Win a 2-week Spanish course in our competition!

Pack your bags

At IH Spain, we're running a photography competition, with the prize a two-week Spanish course (plus free accommodation and airport transfer) at any one of the seven IH Spain Spanish schools.

All you have to do is take a photo of what you would bring to Spain with you in your suitcase if you won the prize and upload it to the IH Spain Facebook page. Don't forget the suntan oil ūüėČ !

We have Spanish schools in seven great cities to visit: apart from Barcelona, that's Cadiz, Palma, Madrid, San Sebastian, Seville and Valencia. Picking the nicest is going to be real tough!

From the coast of Barcelona

Mural, Montcada Beach

On the beach at Montcada | Mural, Berok; photo, Tom Walton

We've mentioned this one before, but for a nice long walk at the weekend, the beach is lovely — either from Barceloneta to the Forum, or way beyond that, either by bike or by taking the train to Premi√† and walking back (and there are 3 or 4 other stops, depending on how energetic you're feeling).

It's especially lovely in the winter when we get a lovely sunny-but-cold day like today was.

Photos of Catalonia at the Palau Robert

The lovely valleys of the Catalan Pyrenees | Photo: Tom Walton

You'll need to go by this Sunday as it ends April 15th, but in the gardens of the Palau Robert there's a collection of photos of the Pyrenees which is worth 10 minutes of your time if you're at the top of the Passeig de Gracia with Diagonal.

Catalonia is such a lovely part of Spain and you should at least enjoy these even if your trip here doesn't actually get you to some of these delightful places. They're also historically important, as it was in the valleys of the Pyrenees, in the days of the Moors, that Catalonia had its origins.

In the photo, above, the village of Arties (Vall d'Aran) and one of the Romanesque churches in the Vall de Boí.

Social program Barcelona, December 19-25

Traditional Christmas figures on sale in Barcelona's Barrio Gótico | Photo: Tom Walton

Your social program in Barcelona for Christmas week…

  • Tuesday 20th | We're going to the Sagrada Familia today, not just to see the church but also to visit the traditional Christmas fair outside.
  • Wednesday 21st | Come with us this afternoon on a trip to the Freixenet cava (champagne) producers in Sant Sadurn√≠, Spain's most important [website]. No Catalan Christmas is truly complete without cava! Note that the coach leaves at 14.15, price ‚ā¨10.
  • Thursday 22nd | Come with us on a very "Christmas" walk around the Barrio G√≥tico. It's fascinating at any time of the year, but perhaps especially so in Christmas week.

Meet in Reception ("C" floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above…

NOTE There's no Friday club until January 13th.

Un viaje en el tiempo: Magna Celebratio

¬ŅTe apetece hacer algo diferente este fin de semana? ¬ŅQu√© tal un viaje en el tiempo?

Si te gusta la historia, el fin de semana del 23 al 25 de abril tienes la oportunidad de ir a la época romana: Badalona (a 10 km de Barcelona) celebra sus fiestas de recreación histórica, organizadas por el museo de historia de la ciudad.

Se hacen recorridos por los enclaves arqueol√≥gicos de la antigua Baetulo, los restaurantes de la ciudad ofrecen un men√ļ inspirado en la cocina romana, hay una feria en la que se recrean oficios t√≠picamente romanos y charlas en las que se explican particularidades de la vida en la √©poca cl√°sica.