I love Málaga, but it is sadly under-rated. Its name is synonymous with the airport destination for drunken Brits who scatter themselves - generally westwards - along the Costa del Sol. But it shouldn't be. Málaga is one of the oldest cities in the world; its culture and history date back to the Phoenicians in the eighth century BC. It is an elegant, vibrant and interesting city. Málaga has been the home and birthplace of many famous people including Pablo Picasso and Antonio Banderas. It is home to art galleries - Picasso Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum, CAC - museums and…
There are a few ways to leave an island. Airplanes and ferries are the most readily available means of transportation. But, if you can swing it, I highly recommend leaving islands the way I left the Greek isle of Kos: by sailboat. You can charter your own sailboat most anyplace in the Med and sail yourself around if you're an experienced sailor. If you aren't and still want to sail, you can either hire a boat with a skipper, or do what I did - join a G Adventures tour. (G Adventures in no way sponsored this post or this…
Shipwreck Cove (aka Smugglers Cove) in Zakynthos is home to Navagio Beach, the most famous beach in all of Greece. The beach can only be accessed by boat but is well worth the trip. This picturesque beach is wildly recognized by people around the world, even if they have not visited Zakynthos. Why is that? Navagio has been photographed and featured in many holiday brochures, travel books and televised advertisements. The boat was shipwrecked back in 1980 after hitting rocks in bad weather while being pursued by the Greek Navy, who suspected it was carrying contraband cigarettes. Tourists planning to…
view from Barceloneta (Barcelona) beach apartment This photo features my good friend Anna and I relaxing on a couch after an afternoon BBQ at a friend of a friend's Barceloneta Beach apartment. It is, I believe, the perfect photographic representation of Barcelona: a spectacular seaside city filled with great people, great food and fantastic views. After bouncing back and forth between the US and Spain for 10 years and working as an English teacher and later as a staff writer and editor at a cultural magazine in Barcelona, I've compiled a comprehensive list of places to shop and eat at,…
Besides being a foodie's dream location, Bologna also offers a wealth of activities where visitors can interact with its gritty, ancient and intellectual history. It is home to one of the oldest Universities in Europe where public autopsies would be held. There doctors, students, intellectuals and citizens would congregate to see the interior bodies of criminals. This room can be visited, as well as the entire University, although it isn't something I would recommend before or after eating. As for me I operate on a more sinister level where I was famished after such a visit, probably due to the…
The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it. ―Christopher Columbus A great collection of breathtaking landscapes dotted with wonderful beaches, a cup of sweet Latin vibe melted in the most sensual language, dramatic pueblos reminding of long gone periods, beautiful cities designed by famous artists seems to be the perfect recipe for romance and Spain is the consequence of their combination which gives it the status of one of the most romantic countries alongside France and Italy. Seville is the capital of Andalucía, the city of Carmen, the birthplace…
The sun-blessed Portuguese island of Madeira lies approximately 400km north of Tenerife, smack in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With year round warm weather, an incredibly scenic coastline and a wealth of cultural festivals you might be tempted to extend your stay on this island a little longer. A trip to Madeira will bring some unforgettable holiday experiences and allows you to explore the nearby golden island of Porto Santo. Saga Travel organise getaways to these two islands and are ready when you are, so let's take a look at what you can expect upon arrival. Compact But Diverse…
It was about 9pm on a mildly warm Tuesday night when our bus came to a meandering crawl in Requena, Spain. This was not just any Tuesday night. It was the night before the annual tomato throwing festival known as La Tomatina. Tomatina was to be held in the small town of Bunol the following afternoon. That didn't stop the entire province of Valencia from joining in on the celebration, however. This was the night of the annual Water and Wine Festival in Requena. I had been looking forward to this event for some time. Not just because I wanted…
When Antoni Gaudí received his degree in architecture, the director of the college said: "Today, we have given a degree in architecture to a madman or a genius, only time will tell". That was in 1878 and the buildings of Gaudí are not only still standing, but have become a worldwide symbol for Barcelona. There is a wide choice of places to stay in the city but I tend to choose somewhere around Passeig de Gracia, which is within walking distance of a lot of the places you may wish to visit. Look at the Renaissance Barcelona Hotel and Claris…
According to Catholicism, Santiago de Compostela is the place where the remains of the Apostle Saint James are buried. According to legend, the burial place was found by a shepherd in the 9th Century and since then Santiago became, together with Rome and Jerusalem, a popular destination for pilgrims. The building of the Cathedral, where the remains were eventually re-buried, began in 1075 but was not wholly completed until 1211. Nowadays, people make the pilgrimage to Santiago for different reasons. There are those that do it out of faith, and why not say it, maybe a bit of self-interest, since…
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