One of the best ways of disconnecting from the daily grind and truly enjoying your much-deserved holidays is to surround yourself with nature. Spain is blessed with hundreds of parks and green zones, which are both a necessity and a luxury for city dwellers and visitors alike.
Whether you’re looking for peace and tranquillity with family, friends or on your own, getting some fresh air amidst the green in the summer is always a great idea.
The following are four beautiful parks – places to leave behind the rush and the stress, and enjoy the wonder of nature.
The Parque de María Luisa and the Parque de los Príncipes, Seville
The Parque de María Luisa is one of Seville’s gems. Trees, flowers and hedges combine perfectly with artificial lakes, fountains and statues, while the traditional Sevillian tiles add the finishing touch to a place where beauty reigns.
* The Parque de María Luisa, Sevilla. / Picture: en-sevilla.com
The Infanta María Luisa donated the lands for the park, which were part of the gardens of her palace, to the city in 1893. To these were later added the grounds of the Prado de San Sebastián, the orange groves of the San Telmo palace, the Jardines de las Delicias (Gardens of Delights) and the Huerto de Mariana (vegetable garden of Mariana). The Plaza de España and the Plaza de América, built for the Ibero-American Expo in Seville in 1929, are located within the park.
This is the most important ‘green lung’ of Seville, where in addition to enjoying nature, you can discover the history of the city.
And if you are in Seville, we’d recommend you also don’t miss the Parque de los Príncipes, located in the west of the city. There you’ll find rose bushes, orange trees, and a delightful canal, full of ducks. Wandering the many paths that criss-cross this beautiful spot is a wonderful way to spend a few hours.
* The Parque de los Príncipes, Sevilla. / Picture: sonnuestrasfotos.blogspot.com.
Hotels in Seville
If there’s one hotel that is truly immersed in Andalusian culture it’s the hotel Vincci La Rábida 4* Sevilla. Its indoor Andalusian courtyard, vivid tiles, stylish rooms… every detail is taken care of so you can enjoy an authentic Sevillian experience. It’s just a stone’s throw from the cathedral and the ‘Maestranza’ bull ring, and in its ‘El Mirador’ restaurant you can sample the best of the local cuisine, while looking out over the famous Giralda – it’s truly fabulous.
The Huerto de Calixto y Melibea, Salamanca
This park in the city of Salamanca is permeated with love and romance. Located in the historic centre of the city, it’s a scene used by Fernando de Rojas in his immortal novel ‘La Celestina’ which tells of the love between Calixto and Melibea.
* The huerto de Calixto y Melibea, Salamanca. / Picture: miguelyamparosecasan2012.blogspot.com
By the river Tormes and the old city walls, the park is 2,500 square metres of nature, with a fountain, a well and a welcoming arch at the entrance.
Love, nature and history make these gardens a secluded, refreshing place, designed for silence and tranquillity.
Hotels in Salamanca
A leisurely 25 minute walk from the park takes you to the hotel Vincci Ciudad de Salamanca 4* Salamanca; it’s a modern establishment, with all the facilities you’d expect of a four-star hotel. It boasts spacious rooms, and a wonderful varied buffet. Given its proximity to Salamanca’s Convention and Exhibition centre it’s a great option for business trips, but is equally inviting for tourists, because it’s just 15 minutes from the cathedral. Additionally, the public transport options available from the hotel are unbeatable.
* Suite Junior at the hotel Vincci Ciudad de Salamanca 4* Salamanca.
Parque El Capricho, Madrid
Madrid is one of the cities that, paradoxically, given the bustle of its busy centre, has some of the country’s most beautiful parks. One such spot, unknown to many Madrid natives as well as tourists, is the Parque del Capricho, a sublime spot in the Alameda de Osuna neighbourhood.
The park was built on the orders of the Duchess of Osuna between 1787 and 1839, and is the only Romantic garden in Madrid. The style is clear from the labyrinth of trees, the buildings and follies, the palazzo and the refreshing coolness that emanates from the canals that are home to swans and ducks.
* Parque El Capricho, Madrid. / Picture: barbararosillo.wordpress.com.
Lilacs and Judas trees give the park deep splashes of colour, while oaks, pines and cypresses dot its meadows, along with banana and chestnut trees. In total the park covers 14 hectares and is a perfect place to rest, relax and wander in a truly historic part of Madrid. It’s a wonderful place.
Hotels in Madrid
If you choose to spend time this summer in Madrid we’d recommend you stay in the centre, near a more famous park, El Retiro, in the hotel Vincci Soma 4* Madrid.
Vincci Soma 4* Madrid is in one of the best zones of the city, in the exclusive Salamanca neighbourhood, on Calle Goya. It has spacious rooms, some of which have their own out-door terrace where you can relax in the sun, or take breakfast. The hotel also has a range of fabulous services, including a gym, a library and a great restaurant.
* Terrace of a room at the hotel Vincci Soma 4* Madrid.
Parque de Málaga and Parque del Oeste, Malaga
We end our tour in Andalusia, in Malaga and the Parque de la Alameda. More than just a park, it’s a long stretch of gardens where you can stroll and inhale the fresh air, scented by the vegetation. It’s a Mediterranean garden by La Malagueta beach.
It’s one of the most exotic corners of Europe in terms of plants, with a wide range of subtropical species.
* Parque de la Alameda, Parque de Málaga. / Picture: www.deviajeporespaña.com.
To the north of the park, on Avenida de Cervantes, are landmark buildings such as the Palacio de Aduanas and the Town Hall, by which are the Puerta Oscura gardens and the beautiful Alcazaba, Malaga’s 11th century Moorish palatial fortification.
Another park you should make time to see in Malaga is the Parque del Oeste, where the water, the plants and the colour come together day after day in a spectacular dance.
Hotels in Malaga
Just by the Parque del Oesta is the hotel Vincci Málaga 4* Málaga. It’s a modern hotel, with avant-garde style, offering sea views from several of its rooms.
If you’re going to Malaga this summer it’s a great option because it’s right on the Paseo Marítimo, and is close to all the famous landmarks as well as the beach.
And after a stroll through one of Malaga’s parks, why not take the weight off your feet and enjoy a drink in the hotel’s lounge bar, or on its outdoor terrace.