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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Endurance Sports and Competitions on Canary Islands

Endurance Sports and Competitions on Canary IslandsThe Canary Islands are a favorite vacation destination for people all over the world. From the United States to China, and the Arctic to the Antarctic, there’s just something about the warm sands, peace and quiet of the Canary Islands that draws folks in from all around. The proximity to Spain and plenty of good food, good wine and other comforts surely has something to do with this. However, the endurance sports and competitions available at the Canary Islands are also a major drawing point for tourists and visitors.

Even for those who aren’t personally participating in the events, there’s still plenty to see and watch at the Islands. Open water swimming in the sea, mountain climbing, beach running and other sports are all endurance events, meant to test players continuously and over a long period of time, rather than demanding that they quickly do a particular thing. These sports are arduous at best, downright damaging at their worst, and great ways for competitive people to find out if they have as much staying power as they believe. Some of them come with an inherent level of danger as well, but that just adds to the thrill of the sport for some players.

In particular, there are some special events coming up relatively soon on the Canary Islands. Though September is more or less clear of any major events, August was full of them, with three different triathlon events on the islands of La Palma and La Gomera. October isn’t far off though, and it brings a host of different shows with it: the Travesia a nado El Rio in Lanzarote; Coast2Coast Trail Running in Fuerteventura; Media Maraton de la Gomera in La Gomera; and the Tenerife Bluetrail in Tenerife, just to name a few of them.

However, running and climbing might not really be exciting enough for you. I know I find watching a bunch of people running pretty boring, myself. For really extreme sports you might check out Brazilian JiuJitsu training, where you can train with live partners, or test your skills against modern grappling dummies. JiuJitsu is a full contact sport, with plenty of fighting involved – it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. In addition to the intense physical aspect of Brazilian JiuJitsu, there’s a certain need for a calm and steady mind behind those punches, kicks, twists and throws. It’s not like fighting in a bar.

To get more information about the different events coming up on the Canary Islands and find out if any of them would be of special interest to you, all you need to do is run a quick search just for that. In no time, you should have a few pages loaded with information on the topic. Alas, I do not have enough space here to tell you about everything coming up on the Islands, but rest assured that there is much more to do than I have outlined here. If you’re planning on going, you should definitely look first.

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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