EL VIAJERO

8 great Spanish Easter break ideas

Relaxing and fun escapes for making the most out of the first holiday of the year

Ses Illetes beach in Formentera.
Ses Illetes beach in Formentera.Bertrand Gardel

From Andy Warhol in Bilbao to walks around movie locations and subterranean secrets – whether you have four, seven or even more days to recharge your batteries over Easter, here are eight exciting Spanish travel ideas for the upcoming break.

Music in Cuenca

First held in 1961, this year’s 55th edition of the Religious Music Week in Cuenca overlaps with the Easter holidays, running from March 19 to 27 in venues such as the city cathedral, the Menédez Pelayo University, the auditorium, and the churches of San Miguel, San Pedro de la Merced and Santa Cruz. Highlights include Bach’s Mass in B minor conducted by William Christie and performed by German baritone André Morsh and the British soprano Katherine Watson. Some concerts are free, while others cost between €9 and €40 (a season pass for all the concerts is €250).

www.smrcuenca.es

Movie marshes

Spanish director Alberto Rodríguez’s excellent recent thriller La isla mínima (Marshland), set among the rice fields of the Guadalquivir river in Andalusia, has inspired a trip to the Doñana National Park organized by trekking agency Gente Viajera from March 23 to 27. The price is €428 per person, which includes transportation from Madrid, full-board accommodation in the rural Lantana Garden hotel in Pilas (Seville) and a selection of routes on foot, horseback or by jeep around Doñana and the landscapes seen in the movie.

www.genteviajera.com

The camellia trail

March is the best time to visit the gardens of Galicia, where more than 800 varieties of camellia bloom every year. The Ruta de la Camellia website proposes a route that takes in around 15 Galician country houses that open their gardens to visitors.

www.cameliagalicia.com

March is the best time to visit the gardens of Galicia, where more than 800 varieties of camellias bloom every year

Warhol’s ‘Shadows’

US pop artist Andy Warhol’s Shadows series of paintings is now on show at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao until October 2. The exhibition is composed of 102 silkscreens in large format. From March 18 to September 4, you also have the chance to see French-American artist Louise Bourgeois’s disturbing Cells installations. The stylish hotel Miró, located in front of the Guggenheim, is offering a promotion, Art Bilbao, that includes accommodation for two people, breakfast and tickets to the museum for €185 a night.

www.mirohotelbilbao.com

Underground Burgos

The Ojo Guareña cave, in the Las Merindades district of northern Burgos province, has opened a section of its 120 kilometers of underground galleries to the public. Up on the surface, this protected space offers 10 easy circular routes for trekkers. One of the starting points is the San Bernabé Chapel carved out of the rock, which in March opens its doors to the public from Tuesday to Sunday. A combined visit to the Ojo Guareña cave and the chapel costs €4.

www.turismocastillayleon.com

Roman baths in Extremadura

Among the most appealing itineraries on offer this spring is the Vía de la Plata stretch of Extremadura between Mérida (Badajoz) and Baños de Montemayor (Cáceres), an ancient Roman spa town at the foot of the Béjar mountain range (Salamanca). One accommodation option is the Hospedería del Valle de Ambroz, in Hervás (Cáceres).

www.hospederiasdeextremadura.es

The Ojo Guareña cave in Burgos has opened a section of its 120 kilometers of underground galleries

Beautiful beaches

According to Trip Advisor users, the Ses Illetes (Formentera), El Cotillo (Fuerteventura) and Bolonia (Cádiz) beaches are among the 10 best in Spain – so why not pay one of them a visit? Hotel reservations website Booking.com is offering four-night stays from March 24 to 28 in apartments close to Bolonia for around €200 during Easter week.

www.booking.com

Water features

The arrival of spring sees the snow begin to melt and waterfalls start to appear. One of the most spectacular spots is the Monasterio de Piedra in Zaragoza province: a succession of lakes, waterfalls, caves and forests only 105 kilometers from Zaragoza city and 229 from Madrid. Founded in 1194 and refurbished eight centuries later, the monastery is now a hotel and spa that has preserved the Gothic cloister, cells, chapter house and the crypt, which has been converted into a wine museum for the Calatayud region.

www.monasteriopiedra.com

English version by Anne-Gaelle Sy.