This year’s summer vacation was just amazing, maybe one of the best we had so far. Perfect weather, great friends, excellent food and beautiful new destinations that, most of the times, just left us breathless.

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As a departing point for our trip this year we chose again Malaga, that’s were our plane landed after an almost 4 hours trip from Bucharest. And that’s were we rented our 2 cars that would take us to Costa del Sol, Cordoba, Sevilla, Huelva and the beautiful and absolutely amazing Algarve in Portugal.

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But let’s take it step by step and let’s start with some very nice and relaxing days at the beach…because well, south of Spain, they do have sun and beaches and the Mediterranean, so there’s nothing else more you would actually need.

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First day of the trip was just for getting used to the Costa del Sol atmosphere again. Relaxation, beers, tapas, good time and friends. We stayed in Calahonda, were some of your friends live and just headed directly to the beach after enjoying a bocadillo con jamon at Patio de Carlos (a small restaurant, close to the beach in Calahonda, with delicious sandwhiches).

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The second day was reserved to go to El Camino del Rey, but unfortunately all the spots were booked so we had to give up this plan. Instead we headed to a beach nearby Calahonda and spent all day there. Capobino beach is a very nice beach in Marbella, with everything you need to spend your whole day there. You have bars, restaurants and the specific Costa del Sol atmosphere and good vibe.

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On the next couple of days we left Costa del Sol for some sightseeing in Cordoba and Sevilla, but I will talk about these 2 cities in a different post. Before leaving Spain and getting to Portugal, we made a one day stop in Punta Umbria, which si very close to the border with Portugal in the South. First encounter with the Ocean for this year.

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The beach in Punta Umbria is enormous and the sand is perfect. Here you will find all sorts of shells, good if you intend to bring home some souvenirs.

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As we went there on the night of the 23rd of June, we also caught the San Juan celebration going on. It seems that the tradition in Punta Umbria is that young people gather on the beach at night time and they start fires and have snacks and drinks until early in the morning. It’s mostly teenagers and students who have just finished school and are enjoying the summer break.

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The tradition also says that you have to write wishes on a piece of paper and throw it into the fire to make them come true. The fiesta goes on until the morning, to catch a beautiful sunrise on the beach.

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On the next day we started our trip to Portugal, but we first stopped to one of the best sea food restaurants in the area, Doña Gamba in El Rompido. It’s a great place, with all sorts of sea food, absolutely delicious, located in a very nice surrounding.

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On the last day of our trip, heading back to Calahonda, we also made a half a day stop to Tarifa. As we enjoyed it so much last year, and as it was on our way home, we just had to do it. For the beach and of course for having lunch in the El Frances Restaurant, where they have absolutely delicious tapas, as well as sea food and incredibly tasty tuna stakes.

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So, just as a quick overview. We started in Calahonda in the first day, then full day at Capobino Beach in Marbella. Then headed to Cordoba and Sevilla and after that to Punta Umbria and El Rompido. We spent 5 days in Portugal (I will write about that in a different post) and then, on our way back home, a quick stop in Tarifa.

As food is a very important part of a trip in Spain, here are also some other restaurants we checked while in Southern Spain:

IMAG2885La Latina – in Calahonda, very nice and cosy restaurant, with great tapas

The Connoisseur in Calahonda, very nice Indian Restaurant, if you get tired of so much sea food and want to try something different

Pikoteo – known mostly by locals, great prices and amazing food. I still think about it and instantly start to droll.

When talking about food in this area of Spain, it’s all about octopus, shrimps, olives, small tapas, perfectly combined with cold beer or with a glass of rose wine.

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Regarding accommodation, we only had to book something in Punta Umbria, where we stayed in the Hostal Playa. Very nice place, with breakfast included and just a few meters away from the beach.

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