Travel & Tea » Spain http://travelandtea.com Brits travelling the world, one sip at a time Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:58:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Is Marbella a Victim of Its Own Popularity? http://travelandtea.com/marbella-victim-popularity/ http://travelandtea.com/marbella-victim-popularity/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:58:17 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=8634 Since the Costa del Sol became the place to go in the 1960s Marbella’s popularity has grown and grown. Favoured by the rich and famous, who purchased gigantic properties and super yachts which they moored in the exclusive Puerto Banus Marina, holidaying in Marbella was a sign that you were doing pretty well for yourself. […]

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Since the Costa del Sol became the place to go in the 1960s Marbella’s popularity has grown and grown. Favoured by the rich and famous, who purchased gigantic properties and super yachts which they moored in the exclusive Puerto Banus Marina, holidaying in Marbella was a sign that you were doing pretty well for yourself. Fast forward to the start of the noughties and things in Marbella started to change…

marbella

The rise of Z-list celebrities such as Katie Price and Kerry Katona, not to mention the myriad of reality TV stars that rose to fame in the noughties, who flocked to Marbella on holiday started to attract a new kind of holidaymaker. Magazines were (and still are) constantly filled with pictures of these bargain bucket celebrities partying in Puerto Banus, sailing to coast on yachts or shopping for designer clothes in Marbella.

marbella-nightlife

Beach clubs such as Nikki Beach, La Sala and Ocean Beach Club opened their doors and began charging astronomical prices for the privilege of sitting on a sun lounger and enjoying a cocktail at one of their ‘exclusive’ pool parties. There are plenty of people who will pay these silly prices just to say that they have partied with half the cast of TOWIE but for those wanting a relaxing holiday in the sunshine or a family getaway on the Costa del Sol this is not the place to be.

Champagne beach parties at the Ocean Beach Club

Champagne beach parties at the Ocean Beach Club

The good news is while Marbella has been morphing into a playground for z-listers and hen parties resorts nearby on the Costa del Sol have had huge investments made into them meaning they are now fantastic options if you want relaxed beach bars, good restaurants and the occasional night on the town. Fuengirola and Benalmadena are prime examples of resorts that have transformed from their image of a high-rise resort for pensioners to attractive, well maintained and affordable holiday resorts.

Beautiful long sandy beaches of Fuengirola

Beautiful long sandy beaches of Fuengirola

The accommodation outside of Marbella is also greatly cheaper. Villas and Apartments on the Costa del Sol are available in abundance and staying in areas such as Mijas Costa, La Cala, Estepona or Fuengirola can save you a fortune rather than paying the premium rate for being a stone’s throw from Marbella. Public transport and cheap taxi fares mean that you can get into Marbella easily from any of the other quieter resorts along the coast.

Relax outside the cafes in Orange Square, Marbella

Relax outside the cafes in Orange Square, Marbella

Of course Marbella is not all bad. The Old Town is beautiful with Orange Square and the Town Hall amongst the highlights. It is a lovely place to enjoy a meal and take a stroll in the evenings. Puerto Banus is worth a visit if you like designer shops, or even if you just like to people watch. The beaches in Marbella are good and very family-friendly if you avoid the beach clubs. It is just a pity that much of the town is invaded by champagne swilling 20-somethings in the summer months. If you want to take a trip to Marbella do it between October and May when the town returns to its former glory! Better still, give one of the resorts nearby a try, I think you’ll be impressed.

 

 

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Ideal destinations for a city break http://travelandtea.com/ideal-destinations-city-break/ http://travelandtea.com/ideal-destinations-city-break/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 16:36:17 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=3548 With summer about to start, many people are searching for holiday packages and cheap hotels abroad. People are dreaming about days spent relaxing in the sun, swimming in the sea and indulging in some shopping. If a long holiday spent on a beach on the coast of the Mediterranean sea is not too appealing and […]

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With summer about to start, many people are searching for holiday packages and cheap hotels abroad. People are dreaming about days spent relaxing in the sun, swimming in the sea and indulging in some shopping. If a long holiday spent on a beach on the coast of the Mediterranean sea is not too appealing and a bit out of your budget, why not enjoy a long weekend in some new city? The easiest way to start your holiday is to book a cheap flight out of London or any other city that is well connected to other countries. After that, choose the hotel in the area you are most interested in exploring, pack a change of clothes and a toothbrush, charge your camera and go! If you still do not know where to go, check out these destinations.

Brussels Town Hall by Luke Ma (Creative Commons)

Brussels Located a short flight away, this city is an ideal place to visit during a short city break. Enjoy the authentic pommes frites chips, try a gaufre waffle and do not hesitate to try some local beer. Walk around the Grand Place and enjoy views towards the Town Hall. Visit the Royal Palace and the statue of Manneken Pis, one of the city’s most famous symbols. Paris The City of Lights is a short plane ride away, and those with a fear of height can take the train. Climb up to the Eiffel Tower, visit the city’s catacombs and walk along the streets of the hip Marais district. If you want an alternative view of this city, enjoy a boat ride on the Seine. Do not miss the city’s museums, especially the Louvre and the Orsay Museum, and after take a walk around the city’s gardens. Some of the most popular gardens are the Luxembourg and Tulleries gardens. Barcelona Located farther south, this city on the coast of the Mediterranean sea is the ideal spot for some culture, delicious local food and an afternoon on the beach. Visit the Boquería market to purchase local granizados iced drinks, some fresh bread, cheese, jamón ham and fruit, and organize a picnic in the Parc Güell park. This park was designed by Gaudí and is decorated with tiled fountains and statues. The observation deck, with a semicircular bench covered in traditional trencadis tiles, has views towards the city and the sea. Hang around the Eixample quarter if you want to see more of Gaudí’s architecture, including Casa Milá and Casa Batlló buildings, and do not miss the famous Sagrada Familia, an unfinished cathedral known for its façades with carved statues. Get lost in the Gothic Quarter if you enjoy medieval architecture. This area has many attractions, including an ancient Cathedral, a cloister filled with geese and narrows streets where some of the city’s hippest bars, shops and restaurants are located.

Lisbon by Baruck (Creative Commons)

Lisbon Located on the Atlantic coast, the city of Lisbon is another destination for a city break. The main area to explore is the Alfama district, where most of the city’s famous landmarks are located. This area is located on the banks of the Tagus river and offers views towards this ancient cities. Visit St. George’s Castle. Part of the palace building is now a restaurant and several underground chambers have been converted into an archaeological museums. If you want to try some traditional food, head to one of the city’s many pastry shops and buy a box of pasteis de Belem, custard-filled pastries.

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The Best Places to Go Camping in Europe http://travelandtea.com/the-best-places-to-go-camping-in-europe/ http://travelandtea.com/the-best-places-to-go-camping-in-europe/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 02:03:09 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1770 If you want an independent and fun way of taking a holiday then going camping is a fantastic option. Europe is filled with lots of top quality campsites so choosing which country to go to is the first hurdle to come across. The UK Staying close to home will make it a cheaper trip in […]

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If you want an independent and fun way of taking a holiday then going camping is a fantastic option. Europe is filled with lots of top quality campsites so choosing which country to go to is the first hurdle to come across.

The UK

Staying close to home will make it a cheaper trip in most cases. For a start, you will save on travelling costs to get to your campsite. The UK has a huge number of campsites and many of them are close to big attractions such as beaches, theme parks or interesting cities. Perhaps the main reason you might be put off is the fear that it will be a bit, well, boring. After all, if you know one part of the UK you might not see any reason to visit elsewhere. Thankfully, you will discover that it can be exciting to visit Cornwall, the Lake District Scotland, Wales or anywhere else you aren’t familiar with.

France

There are some very good reasons why France is such a popular destination with the UK’s campers. There are many top class sites across the country. From Nice to Paris and from Bordeaux to Nantes, this is a magnificent country for camping in. The open roads, the lovely countryside and the great food options mean that you won’t be short of things to do. It is also a county with a lot of local festivals and some of the beaches are top class too.

Spain

It is easy to think of Spain purely in terms of holidays in a beach resort hotel. It is hugely popular with people who want this kind of break but camping here can be great fun too. The coastline on the South coast is where you might look first of all and there is no doubt that this is a fine place to take a camping holiday. Having said that, you might be even more impressed by the greenery along the spectacular northern coast. Basing yourself in a camping site close to a big city like Barcelona is also a smart way to make it a cost effective and independent city break.

Italy

This is another one of the best places for camping in the whole of Europe. As with the previous options, it is such a big and varied country that there are a number of ways of approaching your trip there. Maybe you will be keen on the incredible scenery of the Italian Lake District or the beauty of the Dolomites. Another option is to stay close to one of the country’s cities. You might be surprised to find how easy it is to make a base close to Venice, Florence or even Rome. As camping trips are self catering breaks you will be delighted to find that you are spoiled for choice in food terms here. Will you choose to eat out in restaurants while you are in Italy or will you buy some fresh local produce and cook something authentic?

Photo by mt33 on Flickr

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Where In Europe Will You Eat Like a King? http://travelandtea.com/where-in-europe-will-you-eat-like-a-king/ http://travelandtea.com/where-in-europe-will-you-eat-like-a-king/#comments Mon, 18 Nov 2013 00:00:44 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1376 For such a relatively small region, continental Europe has a bewildering variety of languages, cultures and customs. It is also fascinating to see how a short trip across the continent can expose you to a massive range of different types of food. So, where in Europe will you most enjoy eating? Florence for Fresh Home […]

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For such a relatively small region, continental Europe has a bewildering variety of languages, cultures and customs. It is also fascinating to see how a short trip across the continent can expose you to a massive range of different types of food. So, where in Europe will you most enjoy eating?

Florence for Fresh Home Cooking

It is easy to associate Italy with some of our favourite pasta dishes but there is a lot more to it than that. Each region of this fantastic country has a different type of cuisine. Perhaps the one which has received most critical acclaim in the UK in recent years is the Tuscan cuisine. This is a simple, wholesome way of cooking which involve a lot of fresh ingredients. Best of all, this is a picturesque region which great cities like Florence and Siena in it. Many Brits decide to come here to enjoy a foodie holiday, with some of them even deciding to take Tuscan cookery classes as part of the adventure.

Oktoberfest for a Huge Variety of Sausages

The variety and quality of sausages on sale in Germany is quite staggering. From the classic Bratwurst to the fast food staple called Currywurst and the bloody Blutwurst, there are many different types for you to try. Oktoberfest in Munich is one of the best opportunities to try out some of these wonderful sausages. Huge amounts of sausages are eaten here, along with an estimated 7 litres of beer ever year. If you like the sound of this sort of food experience then Oktoberfest in Munich could be ideal for you.

Paella and Horchata in Valencia

If there is one food you associate with Spain above all others then it is probably paella. You might be surprised to find how many different types of paella you find once you travel there. It is a basically a rice dish which can include seafood, meat, vegetables, beans and just about anything else. While we tend to think of this as being a typical Spanish meal, it is really most associated with the Valencia region. That doesn’t mean that you can’t get a plate of paella elsewhere. However, if you want to eat it in a classic setting you should do so in Valencia or the surrounding region. A classic drink here is called horchata and a refreshing glass of this delicious drink will help cool you down on a hot summer’s day.

Frog’s Legs in Dombes

It has recently been suggested that Brits were eating frog’s legs before the French started doing so. This is regarded as a classic Gallic dish but it is far from the only country where they are seen as a delicacy. For example, Indonesia, Thailand and China are some of the places where they are commonly eaten.  The Dombes region of France is one of the parts of the country where they are most widely consumed. If you want to try some local specialities while you are in France then this is sure to be near the top of your list.

Photo by bugmonkey on Flickr

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When Is the Best Time to Go to Spain? http://travelandtea.com/when-is-the-best-time-to-go-to-spain/ http://travelandtea.com/when-is-the-best-time-to-go-to-spain/#comments Mon, 28 Oct 2013 00:00:23 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1340 Spain is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits and there are some very good reasons why this is the case. This massive country has all of the vibrant cities, great breaches and cultural attractions you could look for but when is the best time to go there? Summer for a Busy Beach […]

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Spain is one of the most popular holiday destinations for Brits and there are some very good reasons why this is the case. This massive country has all of the vibrant cities, great breaches and cultural attractions you could look for but when is the best time to go there?

Summer for a Busy Beach

Summer time is when many of us traditionally think of heading off to a Spanish beach. The idea of soaking up the sun on the beach and taking a dip in the warm water is certainly pretty exciting. The downside to going to Spain at this time of year is that it can be pretty crowded in the main holiday resorts and more expensive as well. Plus, you might find that the heat is just a bit too much for you. Having said all of that, if you love getting a tan and enjoying great nightlife this could be the ideal way to spend your summer. One final point to remember is that a lot of Spanish workers in cities like Madrid and Sevilla take the steaming hot month of August for their holidays. This means that the big cities are often virtually deserted as everyone heads to the sea for a long break.

Winter for Some Warm Sun

In the depths of a freezing cold British winter the thought of some Spanish sunshine can be extremely welcome. The best place to warm up your chilly bones during the coldest months of the year is definitely in the Canary Islands. These pleasant islands are hugely popular with winter sun seekers from the UK and other countries, as the temperature is almost always extremely pleasant in the winter. Other popular destinations like Majorca, Benidorm and Alicante will probably still be warmer than the UK, although you could still find rain, cold weather and grey skies if you are unlucky.  Some beach resorts close down almost completely in the coldest months, while Benidorm is a good example of somewhere which stays busy with foreign tourists even when the temperature isn’t as high.

Spring or Autumn for the Best of Both Worlds?

It can be extremely pleasant in Spain in spring or autumn. In fact, the early autumn months can be as hot as summer in a lot of cases. If you want to avoid the really high temperatures then spring could be a good bet. If you avoid peak periods like Easter then you should find that prices are cheaper than in summer but that there is still a lot to do and see. This is probably also a great time to visit Madrid, as it can be stiflingly hot in summer but also suffers from fairly cold winters.

Summary

Like all of the planet’s truly great travel destinations, there is simply no bad time to visit Spain. However, to choose the perfect time for your trip you should consider what your budget is and what you want to do while you are there.

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Majorca is More Than Just a Beach http://travelandtea.com/majorca-is-more-than-just-a-beach/ http://travelandtea.com/majorca-is-more-than-just-a-beach/#comments Mon, 30 Sep 2013 00:00:51 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1297 If you have ever been on a holiday to Majorca in Spain then there is a fair chance that you spent a fair bit of the time on the beach. Big resorts like Palma Nova, Alcudia and Magaluf are magnets for loads of tourists in the summer and many of them don’t get any further […]

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If you have ever been on a holiday to Majorca in Spain then there is a fair chance that you spent a fair bit of the time on the beach. Big resorts like Palma Nova, Alcudia and Magaluf are magnets for loads of tourists in the summer and many of them don’t get any further than the beach, the hotel and the local pubs and restaurants.

This is a shame, as it is an island with a lot to offer, so why not try one of the following things when you are next there? There is sure to be something which makes your holiday even more interesting and memorable.

See Palma

Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the island and it is a fascinating, cosmopolitan city. One of the most striking elements of the city is the imposing cathedral known as La Seu. It is a fantastic building and around it are the narrow, Roman streets of the old town and a small lake. In the warm summer evenings there are often outdoor concerts and film screenings held here. The city also has a nice market on Saturday mornings and a long promenade which takes you past the big cruise ships and some spectacular private boats. One thing you might notice during your time here is even if you speak decent Spanish you can’t understand much of what is said. This is because they speak a dialect of Catalan called Mallorquin here, although it is highly unlikely that anyone speaks to you in anything other than Spanish or maybe English. The two languages used here is why you will see two versions of most place names.

Try Other Resorts

The resorts we mentioned earlier are popular with British holidaymakers but there are other resorts which are worth checking out. For example, you could take the bus into Palma and then the wonderful train journey to Soller. Another option is to head along to the German dominated S´Arenal (also called El Arenal) . This is an interesting day trip because you get to feel a little bit like you are in Germany while you are on holiday in Spain. You can read shop signs in German, eat some bratwursts and maybe see a German singer or some TV from there. It is a kind of disorienting experience but something which is well worth trying.

See the Countryside

Majorca also has some surprisingly wonderful countryside. The train journey to Soller we looked at earlier is one of the simplest ways to see it. The train departs from right next to the bus station in Palma and then goes through lovely orange groves and other pleasant scenery before pulling into scenic Soller. Valldemossa is famous as being possible the most attractive of the villages on the island. It isn’t especially easy to get to on public transport but it is well worth making the effort. Deia is another fine village which seems a million miles away from the crowded beaches and bars of Magaluf.

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What Are the Best European Cities for Shopping Trips? http://travelandtea.com/what-are-the-best-european-cities-for-shopping-trips/ http://travelandtea.com/what-are-the-best-european-cities-for-shopping-trips/#comments Mon, 19 Aug 2013 03:23:37 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1207 If you fancy combining travelling with a spot of retail therapy then there are some wonderful places in Europe to do it. So which one will you choose to visit and spend some money in? Paris for Fashion There can be few better cities in the world for tourists than Paris. This place is just […]

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If you fancy combining travelling with a spot of retail therapy then there are some wonderful places in Europe to do it. So which one will you choose to visit and spend some money in?

Paris for Fashion

There can be few better cities in the world for tourists than Paris. This place is just packed with attractions and things to do, and one of the main ones is shopping. There are too many different shopping districts to mention here but you probably have already heard of the likes of the Avenue Champs Elysees and the  Avenue Montaigne. There are plenty more areas with everything from the ultra chic latest releases to flea market bargains. Of course, when you need a break there are few better cities for grabbing a coffee and watching the world go by.

Barcelona for Culture

Choosing the best shopping city in Spain is tough and many people would probably plump for Madrid. However, Barcelona wins in our book for the cool atmosphere in the city these days and the cultural things to see while you shop. The famous Ramblas district is somewhere you are sure to wander down at some point, while even the most avid shopper will be forced to look up and admire the Sagrada Familia church and the weird house known as the Pedrera. The food here is great as well and you can even hit the beach when you want to take the weight off your feet.

Vienna

Rather surprisingly, Vienna comes in extremely high on the list of the best value shopping destinations in the world. You might think that the Austrian capital is all about coffee shops, opera shows and luxurious slices of cake. There are a lot of those things here but you will also find some great shops and markets as well. If you are thinking of heading out to Vienna for a pre Christmas shopping trip then you will be bowled over by the magical atmosphere and the array of fantastic seasonal markets.

Milan

If you want to feel as though you are in the heart of the world of fashion then you can’t do much better than head over to Milan in Italy. If you want a bargain then January and July are the best times of year to come here. Interestingly, rather than being spread out over the city the city’s top fashion shops are mainly to be found in the Quadrilatero d’Oro area.

London

Let’s not forget that the UK is also a great spot to do some shopping. If you want to stay at home while making some great purchases then there are some wonderful cities to choose from. London is the biggest and best, of course, and you will find a huge variety of shops in the different parts of the capital. Once the shopping is over for the day you can choose from a wide range of top class bars, West End shows, great restaurants and many other attractions to make your trip as exciting as possible.

Photo by batigolix on Flickr

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The Best Countries for Drinking Wine http://travelandtea.com/the-best-countries-for-drinking-wine/ http://travelandtea.com/the-best-countries-for-drinking-wine/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 00:00:07 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1188 If you are a fan of wine then you have probably tried some from a few different countries. Wine is a drink which is produced in a wide variety of countries and going to see the wineries where it is produced can add a fascinating twist to your visit to a wine producing country. Here […]

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If you are a fan of wine then you have probably tried some from a few different countries. Wine is a drink which is produced in a wide variety of countries and going to see the wineries where it is produced can add a fascinating twist to your visit to a wine producing country. Here are some of the best places to enjoy some on your next trip.

Argentina

Strange as it may seem, Argentina is the 5th biggest wine producer in the world right now. The quality of the wine made here has increased vastly in recent years. Mendoza is where most of the good stuff comes from and it is also a beautiful region to explore. You can make a trip to a few of the different bodegas and sample their different wines while getting to see a lot of the place and speaking to many locals. Interestingly, they claim to produce the world’s highest altitude wine here, although if you cross over to Tarija in Bolivia you will find that they make the same claim about their wine.  If you want to take in a few countries on your South American wine tour then there is also some excellent stuff produced in Chile as well.

Australia

You have probably tried an Australian wine at some point. This country is one place ahead of Argentina in the list of wine producing countries but sends out a far higher percentage of the drink to other parts of the world. Norfolk Island is famed for being home to some of the world’s biggest wine consumers, so you might like to go there to sample some of the local wine culture. Otherwise, Hunter Valley, Barossa Valley and Yarra Valley are some of the country’s most famous wine producing regions. It is easy to arrange either short or long wine tours in Australia if you are short of time but exploring these wine producing regions on your own can be even more rewarding.

Spain

The third biggest producer of wine on the planet is Spain.  Production is spread out all over this country. In fact, it is the country with most area dedicated to wine production. This means that it isn’t going to be easy to take in all of the different regions. The best idea is probably to focus on one area, such as Galicia, Catalonia or Rioja in your trip. There is a massive amount of grape varieties used in Spain and the wines produced in the different regions are all distinctive, so you might like to sample a few and make your decision on where to go based on this. The country also has an enviable wine culture, especially in the Mediterranean areas, of sitting back after a meal and drinking a glass or two of the good stuff. Even if you don’t make it to a bodega you can still enjoy a few glasses in a local bar or restaurant and add an extra special touch to your time in the country.

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Head to Spain for Adventurous Festivals http://travelandtea.com/head-to-spain-for-adventurous-festivals/ http://travelandtea.com/head-to-spain-for-adventurous-festivals/#comments Mon, 24 Jun 2013 00:00:23 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1097 You probably already know about the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona. This is a high octane Spanish festival which attracts tourists from all round the world. However, it isn’t the only wacky festival this country has to offer. In fact, if you fancy adding a bit of excitement to your life then a […]

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You probably already know about the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona. This is a high octane Spanish festival which attracts tourists from all round the world. However, it isn’t the only wacky festival this country has to offer. In fact, if you fancy adding a bit of excitement to your life then a trip across to Spain could do the trick.

Throwing Tomatoes All Day

The Tomatina festival is getting more and more popular among people who love to throw tomatoes at each other. It happens in August each year in the town of Buñol. The action starts with locals trying to climb up a greased pole to grab a ham. When trucks arrive to dump tens of thousands of ripe, specially grown tomatoes the fun really starts. This should probably be recommended as some sort of therapeutic break for stressed out business people looking to let off some steam. It is becoming increasingly popular with foreign travellers and the scenes of tomato-based devastation in the town after the action is over are sure to form a lingering memory for you if you take part in it one year.

The Devil Jumping Over Babies

This next Spanish festival is possibly even weirder and certainly harder to explain. If you can imagine a guy dressed as a colourful devil character you are halfway there. Now if you can imagine him jumping over babies who are lying prostrate in the middle of the street then you have got the idea. Castrillo de Murcia is where this bizarre event happens and it is said to be a way of cleansing the spirits of the babies. They have been jumping over babies for almost 4 centuries here, although it is a festival which has attracted its fair share of controversy too. It seems that the Vatican isn’t too happy with local priests taking part in the event, but the locals are fiercely proud of their unique and unfathomable festival, as well they should be too.

Bashed by Two Villages

There are plenty of other wonderfully strange festivals in Spain but the one which might grab your attention most of all is the Fiesta de Cascamorras in the Granada region. Guadix and Baza are two neighbouring villages round here and a long, long time ago someone from Guadix tried and failed to steal a religious figure from Baza, getting a bashing from both sets of villagers but ironically bringing the communities closer together in their worshipping. Every year some hapless local dressed up as a clown gets sent over to Baza to get covered in paint. As he returns to Guadix empty handed he gets more paint thrown over him. He might also get the odd thump throughout the fiesta as well. In fact, quite a few thumps are guaranteed if we are being honest. If you fancy a festival in another part of the country then you will find that there are interesting options all over Spain, mainly during the summer months.

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The Alternative Side of Ibiza http://travelandtea.com/the-alternative-side-of-ibiza/ http://travelandtea.com/the-alternative-side-of-ibiza/#comments Mon, 20 May 2013 19:34:34 +0000 http://travelandtea.com/?p=1029 Ibiza is home to more than just the stereotypical club scene. Of course, it‘s great for clubbing, if that’s what you’re after – but if 24-hour partying just isn’t your thing, no problem. Ibiza has so much more to offer. Taking the kids? No problem. Fancy an upmarket hen do with a difference? Sure, we’ve […]

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Ibiza is home to more than just the stereotypical club scene. Of course, it‘s great for clubbing, if that’s what you’re after – but if 24-hour partying just isn’t your thing, no problem. Ibiza has so much more to offer. Taking the kids? No problem. Fancy an upmarket hen do with a difference? Sure, we’ve got that covered.

Relaxation time

Ibiza has miles and miles of gorgeous sandy beaches to choose from, and plenty are away from the clubbing scene. For example there are lots of small coves hidden around Cala Tarida which are postcard-perfect. You’ll get off the tourist track and be surrounded by locals (probably starkers) but it’ll be a world away from the overcrowded central beaches.

If you’ve got kids with you, you’ll probably want to steer clear of the clubbing holidaymakers so avoid the San Antonio area and Es Caná beach. Santa Eulalia is one of the cleanest beaches in Ibiza and a quiet location perfect for families; alternatively San Miguel beach is also child-friendly and comes with a resident lifeguard.

This video of San Miguel beach gives you an idea of what to expect.

If you want to go further afield, Formentera is a little island that’s about a 30 minute boat ride from Ibiza which has world-class beaches. It’s a peaceful island with natural beauty and is known for being very relaxing. Take it a step further by joining a yoga class while you’re there.

For a peaceful getaway, groups of girlfriends can save themselves the hassle of arranging hotels and activities by booking a hen party package that includes a spa visit and a VIP experience at a bar. Find out more here.

Shopping and fine dining

You’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to food in Ibiza. Some of the best include Sa Capella, which is in an old converted church. It’s perfect for a romantic meal for two but will also happily host families with children – and is popular with wedding parties.

For something a little more bohemian, try the beachside Kumharas. There’s a chill-out area, an intimate lounge area, or a more traditional dining room. The menu has Asian influences and the venue regularly hosts percussion workshops and African dance activities.

Don’t forget that the Spanish tend to eat later in the evening than people who live in the UK – so bear this in mind if you have hungry young children. You may find cultural eating habits different when you’re on a holiday abroad – this post lists some of the interesting differences between English and Spanish etiquette.

If you fancy a bit of shopping while on your holiday, you must check out Ibiza’s famous hippy markets. Es Caná market is on Wednesdays just outside the Club Punta Arabí; while Las Dalias market is held on Saturdays. In each you’ll find an array of handmade ceramics, jewellery and clothing from all over the world.

Soaking up the culture

Ibiza Town, found of the south east coast is divided into two areas: the old town, locally referred to as Dalt Vila, and the newer part called Eixample. Head to Dalt Vila by foot to experience its gorgeous, narrow, winding alleyways – we really recommend you climb the 100m summit for amazing views over the town, harbour and out to Formentera.

In Dalt Vila you can’t miss the beautiful fortress cathedral, built in the 14th century, and Almudaina Castle. Opposite the cathedral you’ll find the Museu Arqueològic is an archaeological museum which preserves and researches remains from the prehistoric age. The nearby Museu Puget pays homage to Ibizan painters Narcís Puget Viñas and his son Narcís Puget Riquer.

For a tour around the island, you can hire mountain bikes or join a guided ride to explore the stunning coastline and mountains. Alternatively the tourist train will let you put your feet up and enjoy the ride!

Photo by Forbfruit, via Wikimedia Commons

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