two northern provinces - or autonomous communities - of Spain's
Mediterranean coast are not quite like the rest of Spain; here, the
main language is not Castillian Spanish, but Catalan or the slightly
different Valencian. Virtually everyone understands and speaks Spanish
too, and the further south you go, the less of the regional languages
you will here. But take care when driving, road signs and place names
may be in two languages, or in Catalonia, only in Catalan.
The coastal strip of these two provinces is in general highly
developed, with an intensive tourism industry. But here and there,
specially where the hills come down to the sea, there are some
beautiful unspoilt places to be found. As for the hinterland, generally
dry hills and pine forests, most of it is off the tourist trail, except
for part of the Spanish Pyrenees.
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coastal provinces - Valencia and
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hotels in Valencia
La Madrugada *** This hotel
is the opposite of most hotels along the Costa Blanca. Though located
between Denia and Benidorm, it seems a world away from the tower blocks
of the resorts. With seven rooms and one suite, this is a stylish villa
in the hills, with pool, tennis court and views to the sea, a quiet
out-of-the-way hotel for a relaxing break. AP7
- Ebro delta - near Amposta,
L'Algadir del Delta *** ;
hotel (European eco-label) located in a small village in the Ebro delta
nature reserve. A modern family-run hotel with ten rooms, and a
restaurant serving local produce and local specialities. Bicycle hire,
picnic service. Easy access to the unspoilt beaches of the Delta (there
are no big hotels in the Natural park area).
- Valencia - historic centre
Caro ***** €€€
Small luxury hotel in a quiet street in the centre of Valencia; 26
rooms, restaurant, bar and terrace. The hotel boasts an eclectic array
of architectural features, including a Roman mosaic, mediaeval walls,
and a 19th century facade. Friendly staff; excellent location close to
the cathedral. Paid parking nearby.
- Valencia - seafront location
Sol Playa ** €
budget hotel right on the beach. Bus and tram stops a short walk away
for easy access to city centre. 37 rooms. Clean basic accommodation,
friendly staff. Good value for money. Plenty of restaurants nearby.
Small hotels in Catalonia,
including Pyrenees and Costa Brava
de Calafrugell, Costa Brava,
hotel set in gardens on a small hill overlooking the sea and the small
unspoilt resort of Calella. 47 rooms, restaurant, wonderful sea views;
easy access to the sea, free car parking. Friendly and welcoming staff,
very good breakfasts.
Small 17-room family-run
hotel in one of the few traditional former fishing villages on the
Costa Brava. Lovely seaside location, good restaurant, helpful staff
and a friendly welcome. Excellent value for money.
Husa Sant Bernat
in the Montseny National Park, in the hills
Barcelona, and is an oasis of peace and calm compared to the city.
Friendly staff, good food, and wonderful views that get mentioned in
many reviews. 10 miles north of AP7
motorway exit 11. The 3
star rating does not do this place justice, though the three-star
prices represent excellent value for money.
comprises a carefully selected choice of small hotels and
accommodation, offering local character in a calm and relaxing
environment . In urban locations, preference is given to traditional
hotels that are not on busy streets. The directory gives
priority to hotels with good visitor reviews and offering good