The Balearic Islands: essential part of the Spanish tourism

The international profile of the travellers who visit the Balearic Islands, the high average expenses and the stay in relation to the rest of the autonomous communities of Spain, as well as it excellent connection with the rest of the peninsula and Europe, have made these islands an authentic treasure for the Spanish GDP.

The innovative character turns the Balearic Islands and, more specifically Palma de Majorca, into one of the points of reference for new tourist trends. There are situated some of the main hotel and commercial aviation companies such as Barceló, Melià, Iberostar, Globalia…Tour operators such as Tui are also very relevant at these islands and work together with tourist agencies in the same islands in order to strengthen their position in Spain.

As a destination in itself, the Balearic Islands are the second community -after Catalonia- with more visitors  during the years (more than 11 millions of people), but if we bear in mind that it is a smaller territory, figures get a more important meaning. Majorca, Ibiza and, to a lesser extent, Minorca, are the driving force of the Spain tourism.

British and German tourists are still the main support of their markets, although the increase of Italian, French and Swiss visitors to the islands is noticeable. Russians are a prospect for tourism companies in the Balearic Islands, since they represent travellers with a higher purchasing power: love luxury, excesses and consume complimentary services although they book an All Inclusive hotel.

Iberostar Royal Cupido en Playa de Palma

Iberostar Royal Cupido en Playa de Palma

With 347.897 accommodation rooms, the Balearic islands have been of the pioneering communities targeted at different traveller profiles. For example, you can visit Ibiza and stay at Ushuaïa hotel, which has become a trip motivation in the island. In Majorca, hotels for children in Alcudia stand out, as well as Adults Only spa hotels in Playa de Palma, golf hotels in Llucmajor, thanks to its nearness to Palma, the capital of the island.

The Palma example

Palma de Majorca, precisely, is one of the Spanish cities considered as a mature tourism destination which is really working to break this label and offer a completely new travel concept. Deseasonalizing, extending the summer, activating the island attractions in winter, keeping the restaurants, bars and discos opened…  The challenge is important and, by now, it has had success in some aspects: a few weeks ago, some of the main groups in the Balearic Islands, as far as leisure and bars are concerned, have announced to keep closed their most representative premises during winter, which are traditional meeting points in the nights of the Palma’s Paseo Marítimo (Tito’s, Pacha…).

Nevertheless, we can note a positive tendency: the small businessmen and owners of restaurants, pubs and bars situated in the old quarter and Santa Catalina neighbourhood are strongly investing in the deseasonalization.  Live music, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, second-hand shops and vintage cafes, DJ sessions, theatre and avant-garde cultural meetings are focusing the Palma attraction to a different point, along with Barcelona and Madrid, but to a lesser extent, with the extra benefit of being just some kilometres away from some of the most paradisiacal places in the world.

The city deseasonalization is also noticeable in the opening of hotels in the centre of Palma, the revitalisation of the called boutique hotels in areas such as Cort, La Calatrava and La Lonja. Open during the entire year and specially conceived for travellers of high and medium standing. An interesting way of increasing the average expenses per tourist.

Majorca for families

Another of the main attractions of the Balearic Islands is its largest island. Majorca has the perfect size to stay for more than one holiday week, it offers nature, beaches, mountains, towns with cultural and traditional plans during the whole year, the best international connections in almost all the country, and services specialized in all types of travellers: sport lovers, children, couples, backpackers, those who travel alone, with friends… All this makes it a versatile destination specially preferred by families

Peace, gastronomy for all tastes, leisure plans for children, relax areas and wonderful beaches and coves for breaking the routine, and complete hotels with all types of prices. In Majorca, families can book a spa and golf hotel next to Palma, an aparthotel for children in Alcudia, a hotel in Cala Barca for getting away from it all, or an All-inclusive hotel in Cala Ratjada to stay 15 days.

Ibiza, always young

It is truth that Ibiza has a thousand faces and you cannot discover all of them at night, but this island still sells the eternal youth spirit that even the most reluctant one buys. There is no age to go to Ibiza, but all the visitors bring the same energies: enjoying relaxation, nature, sea and, of course, the tireless fun ambience which seems to emanate right from its centre.

In order to receive all types of public, even those who travel with children, Ibiza has been creating new leisure centres, adapting bars, restaurants and discos to more specific profiles, and creating a paradise where glamour and jet set feel at ease. So, you can find 5 star accommodations, luxury apartments and Adults Only hotels in Es Canar, San Antonio and even in Vila, the capital of Ibiza.

Minorca, the British island

Its relations with Great Britain go back to many years ago. Minorca is and has been a British bastion in the Mediterranean as far as holiday is concerned. With high-medium class travellers, this island receive every year some of the most important political, economic and cultural figures in Europe, especially those who come from the United Kingdom.

Declared Biosphere Reserve thanks to its great natural richness, this important attraction joins to the excellent gastronomy it offers, the charm of the fishing villages, the beautiful and quiet coves… All this and the very varied hotel trade shape the the medium-sized island of the Balearic Islands. Although the demand has decreased in last years, it is still the privileged destination of high standing in the Mediterranean.

Mencey’s Cookery Classroom latest’s news

The main news at Mencey’s Cookery Classroom for this coming month of November, is the celebration of the I Mencey Wine & Gourmet Wine Festival. IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Mencey constant commitment to the world of gastronomy is reflected in this wine festival, to be held the coming 22nd of November.

At the wine festival there will be represented more than 30 local, national and international wines, some with great prestige and tradition. There will also be room for lesser known wines, distinguished for their commitment to differentiation and for the quality of their wines. Along with the wines, attendees will also enjoy a selection of gourmet tapas, created by the Iballa Cocktail Bar.

Cursos de cocina del MenceyCooking courses at Mencey's Cookery Classroom

Cooking courses at Mencey’s Cookery Classroom

The Iballa Cocktail Bar will also host, on Friday the 14th of November, starting at 19.30, a special night focused on “the best Latin American ceviches”. With recipes coming from Peru and Mexico, but will also include the traditional Canarian ceviche, a ceviche with “cherne”, red onion, apple, coconut and cilantro. All this coupled with pisco sour, cocktails, cava and wines and the best live music.

With respect to the cooking courses organized by Mencey’s Cookery Classroom, during this month two very interesting courses will be held, one is a special course on seasonal mushrooms, and the other is a special course on coffee.

The special course on season mushrooms will be held on the 19th of November, between 17.00h and 20.30h. The course will be led by Head Chef Miguel Barrera of the Anthelia IBEORSTAR Hotel, a mushroom expert and connoisseur. Those attending the course will discover the existing classes and types of mushrooms, their characteristics and how to cook them.

Regarding the special coffee course, it will be held on the 26th of November from 17.00 to 20.30h. This course will feature the expert barista Alberto Zurita and the attendees will discover the wide range of coffee varieties, the process and also, the new ways of enjoying coffee.

Travelling with children: trending destinations

Family holidays are still an important diving force of the Spanish tourism. Although during 2014, Spaniards have reduced the number of trips to national destinations in search of places beyond the borders, families are still a main figure in local tourism: people travel with children especially around Spain: the Catalonian coast and Andalusia, along with the islands, are the favourite destinations.

But, in the same way, new tendencies are beginning to stand out in this country. Sun and beach have been essential at the time of travelling with children, but it is less and less common. Nature, ecological camps, towns where you can know the rural and quiet life, learn a new sport, attend English courses… these are some of the most successful motivations when choosing the destination to visit with children.

IBEROSTAR Torviscas Playa for families

In fact, figures from Familitur tourism survey show that in last years the rural tourism has been gaining ground in this sense and, along with it, destinations which are not precisely the first image on your mind when you think of the classic holidays. Avilés, in Asturias; Nigrán and Balona, in the Galician Rías Baixas, Castile and León, Santander…

Besides these new destination, there is more demand in coasts targeted at family and traditional holidays, such as Maresme coast, in Barcelona, with family hotels in Calella, Santa Susanna and Pineda de Mar.

There is also an upturn in Granada: Almuñécar and Motril, and the demand for holiday hotels in Fuengirola remains in force; likewise, the demand increase in the wonderful beaches of Calas de Conil and Chiclana, specifically in the area of hotels next to La Barrosa, one of the most recommended beaches for children in the entire coast of Cádiz. Hotels in Cabo de Gata, Almeria, with spaces for sports and wellness are also benefited from this new rise in the number of national tourists travelling with family.

Islands never fail

Beach and sunshine guaranteed. They offer diversified services and provide a range of experiences which cover almost all the things the peninsula can offer, but in a limited territory, therefore more controllable, manageable, and safe: what all the families look for. This is why it is so successful season after season.

The most visited by families are still beach destinations with several services. Hotels for children in Tenerife, All inclusive hotels in Costa Adeje and hotels with miniclub in Majorca get the main part of the bookings, although customers are opting for diversity and choosing more specific destinations and more specialized accommodations such as the theme hotels for families or beach resorts for children in Lanzarote and Tenerife which are standing out since a couple of years ago.

Here is a list with the most visited places during the three last holiday season:

–        Alcudia and Playa de Muro (North of Majorca)

–        Puerto del Carmen (Lanzarote)

–        Calella, Santa Susanna and, specially, Pineda de Mar (Maresme)

–        Punta Umbría (Huelva)

–        Playa Jandía (Fuerteventura)

–        Cabo de Gata and Roquetas de Mar (Almería)

–        Torremolinos and Fuengirola (Málaga)

–        Almuñécar and Motril (Granada)

–        Salou (Costa Brava)

–        Andorra and Vall d’Arán (for winter holidays)


Christmas in Madrid

If you search for “Christmas in…” with Google, you will see the trending destinations for 2014 to spend the most traditional family celebrations in winter: Christmas in the Canary Islands, Christmas in the Caribbean, Christmas in Morocco, in Tenerife, in Europe, in Milan, in Majorca and, of course, Christmas in Madrid with children.

The capital of Spain is undoubtedly one of the most versatile destinations when you plan a Christmas holiday with your children out of home.  It is, in fact, the best time to visit Madrid with kids, since the city is renewed for them. Madrid turns into an authentic amusement park plenty of Christmas plans for all the family and it is one of those budget-friendly trips if you choose a good accommodation.

The hotels in the centre of Madrid are usually more expensive than those located in areas distant from the old quarter, such as Barajas, the hotels in Arturo Soria or the surroundings of Casa de Campo park.  In some cases, booking in advance, you can get family rooms next to La Gran Vía in Madrid at bargain prices, but the most usual is to stay in adjoining rooms or book rooms with extra beds.

 Navidades en Madrid

Staying right in the centre of Madrid, although more expensive, has advantages, especially if you travel with children. Moving across the city in public transport is comfortable if you do not need many metro stops or connections from metro to bus. The heart of the city offers the most interesting plans: Tribunal, Alonso Martínez, Gran Vía, Sol, Latina and Paseo del Prado. El Retiro Park is also a must visit if you travel with children to Madrid on Christmas.

Another must visit place is the Christmas market situated every year in Plaza Mayor. Plenty of lively stands with small figures for the Nativity scene and funny house Christmas ornaments, children really enjoy to wander round the small streets, exhibitors and shelves. The stalls with traditional sweets (churros, porras, turrones…) fill the square’s and Puerta del Sol’s atmosphere with scent of party and whet the appetite. Here are not excuses to satisfy the appetite: from the traditional squid sandwiches in a pub in Plaza Mayor to the exquisite San Miguel Market, where we find all types of gourmet, healthy and innovative proposals which will captivate even the little ones.

The ambience you feel in the entire square, Puerta del Sol and Preciados passes on to the centre of Madrid. Cinemas and bars in Gran Vía offer hoardings and new events targeted, above all, at families: famous musicals such as The Lion King, which have kept the children and adults amused during several Christmas, or puppet theatre… Galleries and museums are some of the most active centres in this sense.

The education department of Reina Sofía has special commented visits for children of Primary and High School. For the little ones, it offers now two really interesting exhibitions: Matter in motion and Bodies and identities, inaugurated the past October. It will be opened to the public until summer beginning.

The Museo del Prado has a special program for families during the entire year and offers a complete selection of activities to enjoy with children the centre of the city, its collection, its exhibitions and the art. El Prado en familia (El Prado with family) propose for the end of 2014 Érase una vez el mar (Once upon a time the sea) targeted at families with children between 4 and 12 years old. It is a project whose main figure is the sea, inviting to know the museum driven on by its waves. The activity includes a really good family workshop. If you stay in a hotel close to El Museo del Prado or next to Serrano Street and Salamanca neighbourhood,  you will be right in the heart of the triangle of art, allowing you to plan your visits at your leisure.

La Caixa Foundation and its Caixafórum Madrid are other must visits. This year, Caixaforum Kids programme includes an entertaining family cinema season for Christmas that will captivate parents and children during the entire month of December. Ernest and Celestine, Monsters, Inc, Ratatouille, Wall-e, stories converted to movies thanks to the digital animation.

Weather permitting, we can enjoy Madrid as it should be: in the open air. Besides El Retiro Park, where you can enjoy some of the best afternoons next to the lake, in the small boats, contemplating improvised theathre or practocing Tai Chi with the kids, you can also visit Madrid Rio Park which extends throughout Manzanares. Sport lovers can take one of the public bicycles of the Madrid Council, cross the park and even arrive to the green area of Casa de Campo, ideal place for a picnic with kids.

On the other hand, specially conceived of for rainy days, Madrid has dozens of shopping centres, both in the city and in the surroundings. Visiting one of them will allow you to organise a shopping say, funny food and cinema or playground. If you have a car, you can visit Xanadú and even practice indoor ski.

Information of interest:

Madrid public bicycle.

Madrid bikeway network.

Madrid Río Park’s Map.

Madrid with family.


Accommodation in the centre of Madrid for families with children


Clíper Gran Vía Hotel

Londres Hotel

Atrium Hotel


Yes, back to school, post holiday depression, routine, autumn, leaves falling, end of summer… Whatever people say, September smells like sea, relaxation and adventures. All we need is to choose destination, hotel and plans. Bellow you will find the proposal by Barceló chain for these last summer days.

A visit to Hamburg à  The proposal of a hotel in the centre of Hamburg managed by Barceló is ideal for a getaway in September. The city still keeps a good temperature and it is plenty of interesting cultural plans.

Wine route in Jerez à   One of the best gastronomic routes you can do nowadays in Spain. As for accommodation, Barceló offers its hotel next to Moto GP circuit, perfect if you travel as a couple or with family.

Seville and its Magic Island à   After August suffocation, the Andalusian capital recovers its natural condition of top level tourism destination. If you want to rest, the hotel in Isla Mágica recommended by Barceló is a good option if you travel with your friends, partner or with children.

Corralejo Dunes à  The Adults Only hotel in Corralejo which belongs to Barceló is the ideal option to enjoy a late taste of summer next to the beach, in a unique natural environment, just one step away from Lanzarote Island. Perfect for a romantic getaway.


A review of OLE Galeon Ibiza hotel

The OLEGaleón Ibiza Hotel offers you all the comforts of a 4 star hotel in Puerto San Miguel, Ibiza, for you to enjoy an unforgettable holiday at the best price.

Ideal to experience Ibiza with your children, with your partner or groups of friends, the OLE Galeón Ibiza Hotel includes services for all, featuring the mini club and playground for children, daily entertainment, Chill Out area for adults, swimming pools… The perfect mix of relaxation and fun!

Located on a cliff above the sea, the OLE Galeón Ibiza Hotel is a hotel in the bay of San Miguel with unique views, a place where to forget about everything and enjoy. Live life at the OLE Galeón Ibiza Hotel!

OLÉ Galeón Ibiza Hotel

OLÉ Galeón Ibiza Hotel