Last autumn, on our way to Asturias, we stopped in Burgos to see the cathedral. Of all Spain’s cathedrals, Burgos’ is the one I just had to see. I’d heard so much about it: from friends, family, and acquaintances. And let me tell you—it did not disappoint. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
As a tourist, what’s the best city to visit in Spain? Many will say Madrid or Barcelona, those being the biggest cities, while others might mention pueblos that they visited in the past, perhaps located in Asturias or Galicia. But all the party animals will say definitely Ibiza.
And it’s true, Ibiza is the party capital of Spain, but maybe you don’t enjoy crowded places, or perhaps you’d like to visit different parts of the island.
If you enjoy riding a motorbike, there are lots of different things you can see. There are several routes you can take with your motorbike to enjoy Ibiza’s wonders, from its beaches to its villages and forests located in the interior of the island. You can check some of them in the Official Tourism Site of Ibiza.
What if you don’t have your own bike or can’t bring yours to the island? No problem, because you can rent a bike on the island, and for a pretty good price as well!
So, where can you go with your bike? Here are some recommendations from the islanders.
La Cala Benirras (The Benirras Cove)
Located 9 kilometers from San Joan, this cove has some of the most amazing views in Ibiza, but you must have a vehicle, since there’s no public transport available in the area. If you like the sun, you can lay out on the beautiful sandy beach. You’ll find craft vendors, music, and chiringuitos here, but the best way is to traverse the cliffs surrounding the cove and visit the pueblo San Miguel.
La Cala d’Hort (The Orchard Cove)
Who doesn’t like a beautiful sunset? You can’t miss La Cala d’Hort. Most islanders consider this cove the best spot to see sun set in all of Ibiza. With the giant rocks Es Vedra and Es Vedranell, two rocks surfacing from the sea in front of the cove, it’s an image worthy of a postcard as the sun sets on the distant horizon. After darkness falls, you can drive to the nearby village San José to have dinner before retiring for the night.
Santa Gertrudis de Fruitera
If you’d like to get away from the crowds of the beaches and the cities, this town is the perfect spot to do so. Located in the geographical center of the island, it’s one of the iconic villages of Ibiza, due to its unique Ibizan ambiance (though calm and peaceful—no party vibe). With its white houses and pleasant streets, those who like quiet and calm will feel quite at home.
Have you ever traveled by motorbike anywhere? What’s your favorite spot in Ibiza?
Where the roar of the Cantabrian sea becomes a lullaby, where the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks soothes you into silence. Time seems to stand still. The Playa del Silencio, with its cliffs and islands, is still relatively unknown, and it’s likely you won’t find too many people around (unlike with the extremely touristy Praia das Catedrais). You may find a few sea gulls, though. Perhaps even a nudist! (Be warned: This happened to us.)
Recently we went to Asturias, and we were looking for somewhere to stay. I found this hotel by happenstance, as someone tweeted a link to a New York Times article about it. They said it was like you were living in a cloud, and I thought, Okay. We’re going. I mean, who doesn’t want to live on a cloud?
We drove there from a nearby village, Ribadesella. At first I thought I had made some terrible mistake, as the roads were tortuous and there was a steep drop off to the valley far, far below. When we got there, it was nighttime, pitch black and with very little lights, as we were in the middle of nowhere. (Basically.) The driveway that lead down to the house was also a huge hill, and I was a bit apprehensive about driving down that hill, even if I wasn’t the one driving. But sometimes you just have to bite the bullet, and so we did.
This hotel, which cost a total of €60 for one night, was the loveliest place I’ve stayed in. Seriously. 100% the best place. It’s run by a British expat couple, who (I think) live nearby. It’s on an 18-acre organic farm with animals and such, including the sheep native to Asturias, the xalda sheep. They are interesting.
The building was originally a priest’s farmhouse and was constructed in the 19th century. The owners bought it in 1995 and converted it into what it is today. Downstairs there’s a small bar area and a fireplace. The owners, Nigel and Joan, have written up walking routes that can take you all over the region, with varying levels of difficulty and time. They always point out the best place to get refreshments if need be!
The hotel has a restaurant, in which they serve local, organic food and wine. The menu changes daily. We chose to have dinner at the restaurant. On that day’s menu was a salad bar, a carrot-ginger soup, and a choice of a vegetarian or non-vegetarian entrée. I chose the vegetarian, which was a moussaka, and Mario got the roasted red peppers stuffed with hake (merluza). We ordered an organic white wine, and soon realized that the other two couples were British! It seems that this is a popular hotel choice for British people, which makes sense, as there aren’t as many English speakers deep in the heart of Asturias as there are in the big cities and on the coast.
After dinner, we relaxed with a copa on the terrace. Nigel set us up with a candle and offered us a blanket. It was wonderful to see the stars, as in Madrid the light pollution makes this impossible. There was very little going on, but it was the most peaceful night.
The next morning at breakfast was no different. In Spain, it’s common to have a pretty delicious breakfast spread. (Do not talk to me about U.S. hotels and their “continental” breakfasts.) Hotel Posada del Valle had the highest-quality breakfast I’ve had in Spain. There was the organic apple juice, made from apples picked nearby. We enjoyed two types of homemade bread with honey and butter. There was muffins made from various fruits, including kiwi, which I found delightful. And as we breakfasted, we saw the mist in the valley slowly rise to the mountaintop. The saying goes, “Niebla en el valle montañero a la calle; niebla en la cumbre montañero a la lumbre.” (Fog in the valley, mountaineer hit the road; fog at the summit, mountaineer stay at home by the fire.) It was a good day to be climbing! We had other plans, but we stopped to take some photos of the place.
If you go to Asturias with a car, consider staying here, especially in the off season. You can’t beat the prices or the surroundings!
HOTEL LA POSADA DEL VALLE
Collía, Arriondas, 33549 Asturias Spain
Telephone: 00 34 985 84 11 57