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Simply Barcelona - The Beaches

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archived in cities, fun activities ideas, places

In February 2009 we wrote a post about Barcelona because we considered it the City of the Week , two years later we have a few posts ahead of us to explore if we should decide to featured it as the City of the Swap instead. Why? Because it is one of those cities that truly has it all and anyone swapping to Barcelona can find what they are looking for.

Barcelona is the largest European metropolis bathed by the Mediterranean Sea. As such, it is active in every field of human activity: commerce, entertainment, science, arts, sports, communications and, last but not least, leisure.

Barcelona from the sky We will start with the relaxing beaches. Barcelona has seven main beaches that from east to west are: Sant Sebastia, Barceloneta, Nova Icaria, Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant. The Olympic Harbour separates Barceloneta and Nova Icaria and marks the division between the eastern older, largest and more popular beaches and the newer ones opened as result of the changes made when the city hosted the 1992 Olympic Games. We are inclined to recommend you pay at least one visit to Barceloneta or San Sebastia to enjoy their calm waters and golden sand, but all of them have good services to ensure a comfortable stay and the Mediterranean waters will do the rest.

Image: public domain image taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Simply Barcelona - A Home Exchange You Will Never Forget

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archived in cities, fun activities ideas, places

Barcelona is another city where we are going to stop for more than one post. We could use so many adjectives to describe it and you have probably heard so many marvelous things about it, that we do not need to invite you to plan your next home exchange with someone in Barcelona.

View from Mount Tibidabo

View from Mount Tibidabo

Some of the things to enjoy in Barcelona:

The Gothic Quarter
La Rambla
Sagrada Familia Church
Park Güell
Palau de la Musica Catalana
Museums: the National Museum of Art of Catalonia, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, the Picasso Museum
Beaches: seven main beaches in over 4 Km of coastline, including the artificially maintained ones opened to host the 1992 Olympic Games.
Sports: the main attraction would be Barcelona F.C., one of the top football teams in the world, but the natural surroundings are suited for adventure sports and enjoying nature as well.
Aquarium Barcelona

There are 560 homes in Barcelona registered in HomeForHome, are you ready to plan you next holiday? Your Mediterranean vacation may be just a few clicks away.

Image: Oliver-Bonjoch - taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Moving Along the Spanish Mediterranean Coastline

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archived in cities, events, fun activities ideas, places

It is not easy to move along after we shared so many interesting things about Valencia, but there are still many jewels in the Spanish Mediterranean coast that await to be discovered - and home swaps to be arranged.

Costa Dorada (the Golden Coast)

This is a brand name for the coastline in the southernmost part of Catalonia, in Tarragona (province). An area of fishing tradition, it has several small villages that are worth a visit if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing home exchange vacation. Of course, beaches are the main attraction in this area.

Tarragona, the capital city of the homonymous province, is the center and main hub of the Costa Dorada, where you probably would be able to find the most attractive offers in terms of entertainment and activities, like the Tarraco Viva Festival that celebrates and recreates Tarragona’s Roman heritage. Tarragona's circus or amphitheatreBut if you want to explore other less known destinations, remember to check what users mark in the Activities section of their home features, you may be surprised ;)

Other city names you should be aware of while you search for a home swap to the Costa Dorada (and its beaches) are Calafell, Cambrils, L’Ametlla de Mar, L’Ampolla, Mont-Roig del Camp, Salou and Torredembarra.

Image: Xavigivax / taken from Wikimedia Commons.

Featured Home Swap Destination: Valencia - Part V

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archived in cities, events, fun activities ideas, places

This is our final post in the Valencia series before we get to another highly desirable home exchange destination in the Mediterranean. What we have today to close the series are two famous buildings and an event you should not miss if you visit Valencia.

Hall of Columns in the Silk Exchange Silk Exchange (Lonja de la Seda) - A civil Gothic construction with Renaissance elements. Its construction started in 1482 and was finished in 1492. It comprises four main elements in an area of over 2000 square metres: a tower, the consulate room, the orange-tree patio and a room of columns. Address: Plaza del Mercado s/n - 46001 Valencia.

Valencia’s Cathedral - The construction is predominantly of Gothic style with Romanesque and Mudejar elements. Its tower (El Miguelete Tower) raised from an octagonal floor plan, is one emblem of the city. Address: Plaza de la Reina s/n - 46001 Valencia.

The Fallas bonfire festival (Fallas de San Jose) - To welcome the Spring, Valencia holds this celebration with several open-air events like parades, fireworks, competitions, and even bullfights. Everything circles around the “ninots”, huge cardboard statues that are built as decorative figures and then burnt except the most popular one which becomes part of the collection at the Fallero Museum. The next is March 14-19, 2012.

There is a lot more to be discovered, enjoy Valencia!

Image: Released to the public domain by Felivet / Wikimedia Commons.

Featured Home Swap Destination: Valencia - Part IV

posted by admin
archived in cities, fun activities ideas, places

Maybe you already felt for the idea of a house swap with a partner in Valencia but just in case you are not quite there yet we are going to write about its most precious jewel. It is something that is linked to the name Valencia more than anything else, maybe even more than the word paella: the City of Arts and Sciences. Responsible for Valencia being linked to modernity and avant-garde, this city within a city will keep you on your toes from the moment you arrive until long after you return back home.

Here is the complex in short:

City of Arts and Sciences - L'Umbracle Hemisfèric: a high-tech 3-D, IMAX cinema and planetarium that hosts amazing shows and events.
Science Museum: more than just a museum, an experimentation ground where you can learn and have fun.
Oceanogràfic: Europe’s largest aquarium. Living underwater beauties and an underwater restaurant is a must.
Palau de les Arts: a venue to host performances from every art: theatre, music, dance…
Umbracle: an exhibition area from which you can admire the whole complex and its lakes and gardens.
Agora: a modern multi-event space, ready to receive important congresses, conventions, performances and even sport events.

Visiting the City of Arts and Sciences alone deserves a home swap. It seems you should get to your keyboards right away, there are nearly 200 Valencians waiting but probably not for long…

Image: Released to the public domain by Chamaeleon / Wikimedia Commons.