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Archives for Spain

Alicante – 5 Hot Places You Must See in The Costa Blanca

Whether you’re planning a cheeky long weekend along the Costa Blanca coastline or a full-on two week family fun packed holiday, Alicante is full of fantastic tourist attractions and great things to see and do! Here are five great places to enjoy a wonderful time with family or relax by yourself in Alicante .

Alicante11 – Take a trip up to Santa Barbara Castle : this stunning medieval fortress looks out over the city of Alicante and has all the things you would come to expect in a castle. You can cross over the moat, explore the dark dungeons, check out the cannons, and keep watch in the lookout tower. But the best feature of the castle is its price: it’s totally free to visit. Now that is a nice touch that we don’t often see anymore: a free attraction!

2 – If it’s long sandy beaches you are looking for, then there can be only one: Playa de San Juan . This beach stretches over four miles and has some of the finest white sands you will see in Spain . But keep an eye out when sunbathing, as the beach has an 18-hole golf course alongside it, and who knows the quality of golfers playing there! Of course you also have other beaches at your disposal, such as Playa de la Albufereta next to the city centre. It is, however, always packed and full of tourists, so if you want to enjoy yourself in a more calm way, Playa de San Juan is the perfect place.

20120217_alicante23 – Alicante city centre is one huge attraction in itself. Just stroll through the historic streets where you can admire the architecture of the buildings; it’s a great way to spend a day of your holidays! A few buildings to keep an eye out for are St. Mary’s Church, the Town Hall, and the Chapel of Santa Cruz. In these old streets you can also enjoy the finest food during the day in the best bars and restaurants of the city, or party till dawn in the most famous clubs on El Barrio Street , placed in the heart of Alicante ’s Old Town .

4 – Don’t miss the amazing Island of Tabarca ! You can take a boat from Alicante harbour to this delightful paradise. The island is full of great activities for a great day of chilling at the beach, scuba diving in clear waters, exploring endless caves, or eating delicious seafood in the famous “chiringuitos“. It only takes 30 minutes to arrive on the island. You will be able to spend the day surrounded by charming nature and enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the ocean waters.

20120217_alicante5 – Our last recommendation takes you away from the city centre and out into the surrounding area. Make the perfect day trip to Benidorm, located only 30 minutes from Alicante city. In Benidorm you could visit one of the most famous theme parks in Spain : Terra Mítica, where you will go back to the ancient Spanish civilizations and enjoy amazing roller coasters in a magical atmosphere, perfect for kids and adults. Another great option is Terra Natura Wildlife Park, where you will find more than 150 different animal species surrounded by plants and trees from all around the world. To make sure that you can make the most of city and its surrounding area, it is a good idea to hire a car in Alicante, allowing you to explore the region with convenience and at your own pace.

Whether you are travelling with friends, family, or by yourself, you are sure to find what you are looking for in Alicante , and enjoy a memorable vacation under the Spanish sun. With historical sites, beautiful architecture, white beaches, exciting activities and delicious cuisine, Alicante truly has it all!

What to See in Tenerife

Tenerife is the most frequently visited island in the Canary Islands archipelago, and with good reason. The island enjoys beautiful weather, has fantastic scenery, and can cater to the needs of any visitor. Tenerife has a wealth of entertainment facilities, and is a popular destination for package holidays. However, in addition to this, there are many sites of natural beauty on the island, which will appear to any nature enthusiast. If you are thinking of booking a resort in Tenerife, be sure to check out the attractions which are detailed below – you definitely will not regret it!

Volcan el Teide and Parque Nacional del Teide

This is a nature hotspot of extreme beauty, which helps to dispel the modern thought of Tenerife being stereotyped to package holidays. Teide is home to the third highest volcano in the world, and it is still active. The volcano is located within the Teide National Park, which was designated a World Heritage site in 2007. The park is expansive, with over 73 square miles of land. If you enjoy the beauty of nature, and picturesque scenery, then you should definitely pay Teide National Park a visit.

Valle de Masca

Continuing with the nature theme, a visit to the Valle de Masca is essential for any visitors who enjoy hiking. The site is a favourite amongst tourists and locals alike, and offers many gorges to navigate through an explore. Walkers are rewarded for their efforts when the valley path ends at a secluded black sand beach. This is ideal for those who are looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of large resorts, or those that prefer active holidays.

LoroParque

LoroParque is a huge zoo complex, one of the biggest in Europe that is perfect for all the family to visit. The zoo is set in 33 acres of land and has many impressive features. LoroParque boasts the world’s largest dolphin pool show, the world’s largest collection of parrots, and is the second place in the world to host orcas. The zoo is home to many animals, both aquatic and land based. LoroParque also has a wide range of botanical life, hosting a wide species of rare, tropical plants. There is so much to see at the LoroParque, this being one of the reasons it is regularly ranked in the top 3 places to visit when in Tenerife.

Siam Park

Siam Park has installed itself as one of the most well-known waterparks in the world, and one of, if not the biggest in Europe. The Thai themed park is adorned with sculptures of dragons, with its buildings displaying some interesting Asian architecture. However, the main reason for your visit will obviously be for some water based entertainment. Saim Park offers rides for adrenaline junkies, such as the Tower of Power, a huge vertical drop water slide. In addition to this, there are plenty of attractions for those who are just looking to relax, such as an artificial beach and a lazy river.

Overall, there is plenty to see and do in Tenerife, with these just being a few suggestions. There are a vast range of activities, that will fit in with any type of holiday, whether it be highly energetic, or a more relaxed affair. …Picture: Flickr

Hidden Majorca

The fabulous island of Majorca, largest of the Spanish Balearic islands, is a favourite tourist destination. It’s easy to get to, has fabulous weather and a vibrant nightlife that attracts the young and the old. But frankly, there’s more to Majorca than Magaluf, if only people would head out of the towns to explore a little more.

I’m not being critical – I’ve done the package trips to Palma, drank cocktails in Pacha till dawn, and slept off a hangover or two on the famous El Trenc beach – but a few months ago I landed on Majorca with a completely different plan, and I discovered some fabulous places along the way.

Starting with my accommodation I ditched the average three star self-catering hotel and booked independently. If you take time to research the island there are some gems of hotels that are well worth the visit. Have a look at La Residencia, for example. Admittedly it might be outside most people’s price range at around €500 per night, but then it is frequented by celebrities. Formerly owned by Richard Branson, it now belongs to the somewhat upscale and discerning Orient Express Group and staying here means you’ll be treading in the footsteps of Princess Diana, Harrison Ford and the Kind and Queen of Jordan.

But if your wallet has just gone into cardiac arrest, there are some considerably less alarming alternatives in the main towns, like the ultra modern Hotel Tres in old town Palma. Standing on its impressive roof terrace, surveying the winding streets below me, I had a glimpse back to the days when the hotel was once a 16th century palace. It’s elegant and domineering, and a far cry from the hedonism of Magaluf’s pub crawl district.

Drinking in Majorca isn’t all about happy hour, and you might not be aware that Majorca has a thriving wine industry. In fact, its wines are so highly regarded that they are very much sought after by connoisseurs. The trouble is production is so small that the island exports very little, keeping their wines a closely guarded secret. Unless you know where to look, of course. I headed to Binissalem, a region at the very heart of the island where wine growing is coming to its peak, and hunted out the José Luis Ferrer vineyards for an exclusive tasting tour of their 100 year old production. I left an hour or two later, a little more educated, and somewhat unsteady on my feet.

It’s a pity that most tourists hover around the same sandy beaches year after year, surrounded by package-holiday-makers lamenting their run down apartments and beer-swilling neighbours.  I encourage you to visit this Mediterranean gem and see it through new eyes. There’s a lot more to this pretty tract of land than is visible at first glance.

Fiona Galloway is a freelance travel writer who publishes her articles on www.candidtraveller.com

Top 5 Places to Visit during your Stay on Gran Canaria

If you are looking for a vacation by the seashore, the destination meant for you is Gran Canaria. With its beautiful beaches and amazing coastal line, it is the perfect holiday destination for those who love the sea. It enjoys a shield by UNESCO over 1/3rd of its span. It is often referred to as the microform of a continent, thanks to the varying weather across it. Following is the list of the five places you must visit if you are on Gran Canaria:

1. Those who love the seashore would love to feast their eyes in Puerto Mogan, the place known for fishing. It is famous for its inland waterway net which would remind one of Venice. The place is ideal for holidaying with its atmosphere full of music from different places, various food options and a charm of its own. It even has a great market for shopping in your time out. You would find all activities around the seashore that you could ask for.

2. Sandbank that would remind you of the desert – that is the specialty of Maspalomas. The sandbanks stretch over four thousand square kilometers. You could enjoy a camel ride across the sandbanks to your pleasure. It has a lighthouse, which is of historical importance to the place and a sight for soar eyes.

3. Across the eastern zone of Gran Canaria, the National Park of Guayedeque presents an amazing view to welcome the tourists. Spread across the mountains, it has an amazing array of trees and caves to explore. The fascinating part is that these caves have been converted into residential places and religious centers. The entire experience on this place is breathtaking.

4. The center of Animal Encounters provides a unique experience for the tourists. You can first be taught about the species of the sea lions. Afterwards, you are allowed to swim alongside them in the water. You could watch them in their own world busy in their own act. They would play certain stunts with you that would also include sea lions leaping over your entire height. You could opt to assist the trainer in the stunts with the sea lions and share an experience otherwise unheard of. If you prefer the land to the water, you could opt for horse riding for amusement. Alternately, you could even choose the option of a fabulous camel ride and observe other species at the center. Food options would include a barbeque grill among many other tasty options.

5. There are guided tours that occur at the city of Las Palmas. It is an epitome of culture; you could surely look forward to crafts and pieces of art like paintings and old craftwork at the museum. The constructional artistry around is sure to mesmerize all without fail. Learn about the other attractions at this spot for a complete historical experience that you will never forget.

You should never miss out on these top five destinations if you are on Gran Canaria. During my visit, I made sure to visit them all. Though in this article I just gave a brief description of each place, in the upcoming articles, I will write about each place in details.

Author Bio: This article is written by Paul Winchester. He is a writer and a travelr. He is curently living in Denmark, but he has been traveling all over the world the past 8 years. One of his favorite places is Krabi in Thailand.