Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Spotlight on Spain: San Sebasitan's Jazz and Film Festivals

© Instituto de Turismo de España (TURESPAÑA)

A popular tourist spot since the 19th century, the coastal city of San Sebastian has plenty to offer in terms of scenery, history, and culture.

Jazz Festival
The annual Heineken Jazzaldia Jazz festival is held on the third week of July in this beautiful Basque city. Established in 1966, it is the oldest jazz festival in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe and celebrates its 49th year in 2014.

The Heineken Jazzaldia organizes nearly a hundred concerts, both free and paid, in dozens of indoor and outdoor venues. The most popular are those held at Zurriola Beach, Trinidad Square and the Kursaal terrace.

Below are details of five of the best concerts this year which will be held in Trinidad Square, Kursaal Auditorium, San Telmo Museum and the Victoria Eugenia Theatre.

24th July 2014: Trinidad Square. 9pm. 35.00

  • ·      Enrico Rava Tribe
  • ·      Bobby McFerrin: spirityouall

    25th July 2014: Kursaal Auditorium Kutxabank Space. 6.30pm. 35.00

  • ·      Chick Corea & Stanley Clarke Duet: The Songs of Return to Forever

25th July 2014: Trinidad Square. 9pm. 28.00

  • ·     Sketches Of Spain: Nicholas Payton & L'Instrumental de Gascogne The John Scofield Überjam Band

   26th July 2014: Trinidad Square. 9pm. 28.00

  • ·         Dave Holland: Prism
  •       Sun Ra Centennial Dream Arkestra

Film Festival

Courtesy of  San Sebastián Turismo & Convention Bureau
The Zinemaldia International Film Festival of San Sebastian is a film festival held annually in the month of September.

First established in 1953, this is one of the most prestigious internationally recognized film festivals in the world and attracts both home grown and international giants of the film industry. In previous years, the festival has been attended by big names such as Woody Allen, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Pedro Almodovar, and Steven Spielberg to name but a few.

It has also hosted major film events such as the international premiere for Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and the European premiere for Star Wars.

This year marks the 62nd anniversary of the festival and San Sebastian is hoping to draw in film lovers and tourists alike. The festival is a great opportunity to discover new European and international talent and see some of the best films of the upcoming year.

For more information on both of these festivals, visit the San Sebastian Tourist Office website here.

Did you know?

© Instituto de Turismo de España (TURESPAÑA)

We represent over 10 Keytel Hotels in San Sebastian and you can find out how to book here.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Paradors' Summer 5 nights for the price of 4!

Paradors are offering a very special 20% discount on 5 night stays in the same Parador during June, July and August. Book 5 consecutive nights and pay for just 4!  Book early to guarantee availability and the best prices.

To view the Paradors participating in this offer, please visit our website:

Don't miss out on this excellent summer promotion!

Friday, 6 June 2014

Bastille Day in Paris!

July 14th marks Bastille Day in France, the French National Holiday.

The storming of the Bastille in 1789 was an emblematic event of the French Revolution and marked the collapse of the French monarchy in France (with Louis XVI) and the country’s transformation to the Republic we know today.

In 1880 the 14th of July was chosen as a French National Holiday in memory of this revolutionary event and this year the July 14th fireworks will also be commemorating the centenary of World War I.

Like any capital city, Paris has some of the grandest celebrations and we have looked into some of the events you can take part in on this day:

Military Parade on the Champ Elysées
From 9am troops parade along the Champs Elysées between the Place de Concord and the Arc de Triomphe on foot and on motorcycles. This event is attended by locals, tourists, military personnel, and even the President himself, François Hollande!

From 9pm concerts and bands will perform for all spectators in the streets of Paris and at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. This night culminates with magnificent Fireworks at 11pm. The fireworks will be fired from the Trocadero Ponds and spectators can watch from Champs de Mars and the Trocadero.

Fireworks begin at 11pm and last for around half an hour.

This year, the Bastille Day celebrations will also be commemorating the the centenary of the Great War and this year’s theme is "War and Peace".

Many people come to enjoy the fireworks, so we advising making your way there from at least 8.30pm to get a good watch post!

Fire Station Balls
From 9pm to 4am Fire Stations around Paris open their doors to the public hosting free balls with dancing and drinks througout the night!
Most of these are free entry, however you are encouraged to make donations towards the brave firemen.

Did you know?

Suite at the Banke Hotel
Keytel International represents a number of high-quality hotels in Paris in excellent locations. Our two summer picks are the Banke Hotel and the Villathéna Hotel which can be booked via our website. Find out more about these hotels here.

Make sure to visit us at to find out more about how we can help you with trips across Spain, France, and Portugal!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Pick of the early summer offers

The Paradors Ronda, Cadiz and Arties are currently offering some very special promotions for spring/summer 2014. Prices are currently starting at just £61 per room! Subject to conditions and only available for limited periods- book early to guarantee these fantastic prices. For more information on each of the offers, please visit our website:

For further details or enquiries, feel free to call us on 020 7953 3020. We look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Spotlight on Portugal: Óbidos Medieval Fair

Where: Óbidos

When: July 10th – August 3rd 2014 (Thursdays to Saturdays)
Since 2002, the medieval town of Óbidos has celebrated its fascinating history through an annual Medieval Fair, held at weekends in July and August. It is rare to see a community come together so completely for a local celebration, but for those visiting Óbidos during the fair, you will be hard pushed to find someone not dressed in typical medieval garb.

The entire town dresses up to celebrate this festival of times gone by, with flags, banners, jugglers, wizards and jesters filling the streets of this impressive medieval town. Entertainment also stays faithful to the medieval theme with mimes, musicians, and acting troupes offering performances throughout the day.

Foodies can also have their fill of enjoyment with nearly 20 taverns offering typical meals such as grilled meats and hearty soups. Some 100 vendors sell a variety of food, beverages, and merchandise in the marketplace, all of which can be bought using the fair’s very own currency the “torreão” which can be bought with Euros (1 Euro = 1 torreão).

Makeshift civil and military camps can be found at the entrance to the town, and a host of animals, including donkeys, horses, falcons, and even snakes are on display. The crowning moment of the afternoon is the daily jousting competition, where knights compete on horseback.
Pousada de Óbidos
One of the main features of the town that plays a key role in festivities is the imposing medieval castle which houses the Pousada de Óbidos. The castle is in near perfect condition and guests can choose to sleep in medieval tower rooms, castle rooms, or the more contemporary ‘cottage’ rooms which occupy the old servant’s quarters, each room is named after a significant royal family member.

The castle is easily the most distinctive medieval building in the city, and it is here that the royal banquet is held in the courtyard, with diners sat around impressive banqueting tables, overlooking the evening’s entertainment. This banquet is very popular amongst guests and locals alike, so we advise booking your place in advance.
Royal Banquet

Óbidos truly is one of Portugal’s gems and this lively town has celebrations throughout the year including a chocolate festival, jazz and classical music festivals, opera and art performances, and a special Christmas village.
To find out more about how to book your special stay at the Pousada de Óbidos, visit Keytel at or contact our helpful reservations team on 020 7953 3020.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Dust off your walking boots for the Camino de Santiago!

April to October marks the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage where pilgrims and walkers from all of the world flock to embark on routes to Santiago de Compostela.

The city, famous for its cathedral and as its status amongst European Christians, was at one point ranked alongside Rome and Jerusalem as one of the world’s primary religious centres, and St James’ famous pilgrimage to the city has left many following in his footsteps.

Over the past 30 years, the Camino de Santiago has seen a surge in popularity, with many walking and cycling enthusiasts joining pilgrims in completing this prestigious route. Restaurants and hotels located en route provide plenty of opportunities to sample some of the local cuisine and visit beautiful surrounding towns.

Many people picture the ‘Camino de Santiago’ along Northern Spain from the Bay of Biscay to Santiago de Compostela, however pilgrimages can begin from a whole host of different European locations, as originally many began the walk from their homes.  Today there are a variety of ‘caminos’ you can take:

The Northern Way

Probably the most well-known, this route takes in many of northern Spain’s most prominent cities such as Bilbao, Santander, and Oviedo. This more traditional route can up to 35 days to complete.

The French Way

Starting at St Jean Pied-du-Port, another of the more famous routes features some the best that northern Spain has to offer. The route is so popular that in 1993 the trail received UNESCO World Heritage status.

The Silver Way (Via de la Plata)

One of the longest pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela and taking between 7-8 weeks to complete in full, this route begins in Seville and primarily focuses on the Spanish Roman sites in western Spain. The route passes through 
Merida, Cáceres, Salamanca, and Zamora some of Spain’s most interesting historical cities.

The English Way

This is one of the shortest ‘caminos’. British pilgrims arriving by boat would typically begin their pilgrimage from either A Coruña or the seaside town of Ferrol (famed as the birthplace of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco) following the river down to Santiago de Compostela.

The Portuguese Way

This route, typically starting in Lisbon and passing through Porto, is flatter than most as it avoids hilly areas and allows pilgrims to experience the joys of both the Spanish and Portuguese north-west coastlines.

Did you know?

The Parador de Santiago de Compostela offers a free breakfast to the first 10 pilgrims to arrive each morning? Widely regarded as one of the oldest hotels in the world, this Parador has offered respite to walkers ever since the very first pilgrimages.

Exploring the Camino de Santiago with Paradors
Paradors have a number of three and seven-night ‘Rutas’ to help you explore the fantastic cities and sights which are key features on the pilgrimage such as:

Camino de Santiago (Portuguese Route)

Silver Routes I, II, III &IV 

Camino de Santiago Route I & Route II 

Useful link
Tell us about your Camino de Santiago experience!

If you have any questions about Paradors on the Camino de Santiago routes, please contact our friendly reservations team on 020 7953 3020.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Pousadas Last Minute Special Offer

Pousadas are currently offering an excellent special offer on stays of 2 nights or more for stays between 24th April and 3rd May 2014!
For more details, please visit our website :)