Posted on

Spanish steps: family hiking in the Picos de Europa

A family break in the mountains of northern Spain made for happy wanderers of all ages – though language skills and a cagoule may be essential

Hiking holidays with kids can go badly wrong. One walking trip we did was cited long afterwards by our youngest as an infliction of cruelty. But we had much better luck in northern Spain’s Picos de Europa range. In part this was down to the beauty of the mountains, which are dramatically steep and craggy – the Dolomites of Spain.

Our first walk, the 10km Bajo los Picos trail above Mogrovejo village, began with a long uphill slog through forest, inspiring grumbles of “I’m not doing this again,” till the trees suddenly opened up, to reveal a wall of mountains right above us, dizzyingly precipitous. Thereafter, the views were so captivating that complaints halted.

Continue reading…

Posted on

Top 10 jazz festivals in Europe

These summer festivals pay respect to artists old and new – and beyond jazz itself – at some stunning venues across Europe

10 of the best jazz clubs in Europe

24-27 June
Highlight Pat Metheny Quartet
Lviv is an architectural treasure, close to the Polish border, and many of its Habsburg, art nouveau and baroque buildings survived 20th-century wars relatively unscathed. This festival, established in 2011, has three stages hosting artists from all over Europe, as well as US stars such as Pat Metheny, Esperanza Spalding, Dianne Reeves and Branford Marsalis, who are joined by Cuban trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval. Among the free highlights away from the main Eddie Rosner stage will be UK group Sons of Kemet and master percussionist Trilok Gurtu performing in the open air on beautiful Rynok Square.
Accommodation options Among the best-located B&Bs in the city is the 38-room Modern Art Hotel, doubles from £28
Eddie Rosner stage gigs from £12, alfajazzfest.com

Continue reading…