Introduction To Canary Islands

Introduction To Canary IslandsThe Canary Islands is a group of small islands off the coast of Spain and these islands have two capital cities; Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The name of these islands are not in reference to canaries but rather to dogs. This name was given because according to legend some of the island residents in ancient times would worship dogs. What is also interesting is that while the Canary  Islands are associated with Spain, these islands are really located off the African coast and near the equator rather than Spain itself. Mount Teide, the volcano located near the Canary Islands, is the third largest volcano worldwide.

It’s Expensive To Travel in Canary Islands

When you plan your Itrip to the Canary Islands, keep in mind that you’re going to need extra funds as it is expensive to travel there. Expect to pay close to 80 euros for lodging at a hotel and about 30 euros for a meal at the restaurants on the islands. You can save money on entertainment expenses by purchasing staples in the markets and cooking inside the hotel.

History And Colonization of Canary Islands

Before Spain sent Christopher Coumbus to the Americas to explore the New World, Spain colonized the Canary Islands and over time sugarcane was the main crop as more settlers from Spain arrived in the Canary Islands. As time went on many of the native inhabitants died due to diseases and a majority of the Canary Islands residents were Spaniards.

Some Information on Cuisine of Canary Islands

The cuisine of the Canary Islands is a combination of the native influences and traditional Spanish flavors. In addition, the cuisine of the Canary Islands also contains some African influences due to its’ proximity to northwestern Africa. Some of the main food staples used in Canary Islands cuisine include potatoes, fish, bananas, corn, tomatoes, beans and cocoa. A popular dish served in the Canary Islands is puchero canario, a soup in which the broth would be served first and the meat and vegetables would be served later. Another good dish is wrinkled potatoes, where the potatoes are boiled until very soft. Rabbit stew is also served at many restaurants.

About Specific Islands Within Canary Islands

Tenerife is the largest island within the Canary Islands and if you visit the northeastern section of Tenerife, you will find a few national parks. In the main part of Tenerife you’ll see streets paved with ancient cobblestone and you’ll enjoy the museum and beaches on the island. Gran Canaria is another great island to check out and Las Palmas is the capital. Las Palmas has a lot of historic architecture for you to see and there are some neat beaches.

Additional Places To Check Out

If you visit the Canary Islands you need to hang out at the Cueva de Llano on the island of Fuenteveventura and the translation is the “Cave of the Plains”. At Cueva de Llano you’ll see plenty of historic caves look majestic and strong. There is also the Garajonay National Park where you’ll find over 400 species of flowers and several hiking trails that you can walk across in the park with your traveling companions. The Roque de los Muchachos Observatory would  be a neat place for astronomy lovers and El Sabinar is a beautiful jungle forest.

Boat Trips in Tenerife

For those who love to spend time on the water, you should go on a boat trip in Tenerife because if you go in the summer particularly, the weather in Tenerife is pleasant and you’ll while you’re on the boat you’ll see dolphins in the river. Some people engage in scuba diving on these trips while others just hold fun parties on the boat.

Tips on Renting A Villa in Canary Islands

The first step in renting a villa is to determine which section of the Canary Islands you want to visit and then you would visit different websites to compare the prices of villas in the Canary Islands. Learn about the features of each villa you’re considering for the vacation. Look at photos of the villas before making a decision and then you are ready to book your reservation for the villa.

I’m Visiting The Canary Islands in The Winter. What Will The Weather Be Like?

The Canary Islands is located in a subtropical area so this means that the weather is subtropical. From November to February the climate in the Canary Islands is at 59 degrees and it doesn’t get above 74 deg

rees. But for the most part the weather is pleasant during the winter months in the islands. If you travel there in the winter pack rain gear because winter is the wettest time in the Canary Islands.

Additional Things To Do In Tenerife, Canary Islands

One good activity to do in Tenerife is to swim at one of several beaches there. At the beach you can bathe in the sun and talk with some of the locals who can educate you on what life is like in Tenerife. You should also check out the third largest volcano in the world, Teide. This volcano stands 12,000 feet and you can ride a cable car in the sky to get a majestic view of it. Whale watching is also a neat activity.

Conclusion

The Canary Islands are a great getaway for those who don’t like the hustle and bustle of mainland Spain or who prefer to travel in a laid back setting. When you arrive in Canary Islands you shouldn’t just focus on the popular tourist attractions but also focus on places that are off the beaten path. Practice safety and always have numbers of the nearest police station and hospital in the event of an emergency. Pack other items such as your passport, medicines, sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses and extra clothes in case you have to stay longer than expected. Buy plenty of souvenirs and take a lot of pictures!

Must Visit Places in Greece

Must Visit Places in GreeceGreece is a country that contributed to Western civilization and even today we can feel Greece’s influence in modern architecture, philosophy, the arts and in politics. If you have a love for all things Greece, then you should check out these must visit places for your next vacation.

Santorini

If you visit Santorini you’ll be treated to rows of beautiful white stucco homes situated on hills and that face crystal clear bluish green waters. Many people visit Santorini for this reason and if you’re an art buff you should go to the island’s prehistoric art museum so that you can show the kids what ancient Greek art looked like. You can also visit the lively bars and restaurants on the island.

Acropolis

Acropolis is just as amazing as other parts of Greece and it is also of historical significance. In ancient times a statue of Athena, the goddess of Acropolis was erected in this city and in Acropolis you’ll always find temples of Parthenon and Athena Nike. Those who are history buffs would enjoy going to this site.

Athens

You can’t go on a Greek vacation without visiting Athens and here are some must see places in Athens you should visit besides the infamous Acropolis. The Kanellopoulos Museum is built in the neo classical tradition and it houses a ton of ancient artifacts from Greece’s glory days when powerful rulers were the norm. These artifacts include pottery, swords, jewelry, other kinds of weapons and textile clothing.There is also the National Archaeological Museum and it offers something similar. Also check out a few ancient temples.

World Heritage Sites in Greece

If you prefer to see the World Heritage sites in Greece, you can visit Mystras because this 13th century structure was built during the Crusades and it has been occupied by the Greeks and later by the Turks. Mystras also has plenty of Byzantine era churches and a handful of castles. You’ll also enjoy the island of Delos as it is the birthplace of the god Apollo and this island was a major place for trading in ancient times. The temple of Apollos Epicurius is another important World Heritage site and in ancient times the Greeks came to the temple for healing.

Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second largest city and it is a city of historic significance as in ancient times the apostle Paul established a church in Thessaloniki and nowadays this city is a cultural metropolis within the country. If you’re into historical architecture of Greece, you’ll like the city of Thessaloniki because it has a few Byzantine era churches and for art lovers, a few galleries exist in this city.

Conclusion

Greece has a lot to offer tourists and before you plan a trip to this country you should research the different destinations with the help of online resources and your travel agency so that you can get the best deal on your Greek vacation. Don’t forget your passport and be sure to get vaccinations.

Info About Balearic Islands

Info About Balearic IslandsThe Balearic Islands are islands that are under the control of Spain and are each beautiful in its’ own right. The summers in the Balearic Islands are generally hot and the winters there are mild. There are four islands that make up the Balearic islands. Majorca is one of the islands and tourists enjoy the crystal blue waters that surround this island. Tourists will also love the hilltop villages situated on this island’s hillsides and for those who love the nightlife, Majorca has plenty of nightclubs to choose from and you can also visit some of the nice restaurants. For those who love water sports, Majorca allows you to go scuba diving and snorkeling.

Top Places To Check Out in Balearic Islands

If you’re visiting the Balearic Islands, you should go to the Cuevas de Drach in Majorca and the translation is “Dragon Caves”. The caves look somewhat dragon like and inside this cave lies creepy yet beautiful drooping caverns made of limestone. The Faro de la Mola on the island of Fomentera is another must see for the tourist. This structure is a tall white lighthouse that stands at 625 feet tall and it looks wonderful at night. La Mola Fortaleza is an ancient fortress that is reminiscent of ancient Spain.

Popular Foods And Drinks in Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands are home to delicious traditional Spanish cuisine and here are some good dishes to try. Tumbet is a thick soup that includes courgette, potatoes, eggplant and tomato sauce. Ensamada is a cake with a special rich icing.

Languages Spoken in Balearic Islands

In the Balearic Islands two languages are spoken; Catalan and Spanish. However, there are some workers in the islands who understand English but when packing for your trip it’s a good idea to bring a Spanish English phrasebook so that you can understand the signs, menus, and what the locals are saying when you communicate with them.

Starting A Business in Balearic Islands

If you’re interested in starting a business in Balearic Islands here are the steps you should take. Start by being a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Spain and you should also learn as much Spanish as possible. Another thing you should do is rent a home on one of the islands for at least a year to get an idea of what the business culture is like there. You would then apply for a foreign identification number and then start the business.

Conclusion

The Balearic Islands are a great tourist destination and it has a neat business climate for those who want to become entrepreneurs there. The climate is incredible most of the year and you can bathe in the sun while getting to know the locals. Pack extra clothing when you prepare for the trip in case you’ll need to stay longer and you should bring extra cash for shopping. Enjoy yourself and record the memories with the camcorder. Finally, stay safe while traveling and be aware of your surroundings at night.

Parador Hotels

Parador HotelsParador hotels are hotels in Spain that are affiliated with the government and these hotels are housed in buildings that are of historic or cultural significance. One interesting parador hotel is the Parador de Avila, which is housed in a 15th century palace and this hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens. There is also the Parador de Cuenca and this was the site of a former Dominican convent. The balconies on this hotel sit above cliffs and rivers, and the restaurant next to it serves delicious meat dishes.

Brief History of Paradors

The first parador was built in 1928 in the Gredos Mountains. Over time the conversion of historic buildings to hotels gained approval by King Alfonso XIII and in the  during the nation’s infamous Civil War in the 1930s, some of the parador hotels became hospitals to treat the wounded. During Francisco Franco’s dictatorship the paradors became popular once more and currently there are over 90 paradors in Spain. Most of the paradors are of three and four star quality, and many of them have amenities such as spas, restaurants and gardens.

What You Can Expect At Parador Hotels

Each parador hotel offers a variety of activities and tours for visitors to check out. Some parador hotels have gastronomic activities on site where you can sample different traditional Spanish foods from the staff at the hotel. Some parador hotels are sites of historic significance and when you stay at one of them you learn more about Spain’s ancient past. At other paradors you can engage in a variety of water sports.

Affordability of Paradors

A benefit of the paradors in Spain is that they are affordable with the average rates ranging from $40 and $115 nightly. This makes the parador hotel an excellent choice for lodging in Spain when you cannot afford to stay in the luxurious hotels within the major cities. These paradors may be affordable but the inside of them look beautiful even though the outside has some slight wear and tear over the years.

Foods That You Would Eat At Parador Hotels

Since many parador hotels offer fine dining, you should know about some of the main foods that are consumed in Spain. Generally for breakfast Spaniards do not eat a big breakfast but rather a small appetizer that would consist of long shaped churros with coffee. In the late afternoon you would be served a large lunch that involves three courses. Small appetizers called tapas are legendary in Spain and you will find these at most paradors that serve meals. Paella is a delicious seafood and rice dish that includes saffron and native spices.

Conclusion

Parador hotels are an affordable way to enjoy Spain while taking in its’ rich cultural history. While staying at the parador hotel you can talk with some of the locals about life in the city they live in and you can share with them information about your culture and life. Enjoy the trip and take plenty of pictures.

Mallorca Outdoor Extreme Activities

Mallorca Outdoor Extreme ActivitiesMallorca is a special kind of place for outdoors types because it offers so many different things for an adventurous soul to do. Being nestled up against the sea, as well as close to the countryside and wide open spaces, and other nearby towns, puts Mallorca in a position which few other areas share. For hardcore fitness devotees, there’s also a Crossfit gym available; check out additional hints about best Crossfit wearing gear, for successfull Crossfit gym attendance. Here’s a quick list of many different extreme outdoor activities one can enjoy in Mallorca.

Fishing

Naturally, you could go fishing just about anywhere there’s a body of water, so fishing isn’t exactly an activity unique to Mallorca. However, the proximity to the ocean and the ability to go after some pretty monstrous fish is still tough to find. If you’re used to fishing lakes or ponds for small fries, you’ve got to try deep sea fishing in and around Mallorca.

Windsurfing

Some windsurfers long for high winds like traditional surfers long for bigger and badder waves. However, Mallorca doesn’t typically feature gale force winds, making it an ideal place for newcomers to the sport of windsurfing to get their bearings and some training in the sport. That’s not to say it’s all light winds either, though – be ready for a gale in any case.

Sailing

Numerous watersports are highly popular in Mallorca, which isn’t at all surprising considering the location. Among these, sailing could be the most popular of them all, especially when you consider the numerous, prolific sporting events which revolve around sailing. Every year, sailors compete in the King’s Cup, as well as to get their hands on the Princess Sofia Trophy.

Hang Gliding

Hang gliding, or parasailing as some call it, is a sport where the participant becomes a kind of giant, human kite. High peaks are necessary as launch points for this sport, and Mallorca is full of those. In fact, rock climbing is another popular activity in the area, and parasailing and rock climbing tend to go hand in hand. For those who would rather not climb, the people of Mallorca do still use hot air balloons, which make for easy and even flight.

Diving / Snorkeling

Diving might not seem like such a dangerous or extreme activity, but I’m talking about diving in the waters around Mallorca, not checking what’s going on under the surface of the water at your local pool. There’s so much to see and interact with under the water, even at marginal depths, which is why snorkeling is also a popular way to kill time in Mallorca. You don’t have to go down especially far to see fish, coral, shells and all the other sights waiting just below the surface.

These are just five of the fun activities you can look forward to enjoying if you should choose to visit Mallorca. There are other things to do too, but I just haven’t got the time to talk about them all here. Look forward to water-skiing, rock climbing, spelunking and other daring activities. Don’t forget about Crossfit too – find out here additional info about must have gear for Crossfitters.

Botanical Gardens on Canary Islands

Botanical Gardens on Canary IslandsBotanical gardens make for nice destinations during lengthy travel. Not only do they tend to offer a wide collection of different plants which can’t normally be found in a particular place, but they’re also some of the most relaxing spots, at least in my own experience. All that dense growth condensed into a small space puts a powerful amount of oxygen into the local atmosphere, and I swear I just feel better as soon as I walk into one of these types of gardens. So where does one get the perfect mix of vacation and botanical gardens then? On the Canary Islands, I’d say.

You can grow your own garden at home using top t5 grow lights in 2014, but we don’t all have the kind of space for huge, lush gardens like what can be found at the following few places:

Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden

The Viera y Clavijo Botanical Garden in Gran Canaria is one of the finest botanical gardens the Canary Islands have to offer. It is only a handful of miles from the capital city, Las Palmas. Actually, the Canary Islands have two capitals, but this garden is much closer to Las Palmas than Santa Cruz. Several plant species from the Macaronesia region can be found here, as well as many plant types nearing extinction.

Jardin de Aclimatacion de La Orotava

This botanical garden features the largest collection of tropical and subtropical plants among all the gardens on the Canary Islands. It is settled in Puerto la Cruz, and features a substantial lily pond which caters to other types of waterborne plants as well. Some of the oldest and largest trees on the Islands can be found in this particular garden.

Maroparque Botanical and Animal Park

For a nice change of pace, consider visiting the Maroparque Botanical and Animal Park, near Breña Altaon the island of Las Palmas. Not only is it a fully featured botanical garden, but it also features some rare and exotic animals, both from around Spain and other parts of the world. It’s really more of a combination garden and zoo, but that doesn’t detract from the sense of wonder that comes with visiting the place.

Vallehermoso Botanical Garden

Due to the great land area devoted to this botanical garden (over 16,000 square meters), the Vallehermoso Botanical Garden might just be the largest of all the botanical gardens on the Islands. It can be found on La Gomera. The garden features plants from other countries, including the United States, as well as some indigenous species found only on the Canary Islands.

If you ask me, these are the best Botanical Gardens the Canary Islands have to offer visitors. Among these four, the selection of different plant species (and even animals) is hard to match, even for the other gardens on the Islands. However, you may be able to see something more spectacular if you head for the mainland and try Spain, France or another nearby bit of Europe. Get more information about indoor gardening at Plantozoid.com.

Top 10 Ibiza Attractions

Top 10 Ibiza AttractionsSure, there are many popular tourist and vacation spots cradling the Mediterranean, in a handful of different countries and even on multiple continents. But there’s nothing like spending time in Ibiza. That’s one of my favorite spots to visit when I’m looking to unwind, and here are some of ways I do just that.

  1. EivissaDalt Vila is a fine place to start your foray into Ibiza. It’s practically the oldest part of the city and is protected by many local laws that keep new construction and demolition in the area to a minimum. You don’t even need a car to travel through Ibiza Upper Town and there are plenty of shops and markets to walk through too.
  2. Naturally, getting out onto the Mediterranean to enjoy water sports like swimming, boating, waterskiing and parasailing is also a great way to kill time in Ibiza. Some of those activities can become expensive quickly, so be sure to budget for them ahead of time.
  3. Fans of parks and other wide open, unspoiled spaces will want to check out the Ses Salines National Park. It is a rather large park, encompassing a stretch of Ibiza’s southern reaches, and the borders even run south across the strait and into Formentera. You’ll need a boat for this one.
  4. The Port of Ibiza is also worth visiting, and incidentally a spot you’ll probably stop at anyhow if you’re checking of Ses Salines or other spots on the water. Goods are always coming and going and it’s a busy place, like other trading ports. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for something rare or exotic to commemorate your trip.
  5. I made a cursory mention of Formentera, but the island has more to offer than just park land. It’s home to many of the cleanest and most pristine beaches for miles around Ibiza, and many of them appeal to naturalists by offering nude sunbathing. Hey – when I said I wanted to unwind and let it all hang out, I meant it. Ha ha.
  6. Many people enjoy watching the sun setting in the evening, or rising in the morning. But if you haven’t caught a glimpse of what the sky over SesVariades looks like at dusk and dawn, then you’ve got to see it while you’re in Ibiza.
  7. Café Del Mar is a great place to get good food while you’re in Ibiza. It’s a historic restaurant and all, but I might be a little biased here since I had a fun drinking contest with some technological engineer working for Citrus while I was there.
  8. There are many entertaining bars, nightclubs and other venues worth checking out too. Ibiza is the kind of place where you can party until dawn, go sleep the sun away and then go back out the next evening to do it all over again. Check out Es Paradis, Eden and other major clubs.
  9. If you’re looking to get away from throngs of people and crowded clubs, there are fine alternatives worth mentioning. The island of EsVedra, for example, is largely uninhabited, and the kind of place where you can go walking and not see another soul all day.
  10. Last on this list but certainly not the least of the attractions offered by Ibiza is Atlantis. No, I’m not talking about that fictional lost city under the sea; I mean the sunken quarry near Ibiza, the stone from which was used ages ago to build much of Old Town. The sea reclaimed the place and is looks like a sunken scene from a Tolkien novel.

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