Many people are familiar with Spain. We have been to all the usual places including Canaries and Balearics, but following are a number with which people may be less familiar, but which we have liked. These are noted from an artists perspective.
Fabulous city – museums, palaces, galleries , churches, streets, squares, cafes etc. The art museums are particularly noteworthy. The Prado is of course best known. I am a massive fan of the Spanish painters – Velazques, Murillo, Goya etc – incredible to be able to see them. Another massive museum is the Thyssen-Bournavista which has a very large collection including Constable etc. Special also is the Sorolla museum – such light and narrative in his paintings.
Toledo – from Madrid there are many interesting trips – One of the best is to Toledo – massive cathedral etc., and home of El Greco.
Mazzaron – Murcia
We spent 2 months – jan/feb here. Located in the province of Murcia. We flew through Alicante, but nearest is Murcia Airport. Great weather which provided much pleasant painting opportunities. Very interesting trips are to Cartagena – very historical and great museums and Murcia City. This is a great base for good weather in January/Feb.
Roses – NW Spain
We spent 1 month here in Sept – close to end of season. Great scenes around to paint. Nearby terrific town of Cadaques and inland, near Pyranees towns such as Besalu and Figures. Also convenient to Girona and Barcelona.
We were in Santander for 2 weeks – nice, elegant city, nice drive to Bilbao with its Guggenheim. As wildlife lovers, unquestionably a highlight was the massive Cabarceno wildlife park, south of Santander. This is 750Ha with huge collections and great cable car rides.
South West Spain – western Andalucia
We particularly wanted to talk about this fabulous area. We spent February, March, April here. Base was Conil, 30 mins east of Cadiz. In February and March it was chilly, April quite warm. Much of south coast of Spain all across to Malaga is built up, not this area. We chose Conil, a small town on 8 miles of scenic beaches and cliffs.
Cadiz is a really pretty, but small city. Its neighbour Puerta de Santa Maria is also elegant and was the departure point for Columbus.
There were loads of other smaller towns around – Arcos, Ronda etc all very paint – worthy! And all enjoyed very much.
Seville – is the big city, fabulous – cathedral, alcazar, river, art museums. This was the home of Murillo – fabulous paintings!
Jerez – home of Port. On one occasion there was an extremely colourful horse fair, with really elegant horses, carriages and people – great atmosphere.
Flamenco – the great attraction. I spent many years in NY and other painting figures. Nothing can match the elegance and movement of the Flamenco Dancers (and their matching music) – we saw many shows.