab arch and a Baroque-style interior.

Ronda Bridge
Ronda Bridge via Dean Ayres on Flickr

Between even just these three day trips and explore the city of Malaga, you can easily fill a week of sun, sand and culture without worrying about heading to packed out Barcelona or Valencia in the height of summer season and still feel like you have had a classic Spanish summer experience.

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The Seven Canary Islands: Great Holiday Getaways

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Thousands of tourists flock to the seven Canary Islands archipelago every year to enjoy the sun, sea and sand. Here’s what each island has to offer.


Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands with almost guaranteed year round sunshine and a diverse terrain of dramatic mountains and beautiful beaches. Las Cañadas del Teide, a natural crater, is a National Park that lies 2,000m above sea level and north of the crater stands El Pico del Teide, a 3,718m mountain, is the highest peak in Spain. Most families and couples travel to the resort of Playa de las Americas while surfers prefer the resort of El Médano. Flights to Tenerife, including national and international, fly to Tenerife South Airport and Tenerife North, so finding a flight should be a breeze.

Tenerife by POTIER Jean-Louis on

La Palma

Small in size but big on beauty, La Palma is also known as La Isla Bonita or ‘The Pretty Island’At the bottom of the island you will find Fuencaliente, where there are two volcanoes – Volcán San Antonio and Volcán Teneguía. The Fuencaliente Volcano Route offers different options for all levels of walkers. If you’re a wine lover, don’t miss Malvasia, the white dessert wine from the south of La Palma.


The three thousand hours of sunshine a year and the endless stretches of untouched beaches of white sand are found on the second smallest Canary Island. Fuerteventura is also well-known as a waterspouts paradise! Surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers come here to glide out on a surf board or windsurf and take advantage of the wind and waters.

- Dunes -Fuerteventura
Fuerteventura by Xavler on


A holiday favourite, Lanzarote is the fourth largest island of the Canary Islands. Lanzarote has many alluring white beaches such as Papagayo and Playa Blanca. One stunning feature of Lanzarote is Atlantida Tunnel, the longest volcanic tunnel in the world Another tourist attraction is the sculptures and architecture designed by the internationally renowned artist, architect and environmentalist César Manrique. Some of his unique public arts include Jameos del Agua, the César Manrique Foundation, Mirador del Rio and Cactus Garden.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is rich in nature and biodiversity, with the island being awarded the Biosphere Reserve label by UNESCO for its effort in supporting the conservation of the diverse archipelago. The coastline is home to the loggerhead turtle, the bottlenose dolphin and Risso’s dolphin. The fine weather, strong wind and stunning coastline make it an excellent place for kitesurfing and windsurfing.

Valley/Valle Agaete Gran Canaria
Valley/Valle Agaete Gran Canaria by Dunas on

El Hierro

Measuring less than 50km from one end to the other, El Hierro is the smallest of the seven Canary Islands. El Hierro has more than 800 volcanoes, making it the Canary Island with the densest concentration of volcanoes! El Hierro also has an outstanding biodiversity, with almost 100km of rugged, cliff-lined coastline and coves and lagoons. Lovers of diving and snorkeling go there for the clear, deep waters.

La Gomera

About 50km south-west of El Hierro is La Gomera, also known to many as the Canary Island’s “magical island”.  The Garajonay National Park, a vast unspoilt rainforest, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. Go within the dense vegetation of laurisilva tree to watch the sea of clouds (horizontal rain!), an atmospheric phenomenon caused by winds blowing in from the sea. The beaches and coves in La Gomera are blessed with black sands and crystal clear water.

El sol llegando a La Gomera - The sun coming to La Gomera
Sunrise in La Gomera by perlaroques on

The seven different and unique Canary Islands are the best places to enjoy an amazing holiday at any time of the year.


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Polaroid of the week: The hand-painted street signs of Madrid, Spain

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.polaroid of the week spain madrid street sign calle del rioThe historic center of Madrid has some of the most beautiful street signs we’ve come across on our travels. The signs are usually set together from nine or twelve hand-painted ceramic tiles with pictures related to the name of the street.

These public works of art range from animals like eagles and bulls, important historical townspeople like mayors, carpenters or nuns and the Calle del Rio, or street of the river (above) is illustrated by an idyllic lazy river. This is just one of those little details about Madrid we loved during our recent visit!

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The Gems of Andalusia

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Andalusia is Spain’s largest region and you could spend months exploring it. But many visitors – particularly those from the USA – tend to focus on the three cultural gems of the interior: Granada, Cordoba and Seville. You can get through all three in a 10-day itinerary, but it will be at high speed. If you can spare two weeks I’d recommend it. Best times to visit are spring and autumn when it’s bright and sunny without the stifling heat of mid-summer and everyone seems to walk with a spring in their step and a smile on their face. Many visitors fly into Madrid and then take the high speed AVE train Cordoba – which takes around 2 hours – and pick up a hire car there.

Sultry Seville’s must-sees
Seville is a quick 90 minutes down the autopista from Cordoba. Base yourself in the bustling streets of the old town and the minute you step outside the door, you’ll be enthralled by its atmosphere. The must see is the Alcazar – this fairytale royal palace is still used by the King today when he’s in town. It’s a feast of rooms and cool courtyards with intricately carved ceilings and walls.

seville plaza & horse drawn carriageClose second comes the vast cathedral which dominates the skyline of the old town. Take a walk up La Giralda – the belltower – for great views over the city. I’d also try and fit in a visit to the Casa de Pilatos or the Casa de la Condesa de Lebrija – two gorgeous private houses both stuffed with interesting artefacts and paintings. Art lovers should make time to visit the excellent Museo de Bellas Artes which is particularly good for the highly romanticised paintings of the Seville school of painters – in particular Murillo. In the evenings make sure to go to at least one flamenco show – my favourite is the paired down, simple and authentic dance and song on offer at the Casa de la Memoria. Real fans should also visit the Flamenco museum which has live evenings too. And for food – it has to be tapas – snacking on small bites stood at the bar with an ice cold beer or a glass of wine alongside is the quintessential Seville experience. Casa Morales and Bar Europa are two of my favourites – both located in the old town.

Cool Cordoba’s key sights
If you start your tour in Seville, you’ll find Cordoba immediately feels smaller and easier to manage. Like Seville its cathedral – the Mezquita – dominates the old town and, like Seville, it’s built on the foundations of the former mosque that existed here when the region was under the control of the Moors. The difference here is that a big chunk of the mosque remains – a forest of horseshoe-shaped red and white striped arches disappears into the gloom as you step inside. Planted like some alien invader in the centre is a huge domed cathedral – a light-filled space that’s in total contrast to the Moorish elements that surround it. There really is no building like it in the world. If budget is not issue then consider doing a night visit – it’s wonderfully atmospheric. Tickets need to be purchased in advance from the ticket booths in the cathedral courtyard.
A wander around the narrow lanes of the Jewish quarter (Juderia) is another must-do. History buffs should check out the synagogue here one of just a handful from this era left in Spain. The nearby Casa de Sefarad recounts the history of the Jewish population of the city in more detail too. If you’re in the mood for shopping look for Taller Meryan a wonderful artisan shop selling exquisitely carved leather goods – one the specialities of the area. It’s tucked down a pretty side street called Calle de las Flores.

Granada’s gorgeous royal palace
Granada is another three hours or so from Cordoba by road. Make sure you’ve worked out how to get to your hotel before you arrive as driving around the city is a complex affair. The highlight of a visit to Andalusia awaits here. The amazingly elaborate Alhambra palace is one of Europe’s most exotic and romantic. Be warned though – unsurprisingly, it’s very popular. Book your entry ticket ahead of your arrival using the Ticketmaster website. There’s a night viewing option available here too and again, it’s well worth considering, particularly because you avoid the queues and crowds of daytime. (But you don’t get to see the gardens if you take this option). The palace is a series of exquisitely decorated rooms and courtyards from the era when the Moors ruled this part of Spain. There are stunning golden domed ceilings, peaceful pools reflecting the detailed carvings on the pillars and walls that surround them and courtyards with fountains.

Sunset in Granada, Granada, SpainThe views from some of the corridors out across the city are spectacular too. The gardens are also delightful. A series of playful water features – like streams that flow down the bannisters of stairways – are particularly wonderful. Make time too to wander the old Arab Quarter. Called the Albaicin, it’s a labyrinth of narrow whitewashed housed-streets and tiny squares. Stay at a hotel here to really sample the atmosphere. There’s a real north African vibe to parts of the area in particular Calle Caldereria which is lined with atmospheric little tea shops – perfect for relaxing to the sound of water fountains with a perfumed cup of tea in the heat of the day.

Getting there
You can fly to Madrid from most major UK and US airports. Cordoba has no commercial airport and there are currently no direct flights to Granada either. You can fly direct to Seville from the UK however – from London Gatwick. If you plan to park at Gatwick, check out the official website for the best Gatwick airport parking prices.

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Snack-sized Spain – Tapas for everyone!

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Served hot or cold, snack-size tapas are possibly Spain’s best culinary invention. Although we usually need at least three to really fill up, the endless selection of tapas plates keeps even vegetarians full and happy. Tapas go best with beer or wine, and the best part is that, sometimes, tapas come free with your drink.

Madrid mercado San Miguel Olives

tapas green chilis patatas bravasEach tapas bar tends to have a few veggie items, and the options vary according to city and type of restaurant, so we made sure to eat at least at one tapas bar in every city while touring Spain to maximize the variety of delicious dishes. Here are some of our favorite vegetarian tapas:

goats cheese tapas sevilleWe had this delicious dish of warm goats cheese in a honey sauce in Seville and loved it! One of our all-time favorites is goats cheese baked in phylo dough, and then honey drizzled over it once you take it out of the oven… Honey & goats cheese in any combination, really.

zuccini TapasThinly-sliced zucchini marinated in olive oil laid on a bed of feta cheese, spiced up with paprika.

spinach & chick peas tapasSpinach and chick peas, similar to an Indian dish, was to die for!

mushroom risotto tapasA tapas-size portion of mushroom risotto, baked in this little dish.

papas bravasPatatas Bravas, or spicy potatoes. The quality of this dish seriously varies – our advice is that at a tourist trap, avoid them at all costs. If at a locals joint – go for it!

tortilla espanola & SalsaAn all-time favorite of ours: Tortilla Española – we get a Spanish omelet almost every day when we are in Spain! The one pictured, which we had in Seville, was a particularly good one, with a fabulous tomato salsa on top.

The desserts!

Chocolate desert sevilleThis heavenly chocolate cake was one of the best deserts we’ve ever had!

Yummy almond cake spainThis cake is filled with an almond cream and comes with a caramel sauce. If you go to Madrid, we highly recommend ordering this desert at Cafe Oriente on Plaza Oriente, and enjoy it with views of the Royal Palace.

churros con chocolate spainNot necessarily a tapas desert, but we cannot NOT mention Churros con Chocolate. Comparable to doughnuts, these pieces of fried dough are dipped in a cup of steamy melted chocolate for breakfast, lunch or dinner at a bakery, restaurant or tapas bar.

Have you been to Spain? What are your favorite tapas?

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Street Art in Valencia, Spain

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As passionate street art fans, Valencia is something similar to our Mecca. The Spanish city is teeming with unique graffiti and murals, which makes for fascinating sightseeing throughout local neighborhoods!
valencia street art faceBarrio Carmen in the historic center is a neighborhood filled with quirky bars, shops and restaurants, along with some terrific street art:
valencia street art
valencia street art headless
valencia street artNot only walls are used as a canvas – doors, roller shutters of the shops – any flat service really:
Valencia street art skull
Shop Art valenciaValencia is bursting with talented urban artists, whose paintings are so good they almost look like photographs or computer graphics:
valencia street art parachutes
valencia street art wall
valencia street art cornerWe also spotted pieces a la Banksy, in the form of stencil sketches:
Valencia street art girl
Valencia street art paintingHow about this spot-on Lisa Simpson piece – listen to Lisa and stop eating meat!
valencia street art lisa simpson
valencia street art lisa simpson save animals

Click through our complete Valencia Street Art album for more incredible works of art:

[flickrslideshow acct_name=”Globetrottergirls” id=”72157627389672827″].

Are you a fan of street art? What’s your favorite city for street art?

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Polaroid of the week: Flamenco musicians in Seville, Spain

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polaroid of the week spain seville flamenco musicians

Last week we returned to Seville, one of our favorite places in Spain. Andalusia is famous for its Flamenco dance and music and no visit to Seville is complete without seeing some live flamenco music. La Carboneria (Calle Levies 18)  is one of the many bars where you can listen to flamenco music every night of the week. Flamenco music is played by a guitar player while a female flamenco dancer shows off her moves. We spotted this live performance one afternoon on the Plaza de España.

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