Cool places for summer: say goodbye to the heat!
If you are someone who escapes the beach during the summer months and are still looking for a place to go on holiday, below we recommend some of the coolest parts of Spain to enjoy a well-deserved rest. Make a note of them!
TRAVELLING WITH TASTE
Are you someone who prefers to enjoy a summer holiday at the beach or in the mountains? As in many situations, there are two types of people: on the one hand, there are those who associate summer holidays with sunbathing, the sea or beach bars; and on the other, those who prefer to go to a cooler place, normally mountain villages, to enjoy nature, low temperatures and sometimes swimming in the river. If you belong to this second group and are still looking for nearby places to spend your summer holiday in, below we discover some cool places to relax and enjoy the gastronomy.
Callosa d’en Sarrià (Alicante-Comunitat Valenciana)
Callosa d’en Sarrià is a town in the Comunitat Valenciana, situated to the north of the province of Alicante, in the La Marina Baixa region. The town is crossed by two rivers, the Algar and the Guadalest, and is also surrounded by the Aitana, Bernia and La Xortà mountains...The ideal destination to enjoy nature! In addition, it is located just 3 km from Las Fuentes del Algar, a natural spot comprising a set of waterfalls connected by small water channels or rivers where you can enjoy a cool and refreshing dip.
What to do in Callosa d’en Sarrià:
- Tour the town: discover some of the landmark sites, including the Calvary (el Calvario), Bernia Fort and the Ethnological Museum, among others.
- Hiking routes: the town is surrounded by some of the region's most important mountainous ridges, including the Aitana, La Xortà, Bèrnia and Ponoig mountain ranges, so there are signposted hiking routes and eco-cultural routes.
- Enjoy a swim in the Fuentes del Algar waterfalls. In addition, you will be able to take a guided tour around this spot, which consists of a 1.5 km circuit along the course of the river Algar, to enjoy the landscape and the springs that flow from the rocks, and take a dip in the wells of cold and clear water.
- “Minxos”: a base made using a blanched flour paste, on which all types of chopped vegetables and fish are placed.
- Callosa d’en Sarrià is characterised by its loquat plantations with denomination of origin, so many of the dishes that are typical of this area are made using this fruit.
RECIPE FOR AVOCADOS STUFFED WITH PRAWNS AND LOQUATS WITH CHERVIL AND YOGHURT SAUCE
- 4 medium avocados
- 4 leaves lollo rosso lettuce
- 200 g peeled prawns
- 8 fresh loquats or loquats in syrup
- 1 natural yoghurt
- ½ lemon
- 4 sprigs chervil
- Pineapple juice
STEP BY STEP
- Cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and peel them carefully.
- Wash the leaves of lollo rosso lettuce and dry them.
- Cook the prawns and leave to cool.
- Peel the loquats and remove the stones from them. Cut four of them into chunks and the rest into slices, and put to one side.
- Prepare the sauce using the yoghurt, lemon juice, chopped chervil, a splash of pineapple juice and salt to taste.
- Fill the avocados with the loquats and prawns, mixed together beforehand with the sauce.
- Place the two lollo rosso lettuce leaves on a plate with the avocados on top. Decorate with slices of loquat.
This is a town nestled in the mountains, situated in the province of Girona, in the Catalan Pyrenees where the rivers Ter and Ritort meet. Camprodon is not just characterised for being the town where the famous pianist and composer Isaac Albéniz was born, but it is also famous for its Medieval bridge, which has now become the emblem of this town.
What to do in Camprodon:
- Hiking routes: being located in the Catalan Pyrenees, in Camprodon you will be able to enjoy some of the hiking routes with the best views in the country.
- Tour the town: take a stroll through the main square or Plaça Major, admire the houses on the river Ter, visit the monastery of Sant Pere and the Pont Nou bridge, the town's main symbol.
- Visit the museum dedicated to Isaac Albéniz, to discover the life and works of the renowned composer.
- Birba biscuits: you simply cannot visit Camprodon without trying these biscuits with a tradition spanning more than 100 years.
Loja is a town in the province of Granada, situated in the narrow valley formed by the Genil river, between the sierra Gorda and monte Hacho mountains. The water that filters through the Loja mountains causes numerous springs to emerge, so cooling! In addition, this town is also home to Los Infiernos, declared a natural monument, and surrounded by waterfalls and some spectacular views.
What to do in Loja:
- Tour the town: this town is characterised for preserving a plethora of archaeological remains from the Bronze Age and the Muslim era. These include the remains of a Medieval Alcazaba and the fortified enclosure that surrounded the ancient medina.
- Hiking routes: Loja mountain range offers routes and paths through truly amazing landscape, such as Charco del Negro and the most famous of all, Los Infiernos!
- Bathe in its multitude of fresh water springs and the origin of the Riofrío river.
- Roscos de Loja (doughnuts): The star of Loja’s gastronomy are these infamous sweets from the province of Granada. You cannot leave Loja without trying them!
ROSCOS DE LOJA RECIPE
For the dough of the roscos (doughnuts):
For the filling:
For the Italian meringue:
- 2 egg whites
- 100 g sugar
- 30 ml water
STEP BY STEP
1. First make the dough of the roscos (doughnuts):
- Beat the egg whites with the sugar.
- Add the starch and the whisked egg yolks gradually.
- Form the doughnut shapes with a piping bag on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake them at 180º for 15 minutes or until they turn golden.
2. Make the filling:
- Boil the water with the sugar and, when the mixture starts to boil, add the rice semolina and leave it to thicken until it has a creamy consistency.
- Fill the doughnuts by stacking them two by two joined with the cream.
3. Make the meringue:
- Beat the egg whites to form a peak.
- Prepare a syrup with the water and sugar and incorporate it into the meringue gradually and whisking continuously.
- Dip the doughnuts into the meringue and leave them to dry until they are coated in a “crust” of hard meringue.
Albarracín (Teruel – Aragon)
Albarracín is a town in the mountains situated to the southwest of the province of Teruel. The town is characterised by its views, its natural surroundings and the beauty of its historic quarter, which led to it becoming a national monument in 1961.
What to do in Albarracín:
- Tour the historic quarter and climb up to the walled area to enjoy its incredible views.
- Hiking routes: including the riverside path of the Guadalaviar, the barranco de la Hoz trail or the Calomarde waterfall.
- Visit the protected landscape of Pinares de Rodeno and the rock paintings.
- Cool down in the Molino de San Pedro waterfall, or the springs at Ojos del Cabriel.
Must-try dish: almojábanas, a typical dessert from Albarracín of Arabic heritage.
STEP BY STEP
- Heat the oil in a pan, add water and, when it starts to boil, gradually add the flour. Watch out! Make sure you keep mixing constantly so there are no lumps in the dough. When it is consistent, remove the saucepan from the hob and leave it to cool.
- When the dough cools, work it with your hands until it no longer sticks.
- Shape small balls using the dough and place them on an oven tray, lined with baking paper, press down on them and make a hole in the middle to form a type of doughnut.
- Bake them for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.
- Leave to temper and sprinkle with sugar and aniseed.
Bellver de Cerdanya (Lleida - Catalonia)
Bellver de Cerdanya is a town situated in the province of Lleida, in theBaixa Cerdanya region. Interestingly, the town is formed by a cluster of country houses, villages and different parts of the town that have been restored to return its Medieval aesthetic.
What to do in Bellver de Cerdanya:
- Visit the cave paintings in valle de L’Ingla, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Try some adventure sports.
- Hiking routes: the Cátaros trail, the Caballos del Viento trail or the Segadores trail. Or you can also take a trip to the Cadí-Moixeró natural park.
- Visit the historic centre of Bellver.
- Must-try dish: “tiró amb naps”. Duck is one of the most popular dishes in Catalan cuisine; moreover, Talltendre turnips are very famous in this region, as they have a special taste which is attributed to the manganese in the region’s soils.
“TIRÓ AMB NAPS” RECIPE
STEP BY STEP
- Clean the duck, cut it into pieces and soak in hot water.
- Season the duck with salt, pepper and flour.
- Fry the pieces in a frying pan with olive oil and set aside, but don’t throw away the frying oil.
- Insert the duck into a saucepan, pour on the glass of cognac, leave it to reduce. Then, add the white wine and a glass of stock. Leave the mixture to cook on a low heat.
- Chop the carrots, onions, leek and garlic into very small pieces and sauté with the oil from earlier. Add the thyme, the bay leaf and a pinch of cinnamon. When the vegetables are cooked, pour on the tomato, a glass of white wine and leave it to reduce on a low heat. Later, pour the mixture into the pan with the duck in it.
- Wash, peel and chop the turnip into slices and put them on to boil in a separate saucepan.
- Add a little oil to a frying pan with the rest of the flour and stock (keep a glass of stock for later). Mix well until it forms a thick sauce.
- Sieve the sauce in a colander and pour it into the pan with the duck and the vegetables. Add salt to taste.
- Put the saucepan onto a low heat and leave the duck to cook in the sauce. When the meat is tender, add the pre-boiled turnips, the remaining stock and chopped toasted almonds. Switch the hob off, but leave the saucepan on it for another 5 minutes.
This is one of the highest towns in Spain, situated at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range (Granada), very near to Mulhacén and the rivers Trevélez and Chico. The town is characterised by its winding streets and the typical Alpujarra architecture, but also for being split into 3 districts: alto (upper), medio (mid) and bajo (lower).
What to do in Trevélez:
- Wander through its streets to enjoy its architecture and views.
- Hiking routes among its natural areas and the mountainsides of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, including Siete Lagunas, Pico del Rey, Alcazaba, Vacares, Cerro Pelao and Mulhacén. And take a swim in its rivers to cool off!
- Visit a ham curing chamber.... An absolute must!
Must-try dish: a tapa of its famous Trevélez ham, whose denomination of origin is world-renowned.