Discover the charm of the fishing village Puerto de la Cruz

Puerto de la Cruz is an old fishing village that has become through the years one of the most important tourist enclaves of the Tenerife island. Its wonderful weather, the open nature of its residents, it numerous places of interest, and its wide offer of services make this city an ideal destination all the year long.

It is placed on the north coast of the Tenerife island, at the foot of Teide, in the Santa Cruz de Tenerife province. Its fishing harbour was one of the main drivers of the local economy and dynamism, nowadays it is a place frequented by bathers and fishing enthusiasts.

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Visiting this city is a pleasant experience at any time of the year. In summer months, its beaches become one of the main place of interest in Puerto de la Cruz: Jardín beach, Martinez beach and San Telmo beach are the most known ones.   Another very attractive tourist complex is Costa Martinez, an architectural creation that integrated a lake with 5 natural islands where you can find a good variety of establishments, such as several restaurants and casino.

But Puerto de la Cruz is much more than sun and beach. Its numerous emblematic places worth a visit. Among them, stands out the San Felipe Castle, one of the most important fortifications from where the city was defended against the pirates.

El Peñón del Fraile is an iconic symbol of the city visited every year by crowds of tourists wanting to take photos of it. Plaza del Charco is another key point of the city where it is usual to see tourists and residents walking around, drinking something in its terraces or shopping.   The high quality cuisine of Puerto de la Cruz is one of its most outstanding characteristics. There is restaurants for all tastes and pockets, where you can enjoy the  regional, national and international cuisine.

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Puerto de la Cruz has also a wide range of hotels, among which stands out the Elegance Hotels chain. This firm possesses three hotels specially designed for families: Elegance Miramar Hotel, Elegance Palmeras Playa Hotel, and Elegance Dania Park Hotel.

Beaches and coves in Benidorm

The Benidorm coast is formed by several beaches with different styles and atmospheres.

The most famous are Levante beach and Poniente beach, where are situated most of the beach hotels of Benidorm, although this Alicante city has also other coves more secluded but with an excellent offer of services.

Poniente beach

It can be said with certainty that this is the most frequented beach in Benidorm:

a urban beach with more than 1 mile long where you will find a promenade plenty of bars, restaurants and shops, placed between Punta Pinet and Punta Canfali.

Its fine and golden sand and its quiet waters make of this beach an ideal place for swimming and resting under the sun.

Poniente Beach in Benidorm

Poniente Beach in Benidorm

Levante beach 

It is the longest beach in Benidorm with more than 1 mile of sand. It is also a urban beach, although, unlike Poniente beach, it is more peaceful and visited by native tourists. It has a large promenade where are situated the most prominent hotels in Benidorm. Thanks to their orientation, in these beaches you will enjoy the sun until late afternoon all over the year.

Mal Pas Cove

This small cove separates the beaches of Poniente and Levante, it is specifically located between Punta Canfali and the harbour, and has an extension of 393 feet where you will be surrounded by quiet waters and blond fine sand. Fortunately, this cove is not crowded and has a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. Ah! And in summer you can attend musical events.

Tio Ximo Cove

It is a natural and small cove situated at the foot of Sierra Helada, sheltered by cliffs.

Its rocks and sand, as well as its crystal-clear water, make it very attractive for snorkelling.

La Almadrava Cove

An ideal cove for diving by the rocky bottom and the underwater life. It is also at the foot of Sierra Helada, a bit hidden, although this is one of the characteristics that make it so special.

2014 destinations in the Barcelona coast

Barcelona is much more than an avant-garde city. The province hides one of the most welcoming Spanish coasts, where you can find charming towns inviting you to leave the worries behind and live like in the olden days: peace, safety and good food. Barcelona coast is full of destinations waiting for being rediscovered this 2014: Pineda de Mar, Calella, Santa Susanna…

Many of these coastal towns have succumbed to the urban development and overbuilding but, even so, most of the people keep its image of holiday place where everything happens with the typical calm and tradition of an old small fishing town. One of the most tourist ones is Calella, where hotel and restaurants industry has grown so much that it is difficult to choose where to stay or eat without thinking for a long moment.

Hotel Fergus Montemar

Hotel Fergus Montemar

Hotels in Calella are not, nevertheless, big and overcrowded tourist ships, but rather homely enclaves receiving each year the usual holidaymakers with their families, friends and acquaintances that come to enjoy the sun at the edge of the Mediterranean. It is true that between all of them there is a big foreign community in love with this coast and other ones that have simply arrived as if by chance. All this mixed give rise to an entertaining and extraordinary ensemble where time has a different rhythm from that of the other cities.

Santa Susana is another worthwhile great destination in this Barcelona-Maresme coast, specially if you are considering a trip with family or a sports getaway with you friends: it is one of the best places for enjoying the Catalan coast, since it offers the best and most varied out of doors activities. Even hotels in Santa Susana are specialised and offer specific services for sportsmen as well as a wide range of plans to enjoy with you children.

Hotel Fergus Mar Mediterranea

Hotel Fergus Mar Mediterranea

Between Calella and Santa Susanna you will find another wonderful destination in this Barcelona coast, it is Pineda de Mar, another town standing out by its nearness to the Montnegre Natural Park an its incredible peace. Hotels in Pineda form a great first class residential area, where calm, homely atmosphere and nature mix to form one of the most important long term holiday places of Catalonia: spending a month of holiday in Pineda is an excellent balm against stress.

The high-quality accommodations and services are common in this tourism areas, and prices are, contrary to what may be thought, much more affordable than in other destinations that have become prohibitive because of the fads or specific events.  Sometimes, changing or improvising is the best way of discovering pleasant surprises in a trip.

Destination, Playa de Muro

Playa de Muro, in Majorca, is one of those places that, despite being a mass destination, offers the intact charm of the Mediterranean island, white sand paradise beaches as well as an impeccable natural environment. Although it is true there are overcrowded areas, compared to other places in Majorca, Muro is still a destination where we can enjoy the essence that makes of this island something unique.

With an area of 2 miles, Playa de Muro is one of the largest areas in Majorca. It has an exceptional white fine sand beach that forms a small chain of dunes mountains surrounding the sea in the shape of a half moon throughout the Alcudia bay.  Encircling the beach, there is a typically Mediterranean vegetation, low, with some pine groves hiding some of the best luxury hotels in Majorca.

In general, hotels in Playa de Muro have the advantage of being low buildings, with few floors, which extend up to the beach without affecting the natural aesthetics of the area. Besides, a large part of the beach is protected, because it houses the most important natural park of the island.  S’Albufera in Majorca is a beautiful wetland, ideal for watching birds, hiking, cycling and all kinds of active tourism sports.

Iberostar Playa de Muro hotel

Iberostar Playa de Muro hotel

May and June are the best months to visit Muro and its beach.  Although water temperature is still lower than in the middle of the summer, the advantage of having less visitors can be seen in everything: waters are crystal-clear turquoise blue, sand is perfectly clean and beach bars scattered all over the beach have the perfect atmosphere for relaxing and enjoying the sea.



Municipality: Muro (Majorca)

Length: 2 mi

Width: 229 ft

Swell: Gentle

Blue flag: Yes

Atmosphere: Friendly and sporting

Lanzarote: 5 things you should not miss

Lanzarote, magical land that will amaze you before landing: from the aeroplane window you will see its wonderful lunar surface created thousand years ago and the presence of two essential elements in this Canary Island: lava and Atlantic Ocean.  Although there are dozens of places to visit in Lanzarote, beaches to rest and monuments to admire, here we include 5 must-see things in Lanzarote:

1)     Timanfaya: This National Park is located in the southern area of the island, gathering some of the most  amazing landscapes in Lanzarote. Among its most well-known volcanoes are La Montaña de Fuego and La Montaña Rajada.

2)     La Graciosa: A tiny archipelago of spectacular pristine beaches. Away from the usual tourism circuits, La Graciosa is a place to escape a whole day enjoying the sun, sand and deep calm it offers.

Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort Hotel

Sandos Papagayo Beach Resort Hotel

3)     On the trail of César Manrique: The multi-faceted artist of Lanzarote is the author of the most characteristics  monuments and spaces of the island.  Thus, in Arrecife, capital of the Island, you can enjoy the San José Castle, turned by him into the Museum of Contemporary Art with a restaurant with panoramic views over the sea.  If you stay in a hotel in the Costa Teguise area, you could visit the César Manrique foundation just 5 km away, built on what used to be his house that represents a key element to understand the entire work of the artist.

Barcelo La Galea Hotel

Barcelo La Galea Hotel

4)     The holiday in Majorca could be very different depending on the island area you have chosen to rest.  The variety of lodging options is similar in the whole island, but atmosphere could drastically change from north to south, Calvià area or Playa de Palma.  Choosing is complicated, above all if you do not know well every district and municipality of the island, since each one has a different holiday proposal.

5)     The “Hervidores”.– If your hotel is in Playa Blanca, Yaiza you will be located just 13 kms from one of the most spectacular places in Lanzarote. Los Hervideros are cliffs bursting with magic, formed after the last volcanic eruptions registered in Lanzarote resembling solidified arms that melt into the ocean while the foam appears over the coast line. It is very close to other popular places in Lanzaorte, the Salinas del Janubio.


The Olympic legacy of Barcelona

No one can deny that one of the greatest landmarks that placed Barcelona at the pinnacle of the international scene were the spectacular 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games. The organisation, the facilities prepared to host the best athletes of the world, the innovative and creative character of its people and, of course, the beauty of the city and its culture have formed a whole that captivated the world and that, more than two decades later, keeps being considered a great tourism destination of Spain, even ahead of Madrid.

Despite the time, the trace of that great universal sports meeting remains indelible not only in the memory of the Spanish people but also in the streets and places of the city.  The Olympic Barcelona is part of the today’s Barcelona and one of the facets worthy of a day in its honour or at least a morning of visit during our stay in the City of Counts.

Barcelo Raval Hotel in Barcelona

Barcelo Raval Hotel in Barcelona


A walk by the Olympic village

In the Sant Martí neighbourhood, beyond the Parc de la Ciutadella and right in the heart of the Poblenou, La Vila spreads out: a big sea area, with a promenade plenty of bars and restaurants, marina and big residential buildings that, once, received several design and architecture prizes, giving life to an urban area that was out of the usual tourism and travel circuits in Barcelona.

What was used to be called the Fort Pius made suddenly a different sense: during the Olympic Games, this area was established as the residence of athletes from all over the world that arrived to Barcelona to show their efforts and achievements, but all the work was carried out with the clear objective of making of this area, defined in the zone of the Llaccuna del Poblenou, a place full of life.

The village is outlined between the Salvador Espriu, Marina, Llull streets, Icària  avenue and the Vicens i Vives street.  It mixes green spaces with complete services for its residents and visitors: here is the Communication Campus of the Pompeu Fabra University, with numerous centres, auditoriums. libraries… A great shopping centre, tube station, tram and public bicycle, (ideal for travelling by the centre of Barcelona, at any time of the year.)

One of the scenes that offers a biggest Olympic legacy is the Olympic Port, around which a fashionable daytime leisure area is being created, with shops, restaurants and a great park to enjoy the excellent weather of Barcelona.  The marina is one of the biggest ones in the Catalan coast and offers space for the boats with high capacity.

A little further the Nova Icària beach stretches away, offering an irresistible stop to the visitor that goes from spring to autumn: the Mediterranean is cold from November to May, but sun gets hot enough to lie down and relax next to the sea.

At the other side, looking at the centre of Barcelona, there is the Barceloneta, the zoo, the Aquarium and the Hospital del Mar. An area where you can have a leisurely walk until arriving to the Barcelona harbour.

Accommodation in the Olympic village

In this neighbourhood next to the Ciutadella you can find some of the best hotels of Barcelona.  Good prices,  with wider spaces and more complete services than those of the city centre.  Some of the hotels in the Olympic village in Barcelona stand out for being more targeted to the business public that to the leisure traveller, nevertheless, most of them are ideal for a weekend escape to Barcelona.

It is important seeing the nearness of those hotels to the Barcelona centre and to the tube, bus and tram stops, since walking to the old town of the city requires a long stroll, not  very convenient for doing it everyday.  What is more, if you are looking for combining beach and city, the closer to hotel of the Nova Icaria beach or to the Barcelona, the better.

Booking a room next to Las Glórias square, the Fórum and the Olympic Port can be a good option to have a bit of everything.  Although the best for the nightlife lovers will be always booking a hotel in the centre of Barcelona.

Getting around:

The best advise to get around Barcelona is leaving the idea of a private car: taxis, urban buses, tram and, of course, by foot or bicycle. City is pleasant and the weather does not imply a excuse (quite the opposite) to walk or get around on two wheels.

Another option is renting a moped or motorbike. Barcelona, as in the rest of the Spanish Levante. is a perfect city for small cylinder capacity bikes.  And even it could be a marvelous experience, especially if cannot enjoy it as you want in your city.


Magaluf or how to make the most of a developed tourism destination

Although there are many (so many) tourism destinations in Spain that are aware of being overexploited and crowded, only a few have known how to find the escape route, the method of revitalising the lost charm and recover the attraction that have made them the focal point of tourists from everywhere.

Benidorm, Torremolinos, Salou, Palma Beach… Examples for every taste and all of them, with greater or lesser success, have begun plans to change their future: Palma beach, in Majorca, took the first steps some years ago with a comprehensive change plan that intended to recover more space in front of the sea for promenade and park, making the hotel a second line one and offering a recreation and amusement area much bigger that the current area. Remodelling hotels, creating big natural areas, improving connections… The arrival of the economic crisis and the loss of limits by an autonomous administration tainted by corruption have stalled the project, leaving it in stand by.

Others are still studying the best way to confront their challenges of the future, in the case of Benidorm, where this year will be celebrated the tourism forum dedicated precisely to look for solutions to turn the capital of Costa Blanca into a Smart City Destination. For now, the steps taken are diminutive and the city keeps anchored to a 60’s tourism that does not find support in the current demand.

Sandos Monaco Hotel in Benidorm

Sandos Monaco Hotel in Benidorm

Nevertheless, the administration and government pairing and the private initiative seem to have found a solution for being worth the effort of keeping investing in these developed areas.  A good example is the case of Melià in Magaluf with the creation of its new concept of resort: Calvià Beach, or some hotel chains like Sandos, Fiesta, Garden Hotels or Marconfort, that this summer will release a new theme hotel in Benidorm.

The Magaluf case

The Melià Hotels International group has been an author of one of the most successful reactivation projects of a developed destination in Spain: the Calvià Beach Resort project declared of regional interest that has received support from public institutions as the Balearic government and the Calvià council.

The work of the first phase, finished in October 2012, consisted in remodelling or restructuring 4 holiday hotels in Magaluf targeted at families to turn them into specialised hotels for very specific types of travellers with median and high purchasing power: sportsmen, couples, foreign young people… In all, around 1 km of the coast of this famous Majorcan town principally focused on the British tourist, where since several years ago the tourism bussiness and the socioeconomic data of the entire area registered it was plummeting.

Sol Cala Blanca Hotel

Sol Cala Blanca Hotel

Among the new revived hotels stands out the Beach House – called since the end of the last year ME Majorca– that incorporates a Nikki Beach, concierge service and the famous Wave House, targeted at young people and surf lovers, and includes a giant waves pool one step from the sea. Right beside are the Sol Cala Blanca Hotel and Sol Antillas Barbados, that still preserve some of the ancient essence of Only Adults holiday hotels and hotels for kids linked to the beach resorts line Sol Hotels; and finally, the inclusion of the theme park Katmandú creating the first hotel with theme park of Majorca.

Careful design and innovative facilities inviting to enjoy an experience in the hotel that gives value to the destination have been the key elements that have marked this project. Thanks to this, the hotel group has obtained a tourism merit badge from the Department of Industry recognising the effort made in the modernisation of a developed area, in this case Magaluf and, in general, the entire Palma Nova coast.