– Today we’re taking you to
11 unmissable places in Spain that we have loved, and
that you need to visit. So venga, let’s go! (lively Spanish guitar music) – I’m James Blake. – And I’m Yolanda Martin. – And welcome to Spain Revealed. This channel’s all about helping you explore Spain like a local. And look in the last eight years that we’ve lived together in Spain, obviously Yoly you’ve
lived here a lot longer. – A few years more, yes. – In the last eight years, we have visited some really
special places together, and we wanted to share
some of those with you. Sort of, our top 11 places. We wanted to give you
some ideas for a trip if you’re coming to
Spain, places to visit. And also show you some of the
photos of where we’ve been, if we still have them on the hard drive. – Yeah. Obviously we’re going to be avoiding the big, typical places like Madrid, Barcelona,
Seville or Granada. We also really want to take
you off the beaten path. We’re going to be also telling
you why we love these places. – And make sure you stay until the end, because the last place is our number one spot to visit in Spain. It’s the place where our hearts truly lie, and in the description below, I’ll make sure to note some
accommodation recommendations in each of the places that we mention. So should we kick it off? – Yeah, let’s go! – Number 11, Santiago de Compostela. We’re starting off by going right to the north-west of Spain to Galicia. The north-west of Spain just really reminds me of New Zealand. It’s so verdant and Santiago
de Compostela, is like this, it’s not the kind of typical
cliched Spain you expect. A lot of people imagine Andalusia, and it’s the dark stones, often raining, and it just has this really magical, kind of, brooding quality, the city. The other thing I love about it is that the food is incredible. It’s just so good. The seafood is amazing. You’ll go into the taverns, and you’ll eat the most amazing
octopus, crab, razor clams. The prices are usually
pretty good up there, and so you just have some of
the best seafood in your life. The other thing that I
love about it is the wine. Now North West Spain is
known for its white wine, but also they’re making great red wines up in the north-west that
are a little lighter. So the food and just the
aesthetic of the place is the big one for me. What about for you Yoly? – For me, well, it makes it really special that when we first arrived
there, we arrived by foot. We were finishing the Camino de Santiago, the Saint James Way, so it was incredible. Just going in this incredible cathedral, seeing the Botafumeiro, that you’ve seen a million times on TV, but seeing it live, seeing that– – [James] And what’s the Botafumeiro? – So it’s like this incense
burner that is huge, and it waves, it’s going from one end of
the cathedral to the other, and it weighs like 80 kilos! 40 kilos of coal and incense
together in that burner. So, it’s amazing. And just kind of walking
around the cathedral, and just taking centuries of history in. It’s just unbelievable. – Also the market is pretty incredible. – The market is incredible. So there’s this stone market, where they boil the octopus, you see it there, how they
prepare it the Galician way. So it’s yeah, it’s a lovely,
lovely place to visit. – Okay, next place, number 10, is Jerez. We’re going south now. For me, what I love about Jerez, or Jerez de la Frontera is its full name, is the sherry. I mean Jerez means sherry in Spanish, and this town is where that drink is from. I know a lot of people,
when they think of Sherry, think of your grandma’s
sweet wine at Christmas, but most of it is dry. And when you go to this Andalusian town, you can visit the sherry wineries, and there are these sherry cathedrals, these massive, hundreds of years, centuries old warehouses, where all the barrels are stacked up, and have been stacked up for centuries. Just the smell, the gloomy light, and you can see these stacks. It’s almost like something
out of an Indiana Jones film or something like that. And if you do go, there
is a great bodegas winery, called Bodegas Tradicion. And they have, as well as having sherry, they have a fantastic art collection that includes paintings by Goya. And I remember this one
picture of this almost like, pirate guy, which I’ve always loved. And so you’re sipping incredible sherry, and you’re looking at this
magical, incredible old artwork. Just a wonderful part of Spain, so make sure to visit that. What about for you Yoly? – Well, I was there last
time I think in 2017. I went there for the Fiesta de La Buleria, which is a flamenco festival there is there every August, September. And it was fantastic. Of course I went back to Bodegas Tradicion and took a tour so that
my friends could see it, and I love of course flamenco there. So it’s one of the places to
see real, authentic flamenco. It has an incredible ambience. I was there for the festival, so of course there was so
many flamenco fans down there, enjoying, having a really good time, seeing concerts every
night, live concerts. So it was amazing. I love of course the food as well there, I remember the chicharrones
that I had there. Really yummy. And also of course the sherry
wine, it’s pretty amazing. I love that city. – Okay, next stop, number nine, is El Valle de la Vera, The Vera Valley, sounds a bit
weird to say it in English. But this is a valley in Extremadura, which is a region to the west of Madrid, which is not that often
visited by tourists, or a lot less maybe than other regions. And this is a really
verdant, green valley. And we visited there,
it must have been like four years or so ago.
– Four years ago, yeah. – And we stayed, there’s
all these little villages that are really medieval. You go along the small little lanes, and all the houses are overhanging. I mean, it’s just literally like something out of a set of Game of Thrones. And all the plants that
people have were overhanging. It was just really magical. We were there for this
really short weekend, and we just explored
the wonderful villages. We were in Villanueva de la Vera, I think. – Villanueva Vera, yep. – And so while you’re there, you can do lots of walking in
nature, and things like that. But there’s also this famous
monastery, the Yuste Monastery, where Charles the First of Spain, about five hundred years ago, the first Hapsburg King of
Spain, spent his last years. Now, it’s just a really
bizarre, well, not bizarre, just really interesting,
kind of strange place to visit knowing its history. He was sick, he was dying, he had gout, and so he had his room, his
room’s connected to the chapel so he could I believe get there quickly without much walking, or even– – Probably hear mass from
bed or something like that. – I think that was it, hear mass from bed. And a place where he, I believe staged his own
funeral before he died, so, some sort of repentance
or something like that. And just, it’s a really
interesting monastery to visit. So again, another really small,
magical, fascinating place. – Yep, I love it, I mean, we were, yeah, in Villanueva de la Vera, and it was raining, and
we just kind of kept cozy. But went for walks as well
in the little village. I’ve been there in summer, and there’s like, streams of water just running along the streets. Even in summer when
it’s really, really hot. It gets very hot in there. So it’s great. And then there’s also this
Museo del Los Empalao. Now Los Empalaos are
people that, during Easter, self-flagellate (whipping sounds) at Easter, in processions in that village. And other villages around Spain, but specifically in this village
called Valverde de la Vera. And they go in the procession, they’ve done some promise to God, and then they go and self-flagellate– – Whip themselves. – Whip themselves. So in the museum you will see a lot of photos of
people self-flagellating and photos of the processions. – Yeah, if you’re into that kind of thing. So, unmissable place
number eight, Cadaques. Now, this one is not
so off the beaten path. A lot of people know about
it, it is quite touristy, but my God, it is a place
that you need to visit, it’s just gorgeous. We’re going way up to the
other side of the country now, the north-east, up to
Girona, in Catalunya. And this is a little old fishing town that is now kind of like a summer resort. And it’s just everything you imagine of a Mediterranean seaside village. Whitewashed walls, narrow lanes, blue sea, it’s just so beautiful. We ate wonderful food when we were there. Cadaques, I mean really, if you’re coming in summer particularly, put it on your list. Even off season it might be great. – It’s great. For me, favorite moments were, well actually going for walks and just getting away from Cadaques, just along the sea line. And then looking back at Cadaques, and it was just gorgeous, it was beautiful. So to see the village like that, how it spread, it’s just beautiful. – Okay, unmissable place
number seven, Caceres. We’re back to Extremadura now, a word that I struggle to say
when I’m not speaking Spanish. We’re back there, and
we’re going to Caceres. Now, Caceres is this town that we went to, I think it was year or so ago.
– Year ago, yep. – In spring. And we stayed in this hotel looking out over the historic center. And this historic center
is just incredible, it really feels like you’re
wandering through a place five hundred years ago. There’s not a lot of shops and things, it’s not like there’s
McDonald’s everywhere in there. The essence of it has really
been preserved and kept. And you’ll see the remains,
Roman remains, Moorish remains, Christian architecture
from the Christian period. It’s just fascinating. And Game of Thrones was filmed there, that gives you an idea of
what this place is like. – Yeah, also, don’t forget the incredible wine that we had there. So the big wine region there
is Ribera del Guadiana, And yeah, just some
incredible wines we had there. And also I remember
having wonderful Migas. Migas is a dish, well it’s kind of a, how would you describe it? – Bread mixed in with garlic.
– With garlic, and like a sweet paprika, and chorizo
and maybe morcilla. It just brings back
memories from my childhood, and my Auntie Angelines making Migas. So a typical dish that is from there, from Extremadura, very yummy. – And I just remember wandering
around at night in Caceres. It was just, again, just
a really magical place. So if you love historic, medieval cities, that’s the one to visit. All right, unmissable
place number six, Oviedo. Now we’re going north
again, up to Asturias, which is alongside Galicia,
that place we mentioned first. Now, this is a town, we were there a while ago, it was maybe– – Five years ago, maybe?
– I feel like, yeah. I looked a lot younger in the photos. And so this is a place,
Asturias generally, but we were in Oviedo, and my God, we ate so much amazing food. Again, it’s a little
cooler up there often, reminds me of New Zealand. And I remember that when we were there, we went to a little village
just outside the city, and we went to this restaurant
that was well-known, pretty rustic place, and we had this menu,
this fixed price lunch. And my God, the first course was the fabada asturiana, the
classic bean stew there. – [Yoly] This is a starter. – That was just a starter, yeah! And we were stuffed by halfway
through the first starter. We had incredible wine from the region, and it was just such a wonderful memory. And so the food up there is fantastic. The other thing is we
visited this famous church that’s ninth century, ninth century! Called Santa Maria del Naranco. And it just incredible
to stand in this building that is so old, over a thousand years old, and see how people built things back then, and maybe a sense of what
their lives were like. So those are two big
memories for me from Oviedo. – For me, it was a day
trip actually we took from Oviedo to Gijon. And while in Gijon, we in the end kind of ended
up in a cider bar, a Sideria. – ‘Cause that’s what they make, they drink a lot of apple cider. – Yeah, and so we were there,
and we were watching a match, just very randomly. And I just love how cider
is a tradition there. It’s very dangerous the way they pour it because they will pour it for you, you don’t pour your own cider, and so they’ll be pouring it and they’re just kind of pouring it and looking straight at you. Not looking at the drink actually. And it’s kind of dangerous
because they tell you to hurry. The moment they serve it, just
like a little bit like that, they tell you to hurry up
because it’s gonna lose the fizz. And so, then you drink up,
and then it’s empty again, and they’ll pour you again. So you need to kind of like–
– We got very drunk. – Yeah, just stick to your
empty glass for a little while, otherwise they go nuts. – It was, yeah, I remember. Because when you have a glass in your hand you know how to measure
your drinking speed, but when someone else is pouring for you, it totally throws you off. – And they’re telling
you hurry up, hurry up! – Yeah, we got pretty
drunk on apple cider. So that was a rough hangover the next day. But, don’t do that. Or maybe do, but, Oviedo. Okay, next up, unmissable
place number five. We’re going south, back to Andalusia, to Zahara de los Atunes. This is just a wonderful
little seaside resort town that was once a fishing village, particularly for catching
tuna, hence the name. And particularly in that area, tuna is caught in the traditional way, the almadraba method. And so this town just
fills up with people, mainly Spaniards, you won’t see so many tourists there in summer, a lot of actually really
wealthy Spaniards, so if you’re into people watching, wealthy people are quite a
good opportunity to do that. And here the food is amazing. There’s these strips of bars, where you just eat in all
these incredible places. And of course the tuna is wonderful. It’s served sashimi, it’s served cooked, and it’s just a place we’ve
been a couple of times. We’ve been with the Dannys,
hey Dannys, they came to visit. And if you just wanna
have like a beach holiday, but in a more, as I say,
kinda slightly local place, this is a great place to visit. I’m not a beach person but Yoly, you’re a huge beach person, so tell us all about the
beach at Zahara de los Atunes. – Yeah, so the beach is great. You can just walk down by the beach, spend a day on the beach, maybe have lunch in
one of the chiringuitos and then night comes, and
again, chiringuito time, maybe you have a cocktail. People celebrate when the
sun sets behind the sea. It’s incredible.
– It’s incredible, everyone’s cheering as the sun
(Yoly cheering) is dropping behind the water. – Of course it means party time. So, if you’re in luck, maybe there will be some
flamenco in the chiringuito, and that’s great. And also from the beach, you can see the lights of Africa opposite. So that’s pretty magical as well. I love that moment, I just love Zahara. – I know. And just kind of take a
moment to think about Spain. We’ve gone right from the
north, right down to the south, and you’ve seen the lights of Africa. I mean, what an incredible
country this is. Little emotional moment for me there. All right, let’s move on to the next one. Okay, so we’re staying in Andalusia, and unmissable place number
four is Las Alpujarras. Now, this is on the southern fold of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which is south of Granada. And it’s a place tucked into the mountains that is at high elevation, and is just a really kind
of magical rural place. And I use that word magical a
lot because these are places in this list that have a certain energy, and maybe it’s just we’ve had
wonderful experiences there but I think you guys can too. And so we were there, this year? Last year, November, yeah. We made a video which I’ll link to above. And one of the things that
I love about this area, apart from it just being sort of isolated, and really beautiful is the history. So Las Alpujarras was the
place where the Moors, the Muslim population of Spain staged their last rebellion
in the 16th century, before being kicked out
of Granada and dispersed. And in the 17th century
kicked out of Spain. And so you can kind of
feel their presence still in the traditions and
the names of the places. And so I just found it really moving to be in a place that had played such an important place
in Spanish history, so for me that was amazing. What about for you Yoly? – Well it’s an area with
wonderful landscapes, and so a lot of people go hiking there. It’s kind of like a hiking
destination for a lot of people, and of course it’s just beautiful. If you go, make sure
you go and visit Juan, at El Secadero. It’s this bar, he sells ham, serrano ham, and of course, costa wine. And yeah, he’s really nice, and it’s a lovely, lovely place. – Also if you do go to Las Alpujarras, or even if you don’t, there’s two really interesting books that I read before going there that are about people living there. One is South From
Granada by Gerald Brenan, which is a writer who was living
there a hundred years ago, so it’s a real insight
into living in rural Spain in the 1920s, fascinating. The other one is Driving Over Lemons, which, I think he must have
been writing that in the ’90s, that’s Chris Stewart. His experience, an Englishman, of moving to this area, Las
Alpujarras, in that period, and setting up a farm, buying a farm. So two books that I’ll link to below that are really cool about that region, and just about life in Spain in general. Okay, next up, unmissable
place number three. Now, admission, I have
never been to this place. So Yoly, take it away, it’s all yours. – Right, El Rocio. El Rocio in Huelva. It’s magical, it’s weird as well. – I wanna go now. – So it’s very famous for Romeria, which is a pilgrimage
that people do every year to see the Virgen del Rocio, in a lovely church there is there, called of course, Iglesia d’El Rocio. So you get to this village, and there’s no paving in the streets. People use horses instead
of walking, or cars. – And it’s just sand,
right, on the street? – It’s just sand on the street. Just bizarre. And wonderful. It’s like the Wild West in Andalusia. – I have seen pictures, yeah, and it does look like that, like something from California
two hundred years ago. – It’s just kind of crazy! Also there is wonderful
views from the village to the national park,
the Parque de Donana. And you can see during the night, how horses are just there,
just kind of pacing. – Wild horses? – Wild horses!
– Oh, wow. – It’s beautiful, I just love it. – Can you take me there one day? – Of course, this year! – All right, unmissable
place number three, Yoly’s taking me – your shout? Okay, unmissable place number two, and we’re coming back a
little closer to home here. This place is just out of Madrid, and it’s a town called Mejorada del Campo. Now the town in and of itself is not particularly
remarkable, it’s a normal town, but there is a remarkable
thing inside this town. And that is a cathedral
that one man has built with his own hands from recycled material. And you’re probably thinking yeah, okay, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, I’ve heard that kind of thing
before, and it’ll be small. It is cathedral-sized cathedral. And it’s literally made
out of recycled material, and trash, and things that
had been donated to him. This is a guy called Don Justo. So Don Justo was kicked
out of a monastery in 1961, after he contracted tuberculosis. And because the Virgin, he said the Virgin Mary saved his life, he decided to build a
cathedral in her honor. And he has spent the last 50
years building a cathedral with his own hands. We went there probably four years ago now, and my God, the guy was there! He had a helper but he was there, literally just toiling away, and you’re walking through this thing, that’s cathedral-sized, and all the columns are
made from like oil drums, and all the bricks are recycled
and round the wrong way, I mean it’s just mind-boggling this place. It’s not an official
cathedral, but you gotta go! You have to go! – And I love the fact that
he has no plans really, or there’s no licenses
to build this thing. So it’s kind of incredible. I love the fact that his
helper is called angel, Angel. – You can get a bus out
of Madrid to get there, we’ll make sure we put the information about their bus in the description below. So if you’re in Madrid, and you wanna do something
a little bit different, then go and check out Don Justo’s recycled material-built
cathedral in Mejorada del Campo. Okay, that moment you’ve
all been waiting for. Our number one place in Spain, where our hearts reside, is Cadiz. Now, the city, not the
region, the city of Cadiz. That’s on this little spit
of land that comes out. A place that’s full of wonderful
food, wonderful history. Now, for me this place is unmissable. It is getting a little
bit more well-known, I think the New York Times, well I know the New York Times included it in one of their places to visit in 2019, but it’s still off the beaten
path for a lot of people. They just don’t get there. And what do I love about Cadiz? Well, so many things. The history, the food, but it’s just such a humble,
friendly, beautiful city, just out there on the Atlantic
in this very unique position that’s been so important to its history. And the color of the place, the white, if you go close up the buildings you can see oyster shells in the stone, because of the the rock that’s been used. And when you walk around the edge, because you can actually walk
around the whole of Cadiz, you have the beautiful eggshell blue sea, out beside you have the colorful plants along the walkways that are
around the coastal area, and you have these massive fortresses from this time when this was a really important defensive
position for Spain. What’s really interesting is when the Guadalquivir River
silted up in the 18th century and the ships from the Americas couldn’t get to Seville anymore, they started the docking it Cadiz. And so all this wealth poured in and all these wonderful
buildings were built. And so those are the
buildings you can still see. But now, as you know, is
its fortune’s changed, some of them are a little
disrepaired, and it’s just again, magical is the word I’m
gonna use for Cadiz, you’ve gotta go there. – So beautiful.
– What about for you Yoly? – Oh, well of course, flamenco. It’s considered one of the
birthplaces of flamenco, so it’s actually a place
that is going to give you great opportunities to see great flamenco in flamenco clubs called
penas, penas flamenca. Also you can see
impromptu flamenco, maybe. You can be walking around one
of the flamenco neighborhoods like Barrio de Santa Maria, or La Vina, and you might just see
kids playing football and singing at the same time. Singing incredible flamenco. I also love the food
there, so the chicharrones, which is pork belly strips, delicious. Also tortillitas de camarones,
which is this little tiny shrimp. – [James] In a fritter. – In a fritter. Delicious as well. And then of course as a huge fan of Cuba, and more particularly Havana, Cadiz looks very similar to Havana. Actually, some people call
it the Havana of the East. Some films actually
have been set in Cadiz, pretending to be Havana. The bay area of Cadiz looks
like the Malecon in Havana. I just think of all these beautiful, colorful buildings, the facades. It looks very, very similar. And it has that feel. The city has a Cuban feel somehow. – And so make sure you hit Cadiz, and if you go, go up to the Watchtower, where you can look over at this white, beautiful white town city. And then you see the sea
beyond it, just color. When the sun sets, everything turns pink. It is incredible. Cadiz, that’s our number one. What are your unmissable
places in Spain guys? Let us know in the comments below. We make a number of videos in our home where we talk about Spanish culture, I’ll link to a playlist
below where you can see more, and so we’ll see you in the next video! – Hasta luego!
– Ciao!