Monthly Archives: June 2013

All Inclusive family hotels in Majorca

The summer season is, for many, the best time of year when you can enjoy a well deserved holiday, longing since the end of the previous summer holiday. The range o possibilities is so wide, and there is so much information that it can overwhelm the traveler in many cases. This is why today we focus on a destination, Majorca, and with a particular segment: families with children waiting to enjoy a few days under the Mediterranean sun.

Having chosen a holiday destination, choosing the right hotel becomes the biggest concern for parents who are looking to combine fun and games for their children with the rest and relaxation they deserve.

Marina hotels families

The Majorcan hotel chain Marina Hotels, aware of the needs of both parents and children, provides the ideal accommodation for a dream holiday. The hotel chain has hotels around the most popular areas of the island such as Cala D’or, Palmanova or Port Alcudia.

These hotels are designed especially for families bearing in mind safety, comfort and fun for families and they include a range of quality services, such as the all inclusive food and beverages service. The possibility of enjoying a wide and varied range of meals and drinks throughout the day without ever leaving the hotel, is certainly another incentive when deciding to stay at a Marina Hotels accommodation.

Hotel Marina Skoripos Cala D'Or

Our recommendations for all inclusive hotels in Majorca for families are:

· Hotel Marina Corfu, Cala D’Or, 4 stars.

· Hotel Marina Delfin Verde, Puerto de He attended, 3 stars.

· Hotel Marina Skorpios, Cala D’Or, 4 stars.

· Hotel Marina Terranova, Palmanova, 3 stars.

Who is Luke Durden?

Beaches on Majorca northeast coast

On Majorca northeast coast we can find some of the most beautiful and idyllic coves and beaches of the island, with crystal clear waters and surrounded by sand dunes. Most of them have a good access, and you can get them by bike from villages like Capdepera or the coastal locality of Cala Ratjada. 

Cala Ratjada is one of the most important touristic destinations in the island, specially for the German tourists who visit the area. Although the fishing activity has decreased during the last 50 years, the harbour still keeps all its charm, with the fishermen’s cottages with typical Majorcan blinds where fishermen still keep and maintain their fishing nets. In fact, still today Carmen festivities, the most important event in Cala Ratjada, are held in August in honour of Virgin Carmen, fishermen’s protector. On Saint Carmen’s night a large number of “llauds”, typical Majorcan boats, and motor yacht boats decorate their decks with flowers and garlands and leave the harbour to see the fireworks in honour to the Virgin from the open sea.

At the end of Cala Ratjada seafront promenade we find one of the most famous beaches among tourists, Son Moll. It is a beach with the blue flag, with moderate swell and all the necessary services: deck chairs and sun umbrellas, surveillance, access for disabled people and bicycle parking.

Only within a five minute drive from Son Moll we get to Cala Gat, a charming small cove located behind Can March palace, a must visit, and within a 15 minute walk to the emblematic Cala Ratjada lighthouse, which offers fantastic views of the Mediterranean. From here we can do a short excursion by bike to Cala Agulla beach, a long white sand beach surrounded by dense pine woods and declared Natural Area of Special Interest 

Finally we are going to visit Cala Mesquida beach, one of the preferred spots by tobacco and alcohol smugglers in the 40s. It is a virgin and nudist beach surrounded by pine woods and dunes and with easy access by car from Capdepera, walking from Cala Agulla or cycling from Cala Ratjada centre.

If you want to enjoy one of the most idyllic areas in Majorca to the maximum, you can do it booking a room in one of the best family Marina Hotels:

  • Marina Corfu Hotel, in Cala D’Or.
  • Marina Skorpios Hotel, in Cala D’Or.
  • Marina Delfín Verde, in Puerto de Alcudia.
  • Marina Terranova Hotel, in Palmanova.

Marina Luz Hotel special for couples

The summer season has started and time has come to prepare your holidays if you haven’t done it yet. The Only Adults hotels special for couples are the best option to leave routine behind and spend some charming days in a romantic spot. In Cala Estancia we find the Marina Luz Hotel, an Only Adults 4-star hotel located at Cala Estancia beachfront, on Palma Bay.

The hotel is strategically located in a small spot on Palma Bay, between the airport and the city centre, a few kilometres away from Palma Cathedral and Can Pastilla entertainment and shopping area. Furthermore, the hotel has direct access to the bicycle lane which connects Palma and Playa de Palma, so you will be able to make the most of the rent a bike and reparation service and enjoy the cycling promenade.

One of the hallmarks of the hotel is the chill out terrace with swimming pool and jacuzzi, which offers stunning views of the Mediterranean and Cala Estancia beach, where will be able to arrive through the direct access of the hotel. But if you want to make the most of the views this hotel offers you, we recommend you book one of the Only Adults Marina Luz rooms, which feature 1 or 2 private terraces with sea views and deck chairs for you to enjoy and relax under the Majorcan sun. Besides, these rooms have complete bathroom with hairdryer, sleepers, bathrobes and complete services that will make you feel at home: wifi access, satellite TV, minibar, safe deposit box… The Marina Luz Hotel bets for your comfort and offers you a 24-room service for you to enjoy the hotel cuisine without leaving your room. 

If you want to enjoy an idyllic holiday as a couple in an idyllic spot in the Mediterranean, do not hesitate and book the offers of the Marina Luz Hotel, which include special services for couples like romantic dinners, private access to the jacuzzi or live music at the piano bar of the hotel. This year, relax and enjoy with the Marina Luz Cala Estancia Hotel.

Gourmet restaurants in Tenerife

Despite the rise of creative and gourmet cuisine in Spain in recent years, it is surprising that the cuisine of the Canary Islands has been neglected to a secondary place. There are many Canarian chefs that must leave the islands in search of an opportunity or recognition of their work. A clear example is the canarian chef Armando Saldhana, that leads the Amaranto, that has been awarded numerous awards by Madrid Fusion, and has problems reaching a clientele that resists haute cuisine in Tenerife.

fine dining restaurants in tenerife

There are few fine dining restaurants in Tenerife, that offer an elaborated and attractive menu, with quality services in an elegant and charming location. The difficulties to reach the public and the desire of chefs to grow and continue their formation outside the islands, searching for knowledge and new experiences. Many leave with a clear idea: to return to the Canary Islands in the future and place the Canarian cuisine where it belongs.

Some of the best restaurants in Tenerife depend, perhaps in excess, on European tourism that compromises, due its seasonality, the viability of restaurants, bars and cafes that seek to offer an alternative cuisine. Therefore, and as mentioned by the famous chef Joan Roca, gourmet restaurants in Tenerife must be supported by the local inhabitants and find formulas for this type of cuisine is accessible to the general public

La cocina del Mencey dishes

The Majorcan hotel chain has place its bet on the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey to make it a reference as a gastronomic hotel, and is reflected in the quality of its restaurants and bars. Leading this arduous task is Chef Juan Carlos Clemente, a native of the Canary Islands which plays a key role in the use of local products and the recovery and re-interpretation of the traditional dishes of the islands. The commitment to an elaborated author’s cuisine is reflected in the menus of the restaurants Los Menceyes and Los Laureles.

 

Who is Luke Durden?

Beaches of Jandía: the south coves

The beaches of what once was the Jandia peninsula can be counted by the dozens. They include  long sandy areas, small rocky coves, narrow tongues of sand on the sea. The variety is endless and they are one of the biggest attractions of the island of Fuerteventura because, in most cases, they are decorated by the spectacular beauty of the mountains of the Natural Park of Jandia.

Beaches Jandia Natural Park

Among them, we would like to mention those that are in an immaculate state of conversation. There are four unspoilt and hidden beaches that can only be reached by sea or through the paths along the Natural Park.

The best known of all is Cofete beach, from where you can enjoy incredible views on the path to the Pico de Zarza, the highest summit of Fuerteventura. Cofete Beach is a beautiful sandy area with turquoise waters and fine white sand that is split in two and is surrounded by mountains. It has the peculiarity that, although generally the waters are calm, the days of strong winds there is a big swell, so you should be more careful when bathing.

Very close to Cofete, there is an extensive beach of 5.7 km called Barlovento. Exquisitely preserved, it is one of those places where to get lost and disconnected from the world. The waters are calm, clear and with abundance of marine life, for all those diving enthusiasts. The silence and the overwhelming nature that the environment of Jandia’s Nature Park offers, are the key elements that make this area of Fuerteventura a true paradise.

Jandia Natural park

If we travel along the coast towards Morro Jable, further south, we found two small coves with sand and stones, which can only be reached by sea. One is the Baja de Juan Gomez, integrated into the natural park. It is a small sandy area with a length of 100 metres, with fine white sand that turns into pebbles and larger rocks as we get closer to the interior.

The other cove is named Casa de Joros, or Joros’ House, is closer to Morro Jable and is also just 100 metres in length. It is a completely unspoilt cove, with crystal clear waters and sand mixed with small pebbles. Ideal for a quiet swim away from all hustles.

Nearest Hotels in Jandia beach:

· Hotel Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

· Hotel Iberostar Playa Gaviotas

· Hotel Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park

Majorca: an island to enjoy with children

Beaches, theme parks, aquariums, mini golf… Majorca is an island where you can find a thousand different plans to enjoy the summer with kids. It does not matter the age or origin, the island is full of proposals, nationalities and amazing places that make it, year after year, the favourite destination of many europeans.

Hotels families Majorca

For the kings of the house, the experience of a holiday in Majorca can be, along with a fun opportunity, a way of learning: meet children from other countries and cultures, enjoy the sea life, learn new sports and games outdoors…

Many parents booked in advance sailing lessons, language classes, diving or horse riding for their children to enjoy their holidays to the fullest and, at the same time, adults can enjoy some free time to relax and forget their obligations and daily routine.

Majorca cove

In fact, many of the family hotels in Majorca offer their guests this type of activities for children, so that the management and booking is made much simpler for everyone.

Choosing a good hotel is extremely important in these cases, not only for its location and personal attention, but also because of the accommodations offers for the younger ones within the hotel and its surroundings. A safe choice is to go for hotels with kids club in Palmanova, as this is one of the areas with better services in Majorca and at the same time, the quietest.

Among the most recommended family hotels in this area include the Hotel Hawaii Mallorca and the Aparthotel Hawaii Torrenova, both with the option for all-inclusive, breakfast only, half board or full board. For those who prefer a holiday in a more independent space, the hotel chain, Intertur Hotels, also has apartments in Palmanova designed for families with children.

Who is Luke Durden?

Discovering traditional Canarian sports in Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura, as a holiday destination, offers much more than sun and beach: the island of Fuerteventura is one of the most interesting to learn, in detail, the culture of the islands. This is the case for the Canarian traditional sports, a region with a long tradition for their own sports and games that reflect the influences from many parts of the world.

The Bola Canaria (Canarian Ball) is one of the most emblematic traditional sports of the islands. Fuerteventura has a great love for this sport and it is practiced at almost any age. It’s a simple game, very similar to boules or lawn bowling, as it is played with balls and a bowling lane and the balls have to get as close as possible to the jack or target ball. They are short games, until one of the players or teams reach 12 points.

Sports Bola Canaria

To play the more traditional form, wooden balls should be used, as indicated by the more experienced players. These balls are more difficult to control and, therefore, add an incentive to the other balls don’t have. However, the latter are the most common balls used.

Another typical Canarian sports that can be enjoyed in Fuerteventura is the so called Palo Canario or Juego del Palo. The general idea of the game reminds of fencing, as it consists of two players using a stick as a sword and they fight without touching each other.

Palo game canary islands

As pointed out by the Federation of the Palo Canario, this game of agility is one of the main hallmarks of the islands. It is a popular game, passed down from generation to generation, with a  rural origin and not practiced anywhere else in the world. From the outside, the viewer who attends one of these games, can enjoy a show of harmony and rhythm, as it is a very colourful and entertaining game.

Many of the hotels located in Playa de Jandia and Morro Jable offer the opportunity to discover these traditional Canarian sports. Some include among their events, competitions and exhibitions, others simply have information so that visitors can reach the places where normally these sports are practiced and thus enjoy a traditional game.

Among the hotels that can be found in the south of Fuerteventura, we highlight 3 of the most complete, both to travel with family, friends or as a couple, at any time of year:

· Hotel Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

· Hotel Iberostar Playa Gaviotas

· Hotel Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park

Andalusia, a safe bet for sunny days

Andalusia is a classic all year round holiday destination, a must for the summer and a way of escaping from the cold of the winter months. The region, with over 300 days of sunshine a year, is  enough assurance against possible bad weather and many do not hesitate to book summer after summer.

Sunrise in Andalusia

Its coast, half Mediterranean and half Atlantic, has some of the most spectacular sandy areas of the Spanish Peninsula as well as beaches for everyone: for families, romantic, for surfers, for children or teenagers.

Huelva, Cadiz and Malaga, with its glamorous Marbella, are alternative to sun and beach tourism, which offer travellers very differentiated experiences: the three provinces have their own local gastronomy, cultural events and world class entertainment, sporting events and picturesque traditions that, throughout the year, allow to organise a fun and varied escapade.

Map of Andalusia

Trying grilled sardines in Malaga, discovering the Doñana National Park, practice from rock climbing to scuba diving or surfing, playing golf in the middle of mountains, walk around Puerto Banus… The coast of Andalusia opens to visitors with all its range of proposals and with a unique and attractive appeal: its people.

With respect to accommodations, both the Costa del Sol and the Costa de la Luz and Costa Tropical in Andalusia, have a broad and highly specialised hotel offer: from family hotel to adults only hotels, all-inclusive hotels…

One of the most representative hotel chains in the region is Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, and has 5 hotels in the Andalusian coast:

· Iberostar Andalucía Playa and Iberostar Royal Andalus, both in Cadiz.

· Iberostar Isla Canela Hotel, Huelva.

· Iberostar Marbella Coral Beach, Marbella.

· Iberostar Malaga Playa, Malaga.

Diving in Fuerteventura

Diving is a sport with more than 4500 years of history. However, men’s motivation to do immersions in the sea have changed thorough history, from collecting food, fishing coral or collecting precious stones, warfare activities or even treasure hunting. Today the practice has changed quite a lot and the main motivations are based on entertainment, professional practice or scientific and military research, which had its peak in the 60s.

No matter our motivation to start this activity, we have two different diving varieties. On the one hand we find freediving or apnea, which is done without the help of any special equipment, only with flippers, mask and tube. On the other hand we can practise diving with the help of an especial equipment, which includes an aqualung, a scuba cylinder, a weight belt, a jacket and a diving computer.

The Canary Islands are one of the best places to dive, especially due to their seabeds, the extension of their coasts and the tropical weather. Fuerteventura is one of the preferred islands by divers, who have more than 70 km of beach at their disposal to do the immersions. The long diving tradition we find in Fuerteventura has motivated the celebration of different diving festivals and fairs. In Corralejo we can visit the International Sea and Underwater Image Festival, or FirmaSub Corralejo – Isla de Lobos, where initiation courses, underwater photography courses, professional immersion and diving-related events are held.  

The two most important diving spots in Fuerteventura are the southern coasts, in front on Matorral beach, and the northern area between Isla de Lobos and Corralejo. Here divers will enjoy the sighting of all type of goldfishes, more than 390 species among which we find skates, groupers, tunas… and a combination of sandbanks with volcanic lava and underwater caves.

However, the complexity of the diving equipment makes it necessary to start this activity in an official diving school where we are taught the basic signals to communicate underwater or the functioning of the scuba cylinder, jackets and diving computer. In Fuerteventura we find diving schools along all the island, and one of the most famous ones is Jandía Divers, of the Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace Hotel, in Pájara. Apart from enjoying all the necessary diving material and a professional staff, if you stay in the Iberostar hotel you will also enjoy a spa and fantastic facilities to fuel up for a new diving day in the island.

Other good accommodation options in the island during your sports trip are the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park Hotel and the Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Hotel, two of the best Iberostar hotels, which offer services like babysitter, children’s entertainment with miniclub or games room so that you can dive around the island while your children play under the watchful eye of the Iberostar professional staff.

Hotels for everyone

The hotel chain Sol Hotels, owned by the Meliá Hotels International group, is a company that has innovated with their hotel portfolio, without losing its essence: comfortable hotels, fun, designed for relax and enjoyment, ideal for families or to enjoy with friends or with your partner… In one word, the perfect combination to continue to lead sun and beach tourism in our country, without neglecting new travellers that are seeking different experiences and accommodations that offer something new.

Flinstone Hotels

This is the reason behind the family hotels brand, well known for their Flintstones Hotels that have, in just a few years, become a model for hotels for children in Spain. In them, the traveller finds an accommodation designed for travelling with children with special services, just for them. From nursery and mini club to a real amusement park, recreating the famous cartoons after which the hotels are named.

Some of the most famous Flintstones Hotels include the recently renovated Sol Antillas Barbados, in Magaluf Beach, Sol Lanzarote in Puerto del Carmen, Sol Pelicanos Ocas in Benidorm, Sol Milanos Pingüinos, located in the beautiful cove of Son Bou, Menorca.

Hotels for young Majorca

But, while Sol Hotels stands out as a brand for family beach resorts, the hotel chain has created new and very complete proposals, transforming some of its most popular hotels and in popular destinations such as the Sol Ibiza hotel, a hotel for friends on the white island, designed to enjoy the summer in good company, or the Sol Katmandu Park & Resort, an accommodation which will premier this summer in Magaluf.

Hotel Magaluf theme park

They have not forgotten to include, in their portfolio, those travellers who look for a relaxed and intimate destination, which to enjoy quietly as a couple. For them, Sol Hotels has 2 different brands: hotels for couples, with special services for two, and adults only hotels, which only accommodates persons over 16 years of age. In both cases, the objective is to provide a more sophisticated and quiet accommodation with entertainment and facilities specifically designed for those who want to relax, by the sea, without any sort of worries.

Among the most prominent Adults Only hotels from the Sol Hotels portfolio, are the Sol Cala Blanca in Palma Nova, Majorca, the Sol Costablanca, Benidorm, and the Sol Menorca.