Belén grew up in Madrid with a background in advertising and TV and always loved photography. Julio grew up in Sevilla and studied management before working on the “dark side” for a consulting company and then becoming a film-maker.
We both met during the year we lived in Belgium. During this time we shared a love for photography and travel that made us change from our 9-5 life and try to live our passion.
The main appeal of Spain is the mix of sun, beautiful coastline and cheap prices without leaving Europe. If you take these things on their own, Spain is not much different to many other countries. But if you take it all together – and add its ancient story still present in the architecture and the friendliness of its people – you have an amazing destination.
All our lives we have traveled through Spain. Although, it’s so diverse and rich that there are still many mysteries for us to discover. The north has showed us it’s amazing wilderness and rugged landscapes such as forests, mountains and cliff-faces.
Catalonia is a whole different and rich side to our culture. While the centre of Spain is medieval and the south is a mix of Muslim and Christian culture unique in the world. And the islands – Canaries and Balearic – are two little paradises where time seems to stop and allows you to flow with the island vibe.
Our Favourite Destinations and Experiences in Spain
Fuerteventura and Lanzarote in the Canary Islands are two very special spots for us. It was here that we first travelled in a campervan. Although it was just an old Volkswagen with a mattress on the floor. Indeed that was the main reason it was special.
The Canary Islands are the first destinations we recommend in our beginners guide to Spain. They have a lot of African style landscapes like deserts, volcanoes and beautiful beaches.
Every island is different and has something unique to offer. Fuerteventura is the second largest island in the archipelago and has a Martian-like landscape with great beaches and surf. While Lanzarote is a geological wonderful with over 300 volcanic cones.
On this trip we learnt that we don’t need much to be happy. Just by travelling and being together in a beautiful natural destination we felt that our souls were enriched to the fullest. That trip, indeed, was the moment when we had the spark of inspiration to quit our 9-5 life and start a new exciting adventure together.
Visiting Andalusia and mixing with its culture and people is a must-do on your trip to Spain. The south of Spain is famous for having very friendly and funny people. Also its full of artists. It’s where flamenco was born and traditional music is still prevalent there. Seeing an original flamenco show after a long day of enjoying tapas and cold beer is a must!
The north is definitely another region you should visit. Pick either Galicia, Asturias, Basque Country or just make a road trip through all of them! Northern culture is very different. Their landscapes, food and traditions are just crazy good!
And although they are not as open to strangers on first impressions, it’s well known that once you get to be friends with a northerner, you’ve got yourself a friend for life. I can guarantee it!
Beginners Guide to Spain: Essential Travel Tips
It’s impossible to define one Spanish stereotype. Spain is a very diverse country, and you will find many differences from north to south and east to west. But of course there are things we have in common and that brings all of us together.
Passion for our food, a puzzle of cultures created by centuries of story, simplicity in our lifestyle and a deep disagreement with our politics (but maybe that is also present in most countries? haha)
When it’s hot: gazpacho, salmorejo, ensaladilla rusa and patatas alioli. When its cold: cocido madrileño, lentejas and callos con garbanzos. And, although we personally don’t eat much meat, if someone visits the north, its obliged to try the best beef in the world.
The most popular and representative places in Spain tend to be near the coast. Although the center of the country its beautiful. For a short trip, it’s better to pick north, south or east. The north will be rainy and cold in winter, so it’s better to visit in summer. The south will be very hot in summer, so if you are looking for beach vacations, it’s perfect.
Just don’t kill yourself spending too much time in the cities centres. If trying to speak English, better to try with young people. Although in touristic places everybody will understand at least the basics. Please, use sunscreen from the first minute. The sun is strong in Spain and will burn you before you realise it.
Try to get deep in our culture. A picture with La Sagrada Familia is nice but understanding why it was not finished or why its style is different than any other cathedral is better! And the same with the rest of Spain!
We hope to have been helpful with this beginners guide to Spain and wish you all to come visit this amazing and diverse country. Oh! And If anybody needs advice, our Instagram inbox is open to messages. Thank you all!