Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sun and Beach. Health and wellbeing. Nature and Sports

Choose among your passions in order to enjoy Gran Canary and think of a holiday under the sun on an island that has everything you need for some perfect days.

Almost 60 km of beaches in 236 km of coast and more than 300 days of sun throughout the year, Gran Canary guarantees the practise of all kinds of sports that involve sun and sea.

Palmera Mar views

The island is an outdoor gym during the summer and winter. The hotels in Gran Canary are situated throughout the length and breath of the island. You will find accommodation in Gran Canary in the best areas, such as the beach of Maspalomas, the beach of Amaradores o the beach of El Ingles.

Surf, mountain bike, climbing, swimming in the sea, hiking, windsurf….everything is possible in Gran Canary. Escape from boredom and enjoy yourself exploring this fun island. Discover the cultural influence of Gran Canary, such as the famous Cave Pintada, today a Museum and Archaeological Park.

Palmera Mar Restaurant

Prepare yourself to get the most out of a perfect holiday. Enjoy a unique holiday in Gran Canary at  the Apartments Palmera Mar. Don’t forget to try the best canarian dishes at the Palmera Mar Restaurant.

 

Trekking in the Canary Islands

The Canary Islands constitute a perfect location for trekking, an activity for the whole family you can practise throughout the year thanks to the subtropical weahter of the islands. The variety of landscapes is huge: volcanos, geysers, cliffs, lava fields, beaches, mountains… All that gathered in a collection of 7 islands that offer diverse options to the whole family.

In La Palma we find a huge diversity of landscapes and endemic species. It is the greenest island of the archipelago and with the densest forests. La Caldera de Taburiente Natural Park constitutes a Canary pine ecosystem where one can wander around the archeological remains identified in the area and admire the stunning waterfalls.

Despite being the second smallest island of the archipelago, La Gomera features interesting trekking routes inside Garajonay National Park, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Here we can see one of the biggest known laurifolia forests, a very humid, cloudy forest without seasonal changes. 

However, one of the best options to practise trekking in the Canary Islands is Fuerteventura, an island with more than 255 kilometres of recently reconditioned paths and with more than 50000 acres of protected areas. In the south and centre of the island we find two interesting trekking routes. 

The first one starts in El Cardón and finishes in El Tanquito hermitage, where one can appreciate fabulous views to Jandía. Although the first part of the route is easy, the last part can be harder, but the final reward is worth the effort. Besides, after a long sports day you will be able to relax in the swimming pools and spa of the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Hotel and the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park Hotel. Here you will be also able to delight in personalised treatments that will allow you to fuel up for a new trekking day around Fuerteventura. 

Finally, we recommend you the route that goes through Peñitas ravine, in Betancuria. Excursionists have two options to do this route: going around the ravine or crossing it through its channel. No matter the option you choose you can visit one of the reservoirs of the island and the small Virgen de Peña hermitage, where local religious festivities take place during May. The itinerary is easy, so it can be done with children, who will be able to conclude their trekking day with the best entertainment and children’s services at the Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace Hotel, located just one hour drive from Betancuria. 

Accommodation for the rest: Deluxe Villas Coral

 The Deluxe Coral Villas, that belongs to the hotel chain VIK Hotels, is a unique accommodation in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, ideal if you are planning to spoil yourself with a holiday of rest, peace and relaxation in the Canary Islands.

Designed with the classic look of the traditional Canarian architecture and the simplicity that characterises the islands, the Coral Deluxe Villas stand out for its services and facilities: a chill out terrace, large outdoor swimming pool, parking, free Wifi, amenities, 24 hour reception, pets accommodation…

Travellers can choose between villas in Lanzarote for 4 or 6 people or, directly opt to spoil yourself by booking  a Coral Premium Villa: 65 m² distributed in 2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a large living room. All with sea views or overlooking the gardens surrounding this exclusive resort in Playa Blanca.

These modern boutique villas also have an exceptional location: right by the sea and surrounded by a unique natural environment, in the iconic area of Montaña Roja, besides the long sandy beaches and coastal paths that are ideal for family excursions or long walks at sunset.

Another advantage of these villas in Playa Blanca is that they offer a secluded and quiet accommodation without giving up the best services of a hotel in Lanzarote: all guests of Coral 

Deluxe Villas have direct access to enjoy the services of the VIK Club Coral Beach Hotel, a resort in the Canary Islands with the option for breakfast, half board or all inclusive.

 

Travelling to Lanzarote and finding accommodation such as these luxury villas is a great way to enjoy the sun and forget the stress of daily life.

Cultural tourism in Fuerteventura

Although Fuerteventura is especially known for the options it offers to extreme sports lovers, the versatility of the island allows us to combine sports tourism with cultural entertainment. The municipality of Antigua, located in the centre of the island, offers us one of the most interesting plans to enjoy with your family or couple: the Salt Museum of Las Salinas del Carmen. The centre is located in Salinas del Carmen and it is specialised in the history of salt and in the positioning of the Canary Islands salt mines. Here children and adults will be able to see the salt makers collecting salt and preparing it for human consumption. 

 Half an hour’s drive from Antigua a small group of 6 traditional houses with the layout and the traditional architecture of Fuerteventura, two mills and a hermitage lay in La Alcogida village and ecomuseum, in Teifa. Here we can discover some traditional activities of rural life like stonework, tinsmithing, forging or spinning. 

To finish a long day of cultural visits we suggest you book a room in the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Hotel, where you will find a wide range of entertainment activities for the whole family to conclude a perfect holiday: bowling, daily shows, services for children and even babysitter service. 

In La Oliva, on the north of the island, we find the Centre of Canary Arts or “Casa Muné”, a museum which exhibits canary artists’ paintings, contemporary paintings and Alberto Manrique’s work. Besides, also in La Oliva we can visit the Tindaya mountain, one of the main archeological sites with cave paintings and declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. In this case we recommend you the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park Hotel, where you will be able to relax after a tourist day around Los Olivos in the Thai Zen Space, a wellness centre with saunas, jacuzzis and especial treatments that will allow you to reload energies for the next day. 

Finally, one of the most exotic plans Fuerteventura offers you is a visit to Llano Cave, close to Villaverde, where you can make a tour throughout the history of volcanic eruptions and their geologic consequences and contemplate a species of blind arachnids which are unique in the world, the opilion spider. And in order to complete this visit to the underground, we recommend you pay a visit to the seabeds with the professionals of the diving school of the Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace Hotel. Besides, in this hotel you will find the final touch for your holidays in Fuerteventura: a fabulous gastronomic offer based on the combination of the traditional cuisine of Fuerteventura and the international cuisine. 

Cooking classes at the Cookery Classroom of the Mencey

In Spain we enjoy a wide and varied gastronomic offer and the reputation and quality of our chefs and restaurants is continually praised internationally and year after year chef and restaurants receive many international awards.

The interest in good food has reached unimaginable levels in recent years and the number of people interested in learning to cook and take courses has increased exponentially over the years. This has led many chefs and restaurants to organise cooking courses where you can show the public both the local products used as well as the cooking techniques used in the preparation of dishes and menus.


Cookery Classroom El Mencey

This is the case of the Mencey Cookery Classroom, a unique space that is part of the stunning Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey in Tenerife. This hotel takes special care of its restoration services and without any doubt, can be considered a true gastronomic hotel. The Grand Hotel Mencey has several restaurants in Tenerife: Los Laureles, Los Menceyes and Casino.

The cooking courses at the Cookery Classroom of El Mencey are held by the Executive Chef of the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey, Chef Juan Carlos Clemente. A reference in the Canary Islands who advocates for traditional Canarian cuisine and its local products. Certainly, the commitment to the environment is a fundamental aspect of the philosophy of the Cookery Classroom of the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey.

Restaurant El Mencey

Through these courses you can discover all the secrets of gourmet cuisine with the guide of the well known Chef Juan Carlos Clemente.

During the month of June, the Mencey Cookery Classroom, organises the following cooking courses in Tenerife:

· June 4: Gazpacho and their garnishes

· June 12: Vegetable and fruit preserves

· June 21: Oily fish and versatility

· June 27: Express Cooking III

· June 29: Cupcake decoration for children

The courses are open to the general public, but places are limited so advance booking is recommended to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Jandia’s natural Park: The jewel of Fuerteventura

Jandia’s Natural Park is one of the most beautiful natural places of the island of Fuerteventura. It is an area with little vegetation and dotted with small villages full of history and traditions that are worth visiting. It features a native specie of thistle that can only be found here and is precisely the name given to it, Cardon de Jandia. Also, the area is dotted with small flowers, ranging from green, yellow, white and blue, that give it a sprcial character and fill with colour this desert area.

Located in the southern end of Fuerteventura, Jandia’s Natural Park provides this touristic peninsula with an atraction that leads to the Atlantic ocean and its amazing sandy beaches. However, there are other areas such as Punta de Jandia, Casa del Mal Nombre, El Puertito or Casa de Valluelo, some of which only have two inhabitants.

Natural park of Jandia
You can make different tours along the signalled paths that allow you enjoy the wonderful views of the coast and the peninsula on which it is located, such as the route of the Pico de Zarza, which leads to the highest peak of Fuerteventura, at 807 meters high.

To enjoy the charms of this natural park, a good option is to book one of the many hotels that can be found at its feet, in the area of Morro Jable and Playa Jandia. Iberostar Hotels & Resorts offers some of the most recommended hotels whether travelling with your couple or family:  is in

· Hotel Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

· Hotel Iberostar Playa Gaviotas

· Hotel Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park

 

Destinations 2013: Egypt

Culture, antiquity, exoticism, mystery, beaches, history… Egypt is a destination that has everything and where to discover part of the past that still today, impregnates many aspects of our lives. Although its insecure reputation has slowed down for years many Europeans on their travels, we must recognise that security in the country has come a long way and that their adaptation to tourism and services to foreigners have improved in a remarkable way.

Camels Egipto

Accustomed now to receive thousands of visitors every year and better prepared to meet their needs, the main cities of Egypt are a destination for passionate travellers, that should visit it at least once in a lifetime.

Its monumental buildings, evidence of a unique civilisation and way ahead of its time, their learning centres and libraries, the history that permeates its streets… Egypt offers a cultural trip that could not be done anywhere else: the destination itself is the real history.

But if this claim was not enough, the country has created a network of tourist attractions throughout the country which forces the traveler to schedule a long holiday as one week may be too little time.

Map Egypt

The places that one should visit on a trip to Egypt are, undoubtedly, Alexandria, for lovers of culture, anthropology and archeology; Luxor, an example of the combination of past and present, Aswan, at the first cataract of the mythical Nile, the southernmost city of Egypt;  Cairo the bustling capital, and Sharm El Sheikh, a paradise located on the coast of the Red Sea, essential in the agenda of all diving enthusiasts.

The accommodation in the country is very varied, with all kinds of prices, but to travel safely and with certain commodities, especially if one organises the family trip, a good option is to opt for a renowned hotel chain.

One of the Spanish hotel chains that have a presence in Egypt is the brand Sol Hotels, with hotels in Sharm El Sheikh for families and group travel. These are 4 star hotels in the Sinai Peninsula, facing the Red Sea, near the international airport and with all services:

· Sol Cyrene

· Sol Sharm

Hotels with adapted cuisine

Holidays are always a good excuse to skip your diet, please yourself and enjoy the pleasures that daily routine holds us from. A full and varied breakfast every morning, specialities from the chosen destination, ice creams an desserts, pasta or meats….Temptations can be counted by the dozen but many are those that, although on holidays, can not give up on looking after themselves and follow a healthy diet.

All-Inclusive-Marina-Continental-Park

Many hotels, aware of the problems and eating customs of its guests, have responded to the demand by offering more specialised restaurant services: vegetarian buffets, gluten-free food, sodium-free meals and cooked in the owen, a variety of vegetables, fruits and meats, a wider range of fish, whole wheat products and special menus for children.

At present, the variety of foods that can be found in the hotel’s restaurants can even be surprising, as many include all these health options in their All Inclusive service. This is the case with the Majorcan hotel chain Marina Hotels, that after assuming the management of the Continental Park Hotel in Playa de Muro, it has renovated its food offer at the hotel with a more natural concept, of elaborated and authentic cuisine that include local specialities, meals for children, vegetarian buffet…

The advantage of choosing an accommodation with all these possibilities is the tranquility and comfort of being able to enjoy a holiday without the worries of not keeping to a special and healthy diet.

At the same time, for the family holidays, choosing a hotel with children’s menus is always a wise choice, as with special and fun meals it is much easier to get the younger ones to enjoy their holidays, even at the feared lunch time.

Luke on Google+

Versatile entertainment in Fuerteventura

iberostar-fuerteventura-palace

Fuerteventura is an island of the Canary archipelago declared a Natural Biosphere Reserve in 2009. Due to its good weather and large flatlands, the island offers a wide variety of leisure activities for all tastes, ranging from the extremest sports to body worship.

Tourists may discover the long stretches of beach in Fuerteventura practising sports like jet ski, windsurf or kite surf; or they can explore the inland areas going into Jandia Natural Park or doing bicycle tours to Jandia lighthouse, which includes a must visit to the ethnographic museum. In order to complete this sports entertainment offer, the Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace Hotel invites you to its diving school, which organises excursions to Fuerteventura seabeds.

And in order to end your long sports day, what better than relaxing in the spa with jacuzzis and a balinese beds area this Iberostar hotel offers you, a hotel where you can choose between all inclusive and half board plan, always with a perfect combination of traditional Canary food and international cuisine. Besides, the Fuerteventura Palace Hotel has some cooperation agreements with several golf courses of the island which will allow you to enjoy this sport under very special conditions.

If you prefer to enjoy the calmness and beauty of the island with your family, the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Hotel and the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park Hotel, both with all inclusive plan, offer you and your family a wide variety of relaxing plans. Both hotels have spa with jacuzzi, beauty salons and special treatments for you to enjoy the calmness of Fuerteventura while the children have fun in the bowling alley, the children’s areas or the game areas… the options in Fuerteventura are infinite!

Destination 2013: Morocco

Looking for new destinations for the 2013 holidays? To find different horizons, without having to travel too far or pay expensive airline tickets, we have several alternatives we find close to our continent. One is North Africa, where Morocco stands out as a tourist destination, where standards are higher and well appreciated by European travellers in the search of exoticism and comfort in equal measure.

Cities like Agadir or Berkane, where tourism services are more developed and the quality of the customer service is off high standards, offer great opportunities to turn a sun and beach holiday into something more: culture, gastronomy, diversity of landscapes, history…

The weather is great, the tourist routes are very attractive and the long Atlantic beaches are a real paradise. In Morocco, several Spanish hotel chains have a portfolio of high quality accommodations with specialised services.

Among the most recommended hotels in Morocco by guests, the Founty Beach Hotel, an All Inclusive hotel in Agadir, and the Saidia Hotel, a 5 star hotel with all-inclusive in Berkane, both belonging to the Spanish hotel chain Iberostar Hotels & Resorts.