From the south of Tenerife, you can visit the Teide National Park and the town of Puerto de la Cruz in one excursion. This combination will make you enjoy two of the most attractive places in the island.

The Teide National Park occupies the highest part of the island of Tenerife. It is the largest and oldest national park in the Canary Islands, and the third oldest in Spain. In 2007, it was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO and since then the park is considered one of the 12 Treasures of Spain. In this area is the volcano Teide which, at 3.718 meters, is the highest peak in the Canary Islands, Spain and any Atlantic Ocean landmass. It is also the third largest volcano in the world from its base on the ocean floor, only surpassed by the Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in Hawaii.

From there, the tour will bring you through the spectacular Orotava Valley falls to the north coast, where is located the city of Puerto de la Cruz. In this city, you can visit the Loro Parque, the Botanical Garden, the Martiánez Lake pool complex, the Beach Garden or the Plaza del Charco, that are just some of the attractions of this locality.

The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is considered as the second most popular and internationally known carnival in the world, after those held in Rio de Janeiro. In fact, the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is twinned with the city of Rio de Janeiro for this reason.

During this event, the streets welcome all kind of performances and parades of ‘Murgas’ (groups of singers with lyrics describing political life of Tenerife in a satirical way) or ‘Rondallas’ (small Philharmonics) accompanied by cavalcades, thousands of costumes, spectacular floats, dancers and musicians dressed in their finery.  The best part is that everything takes place in the street so you can live it to the full!

The ‘fiesta’ in the streets of Santa Cruz starts on the Friday before Carnival Tuesday (Shrove Tuesday) with a spectacular opening procession. The party continues night after night around the island until Ash Wednesday and the ‘Burial of the sardine’. It consists of a procession with a huge model fish which is finally cremated. The last weekend, festivities come to an end in a huge ball.

You can take advantage of your stay in Gran Canaria to visit, either by boat or plane, other islands of the Canary archipelago. The flight distance between the islands is less than an hour, with frequent departures throughout the day. Similarly, modern marine vessels make connections linking the islands several times a day.

You can go to discover the magic of Lanzarote, heading down into spectacular volcanic landscapes that seem to belong to distant worlds and where even the heat from inside the earth comes to the surface. You will enjoy its peaceful white beaches and clear waters and savor the breathtaking views of small islands that can be seen from the cliff. The island was declared as one of the universal models of sustainable development by the World Tourism Organization, thanks in large part to the artist César Manrique.

Fuerteventura is an island of long, untouched beaches of white sand set in a coastline bathed by the ocean with calm transparent water that invites you to relax. You will find no better place to enjoy the turquoise sea water glide out on a windsurf and take advantage of the wind. An excursion to Fuerteventura is the occasion to discover the roots of the Canary Islands by admiring the oldest rocks of the archipelago or marine sediments belonging to the time it had not yet begun the process of formation of the Canary Islands!

The greatest monument in Las Palmas is the Cathedral of the Canaries, whose construction began in the early sixteenth century. It was completed in the nineteenth century. Located in the historical downtown and considered the most important architectural monument of Gran Canaria, it hosts the seat of the Canaries Diocese.

Another famous place you have to discover is the Casa Colon. It is the former palace of the first governors of the island visited by Christopher Columbus during his first trip to America (1492). Today, it houses a museum about the expeditions to the New World.

Las Palmas de Gran Canaria also hosts numbers of interesting museums such as the Museo Canario where you can see the substantial remains of the time of the Guanches. It is a scientific and cultural institution established in 1879 which houses studies and exhibit collections of archaeological and ethnographic materials and artistic creations. Finally, the Museum of Modern Art, located in the historic district of Vegueta, houses an impressive collection of historical vanguards and current manifestations of art.

One of the best moments to enjoy Gran Canaria is on the early spring, a period that marks the start of celebrations throughout the island.

The most important festivity from a sacred standpoint is the Virgen del Pino’s day, held on September 8th in Teror. Within a setting of traditional balconies, laurels, and ancient monkey puzzles, thousands of devotees place a myriad of offerings at the feet of the image. On these days, a wave of pilgrims begins a night walk to town from all cardinal points on Gran Canaria.

One of the most original parties takes place in Telde the first Saturday of August for St.Brigid, the patron saint of the town. It is a celebration drenched in mud during which you can watch half the town throwing water at each other in buckets or by other bizarre means. Indeed, one of the traditions with which account the Villa de Santa Brigida is the ‘Traida del barro’ (brought the mud) which is a great pottery tradition.

Finally, there are other festivities that can be identified to the customs of the ancient Canarians. The best known of such traditional celebrations is that of La Rama, which has its greatest moment in the Agaete village. During La Rama festivity, a large crowd bearing large branches picked on the hills at night marches towards the sea following quite amusing music bands.

Balearic cuisine is a Mediterranean style cuisine that can be regarded as part of a wider Catalan cuisine, since it shares many dishes and ingredients with Catalonia and the Valencian Community. The traditional cuisine of the Balearic Islands, originating from a flourishing fishing industry and seasonal crops, is very rich and varied.

From small bars to restaurants, the only island of Mallorca counts more than 2.400 establishments that prepare a long list of typical dishes mainly composed of seafood, olives and almonds coming from the local culture.

The two main dishes you have to try in the Balearic Islands are the Sobrasada and the Ensaimada. The Sobrasada is made with lean pork, butter and paprika. It remains in gut and is served raw, fried or grilled, cold or hot, sweet or savory. The Ensaimada is a soft paste cooked with lard (pork fat), circular and sprinkled with icing sugar. This candy usually exceeds 15 cm in diameter, sometimes to the feet!

How the gastronomy is in Andorra?

Por el 12 September, 2012

The Andorran cuisine has always been linked to its condition of Pyrenean country. It is also a legacy of his old settlers, so it is not surprising that the Andorran gastronomy has assimilated some influences of the Spanish and French cuisine.

In Andorra you will find a lot of restaurants where you could taste delicious traditional dishes, made with high-quality native products and combined with flavors of modern cuisine. The typical dishes you could eat in Andorra are typical of high mountain areas and include mushrooms, river trout, grilled meat, aioli and sausages.

Some of the specialties you have to try during your stay in Andorrra are: the Mountain Trinxat, consisting of potatoes, cabbage, bacon and garlic and the escudella, a typical Catalan cuisine stew.

The two major cultural events in Málaga are the Holy week, and the Fair of August.

Holy Week in Málaga is declared of international tourist interest since 1965 and exists for five centuries. Processions start on Palm Sunday and continue until Easter Sunday. Images depicting scenes from the Passion are displayed on huge ornate thrones, some weighing more than 5,000 kilos and carried by more than 250 persons! The processions are led by penitents dressed in long purple robes, followed by women in black carrying candles while drums and trumpets playing music.

The second Friday of August, the great festival of the summer starts with fireworks. The streets are transformed into traditional symbols of Spanish culture and history, welcoming flamenco costumes parade and exponents of the Andalusian horse race. The day fair is held in the historic city center: you can eat tapas, drink typically sweet wine and assist live show of Flamenco or traditional Verdiales (Typical Málaga Music). At night the manifestation moves to the Real del Cortijo de Torres where you will find restaurants, clubs and other traditional performances. Several bullfighting shows are also performed on Plaza de la Malagueta during this event.

Where can I stay in Málaga?

Por el 31 August, 2012

In recent years, the region of Málaga has made a quantitative and qualitative leap concerning the hotel sector that counts currently over 1300 establishments. Today, it welcomes a big part of the total tourism in Andalusia.

The hotels are shared between the 11 districts of the city. The first one is called Málaga Center and is divided in two parts by the Guadalmedina River. You will find the port and the historic city center where are located the most notable monuments and buildings of the city like the cathedral, the Roman theater or the Alcazaba, the ancient fortification built by the Muslims during the 11th century. The quarters of El Perchel, La Trinidad and Lagunillas surround this centre.

We can also mention the district of Cruz de Humilladero, former entrance door of the city, located directly at the west of the first one. It houses the Málaga Congress Center with its total area of 60.000 m2 and the site that welcome the August Fair of Málaga.

What is “Las Fallas”?

Por el 27 August, 2012

If spain is a country known for its unique fiestas, Las Fallas is undoubtedly one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain!

It is one of the biggest traditional celebrations of the country held in Valencia in commemoration of the patron saint of the carpenters, Saint Joseph. The term “Fallas” refers to both the celebration and the monuments created during the celebration which are huge cardboard, wood, paper-maché and plaster statues. During the final night, these fallas are burnt as huge bonfires.

Each falla is laden with fireworks which are lit first before the construction itself. They burn quickly, and the heat given off is felt by all around driving the crowd back a couple of meters!
The five days and nights of the Fallas are a continuous party including a multitude of events: historical processions, religious processions, and comedic processions. The bars, the restaurants and the streets are full of Valencian and people for all over the world that came each year to join the party. Explosions can be heard all day long and foreigners may be surprised to see everyone from small children to elderly gentlemen throwing fireworks and bangers. Valencia whose population counts over 1 million inhabitants swells to an estimated three million during Las Fallas celebrations!