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Spanish City Breaks

Over the last 10-15 years short stay city breaks has become very popular weekend holidays, with major Spanish cities as one of the favorite destinations.
Today an estimated 15% of all holidays to Spain are city breaks, with several Spanish cities as a very popular destination. One of the reasons is the possibility to fly with airlines that offer a low air fare. Especially

Barcelona city breaks are very popular. Fabulous architecture, world famous museums, brilliant Spanish cuisine, flamboyant culture and wonderful weather, all combined it makes Barcelona a truly magnificent city.

Madrid is a relative newcomer to the city break scene, which is surprising as it is a fascinating city, famous for its atmosphere and life. Madrid may not have the same quantity of essential sights as Barcelona, but it is a interesting city to explore and take in the atmosphere, especially around Old Madrid of the Habsburgs including Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor. If you want to visit Madrid for a weekend break, many of the more expensive hotels have reduced weekend discount rates you should ask for.

Sevilla city breaks are popular not only because Sevilla offers so many things to see and do, but also because there is nowhere else in Spain that complies so closely with the foreigner's perception of stereotypical Spain as Sevilla. The city is a center for flamenco, bullfighting and fiestas, especially during the Feria de Abril (2 weeks after Easter Sunday) when everyone seems to hit the street for a week long party. Add to this the city's rich history still reflected in the monuments of Sevilla (the Cathedral, the Giralda, the Alcazar etc.).

When planing your city break to Sevilla you can choose to fly directly to Sevilla Airport, that connects with direct flights to several destinations in Europe. Another, and sometimes cheaper, option is to fly to Malaga Airport, rent a car and drive to Sevilla. The trip takes about 2 hours if you do not make any stops on the way, and it brings you through some very beautiful and typical Andalusian landscapes. You can alternatively fly to Madrid and take the Madrid-Sevilla AVE train service, which is by far the quickest and most efficient way of getting between the two cities, making the journey in two and a half hours.

The reason why Cordoba is such a popular city break destination is largely due to it being the capital of Spain during the Moorish occupation of the peninsula (716-1236), and under their rule thought to have been one of the largest and most advanced cities in the world. The rulers of Cordoba produced great architectural achevements, many of wich still can be found in Cordoba's inner city area. The result is a heritage unique from that of other European cities, attracting crowds from all over the world. People come to see remnants of a lost empire, many famous monuments, and to experience the atmosphere, culture, cuisine and other delights of Cordoba .

Since there is no international flights to Cordoba the best options are to take a flight to Malaga, Sevilla or Madrid. From any of these cities, you can take the fast AVE train to Crdoba. Car rental at Malaga or Sevilla airports is another option, which works out fairly cheap and permits maximum flexibility on your visit. The drive from both airports to Cordoba is straight forward, and takes about 2 hours, it takes a little longer from Malaga than from Sevilla, but Malaga has better and cheaper flight connections.

Granada city breaks offer a wonderful insight into the cultural traditions of southern Spain. Many visitors rate Granada city breaks higher than Barcelona and Sevilla, not only because of the magnificent location below the Sierra Nevada mountains, but also because there is so much to see and do in Granada, you can even go skiing in the mountains only 32 kilometers away from the city center, or go swimming on a Mediterranean beach only 100 kilometers away from Granada.

Granada is best known for its the simply unforgettable Moorish fortress and palace of the Alhambra built in the 13th and 14th century. The Alhambra is probably the best known tourist attraction in all of Spain. Other essential short break sights include the spectacular Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral and Royal Chapel; the splendid monastery; El Banuelo - the 1,000 year old historic baths of Granada with Moorish origin; the Gypsy area of Sacromonte, where the traditional Granada flamenco shows took place; and the muslim quarter, Albaicin, with a fascinating labyrinth of quiet narrow streets and whitewashed houses and secluded inner gardens.

Late deals on weekend breaks are usually available with last minute, all inclusive packages. Special offers for budget priced Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla or Cordoba city breaks are also often available. Short midweek breaks can sometimes be a cheap alternative to long weekend bookings, and at midweek, the city attractions can be quieter.

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