Reasons Why You Should Visit Spain – We have both spent a lot of time traveling around Spain over the years, and really love the place.
Reasons Why You Should Visit Spain The Costa del Sol
Translated into English as “Coast of the Sun”, the Costa del Sol is arguably Spain’s most popular holiday attraction, mainly thanks to it being the best place for sampling the four Ss: sun, sand, sea and sangria!
Located in southern Spain, along the Mediterranean coast, the Costa del Sol attracts millions of visitors each year and it’s obvious why!
The well-known city of Málaga has plenty of things to do and see, including the birthplace of Pablo Picasso and a number of museums and art galleries.
The Costa del Sol also provides plenty of opportunities water sports including water skiing, windsurfing and snorkeling.
But if you do decide to take part in a few adventure activities, don’t forget to get covered with a good travel insurance policy!
The Balearic island of Ibiza is well-known as the Mediterranean’s party capital, drawing in millions of clubbers and party-goers every year.
Ibiza is home to a large number of world-famous clubs, including Space and Privilege Ibiza, which is considered the world’s largest nightclub.
To recover from all the partying, or simply to start off your evening, you can always relax by the sea at Café del Mar and watch the sunset to the sound of some soothing chill-out music.
Alternatively, if the wild nightlife isn’t for you, Ibiza has plenty of other sights and smells.
Ibiza has been named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for Ibiza Town’s architecture and the island’s rich sea life.
The island also has a number of family-friendly resorts.
The Running of the Bulls in Pamplona
Surely one of Spain’s most notorious (and most dangerous) pastimes is the running of the bulls in the city of Pamplona.
As part of the running, a small group of bulls (usually a dozen) are released on a course of streets which have been sectioned off from other areas. The goal is to run in front of the bulls without being overtaken.
Perhaps the most famous running of the bulls takes place during the seven-day festival of Sanfermines in Pamplona.
The festival is held in honor of Saint Fermin, who is the co-patron saint of Navarre, the region of Spain that Pamplona is the capital city of.
Since 1910, 15 people have been killed as a result of taking part in the run and between 200 and 300 people are injured each year.
3 Must See Museums in Spain
Spain’s fantastic cities offer some of the best weekend trips in Europe – it’s easy to spend a sunny holiday in Spain lolling on the beach or exploring historic sites and cobbled alleyways, and lively evenings hopping between tapas bars and clubs until long after bedtime.
However, Spain is also home to some of the best art museums in the world; Madrid’s wonderful but crowded Prado is the most famous, but a trip to a lesser-known or further-out museum can be more relaxing and illuminating.
These exquisite museums in Spain boast thought-provoking pieces from the ultra-modern to those that are millennia old, and serve up some of the world’s most iconic architecture on the side…
The Guggenheim in Bilbao is one of four museums worldwide run by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and the undulating silver building by Frank Gehry is one of the most beloved examples of modern architecture in the world.
Always controversial and cutting edge, the Guggenheim showcases contemporary and avant-garde pieces that have changed the way the world sees art.
Much of the collection focusses on post-war painting and sculpture by artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell and Richard Serra.
The Guggenheim is closed on Mondays, and admission is €11 for adults with concessions for students, groups and seniors, while children get in for free.
Visit in 2013 to catch the ‘Inhabited Architecture’ exhibition, which explores the permanent collection to “conceive of the occupation of space as a place full of existing narratives or narratives yet to be created”.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
This behemoth occupies a Neo-classical mansion in Madrid, and showcases one of the world’s most important private art collections.
It illustrates the history of Western art from primitive Italian and Flemish paintings to 20th century favourites from Miró, Dali, Bacon and Pollock.
The Thyssen-Bornemisza’s renaissance works, however, steal the show; particular highlights are Van Eyck’s lifelike ‘Diptych of the Annunciation’ and Holbein’s powerful portrait of Henry VIII.
Getting to the Thyssen-Bornemisza is easy, and entry is free for children under 12 and those with a ‘Madrid tourist card’.
Otherwise the standard ticket price is €6, with concessions for students and pensioners.
The Picasso Museum
If you love the mystery and expression of Picasso’s strange world, then seek out the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.
Collections display his works in chronological order, so the viewer can journey through his development and stylistic periods.
Located on one of Barcelona’s most vibrant and beautiful streets, Carrer Montcada, the museum is an easel’s throw away from a wide selection of bustling restaurants, cafes and boutique shops.
Entry to the museum costs €4-9, depending on whether you visit with a group.
The Barcelona Card offers 50% discount on entry to the Picasso Museum, and many other museums too.
Free English-speaking tours of the Picasso Museum and Picasso’s favorite spots in the city take place on Thursdays at 6pm and Saturdays at midday; seeing this bewitching and creative city through Picasso’s eyes casts a new light on both the city and the artist.
If you’ve already been to the Prado and Reina Sofia and want something a little bit different, these three collections offer a great starting point.
There are hundreds of smaller (or not-so-small) art collections and museums across the country if you’re interested in delving further into Spain’s world-class museums and cultural life during your travels.
Also, try to grab a food festival in Spain
Adventurous Things To Do In Tenerife
There are many things to do in Tenerife other than just sun and Sangria, it’s actually a great place for the adventurer as well – for me this is the perfect match.
I like the days relaxing on the beach with a drink just as much as going exploring, which is what makes Tenerife such a great destination.
Tenerife is a pretty small island in Spain, so it’s easy to get around and see everything in a shorter period of time.
However, the island itself is far from short of things to do – there are flights to Tenerife every day, and you can actually get away with living there on a pretty low budget.
You will find some great hostels all around the island and the food and drink expenses aren’t too bad either (about 3-5€ for a beer or drink and there are also some cheap restaurants and take aways with prices from 5 €).
Horse back riding
To do this you don’t have to be experienced, they offer rides for beginners as well.
It’s a great way to see the beautiful nature, and what could possibly beat running along the beach on a horse?!
Climb a volcano
The entire island is actually one whole volcano, and is the third largest volcanic ocean island in the world.
One of the many popular things to do in Tenerife is to get on top of the island by climbing Mount Teide.
The view from the top is incredible, with a good aerial view of the UNESCO park, countryside, coast, sea and the other islands.
You can choose to either trek or take the cable car up.
For those who want the more genuine experience the trek is the best option, which takes about 3 hours.
If you just want to get up there and enjoy the view, the cable car will take you there in 8 minutes.
Tenerife isn’t as famous as many other places for diving, but it’s actually a pretty good place to dive.
There is a large variety of fishes, there are green turtles to swim with (they actually come to you when they see the bubbles and lets you rub them), ship wrecks and corals.
Everyone has been to a nice white sand beach, but how often do you get the chance to visit a black one?
Head out to some “dark secrets” and enjoy sthe locals’ hot spots.
The three black sand beaches of Playa Bollullo, Pozo and los Patos are popular sunspots with locals, but often overlooked by visitors.
Tucked into the cliffs, they’re virtually hidden from view from north Tenerife’s main tourist resort at Puerto de la Cruz, even if it’s only half an hour away (through banana plantations).
Most people stay on Bollullo, a half moon shaped black sand beach with a small nice beach bar.
Then there is Pozo and Los Patos, smaller beaches that are great for surfing, but also popular among those wanting some nudist sunbathing.
Explore the Small Villages
The touris towns of Tenerife are nice, but to really make the most of all the things to do in Tenerife, make that extra effort to take a day trip out to the more rural areas, and smaller villages of the island.
Hire a moped, car or motorbike for the day and explore!
One tip is to visit a village called El Tanque.
It’s located in the green countryside of the northwest of Tenerife, and is situated in the mountains above the cliffs of La Culata.
If you are looking for a truly rural flavour of the island, this is it.
Well – you there go, 5 great things to do in Tenerife – have you been there?
what else would you recommend?
Did you know that Tenerife is one of the Canary Islands? I didn’t.
Mind you, I didn’t even know where the Canary Islands were before I spent two glorious weeks there last summer, and neither did I know that Tenerife is an island, not a city.
Inevitably, my learning curve was steep.
Tenerife is famous, or rather infamous, for classic binge holidays.
I use the phrase ‘binge holiday’, in the nicest possible way, to mean shameless hedonism, the pursuit of suntans and beer cans.
It experienced a tourism boom in the 1980s, which goes some way to explaining why I associate it in my mind with the place all the kids at school used to go on holiday.
The island claims to have left its sordid past behind, however, to have ditched the uncultured reputation and had a face lift.
Certainly, Tenerife’s fundamental qualities are rich, which is probably why it became so popular in the first place.
Tenerife weather is, frankly, unbearable, but that’s exactly how most people like it.
The landscape is diverse and fantastically picturesque, with the third largest volcano in the world, Spain’s highest peak, its striking focal point.
It took me four and a half hours to climb Mount Teide, and even then I only made it to 3,555 metres, 163 metres short of the crater.
I wish someone had let me know before I expended all that effort that I wouldn’t get to see any bubbling lava or steaming rocks hurtling through the air.
Then again, it is about as far from the stereotype of cramped beaches and bars sprawling with plastic tables and chairs as you can get.
The view from the top was [insert jaw dropping cliché here].
To the north, an expansive verdant plain, to the south, a spinal ridge beyond which arid, brown land stretches towards the shimmering crumples of the Atlantic Ocean.
Depending on which way you face, you may be staring at clear water all the way to Africa, Europe or the Americas.
Santa Cruz, the capital city of Tenerife, is not a bit like the supersized time share I was expecting.
Quintessentially Spanish, its shady streets dissect brightly coloured buildings, which are centred around peaceful parks and open spaces.
The city’s iconic futurist auditorium, completed in 2003, is a symbol of Tenerife’s regeneration as a cultural getaway, free from the stigma it developed during the tourism boom.
Of course, there are still echoes of the island’s past, but they have been refreshed and, as such, reborn.
Tenerife nightlife is still up there with the best, which is understandable seeing as it was one of the fundamental factors in the island’s rise to stardom, but it’s no longer the guts-out binge-fest that earned the name Tene-grief.
The clubbing in Santa Cruz de Tenerife is now classy, rather than tacky, and does not overshadow the daytime serenity of its streets.
Overall, I didn’t know a lot about Tenerife before last summer, and arrived with only mild preconceptions and expectations.
Thankfully, these were banished instantly, as I discovered an island pulsating with cultural treats rather than drum beats.
It is only a matter of time before Tenerife is rediscovered as a tourist destination and a second tourism boom arrives.
I hope this will not destroy Tenerife’s newly established charm.
Tenerife is a hugely popular destination for Brits and many others from around Europe, showcased by the fact that 5 million tourists visit year on year.
It is hardly surprising though as this Spanish island offers temperatures of between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius all year round, so pretty much guarantees sunshine and warmth for a holiday during the summer months.
The island has two airports to handle the large numbers and aside from the main tourist areas such as Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos, the island is also home to two national parks, four nature reserves and many other cultural delights, making it a fantastic location for a holiday no matter how you like to spend your time.
Kirk was reared in Australia’s Outback before travelling extensively across the globe, eventually settling in London.
He is passionate about food, travel and any sport that isn’t cricket
Tenerifes Forgotten Past: Pirates, Battles & Castles
Today, Tenerife is a firm favorite with package holidaying makers – its promise of sun, sea, cheap beer and quality fry ups makes it an alluring destination for Brits wanting to escape – but in its not so distant past, Tenerife was far from the holiday camp it now is.
Delve into the island’s murky past and you will find bloodthirsty pirates, invading armies and fierce battles.
Indeed, it sounds more like a medieval adventure story than a tourist hot spot but, as we shall reveal, the scars of a tumultuous history are to be found all over this island, particularly in its proud heritage…
The inhabitants of Tenerife began speaking Spanish, enjoying tapas and taking siestas in 1494, after Spain decided to conquer the island and turn it into a colony.
Soon, the islanders found themselves at the heart of the ocean and as trading began to flourish, Tenerife was caught between Europe, Africa and the New World.
With rich trade routes passing its shores on a daily basis, this meant one thing and one thing only – pirates. And lots of them.
If you imagine the typical rum-swilling skull and crossbones characters of pirate-themed comic books, you’re on the right tracks.
Tenerife was regularly ransacked by treasure hunting terrorists who buried their swag, pillaged the villages and generally caused merry hell.
The most significant attack happened in 1553 when pirates plundered Tenerife’s main city, Santa Cruz, and burnt it to the ground.
After their homes were all but cinders and their spirits had been dashed, islanders began building a castle to protect their beloved city.
They proudly named it Castillo de San Juan (although it was really just a small fortress) and prepared for the next invasion.
The castle (fortress) came into its own in 1797 when, on a hot day in July, a fleet of British ships could be seen off of the coast of Santa Cruz.
Led by Admiral Horatio Nelson (the guy who won the battle of Trafalgar), the Brits were keen to claim the island for King George III.
This was the height of the Empire and the British were used to getting their own way.
However, the islanders were tired of being pushed around.
They retaliated in their thousands and after a passionate battle, the Spanish suffered only 30 dead whilst the British lost 250.
Their victory was strengthened by the fact that the fabled Nelson lost his right arm during the conflict.
These days, the people of Santa Cruz annually re-enact this battle with pride and panache.
It is remembered as the day that they finally defended their homes.
Naturally, the British have never forgiven the residents of Tenerife for injuring one of their greatest navy heroes and in an act of bitter revenge, they frequently charter budget Tenerife flights.
Since the early 80’s, these flights have successfully infested the island with young, impressionable gadabouts that hog their sun-loungers and demand Sex on the Beach.
If they couldn’t occupy the island in the 18th century, then they’d simply have to anglicise it some other way.
Not only that, but the rum-swilling pirates of yesteryear have returned.
Hoards of men with booze-stained breath and a stagger to rival Davey Jones regularly pillage the bars and nightclubs of Tenerife’s party district.
Stag dos, as their called nowadays, are Tenerife’s contemporary blight and although they actually pump money into the local economy, someone always has to clean up in the morning.
Top Things To Do In Lanzarote Travel Guide
Lanzarote is a beautiful volcanic island off the coast of western Africa, belonging to Spain – it’s known as the island of eternal spring thanks to its year-round mild climates, which is also one of the reasons people love to go there.
But there is much more to Lanzarote than great weather.
Here are some of the best things to do in Lanzarote Travel Guide …
Scuba Dive & Snorkel
Lanzarote is not only amazing on land, but the underwater world is just as beautiful – Scuba Divers and snorkelers can enjoy the corals and exotic underwater scenery of groupers, rays, moray eels and other colourful fish with visibilities of up to 40 meters.
Explore The Unique Landscape
Lanzarote’s volcanic landscape is incredibly unique and was declared as a Biosphere Reserve in 1993 by UNESCO.
With a huge number of endemic plants that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, the flora and fauna in Lanzarote is a gem worth exploring.
One of the most fascinating areas are the cliffs of Famara in the northerns parts of the island – this area has more botanical endemism per square kilometer there than in the whole of Europe.
16 million years ago the first parts of the island surfaced here and a little later a second island emerged in the south, where today you find the mountain range Los Ajaches – what remains of these upheavals is a huge cliff: Risco de Famara.
The cliff is about 15km long and on the average 550m high.
There are a handful of viewpoints offering incredible views, the most famous being “Mirador del Rio”, an old artillery position which Lanzarote’s late artist and architect Cesar Manrique turned into a surrealist restaurant.
Surfers from all over the world travel to Lanzarote’s beaches to enjoy the great surf, especially during autumn and winter – the sea is calmer during the summer, but for beginners it’s a great time to test it out.
There are even special surfing packages and hotels in Lanzarote catering for surfers, offering surfing lessons as part of their hotel packages.
7 Wonders Of Lanzarote
There are seven spots that are said to capture the essence of Lanzarote, combining art with nature, culture and history.
Cueva de los Verdes
MIAC – San José Castle
Jameos del Agua
Mirador del Río
Fire Mountains – Timanfaya
Museum-House and Monument to Fertility
You can visit them all individually, or buy 7 or 14 day passes (€26 and €30).
Hang Out On The Beaches
As I said earlier, Lanzarote is nicknamed “the island of eternal spring”, and is a popular place for cold Europeans to escape their rainy hometowns year-round.
Summers aren’t scorchingly hot, and winters are generally nice and mild, and since flights to Lanzarote are especially cheap during the off-season it’s a popular warm escape that’s closer to home than Asia or South America.
The beaches are especially beautiful, and some even feature the gorgeous volcanic black sand.
Sample the Local Cuisine
Notable for their simplicity and raw materials, the local cuisine in Lanzarote is very fresh and tasty.
Being an island, naturally they have lots of great seafood on the menus (a local specialty being Sancocho), but vegetables and virgin olive are also part of the local cooking.
The most popular dish in Lanzarote, however, is Wrinkled Potatoes – a traditional baked potato.
What things to do in Lanzarote would you recommend?
Lanzarote Travel Guide for Lovers
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, everyone wants to impress that special someone in their life – there are many well-known destinations that you could choose for your romantic holiday getaway, but this year think outside the box and journey to the enticing Spanish island of Lanzarote.
Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands – the closest one to Africa and the fourth largest of the Canaries.
At 60 by 20 kilometers, it’s small enough to have that intimate and cosy vibe you want for the most romantic time of the year.
In the off season, prices are low and a couple can find the best deals for travel and hotels.
With an average February temperature around 21C and hardly any rain, Lanzarote holidays are perfect for escaping the dreariness of winter and igniting those sparks with your loved one.
February is a time for carnivals in Lanzarote, happening back to back and offering visitors all the colour and excitement of the island.
From February 8th-12th, the Arrecife Carnival takes over the capital city for five days filled with dancing, parades, live bands, flamboyant costumes and bright floats.
On the last night, there’s a spectacular fireworks display that lights up the night sky over Arrecife.
Walk hand in hand around the charming attractions of this must-see event – and if you miss the Arrecife Carnival, don’t worry, because the Puerto del Carmen Carnival comes right after it from February 14-17th and is sure to impress.
White, Gold and Black Beaches
If you’re in a quieter mood, there is nothing like a relaxing stroll along a gorgeous sandy beach, and Lanzarote provides a plenitude of them: from white, to golden and black.
The most beautiful string of golden beaches lies in the southern part of the island at Papagayo, near Playa Bianca.
Approaching by water taxi, you can enjoy the shimmering turquoise water and watch the sunset.
The ancient and dramatic volcanic landscape of the island also lends itself well to romance.
Nowhere can this be better experienced than Jameos del Agua, a cave formed from the eruption of the Cordova volcano around three thousand years ago.
Now the cave is home to a spectacular amphitheatre that is renowned for its acoustics and often hosts concerts and ballets – with a dance floor, bar and swimming pool, the Jameos del Aqua is a perfect choice for a romantic night out that lasts into the early hours.
From boisterous carnivals to picturesque beaches and volcanic wonders, Lanzarote represents a unique Valentine’s Day holiday destination that won’t soon be forgotten.
Canary Islands – From the Ocean to the Sky
The Canary Islands, sitting just off the coast of Northern Africa, are a fantastic holiday destination.
Here are three elements to thinking when planning a trip to the Canaries.
Getting there can be half the fun with a cruise departing from the UK or Mediterranean.
Almost every cruise ship has additional Spanish and Moroccan ports of call before arriving at one of the islands.
You can also fly to the Canaries and cruise from there.
It’s possible to explore new cities and cultures during the day and to return to a spacious stateroom every evening.
From checking out Gaudi’s mind-bending architecture in Barcelona to exploring Casablanca’s Old Medina, a slow voyage out to the Canary Islands provides ample time to explore new cultures and also to relax.
Explore Beautiful Towns and Beaches
Befitting an island chain, one of the biggest attractions here is the coastline:
The black sands and black rock cliffs of La Palma are striking, and the the gulf lagoon on Lanzarote glows an unearthly green due to algae in the water.
Fuerteventura is the perfect island for low-key beach lounging with its endless white sand dunes.
Gran Carina offers plenty of options for water sports and also a vibrant nightlife scene in Las Palmas.
Visitors can enjoy a slower pace of life in Hermigua on La Gomera with its banana plantations and bucolic farming valley.
The fishing village of La Restinga on El Hierro is a great place to eat fresh seafood and to survey the sleepy harbor of an island that was once considered the edge of the known world.
Explore Stunning National Parks
The interiors of the Canary Islands contain fantastic national parks and is another great spot to experience a volcano.
Mount Teide on Tennerife is actually the third tallest volcano in the world if measured from its base on the ocean floor — from sea level, it rises to 12,198 ft, (3,718 m,) and cable cars are the most popular way to reach its summit.
Timanfaya National Park on Lanzarote showcases the Montañas del Fuego, or Fire Mountains, and the ground underfoot is still quite hot: a branch put into a hole into the ground will quickly catch fire!
Equally breathtaking are the views from the mountain caldera in Caldera de Taburiente National Park on La Palma.
The faux-crater was home to the last indigenous peoples of the Canary Islands, the Gaunches, who are believed to have settled on the island in 1000 BC, or earlier.
They were conquered by the Spanish in the 15th century AD, but their culture lives on in the many archaeological museums of the islands and in the Silbo whistling language, still spoken on La Gomera.
5 Top Activities in the Canary Islands
There is no shortage of things to see and experience on each of the seven sun-drenched Canary Islands.
With their varied stunning natural beauty one can see why ancient legend would hold The Canaries as the Lost Islands of Atlantis.”
Here are five especially great attractions unique to these beautiful islands.
Timanfaya National Park
Visitors to the island of Lanzarote may feel like Lawrence of Arabia while surveying the small but fiery El Jable desert, nestled between Famara and the Montanas del Fuego.
The best way to traverse dramatic Timanfaya National Park is on the back of a camel.
At the north end of the island, connecting caves and underground grottos at Jameos del Agua are ripe for exploration – bars and restaurants built into the site provide a place to kick back after the day’s excursions.
At the center of the island of Tenerife is Mt. Teide, rising 12,198 ft (3,718 m) above sea level.
Although some may question the wisdom in sumiting an active volcano, many visitors hike or take a cable car to the park’s breathtaking viewing areas.
Climbing the mountain to its summit requires a free permit and a sturdy constitution.
After experiencing the mountain’s flora and fauna, it’s time to take in some of Tennerife’s vibrant nightlife or to relax on a black sand beach.
A great way to book a trip to Tenerife is via Holiday Discount Center.
Each island celebrates Carnival in their own fashion, but together they put on the best show this side of Rio de Janeiro.
Every year in February, around 250,000 revelers fill the streets of the capital Santa Cruz for days and nights of parades and costumed partying.
From the selection of the Carnival Queen to the burning and burial of a giant papier-mâché sardine, Carnival in the Canary Islands means wild celebration.
Animal lovers will be in heaven at Tenerife’s Parrot Park.
It boasts the world’s largest collection of parrots,”
with 340 different species represented and is also home to several exotic animals such as tigers and dolphins.
A subterranean aquarium and an icy “penguinarium” round out the list of animal attractions.
Gran Canaria has a large tourist area that includes a fantastic water park and posh resorts.
It has the best weather of all the islands, and it is a popular winter getaway for sun-starved Northern Europeans.
With its sumptuous sand dunes and emphasis on comfort, the Maspalomas area is the place to go for tourists who are ready to relax.
How To Spend A Weekend In Mallorca
The small island of Mallorca, just off the Spanish coast, is a Mediterranean jewel. With glorious summers and mild winters, the Mallorca weather alone gives reason to visit.
However, there is much more to this idyllic little island than year-round sunshine and golden beaches.
So here’s a list of the top five things to do other than topping up the tan.
Mallorca in Walking
Mallorca has some fantastic walking routes, ranging from leisurely strolls to full-on hikes.
Whether you’re negotiating cliff-top paths that skirt the stunning coastline, clambering over boulders in the foothills of the rugged mountains, or simply wandering though quaint countryside villages, there is no better way to appreciate the incredible diversity of this island than on foot.
Mallorca in Diving
The crystal-clear waters and the rocky coast of Mallorca make it a world-class place to dive. The marine life is dazzling and the water is warm and safe.
There are dive centers all over the island that cater to all abilities, so whether you’re a complete novice wanting to take the plunge for the first time or a seasoned expert, you’ll find something to meet your needs.
Mallorca in Culture
With all those pristine beaches and all that spectacular scenery, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the cultural element to Mallorca.
Historical buildings are scattered everywhere and there are more museums than you can shake a snorkel at.
Palma Cathedral, a magnificent Gothic edifice built in 1229 (but not finished until 1601), cannot be missed.
And if you want to swot up on the island’s history, the Museum of Mallorca, with its engaging archaeological displays, will aid the learning process considerably.
Shopping in Mallorca
If you’re on a tight budget you may want to look away now, for Mallorca is crammed with tantalizing shops.
Wares ranging from antiques to jewelry to traditional crafts are on offer, with a whole load more that can be snapped up in between.
One of the best places to find souvenirs is Palma’s Old Town – a maze of cobbled streets that lie just behind the cathedral.
Even if you’re just window shopping, a walk round here is worth it if only for the charming atmosphere.
Drinking in Mallorca
A vital part of any holiday in any part of the world is the nightlife, and Mallorca bars will not disappoint.
For a taste of authenticity head to Bodega Bellver, a rustic little venue tucked up a side street in Palma’s Old Town.
Here you can enjoy traditional tapas and wash it down with an ice cold San Miguel.
For something a little more 21st century, try out the flashy Emilio Cocktail Bar in the Portixol area of Palma.
Where to stay in Mallorca
You will find that Mallorca hotels vary considerably in size, quality and price, so make sure you browse carefully to find the best deal for you.
Also bear in mind there are always special offers running in various places around Mallorca, so again, take your time over this.
Exploring the Diversity of Majorca
Mallorca is one of those islands that almost everyone has been to with their family as a child, one of the reasons being the many cheap holidays Majorca offers during the summer months.
The island has great beaches and some fantastic family hotels, but while many never venture out of the hotel grounds, there is a lot to explore on the island.
For those curious enough to find out more about Mallorca, they will find many places almost empty of people – while everyone else is fighting for a spot on the beach.
The best way to get around is to hire a car, that way you can stop wherever you want and go to places otherwise impossible with public transport.
One place we recommend you to check out it Pollenca, a small, charming little city in the north-eastern side of the island.
If you go there on a Sunday you will find a great market.
Hiking is a good activity in Mallorca, but it’s better that you base yourself somewhere close to the hiking trails, like Fomalutx – which for the record is one of the prettiest villages on the west coast!
You must also try the food in Mallorca, it’s quite affordable and absolutely delicious!
The further inland you go, the lower the prices are.
Some typical foods to try are the tapas, almonds and olives – funny enough, despite the island’s location in the Mediterranean, most of its seafood is imported.
But, like most of the other 8 million tourists that visit Mallorca every year, we guess you’ve gone there for the beaches.
Most beaches are already well-known, but there are a few beaches here and there away from the complexes that are quieter, like Es Trenc Beach – although remember that it’s hardly developed at all.
Another really cool attraction in Mallorca are the caves, where you can see huge stalactites and stalagmites that are truly beautiful.
If you’re a golf fan, there are as many as 18 golf courses on the island, all 18-hole courses that are open for the general public.
If you don’t know how to play but would like to learn, they offer courses.
Other nature activities include bird watching, rock climbing above deep water, sailing and cycling.
As you can see there are a ton of things to see and do on this island, so next time you’re planning a beach holiday with some fun activities on the side, check out Majorca.
Tips For Exploring Tenerife With The Kids
Going on holiday with your children is one of the enduring memories of early family life.
Many of us may have grown up remembering trips to the British seaside with a fondness that only comes with nostalgia.
However, these are now the days of X Boxes, iPads and social media and unfortunately, your kids are unlikely to be as impressed with a bucket and spade, a 99 and a shingle beach as you were, but you can rest assured there is plenty to keep the kids entertained in resorts across Europe now.
One location that has been a long-standing favorite of families looking for some sun, sea and sand is Tenerife – family holidays in Tenerife have a great mixture of fun activities of kids for all ages and here are our top three.
Exploring Tenerife With The Kids
Visit Siam Park
While on your Tenerife holiday, you will notice the sun gets hot – very hot – and what better way to cool off than in one of Europe’s largest waterparks?
Here your kids will be thrilled to see menacing-sounding rides such as the Dragon, the Volcano and the Tower of Power – which has a massive 28m vertical drop.
If you want to do some family activities (or if you just don’t feel like the Tower of Power today), you may take solace in the six-lane racing slide or the rapids, which will have you and your kids circling around under the Canary Island sun.
While you are there you will not want to miss out on the Wave Palace, which boasts waves of around 3m – the largest artificial ones in the world.
Also you could spend the evening whiling away the time on the blissful Mai Thai lazy river ride – just don’t fall asleep..!
Siam Park is open daily between 10:00 and 18:00, although in the winter it does close an hour earlier.
See Some Exotic Wildlife
Most kids love animals, but in Tenerife there is more to see than just goats and cows.
If you time it right, you and your family will be able to spot some magnificent pilot whales and a pod of dolphins.
All you need to do is head to the popular tourist resort of Las Americas and book yourselves onto one of the numerous boat trips.
It’s best to be as environmentally friendly as possible to ensure that the ocean giants return for for generations to come.
Choosing an operator that follows guidelines for minimizing the disturbance to the whales can help ensure your kids can take your grandchildren to see the beasts in years to come.
As well as the marine life, you can also find the world’s largest collection of parrots at Loro Parque in Puerto de la Cruz.
Get The Best Picture Opportunity
Waterparks and whales are all well and good, but if your kids are after the perfect Facebook picture, then you should find Mount Teide – and you can hardly miss it!
As you approach the island on your plane you will see the huge volcano jutting up from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
Once you have touched down, a day trip to the Parque Nacional de las Canadas del Teide is a must.
Here, you will find an enormous 48km crater, out of which the 3,718m peak rises.
It is the highest point in any Spanish territory and its hardly surprising that it is Tenerife’s most visited tourist attraction.
(photo credits: gabemac – li Masriera – 1, 2, 3 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 1 – 1 – 2 – 4 – Caza_No_7 – lhourahane – Thomas Tolkien – ahisgett – reservasdecoches – jimmyroq – pasotraspaso – tomtolkien – 1, ben30 – kevinpoh)