13 Affordable Trips to Europe
Stay: Within the walls of the glorious Alhambra palace, not far from the pricey 15th-century Parador de Granada, is another, more affordable hotel that also benefits from the dreamy location. The Hotel America has just 17 elegantly simple, if rather small, rooms done in super-saturated colors with antique beds and a friendly staff. Angle for an accommodation overlooking the gardenlike courtyard.
Eat: The cacophony is part of the charm at Cordoba’s El Caballo Rojo, an incessantly popular Andalusian dining spot done in modern mujedar style in this melting-pot city where Arab, Christian, and Sephardic Jewish cultures have rubbed shoulders (occasionally the wrong way) for centuries. Steer toward the rabo de toro (oxtail stew), salmorejo (a thick Cordoban tomato gazpacho topped with Serrano ham and chopped eggs), and fish simmered in Moorish-influenced sauces with pine nuts, cinnamon, and raisins.
Do: Take a break from sizzling on the crowded Costa del Sol beaches for a self-guided driving tour along the Route of the Pueblos Blancos. This string of cliff-top whitewashed villages stretches from the Moorish town of Arcos de la Frontera through the Sierra de Grazalema to Ronda, a maze of medieval streets perched dizzyingly above a 500-foot gorge (in the newer part of town sits Spain’s most renowned bullfighting ring, birthplace of the modern corrida, or bullfight).
Affordable Travel Tip: To avoid a big bill at dinner—or stave off hunger until your 10 p.m. reservation—join the locals in a tapeo, a gastronomic pub crawl from tapas bar to tapas bar, and sample a series of bite-size snacks at each—almond-stuffed olives, Serrano ham,