Tag : spain

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Top coves and caves to explore in Majorca

Majorca might be best-known for its glorious sandy beaches, which are often full of holidaymakers and locals enjoying the sunshine and local amenities. However, these bustling bays are far from the only natural attractions that the island has to offer.

If you want to explore another side of Majorca, spend some time seeking out its secluded coves and fascinating caves – you won’t be disappointed.

Quiet coves…

There are plenty of small coves where you can escape the crowds for some rest and relaxation in the sunshine. We’re going to give you some suggestions of where to go if this is what you’re looking for.

Sa Calobra – Sa Calobra is a popular place for travellers to visit, but despite this it has retained much of its natural charm. If you arrive here by car, rather than boat, don’t be disappointed by the first pebbly beach you come to – you need to follow the walkway through a tunnel to reach the true Sa Calobra cove. It’s flanked on either side by the towering walls of a gorge, making it feel like a real hidden paradise. It can get busy, but if you pick your time to avoid the daytrip coaches, you can still enjoy Sa Calobra at its best.

Cala Deia – Cala Deia is a lovely, quiet cove, again with no facilities right next to the beach. It’s made up of pebbles and coarse sand and is tucked away on the coast a short walk from the village of Deia. As well as the small beach, there are terraces around the rocks where you can relax – often you’ll find artists setting up their canvases here for a day of painting.

Coll Baix – Coll Baix is one of Majorca’s most inaccessible beaches, which makes it ideal for a day away from the crowds. It’s quite a long hike to reach this sandy cove, or you can arrive by boat, either way you’re unlikely to meet many other people once you’re there. It’s a beautiful spot lapped by turquoise waters and fringed by pine-covered cliffs.

Exciting caves…

Although the allure of Majorca’s beaches is certainly strong, there are some other natural attractions you should seek out during your holiday. Among the most exciting are the island’s caves, of which there are several.

Heading underground might not be your first thought when you arrive in Majorca, but the caverns here are truly spectacular and worth exploring further. The following are a few of the top spots for subterranean discoveries.

Cueves del Drach – The Dragon Caves, as they’re also known, is a large cave system in Majorca’s east coast that stretch for many kilometres underground. Visitors can follow a well laidout path for around 2 km, with impressive stalactites dangling from the ceiling, before being greeted by the sight of Europe’s largest underground lake – now it’s beautifully illuminated by floodlights.

Caves d’Arta – This cave system is equally spectacular in terms of the stalagmites and stalactites that have formed within its various chambers – now lit by clever effects to accentuate the rock formations. As well as its impressive geological features, these caves also have an interesting history, having been used as a hiding place by pirates, smugglers, hermits and even Arab farmers with their cattle when they were trying to escape the Christian conquest all the way back in the 13th century.

If you’d like to spend as much of your holiday as possible exploring these fascinating spots, make sure you book affordable accommodation to give you the spare money you need to pay for excursions and transport. Using a website like Hotelopia can help you find the best bargains on hotels in Majorca.

Categories: Blog, Natural Wonders

It’s time for a different kind of Christmas in the Canary Islands

If you want to escape the cold that winter brings then you should head for the sun of the Canary Islands. There is nothing better that sunbathing in a hammock on Christmas day and forgetting all about the wind and rain back home. With superb sunshine all year round the islands make for the perfect destination for those looking to soak up some rays. What makes the Christmas time even more special here are the sculptors from all over the globe that come to make sand sculptures of the famous nativity scenes. The sand sculptures appear on the beaches and can be as big as 4 meters high, the locals say that they are without question the best in the world! 

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Gran Canaria

This is the island you need to be on if you love hiking! You can walk along the beaches, desert patches and also the more mountainous areas of the island to enjoy the views and hiking trails. What’s more, it is the hottest of all the islands here, the temperature rarely goes below 20 degrees Celsius. Gran Canaria is also well know for being the island with a thriving nightlife, it’s no wonder it is so popular.

So it’s time for you to escape the weather back home this Christmas and head for the Canary Islands, check out Promotur Turismo Canarias for some of the best deals on offer! Have great Christmas on the beach!


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Categories: Blog

Reasons to take the challenge of walking the Camino trail

You may take one look at the challenge of walking for 780km across a large part of Spain, have a little chuckle and then dismiss it without even a second thought.

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However, you would be missing out on seeing some of the most beautiful sights that Spain has to offer if you decided not to complete the Camino trail.

A route of the Camino de Santiago – the Way of St James in English – the trail represents a traditional pilgrimage that actually begins in France (Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to be precise) and finishes in Santiago de Compostela.

For a bit of a history lesson, the Camino trail was first taken by people who wanted to visit the relics of the Apostle James after they were unearthed way back in AD800. However, the relics can still be seen in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela even today.

If you choose to seek out these relics by following in the footsteps of so many pilgrims before you and walk the Camino trail, you are in for quite a few delights along the 780km route.

In fact, your adventure will take you along a pair of mountain ranges, across vast plains that is bound to leave you in awe and through a collection of orchards and vineyards. There will also be opportunities to immerse yourself in Spain’s modern culture, with walks along bustling highways and visits to vibrant cities like Burgos, Pamplona and Leon.

Of course, to truly enjoy the Camino trail you should be prepared for the journey.

For example, there is a good chance you will be moaning and complaining if you spend the entire first day walking uphill from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in footwear not suitable for climbing in.  make sure you are prepared before you go (Brantano has a variety of walking boots, which are worth a look).

Take note that the majority of the Camino trail also takes place across the top of Spain. Even though the country is known for its sweltering temperatures and year-round sunshine, you will likely feel the chill being so high above sea level.

Combat the cold weather by popping some base layer clothing under your typical hiking wear. Don’t forget to pack your camera either. After all, you will be passing Gaudi’s extravagant palace in Astorga, the extraordinary cathedral of Burgos and the monastery of San Marcos in Leon on your way from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and Santiago de Compostela. What better way to remember these excursions than having them stored permanently on film?

 

Categories: Blog, Inspiration

Costa Adeje

Costa Adeje, located on the southern part of the island of Tenerife is a fantastic place to go for all year round sunshine. Whilst I was on holiday in Costa Adeje last year, I didn’t just work on my tan. Although this corner of Tenerife is relatively tourist orientated, there is a lot more to do that to lie on the beach. If you wander along the beachfront to the other nearby coastal resorts of Playa de las Americas or as far as Los Cristianos, these two resorts also have so much to offer. In fact there is a coastal walkway which goes from Costa Adeje through to Los Cristianos, which overlooks the various beaches. Due to Costa Adeje being heavily influenced by tourism, most places there are big hotel complexes, although there are shopping possibilities. Playa de las Americas is better for shopping and nightlife possibilities, and Los Cristianos has some fantastic places to eat, but you should wander through some of the old, narrow part of town in Los Cristianos to find the especially good places. In addition Costa Adeje has recently won the HolidayCheck Destination Award.

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Things to do in Costa Adeje

Siam Water Park

Siam Water Park is the largest water park in Europe, and arguably the best. It’s definitely the best that I have been to. However, it is quite expensive to gain entry, with children (up to 11 years old) being 22 euros per ticket and Adults tickets are 33 euros per ticket. An advantage is, you can get a ‘twin ticket’ which enables you to gain entry to both Loro Parque and Siam Park at discounted rates, and you can do this online. Siam Park’s main attraction is the tower of Power which you can see in the picture, it’s the steep Kamikaze style slide. This particular slide levels out into a transparent tube and goes through an aquarium full of live fish, so if you can actually look up whilst going through the slide bottom without too much water splashing you in the face, you can see the fish. In addition to the famous Tower of Power, there are slightly more relaxing slides, for those who don’t appreciate the Adrenalin hits as much.

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Loro Parque

For those who love animals, Loro Parque at the northern part of the Island in Tenerife, in Puerto de la Cruz is a must. You can easily get there via an excursion bus from Costa Adeje. They have live shows here featuring Killer Whales, Dolphins and Sea lions. The Killer Whale show was the most exciting for me, as there are not many aquariums which actually have live Killer Whales. However, they do have more than just sea life here, to name a few which I remember, there were Iguanas, Jaguars, Sloths and Anteaters. The best advice is on arrival, be sure to get a timetable of when the different sea life shows are on and get a map of the park, so you can navigate your way around the park and plan the other attractions around when the live shows are on.

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Getting around in Tenerife

The best way to get around whilst in Tenerife is definitely by car. You can hire cars at the airport, and I strongly advise it because although Costa Adeje has some nice beaches, the rest of the Island is at your fingertips to explore, when you have a hire car. This also will open the door to drive up to the cable car station on Mount Teide, which is also another must whilst you are staying in Costa Adeje. If you don’t want to hire a car, or you cannot drive, there are enough excursion buses available, which you can usually book from reception in you hotel.

Categories: Blog, Inspiration, Travel Tips

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Plaza Mayor of Madrid

Madrid, both the capital and Spain’s largest city, is nothing if not grand. Wander the streets and you will come across gentile townhouses, elaborately worked balconies, towering columns and ornately carved porticoes. The timeless ambience is nowhere more apparent than in the city’s elegant squares and historic buildings, which have hundreds of years’ worth of history to tell.

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One of Madrid’s main squares, the Plaza Mayor is an expansive rectangular square originally dating from the early 17th century. It is lined by impressive three storey houses with overlooking balconies and, at ground level, beautiful porticoes surround the square. Though hundreds of years old in its setting and concept, the design of the square today actually owes more to late 18th century reconstructions, following a series of huge and damaging fires. These destroyed the original structure which, like many buildings of the time, incorporated wooden beams and straw bedding.

The plaza is not just decorative, but also practical, having played a central role in the civic life of Madrid’s citizens throughout its many years. Originally the site of a bustling market, the Plaza del Arrabal, it has taken on many names and been the location for public trials, executions and crowning ceremonies, as well as various fiestas and activities such as bullfighting and football games.

Today, meandering tourists and locals going about their days fill the square with activity, and cafes and tapas bars spill out from the archways. Founded in 1725, the Sabrino de Botin has the distinction of being the oldest restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Under the arches are also various shops, including souvenir shops and galleries, as well as theatrical acts and portrait painters. On Sundays there is a stamp and coin market.

Various events are still held in the square on a regular basis, including Easter festivities and the celebrations for San Isidro, the Catholic patron saint of farmers and of Madrid. While it may seem odd for Spain’s largest city to have a farmer as its patron saint, San Isidro is venerated for his ordinary life and faithfulness, and the dignity to be found in honest work. His festival takes place on May 15th. During December, the plaza hosts a Christmas market, complete with various stalls and street theatre acts, a tradition that dates back to 1860.

You cannot come to Madrid and visit at least some of the city’s fine squares. Besides the Plaza Mayor, just a short distance away is the Puerta del Sol, another famous square and one of the busiest in Madrid. Originally one of the city’s gates, it now occupies a central location and contains many important buildings, including the office of the President of Madrid. In recent times it has been the site for democracy demonstrations and New Year celebrations have been broadcast from here since 1962.

If you’re staying in central Madrid, you don’t need a car to visit the Plaza Mayor or Puerta del Sol, as these can be easily reached by walking or by public transport. However, car hire in Madrid is recommended if you are staying further out, and particularly if you want to visit sites further afield during your stay.

Categories: Blog, Inspiration, Travel Tips

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Ibiza: The Holiday Choice of the PM

Ibiza may be renowned as being a mecca for clubbers and a top party destination, but that’s not all that this Balearic gem has to offer. Despite being a relatively small island, Ibiza is one of the most popular European destinations for thousands of Brits – even the Prime Minister.

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If it’s good enough for the PM 

Although you might have wanted to see the Cameron clan sporting fluorescent clubbing gear and hitting infamous nightclubs, such as Pacha, they decided on a more sensible family holiday.

David Cameron took wife Samantha and their three children to Ibiza over the spring bank holiday weekend, to spend some quality time together, away from London. It seems that the most powerful man in UK politics is quite a fan of Ibiza as a family destination, as this isn’t the first time he’s visited. He holidayed in Santa Gertrudis, one of the island’s biggest towns, back in 2011.

So, if Ibiza is good enough for the PM and his family, surely it’s proven itself to be more diverse than simply a party destination. Outside of the club culture, Ibiza is a haven of quaint villages, unspoilt beaches and family-friendly activities.

 

Plenty of things to see and do

During the day, the capital of the island, Ibiza Town, is a lovely place to visit. The Old Town, or Dalt Vila, is a maze of cobbled streets surrounded by the famous 16th century walls. From the top of the town, you’ll be able to take in some spectacular views across the neighbouring resorts.

In the evening, the city becomes a lively hotspot, with the streets filling with entertainers and markets. So, whether you want to hit the world-famous Pacha or just dine out with the family and soak up the atmosphere, Ibiza Town is a great destination.

If you are travelling with the kids and don’t fancy trying to get to sleep to the sound of techno from the nightclubs, take a look at Santa Eulalia, Cala Llonga, Playa d’en Bossa and Figueretas. These are all Ibiza resorts, but just slightly further away from the hustle and bustle of the city. White and golden sands, crystal blue waters and secluded coves are prominent features of the landscape, so the kids can soak up the sun, take part in watersports or just go swimming in the sea.

If you’re looking for cheap holidays to Ibiza, but are worried about the island’s reputation as a clubbing paradise, you can rest assured that this Balearic Island is the perfect holiday destination for everyone, from young clubbers to families, and even newlyweds.

 

Categories: Blog, Bucket List, Natural Wonders, Travel Tips

La Alhambra 1

La Alhambra: Intricate Palace of Moorish Spain


La Alhambra 3The grand palaces of Europe span a myriad of architectural styles determined by their time periods and builders, the slow shift of cultures across a huge landmass as kingdoms conquered and assimilated each other. Spain is no different, but it does have some unique sites that are linked to the country’s period under Islamic rule. Perhaps one of the most consistently underrated European palaces is La Alhambra, located on a hill in historic Granada.

The Muslim Moors, who had conquered much of Southern Europe in the time of Islamic expansion that followed the death of Muhammad, originally built La Alhambra as a fort in the 9th century. Overlooking the city and surrounding countryside, it has a commanding spot. It is set in front of an epic mountainous backdrop that looks divine in any season, and today is illuminated magnificently at night so loses none of its appeal after dark.  Over time, La Alhambra was slowly added onto and became a palace in the 13th century. Its distinctive Islamic architecture is highly apparent throughout the entire complex of halls, quadrangles, fountains, and domes. Intricate inscriptions in Arabic flow together to form holy patterns in a style known as “arabesque” decoration. This fusion of calligraphy, geometry, and symbolism is stunning when taken as a whole, covering nearly every surface of the palace. The expert guides on certain Alhambra palace tours take their time explaining the significance of this style of work, pointing out passages of the floor to ceiling text to decipher.

La Alhambra 2The palace itself is large, consisting of several connected buildings and courtyards that are each full of their own surprises. One of the most famous houses the Court of the Lions, with a central fountain made up an alabaster basin and twelve lion statues that produced water out of their mouths on each hour. The ingenious hydraulic system has yet to be deciphered, as the fountain was disassembled by Christians during the Reconquest of Spain. Water plays a major role in the ambiance throughout the palace, and fountains, channels, and pools are common in each of its areas. The Hall of Abencerrajes houses another small basin, but the eye is naturally drawn upwards here, to the stalactite-style ceiling. Honeycombed carvings make up an intricate dome that is impossible to look away from. Outside, the garden known as the Generalife offers inviting paths and benches between the residential buildings of the palace. It is well-tended and sumptuous, and if you’re lucky you might come across playful kittens scampering around under the rose bushes.


La Alhambra 1Walking up through the historically Moorish Albayzín district to La Alhambra is a delightful experience in people-watching and appreciating architecture. When you get to the top and get your chance inside the palace, though, you’ll really be blown away. Tickets are limited to a finite number of people each day and the experience is enriched by having some expert explanation, so booking Alhambra palace tours online is recommended. This is one place in Spain not to miss.




 

 

 

 

Categories: Bucket List, Travel Tips

Exciting Events to Lure You to Barcelona in 2013

Book yourself on one of many Barcelona cheap flightswith Jet2.com this spring and soak yourself in some of the finest examples of Spanish and Catalonian culture.
The capital city of the fiercely independent Catalan region of northern Spain, Barcelona is a city that wears its heart on its sleeve. A whistle-stop tour of the city is all it takes to leave a lifelong impression of the vitality, energy and vibrancy of the region and its people, and springtime is the perfect time to make that trip.

Easter in Barcelona

Easter in Barcelona

Architectural treasures line the streets of the city, old and new. From the staggering scale of the Camp Nou football stadium, to the unfinished glory of the Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudi’s modernist testament to his Catholic faith and not scheduled for completion until 2026 (the centenary of the death of its architect), you name the event, Barcelona has the perfect venue in which to host it. Here are just a few of the hundreds of festivals, celebrations and fiestas coming to Barcelona over the next few months.

 

Easter Extravagance
The Easter celebration is the ‘big one’ – a week of carnivals, processions and Catholic services flood Barcelona with colour, food and excitement once Lent has ceased. It may mean opening times for shops, museums and galleries can be a little unreliable, but there is plenty more that can only be seen at this time of year.
The Catalonian equivalent of Valentine’s Day coincides with the feast of St George towards the end of April, and is known as La Diada de Sant Jordi. Also marking the anniversaries of the deaths of Shakespeare and his Spanish counterpart Cervantes, it is traditional for women to receive rich bouquets of flowers from their lovers, and for men to receive gifts of books in memory of these literary giants. As summer returns to the city, the trees and flowers blossom and love is in the air – the perfect place for a travelling couple to while away a day or two.
Come May, the Primavera Sound festival returns once again to the Parc Del Forum for one of the most consistently successful music festivals across Europe. This year’s line-up already includes world class acts such as Blur, Tame Impala and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, but with the full roster only partially unveiled, Primavera is sure to get better and better.
Best of all, when your city has the Barcelona Card on offer to visitors, you know that it’s a pro. With free public transport and heavily discounted or even free access to galleries, museums and attractions across the city, without a doubt your first purchase when you touch down at Barcelona El-Prat should be a Barcelona Card. Keep it handy and your trip will be as easy as pie. Save it for your next trip too – as long as you haven’t worn it out!

Categories: Blog, Bucket List, Inspiration

Camino de Santiago

5 Rural Regions of Spain to Not Miss

While cities like Barcelona and Madrid are excellent spots for metropolitan living, nightlife, art, and fine dining, there are a multitude of other opportunities in Spain. Getting out of the cities can add a whole new flavor to your holiday, and let you appreciate the authentic Spanish pace of life firsthand (hint: it’s slow, and it’s wonderful). Here are five great rural destinations across the breadth of the Spanish countryside:

1. Los Pueblos Blancos

The White Towns are a series of small villages in the hills of the Andalucían Spain. They are charming, slow-paced, and full of local color. From hilltop Zahara, with an ancient castle overlooking a reservoir, to cliffside Ronda, with an immense chasm running through the center, each has its own features. Public transport is difficult to obtain here, making tourists much more of a rarity than elsewhere. Rent a car and take as long as you want to explore these little pieces of heaven.

2. The Catalan Coast

While many visitors’ trips start and end in Barcelona, on the north end of this beautiful coastline, a wander down the entire stretch is very worthwhile. Peach orchards, olive groves, charming villages, and great seafood all greet the slow-moving traveler. Some companies, such as Headwater.com, offer non-challenging weeklong bicycling tours along this coast that allow you to take your time exploring and finding which is your favorite.

 

3. Basque Country

The northwest region of Spain gets surprisingly few tourists. This may be due to the history of attacks by Basque separatists against the Spanish government, but it is truly a safe place to visit. The culture is entirely unique, to the point that you’ll feel like you’ve entered an entirely different country (which locals would argue that really, you have). Food, music, language, and many other cultural identifiers differ from traditional Spanish norms, and you’ll get to appreciate the distinctiveness of this special region

4. Rural Tenerife

While the south is most often known for big cities, parties, pollution, and intriguing possibilities in transport to Morocco (do it, you won’t regret it), it’s also possible to escape all of that. There are beautiful hikes where you can find near total solitude outside of the tourist resorts. More white villages, protected forests, and great views wait for the adventurous.

5. El Camino de Santiago

This ancient pilgrimage route has become very famous in recent years with exposure from figures like popular author Paulo Coelho, but it is actually one of the oldest in the world. Walking or biking along the path, staying in converted monasteries and bunkhouses, and learning the significance of each church between A and B can be a very special experience. Forget the tour buses and nightclubs, and experience real countryside.

 

Any of these destinations offers a refreshing departure from the big-city life that so many visitors to Spain experience. Slow down, take more siestas, drink more wine, and eat more food. The Spanish way is perhaps the most relaxing approach to life, and this easily applies to travel as well.

 

Categories: Travel Tips

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Costa Brava, the wild coast

It’s named for its jagged cliffs, hundreds of small coves and secret bays. Rugged beauty. Costa Brava encapsulates the stretch of land just north of Barcelona to the border of France, where the Pyrenees Mountains join the Mediterranean Sea.

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It’s known for the sun, sea, and sand, but there’s more to it than that. It’s in the seaside villages and medieval hamlets often lost in the countryside. Favor the quieter spots in-between the tourist heavy Blanes, Tossa de Mar, and Lloret de Mar. Take the railway that slithers upward to Núria, a town that fills the roles of both religious sanctuary and ski resort. The inland villages of Breda and Arbúcies are idyllic and the exuberant city of Girona boats the highest standard of living in Spain.

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Costa Brava enchants with its forests that reach out to the water line. The Fageda d’en Jordà is a fairytale beechwood forest worth exploring. Each season the forest reinvents itself—wild orchids and violets bloom in spring, a shady refuge for hot summer days, fall brings showings of ochre and red, while it bears a mysterious, misty guise in winter.

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Past the forest lies the volcanic area of Garrotxa. In the national reserve, you can cycle amongst the sleeping giants that lay dormant amidst country houses and castles. Walk the Camins de Ronda, a series of winding footpaths created by fishermen and police. On the path you’ll stumble across abandoned watchtowers, once used to patrol the coast for smugglers. If you need more choice, there are the walking trails carved into the cliffs that look out upon the blue expanse.

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Don’t forget the gastronomy. The area has been bestowed over a dozen Michelin stars and was home until 2011 to El Bulli, a three Michelin star restaurant well regarded as being one of the best in the world. Rivaling the fame of Dalí (who was born in this region) is Ferran Adrià, a man who led Costa Brava’s rise to culinary prominence. Other prestigious restaurants have enthusiastically filled the void left by El Bulli as they serve fresh paellas, wild mushrooms that taste of autumn, finished with a pour of the area’s sweet wine, Garnatxa de l’Empordà.

 

With emblematic locations and well-preserved historic towns, the Costa Brava region proves to be eclectic and irresistible. For more information on holidays and things to do in Costa Brava please click here.

 

Categories: Blog, Inspiration, Travel Tips

Mount Teide

Three must-do activities in Tenerife

When you go to Tenerife, you probably intend on spending most of your time on the beach or out at night enjoying the party feeling much of the island has to offer.

Mount Teide

While you’re there though, don’t miss out on three great things to do on this beautiful Spanish island.

Mount Teide

As you’ll see from many of the black sand beaches in Tenerife this is a volcanic island. Since 1954, the area around Mount Teide has been a national park and this is a place that you have to visit while you’re on the island. Depending on how energetic you’re feeling, you can either hike for five hours to reach the mouth of the crater of the world’s third largest volcano, or you can take the cable car up to the mouth instead. Once you’re up there, you can walk around the crater’s rim, and enjoy the fascinating lunar landscape. You can also apply for a permit to scale the last 200m to the summit of the volcano, but don’t try going any further without a permit – access is strictly controlled.

Pyramids of Guimar

A slightly out of the ordinary day trip on the island is to visit the Guimar Pyramids, which have been opened to the public since 1998. The six remaining pyramids (there were nine) are built from lava stone but without mortar to hold them together. Norwegian adventurer Thro Heyerdahl theorised that the similarities between the step pyramids of Guimar and those in Peru and Mexico suggested that ancient civilisations had migrated between the two continents. However, others claim that the pyramids only date back as far as the nineteenth century and that they were a by-product of agricultural activity. Excavations in the area have proved inconclusive – go and see what you think.

Try windsurfing

If you’ve never even tried windsurfing, then Tenerife is one of the best places to try it out. El Medano is a popular windsurfing resort, and you’ll find everything you need here to have a go at windsurfing – places to hire kit, instructors to teach you, and of course, the right beach to do it on.

Where to stay

If you want to be at the centre of the action, then head to Columbus Hotel Tenerife, in the lively resort of Playa de las Americas. If you’re looking for somewhere a little quieter, head to the north of the island and pick a resort like Garchico, where you’ll be able to hear the sea’s waves breaking rather than the latest tunes booming out of all the clubs on the seafront.

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips

Cheap Deals on Family Holidays: Benidorm

Nestled into the south-east coast of Spain, Benidorm is a resort that can appeal to all types of holiday-goers. From party animals to families with young children, cheap Benidorm holidays are kind to the wallet and can provide memorable breaks that are well-deserved.

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Although, of late, this Costa Blanca resort has built a reputation for itself as a thriving party town, it still has so much to offer to those in favour of early nights and family fun. Cheap holiday deals mean you can take your family to the Spanish coast for budget prices and still enjoy some fun in the sun.

Head to Terra Mitica for the day – a thrilling theme park with attractions to suit all ages. Based on ancient civilisations from around the world, there are themed restaurants and thrilling rides for everyone in the family to enjoy and at the same price as you’d pay for a UK theme park, you won’t be breaking the bank.

For families wishing to explore underground, head for the Cuevas de Canelobre – a popular tourist attraction to the west of the resort.

Choose self catering apartments to save on cost and visit the supermarkets in the resort to make budget meals for you and your family. Alternatively, opt for an all inclusive stay at one of the resort hotels, where everything you eat, drink and use is included. Although the initial price tag is more expensive than normal, the spending money required once there is next to nothing.

If you decide to stay away from added excursions, don’t worry! Most kids are more than happy to play by the pool and head to the beaches and dig for treasure every day – a holiday in Benidorm doesn’t need any more than that to provide an unforgettable trip and quality family time.

Check online for some awesome deals on holidays to Benidorm today and get ready for some serious family fun.

Categories: Travel Tips

Shop Till You Drop – Milan

Milan has developed such a high-end reputation for everything stylish that it has become a hunting zone for budding fashionistas seeking to enhance their stalking stills so they can track down and bag those designer prizes. Whether your fashion goal is stark minimalism or decadent extravagance, once you are snuggled into a cozy Milan hotel you can find some on Hostelbookers.com and you can devise the best strategy for tackling the glitzy jungle of the latest trends and hot retro gear. Here are a few suggestions for your safari…

Shop on the Streets

Devote sunny mornings to cruising through venues like the Mercato di Via Lorenzini, a flea market that had developed into an open-air clothing extravaganza. Stalls carry everything from gently-used vintage gear to brand new fashion overstocks from top Italian designer houses. Expensive watches, hand-made Italian loafers, silk shirts and beaded evening gowns are interspersed with gaudy jewelry, cheesy knockoffs and fake relics — but half the fun is honing that instinct for what’s worthy of your consideration and what’s just junk. Expect discover something you never knew you wanted until you saw it and just had to have it…especially since it’s usually a bona fide bargain!

Shop by Label

From Armani to Versace, Milan is where the top designers showcase the best of their lines in exclusive shops devoted entirely to their label. The Montenapoleone district in the center of Milan has the densest concentration of designer boutiques, along with stylish spas and beauty shops that have beauty experts who can tweak you out with the latest cosmetic tricks. Fashion designer teams like Dolce & Gabban provide on-site tailoring and advice on accessories so your new threads look as impressive you feel.

Shop with a Tour

For a crash course in Milan shopping without the hassle of driving or parking, sign up for a tour led by a skilled guide who understands how to apply “retail therapy.” For bargain hunters, the price of the tour is easily compensated by trips to outlet malls like Serravalle. You see, as a tour member you receive even deeper discounts on the already slashed prices you’ll find on high-demand names like Calvin Klein, Nike, Bulgari and Cavalli.

Shop by Gondola

For the ultimate fashionista experience, hire a private gondola to take you on a cruise of the romantic section of Milan, enchanting Navigli. Glide up to fashionable boutiques and eateries with entrances right on the canals. Shop for handmade Italian shoes, contemplate fledging designers’ cutting-edge styles or revert to tried and true fashions at vintage stores where they will not only perform on-the-spot alterations, they will suggest appropriate accessories from their ever-changing inventory. As evening falls, your gondolier returns you and your purchases to home port while you admire the sunset reflecting on the silky waters and pass under beautifully arched bridges trimmed with sparkling lights.

Where to Drop

Eventually, even the most die-hard shopper has to call it a day, and THE place to drop when you’re all shopped out and ready to play in Milan is the B:free Cocktail Bar at Via Lecco 21. A perfect place to show off your new threads and pick up tips for future excursions, this contemporary lounge sports a hot pink décor that somehow makes everyone look good. Expect fashionable drinks and artsy nibbles for a reasonable price.

Categories: Blog, Business, Money

Malaga

5 THINGS TO DO IN MALAGA

Malaga is one of the cities that is easily ignored by backpackers in Spain. In real sense millions of visitors arrive every year at the Malaga international airport but it is often just regarded as a transit point where people pass as they head to the more popular destinations in Costa del Sol.

However it is their loss because Malaga is not only a beautiful city, but also very traditional and very ‘Spanish’. What’s even better is that there are a lot of things that you can do in Malaga; and if, like me, you are one of those people looking for cheap holidays to Malaga, this place won’t break the bank.

Malaga

Shop at the Atarazanas market

You will probably want to shop for a few things here and there, and Atarazanasy market is just the place to do that. Apart from its fascinating history, it is a great place to shop for all kinds of local produce. Vegetable, fruits, olives and oils are just some of the things that you can get from the market and you can also just walk around and feed your eyes. The market is open on all days from 8am to 1am except on Sundays.

 

Dine at the El Tintero, El Palo

Ok not exactly a sight, more of a 3 hour activity! Eat and drink your fill at Malaga’s best restaurant, it is an experience of lifetime. Situated at el Palo, an area just outside of Malaga, Tintero is hugely popular and it is a different kind of eating place. There is no reading of the menu here or ordering for food; you just point at the plates as they pass by and the food will be brought to you. Keep the wining coming please.

 

Wine at the bodega-bar El Pimpi

This is the weirdest bar (in a good way) that you will probably ever see. Perfectly located in the heart of the historical centre, the tapas bar is among the most renowned in Malaga. They boast of their great tapas and you will breathe the fresh air from the vines and plants growing all over the place.

 

Go Sightseeing

Picasso may well be a famous artist but you would not do be doing yourself justice if you went to Malaga and not visit the Picasso museum. If your bank account is feeling a little worse for wear, there is free entrance to the museum on every last Sunday of the month. For a fantastic collection of 20th and 21st century art, nothing beats the Malaga Centre for contemporary art. Other captivating places include the Parador de Malaga Gibralfaro and Malaga’s parks.

 

Hit the beach

The list wouldn’t be complete mentioning the beautiful Malaga beaches. So much to choose from but the Playa de la Malagueta, the Playa Las Acacias and the Playa de la Misericordia, they all stand out. If you are hoping for entertainment for the whole family, visit the beaches around the Pedregalejo; you will find of Malaga’s popular ‘barrios’.

 

So next time you are in Spain, don’t ignore this little gem. It’s time to experience the real Spain, and if you stop here, you’re guaranteed to find it. Happy travels!

 

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips