Tenerife is the largest of the seven islands in the Canary Island group in the Atlantic Ocean. The Canary Islands is an autonomous community independent from Spain. Santa Cruz is the capital of the island and shares the capital seat with Las Palmas for the Canary Island group.
Tenerife has two airports, Tenerife North airport and Tenerife South airport, making Tenerife the tourism and economic centre of the island groups.
Tenerife offers many tourist activities providing family fun and pleasure in the sun. Here are a few of them.
Water parks and theme parks are very popular on this island. There is Siam Park with a Thai theme where you can bathe on Siam beach, enjoy the rides or shop at the floating market. Restaurants are on the premises to satisfy your hunger and you can even hire a villa or a cabana for the day.
Then there is Aqualand with its fun filled rides and a great variety of entertainment for children. The park has a dolphinarium that holds daily dolphin shows.
There are a couple of wildlife parks where a big variety of wildlife can be seen. Between the parks you can view primates, reptiles, large cats, exotic birds and birds of prey. At Monkey Park you have a feeding option to include in your entrance fee which allows you to feed certain animals.
Enjoy rides on quad bikes and go karts. Tenerife has a quad bike park of 50 acres with rough terrain, ideal for quads. Equipment is supplied and experienced guides will accompany you on trips. Visit the Tenerife Karting club for a go kart adventure. It has two circuits, with one for the exclusive use of children.
Treat yourself to a submarine ride with the Yellow Submarine Safari. Passengers aboard the submarine can experience an ocean view through large windows as the submarine travels to a depth of 60 metres from the coast.
Horse riding is another popular activity. You can sign up for guided tours through banana plantations or ride to the mountains. Riding lessons are available if you are not up to gear with horse riding.
Tenerife offers many guided day tours to view the most popular places, but for many of these places you need more time and make a day trip to certain locations.One such place is the Orotava Valley with the La Orotava village. The valley is fruitful with many fruit and vegetables plantations.
The village has many historical buildings and houses and worth the visit. Masca Valley has steep and narrow paths leading there and is best explored with an all terrain vehicle, but the scenery and wildlife makes the ride worth it. Also visit the El Teide volcano for a great view at a great mountain.
Food and cuisine
With more than 600 restaurants, Tenerife caters for every taste, but the local cuisine of Tenerife is surprisingly very normal and not as exotic as one would assume.
With many fruit and vegetable plantations, there is an abundant supply, especially of potatoes, tomatoes and bananas. Chestnut plantations provide for a big variety of chestnuts. In October the wineries open their doors and visitors can enjoy a taste sensation of wine and complimentary nuts and cheese.
Tenerife also has plenty of beekeepers to provide the island inhabitants and visitors with delicious honeys. Honey is used on its own, but mostly in desserts and honeyed drinks.
Fresh fish is plentiful in the form of tuna, mackerel, sardines, sea breams and cuttlefish. The meat lovers can enjoy exquisite traditional dishes made from pork, goats’ meat or rabbit.
This is one of the islands that make up the Canary Islands but more importantly it is a gorgeous getaway that redefines the meaning of the word ‘scenic’. And it has the perfect weather to match; temperatures here average 20°C in winter and about 26°C in summer and there are hardly ever clouds in sight, especially between June and September.
Gran Canaria’s landscape is multifaceted and it has much more to offer than amazing beaches. Visitors who head out to this tourist hotspot will find plenty to see and do as well as excellent conditions for complete R&R. Small wonder over 2 million travellers troop into Gran Canaria every year.
Sightseeing and activities
It’s not by chance that no other place but Gran Canaria is referred to as ‘The Small Continent’. Where else can you find your typical coastal scene; palm trees, sandy beaches, blue sea waters etc, in the same place as snow-capped mountains and dense jungle replete with diverse plant species, and, get this, the curvy sand dunes typical of deserts? And all on a tiny round island a mere 50km in diameter? Sightseeing is therefore naturally the priority of most of the island’s visitors.
So forget the sunbathing for a moment and picture yourself hiking up the mountain ranges and suddenly coming across a village over 500 metres above sea level. As you wonder just how they built such fine colonial homes so high up, you can admire the stunning scenery around you as well.
Before you hit the beaches why not venture into the old town of Arucas? Here you will find lovely, tranquil parks and the Montaña de Arucas volcano as well as some scenic bays.
You could also take a detour to Santa Maria de Guia in the north and visit the fascinating Cenobio de Valeròn caves. The fishing village of Arinaga to the south offers the perfect setting for a romantic getaway. On quitting the villages you can hike through some of Gran Canaria’s natural parks to become one with nature.
On descending, you will be embraced by the balmy coastal air and find yourself with a wide selection of beaches to choose from. Maspalomas is one of Gran Canaria’s most beautiful beaches and is a refuge for residents of other parts of Europe when the winter is at its chilliest. Nothing can bring greater pleasure than promenading along its 6 kilometres of fine white sand while swallowing the sweet Mediterranean breeze.
Or simply enjoying the shade of the palm trees that adorn the several oases on this part of the island. If you are looking for a more secluded area where you can read your novel in peace or nod off quietly, San Agustin Beach is the place to go. Playa de las Nieves has high snow capped peaks just behind it and makes for breathtaking viewing.
A number of water sports are held along these beaches including sport fishing and diving. Up for a round of golf? There are up to 8 different courses for you to choose from including Las Palmeras Golf, Maspalomas Golf and Salobre Golf & Resort. Most of these are designed to meet international standards meaning they are suitable for seasoned golfers and beginners alike.
Among the events you can include in your Gran Canaria itinerary are the lively Maspalomas International Carnival that happens in mid-February at the town of San Bartolome de Tirjana and the Fiestas del Charco festival that takes place every September.
We present to you the eastern-most and arguably the most captivating of the Canary Islands, Lanzarote. It is without a doubt the youngest, having been reformed by volcanic eruptions in the 18th century.
The rich black volcanic soil that is seen throughout the isle is testimony to its amazingly recent birth. It offers eager holidaymakers plenty to facilitate their pleasure and relaxation as well as many astounding sites; a true all-in-one destination.
One of the most intriguing features of Lanzarote is the lunar landscape of the Timanfaya National Park that is covered with pieces of solidified lava and ash. Believe it or not, there are places that are still warm from the volcanic activities of centuries ago.
It’s therefore not surprising that locals claim that their beloved island was the last piece in the creation puzzle that God left till late. The volcanic soils have proved highly conducive for agriculture as is evidenced by the large number of fruit plantations and vineyards that dot the hinterland.
In Geria the sight of vineyards blossoming while sandwiched in between two volcanic craters continues to mesmerize visitors. Surrounded by their low, whitewashed walls and forming beautiful curvy green-white patterns, they are indeed a wonder to behold.
A number of monuments can still be found on the island’s former capital Teguise though the majority of them were destroyed by pirates. These include the Castillo de Santa Barbara and a couple of grand manors.
These distractions aside, what visitors to Lanzarote are mainly after is an afternoon of basking in the abundant Mediterranean sun on the island’s delicious beaches. At the Las Playas del Sur beach they will find just what they’re after with 20 kilometres of soft sands. Papagayo Beach serves up some mouth watering scenery comprising of the Hacha Grande and steep cliffs.
Playa Blanca offers pure white sands and waters clear enough to see through. For those who can’t resist reaching for a surf board whenever they’re near sea water, the beaches of Arrieta offer some magnificent waves for their enjoyment. La Santa, off the village of Tinajo is also ideal for surfing. Other activities you can indulge in while here include yachting and sailing the Mediterranean aboard a luxury cruiser.
Those into fishing as a sport as well as divers are encouraged to make their way to the coast of La Isleta, a tiny island next to Lanzarote. Want to completely relax in a thermal spa? A visit to Peurto del Carmen is just what you need.
Other must-see sites include the volcanic cave of Cueva de los Verdes, the cactus garden with more than 10,000 species of the plant called simply Jardin de los Cactus and Jameos del Agua, a transformed lava tube.
These two features are the creations of renowned architect Cesar Manrique who is fondly referred to as the father of Lanzarote. If you’re into fine art or simply want to get better acquainted with local culture, you might want to pass by the Castillo de San Jose, an international museum of modern art.
With a seafront packed with modern hotels and apartments, you will not need to look far to find comfortable accommodation to suit your individual needs.
With over 3000 hours of sunshine every year Fuerteventura is the ideal year round resort for both couples and families alike.
With weather similar to Florida and Mexico you get the same sunshine benefits with half of the travel time. Only 100 km from the coast of Morocco and with dry sunny summers but fortunately windy which keeps the temperatures down to very pleasant levels otherwise the full heat of the African Sahara Dessert would bring temperatures of 40 degrees plus.
The island is blessed with long sandy beaches and stunning enormous Sand Dunes. From the golden sand and dunes of Corralejo in the north to miles of flat beaches like Jandia in the south – there are over 150 beaches to chose from – this makes Fuerteventura the ideal destination for the beach lover.
Water sports are very popular in Fuerteventura. During July the island is host to the P.W.A. world windsurfing championships at Sotavento in the south of the island. Surfing, windsurfing and Kitesurfing are all easily found for the more adventurous types.
Springtime is carnival time in Fuerteventura with just about every town and city hosting its own fiesta between January and April. A selection of cultural and sporting events culminating in a procession of floats bringing colour and spectacle to the streets. The party usually doesn’t get going till midnight so be sure to recharge your batteries with an afternoon siesta so you can enjoy it all.
Shopping is a must with well stocked shops covering everything from Clothes to Jeweller and electrical goods. In Corralejo visit the El Campanario centre. Even if shopping isn’t your thing it’s still worth a visit to sit and chill in the plaza and just people watch.
The main resort on the Island, Caleta De Fuste has a few commercial centres to chose from. The Atlantico Centre is the largest with all the shops and eateries you would expect in a major shopping centre. Clothes, Electronics, Jewellery Toys and Games and Gadgets – Its got the lot. There’s also a cinema ( occasional English language films) an amusement arcade and a Ten Pin Bowling alley. Shops usually open until 10pm.
The largest shopping centre on the island, Las Rotondas in Puerto Del Rosario has it all including such high street names as Zara, Pull and Bear, H&M, C&A Quicksilver and many more.
Of course there is shopping in every centre selling the usual tourist souvenirs and holiday momentos as well as local arts and crafts.
Islanders like to eat well. Local delicacies often in tapas dishes abound. Try the Papas Arrugadas – steamed potatoes with a hot mojo sauce or the Pejines – tiny dried fish sometimes cooked in alcohol. Shellfish abounds with mussels, shrimp crab and lobster readily available. Don’t forget the local goats milk cheese – the Queso Majorero – simply delicious.
So with year round temperate weather, fiestas, fantastic beaches and superb shopping Fuerteventura is the place to holiday for relaxation sun and retail therapy!
Ibiza is a world-renowned island located just less than fifty miles off the coast of Spain. Over the past couple of decades it has built a reputation for its hectic nightlife, with clubbers flying in from all over the world to spend their nights enjoying wild parties and their days recovering on one of the island’s gorgeous sandy beaches.
There’s much more to Ibiza than just hedonistic fun and baking temperatures. The island also offers picturesque sights and natural beauty.
If you’re not into nightly parties you can still find calm areas like Cala Gracio, a mile and a half north of San Antonio, where you can enjoy the warm sea and untouched beaches. A natural cove means there are no dangerous waves or extreme currents, so children can swim freely and safely.
Weather is nothing to worry about when you book your holiday in Ibiza. Whatever the season, it’s always sunny, and in summer temperatures can reach as high as 30 degrees. Don’t bother with your rain gear but make sure you take plenty of sun protection. Even in winter it remains warm, when the island atmosphere is calmer, more relaxing and peaceful.
Ibiza has long held a deserved reputation as the party capital of Europe. If you love to party, head into Ibiza Town where you’ll soon enjoy the kind of nightlife found nowhere else on Earth. From June until October the island rocks with thumping sounds, with the decks manned by internationally renowned DJs such as Jonathan Ulysses, Lee John and Pete Gooding.
Whilst in Ibiza Town make sure you check out Pacha, one of the biggest nightclubs in the world and the place for the world-famous Renaissance and Ministry of Sound. Nearby are the superb beaches at Cala Tarida, Portinax or Es Cana. You can spend your days chilling out here before embarking on another night of clubbing pleasure.
If you prefer a little more sophistication to your partying, head to San Antonio and enjoy a drink and a chat at one of many waterfront wine bars. You can enjoy a cocktail whilst watching the sun slowly sink into the Mediterranean, then a peaceful walk back to your hotel as the crickets start chirping.
For even quieter times, make Santa Eulalia your destination. Situated on the banks of the river of the same name, Santa Eulalia is Ibiza’s Gastronomic and Cultural Centre.
You can sample some of the island’s finest cuisines along the Calle San Vincente or ‘Street of Restaurants’. Musicians and artists mingle with holiday-makers, creating an atmosphere you’ll remember forever.
The best way to get to Ibiza is by plane, to Ibiza Airport. From there you can take shuttles, taxis or buses to your hotel, apartment or villa.
Ibiza is not just about clubbing; there’s plenty of choice for every type of traveller, from single persons, couples looking for fun or families with children. The island has thrived on tourism and provides a huge choice of amenities and accommodation, from quaint, traditional inns to international-class hotels. This small island can provide anyone with all their holiday needs.
Menorca is the third most popular island in the Balearics, being smaller than Majorca and certainly quieter than Ibiza, but tourists who venture here still find themselves enjoying a peaceful and relaxing time.
Less developed than its big sister Majorca and noisy little brother Ibiza, Menorca offers miles of beautiful, undeveloped coastline and has a greater number of gorgeous beaches than Majorca and Ibiza put together. Because of its smaller resorts and competitively-priced hotels, Menorca makes an excellent holiday destination for young families who don’t want the hectic nightlife of Ibiza or the activity-based complexes of Majorca.
Menorca is also an excellent destination for those who enjoy hiking, as the Camí de Cavalls (‘the path of horses’), a 140 mile complete trail around the island’s unspoilt coastline, was completed in 2011, based on pathways that are over 400 years old. Many companies offer guided walks and even complete holidays based around selected stretches of this ancient path.
Menorca has two main towns, Maó (or Mahón) and Ciutadella. Both are very attractive, one at each end of the island and connected by the island’s main road, the ME1.
There are three main rural towns, Alaior, Es Mercadal and Ferreries, all worth an exploration, as are the many resorts and coastal villages. The ME1 splits the island in two, with areas built on red sandstone to the north, and limestone to the south. You can fully appreciate this change in landscapes from Monte Toro, the highest point on the island at 1,175 ft.
Places to make your holiday home can be found all around the coast. The largest resort is Arenal d’en Castell, which has several hotels around a bay. The beaches are longer in the south, where you’ll find purpose-built resorts in Cala Porter, San Tomàs and Cala Bosch. Cala Galdana has the most pleasant setting, backed by cliffs.
Menorca has one main airport, close to Maó, but you can also travel there by ferry from mainland France or Spain. Temperatures are typical of the Balearics, being warm in winter and hot in summer.
If ancient history is your thing then Menorca has plenty of fascinating sites to keep you interested. Talatí del Dalt is a settlement over two thousands years old, and is less than three miles from Maó. Built by the Talayotic people, their culture survived for nearly 1,500 years until the Romans arrived on the island in 123BC. A must-see is Lithica, east of Ciutadella. This centuries-old quarry has been landscaped to include sculptures, gardens and labyrinths.
The island fell under British rule during the 18th century for three periods and the influences remain evident all over Menorca. In Maó you can visit mansions built in the style favoured by English architects at the time, as well as a gin distillery, built by the first governor from Britain. You can even see black and white Fresian cows roaming fields all over the island.
Menorca is the ideal destination for holidays makers in search of that perfect blend of tradition and tranquillity. It is relaxing and fascinating, soothing and interesting and of course, hot!
If you’re looking for a slice of paradise this summer, you’re well advised to place Marbella at the top of your list of potential destinations. Why? Few holiday resorts have all the ideals of a dream vacation wrapped in one package the way this Andalusian town does.
Immaculate weather all year round, magnificent beaches, plenty of indoor and outdoor activities and a scintillating nightlife are just a few of the reasons it is one of Spain’s most important tourist magnets and a veritable playground for the rich and famous. Many luxury yachts and cruise ships have made Marbella a customary port of call.
Strolling along the 44 odd kilometres of fine sands that define Marbella’s beaches it’s not hard to see why this municipality sitting between Gibraltar and Malaga is a hot tourist favourite.
Not only will you have the endless blue waters of the Mediterranean stretched out before you, you’ll be able to feast your eyes on the harbour and the many vessels anchored there. The dreamy breeze blowing in from the sea will ensure you are not overwhelmed by the sunny clime.
At the Guadalmina and Cabopino beaches you can lie down and let all your cares evaporate as your skin is turned a rich bronze and have a dip in the tepid waters when it gets a bit much. To further treat yourself why not visit local spas and beauty centres where your body and mind can be put at total ease?
Water sport freaks will be thrilled to know they can kayak in the sea and even those with no prior experience can get the basics with a few lessons at seafront kayaking clubs.
Those more interested in sports on land, especially golf enthusiasts, will be happy to learn of the numerous golf courses Marbella has. Among them is the Marbella Golf and Country Club, ranked among the country’s best courses. Those who want to learn the game can pop by the La Quinta Golf Academy for lessons.
Few tourists who visit Marbella leave without learning a few Flamenco steps and it would be a shame if you did. This traditional Spanish dance and its associated music is performed at a number of establishments in this coastal city including the La Plaza Restaurant, where you can have a sumptuous meal as you admire the artists and their dancers going through their paces.
At the Tablao Flamenco Ana Maria you can not only watch an array of talented performers, you can get a class or two so that you can confidently join in the dancing. If you’re keen on taking it a step further, you can sign up at dance schools such as Marbella Dance School and La Clave Dance School.
A one-of-a-kind experience awaits you should you choose to take a cruise around the nearby Bay of Gibraltar. While your vessel sails along, don’t be surprised when a school of eager dolphins appears in the water to escort you on your trip. Another place you simply must visit, especially if you’ll be bringing the kids along, is the Fuengirola Zoo. There are over 140 different animal species waiting to greet you.
The town of Benalmadena is located in Malaga, which in turn is located in Andalusia, an autonomous community of Spain. The town dates back to prehistoric times, but was almost destroyed in 1485 by natural disasters. In the 18thand 19th century, the town experienced economic regrowth with thanks to the paper industry and cultivation of vineyards.
Benalmadena has typical Mediterranean weather. This means the summers are long, dry and hot and winters are short and mild. Rainfall occurs in the winter months with heavy rains that may occur in November and December.
Temperatures in summer reaches into 30˚ Celsius and winter temperatures seldom go below 20˚ Celsius. It may get cold at night in the winter when the temperature can falls to as low as 7˚ Celsius.
Activities and attractions
Benalmadena is the perfect place for a vacation with activities to suit every member of the family. Activities range from historic landmarks and sites to modern theme parks and casinos.
The Parque De La Paloma is a fenced public park with plenty of animals for the children to view and feed. Children can play in the activity centre in the park while the adults relax with a coffee at the cafeteria. There is also a lake in the park with paths to and around the lake for a perfect outing for fresh air.Selwo Marina is an amusement park with marine life and birds, which is located in this park.
Book in for a cable car ride that goes to the top of Calamorro Mountain. From here, you have a great view of the coast. On clear days, you can also see the coast of Africa.
For a more spiritual experience, visit the Buddhist Temple. It has beautiful views and you can relax at the cafeteria with a drink and a snack. When you leave there, you will feel revived and relaxed by the peaceful atmosphere of the temple.
Visit the “Old Town”, or Pueblo, in the upper part of the town. Here you can walk through buildings and houses that are all painted white. The paths are paved with cobblestones, which leads to the town square with its beautiful flowers and shrubs and a fountain.
The oldest church in Benalmadena is the Santa Domingo church that was built in 1621. It was remodelled twice after that and contains three naves: an exterior nave featuring the coat of arms, an Evangelical nave and an Epistle nave.
To experience the true lifestyle of Benalmadena, rent a villa or apartment directly from the owners. Located in sought after areas and with beautiful views over the town and sea, it makes private rentals a very popular option.
For the more traditional visitor, there are over 60 hotels of top standard. The most popular is the Benalmadena Palace, located within walking distance from the local promenade and close to most of the amenities and the marina.
Stay in an internationally acclaimed hotel from the Triton group and Sirocco Hotel group to ensure luxurious and unforgettable accommodation.
Benidorm is located on the coast of Alicante in Spain. This town is known for the tall buildings and skyscraper hotels that were built with tourist attraction in mind. It is playfully known as the Manhattan of Spain. Despite the economic growth, Benidorm still has an old town Spanish atmosphere and qualities.
Attractions and activities
Benidorm has waterparks and aquariums that are some of the best in the world. Try Mondumar Aquarium where you can view dolphins, parrots, seals and sea lions and other animal.
There are daily shows with the dolphins and the sea lions and you are allowed to swim with them and feed them.
The beaches are definitely one of the main attractions in Benidorm due to the white beaches, the glorious Mediterranean Sea and the splendid weather all year round. Two of the best beaches are Levante Beach and Poniente Beach.
Enjoy the other attractions this wonderful town has to display to her visitors. See the landscapes and waterfalls and marvel at the majestic mountains. The best way to accomplish this is to join a safari group or tour. Marco Polo is a top company that operates in Benidorm and offer great Jeep Safaris to explore the town. Daily tours are available, but they also offer Moonlight safaris to enjoy the nocturnal wildlife and have a pleasant barbeque along with good company.
There are plenty of landmarks to view in Benidorm. Visit the Balcon Del Mediterraneo on a large rock formation between the beaches of Levante and Poniente. It used to be a castle to guard the town against Arab pirates in the 14th to 16th century. Now it is a look-out point with plenty of benches and white stone balustrades. Or visit the Placa Del Castell. This historic walkway offers great restaurants and cuisine and displays the bustle of tourists by day and the vibrancy of the town by night.
Benidorm is a tourist paradise when it comes to the nightlife. With plenty of pubs and clubs offering beach parties, foam parties and pub crawling, you will be certain to enjoy the eclectic nightlife in Benidorm.
There is a wide variety of clubs to suit every type of tourist or local patron.
Jazz bars and karaoke bars are very popular, but the most popular should probably be the dance clubs creating the party atmosphere that the Spanish are famous for.
Restaurants and cuisine
Benidorm has a wide selection of restaurants that provide top class Spanish cuisine. Dishes from around the world are on offer at the many world famous restaurants, bistros and cafés. The best way of course to experience the local cuisine will be to visit a local bistro or restaurant. Choose a place where you can taste the Spanish paella or other seafood dishes. Or enjoy a truly traditional Spanish experience at a café where you are served with traditional bread and a bottle of wine. Enjoy it with a wide selection of cheeses that were locally produced.
Costa Almeria is located in Andalusia region in Spain. The coastal area of Almeria is more populated than the inland due to climate differences. The inland area is more dessert-like, dry and arid. This may be because the fact that Almeria is one of the towns in Spain that has the most sunlight and the least amount of rain may be a contributing factor.
Almeria has a very rich Arab history. Spain had many problems with Arab pirates that came from North Africa. Unfortunately, natural disasters destroyed many of the original building, but many of them were rebuilt.
The Castle of Alcazaba is in Almeria and is the second largest of the Arabic fortresses. The Castillo De Santa Anna was built in the 16th century to protect the village against pirates. This building is one of the many that were destroyed by an earthquake in 1804. The building was reconstructed in 1997. The City Hall is located within this castle and the canons on the outside are the canons used in the past.
The Cathedral in Almeria was built in the mid-16th century and was fortified on the sides to protect against pirate attacks. An interesting fact about the Cathedral is that it was built over a mosque that was destroyed in an earthquake.
Not all people are interested in history and old buildings. To them a holiday means to do fun filled activities and spend the day on adventures alone or with their families.
There are two major theme parks, one with a Texas theme and Oasys Theme Park with an old Western theme. Here the shops and restaurants are built as if you were in a Western town with all the saloons and quaint shops.
The Nicolas Salmeron Park is a peaceful park where you can enjoy a stroll at a leisurely pace. The nature scenery includes impressive trees and flowers and you can enjoy the fresh air brought in from the Mediterranean Sea.
Almeria has a couple of museums where you can learn more about the town, the history and the evolution of the town. There is a museum of photography that will prove to be a real gem to photographers.
If you like art or perhaps study it, take some time to visit the Almeria School of Art, or Escuela de Arte. The artworks are worth it to view and art is incorporated into small, yet interesting, details.
Walk along the historic pathway of Paseo de Almeria. Here you will find an assortment of cafés and restaurants where you can savour the local cuisine of the town. Enjoy a tapa or feast on the traditional paella made from the freshest ingredients and in true Spanish style.
Spanish cuisine is known not only for seafood, but also for fruit and wine. Vineyards are cultivated successfully in the Mediterranean climate. Cheese and Spanish bread is a local feast and you can enjoy the cuisine best at local cafés and bistros.
Costa Blanca means “The White Coast” and it is a region consisting of many towns in Spain. It derives its name from the 200 kilometres of white sandy beaches on the coastline of Spain. Costa Blanca starts at the town of Dénia and ends at Pilar de la Horadada.
Costa Blanca consists of 26 towns of which Alicante, Valencia, Murcia and Benidorm are the most famous. The area was invaded by the Moors in 711 AD who reigned until 1095 when Spain reclaimed the throne after defeating the Moors.
The climate of the Mediterranean is ideal all year round. Temperatures in the summer rise to within 30° Celsius and in winter the weather is mild at around 20° Celsius. Summers are hot and dry and winters are brief with a rainfall period from November to December. Minimum temperatures in the winter hardly ever reach below 7° Celsius.
The climate is one of the main reasons that Costa Blanca is such a famous holiday destination. Who would not enjoy to go swimming in an azure blue sea in winter time and enjoy sun filled days of activities while other winter time regions are freezing from the cold?
The beaches of Costa Blanca are without doubt the main attraction for vacation goers. Unspoilt and undeveloped beaches that are enveloped by the magnificent Mediterranean Sea create a paradise for sun lovers.
The beaches are also a set-off point for many water sports and activities. Where there are marinas available at beaches, you can safely anchor a yacht or boat. Water activities include whale watching, deep sea diving, yachting, surfing and many more. In certain areas you can swim with dolphins.
Many of the beaches are surrounded by magnificent cliffs and are coved in by the cliffs. In the cliffs you will find many caves to explore and experience some of the pirate history that created an era of terror for the Spaniard for many years.
History and culture
There is no shortage of cultural and historical areas in the Costa Blanca region. With influences from Arabs, Moors and even Carthaginian Empire, it provides for a rich history. There are many museums in all 26 towns to provide a clear overview of the history and evolution of Costa Blanca.
Fortresses, light houses and castles are evidence of an era in the middle ages where Spain was plagued by pirates from the sea and enemy armies from the land always threatening to overthrow the Spanish empire. Some succeeded and left behind their mark as monuments and temples.
In the end though, Spain reclaimed victory and served as the ultimate rulers of Costa Blanca.
Costa Blanca is not only famous for its glorious beaches; it also offers magnificent natural landscapes and scenery. For the adventurer there are mountains and valleys to explore. Safari groups offer great deals to allow the tourist to experience and enjoy the best of nature that Costa Blanca has to offer.
Food in the Costa Blanca region is typical Spanish. Seafood is very popular and provide for dishes such as paellas, but the Mediterranean climate is excellent for the cultivation of a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, such as bananas, grapes, potatoes and tomatoes.
No outing to a Spanish restaurant or bistro would be complete without tapas, bread and bottle of wine exclusive to the region.
Costa Del Sol
The only way to describe Costa Del Sol is a tourist’s paradise. Everything you see in your mind when you think about a dream vacation is wrapped up in this beautiful, well endowed Andalusian region. This ‘Coast of the Sun’ comprises of immaculate beaches, breathtaking landscapes, warm people, excellent cuisine and an enormous range of luxurious accommodation. There is simply an endless list of things to see and activities to do in this celebrated resort.
Sightseeing and activities
As with every seaside resort, Costa Del Sol promises you hours of sunbathing in fine Mediterranean climate and long walks on powdery white sands as the crystal clear waters caress your toes.
To say the views from Costa Del Sol’s shoreline are sublime almost amounts to an understatement what with the perpetually cloudless sky, waving palm trees and the sun peaking behind jagged cliffs.
At Algarrobo Beach you can have a splash in the warm frothy sea waters or just soak up some rays. Seafront eateries ensure that you’re properly nourished as you explore this coastal paradise and be sure to ask for pescaito or any speciality that includes fish such as the Fried Fish Malaga Style, you’ll love it.
To enjoy the views from bird’s eye view, take a cable car trip, descending towards the coast from the top of Monte Calamorro. If you are lucky to go on a clear day, you will be able to see as far as Gibraltar and the North African coast. Before descending you can grab a bite at a cafeteria with a terrace that overlooks the coast. Though the journey is a mere 15 minutes long, it’s definitely worth the ticket price.
But apart from sight-seeing, there is plenty more you can look forward to when in this part of the Spanish province of Malaga. If you came along with your young ones, what better way to treat them than taking them to Tivoli World? Here they will have an assortment of rides at their disposal as well as some really fascinating shows. You could also take them to the Benalmadena Sea Life Aquarium where they can get a closer look at real sharks and sea snakes. There is also a wealth of information available to visitors about sea life.
When the sun falls, Costa Del Sol comes alive with a selection of bars and nightclubs to help night owls have a good time.
One of the liveliest joints is Reinas which features entertainment provided by talented local artists to go with your poison of choice. It is a particular favourite for celebrities.
At the Vino Mio you will find a cosy, intimate ambiance and be serenaded by a host of local and international performers as you enjoy your favourite drink and excellent Spanish cuisine. If you time your visit right you will catch the Flamenco shows that have made this spot very popular among locals and visitors.
For those who like to have the comforts of home, there are a number of malls that provide a relaxing shopping experience as well as indoor recreational activities such as bowling.
Before the passing of Lent, residents and visitors to Costa Del Sol are treated to a number of carnivals, the most anticipated of which is the Cadiz Carnival. The Seville Spring Fair is marked by plenty of music and dancing and takes place every year around Easter.
Of all the Mediterranean seaside resorts Costa Dorada offers its visitors something over and above the average. A seemingly endless coastline where shimmering turquoise waters meet exceptionally fine sands is really just the tip of the iceberg.
If you venture further inland you will find amazing scenery and charming little villages, each showcasing captivating architecture. The ‘Golden Coast’ as the name translates, is choke-full of things to do and sites to see, small wonder it ranks among Spain’s most popular holiday destinations.
Sightseeing and activities
Most of the beaches on this part of Catalonia provide ideal grounds for leisurely strolls, sunbathing and swimming; the essentials of any coastal vacation. The sands are just what your kids need to sharpen their castle-building skills as well.
Your kids are also guaranteed to have the time of their lives at the nearby Universal Studios Port Aventura which offers them plenty of rides and shows. They will be equally thrilled with the numerous water rides at La Pineda.
And when the day is done and you want to unwind with a nice meal and your drink of choice in ambient surroundings, you will have many high quality establishments to choose from. There you will have your favourite variety of seafood prepared by seasoned chefs. Those looking for a place to shake a leg will find the Barcelona nightclubs perfect for the occasion.
Golfing enthusiasts will be thrilled to know that they can find their favourite 18 holes while enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in Costa Dorada. What can be more enjoyable than traversing a rich green course under the wonderful Mediterranean weather? If this sounds heavenly, then you must plan a visit to Panoramica Golf Course. This baby was designed by the renowned Bernhard Langer and sports such features as four sets of forward tees and brilliant practice facilities.
The Bonmont Golf Course is another course worth checking out that is suitable for both learners and seasoned pros. Be warned however that you will be distracted by unbelievable views of the coast as you play.
Leaving the Catalonian coast without journeying inland is missing out on a wealth of touristic delights. For starters there is the Ebro Delta that encompasses many unique geological features including sand dunes, fresh and salt water lakes, riverbank woods and fluvial islands within its 320 square kilometres. It really is a goldmine for nature lovers, rich in flora and fauna.
There are over 300 bird species that have made this natural park their home, including the elegant flamingo which resides on the more secluded lagoons. You can traverse this engrossing landscape by ferry, by mountain bike or on foot. After you’ve had your fill of the jungle, you can proceed to the towns of the towns Tarragona and Reus where you can soak up on Catalan history and culture. Sites of interest include the ruins of Tarragona, the Jewish quarter in Reus and the several archaeological museums in this town.
If you’re looking for an excuse to let your hair down and party the night away, then you need to pencil in a visit to the popular Sitges resort. You are more likely than not to find one celebration or the other happening here as cultural events and festivals are the order of the day. Sitges plays host to an extremely enjoyable carnival as well as the Corpus Christi, the International Festival of Fantastic and Horror Cinema.
If Ibiza is the little brother of the Balearics, then Formentera is the baby sister. The tiny island is only twelve miles long and has a resident population of around five thousand. With Ibiza and two smaller islands, Espalmador and Espardell, plus a few even tinier islands, Formentera completes what are known as the Pitiusic Islands.
First and foremost, Formentera is exceedingly popular amongst naturists, as nude sunbathing is allowed on most of its wonderful white-sanded beaches.
The island really is something close to paradise; although roads connect most of the developed areas and cars can be hired in the port, Sa Savina, most visitors are asked to consider using mopeds or bicycles to keep pollution down to a minimum.
The island is almost entirely flat, so getting about using only pedal power is not such a chore.
Being so small, Formentera does not have an airport. The only way of getting there is to reach Ibiza then take a ferry to the island. Ferries run from Ibiza at two-hourly intervals.
The island has its own eco-system and enjoys the typically warm Mediterranean climate. Formentera has only been inhabited for 4,000 years and for hundreds of years was a favourite hideaway for pirates thanks to its location. The capital is Sant Francesc Xavier where all official buildings and central services can be found.
The inhabitants of the island truly appreciate nature and you can find monuments carved into trees and rock all over Formentera. They make jewellery, ceramic and clothes to sell to visitors. As with all the Balearics the island residents enjoy a rich cuisine based on fish and seafood. They also make cheese which is typically enjoyed with bread and grapes.
Places to visit on the island include Es Far de Sa Mola, a lighthouse located on the highest point of the island, and Ca Na Costa, a circle of stones that is thought to mark the site of a megalithic tomb that is almost as old as the island itself.
The roman influence upon Formentera can be observed at El Campamento de Can Blia, the remains of a settlement
The main place for accommodation on Formentera is Es Pujols, a small resort where sandy coves are backed by several hotels and apartment blocks. The busiest beaches on the island are Platja de Llevant and Platja Ses Illetes. If you have children be warned that both these beaches are very popular with nudists. If you’re happy to spend a day in the sun, a few cafes and restaurants dwell along the beach for when you fancy a nibble.
If you visit Formentera in July, make sure you catch one of the two main fiestas that are celebrated on the island. Singing and dancing marks the festival of the patron saint, St Jaime, on July 25. Nine days earlier the feast of Our Lady of Carmen, patron saint of seafarers, is celebrated with boat parades in Es Pujols and La Savina.
Formentera offers something completely different to the noise and mayhem of its neighbour, Ibiza. If you like the idea of nothing to do all day but relaxing with the occasional break for meals in a remarkable, untouched paradise then Forementera is definitely the place you are looking for.
First time visitors who choose holidays to Gibraltar are typically blown away by the picturesque scenery, gorgeous climate and vast amount of attractions. No matter whom you are travelling with or what you are into, there will always be plenty to suit your preferences.
Why Choose Gibraltar Holidays?
One of the main reasons why many people choose Gibraltar holidays is because it offers a VAT free shopping experience. You can get much more for your money when you shop down the famous Main Street.
There are also many activities on offer in this fantastic city. You can take part in rock touring, diving, snorkelling and even bird watching. It features just 7 miles of property, yet there is so much to see and do. Therefore it would be a good idea to pick the attractions you are most interested in seeing before you go.
The locals are incredibly friendly and kind. Those who do take advantage of holidays to Gibraltar will find that the locals are more than happy to share their knowledge of the area.
There are plenty of attractions in this small city. Perhaps the most famous attraction that many people book holidays to Gibraltar to see is Gibraltar Rock. You can see out to Africa from one side and towards the Mediterranean and Atlantic on the other side. The views really are unbelievable.
You may also like to take a walk down the path which leads to the St Michaels Cave. This is one of the most beautiful parts of Gibraltar.
If you love wildlife you’ll enjoy the Ape’s Den. This is one of the more unique attractions you’ll find on Gibraltar holidays. The Barbary Apes are roam around the area are known to be the only free-roaming primates within Europe. While they can be cute and fun to watch, these primates are very mischievous so you’ll need to keep that in mind.
If you’d like to take in a little culture then the Gibraltar Museum is a must see. It is located right in the middle of the city and it’s not far away from Main Street and the Roman Catholic Cathedral. So you could take in a little culture and then spend the rest of the day shopping.
Dining Out in Gibraltar
Gibraltar holidays are known for their al fresco dining and café culture. There is so much choice available and you’ll find cuisine from all over the world. If you like fashionable, modern restaurants then head to Casemates Square.
No holidays to Gibraltar would be complete without a trip to one of the many beautiful beaches in the city. Catalan Bay is one of the best ones to head to if you are looking for a quiet, uncrowded beach.
However if you’re looking for a more built up resort style beach then Camp Bay could be more your thing.
All in all Gibraltar holidays have something to suit everyone. Beautiful weather, VAT free shopping and friendly and welcoming locals all make this a fantastic city to visit.
Lloret De Mar
Tucked away in the north-eastern corner of Barcelona is one of Spain’s most sought-after resort cities, Lloret De Mar. As with most other such towns that lie on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, you can expect picturesque beaches with pure sands, gentle breeze and dazzling sunsets.
And even when the sun does go down, the party goes on; this part of the Costa Brava does not sleep and is famous for its vibrant nightlife that only dies out in the wee hours of the morning. Which is not to say adrenaline junkies will be disappointed; au contraire, there are plenty of outdoor activities and sports designed just for them.
Sightseeing and activities
Like we said, thrill-seekers will be glad they chose Lloret De Mar as their holiday destination. What with activities like sea kayaking, snorkelling and diving that will lead you to expend your reserves of energy as you explore the waters from above and below.
You will find beautiful small coves and a number of caves as well as feast your eyes on several colourful fish species and specimens of marine life. Few things get the adrenalin surging like waterskiing or parasailing on the Mediterranean waters. The winds off the coast of Lloret De Mar are perfect for kite surfing and sailing as well.
Jet skis are also available for those who have a need for speed. And if you’re up for exploration on foot, you can participate in a spot of hiking or Nordic walking through the exciting trails that will take you from the coast to the lush pine and holm-oak forests of the interior.
You can rent a bike if you prefer to traverse the rich landscape on two wheels. Golfing enthusiasts and those who don’t mind trying their hand at the 18 holes are welcome to do so on a number of world class golf courses.
After these exertions you can pamper yourself as you improve your wellbeing with a trip to a spa and wellness centre. Enjoy a series of natural treatments from various parts of the world designed to get the kinks out of your back and the stress out of your mind.
You can further relax by visiting one of the many small cafes or restaurants to grab a bite. When night falls, Lloret De Mar comes alive with many lively bars and nightclubs beckoning revellers.
If you like to spoil yourself on the finer things, there’s no better place to do this than in Lloret De Mar’s bountiful shopping precinct. There are few greater feelings than getting yourself those designer accessories you’ve always wanted while enjoying the perfect Mediterranean clime.
Mango, Cello and Pepe are just a few of the designer outlets you can expect to find on the St. Pere shopping street. And to replenish the energy you spend zipping about from shop to shop there are a number of cafes and restaurants serving tantalizing repasts from all over the world.
Every summer the Clon Festival comes to Lloret De Mar and there you can catch world famous bands like Coldplay and Metallica live on stage. If you happen to be around on the 2nd of October you’ll have a chance to watch the International Petanque Championship.
Paradores are a unique mode of holiday accommodation in which tourists are housed in renovated castles, palaces and fortresses as well as other kinds of centuries-old buildings. Some paradores are however modern hotels that have been styled after traditional buildings. They offer you the unique opportunity to partake of Spanish history and culture while still enjoying all the services you would expect from a first class hotel.
All this at prices that will just blow your mind. These facilities can be found in many parts of Spain, mainly in the Galicia, Cataluña and Andalusia regions and the Canary Islands. Some Spanish cities in North Africa will also have paradores. Originally designed by the state to promote tourism in the country in 1928, the paradores have blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon with countries like Portugal and Puerto Rico borrowing from this model.
What to expect
Should you choose to make yourself a paradores guest you will be pampered into submission. Food, for starters, is plentiful and prepared to perfection by some of the country’s most celebrated chefs. Meals are well researched and innovative; there is no room for monotony in a paradores kitchen.
The aim is to provide a wide selection of dishes that are as tasty to the palate as they are nutritious to the body. If you have special nutritional needs such as vegetarians and diabetics do, fret not. There will not just be something for you to eat; you will have an assortment of traditional specialities to choose from. Those in Spain for a family holiday will be delighted to find that most paradores provide a special menu for children below 12 to usher them into the Mediterranean cuisine culture and help them start appreciating the importance of healthy eating from a tender age. To help down these delicacies is a healthy collection of rich wines.
A number of these establishments including Parador de El Saler and Parador de Vielha offer guests spa treatments right within the premises. At the latter you will enjoy magnificent views of the Catalan Pyrenees while reclining in the soothing waters of a bubble bath or sauna. Among the treatments you can expect are herbal and aromatherapy massages as well as a variety of facial treatments. Paradore guests can also expect guided excursions to nearby sites.
Apart from simply housing tourists and travellers, the paradores play host to a number of other events including weddings and private parties. And if you’re looking for an exotic location for your next seminar or business meeting, why not inquire at your parador of choice? Like most international hotels they will have facilities to cater for groups of different sizes. They provide comfortable sitting in ambient, immaculately decorated halls alongside a rich selection of refreshments.
Despite the aura of respect for tradition paradores generate, modern facilities synonymous with top hotels such as crisply air-conditioned rooms with TVs, currency exchange bureaus, well-equipped gyms and WiFi Internet access in the lounges can be found in these establishments. Children will be kept busy with a nice play area and adults can practice their swing at lush golf courses.
This amazing marina is one of Europe’s most coveted holiday destinations. It plays host to over 4 million visitors every year and looking at its perfect weather and wealth of attractions, one can understand why this corner of the Costa Del Sol is so popular. What you can expect here is fabulous shopping outlets, classy restaurants and bars as well as the chance to dance the night away at any one of several nightclubs.
There are also many sports to choose from for the physically active and plenty of entertainment for the kids too. Accommodation is abundant for Puerto Banus visitors and you can choose from a wide range of hotels and apartments depending on your needs and how much you’re willing to spend.
Sightseeing and activities
One of the things visitors to this resort look forward to most is the shopping experience at Puerto Banus. High-end boutiques of household names such as Gucci, Bvlgari, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino dot the streets.
You are thus assured to find a tasteful gift for that special someone if you brought them along for the trip. Should you want more reasonably-priced stuff you can hit the Puerto Banus street market which is open every Saturday. Virtually anything you can think of is sold there from furniture and home interior accessories to bags and clothes. If you have the patience and bargaining skills you can come away with quite a steal.
Costa Del Sol is replete with golf courses and these are all within easy reach for Puerto Banus visitors. There are both miniature courses and championship courses designed by renowned architects to suit both the learner and the seasoned golfer. However, some will restrict play to only those who are members so you need to make enquiries beforehand. Bringing your kids along for the Puerto Banus experience is a good idea as they will get suitable entertainment in the slides, rides and shows of nearby theme parks and aquatic parks.
If you enjoy good music and hanging out with friends over a couple of drinks, then Puerto Banus is the place to be for your holidays.
Apart from ambient cocktail bars where you can gouge yourself on a variety of creations from seasoned mixologists, you can shake a leg into the wee hours at clubs like Dreamers and TIBV where celebrated international DJs rule the decks. There is the odd chance you might bump into a celebrity or two while having the time of your life. Think of the endless possibilities such a night can bring to your Facebook profile!
When it comes to matters of the palate, your needs will be well taken care of by elegant eateries that serve up excellently prepared dishes from around the world. Here you can choose from a selection of Italian, Greek and French specialities and eat as you gaze out onto the marina. The beauty is that there are a number of reasonably priced joints where you can still have quality meals such as the local Hard Rock Cafe and Don Leone.
The city of Zara, also known as Zadar, is located in Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea. Zara is the centre of the Dalmatian region.
Zara has a very war stricken history and many cultural influences made Zara the city as it is known today. Zara has a Neolithic origin, but was conquered by many empires. Forces that ruled over Zara and also the empires that were unsuccessful, are the Slavs from Eastern Europe, Rome, Venice, Turkey, Austria, Italy, Germany and Serbia. By the 1995 the Yugoslav war ended and Zara became part of Croatian control.
For you your holiday in Zara, you can expect typical Mediterranean weather.
The summer months are hot and dry and in winter the temperatures are mild and humid with the rainfall season in the winter, but it is not uncommon for rain showers during other seasons.
Tourist attractions in Zara
With the history of Zara and reign of many empires, it is no surprise that Zara will provide many tourist attractions. The visitor on holiday in Zara will be entertained with evidence of the cultural history and diversity of the town.
Even the monuments display the diversity. Take St Crisogono Church: this church was built by Romans and Venetians rebuilt the church on the Roman ruins. After its bombing in World War II, the church was yet again rebuilt by Serbian leaders.
The Forte Fortress is a reminder of the struggle between the Venetians and the Turks when the Turks tried to conquer Zara. The fortress was built in the 16th century and still stands to this day.
The Palace of Ghirardini is built in Venetian style and offers a glimpse into the lifestyle and architecture of the Venetian era. It features a balcony in Gothic style.
The Palace is situated next to the main square, so the visitor can also explore the old town of Zara. In the town you can visit the art museum for a view of the art styles and treasures throughout the different eras.
While on holiday in Zara visit the park of Nikola Basic’s Greeting to the sun. In the park technology and solar power is used to create gorgeous displays of light on sunny days. It is an enchanting use of sunlight to create large circles is a pleasure for both children and adults.
Nightlife in Zara
After a day hot summers day of exploring the town, wind down with the nightlife that Zara has to offer.
Enjoy the fun side of your holiday in Zara in the bars and restaurants available in the town. The atmosphere is warm and homely while you savour the cuisine and listen to the music. For the more serious party people, you can visit one of the two dance clubs in Zara: Arsenal or The Garden.
You will be surprised on your holiday in Zara when you taste the local cuisine. The dishes most available in Zara are pizza. Word has it that it is from the best pizza the world! Sandwiches are also a popular meal.
The true traditional food that came from the historic times are polenta, bread, stew made from beans and pasta, sardines and bread cooked in olive oil and eggs with fries. Pasta, bread and potatoes are the most popular foods in Zara.
Add some of the popular wine to your holiday in Zara. An interesting fact is that the tap water in Zara is drinkable, unlike many other European countries.
Accommodation in Zara
Zara provides many hotels for accommodation while on holiday in Zara. There are mostly three and four star hotels and no five star hotels. Or choose from the many private accommodation such as apartments and guest houses.
For a back packing holiday in Zara, there is a youth hostel available or if you are in need of more affordable accommodation.
The first thing that comes to mind upon hearing the name Barcelona, is the song made popular by the late Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe. In your minds’ eye you still see Ms Caballe walking down the stairs with fire lanterns lighting the way. Sadly though, the video was not filmed in Barcelona, but in Ibiza.
That does not make Barcelona any less majestic as implied in the song.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalan, a region in Spain and also the second largest city in Spain. By the sheer mention of Spain, the intended tourist already feels the humid air of the Mediterranean climate against his skin and thinks of the cool blue seas. You picture the famous Spanish festivals with colour explosions and dances. The very brave individuals may even picture themselves running away from raging bulls or taking part in bull fights.
Barcelona is a city that never sleeps. By day you can visit the many cultural attractions that give a glimpse into the history and evolution of the city. The most popular attraction is the Sagrada Familia, a church with a design that is as unique and diverse as the culture of Barcelona.
The culture can be described as Middle Age, Gothic, Renaissance and Modernism. Buildings according to these examples are found all over the city. Visit the church of Santa Maria del Mar for a Gothic impression, the Park Guell for Renaissance statues and mosaics and the Palace of Catalana Music to experience the magnificent design of Modernism.
Barcelona and its activities are located in such a manner that offers great opportunities for bikers to do sightseeing. Biking has become so popular that Barcelona has dedicated lanes for cyclers to promote safe trafficking for bikers.
Tibidabo is a hill that ensures a great day out with the family. You can hike to the top of the hill. The Three Twins’ house host plenty activities, such as a puppet show, a room with robots and a hall of mirrors for funny distorted images.
Or relax with a stroll through La Rambla, a walkway through the old town with shops, food stalls, entertainment and much more delightful scenery. The walkway is filled with flowers and birds which creates a charming atmosphere.
The beaches are one of the main attractions in Barcelona due to the Mediterranean climate and cool and pleasant water. Enjoy your time in Barcelona by spending quite a few days on the magnificent beaches.
Entertainment and cuisine
Night time is an extension of the activities of daytime. Barcelona has a wide variety of clubs and restaurants that will entertain visitors until the early hours of dawn. Different styles of clubs are available to cater for all ages and tastes. It varies from modern music to jazz and Latino music.
For a taste sensation, visit one of the local restaurants where you can experience the traditional dishes of Barcelona. Paella is a local favourite, along with Sarsuela stew. For desert, try the crème brulee. The ever popular dishes of cheese, ham, sausages made in olive oil should be enjoyed with a glass of local wine.
In Barcelona you will never be far from a place where you can enjoy your city break. The airport of Barcelona is centrally located and close to many hotels and accommodation, making it very convenient for visitors to travel and do sightseeing. Accommodation ranges from top international hotels to more affordable apartments and guesthouses.
Transport services are available between your accommodation and other destinations.
Madrid is Spain’s capital and largest city and of all the cities in Spain it certainly has the most character. Your city break to Madrid will offer you an intense yet thoroughly enjoyable experience of the Spanish lifestyle. The city never seems to go to sleep, and possesses a charming and unique flavour of liveliness and exhilaration. The city is famed for its art, excellent dining and spine-tingling nightlife.
Madrid Barajas International Airport is around nine miles from the city centre. Getting into the city to start your Madrid city break is exceptionally simple. There is a 24-hour express bus service, plus commuter trains and the metro run from the airport at regular intervals, usually between six in the morning and midnight. There is also a night shuttle and the habitual taxi rank.
Spain’s capital really is a working city as you’ll discover on your Madrid city break. Part of the joy of visiting Madrid is just seeing how the city naturally lives and breathes with its little rituals.
Just live briefly like the locals – enjoy a coffee in the picturesque Plaza Mayor square, talk a walk in the Retiro park or a stroll along the Paseo del Prado. Visit the old streets close to the Plaza Santa Ana for tapas or relax in one of the many cafe bars in Madrid de los Austrias.
A city break in Madrid is a very popular choice for art-lovers, as the Madrid museums are home to some of the most sumptuous art collections in the whole of Europe. The three main galleries to visit are the Prado and Thyssen museums and the Reina Sofia Arts Centre. The Prado is the largest and houses astonishing works by the likes of Velasquez, El Greco and Hieronymus Bosch. The Thyssen has more varied works and a broader appeal whilst the Reina Sofia is more contemporary. All three galleries can be easily visited in one day by foot.
A city break to Madrid is the perfect excuse to shop, and the city is home to both international chains and small, family-owned businesses. Make sure you check out the covered markets right in the centre of the city. If you are in Madrid on a Sunday take a trip to the La Latina area for the morning Rastro Street market; you can recover afterwards at one of the atmospheric daytime bars.
The central area of the city is almost choked with excellent cafes, bars and restaurants, as you’ll find out during your Madrid city break. Just take a quick stroll around the area and you’ll swiftly find something ideally suited to your tastes. Remember that Spaniards like to take the day at a relaxed pace, rising late and not going to bed until the early hours. Expect lunch to still be on-going around three in the afternoon, and some restaurants not starting to serve dinner until ten.
As the city never seems to sleep, you’ll learn during your Madrid city break that the place really comes alive at night. The central streets explode with sights and sounds, and it’s usually best to just jam yourself in there and go with the flow. The Spanish are a friendly people who like to party and have a good time. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to lively bars and live music.
A city break to Madrid is an exhilarating prospect as you imagine yourself submerged in the enjoyable way people from Spain choose to live. Book your Madrid city break now for a chance to experience a culture quite unlike that of anywhere else on the planet.
Valencia seems to be one of Spain’s best-kept secrets. Most people when visiting Spain think of Madrid or Barcelona, or perhaps the southern destinations of Seville and Malaga. A city break in Valencia has just as much to offer, with an all-year bright climate, lovely beaches and an enjoyable atmosphere. Valencia’s wonderful Old Town is a place of fun, charm and character.
Valencia Aiport is six miles from the city centre, and is well served by both train and the subway. Taxis are also always on hand to transport you to the hub of the city. You can also start your Valencia city break by train, with the rail network having direct links to both Madrid and Barcelona, or by bus, with the main bus station being a fifteen minute walk from the centre.
The Old Town is where you’ll probably spend the most time during your Valencia city break. It consists of a labyrinth of charming little streets and picturesque town squares decorated by honey-coloured buildings, bright fountains and rows of orange trees.
In the evening the El Carmen area is the place to be seen with its trendy cafés and bars that bounce into life once the sun has set and thrive with music and character.
By day Valencia is a sight-seeing delight, with centuries of preserved architecture such as the Seu cathedral and the Gothic Silk Exchange.
Take your Valencia city break in March and you may be lucky enough to witness the Fallas Festivity where huge papier maché are first constructed, displayed for a week or so and then burnt as the festival closes. The final day is literary a full day of fireworks, from dawn until the early hours of the following morning.
The City of Arts and Sciences is an artificial park which is well worth a visit during your Valencia city break.
It is home to a laserium and planetarium, an IMAX cinema and one of the largest aquariums in Europe. The Science Museum itself is entertaining and impressive and one of many within Valencia, along with others dedicated to art, natural science and ceramics.
You cannot consider a Valencia city break unless you are considering a visit to one of the city’s pristine, sandy Mediterranean beaches. The main beaches in the city are called Las Arenas, La Malvarossa, Playa del Alboraya, Pinedo and El Saler. Each beach is safe and well equipped and is lined with excellent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
If Valencia likes to relax by the day, then the city certainly likes to party at night. Like most of Spain, the night-life during your Valencia city break doesn’t really get going until midnight, but when it awakens, it is soon vibrant and pounding with sound. Less packed than Madrid or Barcelona, Valencia gives you the chance to merge with the friendly locals and experience some authentic Spanish partying. The beaches at Malvarros and Las Arenas are particularly recommended for sights and sounds by the sea.
For a Spanish break that doesn’t have the thronging crowds and tourist-traps of Madrid and Barcelona, choose a city break in Valencia. You’ll be sight-seeing in the morning, relaxing at a beach-side café by afternoon then getting down and groovy from midnight until the early hours. Book your Valencia city break now for an exhilarating taste of Spain.