The Delights Of Catalonia
Oct10

The Delights Of Catalonia

Situated in the extreme eastern portion of Spain, bordered by France and the blue Mediterranean, Catalonia is one of the most intriguing and engaging places to visit in Europe. Home to Barcelona, the second-largest city in Spain, it is a region apart, providing a striking contrast to the rest of the country. In fact, Catalonia is fiercely independent, and even has its own language – Catalan. Any visit to Catalonia has to start with Barcelona. The city has some of the most beautiful architecture in Spain, including many buildings and monuments designed by the famous architect Gaudi. You will see signs of his handiwork everywhere – ranging from balconies that seem to emerge organically from the sides of buildings, through to the enormously impressive Sagrada Família. Started in 1882, this is a large basilica that combines the Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms that are the signature of Gaudi’s work. Although the church is still not finished, it has already been declared a UNESCO world heritage site. Another area of Barcelona that is absolutely de rigueur when it comes to places to visit is La Rambla, an 8-mile-long avenue that dates back to 1440 and has served as the center of Barcelona city life since that time. The avenue is home to many markets and museums, as well as baroque palaces and even the Liceu opera house – one of the finest in the world. Step into the side streets of the Ciutat Vella – or Old City – and you will enter a warren of narrow passages that suddenly open out into spacious courtyards where people gather on warm sunny days. There are also many fine restaurants within the Ciutat Vella, as well as more reasonable establishments that serve the local cuisine. However, you need to remember that dining here is a late evening activity, as it is in much of Spain – don’t expect to find a restaurant open before 9 o’clock. If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Barcelona, there are a number of good upscale hotels situated on the Avinguda Diagonal, a broad avenue that dissects Barcelona from west to east. However, if you want to experience Barcelona life to its fullest, consider staying right on La Rambla at somewhere like the Citadines Ramblas Barcelona – you can find out more about this on the Royal Holiday LinkedIn page.   Image by: http://idexone.es/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/parque-aiguestortes-y-sant-maurici.jpg The attractions of Catalonia, however, are not limited to Barcelona. For instance, if you are looking for a rugged taste of the outdoors, pay a visit to the Parque Nacional de Aiguestortes, located in the wild mountainous landscape of the...

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Top Places to Cool Off in Tenerife – Chilling!
Sep05

Top Places to Cool Off in Tenerife – Chilling!

Considering a great vacation or holiday in Spain? Thought there are so many choice, Tenerife is home to many wonderful beaches, naturally-formed pools and water parks, giving you lots of options when you want to cool off.  However, I’m finding it hard to work out where I’d like to go because there are just so many choices. So, before I jet off on my holiday, I’ve put together with a list of a few of Tenerife‘s more unusual spots for a dip, as I think going for a swim in any of the following places will be truly memorable. Punta del Hidalgo My first selection is Punta del Hidalgo, a village on the north coast of Tenerife that’s home to a series of saltwater swimming pools that are dotted along the coastline. These pools are the perfect place to cool down in the heat of summer and one of the best things is that they’re always calm, so even if it’s too rough to swim at the beach you can still jump in the water. As they look out over the Atlantic Ocean, they’re also incredibly scenic. Charco de la Laja Also in the north of Tenerife is Charco de la Laja, which is similar to Puerto Hidalgo in that it’s a saltwater pool that’s separate from the ocean. What makes this spot really stand out, though, is that the pool has been formed by rapidly cooling lava during a volcanic eruption, with the rocks forming a natural, teardrop-shaped basin. This looks like a really spectacular place to go for a swim and I love the thought of floating in the water and listening to the waves crashing on to the rocks that stand between the pool and the sea (image courtesy of johnbecks). Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique Moving on from the natural to the manmade, I came to Parque Maritimo Cesar Manrique. This is a huge leisure complex located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife that boasts several swimming pools, recreation facilities, restaurants and plenty of spots where you can soak up the sun. The special thing about this place is that it was designed by famous architect Cesar Manrique (hence its name), who took great pains to make the buildings within the complex work with the natural Canarian landscape. Siam Park This is the ideal place to cool off and enjoy an adrenalin rush at the same time, as Siam Park is a water park with plenty of thrilling rides and fun things to do. I’m thinking of staying in a hotel in Tenerife’s Playa delas Americas resort, which means I’ll be within easy reach of this attraction and...

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Worshipping the Sun in Menorca
Jul30

Worshipping the Sun in Menorca

Sun lovers don’t need to be told about the merits of holidays to Menorca. The second largest of the Balearic Islands, it is famed the world over for its sunny climate, which is apparent almost the whole year around. In the summer months you can expect as many as ten to 11 hours of sunshine a day, but even in the winter, it’s possible to work on your tan, with three to four hours of quality sunshine a day and temperatures in the teens – not bad for December and January! More tranquil than its larger sibling Majorca, the island offers the opportunity to enjoy roasting temperatures and laze on the beach in relative calm. Click throughfor a comprehensive selection of packages you can get for holidays on the island. In the meantime, let’s look at everything you need to know about the island. When to visit? As we mentioned, Menorca is a sunseeker’s paradise and June through to September is the peak of the summer, when temperatures are usually in the late twenties or sometimes the early thirties and you can expect more than ten hours of uninterrupted sunshine every day. For this reason, it’s certainly popular with families looking to get away during the school holidays. If you don’t have kids, a good time to go is in September, when schools in the UK reconvene for the new academic year. You’ll find that it can be just as blistering at this point of the year as it is earlier in the summer and there’s typically about eight hours of sunshine a day to enjoy. Taking advantage of the sun With el sol shining so brightly on Menorca, you don’t need to worry about any of it going to waste. In fact, whenever you choose to visit you’ll have plenty of opportunity to soak up the rays. Punta Prima to the east of Sant Lluis is a beautiful beach with flawless white sand. If you walk to its eastern end, there are also plenty of rocks to make things interesting. Here you can enjoy the usual swimming and beach sports, while there are some great bars dotted along the shore. Alternatively, why not try out Son Bou, which is south of Alaior and serves as one of Menorca’s longest stretches of uninterrupted beach. Here, you’ll find beach bars, sun beds and access to all the water sports you’d expect, while lifeguards are also on hand for added peace of mind. Picking a resort You’re bound to be surrounded by beaches and attractions wherever you choose to stay in Menorca and access shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the size of...

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5 Things to Consider When Planning a Vacation in Madrid, Spain
May11

5 Things to Consider When Planning a Vacation in Madrid, Spain

A vacation in Europe is an awesome idea and a vacation in Spain is indeed in ideal plan.  But which place in Spain should be considered an ideal vacation spot? It is Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Madrid is also a place that is highly populated and very well known for its beauty. Another great reason why Madrid is considered as an ideal vacation spot is the modern architecture and infrastructure. Indeed Madrid is a place that holds deep history with respect to its architecture and also has great respect for its ancient culture. Many visitors of Madrid consider it an ideal vacation spot also because of its climate. No matter which season you choose to travel to Madrid, you will always experience a Mediterranean climate. The cool winds and beautiful snowfall make the place more interesting to dwell. Though Madrid is a place where you can always feel comfortable, there are certain aspects that will help you make your vacation trip a luxurious one. The top five aspects are discussed as follows:   Time is an important factor associated to Madrid vacation ticket booking: Remember, getting tickets to Madrid is not easy. As Madrid is a well known vacation spot, availability of tickets is some thing that may fall short of. In order to make your plan successful, it is very important that you book tickets a lot much in advance. You can take the help of online tours and travel agencies or even look for various ticket booking sources.   Ensure that you have planned for the accommodation Another important aspect you need to take into consideration is hotel bookings. Before fly to Madrid, it is important that you have advance arrangements made for your comfortable stay. If you are on the economical side of travel, you can find budget hotels at hostelBookers.com. So whatever works for you should be good. While some might consider more economical stay, other would prefer luxury and spoiling options. Hunt for the best rent-a-car service agency: If you want to explore the entire city, it is essential that you find some great resources for it. Though there are several way to tour Madrid, one of the most convenient forms is the rent-a-car service. Look for some good rent-a-car service agencies and choose the best one that suits your budget and conditions. For this, the online directories shall be of a great help for you. Study something about the best restaurants: As Madrid would be a completely new place for you, it would be difficult to decide which place serves quality food. So, before you move to Madrid, study about the...

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Visting or Living in Madrid? How Will You Get from Place to Place?
Apr23

Visting or Living in Madrid? How Will You Get from Place to Place?

  Do you live in Madrid? Are you an expat? Living in a big and active European city as Barcelona or Madrid might requiring you to drive to places to enjoy what the city has to offer. Madrid had some great destination that can and should be reached by driving.  Some of the very famous sites include Plaza Mayor, Retiro Park, Pureta de Sol, and Alcala Gate. Before you enroll for on-line driving education, first consider at the type of driving classes they offer, the driving skills they teach, flexibility of the schedule, communication effectiveness between the trainer and you and finally the quality service they offer. It is better to look for driving school which will offer both online and classroom courses. This is You should also choose driving schools in Madrid which emphasizes on all the road signs especially the ones you will encounter while driving. The school should also offer safe driving techniques and defensive driving techniques. The driving course should also cover different aspects such as operation of the vehicle including driving and the repair itself. Beside all these, you must choose a driving school which is flexible according to your plans. The official location of the driving school should be near so that you can always get there in time. The teaching should also take place when you are available. This means that, you will miss no lesson enhancing your chances of catching up. This will favor you since you will be through within a short time. The school should also offer practical lessons using various vehicles like the personal cars to the range of heavy commercial to help you gain confidence in driving. Finally, you must choose a school which suits your driving skills best. This simply means that you must choose your driving school wisely. This will make sure that you achieve the best skills suited to your driving wish. So visit Spain now and you will find a suitable place to have new driving skills. You are also required to look at the effectiveness of the language used by the trainers. If they are using Spanish which you are not used to, just find your way out of that school and look for another one which you will be comfortable with this is because Madrid, Spain’s capital has many driving schools using different languages such as English, German and even Arabic. because they give one a chance to choose the best in terms of one’s budget. It is also good to look for a school which will even teach how to deal with emergencies like accidents. You also need to have...

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