Review great value hotel rates for your visit to Spain. Browse our extensive hotel list online for super deals. Spain from Andalucía in the south to the Basque region in northern Spain will dazzle the senses! Add the Balearic and Canary Islands into the heady mix and you can understand why any visitor will easily fall under its Moorish, indeed ‘moreish’ spell!
Visit the sundrenched beaches on the Spanish mainland along the buzzing ‘costas’, such as Costa Dorada, Costa de la Luz, Costa de Almeria, Costa Blanca and Cost del Sol, where you can soak up the rays while drinking some thirst quenching, fruity Sangria.
If it’s family fun you’re looking for, the kids will have a whale of a time in the many wondrous amusement and theme parks scattered throughout Spain including Port Aventura near Salou, Tivoli World near Torremolinas, Terra Mitica in Barcelona, Parque de Attractions in Madrid and Isla Magica in Seville.
Or why not visit the gobsmacking water theme parks of Aqualandia in Benidorm and the seven Aquapolis parks throughout Spain. And don’t forget the amazing zoos of L’aquarium de Barcelona and Zoo de Madrid.
If it’s a gastronomic experience your seeking then look no further than downing some exquisite Serrano Ham, visually stunning Paella, spicy Chorizo, refreshing Gazpacho soup and of course the varied delights of the Tapas Bar. Wine aficionados will also be spoilt for choice, with wine regions/appellations such as Rioja, Ribers del Deuro, Torro, Jumilla, Priorat, Rueda and not forgetting ‘sparkling’ Cava, all vying to offer you their finest elixirs.
Spain is a cultural paradise. Visit the Alhambra Palace in Granada, the Great Mosque of Cordoba, the Gaudi designed Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the University of Salamanca, and the Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
If that’s not enough to wet your appetite why not take part in some of the many colourful festivals the country has to offer, including the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, the musical Feria de Abril and religious Semana Santa festivals in Seville, or the religious spectacle of El Rocio in Heulva.
And if it’s a party you want then there are no better excuses than the firework extravaganza of Las Fallas de San Jose in Valencia or the very messy and worlds largest tomato battle, La Tomitina, in the small town of Bunol.
Those of a braver disposition can visit the many bullrings around the country, including the amazing venue in Ronda, a town located on the edge of a seventy metre wide canyon in the middle of the Serraniá de Ronda mountain range. Other bullrings of interest can be found in Malaga, Bilbao, Cadiz, San Sebastián, Barcelona, Murcia, and Valencia.
Equally intense and not for the coach potatoes is the energetic Flamenco Spanish music and folk dance, originating from Andalucía. Some of the major flamenco festivals to visit include the Festival de Cante Grande in Ronda, Festival Flamenco in Torremolinos, Fesitval de Jerez in Jerez, and Bienal de Flamenco in Malaga and Seville. Spain has it all…and more. Come for the sun and leave with a cultural education. Review and compare cheap hotels in Spain today.
From quaint medieval streets to awe-inspiring modern architecture, Barcelona will flood the senses…and your camera with stunning memories! A proud Catalan city, with its own language, traditions and vibrant culture.
Barcelona has a population of over 1.6 million inhabitants, is the largest Mediterranean Sea coastal city and has a fabulous backdrop of the imposing Serra de Collserola mountain range. Barcelona is probably the most cosmopolitan city in Spain and the tenth most visited city in the world.
The city boasts an abundance of amazing sun-drenched beaches, Picasso, Miro, and Dali treasure-filled museums, stunning Gaudi inspired buildings, an amazing fun-filled boulevard in Las Ramblas, wonderful gastronomy, a hectic nightlife and one of the most famous and successful football teams in the world in Barcelona FC!
For those fond of sun, sea and sand, Barcelona excels. The four main beaches in the city, stretching over an impressive 4 kilometres, are Barceloneta Beach, Icaria Beach, Mar Bella Beach – which is very popular with naturists – and Sitges Beach.
One of the best ways to explore the gothic Old Town is by foot, although the city also has an impressive metro and bus infrastructure, where you can buy combined metro and bus 2 and 3 day ticket packages. Opening hours for many city establishments are typically between 9.30 to 1.30pm and 4.30 to 8pm and the phone number for the local emergency services is 112. Temperatures in the city tend to range from 13oC in Jan to 30oC in August.
Barcelona is also very family-orientated and visits to Barcelona Zoo, Barcelona Aquarium, The Magic Fountain and the amusement park of Tibidado will thrill the younger visitors…and those feeling young at heart!
The gastronomy is Barcelona rivals that of any major international city and has undergone a culinary revolution, now offering many creative dishes to indulge the taste buds. Some of the more regional dishes include Botifarra (a type of sausage), Longaniza sausages and Arros Negre (rice with squid). The city is also famous for its high fashion retail outlets, particularly around the Passeig de Gracia and Avda Diagonal, and regularly hosts a high profile urban fashion show called The Brandery.
When it comes to festivals, Barcelona will not disappoint. The music festivals include the electronic music-based Sonar festival, the Barcelona Guitar festival and the International Jazz festival. Throw in the flamenco shows, trade fairs and exhibitions (the Fira de Barcelona is one of the largest trade fairs in Europe) and there will be something to suit all tastes, for young and old, holidaymaker or business visitor.
1. Casa Mila: Gaudi designed building with surrealistic elements.
2. Temple de la Sagrada Famalia: The world famous Gaudi designed gothic cathedral, which is still under construction.
3. Las Ramblas: A large boulevard popular with tourists due the abundance of street entertainers, bars, restaurants and stalls
4. CosmoCaixi: A massive science and nature museum.
5. Casa Calvet: Gaudi designed house with many symbolic elements.
6. Passeig de Gracia: An elegant avenue filled with architectural wonders
7. Camp Nou: Barcelona FC’s impressive football stadium which operates tours around the stadium and museum.
8. Torre Agbar: Bullet-like thirty-eight story tower.
9. Barcelona Aquarium: An aquarium with over four hundred and fifty species, already visited by over fourteen million visitors.
10. Barcelona Zoo: One of the most modern zoological gardens in the world.
11. Barcelona City Museum: City museum with impressive underground exposition.
12. La Placa del Rei: Historical plaza with gothic architecture and the location of the Chapel of Santa Agatha.
13. Palau de la Musica Catalana: The Palace of Catalan Music is an impressive modernist-styled concert hall.
14. Museu nacional d’Art de Catalunya: Museum filled with gothic, modern and romanesque treasures.
15. Montserrat: Just outside Barcelona City is this multi-peaked mountain with cable car and Benedictine Abbey.
16. Museu Picasso: Museum with large display of Pablo Picasso paintings.
17. Fundació Joan Miró: Museum with impressive display of Joan.
Very much one of the fun spots to visit in Spain, Benidorm lies within the Alicante region on the Costa Blanca and has a real urban feel with a skyline dominated by imposing skyscrapers along its shimmering blue coast.
The abundance of apartment blocks and hotels are only there to accommodate the vast numbers of holiday makers who adore the amazing facilities and attractions the city has to offer, including perhaps two of the most popular blue flag beaches in Spain, called Levante and Poniente. These two beaches alone add up to six kilometres of golden sand waiting to heat those tanning feet before leading them into the warm Mediterranean ocean to cool off!
It’s not all sun, sea and sand in Benidorm! The Old City is a must on any visitor’s itinerary, with its quaint cobblestones, white buildings and stunning white stone balconies, from which the views through your trusty camera lens will inspire all those left back home who view your holiday snaps to follow in your footsteps! The Old Town has many traditional pubs serving tapas, restaurants, cafes and pretty shops. There is even a popular fish n chip outlet to make Irish and British visitors feel at home!
If shopping is your thing then the Benidorm’s markets and stalls are the places to spend your precious euro. Leather items are especially good value for money. The flea market is definitely worth a look, as are the many bazaars. A tram ride will take you to Alicante, where you can spend even more euro shopping to your heart’s content. Sun seekers will be spoilt when visiting Benidorm, with annual sunshine hours totalling nearly three and a half thousand! Average temperature highs in August are 30oC, which drop to an average low of a manageable 6oC in Jan.
The nightlife in Benidorm is not for the faint of heart! The place is filled with disco bars, beach bars, tapas bars, an 80’s themed club, a drag show bar, a cabaret palace, Irish bars and nightclubs, including some with room for five thousand revellers, and so it is pretty safe to say there is something for everyone to do after the sun fades behind the majestic mountains surrounding Benidorm.
Benidorm is festival heaven, with at least one falling in every month of the year! The Fallas festival in March is probably one of the most unusual, during which there is a competition to build the best papier-mache monument! Displays entered into the competition have been known to be up to one hundred feet high! Another extremely popular festival takes place in November when the city celebrates its patron saint by partying non stop, culminating in the great firework castle.
1.Terra Mitica: Enormous amusement park with individually themed sections. Rides include a haunted maze, carousels, boat rides, a thirty-six metre high rollercoaster and a water rapids ride. There are also plenty of shows organised for the visitor’s entertainment, including dance, humour, puppet and pet shows.
2. Mundomar: If water rides and dolphins are your thing then this water and animal park will not disappoint. Of particular interest to families with young kids is the amazing sea loin show. The park has many places to eat and drink and family tickets can only be bought online.
3. Aqualandia: Next door to Mundomar is this exhilarating, award winning water park. Aqualandia is one of the biggest water parks in the world and boasts many fabulous rides and pools. And if water is a little to wet for your tastes, there are plenty of sun beds to lounge about in instead.
4. Iglesia de San Jaime y Santa Ana: An old Catholic church located in a pretty square on top of Canfali Hill. The church is the location for most of the local religious themed festivals. Due to the steep incline and number of steps, those with walking difficulties may find the trip a little difficult. Once there, the views across the local beaches into the Mediterranean Sea are breathtaking.
5. Parque de l’Aigüera: A large public park with an amphitheatre and a wide central path to stroll along lazily under the dapple shade of the park’s many exotic trees.
6. La Cruz de Benidorm: Offering amazing views as far as Alicante Town, the Cross of Benidorm is an extremely photogenic spot for happy snappers! A small word of warning is the steep challenging walk to reach the base of the large cross, although worth every falling sweat bead.
7. Placa del Castell: Another amazing photo opportunity, this plaza has stunning views over the city’s main two beaches, as well as a having a host of bars and restaurants.
Home to the world famous Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is a very proud city located in the Basque Country in the north of Spain, sandwiched snugly in-between the Pyrenees Mountains and the Cantabrian Mountains. To get a true flavour of Bilbao, visitors should try taking in the city’s biggest celebration, the Semana Grande festival, which takes place in August, and enjoy the local music, bullfights, pintxos and fireworks. The festival attracts up to one hundred visitors annually and lasts for over a week!
Due to its proximity to the Bay of Biscay, Bilbao’s climate can be somewhat rainy, even during the summer months, although it does benefit from rather mild winters. Average temperature highs from June to August are a pleasant 22oC to 25oC, dropping down to a daily mean of 9oC in January.
Bilbao has a very efficient two-lined metro system, with trains running every few minutes. Economically priced, full day metro cards can be purchased for those with a heavy wish list of sightseeing attractions! The city also has a tram line and major bus network. It you prefer a taxi ride then booking is simplified as all taxis operate using the same telephone number!
The cuisine of the city exceptional, particularly the local pintxos, which are the Basque equivalent to Spanish tapas. Typically more creative than tapas, pintxos are generally served on bread or held together with picks. Fish based dishes are also extremely popular in the city, particularly using cod and hake. Those wanting to combine fine cuisine and museum viewing can engage in both by visiting the Bistro Guggenheim, which has a romantic terrace. After dinner drinks can be had in the Casco Viejo area where visitors will be spoilt for choice with the range of bars on offer.
If you need to take a rest from visiting all the wonderful museums, cathedrals and plazas, then Bilbao excels, with over eighteen public parks to choose from to relax in! Some of the more popular include Mount Corbetas Parque, El Arenal Parque, Parque de Dona Casilda Iturrizar and Parque Etxebarria.
The premier shopping area in Bilbao for designer brands can be found Gran Via, although the city is also famed for its wooden crafts, shoes and weaving merchandise. One of the biggest markets to visit is the indoor Mercado de la Ribera, which has over ten thousand square metres of stalls to engage the adventurous shopper! There is also a popular flea market at Calle Dos de Mayo, which runs during the first Saturday of the month.
1. Museo Guggenheim: The city’s premier attraction, the Guggenheim is a stunning architectural masterpiece and is without doubt one of the finest contemporary art museums in the world. Much of the exterior is built with titanium and glass and inside there are three floors filed with priceless treasures. Photographs are allowed to be taken inside.
2. Teatro Arriaga: Named after a Bilbao composer, this stunning Baroque opera house stages many opera, ballet and theatrical extravaganzas.
3. Bilbao Fine arts Museum: Situated nearby to the Guggenheim, this museum is crammed with Basque and Spanish sculptures and paintings, some dating back to the twelfth century. There is also a very pleasant café onsite with a terrace, and a shop for those wanting to purchase some mementoes of the visit.
4. Iberdrola Tower: Impressive one hundred and sixty metre high office skyscraper located next to the estuary that is visible throughout much of the city
5. Plaza Nueva: Situated in the Old Town, this is a large vibrant plaza filled with shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. Many of the cafes have seating outside where you can watch the world go by, as you indulge in a few pintxos delicacies.
6. Basílica de Begoña: This sixteenth century gothic church has a pretty hilltop location with magnificent views over the city. Visitors can assess the church by climbing nearly three hundred steps, or by taking the easier option of an elevator/lift.
7. The Old Town: Filled with atmosphere, the old part of Bilbao has an abundance of shops, cafes, tapas/pintxos bars, restaurants and fabulous architecture, all laid out over winding cobblestones streets. The place really comes alive at night.
8. Iglesia de San Nicolas: This baroque church with a wonderful façade and dome was built in the old quarter of the city to honour the patron saint of sailors.
Nestling off the Atlantic Ocean in the southwest of Spain, Cadiz is the capital city of the Cadiz province and is one of the oldest inhabited cities in all of Europe! Very much a port city and to top it all off, the extraordinary Carnival of Cadiz is one of the best in the world! See our top favourite Cadiz tourist attractions below enjoy your holidays and drive safely!
The nearest airport to Cadiz is Jerez Airport, only 50 kilometres away and 8 kilometres outside Jerez. The airport, also known as La Parra Airport, is used by up to a million passengers each year. Most flights operating out of Jerez airport are to the UK and Germany, as well as domestic flights to Barcelona, Madrid, Balboa and Palma de Mallorca. The airport offers the usual facilities of duty free shopping, restaurants, car rental desks and Wi-Fi. The next nearest major airport to Cadiz is Seville Airport, circa 135 kilometres.
Taking 116 years to build, this Baroque-style, yellow domed cathedral is situated in the Plaza de la Catedral, close to Santiago Church. Its crypts contain the remains of Cadiz born playwright and poet, José María Pemán, and composer, Manuel de Falla. Magnificent views of Cadiz Town can be had from the top of the cathedral’s Poniente Tower.
Museo de Cádiz
Located in the Plaza de Mina, this museum includes many wondrous sights from Cadiz’s 3,000 year history, like the two Phoenician marble sarcophagi and the headless Roman statues. The museum’s impressive fine arts collection includes work by Rubens and Murillo’s ‘Convento de Capuchinas’ painting, which was the painting he was working on when he fell from the scaffolding to his unfortunate death!
Other attractions in Cadiz include San Francisco Church and Convent, Torre Tavira (observation tower), Old Customs House, Gran Teatro Falla (theatre), Pylons of Cádiz (two VERY tall pulons), La Pepa Bridge, the City Walls and Fortifications, Park Genoves (city park), Oratory of La Santa Cueva (church museum) and Palacio del Tiempo (museum).
Situated in Andalusia, Cordoba is steeped in culture with its old town being declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A great way viewing the sights of Cordoba is by seeking out the 10 statues of Archangel Raphael, the protector of Cordoba, which are placed all over town.
The town is connected to Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Malaga by a high speed train network. Although Cordoba does have a small airport, there are no scheduled flights operating. The nearest major international airports to Cordoba are Seville Airport, 130 kilometres away, and Malaga Airport, 166 kilometres away.
Mezquita Also called the Great Mosque of Cordoba, this once Islamic mosque is now a Catholic cathedral! Amazingly there are 856 columns in the building, made from marble, granite, onyx and jasper. Outside the building is a ticket office on the pretty Patio de los Naranjos, or Courtyard of the Orange Trees. Entrance is free before 10am (Mon to Sat).
Alcazar de los Reyes Cristianos This palace/fortress of the Christian Kings has magnificent gardens, filled with fountains, orange trees, fish ponds and topiary. The palace was once host to Christopher Columbus, and Ferdinand and Isabella, and has many breath taking Roman mosaics, including those of Oceano.
Other Visitor Attractions
Other tourist sights in Cordoba include: Capilla Mudejar de San Bartolome (Mudejar cathedral), Juderia (the Jewish quarter), Palacio Museo de Viana (history museum), Museo Arqueologico de Cordoba (history museum), Calleja de las Flores (popular flower decorated shopping street), Caballerizas Reales de Cordoba (horseback riding stables), Casa Andalusi (Moorish museum), Calahorra Tower and The Roman Bridge.
Estepona Town, located in the Costa del Sol, dates back to the 4th century. The area is particularly scenic with over 20 kilometres of coastline, blue flag beaches, a colourful marina and the imposing Sierra Bermeja mountain range. Add the vibrant street markets, watchtowers, museums, chapels, bullring, beach promenade, orchards, golf courses, bars, seafood restaurants and nightclubs to the heady mix, and you have all the ingredients for a truly memorable holiday!
And not forgetting the small fact that Estepona averages 325 days of sunshine a year! Estepona is also a great base for touring the coast being only 22 kilometres from Puerto Banus, 32 kilometres from Marbella, 45 kilometres from Gibraltar and 76 kilometres from Torremolinos. We have outlined some of our favourite tourist attractions below for you to review.
Estepona Port and Marina
This busy port and marina is a hive of activity and has births for over 400 boats. Located off the promenade, the port area is crammed with restaurants, bars, nightclubs and discos, as well as operating wonderful seafood auctions and a Sunday street market. The fishing port beside the marina is a great place to see the fishermen offload their daily catch!
About a twenty minute drive from Estepona is this enthralling safari park with over 2,000 animals to shoot…with your camera of course! During your safari tour by multi-terrain vehicle you will get up close and personal with the park’s birds, mammals and reptiles. The park’s fast food restaurant and kiosk will keep the hunger at bay during your exciting safari adventure!
Other popular tourist attractions in Estepona include: Aloe Vera Finca (everything you wanted to know about Aloe Vera!), Plaza de las Flores (popular square with restaurants and bars), Buceo Estepona (scuba diving specialists), Museo Taurino (bullfighting museum), Ethnographic Museum, Church of Nuestra Señora de los Remedios (rococo style church), Torre del Reloj (watchtower), Guadalmansa Archaeological Zone (Roman remains), Paleontology Museum, Castillo de San Luis (remains of 16th century castle) and the seaside promenade.
Located in the Andalucía region, Granada is multifaceted when it comes to its wonderful and diverse attractions on offer. Visitors can explore the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the city while soaking up the summer sun, or go skiing in the winter on the local Sierra Nevada Mountains! Throw in the stunning Moorish architecture, cathedrals, cobblestones streets, museums and public parks, and it’s not surprising why the city is so popular among holidaymakers.
Shopping in Granada is very convenient with the main shopping area being located around Puerto Real. A popular shopping mall can be found on Calle Neptuno. Bear in mind that many local stores close for siesta, anytime between 1pm to 5pm and many are closed all day Sunday.
If it’s free tapas you want, Granada is your place! When you buy a drink in most of the city’s bars you can indulge your hunger pangs with tapas ‘on the house’! The local drinks are Cerveza Alhambra beer and a sherry-flavoured wine.
The climate in Granada can fluctuate greatly with coldish winters when temperatures can go as low as 10oC in January, but rise to highs of 35oC in July. The major attraction in winter is the ski and snowboarding resort in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains which are only a thirty minute drive away. The mountains are also popular during summer as they also form part of the Sierra Nevada National Park.
There are many ways to take in the sights in Granada, including guide-led walking tours, by bus or rented bicycle. There are even organised Segway tours for those who like their two wheels motorised! The city does not have its own metro service. And after a hard days sightseeing the visitor can relax in one of the many and extremely popular Arab bath facilities around the city. The one that tends to get the best reviews is called El Banuelo. Another alternative for post sightseeing relaxation is to pay a visit to one of the local Moroccan tea rooms, where you could find yourself sinking into a cosy beanbag as you take in the spiritual incense-filled atmosphere.
As a university city, the nightlife can be hectic to say the least. The city is also known for its flamboyant flamenco shows, many of which can be found in the Sacromonte neighbourhood, the original birthplace of this popular dance, singing and guitar playing mix.
Granada is also festival rich, and has many colourful holy processions throughout the year including the San Cecillo festival, the Day of the Cross festival and the Nuestra Senora de las Agustias festival. The biggest festival, the Corpus Christi festival, usually takes place in June and is crammed full of events from bullfights to puppet shows to processions.
1. Alhambra: This magnificent fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most visited attractions in all of Spain. There is so much to see in the fortress and adjacent Generalife Gardens that up to three hours could fly by before your exit.
2. Granada Cathedral: A cathedral containing many interesting treasures including paintings by El Greco, busts of Adam and Eve and sculptures of Isabel and Ferdinand.
3. Sierra Nevada: A mountain range in the province of Granada reaching three and a half thousand metres above sea level. The mountains include skiing resorts, a national park and an observatory.
4. Albayzín: This old Moorish district of the city, with winding cobblestone streets, is perched high on a hill and offers tremendous views over Granada.
5. Archaeological Museum of Granada: A sixteenth century palace with exhibits reflecting the history of the various civilisations living in the city over the centuries.
6. Park Federico Garcia Lorca: With palm-lined walkways this public park is free to enter and contains many wonderful plum, pomegranate, olive and pear tree specimens, among others.
7. The Gate of Elvira: The main city gate during the Moorish settlement, located on Calle Elvira.
8. Parque de las Ciencias: This science park has interactive scientific exhibits, puzzles, a butterfly house, birds of prey and so much more. An attraction the kids will adore!
9. Basilica de San Juan: Exquisitely decorated, Baroque-styled basilica housing the remains of Saint John of God.
Fuengirola is 25 kilometres from Malaga Airport. A short 25 kilometre drive from Malaga Airport, this Costa del Sol hotspot offers the visitor everything they could desire in a sun holiday, and then some more! Fuengirola’s 8 kilometres of white sandy beaches and warm Mediterranean blue sea, combined with its attractive subtropical Mediterranean climate offering 320 sunshine days each year, makes the town a sun worshipper’s paradise.
Throw in the cultural attraction of the medieval Moorish fortress, the glorious shopping options, hectic nightlife, cafes and restaurants, traditional fishing quarter, and great choice of accommodation, and you have all the ingredients to have plenty of fun. Some of our favourite tourist attractions include Bioparc Fuengirola and Sohail Castle.
This animal friendly zoo has no cages or bars, instead using tropical forest conservation enclosures to keep the animals as close to their habitat as possible. Animals you’re likely to spot include gorillas, leopards and tigers. There is also an impressive array of reptiles including a Komodo dragon. Some of the themed habitats created include Equatorial Africa, Madagascar and Southeast Asia. Bioparc Fuengirola is situated in the centre of Fuengirola.
Perched on a hill at the mouth of Fuengirola River, this towering Arab castle with its powerful square towers offers wonderful sea views over the Mediterranean. Sohail Castle, also called Castillo Sohail, is the main venue for the City of Fuengirola Festival and is also used as an open air auditorium.
Other popular tourist attractions in Fuengirola include: Los Boliches (popular beach), La Plaza de los Chinorros (popular plaza), Salon Varietes Theatre (threatre), Finca Del Secretario (impressive archaeological site), Monumento a la Peseta (beachfront monument), Karting Experience Fuengirola (go cart fun), Fuengirola Harbour, Plaza de Toros (bullring) and Hipódromo Costa del Sol (horse track with bars, restaurants, flamenco shows and a disco!).
This small, chilled-out Balearic Island has a great reputation for having some of the best beaches around, many of which allow nude sunbathing! The island is accessed by means of a ferry trip from its altogether much nosier neighbour, Ibiza, and the best way of touring its natural beauty is by way of car rental.
Formentera, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is very much a sunbather’s paradise with over 20 k, of soft sandy beaches with clear turquoise Mediterranean water. Popular activities on the island include cycling, fishing, diving and snorkelling. And don’t be surprised if you find you have a beach all to yourself! It’s all part of the island’s relaxed charm.
La Savina Port
Your first view of Formentera, as you stroll off the Ibiza ferry, will be this quaint port, which is popular with the luxury yacht fraternity. The port has many restaurants and bars to tempt your taste buds, as well as a selection of car and, bicycle hire companies. Lazy boat trips around the island can be taken from the port. And don’t forget to bring your camera…the scenery around the island is colourful to say the least! La Savina port is only 3 kilometres from Sant Francesc, Formentara’s main town.
Es Cap de Barbaria
This picturesque, automated lighthouse is located on top of a steep precipice in a remote part of the island…wonderful for that picture postcard photo opportunity! The lighthouse gets its name due to its proximity to Africa’s Barbary Coast, which is only 100 kilometres away.
Other Visitor Attractions
Es Pujol (beach popular with scuba-diving and fishing enthusiasts), Cavall D´en Borras (beach with sand dunes!), Playa Illetes (busiest beach in Formentera), Cooltra Scooters (scooter hire), Es Caló (small fishing village with port), Nuestra Señora del Pilar (small village with summer Sunday market) and San Fernando (‘easy-going’ village once frequented by hippies!).
Compare the best Gran Canaria hotels for your trip to Spain. Gran Canaria is one of the most charming, picturesque islands in Spain. It offers great tourist attractions for all ages, authentic spanish tapas, fruity sangria, lively bars and a vibrant night life. Not forgetting the fantastic white sandy beaches! Gran Canaria beach, Playa de Pozo Izquierdo, is one of the best windsurfing sites in Europe and hosts annual world windsurfing championships. Filled with whitewashed houses and palm trees, Gran Canaria offers an altogether much more ‘refined’ holiday than that of the ‘Costas’. See our favourite tourist attractions below!
Museo del Castillo de la Fortaleza
This small but impressive archaeological museum has archaeological, zoological and botanical items on exhibition, including agricultural tools, skeletons, Guanche (early inhabitants/aboriginal people) artefacts and fascinating leather items.
Iglesia de Santa Lucía
This picturesque Catholic church, with its superb dome, is situated in the town square on top of a hill and was constructed back in 1898. Mass is scheduled for 11am on Sunday’s, 6.30pm on Saturdays during winter and 7pm on Saturdays during summer. Please dress appropriately!
Other Tourist Attractions
Popular visitor attractions include: Playa de Pozo Izquierdo (world famous windsurfing beach with shops and swimming pools catering for windsurfers), Fortaleza de Ansite (volcanic building with burial and dwelling caves), Barranco de Tirajana (amazing 76 square kilometre ravine), Caldera de Tirajana (rugged scenic area), Vecindario (nearby commercial area with three shopping centres, restaurants, bars, leisure centres, supermarkets, fashion stores and cinemas), Handcraft Centre in la Era Park and the Santa Lucia Sunday market.
Ceded to Britain by Spain in 1713, Gibraltar borders Cadiz in southern Spain and is home to the infamous Barbary Apes. Also well known for its 425 metre high rock, the territory is home to 30,000 Gibraltarians, this figure swells during the summer months by hordes of inquisitive visitors.
Gibraltar prides itself in all things British, including its own Marks & Spencer outlet, fish n’ chip shops, British pubs with pub grub, Victorian red post boxes, and the use of the pound as its currency, to name but a few! A cable car ride to the top of the rock is an unforgettable experience, where the coast of Morocco can be seen clearly. Please remember that visitors must go through passport control to gain access to Gibraltar…so don’t forget to bring your passport!
Gibraltar International Airport is only a few minutes walk from the town centre. The airport only operates scheduled flights to five British airports and typically handles over 300,000 passengers each year. Facilities at the airport include duty free shopping, car parking, a restaurant, bar and lounge, as well as a viewing terrace with stunning views of the rock. The nearest major international airport to Gibraltar is Malaga Airport, 124 kilometres away. Jerez airport is also a similar distance away. We have outlined some of our favourite tourist attractions below for you to review.
The Rock of Gibraltar
This enormous limestone rock is 425 metres high and as well as being an attraction in itself is also host to many other must see/do attractions, including the picturesque cable car ride up to the top of the rock, the upper rock nature reserve and of course the Apes’ Den, where up to 240 Barbary Macaques (apes) literally hang out!
The Great Siege Tunnels
Used with great effect during The Great Siege, when Gibraltar fought to protect itself from the Spanish and French (a siege which ended in 1783), these amazing tunnels are just a small sample of the staggering 70 kilometres of tunnels running through the rock. Fabulous views can be had from observation points on the tour. Not for those suffering from claustrophobia!
Other popular tourist attractions in Gibraltar include: St. Michael’s Cave (caverns/caves), Mediterranean Steps (a popular walking route), The Alameda (botanic gardens), Gibraltar Museum, Trafalgar Cemetery (the resting place of those who died during sea battles), Shrine of Our Lady of Europa (pretty chapel), Catalan Bay (popular beach), Military Heritage Centre, Ibrahim-Al-Ibrahim Mosque, Nelson’s Anchorage (100-tonne Victorian gun) and Julian Lennon’s Beatles Exhibition.
The capital and largest city in Spain, Madrid is a sightseer’s treasure chest, with most of the city’s cultural and artistic attractions located in the city centre. The city is crammed with a multitude of museums, street sculptures, public parks, gothic churches, vibrant plazas, colourful markets, one of the largest bullrings in the world, and many family attractions including an enormous zoo and amusement theme park.
The nightlife in Madrid is legendary and it has been suggested that the city has more bars per head than any other European city, despite the fact that the city’s population is over 3 million! Prepare for a very late night of revelry as many of the bars stay open until 7am!
Previously known for its hearty meals including chick pea hotpots, tripe, chorizo, pig’s ears, garlic soup and cow hoof and snout, Madrid is now one of main purveyors of contemporary, gourmet food. Tapas remain one of the city’s most popular indulgences and can be found in most bars and cafes.
Madrid is one of the liveliest if not the liveliest cities in Europe with a myriad of popular concert, theatrical, classical and opera venues, flamenco extravaganzas, passionate sporting events and bloody bullfights all vying for your attention…and energy! The city is also well known for its colourful festivals, particularly the Madrid Gay Pride festival in the summer, which attracts over one and a half million visitors onto the streets! Another popular summer festival is San Antonio de la Florida which culminates in a massive street party.
If shopping is your thing then Madrid will accommodate your every requirement, with popular stores including H&M, Zara, Herms and El Corte Ingles vying to dress you up to the nines! Another popular option is the El Rastro Flea Market, which will keep you entertained with street entertainers as you browse the myriad of interesting and unusual stalls.
Boasting one of the finest metros in Europe, and the sixth longest on the world, Madrid’s underground makes sightseeing around the city a doddle! Ticketing kiosks are multilingual and your ticket remains valid for as far and as long as you remain within the network. Average temperature highs in the city range from 6oC in January to 32oC in July. Due to the fact that the city is over two thousand feet above sea level winters can be pretty cold, with temperatures sometimes falling below zero.
1. The Prado Museum: The country’s world famous national art museum with collections from many artists including Rubens and de Goya. In all, there are seven thousand paintings on view.
2. Buen Retiro Park: A three hundred and fifty acre city park with galleries, sculptures and lakes.
3. Bernabuea Stadium: The home of Real Madrid football club where the grand tour will take the sports enthusiast into their impressive trophy room.
4. The Royal Palace: Enormous palace with three thousand, five hundred rooms and important works of art including paintings, frescos and tapestries.
5. Plaza Mayor: Stunning rectangular plaza with nine entrances, filled with restaurants, cafes and shops.
6. Almudena Cathedral: Gothic Roman Catholic cathedral with crypt, consecrated by Pope John Paul II.
7. Sorolla Museum: Post impressionist art gallery in small, charming museum.
8. Parque Warner Madrid: Large amusement theme park.
9. Madrid Zoo Aquarium: One of the largest zoos in the world, housing up to two thousand animals.
10. Market of San Miguel: Wonderful market behind glass walls and an ideal place to sample some tapas, cured hams, wines, olives, fine cheeses and so much more.
11. Real Jardin Botanico Madrid: Twenty acre botanical gardens with ninety thousand plants and one thousand, five hundred trees.
12. Las Ventas Bullring: Enormous bullring with seating for twenty-five thousand spectators. Has also be known to host music concerts and tennis tournaments.
13. Metropolis Building: A stunning office building in Madrid with a tower covered in thousands of twenty-four caret leaves.
14. Museo Lazaro Galdiano: Museum housing jewels, paintings, frescos, ceramics, sculptures and chandeliers.
15. Puerto Del Sol: One of the busiest plazas in the city, with a large statue of King Charles II at its centre.
Although typically acting as a gateway to the popular Costa del Sol resorts of Torremolinos, Fuengirola, Benalmadena, among others, Malaga has more than enough attractions to keep the visitor within its city! The hometown of Pablo Picasso, Malaga is rich in tradition, fun and sun, and has many magnificent museums, shops, nightlife venues, beaches, bars and restaurants to thrill the lucky visitor.
The city’s sub tropical Mediterranean climate allows visitors the opportunity to dress up in the humble t-shirt during winter, with average daytime temperatures hitting a very pleasant 17oC! During summer, the average high temperature hit over 30oC in August.
The city has no metro system in place so visitors should acquaint themselves with Malaga’s metropolitan bus network to maximise their sightseeing experience! Cycling is becoming more popular in the city as the historic part of the city is free of vehicles, and also because cycling lanes are becoming more and more common. A seventy kilometre commuter rail service connects the city to other Costa del Sol resorts, with the line ending at Fuengirola.
Malaga’s festivals are many and varied from the Procession of the Three Holy Kings in January to the Fiesta Mayor de Verdiales in December. The main summer festival, the nine day long Feria de Malaga, takes place in August and includes a fireworks extravaganza set to classical music, followed by an never ending party filled with carnival activities and dance…and a lot of wine!
For those looking to relax on a golden sandy beach, holidaymakers need look no further than the promenade de Pablo Ruiz Picasso, where on one side of the promenade you have a multitude of beaches, including the ever popular Malagueta Beach, and on the other side, a huge variety of lively restaurants and bars.
Of all the cities in Spain, Malaga has a one of the best reputations for serving fine tapas. The cuisine of Malaga in typical of the Andalucía region, specialising in soups, including the cooling gazpacho soup, and fish, including sardines roasted on a spit, as well as garlic prawns and calamares.
The city’s nightlife is hectic, even during weekdays! Popular nightclubs include Liceo, Sala Gold and Sala Moliere. Many bars and nightclubs only start filling up after 11pm so pace yourself! One of the most popular local drinks is a sweet wine called Muso. If alcohol is not your thing then why not visit one of the local Moroccan tea houses.
1. Malaga Cathedral: A rectangular-shaped cathedral with a stunning baroque façade, filled with treasures including a gothic alter, tombs, sculptures, paintings and organs with over four thousand pipes.
2. Tivoli World: One for the kids! Nearby is this enormous show and amusement theme park that will thrill the visitor with flamenco shows and terrifying rides.
3. Mueseo Picasso Malaga: Only two minutes away from Malaga Cathedral, located in the historic centre of Malaga, this popular museum celebrates the works of Pablo Picasso, who was born in the city in 1881.
4. Museum of Glass and Crystal: Exhibiting over seven hundred glass pieces and crockery, a guided tour of this unusual museum can take up to two hours. The museum also houses furniture from over several centuries.
5. Mount Gibralfaro: A one hundred and thirty metre hill covered in pine and eucalyptus trees, next to Malaga City. At the top of the hill is a fortress castle with magnificent views out to sea.
6. La Alcazaba: This impressive old Moorish fortress can be explored on foot or by lift. As well as the building itself, the beautiful fountain-filled gardens and pottery/mosaic collection are worth a visit. La Alcazaba also offers awesome views over the sea and port area.
7. Museo de Malaga: This city museum exhibits fine art as well as over fifteen thousand important archaeological artefacts. Tours take between one to two hours.
8. Museo Automovilistico de Malaga: A museum with a magnificent collection of classical and luxury automobiles.
9. Puerto de Malaga: A stylish, vibrant promenade port area with restaurants, cafes, gelaterias and shops.
10. Basicilica of Santa Maria de Victoria: One of the prettiest Baroque churches in the city, dating back to 1487.
The city the celebrities love to visit and home to stars like Antonio Banderas, Marbella has often been called the California of Europe. A haven for sun worshippers, golf fanatics, culture fans and lovers of fine food and wine, Marbella has it all! Add in the chic town of Puerto Banus and you may want to set up residence and throw away your return plane ticket!
For those who want to soak up the local culture there is no better place to visit than the Old Town, the origins of which date back to 1600 BC! Home to the wonderfully colourful Orange Square, or Plaza de los Naranjos as it is called locally, the Old Town also has a tourist office which should set you up nicely with maps and local information for a fruitful day of sightseeing!
Those favouring the more relaxed atmosphere found near the lapping Mediterranean waves will be spoilt for choice along the city’s seventeen miles of coastline, with up to twenty-four beaches to choose from, including Playa Nueva Andalucía, which is popular with the more ‘youthful’ visitors, and Fontinilla Beach, which is popular among water sport enthusiasts.
If swinging is your thing then Marbella has enough golf courses to sink that birdie, including courses designed by Seve Ballesteros, among other golfing greats. Visitors to Marbella can also enjoy the thrills and spills of parasailing in the Puerto Deportivo de Marbella, horse riding in nearby Mijas Costa or taking a four mile trek along the Golden Mile from Marbella to Puerto Banus. Those who want to look a little further afield can take a day trip to Gibraltar and visit the infamous Barbary apes!
Marbella offers visitors plenty of shopping choices with a large shopping mall called La Canada, with one hundred and fifty shops, and another shopping centre located on Marina Banus. The city also has a large El Corte Ingles store in Puerto Banus. A visit to the Old Town will be rewarded with a large selection of gift and arts and crafts shops.
Marbella is renowned for its nightlife, attracting celebrities throughout the world to its chic bars and nightclubs. Popular nightclubs include Nikki Beach, Sleek and Pange, among many others. And if gourmet food is your thing the city has three Michelin rated restaurants, which are Skina, El Lago and Calmina. The most popular dishes serves in Marbella are based upon fried fish, including squid and mackerel, and that ever popular Andalucía soup, Gazpacho.
1. The Old Town: Cobblestoned streets filled with delicious tapas restaurants, bars, street musicians and quaint buildings with manicured gardens.
2. Puerto Banús: Southwest of Marbella, Puerto Banus is brimming with class! Attracting over five million visitors annually, including many jet-setting celebrities, the port area is a filled with fashion outlets and gourmet restaurants.
3. Parque Arroyo de la Represa: City Centre oasis with streams, rock beds, fountains and a lake. Ideal for picnicking! The park is also the location of one of the world’s finest bonsai museums.
4. The Bonsai Museum: Free to enter, the Bonsai Museum has hundreds of miniature tree specimens on display inside a Japanese-styled house. Some of the trees are up to five hundred years old.
5. Plaza de los Naranjos: Located in the Old Town, this very photogenic plaza is surrounded by whitewashed buildings, perfume-filled orange trees, a very old fountain and a bust of King Juan Carlos.
6. Ermita de Santiago: This Mediterranean-styled, fifteenth century church – making it the oldest in the Marbella – is located in the Plaza de los Naranjos.
7. Avienda del Mar: Beautiful walk along the coast, filled with Salvador Dali and Eduardo Soriano sculptures, fountains and many seats to relax and soak up the sun and the views.
8. Flamenco Ana Maria: A truly unforgettable evening of flamenco dancing and tapas that can go on until 3am in the morning! Located on the Plaza Santo Christo.
9. Alhoa Golf Club: One of many stunning golf clubs in Marbella, along with La Quinta Golf Club, Golf Rio Real and Los Naranjos Golf Club, to name but a few!
Compare cheap Majorca hotels (Palma de Mallorca) for great deals. Palma town is the capital of the island of Majorca, which is itself part of the popular Balearic Islands off the coast of Espana, and is the perfect holiday retreat with an island nature reserve, sandy beaches, wonderful culture…and lots of sun!
In fact if sun is a priority when planning your holiday vacation, Palma will top your destination list with over three hundred sunshine days each year! This may be one of the reasons that the island’s airport handles over twenty-two million visitors per annum!
The nightlife in Palma can best be described as hot! Bars, disco bars, karaoke bars and nightclubs can be found on almost every corner, particularly in the areas of Santa Catalina, Plaza Gomila and Paseo Maritimo. Be warned that the city’s red light area is in the El Teranno district!
However, if you like your nightlife even hotter, the island’s Magaluf resort simply rocks! Catering mainly for the ‘younger and more energetic’ generation, the Magaluf strip is notorious for its unrestrained revelry. If you prefer shopping to dancing, Palma has two El Corte Ingles stores to choose from!
Palma has a fabulous marina and promenade and its main beaches are a short four kilometre trip away from the east and west of the city. The more popular beaches include Cala Major, Cuidad Jardin and Can Piere Antoni. And if you don’t mind some further travelling, trips to the island’s other popular resorts of Palma Nova and Magaluf should enthral the adventurous visitor.
Those feeling even braver may consider taking a ferry trip to the nearby island of Ibiza! The trip takes approximately two and a half hours but will be worth it as the picture-postcard scenery in Ibiza is stunning to say the least.
A visit to Palma’s Old Town is a must with its mostly traffic-free, narrow streets and alleyways, museums, art galleries, Arab baths, courtyards, old mansions, shops, restaurants and tapas bars. The Old Town is heavily influenced by its ancient Arab past and proud Catalan identity. There are so many side streets and turns that it is quite easy to lose all sense of direction, which can be part of the adventure!
Guided tours around the city can be organised through the Palma de Mallorca tourist office. Palma holds its own when it comes to hosting festivals. The main summer festival, called Sant Joan, takes place in June, where bonfires, devils and demons add to the crazy party atmosphere!
The other major festival, called Sant Sebastian, takes place in January and once again the city parties to the sound of fireworks, music and so much more. The island also hosts classical, rock, pop, talent, film and other religious and historical celebrations throughout the year.
1. Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma: This enormous gothic Catholic cathedral occupies an area of over six thousand square metres in the Old Town and has one of the largest stained glass windows on the planet! The building of the cathedral was initiated by King James I as a dedication to the Virgin Mary.
2. Bellvare Castle: This circular hillside castle/museum was built in 1311and is a truly stunning construction with awe-inspiring round towers, a bridge covered moat and gothic arches. Previously used as a prison, the castle is now a very popular tourist attraction, which can be seen perching high up on the hill from all over the city.
3. El Laberinto: This one’s for the kids! A magical maze filled with clowns, witches and fairies, located beside Playa del Muro beach. The maze also opens during the evening; Pilar and Joan Miro.
4. Foundation: This hillside museum, located near Cala Major in an attractive modern building, displays many of the works of Joan Miro, including paintings, collages, sculptures, prints and drawings.
5. Cuevas del Drach: Four enormous interconnecting caves near Porto Cristo on the east coast of the island containing one of the biggest underground lakes in the world. The guided tours are highly recommended and include a boat trip and classical music concert.
6. Almudaina Palace: This fortified royal palace and military building is used by the royal family and Majorca government officials for ceremonies and receptions. Gothic in style, the palace has many attractive features/artefacts inside, but be warned, no flash photography is allowed or you could get a good ticking off.
7. Caldera de Taburiente National Park: The island’s nature reserve with amazing views, plant life and an information centre. Those adversely affected by heights may wish to keep their eyes directed towards the heavens!
Mijas is a golfing paradise, being home to the biggest golf resort in all of Spain. Also internationally renowned for its picturesque, mountainside whitewashed village of Mijas Pueblo, this Andalucía resort has many wonderful beaches scattered along its 12 kilometres of coastline, an impressive water park (Mijas Aqua Park), elegant craft shops, restaurants and bars, a bullring, attractive monuments, popular plazas, churches and museums to offer the lucky visitor. Mijas is situated 8 kilometres west of Fuengirola and 30 kilometres from Malaga Town. Some of our favourite tourist attractions include Mijas Pueblo and Mijas Plaza de Toros!
This simply stunning whitewashed mountainside village has many vantage points from which to view the natural beauty of the area. Within the village is the relaxing Muralla Garden Park, lively Plaza de la Virgin, where every Wednesday a free flamenco show takes place, Galiano’s Fountain, Mijas Plaza de Toros Bullring, and plenty of bars, cafes and shops!
Mijas Plaza de Toros
Located in the centre of the village of Mijas Pueblo, this quaint, oval-shaped bullring stages bullfights every Sunday. Built in 1900, the bullring contains a chapel, infirmary, slaughterhouse, toilets and a souvenir shop.
Other popular tourist attractions in Mijas include: Parque Acuatico Mijas (family water park), La Cala de Mijas (small village resort), Museo del Vino de Mijas (wine museum), Santana Golf & Country Club (fabulous golf course), Capella Virgen de la Pena (chapel carved out of rock), Hipodromo de Mijas (horse track), Legends Bar, (lively bar), El Chaparral Club De Golf (another popular golf course), Museo de Miniaturas Carromato de Max (wax museum) and Inglesia San Sebastian (picturesque church).
Nerja has over 400 bars, restaurants and cafes and 5 supermarkets to treat the taste buds, and with attractions like the 5 kilometre stretch of Nerja caves and caverns and the stunning 19th century Aqueduct, a guaranteed fun-filled holiday awaits! The best way of seeing the town is by visiting the Balcon de Europe, a wonderful balcony promenade built beside the edge of a cliff.
Caves of Nerja
The Caves of Nerja are located 3 kilometres from Nerja Town Centre and will simply amaze young and old alike with their vastness. The caves, which stretch to nearly 5 kilometres, have three show galleries, which include cave paintings and halls. One of the caves/caverns is so big it is used as an amphitheatre and holds concerts on a regular basis. Also on show is the biggest stalagmite in the world, reaching all of 32 metres high. Guided tours are available and there is a restaurant (Nerja Caves Restaurant) nearby for those who have built up a craving caving!
Balcon of Europe
Situated high above Playa El Salon and Playa Calahonda, the ‘Balcony of Europe’ is a cliff top balcony with magnificent views over the Mediterranean and mountain range of Sierra Almijara. The balcony is equipped with an outlook point, telescopes, a restaurant, Francisco Martin sculpture and palm trees. Situated beside the balcony is the popular Church of El Salvador.
Other Nerja Attractions
Aqueduct of El Aguila (stunning aqueduct), Church of El Salvador, Museo de Nerja (museum), the street markets (Sundays and Tuesdays), Burriana Beach (most popular beach), Nerja Donkey Sanctuary, Plaza Tutti Frutti (lively part of town), Nerja Quad and Jeep Tours, the Festival of San Isidro (popular May festival), El Pinarillo (picnic area in Sierras de Tejeda), El Colono (restaurant with flamenco shows), the tourist train and Torrecilla Beach (another popular Nerja beach).
Compare cheap Puerto de Mogan hotels Gran Canaria for great deals. Gran Canaria, the second most populated of the Canary Islands, is located northwest of Africa. The Canarians are privileged to live on an island where the weather is almost consistently sunny.
Due to its proximity to the African continent, summers are hot and dry, with average daytime temperatures in the mid to late 20C’s. In winter, the average daytime temperature drops to a pleasant 21C.
Puerto de Mogan is a quaint fishing village located on the southwest coast of the island in the municipality of Mogan. The scenic resort has earned the nickname ‘Little Venice’ because of the canals linking the marina to the harbour. Restaurants and bars line the marina and fishing harbour and overlook the promenade.
There is plenty for ‘foodies’ to explore in the village. Well known for its local cuisine, you can enjoy local fresh fish, paella and international cuisine and enjoy the atmosphere of Puerto de Mogan’s restaurants. Local cuisine influenced from mainland Spain, Africa and Latin America makes for a diverse gastronomical experience.
Make sure to visit ‘El Faro de Mogan’, a tapas restaurant on the marina with a stunning view of the harbour and the ocean. Venture up to the open top deck where you can enjoy views of the village and the homes and cottages climbing up the hillside. Compare great hotel deals for your trip to Peurto Mogan for the cheapest prices, whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or family holiday. Review Puerto de Mogan hotels online & save!
1. Watersports & Activities:
For the more adventurous who want a bit of excitement, there are plenty of activities from Puerto de Mogan. Take a sailing trip and explore the beauty of the Atlantic coast. Become a member of the crew and learn the ropes or enjoy being the passenger and enjoy the scenery. You might also get a chance to watch dolphins in their natural habitat.. There are a variety of tailored trips on offer in the village, check them out and choose the right one for you.
Water sports are an important attraction in many coastal villages. Puerto de Mogan is no exception and has a number of water sports centres. Whether you are an experienced diver or this is your first dip in the deep blue sea there is something here for you. Tour the island on a jet ski or try snorkelling along the reefs and take in life underwater.
The very brave can try parasailing and check out the view from the air! If you fancy diving there is a drier way to check out what’s going on at the bottom of the ocean. Take a submarine trip and appreciate marine life at the bottom of the sea in comfort. You can’t miss the yellow submarine sitting in the harbour.
2. Open Air Market:
On Fridays, Puerto de Mogan village hosts an open air market which extends from the centre of the village to the end of the harbour wall. This is the islands biggest market and shoppers won’t be disappointed. Stalls sell clothing and leather accessories including belts, bags and watches. You can also pick up holiday wear including swimwear and sunglasses. Be prepared to haggle for a bargain and you’ll do well!
3. Glass Bottom Ferries:
Puerto de Mogan is a quiet tranquil village but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a visit to some of the livelier towns, like Puerto de Rico. Take a trip on one of the local glass bottom ferries from the marina such as Lineas Blue Bird, which travels between Arguineguin, Anfi del Mar, Puerto Rico and Puerto de Mogan. Not only does it give you a chance to visit the surrounding villages, you can enjoy the sun and sea breeze and enjoy the view of the landscape from the ferry or climb below deck and check out the marine life below sea level.
4. Puerto Rico:
Puerto Rico, located on the southwest of the island, is just a short ferry ride away from Puerto de Mogan. One of the busiest resorts on island, Puerto Rico has two main beaches, the Amadores beach and the Puerto Rico beach in the town centre surrounded by busy bars and restaurants. Puerto Rico is a lively spot with amusement arcades, a busy nightlife and shopping scene (the Passarella shopping centre in the town centre and Puerto Rico shopping centre short walk away) and mini golf courses. With so much on offer it’s easy to see why Puerto Rico is such a popular family holiday destination.
5. Las Palmas:
Las Palmas city is the capital of Gran Canaria. It is found on the north eastern part of the island, it’s about 50 minutes’ drive away from Puerto de Mogan. Founded in the 15th century, Las Palmas has a historical significance, mostly centred in the old quarter located in the district of Vegueta. Visit the Santa Ana Cathedral, the Casa de Colon (museum of Christopher Columbus who visited Las Palmas before exploring the new world) or the Museo Canaria which houses historical relics and a market which dates back to 1854.
No visit to the city would be complete without a walk along the promenade of the main beach in Las Palmas. La Playa de Las Canteras is almost three kilometres long and lined with busy bars and restaurants. Shoppers will be spoiled for choice, Las Palmas has four main shopping centres, Las Arenas, El Muelle, Siete Palmas and La Ballena as well as El Corte Ingles which is across three locations.
For something more educational, check out the Museo Elder in Parque de Santa Catalina, an interactive museum of Science & Technology. They host an impressive display of interactive science exhibits to challenge adult and child alike. Have a look inside the cockpit of a fighter jet and try on the ‘invisibility cloaks’!
6. Moonlight Cinema:
For something a little bit different, check out the ‘Moonlight Cinema’ in Meloneras. Enjoy great movies under the stars in Europe’s only outdoor cinema. The ‘Moonlight Cinema’ features movies in English so it’s ideal for travellers who don’t speak Spanish. The cinema features a huge outdoor screen with sofas, food and cocktails.
7. Family fun at Palmitos Park & Aqualand:
If you fancy a break from the beach, Palmitos Park in Maspalomas, a zoological and botanical park is an ideal family day out. The highlight for most visitors is the Dolphin show. There are two shows daily and at an extra charge, guests can have their picture taken with the dolphins or have contact with them out of water. It’s not all about the dolphins, the park has other impressive shows, check out the Parrot and Birds of Prey display. And there are other animals to see such as orangutans and meerkats.
8. El Salobre Horseriding:
Discover the island riding through the mountains of Gran Canaria and the volcanic landscape. The company caters for all ages and all levels of experience so it is as good an experience for the experienced rider as it is for the first timer. The ranch is located about 10 mins from Playa del Ingles – Maspalomas and 20 mins away from Puerto Mogan – Puerto Rico. The company also offers a hotel transfer service if required.
For those who have an interest in history, take a visit to Guayadeque on the south east of the island next to the towns Aguimes and Ingenio. The natural cave structures of Guayadeque were some of the first shelters of the first settlors of the island. This historic settlement is still inhabited today and they even have electricity. Not the typical tourist attraction, enjoy the views of the valley and the mountainside and have lunch in one of the restaurants built into the hillside. Have a look around the church built into a cave and the museum which contains a fascinating insight into the history of the valley up to the present day.
10. Cenobio de Valeròn:
Cenobio de Valero is one of Gran Canaria’s most spectacular archaeological sites perched high above a canyon. It is a network of 200 – 300 caves which were used as granaries by early Canarians. Early interpretations of the caves were that they were the remains of a monastery or convent, however it is now believed they were granaries. Views of the caves have been described as a honeycomb set into the mountainside. Access to the site is by a lengthy flight of steps but when you reach the top the location itself offers stunning views of the valley.
Most of the small caves are not open to visitors but you can visit one or two of them. Further information on the historic granary and the surrounding landscape is provided on panels at different points on the site. The site is located on the northern slopes of the island in the municipality of Santa Maria de Guia, easily located from the GC-2 dual carriageway (Las Palmas- Agaete).
Other attractions are the biggest collection of orchids in Gran Canaria and a cacti garden. Entry to the park is not cheap at €83 for an online family pack (2 adults, 2 children) however there is plenty to fill a day. If you are travelling to Palmitos Park, check out nearby Aqualand with water attractions for the whole family to enjoy. Enjoy family time at the wave pool or try swimming with the sea lions and have your picture taken.
Enjoy the adrenaline rush of a really fast ride such as the ‘kamikaze’ where two twins slides mean you can race your friends while you make your descent! And the younger kids are not forgotten, there is a safe area for the younger kids with slides and water games. A family ticket (2 adults, 2 children) can be purchased online and will set you back €71.50. The swimming with the sea lions experience is not included in the price of the ticket and must be booked in advance, either the day before or on entry to the park.
Located to the west of Spain, Salamanca’s Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, whose origins go back to the third century BC. Home to over thirty thousand students, the city’s university is the oldest university in Spain and adds to the city’s eclectic atmosphere!
The city is also home to an Irish college, the Colegio de los Irlandes, renowned for its Spanish renaissance architecture. With over twenty religious buildings of note, eight university buildings, over twenty palatial houses, sixteen museums, a bullring and a creepy cave supposedly once inhabited by the devil, Salamanca is bursting to the seams with attractions to keep any visitor, young or old, entranced.
Salamanca is situated within the Castilla y Leon region, next to the Tormes River. Unlike the south of Spain, Salamanca’s winters tend to be cold, with average low temperatures dropping to between 0 and -1oC. On the plus side, summers can be hot stuff! Average high temperatures in July are 29oC, but have been known to hit nearly 40oC!
The local cuisine centres a round a nice roast joint, be it goat or suckling pig. Hornazo pies and Farinato meals are also very popular. Tapas dishes favoured from Salamanca menus include ribs, chorizo, pancetta and spicy rice dishes, among others. The city also offers a delicious range of local speciality cakes and biscuits to keep the sweet tooth happy!
Salamanca shopping is a real pleasure, with leather goods, silverware, fabrics and ceramics being top of many visitors’ gift lists. The best shopping area can be found in Calle Toro. Slightly out of town is the city’s main shopping centre, called Centro Commercial. Remember that most stores close during siesta and on Sundays.
Like most Spanish major cities, Salamanca has many festivals taking place throughout the year, the biggest and more colourful taking place over Holy week in Easter, and in June with the Saint John of Sahagun festival. The city even has its own running of the bulls’ event! Another infamous festival is Nochevieja Universitaria, when students celebrate a pre New Year’s Eve when university breaks up for Christmas in December!
To say Salamanca nightlife is lively is an understatement! With over thirty thousand students let loose over the weekend, bars tend to get very busy. Many bars operate drinks promotions, while others stage free music nights. The city also has the obligatory Irish bar to suit those who find it hard to immerse themselves totally in a true Salamanca experience.
1. Plaza Major: Salamanca’s premier plaza is perhaps the finest example of Baroque architecture in Spain. The plaza was built around 1729 and contains many cafes to wine and dine and rest your weary sightseeing legs.
2. Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum: Almost entirely devoted to exhibiting Art Nouveau and Art Deco, this trendy museum has over two thousand, five hundred treasures on show, including glass items from Rene Lalique.
3. The New Cathedral: Built over three centuries, from the 16th to the 18th, this cathedral looks particularly stunning under floodlights at night. There is so much to see inside, including the many individually themed chapels, 16th century organ, bell tower, beautiful arcs and naves, sculptures and enormous alter.
4. Salamanca University: One of the most popular buildings to visit in the city, with a fabulously picturesque façade and portal, the university was built in 1218. A two hundred step climb will take you to the top of the university’s tower, from where panoramic views of the city can be had.
5. Museo de la Historia de Automocion: A marvellous collection of ancient and modern vehicles displayed over three floors.
6. Salamanca Museum: This museum includes many striking artefacts including a 14th century sarcophagus. The museum has three distinct themes and is found on Patio de Escuelas.
7. The Roman Bridge: A truly ancient pedestrian bridge over the river Tormes, dating back to the 17th century, with twenty-six arches and wonderful views over the city’s Old Cathedral and New Cathedral.
Situated on the glorious sun-filled Costa Daurada (Dorada) in Spainish. Salou is renowned for its outstanding golden-sandy beaches, the most popular of which is Llevant beach, which is adjacent to Salou’s promenade.
Llevant beach is like a mini resort in itself, with facilities including restaurants, bars, showers, sun loungers, volleyball courts, water sports, a multitude of kids’ playgrounds, clean toilets, and the obligatory mobile drink sellers swarming around the beach!
Other beaches of note include Llarga Beach, Ponent Beach and Platja dels Capellans. To ensure maximum beach pleasure, average temperature highs in Salou range from 25oC in June to 29oC in August. And if you are intending to spend Christmas in Salou, daily temperatures in January are a relatively pleasant 9oC.
Add the colourful festivals, flamenco shows and luscious seafood cuisine to the equation and Salou becomes simply irresistible. As Salou is part of Catalonia your experience will be that little bit different than resorts outside the region, as it combines the best of both Spanish and Catalonia cultures to make your stay extremely memorable.
The local cuisine is very much based around freshly caught seafood. Specialities include crab and langoustines, with many fish-based dishes benefitting from a delicious topping of the local romesco nut pepper and tomato sauce. For those less fussy in their eating habits there are plenty of pizza, kebab, curry and fish n’ chip outlets to visit! After dinner drinks, including some very extravagant cocktails, can best be found along the promenade.
Golfing enthusiasts will adore Salou. The Lumine Golf Club alone has three individual golf courses, two of which were designed by golfing great, Greg Norman. Sea views, quarries, wetlands, carob, olive and pine trees should go some way to making your game one of the most visually rewarding golf rounds of your life! The nearby resorts/towns of Reus and Tarragona also have pretty amazing golf courses.
Although Salou does not have its own metro, it is very well serviced with bus routes to local attractions including Port Aventura. There are also many taxi ranks in the town and for those who would like to visit attractions further afield, the Spanish rail network connects Salou to Tarrogana, Barcelona and Valencia.
1. Port Aventura Park: This family orientated theme park is a must- see attraction with spectacular rides that will spin your world around! The park is divided into themed sections, including Chinese, Wild West and Aztec Mexican, and includes one of the biggest, if not the biggest, rollercoaster ride in Europe! The park also entertains its visitors with eye-popping firework displays.
2. House of Illusion: Magical family theatre show with illusionists, comedians, magicians and other amazing performers. Entry price also includes drinks (beer, wine and soft drinks) and dinner.
3. Aquapolis Water Park: Right beside Port Aventura Park is this wonderful water park which, in addition to having truly original water rides/slides, also has entertaining dolphin and seal shows. The park has many restaurants to choose from to satisfy the hunger pangs, in-between stomach- turning rides.
4. Font Lluminosa: A very symbolic attraction within Salou, this enchanting fountain is located on the promenade and combines music, light and water to great visual effect. Definitely one for the video camera.
5. Bosc Aventura Salou: A more interactive/activity themed park to the Disney-like Port Aventura, the attractions here include paintball, high wire ropeways and climbing walls. Many of the attractions have different levels of ability to suit young and the not so young.
6. Karting Salou: If rollercoaster’s, water slides or paintball are not your thing and you enjoy watching the likes of Top Gear, then this go-kart track is definitely for you! Located a few kilometres outside Salou, the venue has two separate tracks to cater for the younger and older drivers.
7. El Embrujo Tablao Flamenco: A very popular, atmosphere-filled venue for top quality flamenco shows, located on Calle Vendrell.
Santa Cruz is served by two airports, Tenerife North Airport, also known as Tenerife North – Los Rodeos Int’l Airport, and the more popular of the two airports, Tenerife South Airport, also known as Tenerife South – Reina Sofia Int’l Airport, which is 60 kilometres from Santa Cruz.
Known as Santa Cruz de Tenerife, this lively port town is the capital city of Tenerife and joint capital city, along with Las Palmas, of the Canary Islands. Internationally renowned for its Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in February, when attendance figures hit one million people. Santa Cruz has many popular plazas, a casino, theatre, Baroque church, city sculptures, a castle and two El Cortes Ingles stores to spend some holiday time in!
Auditorio de Tenerife
Home to the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife, this magnificent avant-garde structure was built by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava. Also known as The Tenerife Auditorium, opera, dance, jazz, pop, rock and classical-music performances are a regular feature of its busy programme. The shape of the building takes the form of a huge sailing boat!
Museo de la Naturaleza y el Hombre
The Museum of Nature and Man houses the largest exhibition of Guanche culture: the Guanches were the aboriginal people that first inhabited Tenerife. Of particular interest are the Guanche mummies, which include two foetuses.
Other popular tourist attractions in Santa Cruz include: Guimerá Theater (oldest theatre on the Canary Islands), Museum of Fine Arts, Circulo de Bellas Artes (cultural centre), The Exhibition of Outdoor Sculptures, Tenerife International Film Music Festival & Torres de Santa Cruz (tall twin skyscrapers).
Seville, with a population of 1.5 million, is the fourth largest Spanish city and the capital of the Andalucía region. Situated on the Guadalquivir River, the second longest river in the country, this port city was where Christopher Columbus set sail for the New World and his remains can be seen in The Cathedral of Seville. The city is also associated with Don Juan, Carmen and Figaro.
The climate of Seville is subtropical which means particularly hot summers with an average high of over 35oC in July, although temperatures tend to hit 40oC at least once every year! Winters are very pleasant with an average January temperature of 10oC.
The city is steeped in culture and has many UNESCO World Heritage Sites to its credit. There are at least twelve museums of note in the city, along with five popular public parks and gardens, and a host of magnificent palaces, cathedrals, plazas, towers and monuments to behold. Legend has it that the city was founded by the great Hercules!
Seville has its own metro system, carrying over twelve million passengers each year, but one of the more popular ways of sightseeing is by means of the humble bicycle, as there are over six thousand miles of bicycle lanes throughout the city and many bike rental stations! The city also operates a tram service and bus network.
Known for its Seville oranges in the making of marmalade, the city’s main claim to culinary fame rests with its impressive tapas offerings in bars and taverns. Popular dishes include flamenco eggs, kidneys with sherry, dogfish, snails, Iberico ham and gazpacho soup. Sherry is very popular in Seville and there many sherry tasting excursions available to indulge the thirsty taste buds!
The most popular festival in Seville is the weeklong Feria de Seville festival which takes place in the spring and draws huge crowds into the city. Music, drink, tapas, dancing, amusements, bullfights and parades are just part of the extravagant spectacle.
Shopping in Seville can be a joyous experience with many department stores, boutiques, antiques markets and gift stores to choose from. Retailers tend to open from 9.30am to 2pm and then 5pm to 8pm. The most popular shopping areas in Seville are in Plaza Nueva/Plaza San Francisco. Shopping centres can be found in Nervion Plaza and Los Arcos. Ikea, C&A, H&M, Mothercare, El Corte Ingles, The Body Shop and Benetton all have outlets in the city.
1. The Alcázar: One of the oldest functioning royal palaces in Europe, built in the 1300s, with its stunning wooden-domed Ambassador’s Hall
2. The Cathedral of Seville: The largest gothic cathedral in the world, housing the remains of explorer Christopher Columbus.
3. Seville Bullring: The oldest bullring in the world, overlooking the River Guadalquivir, with seating for fourteen thousand visitors.
4. Giralda: Enormous eighty metre high bell tower with magnificent views at the top. The bell tower is part of the Cathedral of Seville but is an attraction in itself.
5. Metropol Parasol: A visually stunning one hundred and fifty metre wooden structure in the shape of giant mushrooms.
6. Costurero de la Reina: Unusual nineteenth century hexagonal castle.
7. Museo de Bellas Artes: A fine collection of Spanish works from artists including El Greco and Velazquez.
8. Torre de Oro: The Gold Tower, built in 1220 and thirty-six metres high, was originally a watchtower but now accommodates a navel museum.
9. Parque de Maria Luisa: An expansive public park, located alongside the Guadalquivir River, that also acts as a botanical garden with fountains, ponds, benches and monuments.
10. Santa Cruz: The popular Jewish quarter of Seville, populated with many of the city’s oldest churches.
11. Plaza de Espana: Magnificent renaissance-styled plaza built in 1928 with stately government buildings, formed in a large half circle.
12. Parque Isla Magica: Large amusement theme park with water rides, a 360 degree rollercoaster and a pirate show, among other wondrous attractions.
Compare Torremolinos hotels for cheap deals. The earliest developed Costa del Sol resort, Torremolinos is situated 13 kilometres from Malaga and borders Benalmadena, another very popular holiday destination. Torremolinos is particularly favoured for its 7 kilometre promenade and its dark and golden sandy beaches of Bajondill, Los Alamos, Playamar, La Carihuela, El Saltillo and Montemar. Many of which have Chiringuitos (restaurants/bars on the beach).
Torremolinos will definitely leave you browned off…in a nice sun tan kind of way! Crammed with restaurants, bars, nightclubs and Calle San Miguel’s shops, the town one of the livelier resorts in Spain! And if ease of access is your aim, Torremolinos is only a nine minute drive from Malaga airport. The train network also connects the town to the airport.
Parque La Bateria
Also called Battery Park, this colourful park is located next to the Buddhist Stuppa at the Carahuela end of Torremolinos and has exotic birds, wonderful glass conservatories, a lake and viewing tower, 25 spices of trees and over 1,500 butterflies to view! An old military fortress, Parque La Bateria has wonderful views of the sea and Carihuela Beach, and also has a gift shop onsite.
Offering live demonstrations (including a feeding frenzy!) this terrifying crocodile park houses the largest crocodile in Europe, suitably named Big Daddy, as well as some smaller ones, which the braver visitors can handle. Over 200 crocodiles await your presence!
Other Torremolinos Visitor Attractions
Museo de Benalmádena (museum), La Carihuela (popular beach/promenade), Molino de Inca (botanic gardens), Playa El Bajondillo (popular beach), Calle San Miguel (shopping street), Plaza de Toros (4,000 seat bullring), Church of San Miguel, Aqualand Torremolinos (water park), Pablo Ruiz Picasso (cultural centre) and El Templo Tatoo Museum.
Valencia is an old city dating back to 138 BC and so it should come as no surprise that it is brimming with historical artefacts, stunning buildings and other cultural treasures. Valencia is a proud city and has its own language called Valenciano – which is similar to Catalan – but Spanish is also spoken by the locals. The third biggest city in Spain, Valencia lies on the Mediterranean Sea and has many city and out-of-town beaches for the sun, sea and sand seeker!
The city’s gastronomic theme is heavily influenced by the rice dish, Paella, which originated in the city. Valencia has three main versions of the popular dish, Paella Valencia, containing meat, Paella de Marisco, containing fish, and Paella Mixta, containing meat and fish! Other popular Valencia dishes include fried donuts, rice blackened with squid ink and eel. Valencia flavoured waters and a tiger nut flavoured soft drink are popular beverages among the locals.
With a sub tropical Mediterranean climate, the city benefits from relatively warm winters and even warmer summers! The average temperature in January is 10oC, which rises to 26oC in August. Those seeking some natural vitamin D will be thrilled to hear that the city has over two and a half thousand hours of sunshine each year!
The city has an impressive bus network in place with busses operating between 4am around the clock to at least 2am. Valencia also has a metro system with stops near many of the city’s main attractions. A bicycle sharing scheme operates in the city, offering two and a half thousand bikes at two hundred and fifty locations. Sightseeing in a city has never been so convenient!
Valencia has some internationally renowned festivals to offer the energetic visitor, the most popular of which are the Paella Valenciana festival, the colourful Holy Week festivities, and the tomato fighting La Tomatina festival, which draws in over three hundred thousand revellers into the small town of Bunol to have a massive food fight!
For a truly authentic Valencia shopping experience the best items to purchase are ceramics, lace and clothes. Traditional arts and craft stores can be discovered in Cuitat Vella, whereas larger international fashion branded items can be discovered in Plaza del Partriarca. Shops in Valencia typically open from 10am to 8.30pm, with many closing for siesta between 2pm and 4.30pm.
1. Valencia Cathedral: A gothic Catholic cathedral, which has been declared a cultural landmark, was built in 1300. It is suggested that a chalice in the cathedral is the Holy Grail! The cathedral, also called Saint Mary’s Cathedral, contains many works of art and an eight-sided bell tower called El Micalet, which is over 50 metres high.
2. City of Arts and Sciences: An exciting interactive experience for young and old in a visually stunning complex, incorporating a museum, an aquarium, an opera house and a cinema.
3. Bellas Artes Museum: This historical building, also called The Museum of Fine Arts, houses over two thousand works of art including El Greco’s famous painting, St. John the Baptist. Over three hundred sculptures are also on display.
4. Valencia Museum of Ethnology: An interactive museum that tries to inform the visitor about the diversity and evolution of the various cultures within Valencia over its history.
5. Plaza del Torros de Valencia: An eighteen thousand capacity bullring built in the eighteen hundreds. The tour includes access to the museum, arena, chapel and infirmary.
6. Torres de Serranos: Probably Valencia’s most recognisable building, Torres de Serranos is an enormous gothic gate into the city, which visitors can climb for free. The top of the building offers magnificent views over the city.
7. Bioparc: Covering over ten thousand square metres, this amazing zoo has four separate environmental habitats to explore.
8. Museo Nacional de Ceramica Gonzalez Marti: This ceramics museum has a wonderful baroque façade. As well as the ceramic art exhibitions, the museum’s interior contains Murano glass chandeliers, historic suites and a replica eighteenth century kitchen.