Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Cruising and Ferries to Spain

Sailing to the exciting Spanish port destinations of La Coruna, Vigo, Barcelona, Gibraltar, Cadiz and Palma de Mallorca, among others. At each of the destinations, passengers can disembark and explore the cities and surrounds at their leisure, or join a guided shore excursion that will highlight the best tourist hotspots in each area.

Some of the must-see locations in each city include the Tower of Hercules, a 2,000 year old Roman built lighthouse just outside La Coruna, the historic town centre of Vigo, and the many grand plazas of Cadiz, the oldest occupied city in Western Europe. In Gibraltar, passengers can take a cable car to the top of The Rock and look out across the Straits of Gibraltar to North Africa.

Barcelona's famous pedestrian mall, Las Ramblas, and the awe-inspiring gothic cathedral of Sagrada Familia are always popular attractions, as are the magnificent Sa Seu Cathedral and Bellver Castle in Palma.

Cruising to Spain provides holidaymakers with an unforgettable opportunity to experience the best this Mediterranean country has to offer.
There are a good many reputable cruise companies offering luxury cruises around the Mediterranean including Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean, MSC and Carnival.


There are daily sailings of ferries to Mainlain Spain and the Islands from around Europe including the Uk, Italy and Morocco, there is also an excellent internal network which operates from all the major ports along the mainland and the Spanish Islands and for all sea lovers this is a great way to travel around and explore Spain by sea. With ferry travel of course you have the added advantage of travelling with your vehicle.

The largest selection of low cost ferry companies sail from the UK including P&O Ferries , Brittany Ferries, LD Lines, sea France and Condor Ferries amongst many others. They cater for every major route into Spain on a variety of ferries including fast craft and a choice of daytime and overnight crossings. Portsmouth to Bilbao for instance is a popular route run by P&O Ferries . Most companies have an excellent online presence with simple to use online booking systems which will make your holiday planning easy.

There are Spain ferry sailings from Algeciras to Tangier and Ceuta (North African enclave); Malaga and Almeria to Melilla ( Spanish -North African enclave ), Barcelona, Valencia and Alicante to the Balearic Islands , and Cadiz to the Canary Islands.

Ferries to Spain from Italy are operated by Grimaldi Lines and Grandi Navi Veloci; you can travel to Barcelona from the ports of Civitavecchia, Livorno and Genoa.

Acciona Trasmediterranea run ferries to Spain from Tanger and Nador in Morocco, and from Alger, Oran and Ghazaouet in Algeria.

Ferries to Spain from the Balearic islands are operated by Balearia, Iscomar and Acciona Trasmediterranea. These operators offer frequent sailings from between the Balearic islands and mainland Spain, and also offer many inter-island services. Book a ferry to Spain from the Balearic ports of Alcudia, Palma, Ciutadella, Mahon, , Ibiza town, San Antonio and Formentera.

Acciona Trasmediterranea also offer ferries to Spain from the Canary islands of La Palma, Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Valencia Tourist Attractions

There really is so much to do and see around the city of Valencia that visitors are rarely bored when it comes to finding exciting places and attractions to visit.

Probably the most popular attraction at the moment is the City of Arts and Sciences located at the end of the Turia Gardens and just a ten minute walk from the beach and port area of Valencia. Within the area of this top attraction you will find the fascinating Aquarium which houses the largest marine and aquarium park in the Europe . It is housed in a stunning building designed by Felix Candela and is reminiscent of one of Gaudi’s impressive works.

As well a housing the Aquarium the City of Arts and Science is this truly a modern and stunning complex where will find the planetarium, science museum, botanical gardens and the grand opera house.

The aquarium is undoubtedly the most popular, and is divided into sections which represent the whole spectrum of the sea environment. The MEDITERRANEAN area contains the largest aquarium in Europe with almost 7.500 species to explore within several smaller aquariums. The OCEANOGRAPHIC area is situated mainly underground and houses the marshland, wetland areas and mangrove swamps. The ARCA de MAR zone is dedicated to the species under threat of extinction. It also has an impressive arctic space within an igloo and is where marine biologists monitor walruses and whales amongst other species. There is also a large colony of penguins which are great fun to watch during feeding time. The DOLPHINARIUM is the largest in Europe with a seating capacity for over 2.000 people and holds around 23 million liters of water !. As you would expect he dolphinarium provides great entertainment for all the family.

And when you are ready to eat you can do so in the impressive submarine restaurant and gaze at the marine life placed in tanks which surround the dining area.

Valencia is also home to some fine historic buildings which are a must see for all history fans and include the VALENCIA CATHEDRAL which is located in the old quarter and is home to the SEU museum, the oldest in Valencia containing the Holy Chalice of Valencia or the holey grail. El MICELET is a tower attached the cathedral and a great place to sharpen up your appetite by climbing up the 207 steps to the top where you and be rewarded with spectacular views over the city. The SANTA CATALINA church tower is also located in the old quarter and is a famous land mark in the area located near the town hall plaza. Another stunning building is LA LONGA where the silk merchants once plied their trades.

Also must visits is the beautiful CENTRAL MARKET ( Mercado Central ) which is one the largest in Europe and where you will find a vast array of local and national produce on offer from fresh fish and seafood , Spanish cured hams to clothes and bric-a-brac… a great to simply browse or pick up a holiday bargain or two.

Oh yes and Valencia is home to some great beaches including the Las Arenas and Las Malvarrosa areas which are easily reached by bus from the town center.

Other great value hotels around the city include the Las Arenas Balneario Resort As luxury resort with a superb seafront location by Las Arenas beach. Las Arenas Balneario Resort has a huge outdoor swimming pool and a spa.

Another popular choice is the Zenit Valencia located in the heart of Valencia, opposite the Estación del Norte Station and the bullring. The hotel has its own restaurant, El Azahar, which serves Mediterranean cuisine and has a roof terrace. The Zenit is just 200 metres from Valencia Town Hall, and the Cathedral is a 15-minute walk away. Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences is 2.5 km away from the hotel. Xàtiva Metro Station is just outside the Zenit Valencia.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Skiing in Spain this Winter

Spain is ranked second as the worlds hottest tourist destination and for most visitors its the sun and sand that brings them to the land of passion and not the skiing...until now !!.

The first snow falls on the mountainous regions of Spain are just around the corner and that means one thing ... the ski resorts will be busy preparing to open their doors in the coming weeks to the hundreds of thousands of winter sports enthusiasts preparing to descend on some of best ski resorts in Europe.

For the winter sports and skiing enthusiasts Spain currently offers some 1.000 Kilometers of quality marked trails and slopes situated in over 36 superb ski resorts half of which are proud owners of the Q awards for their quality tourism facilities and services offered. And all this set in a country that is second only to Switzerland with the greatest amount of mountains.

The main skiing regions of Spain are located in Aragon and Catalonian Pyrenees , the Cantabrian, Iberian and Central mountains and the Penibetico mountain range in the south.

The Aragonese and Catalonian Pyrenees in Northern Spain is the home of most of this countries leading ski resorts although the Sierra Nevada located in the heart of Andalucia in Southern Spain ranks amongst one the most popular. Sierra Nevada although the southern most ski resort in Europe has the longest winter season with skiers enjoying snow for almost 5 months a year. There is also a good selection of Ski resorts near Madrid, Galicia, Leon and Cantabria in the north west and La Rioja and Teruel in the mid north.

Please check out our complete guide to sking in Spain where you will find useful information on all the major ski resorts around Spain including resort facilities , updated weather and snow reports.

Family Holidays on the Costa de la Luz

With a beautiful coastline and many attractions, it’s no surprise that family holidays in Costa de la Luz are increasingly popular. With a name literally meaning ‘Coast of Light,’ Costa de la Luz is a varied and tourist friendly region of Spain that retains more of its culture than the Costa del Sol.

Renting a villa for the family in one of scenic towns, such as Chiclana de la Frontera or Vejer de la Fontera, gives you a great base to explore the countryside, pine wood forests, or one of the many nature reserves. Most holiday homes come with personal swimming pools and spacious patios, so there’s space to relax at home too.

The beaches in this region are less windswept that the Cadiz coastline, and offer some pristine sections of sand. The Playa de Castilla is only accessible on foot, but with around fifteen miles of gorgeous sand to enjoy it’s well worth the effort. In the height of summer the beaches become vibrant holiday hubs, which does mean a lot of other tourists around. But there are all the facilities to make your time on the sands pleasant and relaxed - and there are plenty of sunbeds too.

Activities and food
The capital of Costa de la Luz, Huelva city, is a great place to shop and explore. With numerous historical sites and easy access to transport you can take things at your own pace and get some perfect holiday snaps too.

For water sports the Costa de la Luz has numerous great locations. West of Huelva city is Barra de El Rompido, which is a fine beach and a great place to try out some new adventurous activities. Along the coast you’ll also find plenty of other places with activities for the kids, such as snorkelling and banana boat rides.

The region is famous for its seafood, so expect some amazing traditional Spanish fare. You can always treat yourself to tapas, and in and around Huelva there are plenty of international restaurants too. So there’s no need to worry if the kids are feeling fussy. With such a tourist friendly set up you’re bound to have a great time on your Costa de la Luz holidays.