Top Ten Autumn Destinations in Mexico and Spain

by Tyson on Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn trees

If you like travelling, autumn is the ideal season for taking a trip. The summer heat has disappeared and winter's chill has not yet arrived. The Mediterranean climate in Spain caters perfectly to travelers interested in discovering the country's most secret spots and getting to know its most vibrant traditions and curious quirks.

Here are ten places we recommend visiting this autumn, which has just begun:

1. Barcelona

Barcelona, top destination in Spain Taking an autumn weekend to get away to the ciudad condal area is an excellent idea. In addition to the wide range of activities going on in the capital city, the Fiesta Mayor Santa Majestad and the Fiesta of the Virgin del Remedio are celebrated in the town of Caldes de Montbui in October on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of the month. The town of Sant Feliu de Llobregat also celebrates an Autumn Festival. November brings interesting fiestas such as the Fiesta of the Castellars in Vilafranca del Penedés, a festival that features incredible human towers, and the festival of Sitges. In December we can take part in the procession celebrations of Bisbet at the Monastery of Montserrat, a place that you must visit on December 6th. These excursions to the area surrounding Barcelona offer us the opportunity to use our Spanish. (don Quijote School Barcelona)

2. Granada

The Alhambra in GranadaAutumn in the city of the Alhambra offers us the unique opportunity to lose ourselves amongst the spectacular ruins of the Nazari monuments and to enjoy the natural beauty of the forest that surrounds the Alhambra and the Generalife. This is also the perfect time of year to stroll about the Albayzín neighborhood, where the area's many town squares feature bars and restaurants that cook up the best in Andalusian cuisine, and offer spectacular views of Spain's most visited monument. In autumn, the city also holds music, opera and theatre festivals which will all delight visitors and give them a great chance to practice Spanish with Granadinos. (don Quijote School Granada)

3. Guanajuato

Guanajuato in MexicoIf you get the chance to travel to the country of the Aztecs, you must visit Guanajuato in autumn, that's when this historic and scenic city located in Mexico's interior celebrates Alhondiga de Granaditas Day. Celebrations include a civic-military parade commemorating the day that revolutionaries, with the help of the popular hero El Pípila, overtook the city's public granary facility, burning down the building's door and consequently defeating the Spanish army. Toward the end of October and the beginning of November, the city celebrates the Alfeñique Fair, where a great variety of sugar figures, the most traditional of which are skulls, are created for the Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, November 2nd). That same month, we can see Las Iluminaciones (religious celebrations carried out in different neighborhoods around the city). Finally, on December 12th, celebrations pay homage to Mexico's protector and patron saint: Our Lady of Guadalupe. (don Quijote School Guanajuato)

4. Mexico City

Mexico CityThis city is like a small universe in itself, a place where anything can be found and anything can lie hidden. Mexico City offers us the opportunity to enjoy a festival which, although is celebrated all over the country, reaches its climax in the distrito federal, the nation's capital. We're talking about the Día de los Muertos (November 2nd), an event so important that UNESCO placed it on their intangible world heritage list. The people of Mexico, in a synthesis of pre-Columbian traditions and customs brought over from the other side of the ocean, take to the streets to celebrate death in a surprisingly joyful, colorful and vibrant fiesta. Visiting cemeteries, where people have lunch with deceased relatives and getting caught up in the lively partying in the city's streets and plazas is an experience that you won't want to miss. (Nearest don Quijote School: Oaxaca)

La Rioja5. La Rioja

 When we talk about Spanish wine, the word Rioja immediately comes to the tongue. Autumn is the season of the vendimia, and although related festivals are celebrated throughout Spain, La Rioja is likely where they reach the height of their splendor. Vineyards loaded with juicy ripe grapes, joyful folks pleased with the abundant harvest, dreams of the robust wine it will produce…

Enjoy the hustle and bustle of harvest time in Logroño, Haro or Calahorra, and chat in the shade with the locals over a glass of wine after visiting the Monastery of San Millán, the birthplace of the Spanish language. (Nearest don Quijote School: Madrid)

6. Toledo

Toledo in SpainThe imperial city awaits our autumn visit, a place where "the city of three cultures" joins the traditional presence of Jewish, Muslim and Christian peoples in a unique mix of cultures that reflects the brilliant shine of this gem of a city, circled and linked by the Tajo River. The Christian castles and churches display a slice of history that is magically illuminated by the paintings of El Greco, fountains and the historic mosque, today's Church of the Christ of Light. These also tell the story of the city's Muslim and Jewish district's architecture, with gorgeous synagogues rounding out the unique mosaic of influences that define the city of Toledo. (Nearest don Quijote School: Madrid)

7. Zaragoza

Zaragoza, the Aragon capitalThe Aragon capital, with its liquid backbone the Ebro River, gets decked out in its finest splendors for the Fiestas del Pilar. The festival takes place around the 12th of October, when everybody fancies themselves up in their most elegant formal wear and creates incredible wreaths of flowers to pay homage to the city's patron saint the Virgin of Pilar. Zaragoza's attractions, its monuments and friendly and open people always willing to welcome a visitor all become highlighted by the area's natural environment: the setting of the Monastery de Piedra, where forests and cascading waters are particularly stunning in autumn, when leaves turn a rainbow of colors decorating the landscape. (Nearest don Quijote School: Barcelona)

8. Madrid

Spain's capital MadridEach year, with the arrival of autumn, Spain launches a full program of cultural activities: music, theatre, conferences, exhibits… This is the Autumn Festival of Madrid, when stages are set up around the entire city and surrounding municipalities to present dance performances, classical and modern music concerts, and other activities that all make the City of the Bear not only the political heart of Spain, but also its cultural heart; a great reason to experience this city in autumn. (don Quijote School Madrid)

9. Pueblos blancos de Cadiz (the white villages of Cadiz)

The white villages of CadizThe interior of the province of Cadiz is sprinkled with white spots that shine like jewels before the eyes of awestruck visitors: los pueblos blancos. White washed with exceptional care, these villages invite us from afar to visit and enjoy their architecture, landscape and monumental and culinary surprises from the Sierra de Grazalema ( UNESCO Biosphere Reserve). Here, you can also experience the magic and vertigo of Arcos de la Frontera, journeying through forests of pines, holm oaks, cork oaks and pinsapos, a tree that is native to the region. (don Quijote School in Cadiz)

10. Puerto de la Cruz. Tenerife

Perto de la Cruz, TenerifeEvery year on November 30th, this city located on the north side of the Island of the Teide celebrates a vibrant and colorful fiesta with an extensive tradition: la Cacharrera. Traditionally, wine growers from throughout the Orotava Valley, whose access to the ocean is Puerto de la Cruz, would head down to the beach once they finished transferring new wine from kegs to barrels for consumption. Here, they would clean out the used barrels in the sea water. This tradition, with the loud noises of barrels rolling through the streets on their way to the beach, gave way to today's childrens' competitions in which kids put together a cacharro (pot, pan or piece of junk) using empty tin cans and other metal materials. The kids drag these noise makers through the streets, recalling an unforgotten tradition, as adults hang out on the wharf tasting the first new wines of the year's grape harvest over a plate of sardines and roasted chestnuts. (don Quijote School Tenerife)



Keywords: destinations in mexico,spanish cities,mexican cities,destinations in spain,learn spanish abroad


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