After Sintra I debated where and what to do, however on the advice of my host they recommended Ericera down the coast from where I was, even better there was a bus that went directly there from right outside my hotel. Ericera is a beautiful town set on cliffs leading down to the Atlantic. It has spectacular sunset ocean views as you can see from the photo below. It’s particularly popular with Lisbon residents as a weekend getaway and is known for its excellent seafood restaurants many of which I tried.
Hidden slightly away just out of the centre of Seville in the old quarter is Metropol Parasol. It is the world’s largest wooden structure and is nicknamed “Las Setas” or “The mushrooms” by locals because of its very distinctive shape. Designed by German Architect Jürgen Mayer, it was completed in April 2011. It’s unusual design and huge cost overspend caused much public controversy at the time, however personally i’ve got to say i think it was worth it because i genuinely thought it was stunning. You can pay to go up it and the views from the top are great. It’s particularly popular at sunset for obvious reasons.
I usually research restaurants quite thoroughly before I go there, however Lobo López I didn’t. I randomly found it on the Time Out mobile app and it was close by to where I was staying, had very good reviews and looked interesting. Anyway spoiler alert it was a great recommendation, so thanks Time Out. I didn’t pre-book, just walked in, but thankfully as it was just me they squeezed me in. The food was stunning, a modern sort of tapas. I loved it all, not a single duff dish at all. The foie gras ‘strawberry’ was almost certainly inspired by the meat fruit I’d previously had at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal but was equally as delicious. The aged Galician beef with truffles was divine. Also considering the excellent quality for all the dishes it was pretty good value as well. Highly recommend this place if you’re in Seville.
Right next to the cathedral is Real Alcázar de Seville. It is the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe and fellow GoT fans will probably recognise it as the water gardens of Dorne. It’s stunning and definitely a highlight of Seville. Make sure you book in advance online though otherwise the queue to get in get can be huge. It’s a really beautiful site with stunning ancients courtyards and amazing gardens. You definitely need at least a good afternoon to do properly.
For my main summer holiday this year I was really keen to go to Portugal, a country I’d never been to before, but had been eyeing up for a while via Instagram and various friend’s social media. On looking at flights I actually worked out it was cheaper to fly to Seville in Spain rather than direct to Portugal. So I jumped at the chance to bag another city and Seville was a revelation, and yet still less than a hour from the Algarve. I didn’t know much about Seville, but on researching found out that it had recently been voted Lonely Planet European city of the year to visit. There’s so many great things to do in Seville, I’m surprised it wasn’t on my radar before.
Seville Cathedral is the world’s largest Gothic church and dominates the centre of the City. I’m not hugely religious or into churches, but I actually quite enjoyed looking round. The cathedral also houses to the tomb of the famous explorer Christopher Columbus, so that was interesting to check out as well.