Ideas without a guide
Did you know that Spain has some of the best places in the world for stargazing? Or that there's a route where you can spot the settings for the films by the Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodóvar? Come and experience a different and original type of tourism. Come and celebrate festivities where the beat of drums creates a very special atmosphere. Let craftsmen and women themselves show you the secrets of their trade… Travelling in inland Spain means enjoying unique experiences which are guaranteed to leave their mark.
Wicker craftsman in Castile-La Mancha © Turismo de Castilla - La Mancha
Mining Museum, Puertollano. Ciudad Real © Antonio Real Hurtado. Turismo de Castilla - La Mancha
Room in the Naval Museum in Madrid
Man in a vegetable garden, Navarre © Enrique Adolfo Lacunza Eguaras. Navarra Adentro
View of the sky and stars in La Rioja © La Rioja Turismo
View of the Milky Way at the Salto del Gitano viewing point (Monfragüe National Park) © D. López. www.tierrayestrellas.com/extremadura
View of the Milky Way in the Monfragüe National Park © J. C. Casado. www.tierrayestrellas.com/extremadura
Cabezo de Alcalá acropolis, Azaila. Teruel
Almodóvar in Castile-La Mancha
Everybody knows who Pedro Almodóvar is: one of our most international film directors. But do we know as much about his origins? This creative genius was born in Calzada de Calatrava (in Ciudad Real ), one of the destinations you can discover on this route. You'll also be able to see the settings for films such as 'Volver' or 'The flower of my secret', or visit such interesting places as the venue where the local inhabitants gather to watch the Oscar awards when Almodóvar takes part. Once you're there, you'll always have the chance to satisfy your curiosity by asking a few questions... Come and enjoy this 'spectacular' trip.
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Windows on the stars
Did you know that in inland Spain you'll find some of the best places in the world for stargazing? Come and see this unique sky in the designated areas, star parks and Starlight reserves. You'll see that all of them (named or recommended in the Starlight Initiative supported by the UNESCO) have something in common: natural lighting and a clear night sky which will leave you speechless. The Biosphere reserve of the valleys of the Leza, Jubera, Cidacos and Alhama rivers (in La Rioja ), the Mena valley (in Burgos , Castile-León ), the Monfragüe National Park (in Extremadura ), the north face of the Sierra de Gredos mountains (in Avila , Castile-León) are just a few. Bathe in the light of the stars as never before.
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- >On webpage of the Starlight Initiative you'll find more information on destinations, star parks and Starlight reserves as well as details of festivals, specialised courses on astronomy tourism, etc.
- >Visit the tourist office in each destination for more information on routes, etc.
Navarre from the inside
Who better to show you an area than the local inhabitants? Why not let the Navarrans themselves guide and advise you throughout any of the ten routes available as part of the programme entitled ' Navarre adentro' ('Navarre from the inside'). On the route 'Authentic Navarre' you'll be accompanied by bull-runners (the stars of the bull-running festivals such as San Fermín ), farmers, craftsmen and market gardeners; in 'Traditional Navarre' you'll learn all about the history of the 'Sorginak' (witches) in the Zugarramundi caves; in 'Gastronomic Navarre' you'll see how truffle collectors hunt for truffles with dogs and take part in a cookery course with a gastronomic club; in 'Spiritual Navarre' the monks themselves in the monasteries of La Oliva and Leyre will open their doors to you… Listen to their stories. Marvel at their traditions. Experience the way of life in Navarre.
- >Each route can be adapted to suit your preferences. You can decide which services to use (accommodation with character, gourmet set menus…)
- >For languages other than Spanish, 'Navarre from the inside' can provide an interpreter to help you when conversing with the local inhabitants and others.
Themed routes in Teruel
Teruel is sure to sound familiar thanks to its famous Mudéjar art. But it has much, much more. Everything from its traditional Easter week commemorations (involving hundreds of people playing a variety of drums in unison), to exploring fascinating places such as its cold vaults, its old prisons, its archaeological sites from the time of the Iberians, and its defensive fortifications. A genuinely original way of delving into history. All these places are part of the themed routes that can be done at your own pace. In some cases, such as the Route of the Iberians (one of the most wide-ranging), there are also programmes with a guide lasting one or two days. Which route takes your fancy?
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- >On the web page for each route you'll find the contact details of each place you want to visit.
- >On the official webpage of the Route of the Tambor and the Bombo (drum route) you'll find information about the nine towns and villages which form part of this route, as well as an album of photos, news, schedules, etc. The best time to do this route is in March or April (depending on which dates Easter falls each year).
- >Before a trip to any of the cold vaults, it is a good idea to contact each one, as some can only be visited with a personal guide from a cultural centre or similar. The audiovisual elements and descriptive panels on this route are in Spanish only.
- >The webpage of the Consorcio Patrimonio Ibérico de Aragón (Aragon Iberian Heritage Consortium) offers information on eight programmed routes which include a guide for the whole day, and admission to visitor centres and sites. These routes, lasting one or two days, can also be prepared à la carte, with Iberian-inspired meals and accommodation.
- >The Route around the Defensive Fortifications of Sarrión is completely unrestricted. We recommend visiting the Town Hall to obtain advice and information, or in summer, the visitor centre.
Themed routes in Teruel
Turismo de Teruel
Consorcio Patrimonio Ibérico de Aragón
Route of the Iberians
Tel.:+34 978870192, +34 978831213
Asociación de la Semana Santa
Route of the Tambor and the Bombo (drum route)
Comarca del Matarraña
Route of the Prisons
Las bóvedas del frío
Route of the Cold Vaults
Ayuntamiento de Sarrión
Route of the defensive fortifications
Industrial tourism in Madrid
Visiting different and original museums is always interesting, but if in addition you receive a gift for doing so... the idea sounds even more appealing. This is the idea behind the initiative ' Madrid by land, sea and air. Industrial archaeology in Madrid'. All you need to do is download the official brochure for the Air Museum, the Railway Museum , the Andén 0/Visitor centre in the Madrid Metro, the Naval Museum and the National Museum of Science and Technology . On each visit you'll be given a stamp on your brochure, and once you have collected all of them… you'll receive your free gift!
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- >Check each museum's web page for opening times and rates, and whether advance booking is required before visiting.
- >Once you have completed the visits, take your stamped brochure to the Madrid Tourism Centre (Plaza Mayor, 27) to receive your gift.
Museo del Aire
Museo del Ferrocarril
Andén 0/Centro de Interpretación de Metro de Madrid
Museo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología
Tel.:+34 916037400 , +34 916037401, +34 916037430
Roll up your sleeves and get ready to go to Castile-La Mancha to take part in workshops on pottery, yarns and fabrics, wood, metals, stone, marble, fur, leather and glass. There are a multitude of workshops in this part of inland Spain that are waiting to welcome you. Many of these places are family-run, so once you get there you'll feel completely at home. For example, would you like to see how pottery is placed in the kiln and then painted? Would you like to decorate some tiny figures yourself? And then take home a souvenir? We can assure you that watching a genuine craftsman or woman at work in Castile-La Mancha is a fascinating experience.
What kind of crafts workshops are you likely to find in La Rioja ? The traditional crocheted lace, pottery, wood, 'frontón' balls, almazuelas (small pieces of cloth which mix colours and textures to create a range of surfaces), silk painting… Taking part in any of these workshops is an absorbing and interesting experience. For example, you'll find it fascinating to see how wool is worked, and you'll be able to take part in the process of weaving on a loom. And when you go home with a heraldic crest? Many of the workshops also offer courses, and have an exhibition area and a shop.
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- >On the Castile-La Mancha tourism website you'll information on the different workshops and activities. Find out how to reach each venue, the time of the visits, how long they last, what languages are available, rates, minimum number of visitors required, and whether the site is accessible and has a car park.
- >For visits to the workshops in La Rioja it is advisable to call in advance. Many of these workshops are available only in Spanish, and last approximately half an hour, although this depends on each activity and workshop.