Puebla de Sanabria, Spain (2014)

Puebla de Sanabria is one of many towns perched atop a hill in Spain. Every square inch is built upon with winding streets giving access to homes and businesses. Here’s one of the wider streets:

Houses in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Houses in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Eventually, these streets lead to a stately plaza mayor with a government building, castle, and a fine church:

Church in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Church in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Although the facade looks mostly blank, you’ll find some weathered carvings of interest near the door:

Carved statues at church entrance, Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Carved statues at church entrance, Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Many of the homes and posadas in this town are kept to a very high standard as you see in the next image:

Posada in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Posada in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

It’s easy to get lost in these streets so pay attention while ambling about looking for photo opportunities.

Another narrow street in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Another narrow street in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Of course there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a snack, meal, or drinks, such as this one:

Meson Albadero in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Meson Abelardo in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

There’s a huge lake nearby where people enjoy all kinds of activities, which might be just the thing for you. Check out the small towns in Spain. There much more there than you might think.

Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain (2014)

Hotel Villa de Ábalos has been among my favorite places to stay in Spain. It is located in the center of a small village with tiny streets and an almost medieval atmosphere.

Facade of Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Facade of Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

However, the hotel is decidedly modern within its historic shell. You’ll have all the modern conveniences in every room. Here’s a look:

Room 12 at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Room 12 at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

The bathroom features everything you need to be comfortable:

Bathroom of Room 12, Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Bathroom of Room 12, Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

You’ll also find inviting common areas where you can gather with fellow travelers to relax and share stories from the journey:

Second floor common area at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Second floor common area at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

And another similar space on the ground floor:

Salon at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Salon at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

I stayed at this hotel four years ago, and it was a pleasure to return. They added a small bar in the reception area where you can enjoy a glass of wine and various tapas. Locals from the town stop by and it was fun to chat with them, learning a bit about life in the Rioja area. The owner of this hotel makes his own wine, which is not yet available in the United States. While there, you definitely want to try it because it is among the best I’ve had in Spain. I’ll post more about that and the meals at Villa de Ábalos soon. Check back frequently so you don’t miss anything.